You can’t play the game through to the finish yet, thanks to a series of game-breaking bugs. But to some degree Zelda: Breath of the Wild works on an emulator, which is kind of staggering.
The footage below is from Breath of the Wild running through the CemU Wii U emulator, using an i7-4790K CPU, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 and 8GB of RAM (speeds not mentioned). The original poster of the footage wrote that the game wasn’t in a good state right now, and that he chose not to alter the speed of the video to best illustrate how dodgy things currently are.
“Lots of bugs that make the game unplayable,” exzap, one of the Cemu developers, said on Reddit. “[Physics] glitches, rune abilities that require object selection don’t work, no water collision, etc. Essentially it’s impossible to leave the tutorial area without using a save.”
But while the state of things looks poor right now, the rate of progress has been remarkable. Breath of the Wild was refusing to boot a couple of days ago, so to get things to the point where Link can interact with enemies, run around the open world, use runes and take fall damage without the game crashing is pretty impressive.
It’ll probably be months, if not a year, before Breath of the Wild actually gets to a consistently smooth, playable state. But there’s an undeniable utility in being able to have Zelda working on an emulator, ranging from game preservation, accessibility issues and, well, the appeal of playing Zelda in 4K.
That said, it’s worth reminding everyone that making an image of your Wii U version of Breath of the Wild isn’t technically legal in Australia, irrespective of whether you paid for the disc. Bird & Bird’s Oliver Smith had a chat with Lifehacker about that, in case you’re interested.
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