By Dylan Del Rio
Prepare for a fun remake of a classic that captures the spirit of the original while adding improvements to make it more accessible.
The original “The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening,” for the Game Boy, is well known for forgoing several staples of the franchise, such as the Triforce, the main villain Ganon, and, of course, Princess Zelda. Instead, the story focuses on the hero Link awakening after being shipwrecked on the uncharted Koholint Island and learns the only way to escape is to find the “Instruments of the Sirens” and awaken “The Wind Fish,” who lays dormant in a giant egg on the top island’s mountain.
Despite the massively different story from previous entries, the gameplay is identical to most other isometric Zelda games. You explore an overworld, go into dungeons, collect items that are important for progression, kill the dungeon’s boss, get one of the instruments and then repeat.
For example, the Roc feather allows Link to jump over pits and the power bracelet lets Link lift rocks blocking his path.
The game’s setting Koholint Island is rather small as it was originally designed with the Game Boy in mind but nearly every area of the island has something to discover, and by the end you’ll know the entire layout of the island like the back of your hand.
Graphically, the game looks simple but appealing with bigheaded character models that emote frequently depending on the situation. The music includes a lot of traditional orchestrations but a fair amount implements Game Boy sound effects. The most interesting musical shakeup is the theme of Animal village that features dogs and cats singing.
The biggest new feature of the game is the ability to customize and explore your own dungeons. While that sounds interesting all of the areas you can use are recycled from the dungeons in the main game so by the end all the custom dungeons just start to blend into each other until the point where it gets tiring.
Another weird tidbit is the item trading sidequest in which Link has to give an item to a certain character in order to get another item to give to another character. Despite it being somewhat optional there are several parts in the game where it is required and without prior knowledge it comes off as completely arbitrary.
Despite some gripes with the trading sequence and custom dungeons, “Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening” is still a fun look back at a fan favorite entry in this long storied franchise.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening offers a nostalgic trip down memory lane. One that can still be played on the go or now in the comfort of your own home on your T.V.
Screenshot By Dylan Del Rio