Hyrule Online: The Zelda MMO That Might Have Been
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.
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?