Ura Zelda

After the release of Ocarina of Time, there was a lot of excitement for what 3D Zelda would be in the future. Nintendo responded by announcing two sequels codenamed Zelda Gaiden (ゼルダ 外伝 ‘Zelda’s side story’) and Ura Zelda (裏ゼルダ, ‘Behind Zelda’) that were going to be released for the 64DD. This would have worked by having an original OOT cartridge in the top alongside an expansion disk in the 64DD in order to access the new content.

Since the 64DD was scrapped, they had to come up with an alternative way of delivering the two expansion to the fans that have been looking forward to them. Zelda Gaiden eventually became its own standalone cartridge, but plans weren’t so clear for Ura Zelda.

Development continued, but as the N64’s lifetime was coming to pass, development for the 64DD version ended. What we eventually got was put together in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Master Quest. It was basically the same game as vanilla Ocarina of Time but with the dungeons having altered puzzles and enemies. It wasn’t a game that was released on the N64, but rather it came as a bonus disc for people who bought Wind Waker.

Ura Zelda remake

Some people weren’t satisfied with with Master Quest as a successor to Ocarina of Time. They thought that it was a bit of a patch job and that the changes made to the game were there just to frustrate people who were overly familiar with the base game.

ZethN64 has had some experience working with Zelda mods in the past with another modder called ZeldaMaster90 (ZM90). The big one was the Zelda 64 restoration which was meant to be a similar type of mod where they tried to mod Ocarina of Time to show aspects of the game that were there back when it was in its beta phase when it was publicly known as Zelda 64. But that’s a topic for another time.

The Zelda 64 beta restoration eventually fell through but ZethN64 responded to the community’s desire for a Zelda fan remake by beginning work on Ura Zelda. So in 2009 he gathered up a group of intrepid ROM hackers and decided to take matters into their own hands and make their own hack of OOT to replicate what Ura Zelda would have been.


ZethN64 is the leader of The URA Team, and maintains the project integrity. His contributions include the retexturing and remodelling of characters and objects, level design and modification of the source game’s code. He also provides the teaser trailers to showcase what can be expected from the project.
Shadow Fire

Aside from maintaining the website, Shadow Fire also plays an integral role in The URA Team. With added content and character modification, a lot of the game’s script needs to be modified. As such, he provides the new dialogue that will be “spoken” by characters, as well as in-game information, and some character information. On top of this, he is one of the project’s QA Testers.

Sakura is one of the key programmers in the URA Project. Much of the character and actor programming is being worked on by her. She is also the project’s primary bug fixer. If something is broken, she works hard on rectifying the issue. She is also one of the site administration team and helps out in whatever way she can.

Originally known as Ganondork, and given the nickname Nyan Pony by Shadow Fire, Rainbow Dash is one of the major QA Testers, and also provides some critical input.

Naxylldritt uses his expertise to procure new map designs, and provides a lot of modification support. His expertise in 3D modelling allows for any inconsistencies to be patched up relatively quickly.

From the beautiful land of Sweden, Dominic composes his musical masterpieces for the URA Project. Despite not having worked with Nintendo before, he provides beautiful compositions that rival even Koji Kondo himself.

Arcaith, another Australian, provides his knowledge of 3D modelling as well as his modding expertise to The URA Team. He has managed to redesign a few maps, as well as certain characters, so that they fit better in the project.

QA Testers

Shadow Fire
Rainbow Dash

Special Thanks


The work was progressing pretty well, this video shows how far they’ve come:

There was even a pretty impressive soundtrack made for this mod. You can download it here, let me know if it gets taken down.

Ura Zelda’s aspirations

The idea behind the mod was to make a completely new game with influences of unused OOT beta content and magazine screenshots of the official Ura Zelda. The game would eventually be meant to be playable both on an emulator and though a flash cart.

The project was quite ambitious. The idea was not to just create a new set of dungeons like Zelda’s Birthday or modify old ones like Master Quest, but to create a completely new game on the skeleton of Ocarina of Time. This would work somewhat similarly to how A Link Between Worlds relates to A Link to the Past. It would take place in a similar Hyrule, but have very different characters and stories.

