The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
|The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening|
|Release date|| GB release|
June 6, 1993
December 1, 1993
October 28, 1998
December 12, 1998
June 7, 2011
|Rating(s)||ESRB: E (Everyone)|
|Platform(s)||Game Boy, Game Boy Color (DX remake), Nintendo 3DS eShop ('DX' Remake)|
|Predecessor||The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past|
|Successor||The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time|
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (ゼルダの伝説 夢をみる島, Zeruda no Densetsu Yume o Miru Shima), is the fourth installment in the series, and the only Zelda title on the Game Boy; Link's Awakening DX, a color update, is one of the three Zelda titles for the Game Boy Color. Since its release, Link’s Awakening has been popular among fans and critics. By 2004, the original release had sold 3.83 million copies worldwide, while Link’s Awakening DX had sold 2.22 million. In 2009, Guinness World Records named it the 42nd most influential video game of all time.
Link, who had defeated the evil Ganon and regained peace in Hyrule, had not enjoyed the achieved tranquility for long, and eventually becomes restless. Feeling in need of training or enlightenment, he embarks on a journey and sails across oceans in a small sail boat. Eventually Link completes his training in foreign countries and begins to sail back to his home, Hyrule. But then suddenly the seas turn rough as the skies become dark, a thunder storm is stirring up. Link tried to valiantly fight the strong currants of the waves, even tying himself to the ship with some rope. But a bolt of lightning strikes the ship and everything turns dark.
Later in a faraway island, a young girl named Marin is walking along the shores of the island's beach. She suddenly spots someone laying on the sands. Upon closer look, she finds an unconscious Link and tries to wake him up but with no avail. Unable to do anything else, Marin takes Link back to her house in Mabe Village. From beyond the darkness, Link hears the voice of a girl. He first mistakes the voice to be of Princess Zelda's, but wakes up to discover that it was the voice of Marin. Not knowing where he is, the girl and her father, Tarin, explain the island to him. Miraculously, Link had been washed ashore on Koholint Island. Link starts his preparations to leave the island, and Tarin returns him his shield.
Yet Link's sword is nowhere to be found. Searching in the beaches of the island, Link eventually finds it next to his boat that was shipwrecked. Suddenly a mysterious owl flies down to him. The owl explains that high on the mountaintops of the island is a giant egg, and inside sleeps a being known as The Wind Fish. The owl says that the Wind Fish must be awakened, or else Link cannot leave the island, and tells Link that he needs to go into the woods to find a key and then flies away. Left with nothing but a puzzling riddle and wonderment, Link is forced to listen to the owl's words and heads into the forest. He eventually finds the Tail Key. The owl reappears and tells him to go into Tail Cave and to use that key to get inside.
Link does so and goes through several enemies and puzzles in this early dungeon. After defeating the boss, Link finds a magical instrument, the Full Moon Cello. Although not knowing what it is at first, the owl reappears and explains that instrument is one of the Eight Instruments of the Sirens. The owl explains that Link must retrieve the remaining seven instruments if he is to awaken the sleeping Wind Fish. Now Link, still full of questions about this strange world, must journey throughout the rest of the island and find these mystical instruments.
Eventually in his journey, Link arrives in Animal Village. The owl had told him to venture into Yarna Desert to find an important item that will aid Link. Unfortunately a large, sleeping walrus blocks his path. Yet one of the animals of Animal Village tell Link that Marin and her beautiful voice and song can awaken those who hear her. Link returns to Mabe Village and eventually gets an Ocarina from the Dream Shrine. He finds Marin at the beach who explains to him her wish to be a seagull, so that she could fly around the world and share her songs with many people. She hopes that she can make this wish to the Wind Fish. Afterwards Link learns from Marin how to play the Ballad of the Wind Fish on his ocarina, the song of awakening. However since it is not enough to awaken the walrus, Marin tags along with Link to Animal Village. Marin decides to stay in the village after the walrus awakes, and Link finds the Angler Key in the desert.
