Nintendo recently revealed that players will be able to skip much of the story in the upcoming Zelda game, Breath of the Wild, heading straight to the final boss if they so choose. As it turns out, an exploit in the original Legend of Zelda (only found in version 1.1 of the Famicom version of the game) tops that ability, letting you skip straight to Princess Zelda herself just a few minutes into the game.
You may remember a pair of stories about exploits in Super Mario World that allow the player to rewrite the game’s code as they play, skipping straight to the end or transforming the game into Flappy Bird, and a similar trick is used to beat the original Zelda in under four minutes. The exploit involves inputting code as the second and third save file names, while naming the first one “Zelda” in order to start on the second quest.
Once you’ve progressed far enough to collect the whistle (which can be done quite speedily if you know where you’re going), you can head to the graveyard to trigger the glitch. You can normally load just eleven sprites on screen at once, but the whistle can be used to perform a trick that circumvents this limit, causing important memory in the game’s code to be replaced. You can check out a detailed explanation of how it all works by clicking above!
This exploit was discovered by Sockfolder, a longtime glitch hunter.