Fan mods for Mario Kart 8 aren’t rare, and neither are mods dropping the world of one game into the engine of another. But there’s something special about this Zelda: Ocarina of Time-themed mod which recreates the Hyrule of Nintendo’s 1998 classic as a course for the smash hit kart racer.
What’s striking about the mod, by RiazorMC — which has captured the hearts of the Zelda subreddit — isn’t just the authentic look of the models and textures. It’s the way it recreates the actual geography of Ocarina’s Hyrule too, turning the game’s adventure fields into a kind of open-world rally course, with each lap taking you to different iconic locations.
The race starts at the mouth of the Deku Tree, before heading through Kokiri Forest on the way to Hyrule Field, blasting past Hyrule Castle and Lon Lon Ranch, and looping through the desert canyons and ruins of Gerudo’s Fortress on the first lap. Then it’s off to Lake Hylia in lap 2, and back across Hyrule Field before a punishing, twisty ascent through Kakariko Village and up Death Mountain in lap 3.
I love how seamlessly the game’s locations have been blended together, and how they’re all exactly where you would expect to find them on the map; it looks like it would be fun to explore in free-roam, just navigating from memory. The course also has an appropriately maze-like feel, laden with secret shortcuts, and it looks like quite the technical racing challenge (check out the evil hairpin bend on the Death Mountain ascent). However, as it lacks the clear turn indicators and track signage of an official Mario Kart course, it would be extremely difficult to follow for real.
Sadly, we’re unlikely to get a chance to try — a Redditor notes that RiazorMC never releases their mods. Which, considering how litigious Nintendo can be about fan use of its properties, is probably for the best.