The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
Released Sep. 20th, 2019
Published by: Nintendo
Developed by: Nintendo
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The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is a 1993 action-adventure game developed and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy. It is the fourth installment in the Legend of Zelda series and the first for a handheld game console. Link's Awakening is one of the few Zelda games not to take place in the land of Hyrule, and it does not feature Princess Zelda or the Triforce relic. Instead, protagonist Link begins the game stranded on Koholint Island, a place guarded by a whale-like deity called the Wind Fish. Assuming the role of Link, the player fights monsters and solves puzzles while searching for eight musical instruments that will awaken the sleeping Wind Fish and allow him to escape from the island.

Development began as an effort to port the Super Nintendo Entertainment System game The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past to the Game Boy, developed after-hours by Nintendo staff. It grew into an original project under the direction of Takashi Tezuka, with a story and script created by Yoshiaki Koizumi and Kensuke Tanabe. The majority of the Link to the Past team reassembled for Link's Awakening, and Tezuka wanted the game world to feel like the television series Twin Peaks. After a development period of one and a half years, Link's Awakening was released in Japan in June 1993 and worldwide later in the year.

Link's Awakening was critically and commercially successful. Critics praised the game's depth and number of features; complaints focused on its control scheme and monochrome graphics. An updated rerelease, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX, was released for the Game Boy Color in 1998 featuring color graphics, compatibility with the Game Boy Printer, and an exclusive color-based dungeon. Together, the two versions of the game have sold more than six million units worldwide, and have appeared on multiple game publications' lists of the best video games of all time. A high-definition remake for the Nintendo Switch was developed by Grezzo and released worldwide in 2019.


After the events of A Link to the Past, the hero Link travels by ship to other countries to train for further threats. A storm destroys his boat at sea, and he washes ashore on Koholint Island, where he is taken to the house of Tarin by his daughter Marin. She is fascinated by Link and the outside world, and tells Link wishfully that, if she were a seagull, she would leave and travel across the sea. After Link recovers his sword, a mysterious owl tells him that he must wake the Wind Fish, Koholint's guardian, in order to return home. The Wind Fish lies dreaming in a giant egg on top of Mt. Tamaranch, and can only be awakened by the eight Instruments of the Sirens.

Link proceeds to explore a series of dungeons in order to recover the eight instruments. During his search for the sixth instrument, Link goes to the Ancient Ruins. There he finds a mural that details the reality of the island: that it is merely a dream world created by the Wind Fish. After this revelation, the owl tells Link that this is only a rumor, and only the Wind Fish knows for certain whether it is true. Throughout Koholint Island, nightmare creatures attempt to obstruct Link's quest for the instruments, as they wish to rule the Wind Fish's dreamworld.

After collecting all eight instruments from the eight dungeons across Koholint, Link climbs to the top of Mt. Tamaranch and plays the Ballad of the Wind Fish. This breaks open the egg in which the Wind Fish sleeps; Link enters and confronts the last evil being, a Nightmare that takes the form of Ganon and other enemies from Link's past. Its final transformation is "DethI", a cyclopean, dual-tentacled Shadow. After Link defeats DethI, the owl reveals itself to be the Wind Fish's spirit, and the Wind Fish confirms that Koholint is all his dream. When Link plays the Ballad of the Wind Fish again, he and the Wind Fish awaken; Koholint Island and all its inhabitants slowly disappear. Link finds himself lying on his ship's driftwood in the middle of the ocean, with the Wind Fish flying overhead. If the player did not lose any lives during the game, Marin is shown flying after the ending credits finish.


