New secret level discovered in original Zelda NES game

Zelda start screen

The classic Nintendo consoles like the NES and the SNES have been having a bit of a renaissance recently thanks to the criminally underproduced retro mini consoles Nintendo has been putting out. A small production run means demand for the little beasts has always been high. The demand wouldn’t be there though, if the classic games you get with them weren’t still fun to play. Nostalgia is great, but unless you still get that jolt of childhood joy, a console won’t keep your attention for long.

These classic consoles have plenty of classic games that keep us coming back. Games like Super Mario Bros., Mario Kart, Star Fox, Punch Out, and Metroid. Many of these have spawned franchises that reach out over decades, but the original games can still hold their own. The true classic games always have something more to offer. This has never been truer than with The Legend of Zelda on the NES, which served up something new and strange this week.

A new secret world has just been found in the 33-year-old Zelda game for the NES

A developer whose YouTube name is SKELUX made the shocking discovery. After hours of work, he was finally able to break through to what he calls the ‘minus world,’ a buggy Zelda underworld that only exists for coding reasons.

In the video below, SKELUX tells the interesting story of how he found The Legend of Zelda’s minus world. Apparently, there are many old games that have minus worlds, built so that developers could test out code and just generally experiment with things they were thinking about adding to the main worlds of the games. The classic Mario Bros. games have them and glitches can help you find them and break into them. Other games, however, have code blocking entry into the minus worlds. The Legend of Zelda is one of these code protected games, which could explain why nobody found the minus world for over 32 years.

SKELUX’s story is definitely worth a watch as he shows how he broke into the minus world and even explains why it is called the minus world. Even if you’re not a coder yourself, you’ll still be interested to learn about how the developers back in the 80s used to design their game worlds and how that has piqued the interest of modern-day developers, causing them to look at them further. Like why is The Legend of Zelda map 16 x 8 but the code allows your sprite to be positioned on a grid of 16 x 16?

Image via: YouTube user SKELUX

We love little quirks like this at Softonic and we hope you do, too. If you have any favorite secret levels from the games you used to play in the past or still play now, we’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

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