Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was a beautiful game when it released on the Nintendo 64 in 1998, but since then the game's low-poly visuals haven't exactly stood the test of time.
That's where artists like Michael Eurek come in. Eurek's speciality is making drool-inducing environments, like when he recreated Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time's Temple of Time in Unreal Engine 4. The results were astounding, and now he is at it again, this time re-imagining the lush Zora's Domain.
It's some seriously impressive stuff. From the glow of the torches to the ripples in the pools, you've never seen Zelda look quite like this before.
"I have been working in the visual effects industry for several years, though now I would like to follow my true passion and work in video games," Eurek writes on his portfolio site. "My experience gained working in film, including a VFX Oscar winner (Hugo), has provided a solid base which I can expand upon in video games."
He's certainly doing a great job. Seeing Eurek's work is both exciting and a little depressing. It's been a long time since we've seen Nintendo adopt a more mature, realistic look for Legend of Zelda, the last being Twilight Princess. This is what a realistic Legend of Zelda running on state-of-the-art hardware would look like, yet it remains to be seen if we will ever see anything like it come officially from Nintendo. The upcoming (and delayed) Legend of Zelda Wii U adopts a more colorful, cartoony approach similar to that of Skyward Sword, meaning if we are to get a Zelda that takes its inspiration from Ocarina of Time visually, it's definitely not coming this console generation.
There will always be amazing fan work like this to gawk over, however. That's the great part about a passionate fanbase: even if something isn't coming from the actual creators, you can bet fans will make it a reality. That was the case with the Resident Evil 2 fan remake. Sure, the project eventually got shut down, but that's because Resident Evil creators at Capcom decided that an official Resident Evil 2 remake was a great idea. They even invited the fan-creators to an official meeting to talk ideas.
A similar scenario happening with Legend of Zelda isn't likely, but in the meantime we can always dream.