The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is one of the most recognizable games of all time, with an iconic overworld that players become intimately familiar with during their travels as the Hero of Time. A prolific creator recently took a stab at recreating Hyrule in the blocky anime style of Dragon Quest Builders, with absolutely beautiful results.
For two years, BenXC has regularly uploaded YouTube videos showcasing his Dragon Quest Builders projects, which range from relatively simple builds like hotels and bridges to more detailed ones like the treehouse from The Simpsons. A little while back, BenXC previewed work on a muchlargerproject to recreate the overworld of A Link to the Past, followed by detailed looks at his work on the Eastern Palace and Death Mountain. Now, seven months later, he’s ready to unveil the entire thing.
According to the above video, BenXC spent 150 hours faithfully constructing the landmarks and monuments of Hyrule in Dragon Quest Builders 2. Fans of A Link to the Past will immediately recognize some of its most iconic locations, like Hyrule Castle and the Lost Woods. BenXC says that the venture includes over 300,000 blocks, not to mention the 2,500 trees he had to plant by hand. It’s an incredibly detailed project that adds a brand new look to the classic world of A Link to the Past.
The coolest thing about games like Dragon Quest Builders, Minecraft, and Mario Maker are the tools they give users to flex their creative muscles. This often results in folks transplanting completely different games into these spaces, giving us the opportunity to view classics with a new coat of paint. Interested players can check out BenXC’s version of A Link to the Past’s Hyrule for themselves by using the following Island ID: npyrd8ZJVM. Happy exploring!
Kotaku Game DiaryDaily thoughts from a Kotaku staffer about a game we’re playing.
In Dragon Quest Builders 2, you play as a little anime friend who knows how to build stuff in a world where building things is outlawed. It’s very funny. Often in the game’s opening hours, you will construct something like a simple straw mat, and people will look at you like you invented a bubble gum that makes people sing like Ariana Grande. How did you do that? They will wonder. Is that allowed? They will ask. You didn’t just…”build” somethingdid you? They might fret.
Once their amazement passes, another funny thing happens, one that actually matters for your progress through the game. The characters for whom you built something will rush over in excitement, and literally explode with joy. Little yellow, green, and orange hearts burst out from them for you to collect. These hearts are what Dragon Quest Builders 2 calls gratitude points. Collect enough of them, and you can ring the bell at the center of the town you’re in to level up that town, unlocking new blueprints and recipes for you to build and craft and generally just make an even better town.
Helping townsfolk is a staple of role-playing games. It’s one of the weird little idiosyncrasies of the genre, which often casts players as powerful warriors who are capable of stopping existential threats but also presumes that they wouldn’t get annoyed by a farmer asking them to find a chicken that ran off.Dragon Quest games in particular are well-suited to this kind of diversion. That’s because they are, as Kotaku’s Tim Rogers noted in his review of Dragon Quest XI, basically bedtime stories. They’re meant to be sweet and endearing, just as much storybook as they are games. They’re stories set in worlds where helping people is something everyone does, just because it’s nice and right.
I think about that a lot as I play Dragon Quest Builders 2. Watching its little townsfolk explode with gratitude, it’s nice to see these ideas made just a little more tangible, to see how they feel externalized in a gameplay system. While you could argue (and I would) that the purity of that feeling is compromised by attaching it to a system that lets you earn new things, making all of your altruistic efforts into more of a transaction, the moment of the heart explosion itself remains a joy. It’s a joy to know that you helped someone, a joy to know that they deeply appreciate that help, that they’re glad you’re here, that you could make their lives a little bit better.