Paper by Erik D. Demaine

Jeffrey Bosboom, Josh Brunner, Michael Coulombe, Erik D. Demaine, Della H. Hendrickson, Jayson Lynch, and Lorenzo Najt, “The Legend of Zelda: The Complexity of Mechanics”, in Abstracts from the 23rd Thailand-Japan Conference on Discrete and Computational Geometry, Graphs, and Games (TJCDCGGG 2021), September 3–5, 2021, pages 132–133.

We analyze some of the many game mechanics available to Link in the classic Legend of Zelda series of video games. In each case, we prove that the generalized game with that mechanic is polynomial, NP-complete, NP-hard and in PSPACE, or PSPACE-complete. In the process we give an overview of many of the hardness proof techniques developed for video games over the past decade: the motion-planning-through-gadgets framework, the planar doors framework, the doors-and-buttons framework, the “Nintendo” platform game / SAT framework, and the collectible tokens and toll roads / Hamiltonicity framework.

The full paper is available as arXiv:2203.17167.

The abstract is available in PDF (245k).
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Related papers:
Zelda_TJM (The Legend of Zelda: The Complexity of Mechanics)

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Last updated June 13, 2024 by Erik Demaine.