A Legend of Zelda player has managed to locate and access the minus world hidden within the game.
For those that don’t know what a minus world is, it is a glitchy hidden level that isn’t actually designed to be played. Instead, it is a secret level that is used as a “depository for data in the game that exists outside of the main path,” according to Kotaku.
A minus world, officially named World -1, has previously been discovered in the original Super Mario Bros. But now, YouTuber SKELUX is determined to explore as many minus worlds as can be found in NES games. And so he started with the original Legend of Zelda.
However, this was no easy task.
As Kotaku points out, while the minus world in Super Mario Bros. can be reached within the game itself, it took further digging to locate the one in the Legend of Zelda game. In fact, he had to delve into the game’s coding to unlock the minus world in Legend of Zelda. More specifically, he had to “bypass the game’s internal mechanism for preventing players from walking out of bounds.” It took SKELUX six hours to disable the boundaries and access the minus world coding.
— Kotaku (@Kotaku) January 3, 2019
Once inside, SKELUX was able to enter the usually inaccessible bottom half of the game’s world without triggering the game to restart. While the minus world was completely glitchy, it was also stable enough to have some sort of gameplay within it. In addition to the difficulty caused by glitches, SKELUX noted that enemy sprites were inverted and objects were scattered about all over the place. They also found “caves with pulsing rave beats inside of them, graveyards surrounded by invincible enemy hybrids, and lots of mysterious trap doors.” Kotaku refers to the minus world as looking like “an 8-bit acid trip.”
You can view this glitchy world in the video by SKELUX below.
As TechRaptor points out, there may not be only one version of the minus world in the Legend of Zelda. This is because the “Japanese version of the game on the Nintendo Famicom Disk System used different coding than the NES release.” This has been proven previously when the Famicon Disk System version of Super Mario Bros. was shown to be different to the NES release for the U.S.
There is the potential for many older NES era games to have this minus world glitch. However, without re-writing the game’s code, it is difficult to reach these worlds.