NES Zelda Map Recreated By One Person Using 25,000 Lego Bricks

NES Zelda Map Recreated By One Person Using 25,000 Lego Bricks
Gif: Ian Roosma / Kotaku

If I dumped 25,000 Lego bricks and pieces in front of you and gave you a few months to build something with them, what would you make? You’d probably be more concerned that I dumped all that plastic on you. But one Zelda fan and Lego builder took all those blocks and created a marvellous looking recreation of the original NES Legend of Zelda map.

This piece originally ran on Kotaku Australia on January 31, 2022. It has been retimed as a weekend read.

Ian Roosma has fond memories of The Legend of Zelda on NES, explaining in an email to Kotaku that it was one of the first games he ever played. So after two years of dealing with a big, blank spot on one of his home’s walls, Roosma decided the perfect way to fill that void was with a Lego recreation of the original world map from Zelda.

“I was looking for something that had personal meaning to me,” said Roosma. It also needed to be “complicated” enough that it would take a long time to build and complete. So recreating the entirety of Zelda’s map using only Lego pieces seemed like the perfect project.

Zelda on the NES is particularly nostalgic for me because it was the beginning of open-world games for me. The developer just drops the player off somewhere and you decide where you want to go and what you want to do, it’s the best type of game.”

Using Bricklink, a website made up of independent Lego brick sellers, Roosma was able to source all the different pieces he needed to complete the map. And because it was being recreated in 3D, things would be trickier. For example, all the rivers are slightly lower than the surrounding land and trees are various heights, creating a better sense of scale and depth.

But this attention to detail meant that it took a lot of parts to create the various bits of the map. Here are all the pieces that were used just to create all the trees on the map:

  • 1,400 green cylinders
  • 1,400 green cones
  • 2,800 green round 1×1 to make the trees have different heights
  • 2,800 brown round 1×1 for the trunks

After four months of designing and building, the map was finished and he uploaded a video of the completed project to YouTube earlier this week. The completed map is 30 inches tall and 86 inches wide.

As for what’s next, it doesn’t sound like another big Lego project is happening anytime soon.

“I don’t have plans for another epic build but I’m always thinking about what could be built with Legos that would have personal meaning to me.”

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