Dec 19, 2016 | By Benedict

A video game fan has made an amazing 3D printed version of the overworld map from the original Legend of Zelda Nintendo game. After spending six months building the map in Minecraft, the keen maker then sold a 3D printed version of his creation for $100.

3D printed map of The Legend of Zelda overworld

Nostalgia is a powerful feeling, and can affect almost every aspect of our lives: the music we listen to, the places we visit, even the video games we play. When Nintendo announced it would be releasing the Nintendo Classic Mini, a revamped version of its 1980s NES console packaged with a built-in catalogue of games, people got very excited—though few predicted just how successful the product would be. After all, these were very basic games, a world away from the ultra-immersive, incredibly lifelike offerings for the Playstation 4 and Xbox One. Did that matter to nostalgic consumers though? Not a bit.

Despite the simplicity of older video games, of perhaps because of that very simplicity, gamers have retained very strong feelings for those early classics, paying homage to them in any way they can. The evidence can be seen everywhere: could Pokémon Go have been such a raging success amongst twenty-somethings without that connection to childhood experiences on the Gameboy? Surely not. And affection for older video games goes beyond simply re-playing them; you’ll find all sorts of retro gaming memorabilia (figurines, t-shirts, phone cases…) on the high street, while 3D printing has even enabled fans to create their own physical mementos of the virtual past.

The Ninendo Classic Mini is a must-buy Christmas present for 2016

If you look hard enough, you’ll actually find 3D printed retro game stuff everywhere. Whether its a 3D printed harmonica shaped like a NES cartridge, or a 3D printed Gameboy emulator, the maker community has spent a great deal of time carefully sculpting replica consoles, controllers, and even video game characters to be turned into 3D printed objects. The latest example of this trend is an incredible 3D printed map of the Legend of Zelda overworld, made by maker Willard McFarland. Zelda was famed for its expansive landscapes, with gamers frequently getting lost if they didn’t have a 2D map (available in obscure Nintendo magazines) to guide them. McFarland’s map, however, brings the world to life in beautiful 3D, providing both a guide to the game and a gorgeous artistic tribute to it.

One member of the Trade Sell Collect Retro Facebook group clearly felt the same way about the cool 3D printed Zelda map, and consequently offered to buy it for $100. That was enough to tempt McFarland, who had spent around six months perfecting the minute details of the terrain on Minecraft before creating the 3D printed version. According to the maker, 3D printing took around 24 hours, with another six required for painting.

Details of Willard McFarland's 3D printed Legend of Zelda map

Although many members of the online retro gaming community have expressed overwhelming approval for the project, many wondered why McFarland accepted just $100 for the impressive 3D printed creation. One reader of Game Informer commented: “The guy spent six months of his life and 24 hours to print for $100? Sorry, but it should've gone for at least $1,000 or more. This is a highly detailed, miniature replica of an entire game. The guy undersold himself...unless he plans on printing and selling more that is…”

At present, we do not know if McFarland plans to make, paint, and sell any more 3D printed maps, though the level of interest in the piece suggests that the talented maker could make a significant amount of money from doing so. (Unless Nintendo comes calling for royalties, that is.) It might be a little late for a Christmas present, but keen Zelda fans might try getting in touch with McFarland through the Facebook group to see if more 3D printed maps are available.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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