This wiki has been closed following a Request for Comments. Please see this page for more information.

Zelda's Adventure

From Crappy Games Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Zelda's Adventure
Imagine a Zelda CD-i game, but instead of cheesy cutscenes and bad platforming, you get live-action actors and butchered gameplay from the original Zelda NES game.
Protagonist(s): Princess Zelda
Genre(s): Action-adventure
Platform(s): Philips CD-i
Release: June 19, 1995
Developer(s): Viridis Corporation
Publisher(s): Philips Interactive Media
Country: United States
Series: The Legend of Zelda

Zelda's Adventure is the third Philips CD-i game based off of Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda franchise, developed by Viridis Corporation and released on June 19, 1995 exclusively in Europe. Unlike Link: The Faces of Evil and Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon which do have gamers and critics willing to defend them as good games, Zelda's Adventure is universally panned as being the worst of the CD-i Zelda games. Despite this, the game was made as the CD-i was getting discontinued and is a rare game, often selling for over $100.


Gannon kidnaps Link and steals the seven celestial signs, causing the kingdom of Tolemac to experience an age of darkness. Princess Zelda, recruited by court astrologer Gaspra, has to recover the signs, destroy Gannon, and rescue Link.


Unlike Link: The Faces of Evil and Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon, which play like Zelda II: The Adventures of Link, Zelda's Adventure uses the traditional style of gameplay with an overhead display and overworld map that lead to dungeons and towns.

"Reasons for Sucking" - Game Grumps

  1. The controls are extremely unresponsive, which is extremely questionable because the Zelda franchise is known for its very responsive and smooth controls to balance the gameplay.
  2. The live-action digitized cutscenes are very cheap looking and blurry. Sometimes, the cutscenes aren't even full-motion video and instead just play as if it's a slideshow. This is likely because of the CD-i's limited hardware abilities.
  3. Very poor voice acting.
    • Gaspra's voice sounds like a teenager trying to imitate an old man voice.
    • The NPCs dialogue is voice acting unlike other Zelda games in which its usually text. Most of the voice acting for the NPCs can range from being mediocre to just downright terrible.
  4. Despite being on CD-i, it somehow was unable to produce sound effects and music at the same time, which is very embarrassing, because even Hotel Mario, another terrible video game, was able to produce both music and sound effects at the same time.
  5. Very long load times, taking at least five seconds to switch to other areas. Even the first game, which was released in 1986, had very short load times, and was even released on a console that is less powerful than the CD-i, the Nintendo Entertainment System.
  6. Poor inventory screen, when compared to other games like Majora's Mask or The Adventure of Link.
  7. The game's dungeon maps are very unreliable as you just move all over the map rather than one area at a time, even though the franchise was known for its interesting maps that are also reliable like the map from the first game.
  8. Jerky framerate which barely goes above CD-i standards. The gameplay never runs at even above like 30 FPS.
  9. Ugly graphics that have been described as "blurry and digitized", the graphics look like a cheap shovelware game that you might find on a Sega CD or 32X game. And not to mention, Night Trap's graphics actually aged very well and while it was released in 1991, it was filmed in 1989, they're so ugly that they even gave Virtual Hydlide a run for its money, which makes this game's graphics very inexcusable.
  10. Wherever if Zelda gets the treasure from anywhere, the treasures then try to talk to the player first, which is a waste of time, even other games at least quickly give you descriptions of the treasure even before this game.
  11. In order to buy items, you must go to the menu and select rupees on the inventory screen to buy items. This is still a waste of time, because even other game prior to this let you buy items by just selecting it (if you have any) and then leave.
  12. The boxart of this game isn't very impressive, as its just a window outside at nighttime.

The Only Redeeming Quality

  1. The story is decent if compared to the other two infamous Zelda games.


AVGN Enraged.jpg "What were they thinking?"
The Shit Scale
Games that are debatably bad High level of shit contamination The very high category The severe zone Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Major code red
This game/console belongs to the "Very High Category" category of the AVGN's Shit Scale.

