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Zelda Leakers Have Already Emulated Tears Of The Kingdom On PC

With just over a week left until launch, avoiding major spoilers for "The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom" has become a figurative Olympic sport for internet acrobats. Leaks are all over the place, ranging from artbook scans to gameplay footage and even some extra details from an ad that wasn't meant to air until after the game's release. While the information gleaned from the leaks has led to a lot of early fan theories, it's also made things harder than ever for those wanting to start the game with a completely clean slate.

This is especially true now that a full, playable version of "Tears of the Kingdom" officially leaked online. NSP and XCI format ROM files for the game have popped up on the internet, ready to be downloaded and plugged into a Switch PC emulator program — which people are definitely doing. This is obviously a much bigger problem than streamers sharing videos of their own playthroughs, as it makes it much more difficult for Nintendo to track down every dowloaded copy.

Nintendo's fighting against a massive leak

The fact that anyone with a powerful-enough PC can now play one of the most hotly anticipated games of the year more than a week before its official launch — and for free — is somewhat mind-boggling, but entirely true.

The ROM files themselves are only about 15-16 GB and come with a whole host of supporting firmware and performance patches for smoother emulation, though it seems only the Ryujinx emulator is able to run it at a reliable rate. Interestingly, there's another twist to the situation: According to some Reddit users, the NSP format downloads are all fake-outs, and only the XCI files can be successfully emulated. So far, multiple videos of the emulated game running in 60 FPS have been uploaded online. SVG won't be linking to these illegally downloaded files or shared videos, for obvious reasons.

While Nintendo has yet to issue any official statement on the matter, it seems it's at least aware of the ROM leak itself. Players attempting to stream the PC emulation have had their streams taken down quite swiftly. Whether Nintendo will embark on another hunt through Discord as the company did with the artbook leakers remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure: Fans hoping to avoid spoilers until launch day will have to be more vigilant than ever.