The "Master Quest" edition of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
began life as a project known as Ura-Zelda
. Intended as an expansion pack
for the Nintendo 64
, the game was to be a reimagining
of the game with several items, puzzles, and event sequences tweaked and rejiggered. The whole thing would have been released for the 64DD
as the unit's "killer app
" when the machine was released around the world.
However, things almost never go to plan in the video game world. Release of the 64DD was scrapped in the USA and Europe, with only Japan receiving the unit in 1999 (and even then it had a low user base). Production on the game was set aside and eventually scrapped to make way for another game pak-based Zelda game, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.
Fast forward to 2002. Nintendo was preparing to release the first Nintendo GameCube Zelda game, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, in Japan and the company wanted a killer app of a preorder deal. The decision was made to dust off the original OoT and Ura-Zelda (which was complete), adapt them for the GameCube, and give them to everyone who preordered the new game. When American gamers heard about the deal that Nintendo was offering in Japan, many began requesting/demanding that Nintendo offer the same deal in the USA and Europe (although in Europe the game comes with The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker instead of being a preorder requirement). While at first many speculated that this would not happen because the Ura-Zelda portion of the disc would have to be translated (and there was no way Nintendo would do this only to turn around and give the game away), Nintendo did decide to go ahead with the offer. Beginning February 16, 2003 and running through the date of the game's release, gamers who preorder The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker received a bonus disc with OoT, the completed and translated Ura-Zelda project (renamed to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Master Quest) and a handful of previews of upcoming games (many of which were featured on the Nintendo Winter 2002 Preview DVD).
Seeing as how the bonus disc will is no longer available in stores, many gamers bought the new Zelda game just to get a copy of the old one and the canceled project of legend.