Here is the list of proposed content that would be new in this hack:

  • A brand new plot with new dialogue to envelop the player
  • A new protagonist called the Hero of Light
  • A new fairy partner named Raze, with a new personality (No more “Hey Listen”!)
  • Completely new dungeons
    • Young hero
      • Inside the Great Deku Tree
      • Dodongo’s Cavern
      • Inside Lord Jabu Jabu
      • Hyrule Castle
      • Deepwood Shrine
      • Turtlerock Cavern
      • Lakebed Grotto
      • Temple of Light
    • Adult hero
      • Forest Temple
      • Fire Temple
      • Ice Temple
      • Water Temple
      • Wind Temple
      • Spirit Temple
      • Shadow Temple
      • Tower of Ura
    • Scrapped
      • Turtle Rock
      • Wood Temple
      • Palace of Souls
  • A new Hyrule overworld
  • New NPCs, enemies and bosses
  • New minigames and revamped old ones
  • Changes to the OoT game engine where appropriate, to add new functionality
  • Restored beta content
  • New attacks
  • New items
  • New shops
  • New MP3 quality music
  • New side quests
  • Time of day system, with time sensitive events
  • Restored beta animations / new animations
  • New Warp Songs to learn
  • A+B Reversed interface/controls

The project called “Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time URA” seems to have made quite a bit of progress with a whole bunch of new models and areas which they documented on their now defunct website uraproject.the-gcn.com.

The story of Ura Zelda

The Legend begins where Ocarina of Time left off, the Hero of Time fought bravely against the King of Evil, Ganondorf and with Princess Zelda’s help, sealed him away into the dark void of the Sacred Realm.

With the Hero of Time’s mission completed, Zelda sent him back to his own time so he could regain the time he lost due to these unpredictable events. It has been 3 years since Zelda sent him back. Hyrule has begun to recover from its wounds and the people once again prosper.

Suddenly, dark visions begin to plague the princess’ dreams of Hyrule being covered again in darkness, until suddenly, a ray of light shot from the sky, a Hero descending into their world and parting the dark clouds. The dream had been too vaguely familar to what had started the events those 10 years ago.

The princess could hope that this hero could fight as valiantly as the Hero of Time did. The Hero of Light, guided by the hand of the goddesses into the land of Hyrule, must now go on a journey to save Hyrule and correct a mistake that was made 10 years ago.

As it turns out, when Ganondorf was sealed in the void of the realm, he came across the Tower of URA and its keeper, Using the Tower’s power, Ganondorf sealed away the Hero of Time before he even began his adventure, if the events play out without a Hero, Ganondorf will obtain the whole Triforce, so the Goddesses have sent the Hero of Light to intervene and stop him and restore the previous events of time.

Hero of Light

The protagonist of Ura Zelda is called the Hero of Light, who technically isn’t the same Link as the one in Ocarina of Time. This Link comes from the short-lived Broadcast Satellaview games that exist in the same Hyrule as A Link to the Past. These were sequel games that aren’t strictly canon so it’s not entirely clear where they fit in the story.

In Ura Zelda, the Hero of Light is the one to rise up to the challenge while the Link from A Link to the Past is off adventuring in Koholint Island. Being the only person who can touch the Master Sword besides Link, the Goddesses called him in his sleep to save Hyrule from its destruction at the hand of Ganondorf.

So technically speaking, this game takes place in parallel with Link’s Awakening.

Well I’ve been a big fan of the Broadcast games since like the early 90’s when I read about it in gaming magazines. We originally wanted to added more to the expansion then just a few new dungeons, we wanted to see OOT retold but with a whole new feel to it. That’s when we came up with the idea of using the BS Zelda Mascot. He’s the only one who can weild the Master Sword beside Link. So we said, why not have him become the new hero and freshen up the game a bit. It worked great cause we could incorporate the new fairy partner Raze a lot easier without too much outcry from the fandom about Navi not being Link’s partner, haha


Ura’s limitations

There were a few things that the fans wanted included in the game but were not possible to implement.

  • Have a model of Aria (a character never used in OoT) follow Link around as a companion.
  • Differing animations. This wasn’t possible to do with what they had available.
  • Adding permanent map changes, like footsteps in the sand or a fluid environment.
  • Changing the menu system

Basically, the game was a hack so they had to work with what the OoT engine had to offer. There wasn’t really much they could do in terms of changing animations or adding functionality, but there is plenty to work with regarding the stages, music, story and characters.

What Ura Zelda became

From the leaked ROMs and archival video, there are a few things that we can infer about how much the project has progressed. There are two other trailers, here and here.

Updated dungeons

Similar to how Master Quest did it, Ura Zelda made changes to the original dungeons to make the puzzles a bit more different. They aren’t more difficult per se, but you do need to traverse them in a different way in order to reach the boss. It’ll definitely throw you off if you play Ocarina of Time like it’s muscle memory.

New dungeons in Ura Zelda

There were also a bunch of trailers of the new temples added which gave us some insight into what they would be like. This is the only footage I could find, so please excuse the watermark.

Palace of Ice

The Palace of Ice is somewhat analogous to the Ice Cavern in Ocarina of Time. It has an icy theme, similar enemies and even has those darn silver rupee puzzles.

However, what differentiates it is the thick fog, bottomless pits and much more vertical layout.

