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Hyrule Online: The Zelda MMO That Might Have Been

Links and Zeldas, Links and Zeldas everywhere.


The depths of the Internet can yield some horrifying images where humans become the angler fish of the deep Internet ocean. But sometimes you unearth interesting, perfectly safe, Internet treasures. In my digging I stumbled upon Hyrule Online, a Legend of Zelda-based MMORPG created by fans, but now sadly deceased.


Before they shut down the server, the game followed the early 8-bit versions of Zelda before Ocarina of Time. You would acquire pixelated armor, weapons, and story items while learning nifty spells. You could also interact with familiar NPCs and form guilds with other players. Your typical MMO but in the Zelda universe.

The Fall

It died. They shut the server down and promised a Hyrule Online 2.0, but it never came to pass. The last true update on the forums and the site was 2010. It’s a story of what could have been and I have to say it’s thoroughly depressing.

As an avid fan of Legend of Zelda, I would have been all over this MMO had I found it early on. But I’m glad I didn’t, seeing as it disappeared off the grid not long after its launch. It held so much potential as a fan-based idea. In a way its demise also preserves the Zelda we all know and love, but if someone came up with an updated Zelda MMO that followed the style and canon of Ocarina of Time, it could stand a chance out there. With enough love, time, and care, perhaps it would be something the MMO and Zelda communities could appreciate and support.

If there were a legitimate Zelda MMORPG out, would you play it or would you rather leave it out of that realm? 

Originally Published May. 20th 2013


Pikachu, pugs, Guild Wars 2, sloths, and opera make up my day... and my life.

Facebook Comments
  • 1
    Person_5050 The new link for Hyrule Online. Not sure how much longer it will be up though.
  • 1
    For anyone who stumbles across this post in a state of nostalgia, some of the community still exists.
    Last edited 3 months ago
  • 1
    I miss this game so hard. I really loved playing it. It was just awsome. And I miss a lot of you guys too. Don't know if you can remember me.
  • 1
    If you really do miss the community, you can find us.
  • 1
    This game was what I played when I was 12. Looking back at some stuff I cringe a lot since I was an annoying 12 year old kid on the internet, but there are a lot of fond memories I got from this. I'm even in one of Wilhelm (Rellim's) screenshots there.
    It's nice seeing the high up names like Gunslinger and Lamaboy, too. I hope everyone from around then is doing well. Triforce Guards all the way.
  • 60
    Amy White
    Former Editor in Chief
    "Updated Zelda MMO that followed the style and canon of Ocarina of Time" - I'd play that in a heartbeat :)
  • 1
    I guess we all still like meeting at the same place.

    Old habits die hard.
  • 1
    Holy shit, I remember this game and playing it when I could, I was that one annoying kid doing the bad jokes, I thnk my name was "Wok" or something.
    those were good times...
  • 1
    I think I remember you. It was W0k with a zero.
  • 1
    I really do miss this game. Despite the bugs and various problems it had, the community was what really kept me there. The only question I have now is if it's worth it to try and bring back? Even if it isn't Zelda, it could still keep a similar concept with the same integrity.

    I've been fooling around with another engine for a while and added a few nifty features like a Zelda-style bottle system. The maps are a bit empty but it would be a shame to put to waste. Here's a few screenshots of what I've got.
  • 1
    Oh man, I miss this so much. I miss all you guys. This article/comments from everyone is a huge nostalgia trip. R.I.P. Hyrule Online.
  • 1
    rip in pieces HO

    You may have had your flaws, but you will never be forgotten.

  • 1
    I updated the blog last year to let people know that HO was dead and 2.0 wasn't going to happen and I gave an explanation.
    I didn't realize that was the day our webhosting package expired, so the post was only live for about 8 hours.
  • 1
    Hey, this is the old admin of this project..

    I just read the article, your comments and bursted into tears.
    Way back when I started this, I didn't know it was gonna blow up into a really good community, because that's what it was. It was fun. I had a blast.

    Then came things like, I got a job, started spending a lot of time with friends and you know, life, adultery and stuff. (not a parent yet though).

    From the depths of my heart to all of you who supported us, thank you, I really miss you.

    Take care.
    Last edited 11 months ago
  • 1
    I remember when lum took down the old forums.

    Good times.
  • 1
    I would play the hell out of HO if it came back. I need to reclaim my spot on the bridge. Too many great memories with this game. But AOD needs to stay dead. This is Seth btw.
  • 1
    Lamaboy here. The interest in this game went down significantly towards its end, and HO 2.0 was canceled due to the fact that Nintendo was shutting down other games with similar fan content. That being said, I still have the client/server source so HO 1.0 does have the potential to come back some day, assuming Windows doesn't move to a completely incompatible version in the mean time.
  • 1
    If a server exists and is advertized enough, they will come. Right?
  • 1
    J Doe
    That game was bomb they should update it and put it up!
  • 1
    If fully N64/PS1/Dreamcast-level 3D, I would totally play it, at least to check it out. With something like Zelda, I'd like to see a new, innovative world for an MMO setting, though definitely linked to existing Zelda games (other plane of existence, other planet in the universe, whatever), and that could get me hooked. If 2D, it could still work out.
  • 1
    Ah, these were the good ol' days. I would pretty much just stand at the bridge and chat with everybody on local or global chat.
  • 1
    Magical Girl Wilhelm
    More content?

    If anyone asks, you didn't get it from me.
  • 1
    Zelda MMO is something I have thought a whole lot about. Basically like Star Wars galaxy, but replace the races with Gorons, Zoras, hyrulians etc.
  • 35
    I personally think it would be a great base for an MMO. I feel like all the different universes and lands could be reconciled in such a huge game.
  • 29
    Reilly C.
    Interesting. Making an MMO out of the Zelda universe is so hard though because there are so many different versions of the universe that you could not possibly build a version that is specifically the definitive version of Hyrule. Maybe if they made the game world out of different parts of all the games... Hmmmm...
    Anyways, nice job but if you can, dig for some more content and try to get a hold of some of the original developers! That would be an interesting chat!

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