Sometime before getting the sixth instrument, the owl flies to Link and tells him to go to the Southern Face Shrine. When Link arrives there, he learns a horrible truth about the island. On a wall depicting the Wind Fish himself, the words read "To the finder, the isle of Koholint is but an illusion... Human, monster, sea, sky... a scene on the lid of a sleeper's eye... Awake the dreamer, and Koholint will vanish much like a bubble on a needle... Cast-away, you should know the truth!"
Link now faces a dilemma, whether he should awaken the Wind Fish or not. But the owl reassures him and tells him to trust his feelings. Link paves on and continues to find the remaining three instruments. Eventually he finds Marin on Tal Tal Mountain Range being attacked by monsters, and Link saves her. For a moment, she tries to tell Link something... but changes her mind. The owl knows about her singing and the song of awakening that she always sings, and wonders if she was trying to awake the dreamer, the Wind Fish.
Later Link has now obtained all eight of the Instruments of the Siren. The owl says that now is the time to awaken the dreamer. Link heads up the mountain tops and encounters the giant egg, in which the Wind Fish sleeps. With his ocarina in hand and the other instruments, Link plays the Ballad of the Wind Fish. Suddenly an entrance cracks open from the egg, and Link goes inside.
Inside, Link finds the true mastermind behind all of the chaos of Koholint, the Nightmare who has the power to transform into other forms. After a long battle, Link defeats the Nightmare, the last of the island's evils. Suddenly a stairway opens and Link climbs up, where he finds himself in a strange black room filled with rainbow clouds and stars.
There the owl comes to see Link one last time. The owl explains that he is in fact part of the Wind Fish's spirit, and thus was the guardian of his dream world. All was peaceful in the Wind Fish's dream, until nightmares began to invade it. Many of the nightmares that Link had faced were the very ones in dungeons that guarded the eight instruments. But now Link had defeated the last of the Nightmares, and that the Wind Fish's dream is at ease once again. With the Nightmares gone and the Eight Instruments of the Siren retrieved, the Wind Fish can finally be awakened. The owl then says that his role in this dream is now complete and says farewell to Link before vanishing rather than flying away.
Suddenly a wail is sounded and the Wind Fish appears right before Link's very own eyes! The Wind Fish says that in his dreams, a whole world had appeared. Yet he could not awaken due to the Nightmares. Yet it is only natural that dreams are to end, and when he awakes Koholint shall disappear. He says that Link may someday recall this dream world in the waking world, the only memory of the island.
The Wind Fish then fades away and says that they should awaken together, and commands Link to play the song of awakening one more time. Link does so and slowly, the whole island and its inhabitants fade away. The entire island disappears, but the ocean is kept in place. Suddenly Link is forced out of the Wind Fish's room by a stream of water.
The sky above shines brightly as seagulls fly overhead. Link awakens on a wooden board in the sea, once part of his ship. Just as it was predicted, Koholint Island was a dream and Link was back in reality. As he recalls all of the events, a shadow looms over him. Looking up, he sees the Wind Fish flying in the sky. Link then smiles, realizing that maybe he did actually help to awake the Wind Fish. Link's journey of awakening had finally came to an end.
The Legend of the Wind Fish
It would appear that The Wind Fish could be a mere myth to the inhabitants of Koholint Island. The egg on top of Mt. Tamaranch is rather large and can be seen from a distance, making it obvious that some of the inhabitants of Koholint Island would know something about The Wind Fish. Marin for example is a very good example of a simple citizen of Mabe Village, yet knows the existence of the Wind Fish, even wishing that she could wish on The Wind Fish to turn into a seagull. However it's not quite sure if she too believes whether it is just a myth or real herself, however Marin can be spotted on Tal Tal Mountain Range for no apparent reason. The Owl seems to believe that she may have tried to awaken the Wind Fish with her song. Only the Owl and possibly Marin seem to know the actual existence of the Wind Fish. Shortly after Link clears the Face Shrine dungeon, a boy in Mabe Village would be asked by Link 'when they had appeared on the island' but had no idea what Link meant, obviously suggesting that the inhabitants of Koholint Island have no idea that they are part of a dream world.