Temple of Light

Even when I first played this game over 20 years ago, I always felt weird that Rauru was the only sage to give you a medallion without having completed a temple. This one only has an entrance area which looks very similar to the Temple of Time. It would be really cool to see a temple that, for example, took advantage of mechanics like the ‘song of time blocks’ and maybe a young/adult link transition like the Spirit Temple but with more common areas between them.

Unknown dungeon

This is an unnamed dungeon that appears where the Kakariko Graveyard used to be in the updated ROM. There’s a long path in front of a skull-bordered door, but there’s a moat that separates them so you can’t reach it. I’m not sure what temple this is supposed to be except just an alternate entrance to the Shadow Temple. It could also be the entrance to the Palace of Souls, but that’s never confirmed.

Palace of Darkness

This temple seems to have a somewhat similar theme to the Shadow Temple in Ocarina of Time, but with ironically more shadows and less death. Only the entrance appears to have been completed. This might have been what appears behind the entrance of the unknown dungeon from above.

Kokiri Forest replacement

This area appears in the leaked ROM where Kokiri Forest would normally be. It is a desert area which looks similar in style to the Gerudo Fortress but with a different map. All doors lead to where the Kokiri Forest would normally lead like the various houses and shop.


Composer Dominic Ninmark, also known on Youtube as Nitroflasher wrote a completely original score for all the main areas. Reused music like the Shop them, treasure chest theme and boss themes are the same. The music he’s written for the new areas not only feels like it belongs in a Zelda game, but really just draws you into it.

The music for Ura Zelda can be found here. It’s a bit large so I won’t host it, but let me know if the link breaks and I’ll post a mirror.

The decline of Project URA

Unfortunately it didn’t last. Around mid 2013 the project came to an end when a series of events lead ZethN64 to allegedly rage quit.

There is very little information about what happened except for this one interview with ShadowFire (Ura Zelda writer and website manager) that took place shortly after the project was cancelled.

There were troubles brewing for a long time, Zeth was in charge of managing the team, but these were all people who worked on the project in their free time. They didn’t have much of a horse in the game other than the desire to see such an ambitious fan project come to fruition.

This caused the project to be a bit of a revolving door of people who were tired of the grind and others who wanted to leave their own stamp of creativity on Ura Zelda. This caused the project to have a lot of course corrections that made a lot of people have to bin large chunks of work, which in turn further alienated people from the project. The largest of these changes would have been the switch from the Ocarina of Time engine to the Majora’s Mask engine.

There was also a building up of tension between the core team in general. Spire XII (Ben Walton), who drew up most of the project’s concept art, had a falling out with Zeth calling him a bad project manager and that he quit the project for good. He also added that he believed that Ura Zelda will never see completion.

At this point, most of the people working on Ura Zelda were still committed to see to it that it gets completed. After all, it has been in development for a few years now.

Next was Sakura, the key programmer for the project. She felt like she was just doing busywork, programming applications for the project at Zeth’s behest and that she was thinking of leaving. Rather than try to sort things out what happened seems to be that he freaked out and gave up on the project as a whole.

Instead of managing people’s overflowing workloads for the project and slowing down Ura Zelda’s development, Zeth64 instead thought that there was no end in sight and decided to scrap the whole thing. He asked ShadowFire to delete the minisite on the-gcn.com as well as the entire forum community that it hosted. The website was ShadowFire’s passion project for several years so he declined to do so. SF then went on to demote Zeth (and other admins) from their roles on the forums in order to reduce the impact of a someone going rogue.

The truth is: There is no Ura. Zeth has been lying about it for a long time now. He can’t seem to overcome his shame so he continues to front a lie by hiring on team members, persuading them of its existence with outdated ‘new’ content and letting them defend him on the forum whenever people question the project’s authenticity. He throws fits whenever people challenge him, accuse him of lying, and oh yeah, bans them afterwards. Why delete the entire thread? Sounds like someone trying to cover their tracks.

A ton of people have gotten their hopes up for Ura. People go to school, go to work, think about Ura and come home, go to The GCN and talk about it. People spend their days hyping up something that doesn’t exist anymore. Zeth is the boy who cried ‘wolf!’. Every time he’d announce a due date, something ‘catastrophic’ would happen right as it neared, or more often, on the day itself. I hate to be that guy but the deaths in his family become less believable now than ever.

Zeth is a big baby with a bigger ego who can’t bare to see other people’s work surpass his own in quality, nor can he take an ounce in criticism. He must live in his own perfect little world where he can control everything, especially the way that people think and speak. He cannot tolerate any form of deviation of his social standard. If people speak in a way he deems unfit for his world, he bans them. If Ura was his baby, he has neglected it for so long it had died well over a year ago from starvation. We’ve just been throwing food at a corpse because of the larvae.

