The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (2019 video game)

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The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
Artwork of a boy in a tropical island environment, with a mountain capped by a purple-spotted egg in the background; the game's logo printed in the center
Icon artwork, featuring Link on Koholint Island
Developer(s)Grezzo
Publisher(s)Nintendo
Director(s)Mikiharu Oiwa
Producer(s)Eiji Aonuma
Artist(s)Masaki Yasuda
Composer(s)Ryo Nagamatsu
SeriesThe Legend of Zelda
Platform(s)Nintendo Switch
ReleaseSeptember 20, 2019
Genre(s)Action-adventure
Mode(s)Single-player

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening[a] is an action-adventure game developed by Grezzo and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch. It was released on September 20, 2019.

Link's Awakening is a remake of the 1993 game for the Game Boy. It retains the original's top-down perspective and gameplay, along with elements from the 1998 re-release Link's Awakening DX. The game features a "retro-modern" art style unique within the series with toy-like character designs, diorama-like world designs, and tilt-shift visuals that evoke the original game's presentation on the Game Boy. It also features customizable dungeons which the player can create and then complete for rewards.

Gameplay[edit]

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is an action-adventure game with a top-down perspective.[2][3] Its story is set on Koholint Island, where Link, the player character, is stranded after his ship is caught up in a storm.[4][5][6] After being rescued by a girl named Marin, Link embarks on a quest to collect the eight instruments of the Sirens and awaken Koholint's legendary Wind Fish in order to escape the island.[6] Similar to other Zelda games, the player traverses an open world with dungeons scattered throughout, featuring puzzle-solving sections and boss fights,[7] along with trading sidequests.[8] In contrast to other top-down games in the series however, Link's Awakening allows the player to jump over obstacles and onto platforms,[9] and also features side-scrolling platforming sections.[10][11]

The "Color Dungeon" from Link's Awakening DX, which features color-based action and puzzle gameplay, is included.[12] In the Link's Awakening remake, Link's sword, shield, and upgrades are permanently equipped, allowing more items to be equipped to action buttons in comparison to the original game.[13] Various minigames also received updates, such as realistic physics in the claw crane minigame.[14] As players progress in the game, rooms from completed dungeons can be collected as pieces that the player can use to reassemble their own dungeons by visiting the non-player character Dampé at his shack.[15][16][17] The player can then complete these dungeons in a time attack mode to earn rewards such as a life-replenishing fairy bottle,[15][18] contributing to an increased replay value over the original game.[19]

The use of Amiibo figurines in a customized dungeons activates "plus effects" that enhance the gameplay of the dungeons.[20][21] Using the Link figurine from the Link's Awakening series of Amiibo summons Shadow Link, who chases the player through the dungeon and increases the value of rewards earned upon completing the dungeon.[21][22] Other figurines from the Zelda series of Amiibo and Zelda-themed figurines from the Super Smash Bros. series of Amiibo have their own plus-effects in Link's Awakening.[23]

Development[edit]

Top-down view of a room with back spaces around it, where a person is evading attacks from two enemies
Dungeon rooms designed for the original game's 1:1 presentation on the Game Boy do not fill the remake's widescreen presentation

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is a remake of the 1993 game developed for the Game Boy.[24][25] Link's Awakening had previously been remastered for the Game Boy Color in 1998 as The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX.[2] While the original game was presented in 2D graphics in an almost square ratio on the Game Boy, the remake is presented in 3D graphics and a widescreen ratio on the Nintendo Switch.[7][24] Some sections of the game's dungeons do not fill the width of the screen though, as certain puzzles and boss fights were designed to work with the tile count of the game's original square ratio.[7]

The game adopts a "retro-modern" art style distinct from other Zelda games,[3][9] departing from the original game's A Link to the Past-inspired art style while retaining its simplicity.[26][27] The toy-like plasticine character designs also depart from the Wind Waker-inspired designs typical of many top-down Zelda games since the release of Four Swords Adventures.[2][28][29] It features a tilt-shift effect that exaggerates the camera's perspective and depth of field.[11][30] The effect was inspired by the appearance of the original game's "small [...] but very vast" world on the Game Boy's 66 millimeter screen;[31] series producer Eiji Aonuma chose a diorama-like art style to help achieve this effect.[31]

Dampé's shack, which houses the player's customized "Chamber Dungeons", replaced the Camera Shop from Link's Awakening DX, which served as a Game Boy Printer hub.[17] The Chamber dungeon came after Shigeru Miyamoto inquired with Aonuma if there was any way to implement Super Mario Maker-like gameplay into the Zelda series. Feeling that simply allowing players to create their own dungeon would be too difficult, Aonuma instead introduced Chamber Dungeons, by way of letting players rearrange dungeons as a way of achieving this goal – purposing it as a puzzle itself for players to solve. [32][33]

