Delete your SNES emulator - fans have properly ported Zelda: A Link to the Past to PC

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
(Image credit: Nintendo)

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, arguably the best Zelda game, has now been unofficially ported to PC, and that's massive news for the future of this absolute classic.

I won't beat around the bush here: obviously, you've been able to play Link to the Past on PC for decades through emulation. But while an emulator will essentially run a virtual Super NES on your computer to play games through, this Link to the Past port runs natively on your PC, just like any modern computer game. The port takes advantage of tech developed for the LakeSNES emulator, but it's not dependent on it.

For the devs, it's an engineering challenge, but for players, it opens up many new possibilities for mods and quality-of-life features. Out of the box, this version of Link to the Past lets you equip multiple sub-items at once - a feature the series wouldn't get until the N64 games. There's a built-in turbo mode, cheats, and yes, widescreen support. You can see details on those features over on the 

The project started gaining notability after Neowin (opens in new tab) highlighted it a week ago, and contributors are already making it better. A new Zelda 3 Launcher application makes an otherwise convoluted install process dead simple - all you've got to do is provide the appropriate ROM, and the launcher handles the rest. The only caveat is that you need an extremely specific ROM version.

As with many other PC ports of this type, like those for Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, this release contains none of the game's original assets - instead, they're ripped from the ROM that you provide. Nintendo hasn't taken action against those N64 ports, so maybe this strategy to avoid legal ire is working. But if you're eager to try it out before a potential takedown, you can grab the PC port itself (opens in new tab) or the Zelda 3 Launcher (opens in new tab) from those respective GitHub links.

Which of the best SNES games deserve the fan port treatment?

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.