The Awakening of Link:
“We’re back in 1997, when another toddler visited a toy store with his father to get the next toy for his first console, Game Boy. A glass showcase separates it from a number of favorite titles, with well-known and favorite characters: Mario, Wario, Donley Kong… Somewhere there is a paper box, simple and unpretentious in its design, but with a legendary name on it: The Legend of Zelda, along with the virtual logo of the shield and the sword, and the simple subtitle “Link’s Awakening” follow below. This kid was unlucky enough to play a title in The Legend of Zelda on a home console, as he had never had one. But he knew a lot about the series – and most importantly, he knew that the series’ previous game, A Link to the Past, had begun to reach the limits of legend among SNES owners, worthy of its name. He chose without hesitation to buy this title, despite his father’s urgings to buy another game, perhaps better known, easier, with a better known protagonist. But the child was adamant and the father did not insist.
Returning home, the child ran impatiently to his room, opened the package with almost religious reverence, and gently placed the “cassette” in the recess of Game Boy. The introductory video with Link fighting in the waves impressed him and the introduction to the game made him feel just like Link. Holding only a shield in his hand, he had to begin to explore the world of the game, with each screen switch offering a new point in the world to explore, with his own hidden (or even obvious, sometimes) secrets. The little boy’s English was enough to understand most of the text, but he often had to resort to a dictionary to understand exactly what he had to do. There were difficulties, but the trip was too beautiful to stop the continuous opening and closing of a dictionary.
A Legend was born …
The Legend Of Zelda: Link’s Awakening:
Twenty-two years later, this child who experienced this particular adventure in the legendary “brick”, along with many other children who played the game and having similar – or different – experiences with him, has a new choice: to travel again on the island of Koholint, always on the side of Link, to wake up the Fish of Anemos once again, defeating the forces of the Nightmares who are looting various locations on the island and collecting the 8 Sirens. To meet a group of memorable characters who laid the groundwork for the creation of well-known characters in the upcoming titles of the series, to have fun with the appearance of creatures and other… easter eggs from the universe of Nintendo titles, but above all, to realize how enormous it was the original Game Boy game, always in conjunction with A Link to the Past. Despite the system’s technical limitations, Link’s Awakening was a jewel in the Nintendo’s (first) portable console, and even today it is still one of the best games of all time.
You see, this is the indisputable conclusion of all those projects, which are initially developed in dark, sunless dungeons (hopefully the relevance to the content of the game is clear), and end much later to get the approval of the development team manager. . Because Link’s Awakening continues to be a passion project: an inspiration for creators to experiment with a franchise that has begun to grow and expand significantly, enriching it with elements from Nintendo’s iconic series. Who else but Mario would inspire Tarin to design, as well as his favorite habit of collecting … mushrooms? From which tube of the Mushroom Kingdom did the Goombas, the Piranha Plants, the Bloopers, the Bomb-ombs and the Thwomps fly? What happened to the most likable Kirby and he decided to move from his own dreamy country to the dream of the Fisherman of the Wind, being a serious obstacle in the way of Link? Most likely, the creators themselves can no longer answer.
The only thing that applies here is that, treating the project as an internal joke and while experimenting with the console’s capabilities, they created the title that Shigeru Miyamoto may never have allowed to happen. After all, dreams are so far removed from reality – it’s just a bubble that can burst even with the softest touch. But in the end, those in charge were convinced of its release, which was a resounding success. Although they could not return with another title in the series for the classic Game Boy, the creators released the Deluxe version of the game for the Game Boy Color (adding color to the game, support for the regional Game Boy Printer and a new dungeon), while making The use of the assets they created, in partnership with Capcom, gave the equally satisfying games of the Oracle series.
The re-release of older Nintendo titles in the form of remakes has been a regular practice of the company in recent years, which of course does not necessarily bother the players. Speaking of The Legend of Zelda, the latest example we can use (leaving aside the 3D remasters and HD remasters available for the Nintendo 3DS & Wii U respectively) is none other than the masterpiece A Link Between Worlds . A game that followed in the footsteps of A Link to the Past, with the same, familiar locations and challenges, but with a changed history and the introduction of new characters managed to win the love of the public.
Monsters circulating in the island’s areas are much more aggressive and less predictable in terms of how they attack and move in space, as well as in the way they are required to be killed.
New gameplay gimmicks but also a technical area that perfectly connected with the material of 3DS were the features that pushed it where it should be. Something similar happens with Link’s Awakening, the most irregular game in the series so far. From the beginning, there was no formula to go around Hyrule, collect Triforce pieces, eliminate the threat of the incarnation of Ganon (or a villain threatening Hyrule) and help Princess Zelda protect her world. . This time we are dealing with a dream world, where everything is evolving almost linearly, with the security and the limitations that a scenario offers, no matter how well written.
