Irrational Games Made A Zelda-Themed Title Before BioShock


When it comes to the development studio Irrational Games, the name goes alongside the infamous franchise, BioShock. The three video game titles blew up around the world, but before there was BioShock, Irrational Games Ken Levine admits that the studio had completed a third-person title.

Ken Levine, co-founder of the video game development studio Irrational Games, recently did an interview with The Rolling Stone. Through the interview, Ken describes his time working on the BioShock franchise which includes the struggles and enjoyment that followed. However, it was revealed that before the development team opted to make the first BioShock video game, they decided to work on something different.

The video game was known as The Lost and Ken Levine describes it as a Zelda-type video game. Overall, the story follows a mother whose daughter had died. After making a deal with the devil, the mother enters hell in hopes of finding her daughter. Essentially, the video game was themed around morning and overcoming a loss.

“It’s a finished game, for PS2 and original Xbox. It exists somewhere. We never released it because it wasn’t up to our standards of quality. The game just wasn’t good. I think it would have really hurt us.

It was a Zelda-style, third-person action game. We had never made a game like that. Zelda is genius, Mozart-level stuff, how you find these tools that are both useful gameplay items but also essentially keys. You go through a dungeon and you get the bomb. All of a sudden you look around and see the cracks all over the walls. He’s seeded in all this brilliant opportunity for me! The overworld/underworld structure is brilliant.

We tried to create a game like that and we very quickly realized it wasn’t a game I was really cut out to design.”

That video game had since been completed, but the development team didn’t feel like the game was up to their quality standards. Instead of releasing the video game, Irrational Games bought the rights from their publisher and shelved the finished project.