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The Legend of Iowa

Hack of The Legend of Zelda


This is the debut release of The Legend of Iowa, a complete rewrite of “The Legend of Zelda”.

Since the nature of this game is one of secrets & exploration, there are bound to be instances where you just don’t know what to do or where to go next. Again, feel free to contact me with questions.

This game was designed with the original Zelda in mind, so fans of that game should know what to expect. Difficulty was toned down (particularly that of the early Second Quest) pursuant to the feedback of several Beta Testers; this hack is on-par with or slightly easier than the original game.

This hack is intended to capture the original sense of immersion found in the early Zelda games. Fans of the original will know once they get involved in the game: epic exploration, multiple routes, cryptic hints and scores of secrets. Despite playing like a Zelda game, it establishes its own identity. To wit:

  • The entire Soundtrack has been replaced. And in most cases, with 8-bit renditions of vintage techno/dance/rave classics!
  • The Overworld is completely new. Graphics, layouts, animation, screen-specific Attribute Patterns and etc!
  • 18 New Dungeons. Or more accurately: 18 Meth Labs, nine per quest. Don’t expect the same old tricks to work, either. The secret pushblock isn’t always going to be leftmost-center. (Possibly never!)
  • New Dungeon Elements. In addition to the new graphics, layouts, animations and Attribute Patterns, you’ll be dealing with new room secrets and enemy combinations.

The doors are open, but you still need to find that pushblock to make a critical item appear! But first, you’ll need to kill that small army of Darknuts & Wizzrobes…

  • Work for Life. The number of complete heart containers has been reduced from 13 to 1. If you want to expand your lifebar, you’ll have to seek out the 48 heart pieces!
  • WAY More Bombs! They aren’t exactly bombs in this hack, but they explode just the same. And if you play your cards right, you’ll max-out your carrying capacity at 255!
  • Stopwatch as an Item. Again, it isn’t exactly a Stopwatch (nor is it easy to acquire), but you’ll eventually have a form of portable invincibility to use against That One Boss™.
  • New storyline, characters & enemy designs. Farmer Bob even grunts differently!

Also, total accolades to everyone in the wider ROM hacking community, who patiently endured a seemingly endless series of delays with respect to this hack. (The original release was supposed to be Xmas Eve, 2009!)

Enough waiting! Let’s go tangle with some meth-heads!!!


At the request of Dr.Floppy, he wishes the patch to be hosted on until further notice.

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Database match: Legend of Zelda, The (USA)
  • Database: No-Intro: Nintendo Entertainment System (v. 20180803-121122)
  • File SHA-1: DAB79C84934F9AA5DB4E7DAD390E5D0C12443FA2
  • File CRC32: D7AE93DF
  • ROM SHA-1: A12D74C73A0481599A5D832361D168F4737BBCF6
  • ROM CRC32: 3FE272FB




ContributorType of contributionListed credit
Dr. FloppyHacking

User Review Information

Delightful (for the most part)

Reviewed By: altoiddealer on 14 Aug 2015

I just finished the first quest and decided I should now write a review.

This is a solid hack, finely polished and undeniably the product of a very talented hacker (Dr. Floppy). It isn’t as heavily modified as “Zelda, The Legend of Link,” but it’s pretty damn close. Despite how impressive the latter was from a technical standpoint, Legend of Iowa presides in delivering an overall fresher gameplay experience with great humor and challenge.

The adult themes are not in bad taste. The hack is scattered with intelligent and mature ideas, yet also just gets downright silly at times. It’s a very fun and interesting balance.

This hack is not without its faults, though.

Tedium. There are innumerable walk-through tiles in the overworld that must be found in order to progress the main story, as well as to obtain the majority of the heart pieces. You basically need to try walking into everything. On the plus side, you will constantly find walls you can walk through so it’s not too depressing an endeavor, but it was a major factor in making me feel completely stumped at times. It’s excusable (perfectly normal?) for an NES game, but personally I think there should be visual cues such as slightly different hues to indicate these tiles (not sure if possible, either).

Difficulty. I can’t complain too much here, but Meth Lab 3 (might have been Meth Lab 2) was pretty brutal. Sustaining 2 hits basically meant death. But the difficulty was a much greater issue when it came to…

Secrets. It’s a Zelda game, so of course they are to be expected, but some of them are quite well hidden. Most of them have decent clues but some are completely clueless as far as I can tell. I don’t recall a clue that an important armor upgrade requires killing tons of enemies (255) without sustaining a hit. There is also a Lost Woods area towards the end that you basically just have to guess the combination. I tried doing it systematically but was only successful when holding fast forward and guessing random directions. Meth Labs 4 and 8 are incredibly well hidden… good luck finding them!

And to end on a good note…

Excellent music. It’s going to be stuck in my head for awhile.

Epic boss battle. Everyone should recognize him, but I can imagine younger people not knowing who the hell he is.

Great dungeons (meth labs)! A few amazing puzzles and the tilesets are incredible. Call me crazy but I personally enjoy the flashy seizure rooms.

Looking forward to what the second quest has to offer!

Overall I DO recommend this hack.

Version 1.0 Recommended - Yes

User Reviews
Grab yer pitchfork.shawndidge108 Aug 20171.0Yes
Delightful (for the most part)altoiddealer14 Aug 20151.0Yes
So far so goodkass12 May 20151.0Yes