Thus, maintaining the original scenario was a one-way street for Grezzo’s lads, who have shown their worth in creating titles for the company’s portable systems. Players who played the game two decades ago are able to not only remember what they have to do at any time in their adventure, but even the dialogues themselves: from the naive responses given by the Mabe village quadruplets, Koukouvagia’s snorts that follow Link at all times, even the most audacious attacks of the Nightmares, all seem so same and unchanged, that in any other case they would be the product of a more automated approach to the game. And, fortunately, this has been avoided here to the fullest.
From the first minutes of the adventure, Koholint shows his teeth to the unsuspecting player, or to that player who thinks that everything is the same and unchanged with the first adventure. Monsters circulating in the island’s areas are much more aggressive and less predictable in terms of how they attack and move in space, as well as how they are required to be killed. At the same time, things are changing in the dungeons that are scattered on the island. Both the bosses and the Nightmares themselves follow different attack tactics – although for the experienced player it will be nothing more than a pleasant surprise, for younger players the whole process will be an enigma that requires attention in dealing with them. Especially in the early stages of the game, the need for a more careful approach to the environment is more urgent than ever, as Link is less powerful and without the necessary equipment – even for those who think they know everything about the game.
That’s why game developers have decided to make drastic changes to enrich the experience. To begin with, it should be noted that Cardiac Measurers have increased from the twelve of the original game, to twenty, in order to mitigate the impact of the monsters’ enhanced aggression on the island. This option, in addition to the increased sense of security, also contributes to the further exploration of the island, in order to fully reveal all the secrets. Along with the increased Heart Meters, we also have the increase of Secret Shells. The twenty shells required to obtain a separate, powerful object have also doubled in size.
In fact, the Hunting of the Secret Shells has undergone its own changes. By collecting a specific number of shells, a number determined by the known meter in the Shells Mansion, Link can gain access to brand new items that did not exist in the original game, and give a new breath to Link’s return. Players can collect fifty shells in total. However, although we would like to have an idea of the last unlocked object, this was not possible at the moment, due to the time pressure to complete the game, but also a possible malfunction of an object that helps locate the Secret Shells. We don’t know if this is due to a bug that is expected to be fixed, or to a lack of thorough exploration of specific areas on our part, but it’s something we hope to solve in the near future.
Another improvement that pleasantly surprised us – and in fact from the first shots we took of the game – is the substantial improvement of the shops / minigames of the village of Mabe. The main store continues to evolve throughout the game, adding more items as our adventure progresses and making its visit necessary. The same goes for the mini-crane store, which essentially served only one use within the original game – the start of the object-sharing sequence with the island’s inhabitants. This time, the store is enriched with items that are constantly updated, but also with an additional feature: that of physics.
The objects caught by the crane move as it is lifted and moved to the starting point and are affected by both movement and gravity. As a result, many attempts may fail, and we may have to try again and again: despite the annoyance of the situation, we found this feature extremely interesting, despite the extensive cost of rubies it can cost. Even the mini-game with fishing has undergone a lifting: fishing can become more difficult, and the resistance of the fish is much more natural. The application of natural laws in fishing, in combination with the selection of the appropriate bait, also gives this its own touch of renewal.
However, many of the collectibles that the player will need to collect during his adventure are acquired through the aforementioned methods. As a result, the main part of exploring and exploring the secrets of the island of Koholint is the regular visit to the village of Mabe. The most important and essential addition to the game (and probably its selling point, according to Nintendo) is the Dungeon Editor Mode. Where the photographer’s house in Deluxe was located, a version of the game for Game Boy Color, now lies the hut of Dampe, the undertaker, an emblematic character of the series, who makes his debut on the island of Koholint. Dungeon Editor Mode allows the player to create their own dungeon, based on assets related to the completion of the dungeons of the island and always under the guidance of Dampe.
In this mode, the player is asked to create dungeons with specific perspectives and characteristics, the successful completion of which rewards Link with a valuable object that will help him in his adventure. Apart from the scripted dungeons, however, there is also a free mode, which allows the player to create his own dungeon exactly as he imagines or desires it. There are no restrictions on its shape, size or content. It can place any of the available rooms unlocked, place as many treasure chests as it wants, as many locked doors and stairs as it imagines, and even how many little bosses it wants. The game itself can calculate which boxes will include keys or treasure, while it can also remind the player of any omissions, such as the lack of a central entrance, a room with a Nightmare, or the non-connection of a room with a staircase.
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