Giles Goddard said "I should have released that" when he saw Valve'
In an interview with MinnMax, Giles Goddard explained that while he was working at Nintendo in the ’90s he was making some tech demos for the Nintendo 64 to see what the hardware was capable of.
Goddard was responsible for creating the infamous Zelda 64 tech demo that was shown at Nintendo’s Spaceworld event in 1995, where Link is seen fighting a metallic knight.
However, Goddard also explained that he worked on another tech demo that was never publicly seen, which involved the use of portals.
“Recently I found an old directory of source code that I had backed up, and it was the first map of the N64 Zelda, just with Hyrule Castle,” Goddard said. “So I was doing all these experiments.”
“You had a portal where you could look through, go in and you’d be teleported to a different part of the map. You’d see through the door to a different part of the map, walk through it, then walk back through it, if you see what I mean.
“It was very cool tech and I had it running and showed it to some guys at the office here and they said ‘oh, you’ve got to put this on the internet’, and I said ‘well, I can’t, really, it’s not my property, it’s Nintendo’s.”
When asked if this was designed to be part of the main Ocarina of Time, Goddard answered: “It was R&D for the game, basically. It was, what could we do with the hardware on the N64? It was basically a demo of actual portals that you could see through to other parts of the map.”
Goddard also jokes that when he saw Portal when it was released a decade later he remembered his own tech demo. “When I saw Portal I thought ‘oh, actually, I had that running on the N64, I should have released it then!'”.
According to Goddard, the main development team probably didn’t even see the tech demo, because it was too hard to introduce new tech while the game was in progress, which is why the feature didn’t appear in the final product.