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Animator hacks Zelda so you can play as Zelda

If it ever seemed strange to you that the eponymous heroine of the Legend of Zelda series is unplayable, one animator took matters into her own hands to remedy the situation.

It's dangerous to go alone.
(Credit: Kenna W)

If it ever seemed strange to you that the eponymous heroine of the Legend of Zelda series is unplayable, one animator took matters into her own hands to remedy the situation.

Now the name of a video-game isn't necessarily any indication of who the protagonist is, but as a long-time The Legend of Zelda fan, I've often found myself wishing I could make perennial damsel-in-distress Zelda a badass playable warrior princess.

Lack of experience with video-game editing wasn't going to stop Kenna W, however. Inspired by Mike Mika, who edited Donkey Kong so that his daughter could play as Pauline, and Anita Sarkeesian's Tropes vs. Women in Video Games, she decided that if Mika could do it, so could she.

I played my first Zelda game when I was pretty young, and at the time, I thought the game did star Princess Zelda. I figured I'd get to play as a magical battle princess that saved her kingdom. The game was fun, but I was bummed out that I never got to play as Zelda.

With a little help from her game-developer boyfriend, she found a sprite editor called Tile Layer Pro and set about making replacement sprites. First, it was Zelda in a green dress. Then, boyfriend Simon managed to locate the colour codes so that Zelda could have her red dress back. All in all, the project took three days.

So plot-wise, maybe the story could use a bit of work — Kenna ended up just leaving him in his one-bedroom cottage, while Zelda went and had all the adventures. But according to Kenna, the experience was worth it.

It makes me happy, too. It feels really good to play as Zelda. I feel like I connect with her character better, and it makes me feel like a big damn hero. It's so nice to be swinging around a sword as Zelda. I can't describe it. You really should try it for yourself.

Kenna can't give out her edited ROM due to copyright reasons, but she has made the ROM patch and instructions on how to install it available on her blog.

And if you're looking for Mika's Donkey Kong hack, you can find it here.

Via www.polygon.com