Zelda no Densetsu - Yume o Miru Shima [Model DMG-ZLJ]

Nintendo Game Boy Cart. published 30 years ago by Nintendo Co., Ltd.

Listed in MAME

Zelda no Densetsu - Yume o Miru Shima [Model DMG-ZLJ] screenshot

Zelda no Densetsu - Yume o Miru Shima © 1993 Nintendo Company, Limited.

Fourth installment in the Zelda no Densetsu series and the first for a handheld game console.

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Releaed on June 6, 1993 in Japan.

Yume o Miru Shima began as an unsanctioned side project; programmer Kazuaki Morita created a Zelda-like game with one of the first Game Boy development kits, and used it to experiment with the platform's capabilities. Other staff members of the Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development division joined him after-hours, and worked on the game in what seemed to them like an "afterschool club". The results of these experiments with the Game Boy started to look promising.

Following the 1991 release of the Super Famicom video game Zelda III, director Takashi Tezuka asked for permission to develop a handheld Zelda title; he intended it to be a port of A Link to the Past, but it evolved into an original game. The majority of the team that had created Zelda IIIt was reassembled to advance this new project. Altogether, it took them one and a half years to develop Yume o Miru Shima.

Tezuka recalled that the early free-form development of Yume o Miru Shima resulted in the game's unrestrained contents, such as the unauthorized cameo appearances of characters from the Mario and Kirby series. The Zelda III script writer Kensuke Tanabe joined the team early on, and came up with the basis of the story. Tezuka sought to make Yume o Miru Shima a spin-off, and gave Tanabe instructions to omit common series elements such as Princess Zelda, the Triforce relic, and the setting Hyrule. As a consequence, Tanabe proposed his game world idea of an island with an egg on top of a mountain. Tezuka recalled that it felt as though they were making a "parody of Zelda no Densetsu" rather than an actual Zelda game.

Later on, Yoshiaki Koizumi, who had previously helped with the plot of Zelda III, was brought into the team. Koizumi was responsible for the main story of Yume o Miru Shima, provided the idea of the island in a dream, and conceived the interactions with the villagers. Yume o Miru Shima was described by series producer Eiji Aonuma as the first Zelda game with a proper plot, which he attributed to Koizumi's romanticism. Tezuka intended the game's world to have a similar feeling to the American television series Twin Peaks, which, like Yume o Miru Shima, features characters in a small town. He suggested that the characters of Yume o Miru Shima be written as suspicious types, akin to those in Twin Peaks—a theme which carried over into later Zelda titles. Tanabe created these odd characters; he was placed in charge of the subevents of the story, and wrote almost all of the character dialog, with the exception of the owl's and the Wind Fish's lines. Tanabe implemented a previous idea of the world ending when a massive egg breaks on top of a mountain; this idea was originally meant for Zelda III. Tanabe really wanted to see this idea in a game and was able to implement it in Yume o Miru Shima as the basic concept.

Masanao Arimoto and Shigefumi Hino designed the game's characters, while Yoichi Kotabe served as illustrator. Save for the opening and the ending, all pictures in the game were drawn by Arimoto. Yasahisa Yamamura designed the dungeons, which included the conception of rooms and routes, as well as the placement of enemies. Shigeru Miyamoto, who served as the producer of Zelda III, did not provide creative input to the staff members. However, he participated as game tester, and his opinions greatly influenced the latter half of the development.

The music was composed by Minako Hamano, Kozue Ishikawa, for whom it was their first game project, and Kazumi Totaka, who also was responsible for the sound programming and all sound effects. As with most Zelda games, it includes a variation of the recurring overworld music; The staff credits theme was later arranged for orchestra by Yuka Tsujiyoko, and performed at the Orchestral Game Music Concert 3 in 1993.


Game's ROM.