While the original game and DX use sprite graphics for the cutscenes,[citation needed] the remake features hand-drawn cutscenes,[citation needed] directed and storyboarded by Junichi Yamamoto.[34] Oswald Katou handled the concept art, backgrounds, and color design.[35]

Release[edit]

Demo booth at Gamescom 2019

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening was announced via a trailer showcased during a Nintendo Direct presentation in February 2019,[5][36] and was showcased with a demo at E3 2019 that June.[37] The game is published by Nintendo, and was released on September 20, 2019,[38][39] distributed digitally via the Nintendo eShop, and on physical game cards through third-party retailers.[40] A "Dreamer Edition" of Link's Awakening included the physical version of the game packaged with a Dreamer Art Book featuring concept art.[41][42] A "Limited Edition" exclusive to Europe included the physical version of the game encased in a Game Boy-themed SteelBook packaged with an expanded 120-page art book.[42][43] A Link's Awakening-series Amiibo figurine of Link was released simultaneously with the game, replicating the character's design as he appears in Link's Awakening.[22][21][41] Aonuma described it as the first Amiibo figurine to faithfully replicate Link's in-game appearance.[44]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic87/100[45]
Review scores
PublicationScore
4Players90%[46]
Destructoid9/10[47]
Easy Allies9/10[50]
EGM8/10[48]
EurogamerEssential[49]
Game Informer9/10[52]
Game Revolution3/5 stars[51]
GameSpot8/10[54]
GamesRadar+4/5 stars[53]
Hardcore Gamer4/5[55]
IGN9.4/10[56]
Jeuxvideo.com15/20[57]
Nintendo Life9/10[58]
Nintendo World Report8.5/10[59]
RPGamer4/5[60]
Shacknews9/10[61]
USgamer5/5 stars[62]
VG2474/5 stars[63]

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening received "generally favorable" reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic. Most critics agreed that the main game needed little change, but that the quality of life updates were welcome. Forbes' review states that Link's Awakening is "an excellent remake of an already faultless Zelda game."[64] While USgamer stated that the remake "improves most of the flaws" from the Game Boy version while maintaining what made it a classic in the first place, they did note that "slowdown issues pop up from time to time."[62]

Sales[edit]

Link's Awakening launched at #1 on the UK, Japanese, and EMEAA physical all-format charts, becoming Grezzo's biggest debut and the fastest-selling Switch game of 2019.[65][66] It sold 141,375 physical copies in Japan and 430,000 copies in Europe during its first three days on sale.[67][68] As of September 30, 2019, the game has sold 3.13 million copies worldwide, and is currently one of the best-selling Nintendo Switch games.[69]

Awards[edit]

Year Award Category Result Ref
2019 2019 Golden Joystick Awards Nintendo Game of the Year Nominated [70]

Footnotes[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ Known in Japan as The Legend of Zelda: The Dreaming Island (Japanese: ゼルダの伝説 夢をみる島, Hepburn: Zeruda no Densetsu: Yume o Miru Shima)[1]

Sources

  1. Marks, Tom (February 14, 2019). "Every Art Style Zelda Games Have Ever Had". IGN. Archived from the original on February 17, 2019. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
  2. Aonuma, Eiji; Drake, Audrey; Owsen, Daniel; Sam (June 11, 2019). The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening Gameplay - Nintendo Treehouse: Live. Nintendo of America. Retrieved June 11, 2019 – via YouTube.

