Nintendo 64 classics including Zelda: Ocarina of Time given ray-tracing upgrade thanks to emulator
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The Nintendo 64 had some of the greatest games of our time on it. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, for example, was the first game ever to receive a perfect score of 40/40 in Famitsu magazine and was recently added to the Video Game Hall of Fame.
However, while great, these games are a product of their time, and as such can look a little rough around the edges. Well, not anymore!
Now, thanks to an emulator developer that goes by the name of Darío, these legendary games have been given not only ray-tracing upgrades, but also object motion blur, widescreen, DLSS and 60+ FPS.
You can check out a clip of the emulator in action via the tweet below.
I’d like to reveal that RT64, the path tracer behind sm64rt, is evolving into an N64 emulator plugin.
Here’s a small reel of footage I’ve captured from games that are already showing results.
Ray traced lighting, object motion blur, widescreen, DLSS and 60+ FPS. pic.twitter.com/qLJHzGfKUc
— Darío (@dariosamo) June 3, 2022
“I started this project a month ago as a way of optimising the PC port’s backend as much as possible, and I quickly realised it could evolve into a generic emulation solution that would allow me to apply these enhancements to far more games,” Darío explained.
“The footage I’ve shown from both Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask have been captured in mupen64plus, and I intend to bring this to other emulator cores as I learn more about how the hardware and the software works… This project is very much in its infancy and it’s several months away from being released, but the results so far are very exciting.”
Darío goes on to say that, while these games look amazing thanks to the emulator, it is going to be impossible for them to “make every N64 game work” this way. This is due to the fact that it is a manual process to create the nice lighting we just saw above for any particular title.
Meanwhile, Darío has revealed they hope to support HD texture replacements for these games further down the line. However, for now, they are “still in the process of understanding how to ensure compatibility with the texture packs already available for plugins like GlideN64.”