Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (2019)

As announced during today’s Nintendo Direct: https://youtu.be/_U-_XfDGgDw

The original game is arguably a crowning accomplishment on the Game Boy, where the limitations and differing expectations of Nintendo’s handheld helped the development team to craft a 2D Zelda that was truly unique compared with its Super Nintendo cousin at the time, and even every 2D Zelda released up until now.

It’ll be interesting to see how they handle a direct remake of the game, then. It’s evidently by the same team who managed to pull off an excellent followup to ALTTP, but here I do wonder if a remake will draw more attention to what has changed. A Link Between Worlds cleverly used your knowledge and expectations from the original game against you at points, which is unlikely to be the case here.

I’m torn on the art direction. On one hand a more textured, detailed appearance to the environments mimics what was done on the Game Boy. The Game Boy’s low resolution and limited-colour display meant that the original’s sprites and tiled environments were as detailed as they could possibly look while being functional. But while that game’s visuals fit the game’s illustrations well, I’m not sure the same can be said for the remake. I’m also disappointed to see that the game is running at a 30fps cap - the original on the Game Boy was an impressively smooth 60fps.

What do you make of what’s been shown so far?

Risky remaking the equal greatest game ever make.

Looks kawaii as hell though.

Link’s Awakening is easily my favorite Zelda game.

I think it looks amazing!!

Will be interested in if it will be expanded or played straight - the trailer makes it look very faithful.

Gorgeous and unexpected.

I think this looks ridiculously adorable and I am there day one.

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I had a huge smile on my face watching this. Im very ok with playing this game on GBC or even GB but couldn’t convince my wife to try; I think she will see just why I love this game so much with this remake, though.

Other than that I’m curious to see what they add.

Best Zelda. Day 1 purchase for me.

I have to wonder how it will influence the original game asking price

I had one problem with that trailer, and it wasn’t the art style which I love. Very 3D Dot Game Heroes with the tilt-shift style!

No, my issue was that the Overworld theme looped like the original Zelda, and not the BOMB ASS Link’s Awakening overworld theme. Listen at 0:28 to hear the amazing variation on the classic Zelda jam.

I secretly have always liked Link’s Awakening more than Link to the Past even if LttP is probably objectively a better game. I just really loved the story of the game and how much character all the npcs had.

This remake looks fine. Just a stylistic remaster with the same exact “game” underneath it is the best way to go about it since there is nothing really lacking or dated about the gameplay of LA. Kinda wish they went with the in game cut scene look as the style but this is fine. Just really hope they don’t fuck up the musics since that was a huge part of it and what really tickles my nostalgia.

To me Link’s Awakening is the objectively better game. And the best designed 2D Zelda by far.

Tighter design, less wasted space, far more charming, and the first ever fully integrated narrative. It’s cute and mysterious and melancholy while LTTP, while certainly not bad, has so much more real estate with no function, and story wise is pretty much just generic rpg/fantasy tropes (the dark world mechanic being the only wrinkle).

Why secretly? You don’t need to hide your love of best Zelda.

Secretly as a joking way of saying its an unpopular opinion.

But yeah, the style kinda matches the DX version of the original game where I always preferred the original version since I didn’t like the overly “cartoony” look of the new scenes in DX.

I just know I’m too clouded by nostalgia for this particular game because of it’s significance to me so I can’t claim any of my feelings on it are objective.

I don’t think it’s an unpopular opinion? Maybe not the dominant one.

I played through every Zelda in order as a kid (Skyward Sword was the first one I ever missed) and had played through LTTP twice when I got Link’s Awakening (the first time through LTTP was on a black and white TV haha), so it’s not a nostalgia take for me. LInk’s Awakening is just more refined and has a much more interesting setting and Lynch-esque story.

There is generally an anti-handheld bias among some people though, as if the games don’t count or don’t exist. I remember Ocarina being referred to as ‘Zelda 4’.

I know. I guess what I’m saying is it’s not an unpopular opinion I don’t think, or at least certainly not a controversial one.

I see. Guess in my hyper awareness of my own inseparable bias towards the game I may have credited the point of view that LttP was held in a higher regard higher then it actually was.

I feel the same about Link’s Awakening being better than ALTTP. Its level design is a lot tighter due to the scrolling-screen map and dungeons, its mysterious atmosphere was intriguing, and it just generally feels as confident in its ability to surprise and intrigue as ALTTP despite coming after it.

The soundtrack is also a remarkable achievement on the Game Boy and rather underrated. I wonder how the music will be handled - pretty sure ALBW composer Nagamatsu Ryo is on this, and that game had a superb soundtrack and arrangements.

After a night’s sleep I’m still torn on the art direction - it’s been pointed out that it also somewhat closely resembles the photos taken on Link’s adventure but it also appears almost too whimsical given the game’s atmosphere. As I posted earlier, the original visuals were as detailed as they could look on the GB’s screen - your imagination would fill in the rest. In HD it’s hard not to see the graphics as they are.

Wonder who’s on this. Originally I thought it might be the ALBW team, but I remember Grezzo were hiring Unreal 4 specialists. Given the 30fps framerate cap (currently with drops which will be ironed out by launch) I don’t think this is running on ALBW’s engine, which was 120fps on 3DS to enable 60fps in 3D mode. It could well be mostly Grezzo with oversight from a few members on the Zelda team instead of wholly in-house Nintendo.

This. I find it a lot easier to replay Link’s Awakening because of its more refined/terse design. And the more interesting narrative is the icing on the cake when combined with the series’ restraint on unnecessary exposition (I love Majora’s Mask for that too - just check this out).

Same here, I can see a hero mode as standard (hopefully some more interesting modifiers than double damage), but from what I remember there’s not really any room or need for more secret seashells and the colour dungeon from DX already seemed a tad unnecessary.

I’m looking forward to playing LA with more than 2 buttons.

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Gosh, I’d forgotten about the fiddly inventory management. Though I just realised what a great fit it would be for 3DS - bottom screen use on ALBW was expertly executed.

This is why I love our community: I’ve always said Link’s Awakening is secretly the best Zelda game, and it warms my heart to see that many of you share that opinion, or at least see it as a valid opinion!

Link’s Awakening is great, and remakes (can be) great, but damn if I’m unable to get past the art style that’s been presented so far. Maybe it’s a case of thinking the pixel graphics on the gbc are already perfect, maybe it’s a case of disliking anything too plastic-y / squeeky clean. Somebody help me out - is there an angle that gets me past it? I’m open to being influenced.