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Ex-Nintendo programmer reveals Zelda 64 had portals a decade before Portal


NeoGAFs Kent Brockman

In an interview with MinnMax, Giles Goddard explained that while he was working at Nintendo in the ’90s he was making some tech demos for the Nintendo 64 to see what the hardware was capable of.

Goddard was responsible for creating the infamous Zelda 64 tech demo that was shown at Nintendo’s Spaceworld event in 1995, where Link is seen fighting a metallic knight.

However, Goddard also explained that he worked on another tech demo that was never publicly seen, which involved the use of portals.

“Recently I found an old directory of source code that I had backed up, and it was the first map of the N64 Zelda, just with Hyrule Castle,” Goddard said. “So I was doing all these experiments.”

“You had a portal where you could look through, go in and you’d be teleported to a different part of the map. You’d see through the door to a different part of the map, walk through it, then walk back through it, if you see what I mean.

“It was very cool tech and I had it running and showed it to some guys at the office here and they said ‘oh, you’ve got to put this on the internet’, and I said ‘well, I can’t, really, it’s not my property, it’s Nintendo’s.”

When asked if this was designed to be part of the main Ocarina of Time, Goddard answered: “It was R&D for the game, basically. It was, what could we do with the hardware on the N64? It was basically a demo of actual portals that you could see through to other parts of the map.”

Goddard also jokes that when he saw Portal when it was released a decade later he remembered his own tech demo. “When I saw Portal I thought ‘oh, actually, I had that running on the N64, I should have released it then!'”.

According to Goddard, the main development team probably didn’t even see the tech demo, because it was too hard to introduce new tech while the game was in progress, which is why the feature didn’t appear in the final product.


Prey also had Portals already on N64 back when it was still supposed to release around the millennium lol.

they also used the render to texture tech for reflections

fart town usa

Gold Member
All this time and none of us knew that the portal gun in Darksiders was actually a nod to Zelda.

Always Sunny Reaction GIF
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And Im actually the creator of Windows but didnt want to say it before until someone called me for a podcast. All talk and no screenshot or illustrayion of the idea from back then? Next he will say Links original weapon was actually gonna be a red crowbar.


I'm sure it would have been interesting to see, but I'm skeptical if it would have worked that well on the N64 hardware, at least if it functioned anything like Valve's Portal.
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