Take A Look At This Custom-Made Zelda Arcade Cabinet The Legend of Zelda is a title that should ring a bell in the minds of virtually everyone who calls themselves a gamer around the world. Whether you played it or not, odds are that you’ve actually seen it or heard about it from a friend. Like Mario (Jumpman) in Donkey Kong, the release of Legend of Zelda for the Nintendo Entertainment System brought some much-needed improvements to the classic gaming formula of the time. Much like arcade video games, home console titles of the time still consisted of mostly short gameplay segments that could be beat in one sitting, and which offered challenging yet engaging mechanics, that rewarded the players’ skills with points, which they could then show to their friends and brag about their high scores.
The first Legend of Zelda game was created by Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka and published by Nintendo. The game was released in 1986 and, since that time, the franchise has garnered massive popularity among video game critics and fans alike. Even though Nintendo didn’t originally believe that the game would sell well, or even attract that many gamers to itself, Miyamoto and Tezuka were confident that it would, given that the “sword and sorcery” theme which is common in the franchise was quite new at the time. Furthermore, the game came as a breath of fresh air to an industry that was in a bit of a rut at the time, and completely revolutionized the classic formula: instead of competing for the highest score, the players were introduced to a living world, in which the player had to traverse diverse environments, and solve puzzles in order to save the princess, and the world along with it, from the clutches of the evil Ganon.
Besides the gameplay and setting, which was awesome in itself, the Legend of Zelda also brought several new additions and broke important world records of the time. For starters, it was the very first game that was equipped with an internal battery so that the player could save their progress on the cartridge. Given that this was a long game that took about 9 or 10 hours to beat, most players wouldn’t be able to complete it in one sitting, thus creating the need for a means to store his or her progress. Additionally, the Legend of Zelda was the very first game on the Nintendo Entertainment System to sell more than a million copies worldwide. As of today, this game has sold 6.51 million copíes around the world, making it the second most profitable Zelda game in the franchise, just behind Twilight Princess for the Wii, which sold 7,16 million copies.
Suffice to say, this title essentially paved the way for every modern RPG we can play on our consoles today. Those of you who enjoy playing other popular RPGs, such as the Final Fantasy series of games, can thank Zelda for making these games feasible for companies to develop and sell.
With the release of the franchise’s latest game, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, on the way, the internet is buzzing with expectations, fan theories, rumors, and speculation about the game’s plot, as well as all its gameplay elements that are aimed to diversify the series’ already popular mechanics. However, as an ode to the game that started it all, Arcade Museum user Wyo has gone on to recreate the very first Zelda game in an arcade cabinet, with stunning results.
According to its creator, the cabinet is completely made out of wood. The panels are primered and block sanded for smoothness, and then painted with metallic gold automotive urethane. For good measure, he then applied a coat of .008 gold flake to create a shimmering look for the panels. The construction was topped off with a wetsanding and polish, and the result was a shiny piece of eye candy.
And I haven’t even gotten to the artwork and design of the cabinet’s frontal face. Wyo had to recreate the images from scratch using Adobe Illustrator. He was aiming to achieve a 80’s Donkey Kong-esque kind of look, and so he went on to design the iconic characters of the game in the fashion. On the marquee, we can catch a glimpse of Link, Ganon, and Zelda, with the name of the game in front and center. On the control panel, we can also see the three main characters of the game, alongside the joystick and 4 buttons, all of which have handy tooltips included in the design so that the player knows what each button does. An awesome addition to the control panel is that, on the leftmost side, we can spot an informative box explaining the game’s mechanics, and basically how to get around in Hyrule, for those that are new to the game. I particularly liked most the design of the frame, which depicts, once again, the three main characters on its corners, as well as chibi renditions of links battling some enemies on the sides.
Now, the outer appearance of the cabinet is stunning in itself, but what’s inside the box is literally the heart of the matter. The cabinet is equipped with a 20” de-cased CRT and a Nintendo Entertainment System directly wired to the panel’s controls. The good thing about the going with an NES, is that the user can literally play any game on this arcade cabinet; all he has to do is open the coin panel and switch the cartridge. Wyo uses an Everdrive N8 on his NES, so he can basically play any and all NES titles on this cabinet.
If you’re interested in learning more about the process of building this cabinet, feel free to visit Wyo’s build thread on the Arcadecontrol forums, where you’ll find every single step in a painstakingly elaborate manner.
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