Citations

  1. ^ "ゼルダの伝説 夢をみる島". Nintendo Co., Ltd. (in Japanese). June 11, 2019. Archived from the original on June 11, 2019. Retrieved June 11, 2019. ゼルダの伝説 夢をみる島
  2. ^ a b c McWhertor, Michael (February 13, 2019). "The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening remake coming to Nintendo Switch". Polygon. Archived from the original on February 17, 2019. Retrieved February 17, 2019. As Link, players will once again return to the island of Koholint for new adventures. While the new Link’s Awakening will retain the top-down — and occasionally side-scrolling — view of the Game Boy original, the Switch remake will use 3D models and employ a stylish, toy-like aesthetic. [...] First released in 1993, the game was later updated for the Game Boy Color in 1998.
  3. ^ a b Dornbush, Jonathon (February 13, 2019). "The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening Remake for Nintendo Switch Announced". IGN. Archived from the original on February 17, 2019. Retrieved February 17, 2019. Link's Awakening on Switch retains a top-down camera style but set in a world realized in fully 3D animation. Characters are 3D models, and the art style is new to the series.
  4. ^ Young, Rory (February 13, 2019). "The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening Remake Announced for Nintendo Switch". GameRant. Archived from the original on February 17, 2019. Retrieved February 17, 2019. His ship, caught in a storm, crashes and Link is stranded on Koholint Island.
  5. ^ a b Devore, Jordan (February 13, 2019). "Zelda: Link's Awakening is back with an oh-so-adorable remake for Switch". Destructoid. Archived from the original on February 17, 2019. Retrieved February 17, 2019. Closing out today's Nintendo Direct, the company revealed a super cute Nintendo Switch "reimagining" of the classic handheld adventure The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. [...] We'll return to Koholint Island sometime this year.
  6. ^ a b Nintendo 2019, 08:02, "Link is shipwrecked on this island, and Marin actually rescues him, and so then he has to go and try to find a way off this seemingly inescapable island by finding the eight instruments of the Sirens and awakening the Windfish..."
  7. ^ a b c Altano, Brian (February 16, 2019). "6 Questions We Have About The Zelda: Link's Awakening Switch Remake". IGN. Archived from the original on February 17, 2019. Retrieved February 17, 2019. The biggest change so far [...] is the new widescreen presentation for the overworld traversal (the original version had square aspect ratio) [...] However, the dungeon sections currently have black bars on the sides of them since overhauling the tile counts in each dungeon room would throw off certain puzzles, boss fights, stage layouts and more...
  8. ^ Nintendo 2019, "5:42, "This Yoshi doll is actually part of a pretty vast trading quest in this game. [...] In exchange for that, I got a ribbon, and I can exchange the ribbon with someone else in this world..."
  9. ^ a b Ingraham, Nathan (February 14, 2019). "The 'Link's Awakening' remake could be the start of something special". Engadget. Archived from the original on February 17, 2019. Retrieved February 17, 2019. Over the years, other essential games like A Link to the Past, Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Wind Waker and Twilight Princess have either been remastered or at the very least made available on Nintendo's various virtual or classic consoles. [...] The company showed off a trailer with a gorgeous retro-modern style [...] it's the first top-view Zelda game where Link can jump.
  10. ^ Kain, Erik (February 13, 2019). "'The Legend Of Zelda: Link's Awakening' Is Coming To The Nintendo Switch In 2019". Forbes. Archived from the original on February 17, 2019. Retrieved February 17, 2019. There are top-down sections, side-scrolling sections...
  11. ^ a b Buckley, Sean (February 13, 2019). "Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening remake announced for Nintendo Switch". CNET. Archived from the original on February 17, 2019. Retrieved February 17, 2019. Link's Awakening for Nintendo Switch looks almost like a stop-motion film shot from above, exaggerating its overhead perspective with a blurred, depth-of-field focus. It seems like an extremely faithful recreation of the original title too, from the preserved layout of the town to the game's unique, side-scrolling platforming sections.
  12. ^ Nintendo 2019, 12:07, "We're very, very excited to announce that the Color Dungeon is indeed in this version of the game [...] these camo-goblins sink into the ground in their various colors..."
  13. ^ Nintendo 2019, 10:57, "...a huge UI improvement in this game is that your sword, shield, things like your power bracelet, pegasus boots, are always equipped, which is a huge improvement on the original because that frees up your Y and X button for whatever else you want to equip..."
  14. ^ Nintendo 2019, 02:40, "...even fans who played the original game are going to notice a little bit of a difference here, because there are actual, real crane physics going on here.
