(I attempted to ask this on the most relevant category, "Arqade", but they toxicly downvoted and closed, so I instead try asking it here.)

Every day, I watch numerous Twitch streams of the two golden classic video games "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time" (1998) and "The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask" (2000) for the Nintendo 64.

The fact that 99% of them use an emulator and completely wrong aspect ratio/resolution aside, a disturbing thing has started happening which I just cannot understand. Instead of the actual game/ROM, almost all of them (except a small few) play a heavily modified version of the game referred to as a "randomizer".

Basically, "some guy" has modified the ROM in such a way that not just item locations are swapped around (which could be tolerated, since they have probably played the game a million times and know everything about it), but also the sound effects, music, in-game character clothes/colors and even UI elements.

To make it clear what I'm talking about:

  1. All of the music is "randomized" so that, for example, if you go near an enemy and normally, a threatening music starts playing, now a completely different song is played. Whenever music plays, it's a completely random song, even including music from outside of the game.
  2. The sound effects are swapped around. For example, every time Link jumps backwards, he might sound like Navi shouting "Hey!", etc.
  3. The iconic red hearts indicating the player's health can now be any color. That alone looks extremely jarring. The same goes for the other UI elements that are constantly seen on top of the 3D gameplay.
  4. They have changed Navi's or the other fairies' color so that it's no longer the iconic white glow. The same has been done to the visual effect of swinging the sword, which now looks like a rainbow of colours.

All of this turn the game into something different. Something tasteless. Something broken. Something which the geniuses who carefully crafted these pieces of art never intended. Something which is completely unnecessary and fundamentally doesn't make any sense to me.

Why, if they love the game so much, do they insist on randomly modifying it like that? If you think it sounds bad, you should see it in action. In spite of loving the games, I can't watch the numerous streams where they have loaded these "randomizers". To me, this is like somebody would walk up to the Mona Lisa painting and draw a mustache on it.

The only "randomizing" which makes any sense is item locations. Randomly changing core game elements around like that is really insulting. It seems like if you give them the option, the general public will destroy anything by experiencing art in the worst possible manner. If that person had never released this "randomizer", or at least kept it to only randomizing item locations, people would have kept playing and streaming the originals, or something resembling the originals.

These randomizers have largely ruined those games for me by completely taking over. How can people want to play it like that? I truly cannot understand why they feel the need to "mod away" the core of their (allegedly) beloved games rather than appreciating and savoring every bit of those masterpieces.


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