Classic “Legend of Zelda” Title Returns

By Camryn Brakmann, Reporter

As one of Nintendo’s most iconic series, the “Legend of Zelda” titles have pioneered through decades of gaming, and the remake of the classic “The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening” offers an exciting opportunity to experience the old adventure in a new way.

The original “Link’s Awakening” came out over 25 years ago for the Game Boy and is set to release again in 2019 on the Nintendo Switch.

A trailer for the game was shown at the Nintendo Direct event in February, which gave a layout of the company’s plans for the year.

This brief view into the game suggests that the remake will stay true to its source material, including the world’s layout and side-scrolling areas that are not seen in other “Legend of Zelda” installments.

The original version of “Links Awakening” can be seen beside the preview of the remake, highlighting the similarities. The Bow Wow with the Chain Chomp design from “Mario” titles is also shown.
Image courtesy of Tristan Cooper via Twitter

The trailer opens with an animated sequence that refers back to the original game as Link struggles against a storm while sailing through the ocean; after a flash of lighting, he washes up on Koholint Island, where the story takes place.

From there, the video transitions to actual gameplay.

The trailer highlights mechanics that will be used in “Link’s Awakening,” like Link’s sword and shield, dungeon puzzles and boss fights.

This game in the series is known for several elements that are unique in comparison with other “Legend of Zelda” titles.

For starters, the namesake character of Princess Zelda is not featured, and the setting deviates from the usual kingdom of Hyrule because of the island environment.

Another absent character is the typical villain of the series, Ganon, who Link fights across most of the games.

A more unique difference, however, is the presence of characters who are familiar from their appearances in “Mario” games as the trailer shows Goombas and the design for a Bow Wow that mirrors a Chain Chomp.

These “Mario” references likely play into the reason the game has the side-scrolling sections in the first place.

In this side-scrolling section, Link must survive several Goombas, which are famous for their many appearances in “Mario” games.
Image courtesy of Nintendo of America via Twitter

“Legend of Zelda” games have used a range of art styles over the years, so a large portion of the gameplay section of the trailer was also used to show off what the product would physically look like.

The animation style is reminiscent of claymation, adding an element of cuteness to the quirky adventure, with a blurred depth effect in the background.

Not everyone enjoys the stylistic choice though.

In the history of the “Legend of Zelda” series, there are two broad art styles that Nintendo typically uses; one leans towards semi-realistic while the other is a clear cartoon approach.

Based on the clips, “Link’s Awakening” uses a cartoon style that differs from previous Toon Links, which some people view as a missed opportunity to connect with other remakes.

Regardless, the unique design choice helps the revived title to stand out on its own for its new audience.

Nintendo has used the time between new “Legend of Zelda” games to let out remakes of older games in the franchise for years now.

Link is able to interact with a wide range of other characters during his adventure.
Image courtesy of Nintendo of America via Twitter

At first glance, it may seem like this means there is less content to enjoy, but the systematic rerelease of older titles allows younger fans to enjoy the series as consoles continue to change.

Keeping content accessible also helps to fight the stigma in gaming communities that characterize newer members as fake fans by making it easier to play more of the games.

“Link’s Awakening” does not currently have a set date for release, but the announcement has Nintendo fans buzzing about the chance to interact with this classic piece of the “Legend of Zelda” story as it opens doors to the past for a series that connects generations together.