  15. ^ a b Makuch, Eddie (June 11, 2019). "E3 2019 -- Zelda: Link's Awakening Remake Dungeon-Maker Mode, Release Date Revealed". Gamespot. Archived from the original on June 11, 2019. Retrieved June 11, 2019. ...the mode allows players to create their own, custom-made dungeons by placing chambers earned in the adventure mode. Once created, players can explore the dungeons. Conquering the various chambers will yield various rewards, Nintendo said.
  16. ^ Schreier, Jason (June 11, 2019). "Link's Awakening Remake Is Out September, Has A New Dungeon-Building Feature". Kotaku. Archived from the original on June 11, 2019. Retrieved June 11, 2019. ...it appears that you’ll be able to collect levels that you’ve visited in the game’s dungeons and then bring them to Dampe the gravedigger, who will let you arrange each level on a dungeon board and then go exploring for loot.
  17. ^ a b Nintendo 2019, "14:32, "We see this new location; this is something that DX players might recognize as being that camera hub, but in this game it's something brand new. [...] It looks a little bit like a shack, and it's filled by our friend, Dampé here!"
  18. ^ Plante, Chris (June 11, 2019). "Link's Awakening out on Sept. 20, will have a dungeon creator". Polygon. Archived from the original on June 11, 2019. Retrieved June 11, 2019. Players can tackle their custom dungeons for additional rewards. In the trailer, Link completes a player-made dungeon and receives a new Fairy Bottle.
  19. ^ Serrels, Mark (June 11, 2019). "Link's Awakening shown off at E3 Nintendo Direct, reveals dungeon creator". CNET. Archived from the original on June 11, 2019. Retrieved June 11, 2019. Looks like it could provide a lot of replay value to those who blast through the main quest quickly.
  20. ^ Nintendo 2019, 29:20, "He's going to add, into the Chamber Dungeon, what's called a "plus-effect". The plus-effects are layered on top of the chambers, and they add a new gameplay variant to what would otherwise be a familiar room."
  21. ^ a b c Carter, Chris (June 11, 2019). "(Update) Link's Awakening on Switch is getting its very own amiibo". Destructoid. Archived from the original on June 11, 2019. Retrieved June 11, 2019. There's also an amiibo figure in the mix, which is a take on the adorable new art style for Awakening on Switch. You can find the full rundown below from Nintendo. His figure ability includes adding a "Plus Effect" to the dungeon creation element: Shadow Link, "which chases you through several different rooms." [...] This is the 19th announced amiibo for 2019...
  22. ^ a b Bankhurst, Adam (June 11, 2019). "The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, Dark Samus, Chrom, Incineroar, and Richter Amiibo Revealed - E3 2019". IGN. Archived from the original on June 11, 2019. Retrieved June 11, 2019. September 20, 2019: Link - The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening [...] it will add a Shadow Link to player's dungeons in Link's Awakening that will earn the player many rupees if he can be defeated. Be careful though, as Shadow Link will chase you from room-to-room.
  23. ^ Nintendo 2019, 30:17, "There are other plus-effects in the game [...] In addition to the Link's Awakening Amiibo, there are other Legend of Zelda series Amiibo that will work with The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, but not just that; any Legend of Zelda character Amiibo will work with The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening."
  24. ^ a b Gartenberg, Chaim (February 13, 2019). "The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is getting a 3D Switch remake". The Verge. Archived from the original on February 17, 2019. Retrieved February 17, 2019. ...a new, 3D remake of the Game Boy classic The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. [...] which will see the 8-bit Game Boy graphics redone in a bright, colorful, and absolutely adorable-looking 3D style...
  25. ^ Knezevic, Kevin (February 15, 2019). "Zelda: Link's Awakening -- Nintendo Remaking Classic Game Boy Title For Switch". Gamespot. Archived from the original on February 17, 2019. Retrieved February 17, 2019. Nintendo closed out its latest Direct presentation by unveiling a remake of the beloved Game Boy game The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening...
  26. ^ Marks 2019, "...the newly announced remake of Link’s Awakening is also moving away from the original’s Link to the Past inspired style and into something we’ve (again) never really seen before. The almost plasticine look and beady eyes of its characters is totally different than both A Link Between Worlds and the Wind Waker look that many previous 2D Zeldas draw from."
  27. ^ Oxford, Nadia (February 14, 2019). "Why Didn't The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening Switch Remake Follow in the Footsteps of A Link Between Worlds?". USgamer. Archived from the original on February 17, 2019. Retrieved February 17, 2019. ...I think it's an excellent HD adaptation of the adorably simplistic style utilized by the original game.
  28. ^ Marks 2019, "Just after Wind Waker, the GameCube spin-off of the GBA Four Swords mode was the first 2D Zelda game to start drifting away from Link to the Past's look.
