A new book, Hyrule Encyclopedia, released in Japan and reveals the only known screenshot of the prototype for The Legend of Zelda. While the color scheme may look familiar, the graphics were certainly different:
What you’re seeing is a sort of dungeon select screen where the player would go to enter one of the game’s underworlds. The developers mentioned this in an older Iwata Asks article, and the design document looks pretty much the same as the screenshot above!
Of course, we all know that the finalized version of The Legend of Zelda for the NES tossed out the first-person viewpoint and instead went to an overhead camera. Still, it’s amazing to see what could have been!
[Source: Zelda Power]