The Southern Face Shrine is the only place that holds the most information about the myth of The Wind Fish, and the sayings on its walls about the island being a but a dream is very much true. Judging by the writing on the walls, the shrine seems to have been built only for the person who would awaken The Wind Fish.
The Perfect Ending
If Link had never died during the game before seeing the game's ending, an additional scene can be seen after the ending credits. Both show Marin as a seagull (or simply having seagull wings) while the Ballad of The Wind Fish theme plays in the background. This may possibly either hint that Marin had her wish come true and was "saved" from the fading dream world, or simply Link having a memory of Marin and her wish of being a seagull.
The perfect ending varies between the original Game Boy release and the Game Boy Color remake. In the original, a Marin with wings on her back will fly around the words "The End" while singing her song. In Link's Awakening DX, a full colored image of Marin can be seen within the skies and clouds, again her song theme will be playing in the background although she won't be singing it. Shortly after, the image fades into a seagull who flies away.
The timeline found in Hyrule Historia confirms that Link's Awakening is the sequel to both A Link to the Past and the Oracle series. It takes place in the "Downfall" split timeline after Ocarina of Time, where Ganon defeated the Hero of Time. The prologue speaks of Link defeating Ganon and saving Hyrule, an apparent reference to A Link to the Past. Link journeys away from Hyrule to embark on a "quest for enlightenment". The "quest for enlightenment" away from Hyrule is the story told in the Oracle Series. Defeating Ganon once more at the end of the Linked Game, Link leaves Holodrum/Labrynna on a boat, which lead to the events of Link's Awakening. However, a minor continuity error occurs when Link and Zelda meet for the first time in the Oracle games. They do not appear to have met beforehand, despite having met in A Link to the Past.
Ports and Remakes
Link's Awakening DX
- Main article: The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX for Game Boy Color is a remake of Link's Awakening with several new additions, most notably the entire game is now in color. It was released just before the release of Ocarina of Time. The engines and color palettes in both of the Oracle series games are likely based on those used in Link's Awakening DX.
Nintendo 3DS re-release
Link's Awakening is one of the confirmed titles to be re-released for the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console.
It was announced at Nintendo's E3 Press Conference by Shigeru Miyamoto that Link's Awakening would release that day, June 7th, 2011. The eshop price for the game is $5.99 in the United States, $9AU in Australia, and £5.40 in the United Kingdom.
While not as influential to the overall structure of Zelda games as The Legend of Zelda or A Link to the Past, Link's Awakening introduced a number of elements that recur in later Zelda games, including:
- The use of a location other than Hyrule as a setting.
- A list of songs playable on the game's instrument that must be learned and have different functions, although unlike in Ocarina of Time and some later games the songs simply play when selected, rather than having to be played note by note.
- The first occurrence of fishing.
- Unique background music for each dungeon rather than reusing the same single theme or few themes, as its predecessors did. Most games after Link's Awakening follow its lead in this respect.
- The first trading sequence in the series.
- The first clear example of a lava- or fire-themed dungeon in the series, with Turtle Rock.
- The Roc's Feather.
- An Owl who periodically meets Link and gives him advice on where to go or what to do next.
- A set of well-hidden collectible items that have no use by themselves but can be redeemed at a certain location to receive useful items. (Secret Seashells in Link's Awakening, with Gold Skulltulas and Poe Souls as examples of successors.)
References to other Nintendo games
There are many references to Nintendo games in Link's Awakening. The majority are from the Mario series.
- The Yoshi Doll
- Tarin himself, who is similar in appearance to Mario.
