The Legend of Zelda: Mystery of Solarus is a fan-made sequel to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past created by Christopho. It was originally created with RPG Maker 2000 (and using many of its assets) and released in 2002 to much acclaim among francophone Zelda fans, and inspired many video game enthusiasts to try their hand at making similar games with RPG Maker as well.
The plot is as follows: after the events of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, it seemed like nothing would threaten the Hyrule Kingdom anymore... until the King succumbed to an unknown disease, his demise weakening the Wise Men's seal. Under advice from Sahasrahla, Link entrusted the Triforce to Zelda. The latter allied herself with mystical beings knows as Children of Solarus to break the Triforce into eight pieces. With the bearer of the Amulet of Solarus being the only person able to piece the Triforce together, it seemed like Hyrule was safe once again... until the day when Sahasrahla woke Link up with an alarming telepathic message.
In 2011, the game got an Updated Re-release in The Legend of Zelda: Mystery of Solarus DX, a new version of the game remade entirely from scratch using the Solarus Engine, which was created particularly for this game, and went on to become a full-fledged Game Maker. Aside from being more technically advanced and closer to the The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past game engine than the original version, this remake ditches the RPG Maker 2000 assets and features entirely new bosses, an optional dungeon, rewritten dialogue and more. This version also supports multiple languages.
The official website is here (in French) and while the original game is no longer online, the remake can be downloaded here. The Solarus Engine page also offers download links for it, and is in English, see here. Christopho himself made two video walkthroughs of the remake: one in English and another one in French. The remake is not to be confused with The Legend of Zelda: Mystery of Solarus XD, a humorous game created by the same team that parodies the universe of Zelda, as well as several Zelda fan games.
This Game Provides Examples Of:
- The Artifact: Some of the limitations of the RPG Maker version had to be carried over to the remake in order to keep the same puzzles challenging or to prevent Sequence Breaking:
- Link can't lift bushes before getting his sword, which prevents him from leaving the village too early. In the original game, he couldn't lift bushes (or anything, for that matter) at all.
- While solving block puzzles, Link can push, but he can't pull. The animation is there, but the action itself does nothing, unless Link is pulling a block created with the Cane of Somaria.
- Art Evolution: As mentioned above, the original game used both ALTTP graphics and RPG Maker 2000 assets. The remake did away with the latter entirely, replacing them with new graphics.
- Bag of Spilling: While the Link in this game is the same one from ALTTP, he still starts the game with none of his equipment from that game.
- Block Puzzle: Lots of them.
- Creator Provincialism: There is a French bakery south of the village.
- Dark World: Of course, this being a Fan Sequel to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Subverted however, as instead of the Dark World being a separate dimension, the Light World becomes this halfway through the game.
- Disconnected Side Area: The Master Arbror's Den has one. It can be reached much later in the game.
- Dummied Out:
- The original game had purple rocks that could be broken by dashing with Pegasus boots. The remake replaces them with regular light rocks.
- The original game had an additional item: a sheet of paper with a password written on it, that was used to open the door to the first dungeon using RPG Maker 2000's built-in "enter number" feature. In the remake, Tom, an NPC encoutered in the same cave where the password was originally found, is the one who opens the door.
- Eldritch Location: The final dungeon in the original game gives out such a vibe, because instead of the usual black void, the background image is a picture of space. The remake removed that part. Still, the entrance to the dungeon remains quite weird.
- Fetch Quest:
- Entering the sixth dungeon requires finding three Fire Stones.
- There's quite a few keys you'll have to find and use before getting to the seventh dungeon.
- Good Morning, Crono: The game begins with Link waking up after receiving a telepathic message from Sahasrahla.
- Halfway Plot Switch: Did you really think you'd be going through the eight dungeons saving the eight Children of Solarus? Nope, only four out of eight are missing. In the second half of the game, things go From Bad to Worse, the world becomes a dystopia, and the following dungeons are visited for reasons that go beyond collecting Plot Coupons.
- Law of Cartographical Elegance: As per usual in a Zelda game, this version of Hyrule also fits in a rectangle. Subverted later in the game: the secret dungeon is located outside of the map.
- MacGuffin: The Amulet of Solarus that is necessary for piecing the Triforce back together.
- Meaningful Name: Three guesses what Master Arbror is. Yup, it's a sentient evil tree.
- Mook Maker: Most of the bosses in the original game were just static images with one weak spot, and the danger was coming from constantly respawning mooks. Thankfully, it is not the case in the remake.
- Multi-Mook Melee: Such brawls replace mini-boss fights in some dungeons.
- Mythology Gag: In ALTTP, Agahnim was an alter ego of Ganon's, and in the official manga, they were two separate beings. Here, Agahnim behaves as if he was a separate being from Ganon, even mentioning his annoyance at Ganon's referring to him as an alter ego, while Ganon himself still insists on referring to him as such.
- Nostalgia Level: Both the eighth and ninth levels have rooms that were lifted from official games. A secret area in the former is a succession of maps from ALTTP, and the final area of the final dungeon is a slightly edited version of the first level in the NES original.
- Recurring Boss: Agahnim.
- Secret Level: A secret dungeon was added in the remake.
- Shout-Out: Besides shout outs and continuity nods to (obviously) The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and the original game (see Nostalgia Level above), the game also does quite a few of these to The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening:
- The sign puzzle (like the one where you had to read signs in a correct order to open the door to Mamu's room) makes two appearances.
- The Roc's Feather is an item in this game.
- In the original game, Sahasrahla's telepathic call was accompanied by the Dream Shrine theme.
- One of the NPCs says he can't explain more, he is just a kid.
- A hut with a telepathic tile serves the same purpose as the phone booth in that game.
- In the remake, a remix of the Tal Tal Mountain Range theme plays in the mountains. The secret dungeon's music is the remix of Eagle's Tower theme.
- Just like with The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, the DX re-release is a more technologically advanced Updated Re-release that features an optional dungeon which, while doing nothing for the plot, rewards you with an upgrade.
- Understatement: Sahasrahla says he hasn't cleaned up his basement for quite some time (in the original French version anyway, in the English version, he simply says he hasn't been down there in a while). In addition to being effectively messy and hard to navigate, the furthest part of the basement is covered in ice.
- Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay: At the very beginning of the game, Link needs to melt a block of ice, while having no fire-themed objects at his disposal. The solution is simply to pour water on it (think about ice cubes in drinks).
- Updated Re-release: The Legend of Zelda: Mystery of Solarus DX is one for The Legend of Zelda: Mystery of Solarus.
- Zero-Effort Boss: The boss of the eighth dungeon, Billy the Reckless, just keeps charging at you. Several well-timed hits with your sword will be enough to get rid of him. Of course, there is a harder boss immediately after him.