The last few percents of The Legend of Zelda Walkthrough: Link’s Awakening dribble on the memory of my switch. It’s about time, then I dive into a long time ago: the year 1993. Does Link’s Awakening still work today – even after 26 years? This is revealed by the test of GIGA editor Daniel Kirsch.
The screen turns black. I started Link’s Awakening. The TV lights up again. Of course, first of all, the graphics are noticeable. As if everything we’re made of clay or clay. As if the whole world around Link were made up of little toys. Then a melody wanders through the ear – and straight into the heart. Instead of midi sound, the famous tone sequence sounds orchestral.
That looks so cute.
The remake of Link’s Awakening deviates almost a millimetre from the original. Sure: graphics, music and other refreshes Nintendo. But the plot, the feel, the puzzles, the dungeons – you could all enjoy the Game Boy. As a link, I am flushed to the beach of Cocolint, where the girl Marin finds me. After a short break in bed, Link is allowed to explore the island, finds his sword and gets a direct hint. The aim of the game is to wake up the sleeping wind fish.
Can the more than twenty years old core of the game still convince today? The answer I want to give right here: Yes! Provided you have friends with whom you can talk about the game. Otherwise, you are sometimes forced to look into a solution.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening will appeal to you if you like the old Zelda games, like fiddling with fighting and having fun exploring a world.
The Legend of Zelda: You will not like Link’s Awakening if you want a Zelda game that’s like Breath of the Wild.
Link’s Awakening: Without Zelda, but with Marin
The fourth Zelda game and the first for the Game Boy has fallen a little bit out of time. Even then it was strange. In the game name, the word “Zelda” is emblazoned, but instead of its legend, players get told a story about the wind fish.
So the game is from today’s perspective quite classic but remains unique in the Zelda universe. Once Link is allowed to go, he can freely commit a part of the island Cooling. Only a part – because in that style, which is today called Metroidvania, Link can enter only some areas of the island, if he has the right skills for it. Roc’s feather lets Link jump, with the power bracelet, Link effortlessly raises rocks, and the grappling hook brings the little Hylian over big chasms to the finish.
Each of these items finds Link in an associated dungeon. Its rooms are mostly built around the skills that the object brings. Each of them is a puzzle or offers a fight; both bring you in the dungeon. At the end the boss waits – it now has to be defeated with the new ability. In the last room, an instrument beckons as a reward. You’ll need eight of them to wake the wind fish.
Do you know them all?
Even on the overworld wait for exciting fights and puzzles, where just there is a lot of love in the design. The new graphics just highlights all the little things that the Game Boy could never portray. The world is full of chickens, foxes and enemies, it is alive, breathing and teeming. And in her, Link will spend a lot of time too. Every now and then there is the question: ” What’s next? “Typically for games from the nineties, nobody takes you by the hand.
Help, I can not get any further!
Although I often played through the game as a kid, I also get stuck in the remake. ” How do I get back to the other side of the river to the thirsty desert? “After looking for a long time, I accidentally struck a tuft of grass on the shore and – tada! – I found the stairs. They lead me underground to the other side. How did I get through it earlier, so completely without internet and solutions?
A picture of me still hovers in my mind today: sitting on a bed in a holiday apartment and playing Link’s Awakening as a little Matz of about nine years. My family had once again driven to the North Sea. Of course, Nintendo’s first handheld was in the luggage.
The module had room for three scores, which was perfect – we are three brothers. At that time I was completely immersed in the world of Cooling. Totally forgotten until I did not progress. If that was the case, I got advice from my brothers. Someone was always on and was squeezed out by the others. Others got important tips from schoolmates in the schoolyard, Zelda: Link’s Awakening was a schoolyard game, so to speak. That was just part of it then.
Today there are the internet and countless guides, and you certainly need them if you want to play through history without major stops.
Dungeon Creator and comfort
Unpolished, with all the edges and corners of the past, Link’s Awakening does not come to the switch. Nintendo improves, grinds and polishes where it makes sense – mainly in comfort functions. So the remake no longer demands that I constantly change the items. The Game Boy has only two buttons; namely A and B. On the switch but I still have the shoulder buttons and two more buttons available.
Discover all the secret places!
That’s why Link always holds his shield in his hand, and a quick press of the right shoulder key lets Link pull it out. When I finally have the Pegasus boots in my luggage, I run by pressing the left shoulder button. The power bracelet wanders – as a passive skill – directly into the status screen.
In addition, Nintendo gives the game more shellfish and more heart containers that Link can find in the world. Although Cooling is not the largest world, Nintendo has decided to distribute faster- transit points. The biggest change, however, is the Dungeon Creator. In addition, Nintendo gives the game more shellfish and more heart containers that Link can find in the world. Although Cooling is not the largest world, Nintendo has decided to distribute faster– transit points. The biggest change, however, is the Dungeon Creator.
It lets you assemble the rooms of the eight dungeons (and a few new ones) to your heart’s content. The resulting dungeons you play by yourself or exchange them with amiibo figures with friends. So there’s another reason to talk about the game at the schoolyard, at work or on campus: Zelda: Link’s Awakening remains the schoolyard game it used to be.
The Dungeon Maker is nothing more than a nice gimmick. I can not design completely new riddles and spaces but only rearrange existing spaces.
So, how well does Link’s Awakening work today?
The answer: good, excellent, great. I’ve held back with long-winded compliments now. The remake remains faithful to Link’s Awakening, filing where it’s needed, leaving the feel and core of the game untouched. Even after more than two decades, Link’s Awakening is fun and pulls you through the great presentation all the more in the wake of Cocolint Cooling. Too bad are only the occasional framerate burglaries. Although they do not spoil the game, they are not nice to look at.
Especially the newly set music makes a big part of the joy of playing here. It does not matter if it’s mysterious and dark or bouncing and joyful: The orchestral soundtrack weaves a dense network around the diorama graphics of the game. Both fit together incredibly well: With Link’s Awakening, Nintendo basically does everything right.