The latest game to get the reverse-engineering treatment is The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Neowin has reported. A GitHub user called snesrev has fully ported the game to PC using over 80,000 lines of code, while adding some extra enhancements. Those include support for enhanced aspect ratios and pixel shaders, a higher quality world map, secondary item slots and more.
The version was re-engineered in C code, and requires libraries from the SNES emulator LakeSNES. It features all the same levels, enemies and puzzles of the original game, and can even run the original machine code alongside the ported C version. Another GitHub user, xander-haj, showed exactly how it works compared to an emulation in a YouTube video from last year.
The ported version of Link joins other recent projects, notably Star Wars: Dark Forces, that have been fully ported to PC. Unlike emulation, which effectively transforms your PC into an old console, reverse-engineered games are rebuilt from scratch, which allows for added features like the widescreen and pixel shades inserted by snesrev.
Savvy users could create this build on Windows, Mac, Linux and even the Nintendo Switch, with more platforms potentially doable down the road. It's on shaky legal ground, however. For example, after someone did a very cool PC port of the classic Super Mario 64, Nintendo cracked down and links to the download disappeared from file-hosting websites.