Link's Awakening began as an unsanctioned side project; programmer Kazuaki Morita created a Zelda-like game with one of the first Game Boy development kits, and he used it to experiment with the platform's capabilities. Other staff members of the Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development division joined him after-hours and worked on the game in what seemed to them like an "afterschool club". The results of these experiments with the Game Boy started to look promising. Following the 1991 release of the Super NES video game The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, director Takashi Tezuka asked for permission to develop a handheld Zelda title; he intended it to be a port of A Link to the Past, but it evolved into an original game. The majority of the team that had created A Link to the Past was reassembled to advance this new project. Altogether, it took them one and a half years to develop Link's Awakening.
A long-haired man wearing a coat and a striped shirt.
Designer Yoshiaki Koizumi was in charge of the game's story and conceived major plot points, such as the dream world island setting.

Tezuka recalled that the early free-form development of Link's Awakening resulted in the game's "unrestrained" contents, such as the unauthorized cameo appearances of characters from the Mario and Kirby series. A Link to the Past script writer Kensuke Tanabe joined the team early on and came up with the basis of the story. Tezuka sought to make Link's Awakening a spin-off, and he gave Tanabe instructions to omit common series elements such as Princess Zelda, the Triforce relic, and the setting Hyrule. As a consequence, Tanabe proposed his game world idea of an island with an egg on top of a mountain. Tezuka recalled that it felt as though they were making a "parody of The Legend of Zelda" rather than an actual Zelda game.

Later on, Yoshiaki Koizumi, who had previously helped with the plot of A Link to the Past, was brought into the team. Koizumi was responsible for the main story of Link's Awakening, provided the idea of the island in a dream, and conceived the interactions with the villagers. Link's Awakening was described by series producer Eiji Aonuma as the first Zelda game with a proper plot, which he attributed to Koizumi's romanticism. Tezuka intended the game's world to have a similar feeling to the American television series Twin Peaks, which, like Link's Awakening, features characters in a small town. He suggested that the characters of Link's Awakening be written as "suspicious types", akin to those in Twin Peaks—a theme which carried over into later Zelda titles. Tanabe created these "odd" characters; he was placed in charge of the subevents of the story and wrote almost all of the character dialog, with the exception of the owl's and the Wind Fish's lines. Tanabe implemented a previous idea of the world ending when a massive egg breaks on top of a mountain; this idea was originally meant for A Link to the Past. Tanabe really wanted to see this idea in a game and was able to implement it in Link's Awakening as the basic concept.

Masanao Arimoto and Shigefumi Hino designed the game's characters, while Yoichi Kotabe served as illustrator. Save for the opening and the ending, all pictures in the game were drawn by Arimoto. Yasahisa Yamamura designed the dungeons, which included the conception of rooms and routes, as well as the placement of enemies. Shigeru Miyamoto, who served as the producer of Link's Awakening, did not provide creative input to the staff members. However, he participated as game tester, and his opinions greatly influenced the latter half of the development.

The music for Link's Awakening was composed by Minako Hamano, Kozue Ishikawa, for whom it was their first game project, and Kazumi Totaka, who also was responsible for the sound programming and all sound effects. As with most Zelda games, Link's Awakening includes a variation of the recurring overworld music; The staff credits theme, "Yume o Miru Shima e" was later arranged for orchestra by Yuka Tsujiyoko and performed at the Orchestral Game Music Concert 3 in 1993. Super Smash Bros. Brawl includes a remix of the game's "Tal Tal Heights" theme, which has since returned in subsequent Super Smash Bros. titles.

In an interview about the evolution of the Zelda series, Aonuma called Link's Awakening the "quintessential isometric Zelda game". At another time, he stated that, had the game not come after A Link to the Past, Ocarina of Time would have been very different. Tezuka stated that he prefers the game over A Link to the Past, as he enjoyed the challenge of making a similar game on lower-specced hardware. Several elements from Link's Awakening were re-used in later Zelda titles; for example, programmer Morita created a fishing minigame that reappeared in Ocarina of Time, among others. Tanabe implemented a trading sequence; Tezuka compared it to the Japanese Straw Millionaire folktale, in which someone trades up from a piece of straw to something of greater value. This concept also appeared in most sequels.

---- Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Legend_of_Zelda:_Link%27s_Awakening