The game was critically panned by critics and even fans of the Zelda franchise for its graphics and terrible controls.

According to Wired, the graphics were some of the worst they had ever encountered. Scott Sharkey of called the box art of Zelda's Adventure one of the fifteen worst ever made.

Despite giving positive reviews for The Faces of Evil and The Wand of Gamelon, neither Danny Cowan of nor RetroGamer's John Szczepaniak would extend them to Zelda's Adventure, which Szczepaniak described as "demonstrating arbitrary and illogical design, sloppy visuals, nearly non-existent music, excruciatingly high difficulty, and cumbersome loading and controlling."

The gameplay for Zelda's Adventure has also been portrayed as a trial-and-error effort to guess which items can be used to defeat which enemy. Cowan called Zelda's Adventure "practically unplayable" due to the jerky frame rate, unresponsive controls, and long load times, summarizing his review with a warning to "avoid this game at all costs." In discussing the popular online conception that Zelda's Adventure is superior to The Wand of Gamelon and The Faces of Evil, RetroGamer pointed to the top-down perspective as fomenting misinformation regarding the game's similarities to the original Zelda when, according to RetroGamer, the game is actually not worth playing.


Zelda's Adventure, along with the previous titles The Faces of Evil and The Wand of Gamelon, were the result of a compromise between Nintendo and Philips. After an attempt to produce a CD-ROM based add-on for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System with Philips failed, Nintendo reached a compromise and gave Philips the license to five of their franchises' characters for use for the Philips CD-i. Zelda's Adventure was developed separately from the other two titles by Viridis Corporation.

As Viridis was given very little budget to work with, the development team had to get creative. Unlike the previous Zelda CD-i games, the idea was to build a game using top-down aesthetics similar to The Legend of Zelda with realistic-looking graphics. However this goal faced numerous difficulties and challenges with the team's limited budget as well as the CD-i's memory limitations. One issue was the top-down motion capture necessary for all of the human characters, as Viridis could not afford to rent a studio. The team instead resorted to hanging a mirror on the office ceiling and have a camera on the floor point up to it to record the actors. All of the game's human characters were all played by the in-office staff. The walking animations were achieved by having the actors walk on a motorized treadmill. For the FMVs, one of the walls in the office was painted a bright blue to achieve the use of blue screen. The indoor backgrounds and enemy sprites were created from clay models and props made by Jason Bakutis, which were then filmed on blue screen. The background seen in Gaspra's FMVs were one of the clay props used.

The overworld background terrains were taken from a combination of photo shoots of the Los Angeles area, photos of Hawaii taken by helicopter prior to the start of the project, as well as holiday vacation photos taken from other members of staff. A few of the artists were also sent with cameras to take macro photos of various textures for the in-game scenery. Gaspra was portrayed by the game's music composer, Mark Andrade while his voice was provided by Hal Smith. Zelda in the opening cutscene was played by office receptionist Diane Burns while her in-game sprite was portrayed by Annie Ward.

Due to the console's limited memory and other hardware issues, the development team faced many frustrating difficulties with putting the game together. The highly-detailed backgrounds and sprites had to be reduced in size and color, and at one point, the game's music and sound effects had also took up extra kilobytes of RAM. These issues became a contributing factor as to why the game loads slowly when moving between screens.

Zelda's Adventure spent two years in testing, longer than it took to develop the game. Much more music was composed for the game than was used. Developers had difficulty making sure all the areas of the game had proper background masking. There were plans at one point to hire Echo & the Bunnymen to do the music. Philips had stopped publishing CD-i games in North America by the time Zelda's Adventure was finished, and as a result the game was exclusively released in Europe.

There is conflicting information about the game's budget—one developer claims there was "no budget at all" while Bakutis claims (possibly facetiously) it had "at the time, the biggest budget ever for a video game"



Loading comments...