July 23rd, 1999
Zelda Classic is a fan game creation software released by Phantom Menace. The software was released in 1999 as freeware. The program allows users to create their own 2D fan games based on The Legend of Zelda . The website is hosted by Armageddon Games.
Zelda Classic is a freeware fan game builder, which initially began as a built-from-scratch recreation of the original The Legend of Zelda, including every monster and item from the original game, but it has since expanded over time with a great deal of new, often completely original content.
Over time, more items were added (including the Hookshot, Flippers, Lens of Truth, Master Sword, and Gold Ring) along with new enemies (including mirror Wizzrobes, splitting Darknuts, eight-headed Manhandlas, Fire Gleeoks, and many more). The program opens with a title screen and a NES-styled save select screen, where players type their name and select a quest file to play.
Since its release over fifteen years ago, hundreds of ZC Quests have been created. Additionally, quests based on other game franchises, such as Mario, Sonic, Mega Man, and others have been created, although the gameplay usually closely resembles the original The Legend of Zelda. Less commonly, entirely new types of games have been built in ZC, such as a remake of Pong, and various mini-games. A remake of BS The Legend of Zelda was also created.
The editor, ZQuest, allows users to build an entire game (referred to as "Quests") with 16x16 tiles (known as combos, with many custom options for using new tilesets) and individually-scrolled screens (similar to the original). Up to 511 are maps are allowed, which may be used for overworld or interior/dungeon areas; maps may be in either 8x8 or 16x8 format. Maps may be interconnected via warps (such as staircases, caves, or even scrolling off the edge of one screen onto another). The graphics, music, and sound effects may all be changed as well, with 16-bit color and a variety of sound formats available.
Many gameplay factors may be altered, via the Item Editor, Enemy Editor, Quest Rules settings, and other option menus. Side view gravity areas may be created, Link can be set to move in 8 directions instead of only 4, an optional timer can show the total playtime, Bombs and Candle fire may be changed to damage/not damage Link, water may be set to allow Link to walk into it and drown, Link may wield the sword in a slashing manner similar to Link's Awakening, larger-scale Link sprites (such as those from A Link to the Past) may be used, and many other options are available.
In version 2.5, a scripting language, called ZScript, was added, which allows Quest creators to make elaborate cutscenes, NPCs, item trading, new items, new monsters, switching the player character, randomizing objects, and many other potential gameplay elements; scripting allows vast possibilities for the quest designer, beyond the limits of the original The Legend of Zelda.
ZC was originally created in 1999 by Phantom Menace as part of Armageddon Games; in 2000, Dark Nation became the lead developer until he passed away in 2013, and since then many staff members have continued to update the program, with Gleeok currently taking the role of lead developer. Updates are now co-hosted by Zeldaclassic.com and PureZC.net, with new updates often being first posted to PureZC's forums upon release. The Shardstorm ZCWiki also contains extensive ZC information.
Zelda Classic is available for Windows, MacOS, and Linux. Early versions were available for previous editions of Windows and for DOS.
Zelda Classic won the 2009 Exploding Deku Nut Golden Item Awards, winning the Golden Deku Nut, symbolizing its creativeness.