Earlier this year, Nintendo announced that we were going to get a remake to one of the most critically acclaimed Legend of Zelda games, Link’s Awakening. Link’s Awakening originally launched back in June of 1993 in Japan for the original Game Boy. A few months later it came to the west and was wildly received by fans. Link’s Awakening was the fourth release in the franchise and was the very first Legend of Zelda game to come to a handheld console. Link’s Awakening was so loved that it received a remake far before its 2019 counterpart. In 1998, Nintendo re-released the game under the title of “The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX” and had additional features. The biggest update? Link’s Awakening was now in full color!
Unlike most Legend of Zelda titles, Link’s Awakening is set outside the Kingdom of Hyrule. There are no previous characters mentioned from previous games or locations. Princess Zelda is even completely cut from the game, aside from her name being mentioned a couple of times. Link wakes up on an island named Koholint. Koholint is an isolated landmass cut off from the rest of the world. Koholint may be a small island, but it is not at all lacking in treasures and secrets. In classic Zelda fashion, the player’s objective is not so obviously given to them. You have to explore and speak with the residents of the island to get direction on where and what to do next or get their information from events that play out during their journey.
Graphics & Sound
The graphics of the 2019 remake are definitely very different from it’s 1993 and 1998 predecessors. The art style is very cute and bright, which in my opinion fits the game perfectly. The atmosphere and the music is playful and vibrant but at the same time, it can be ominous and frightening when it needs to be. The music still has the classic Link’s Awakening feel to it that we all loved before. Just like the music, the updated sounds are just as cute and bright; to the yelping of Link as he slashes his enemies to the sounds of the waves and birds around the island. Everything that has been updated has its own perfect place in this game that truly brings this game to life. For me, these aspects (even if they are new) instill a sense of nostalgia and remind me of when I first climbed Mt. Tamaranch to wake the Wind Fish. The music, the graphics, and the sounds all mesh perfectly together.
The story of Link’s Awakening continues from the story of A Link To The Past. Link travels by boat to another location when a storm hits and destroys his boat. He is washed onshore onto Koholint. Link is found by Marin who takes him to Tarin’s House to recover. Later, after Link regains his strength and recovers his sword and shield, Link is met by an owl that helps the player begin their quest and informs them of the main objective of their journey; to wake the Wind Fish and return home. After the owl parts, we then set off for the eight instruments of the sirens so that we may wake the sleeping Wind Fish atop of Mt. Tamaranch.
In order to find these instruments, the player must delve into dungeons and explore ancient ruins. During this exploration, the player discovers a mural that explains that what Link believes is reality is merely a dream created by the Wind Fish. When Link discovers this, he is then told by the owl that it is just a rumor and that only the Wind Fish knows the truth. Once the player collects all 8 instruments and climbs to where the Wind Fish sleeps, one last task lies before them. Link must confront the last evil being which is a nightmare that takes on the form of Ganon, and other enemies from Link’s past. Once Link defeats the Nightmare, the owl shows up once more and reveals itself as the spirit of the Wind Fish and confirms to Link that everything he has gone through in this adventure is part of a dream. Link performs the Ballad of the Wind Fish one final time, doing so awakens the Wind Fish and Koholint and the civilization slowly disappears.
What you can expect.
For players who were lucky enough to preorder their Dreamer Edition copy of Link’s Awakening, unlike me, can look forward to a Dreamer Art Book that features concept art from the Nintendo Switch version of the game and is a beautifully made hardcover book. There is also a Link’s Awakening Series Amiibo that will be coming out that collectors can get their hands on. This will be available on the 20th as well. Something else all players can expect is the new Dungeon Editor Mode feature. The dungeon Editor feature is accessed from the Chamber Dungeon, a new location in Tal Tal Heights that replaces the Camera Shop from the DX version. When you clear a dungeon during the course of your adventure, you’ll earn rooms from it which you’ll then be able to create your own custom dungeons. However, it does not appear that you will be able to customize the contents of these chambers, it seems each is lifted straight from the game’s existing dungeons. Additionally, you will be able to rearrange the placement of the rooms any order you please, provided you meed the basic requirements. Players can also look forward to sharing their custom dungeons with their friends, similar to Mario Maker and Mario Maker 2. Eiji Aonuma, the series producer, spoke about the Dungeon feature during the Treehouse demo and stated, “I’ve always wanted to create a way for players to create their own dungeons, but I didn’t want to make it anything too hard. Just like solving a puzzle, I wanted to make this chamber Dungeon easy enough for people to play and feel like they’re solving a puzzle.”
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is set to release on September 20th for the Nintendo Switch exclusively. So pick up your Ocarina and your Sword, dive into some customized dungeons and wake up that Wind Fish one last time!