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Gamer in love levels up and proposes via Legend of Zelda

Guy pops the question the geeky way by hacking an NES Legend of Zelda video game to do the talking for him.

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Having a game propose to your beloved? Now that's geeky romance. Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

Gamer James Dowdell wanted to impress his girlfriend Natalie Martin by changing the animation and text on a retro Nintendo Legend of Zelda game for a surprise marriage proposal. He even gave Zelda bunny ears because his girlfriend -- who happens to be a photographer specializing in geeky weddings -- loves rabbits.

"A highlight of our lives is getting together on the couch for play-throughs of video games," Dowdell posted on Imgur. "The Legend of Zelda for NES is my all-time favorite game. I got this ingenious little plan a few months back; I would schedule a play-through with her, on original hardware, but have the game ask her to marry me when we beat it together."

He reprogrammed the game's ending so that when the couple beat it on a full-day weekend run, things onscreen looked, well, a little different. Reported Dowdell, "She said yes!"

"Eagle-eyed viewers will note the map revealed in the video is an impossible map to Ganon -- James really did play the game all the way through, we just did the emulator recording later," the betrothed Martin wrote on her blog last week.

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Even the Princess would be impressed with this fancy gamer bling. Natalie Martin

"Aside from the proposal and the 'you got the ring' text, he also managed to hack the game to play the 'you got the thing' music during that moment, which is actually a long awkward silence in the original game," Martin added. "Obviously, Link is holding up a ring instead of the Triforce, too."

Dowdell also presented Martin with an impressive Legend of Zelda engagement ring made by Takayas Custom Jewelry.

Gamers have an impressive record of creative marriage proposals, from the programmer who created an old-school Final Fantasy-style RPG where each boss dropped the keys to his heart to the gamer who made an entirely new game for the occasion.

Check out the below video, which isn't Dowdell's actual engagement proposal gameplay, but a video recorded off the emulator after the fact.