Ura is a facade and it’s a damn shame. I wish as much as anyone that it would see the light of day, especially because I poured a ton of work into it. I just want for everyone to be able to forget Ura and move on with their lives. It’s a farce, it’s a crime, it’s a total misfortune. Trust me, I want to be wrong. I want Zeth to turn this over and reveal Ura to be real. But as of now, I have no reason to believe it exists at all. I want Zeth to be able to prove this project’s worth, see it through to completion and release the greatness our ideas have been doing for.

I have fond memories of talking with the team, but specifically Zeth. We spent days discussing the project – because I believed such a discussion was actually filtering into progress. Progress behind some curtain I was not allowed to see. If we’re comparing two possible truths, Ura existing vs Ura not existing, there is no way I can believe the former. I carry with me the shared opinion of numerous of the GCN community members including some Ura teammates. We just need to move on.

Spire XIII

Much of what was said in this post has been confirmed by people who worked with him, even though the harshness of his words initially drove a negative reflex in the community. On a somewhat more positive note, they also do say that Zeth Alkar was a pleasant chap to work with, but only up until the point where it came to managing crises.

Shadowfire went on to confirm that the extent of the work completed was that which was shown in the trailers. There was the Palace of Ice, some of the Temple of Time and not much more. The largest extent of work is visible in the concept phase of the project, including the game structure, story, map layout and concept art.

You used democracy as an excuse to make you guys feel better. It’s pretty sad how this administration has fallen that you’ll take this douchebag’s side over one of the administrators. I sat here and watched as glimpse said terrible things about me publicly and everyone just sat there twiddling their thumbs while it happened.


URA Zelda leaks

In 2016, three years after the project’s cancellation, an early version of Ura Zelda was leaked to the public. Not much is known about the leak, but I did get this blurb from the moddb mirror:

This is whats left of The ZethN64 Ura Restoration.i decided to release it since the creator himself is dead and will never work in the N64 scene again Probably ;-;


Zeth is still around, so the claims of his death is false. But it is true that there isn’t any other project under his name since.

The leaks can be also found on this archive.org page. These were uploaded a few weeks later. It’s a big file, so I’ll mirror it (or a patch) if it gets taken down.

What’s in it?

There’s a whole bunch of PPF patch files which I suppose are meant to be used with the Ocarina of Time Master Quest debug ROM. I haven’t tried them all though, maybe a later day.

There’s a whole bunch of stuff. There are some development files that I suppose contain the various assets used by the modding tools that built the mod. There is also plenty of concept art, most of which was drawn up by Spire.

What is interesting is all of the screenshots of various maps around the game. These are from areas that don’t appear in the leaked ROM. Maybe some of them come from patches that have not been applied yet.

The makers of Ura Zelda: Where are they now?

It’s been over eight years since the project was closed, so I thought it would be nice to see what the people involved are up to.


Zeth Alkar / Zeth Ryder has fallen out of the public eye ever since the end of the Ura Zelda project. You can still find his texture packs and the Zelda hacks he did before Ura around the web if that’s something you’re interested in, but there is nothing out there about him after 2013 with these two exceptions:

The Youtube channel: This channel has his name on it, end even still uses the GCN’s logo (quite cheeky considering that he sued ShadowFire for using it).

Hey everyone! I’ve been around the Zelda N64 community since 2007 and been hacking and modding the game ever since. On this channel I’ll feature hacks/mods I’ve done over the years and also show off gameplay of my upcoming project. I will also be uploading trailers and beta gameplay of Zelda Ocarina of Time for preserving the history of its development.

Zeth’s channel

The channel has videos with footage of some glitches and old beta footage, but all posted in 2014 and after. In fact, the channel itself was founded in September 2013, a couple of months after this whole debacle came to be. I’m inclined to believe that it’s just a fan or a troll, but there have been uploads every few months up until this year, which is a lot of effort for a joke account.

The Twitter account: This is an account which dates back to 2011 which makes it pre-cancellation, and it’s still active till today, so I’m inclined to believe that it belongs to the man, the myth, the legend himself.

He posts about Zelda and Mass Effect, mostly, and just a few times per month so not too active.


ShadowFire has carried on working on The GCN website for years after Ura Zelda was cancelled, including the Youtube channel. However, it seems as though both the site and channel come to an abrupt halt in 2018. I hope that everything is ok and that he’s still in good health. It does say on his profile that he last visited the website this week, so anything is possible.

He also worked on completing a remake of a gay furry visual novel called Morenatsu. Not sure what to make of that.

Spire XIII

Benjamin Walton aka Spire XIII has carried on working as an artist, even still making Zelda art from time to time. You can find his website here, but it has also stopped being updated in 2018.


I wasn’t able to find anything about Sakura outside of this project. If you know anything, let me know and I’ll update the page.

Articles across the web

Ura Zelda is the missing Zelda game on the N64 that became Master Quest, but some hackers tried to recreate it in its original form.
Article published on N64 Squid


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