  29. ^ Barder, Ollie (February 14, 2019). "The 'Zelda: Link's Awakening' Remake On The Switch Has Hit Me Right In The Childhood". Forbes. Archived from the original on February 17, 2019. Retrieved February 17, 2019. ...and what with the fantastic and newly animated opening from the game to the wondrous toy-like art style of the game itself...
  30. ^ Marks 2019, "It even appears to be using a tilt-shift blur effect in some areas..."
  31. ^ a b Nintendo 2019, 00:58, "When I played the original Game Boy version, it was a small screen, and it felt like a small world, but very vast. And so, it kind of had this tilt shift perspective; so that's why I thought this diorama-like art style would be perfect for this."
  32. ^ Dornbush, Johnathan. "Miyamoto Asked Zelda Producer to Make Mario Maker-Style Zelda Game, Which Led to Link's Awakening's New Mode". IGN. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  33. ^ Nintendo 2019, 16:20, "I've always wanted to create a way for players to create their own dungeon, but I didn't want to make it anything too hard, so just like a puzzle, or solving a puzzle, I wanted to make this Chamber Dungeon easy enough for people to play and feel like they're solving a puzzle."
  34. ^ Yamamoto, Junichi [@yamamotojunichi] (September 20, 2019). "本日発売のニンテンドースイッチ版「ゼルダの伝説 夢をみる島」のOP、EDムービー制作など参加しました。ムービーのディレクションと絵コンテ、演出などを担当しました!" [I participated in the OP & ED production of the Nintendo Switch version of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, released today. I was in charge of the direction, storyboard and unit direction!] (Tweet) (in Japanese). Archived from the original on September 21, 2019. Retrieved September 21, 2019 – via Twitter.
  35. ^ Katou, Oswald [@ozoztv] (September 20, 2019). "ゼルダの伝説夢をみる島発売おめでとうございます!OP、EDムービーの制作に参加しました。コンセプトアート、色彩設計、BG、他いろいろ。" [Congratulations on the release of Link’s Awakening! I participated in the production of the OP and ED movies. I did the concept art, color design and backgrounds, among other things.] (Tweet) (in Japanese). Archived from the original on September 21, 2019. Retrieved September 21, 2019 – via Twitter.
  36. ^ Francis, Bryant (February 13, 2019). "Mario Maker 2 and a Link's Awakening remake drive today's Nintendo Direct". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on February 17, 2019. Retrieved February 17, 2019. ...today's Nintendo Direct briefing was bookended with news that Super Mario Maker 2 and a remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening will be landing on the Nintendo Switch.
  37. ^ Knezevic, Kevin (June 11, 2019). "Nintendo Confirms Today's E3 Direct 2019 Conference Length". Gamespot. Archived from the original on June 11, 2019. Retrieved June 11, 2019. Nintendo had confirmed that several of this year's biggest Switch releases--namely Luigi's Mansion 3, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, and The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening--will be playable on the show floor
  38. ^ Webster, Andrew (June 11, 2019). "The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening on Switch launches in September". The Verge. Archived from the original on June 11, 2019. Retrieved June 11, 2019. Nintendo revealed that The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening will debut on the Switch on September 20th.
  39. ^ Ip, Chris (June 11, 2019). "The Link's Awakening reboot launches September 20th". Engadget. Archived from the original on June 11, 2019. Retrieved June 11, 2019. ...and now there's a release date for its Switch remake: September 20th this year.
  40. ^ Lane, Gavin (February 19, 2019). "Talking Point: Is The Remake Of Zelda: Link's Awakening Worth $60?". Nintendo Life. Archived from the original on February 24, 2019. Retrieved February 24, 2019. Retailer pre-order listings are putting it as a full $60 release...
  41. ^ a b Kane, Alex (June 11, 2019). "The 'Zelda: Link's Awakening' Remake Drops in September". Variety. Archived from the original on June 11, 2019. Retrieved June 11, 2019. A collectible toys-to-life Amiibo figure and a special Dreamer Edition, which includes an art book, will both ship alongside the standard edition of the game on Sept. 20.
  42. ^ a b Sitzes, Jenae (June 11, 2019). "The Legend Of Zelda: Link's Awakening Pre-Orders Available Now, Release Date Revealed". Gamespot. Archived from the original on June 11, 2019. Retrieved June 11, 2019. Link's Awakening is also getting a Dreamer edition that will include the base game and a hardcover book with concept art. [...] A gorgeous limited edition of Link's Awakening has been announced for Europe, but there's no word on it coming to America so far. It comes with a Game Boy-themed steelbook and 120-page artbook in addition to the game.
  43. ^ Ruiz, Michael (June 11, 2019). "The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening Limited Edition Announced for European Territories". DualShockers. Archived from the original on June 11, 2019. Retrieved June 11, 2019. Most importantly, it will come with a physical version of the game. as well as a 120-page artbook and a SteelBook case for the game.
  44. ^ Nintendo 2019, 28:57, "This might be the first Amiibo where Link looks exactly like he's taken out of the game; he looks just exactly like what he is in the game."
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External links[edit]