The path to redemption
Just a few months back, Arzette: The Jewel of Faramore was revealed. The game is billed as a spiritual successor to two Zelda games Nintendo wishes never existed; Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon and Zelda’s Adventure. As you probably know, those games weren’t developed by Nintendo, but a third party who got the Zelda license to create Phillips CD-i games. While the games themselves were horrendous, they achieved meme status in the decades to follow.
The team behind Arzette: The Jewel of Faramore is certainly aiming to cash in on the recognition, style and meme status of the Zelda CD-i games, but more importantly, they’re also looking to make something that’s actually considered playable and enjoyable this time around. Turns out they’re going to achieve that with some of the talent from the Zelda CD-i games as well.
In an interview with Nintendo Life, developer Seth Fulkerson mentioned that a handful of people who were involved in the Zelda CD-i titles will be returning in order to get a second chance at success.
Every single background in Arzette is hand-painted. So the design process was that I would do it all on graph paper, along with my design assistant and good friend, John Linneman of Digital Foundry. We sort of went back and forth on level designs. Then I would gray-box it, and then I would make a sketch based on those initial refined gray-boxes. Then I would hand it off to an artist to get it painted.
And actually we have one of the painters from the original games that inspired Arzette, Rob Dunlavey. He did the world map and other level art for the game as well. …I actually got him, and a couple of the voice actors from the original games as well, Link and Zelda from the original games…
…I reached out and pitched the project; I made sure that they knew that it was not a joke, that I was being serious and I wasn’t just a crazy person. And they were super on board. I made it very clear that this was a passion project, like a love letter to those games, not making fun of them. Once they realized what I was doing, they were excited. We had a lot of fun.