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?