Zelda Randomizer, also known as Zelda 1 Randomizer, The Legend of Zelda Randomizer, and othersnote , is Exactly What It Says on the Tin: a video game randomizer based on Nintendo's groundbreaking 1986 video game, The Legend of Zelda. The primary developer is Fred Coughlin, although numerous other people have assisted with the project since its inception, and it is one of the Trope Codifiers for video game randomizers; the first release of the project was on March 14, 2015, and it has gone through numerous revisions since then.
The program offers a vast number of features that shuffle up the familiar world of The Legend of Zelda in various unexpected ways, such that a player can play thousands of seeds and no two of them will have the same solution. You can shuffle the locations of dungeons, items, monsters, and even the final rooms of the game; you can make it so all enemies have the maximum 15 HP or you can make it so they all have 0 HP (so being hit with the boomerang makes most of them die instantly), or ±2 HP or ±4 HP. You can set a one-hit player kill option, or you can have the player start with the red ring and tank enemies. You can even play as Zelda and rescue Link, or any number of other sprite choices (including Trogdor the Burninator).
The randomizer is a popular speed game, and a number of tournaments are organised on media like Twitch. Although a fair amount of luck is naturally required to win, a larger amount of the outcome depends on players' skill with routing and execution, which makes it a superb test of one's skill with — and knowledge of — the game.
Due in part to the popularity of Fred's randomizer, a number of other randomizers have since been created for Zelda I, some similar and some quite different. These include:
- Infinite Hyrule, a sort of complement to Fred's randomizer, randomizes the overworld. It can be run on the vanilla game or run on seeds that have already been run through Fred's randomizer.
- The Legend of Zelda Reloaded, created by MetalMachine. Still in beta; can randomize the overworld, dungeon layout, item placement, enemy placement/difficulty, and numerous other game features.
- A Web randomizer created by Tetra. It doesn't have as many features as the others yet, but it's also the only one of these that's not a Windows exclusive.
- Lastly, there's also a Zelda Randomizer built in Zelda Classic; this isn't strictly a Zelda I randomizer in some respects, since it's not running on the vanilla game, but it plays similarly to one.
Due to the nature of the randomizer, only tropes that apply solely to the randomizer and not to the original game should be listed here.
This game provides examples of:
- Anticlimax: Depending on how the enemy placement works out, players may get these fairly often, particularly if they have enemy shuffle on.
- Backtracking: Depending upon how the game logic goes, a player may be required to do this a few times or often. You might have the Silver Arrows in level one, blocked by a Gohma. So then you've got to obtain the bow, which is in level four, which is blocked by a Digdogger. But level one also contains the whistle. So in this case, you've got no way to beat the seed without entering level one at least twice. Due to the way the game logic works, blocks like this are pretty happen.
- Boss Dissonance: It's quite common to get late-game bosses in early-game dungeons and early-game bosses in late-game dungeons if you randomize boss groups between dungeons. In fact, the only thing level numbers really tell you is how large they are (and that level 9 contains the final boss).
- Distressed Dude: Using Zelda as the playable sprite makes Link the prisoner in Level 9.
- Sequence Breaking: Although this is possible in the original game, it's almost mandatory to learn some of the screen scroll and block clip methods if you want to compete in tournaments. Of course, this is true for the original game itself these days as well. Still, being able to bypass the block diamond for that eight Wizzrobe room is pretty much mandatory if you want to clear it in anything approaching a reasonable time frame.