- Tarin turning into a raccoon after eating a Mushroom might be a reference to Super Mario Bros. 3 (although Mario turned into a raccoon using a leaf).
- The Cucco Keeper is similiar in appearance to Luigi.
- The Wind Fish's Egg is similar in appearance to a Yoshi Egg.
- Mr. Write shows Link a picture of Princess Peach sent to him by the goat in Animal Village. (Because of the picture, her name is implied to be Christine. This scene is poking fun at long distance relationships involving mail, e-mail, etc. since the goat is lying about who she really is and Mr. Write thinks he is writing to a beautiful woman).
- Mr. Write is similiar in appearance to Dr. Wright from the Super Nintendo version of SimCity. They share the same last name, but both are spelled differently.
- In addition to Mario characters, Richard from Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru made an appearance.
- Mamu is based on Wart, the final boss of Super Mario Bros. 2.
- Various enemies:
- Princess Zelda is not featured at all in Link’s Awakening, though she is referenced by Link, initially confusing Marin for her.
- According to Twin Galaxies, the fastest completion of Link’s Awakening is 1 hour, 22 minutes and 57 seconds by Rodrigo Lopes on June 12th, 2006.
- If the name ZELDA is used when creating a new game, a remixed Zelda theme will play in the background.
- Unlike the other Zelda games in the series, none of the levels in the original Link’s Awakening are called Dungeons or Temples.
- Link’s Awakening is the only Zelda game in which the majority of the bosses can speak.
- In the first shop, Link can sneak an item past the shopkeeper and acquire it for free. He will, however, be labeled "THIEF" for the rest of the game. Upon returning to that shop, the shopkeeper will kill Link with a giant beam. The shop can be reset, however, by saving after Link dies from the attack.
- Rather than the usual maximum of 20, this game has a maximum of only 14 heart containers.
- Link's Awakening has nearly the same cover art as its predecessor, A Link to the Past.
- With the exception of Eagle's Tower, every dungeon in Link's Awakening has a map that forms a picture of an object, such as a Moldorm in the case of Tail Cave or a Key in the case of Key Cavern.
- Very unusually for a Zelda game, it is possible to complete Link's Awakening without ever acquiring the Bow. It does require getting the otherwise optional Boomerang, though.
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Links and Reviews
- Link's Awakening Review - Zelda Universe's Official Link's Awakening Review.
- Link's Awakening Walkthrough - Zelda Dungeon's Link's Awakening Guide
- Interactive clickable map of Koholint Island
- "The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening 3.83, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX 2.22" — Xenogears vs. Tetris, RPGGamer.
- "42. Link’s Awakening" — Guinness lists top 50 games of all time News, Euro Gamer.
- "Dude! You're asking me when we started to live on this island? What do you mean by 'when?' Whoa! The concept just makes my heard hurt!" — A boy (Link's Awakening)
- "Ever vigilant, you decided to journey away from Hyrule on a quest for enlightenment. . ." (Link's Awakening manual, pg. 3)
- "Having borrowed the power of Din, the Oracle of Earth, and Nayru, the Oracle of Time, Link marched into the altar of the ceremony. Even though Link cornered and defeated Twinrova, they sacrificed themselves to revive Ganon. However, since the ceremony was incomplete, a Ganon without intellect appeared. Link defeated the rampaging Ganon and saved Princess Zelda and returned peace to Holodrum and Labrynna. Link departed from the people he met during his trials and left by boat to his next land for training." (Hyrule Historia (Shogakukan), pg. 101)
- "Thank you for rescuing me. My name is Zelda. You are Link, right? I knew it at first glance." — Princess Zelda (Oracle of Ages)
- "As part of a video montage shown at the conference, it was confirmed that Super Mario Land and The Legend Of Zelda: Link's Awakening would be two of the games coming to the 3DS Virtual Console." — 3DS Virtual Console Will Play Game Boy Games, The Official Nintendo Magazine.