One of the more imaginative entries in The Legend of Zelda series is going to reappear. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening will bring a classic portable game back. Right when it’s needed too, what with the Switch Lite launching alongside of it. But, people might be wondering what this adventure is like. Should they play the newest one or go back to its origins? Are there any other games to play to prepare?
What’s going on in The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening?
There are a few The Legend of Zelda games where players get to follow the same Link through multiple adventures, rather than a new hero who happens to have the same name and a similar role. One of the more notable ones is the Link that appeared in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. This version of the hero goes through multiple games, with the escapades in Oracle of Seasons, Oracles of Ages and Link’s Awakening acting as an opportunity to help other people and grow stronger.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening’s place in the timeline has been debated. Even recently, Nintendo has altered its position. In The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia, it noted that after A Link to the Past, Link goes on a journey to become stronger and ends up getting caught up in the affairs of Oracle of Seasons, then Oracle of Ages. Then, after saving Nayru and making Labrynna a safer place to be, a storm leaves him shipwrecked on Koholint. However, the official Nintendo website was recently updated to put Link’s Awakening immediately after A Link to the Past and the two Oracle games.
Does this mean A Link to the Past and Oracle of Ages/Seasons are “required reading” for this game?
Fortunately, no. Like The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, this is a “sequel” that doesn’t require any knowledge of the original game. All you have to know going in is that Link is an established hero. He’s known for saving Hyrule, but now he’s been shipwrecked and has to completely start over with none of his incredible equipment or items from past adventures.
But, this isn’t to say The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past wouldn’t be helpful. Regardless of timeline discrepancies, that game always precedes the events of Link’s Awakening. It also allows you to get a feel for the sort of gameplay established in the first SNES installment, with the idea of a heavier story and subquests coming through. Also, with The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past being available on the 3DS and Wii U Virtual Consoles, the Super NES Classic and the Super NES Nintendo Switch Online application, it can be really easy to pick up and play.
How many versions of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening are there?
There are three different versions of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening out there! The original one is going to start feeling rather dated soon, but two entries might still feel quite unique.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (Game Boy, 1993)
The original and most basic version of Link’s Awakening, this game dropped Link on Koholint and had you collecting eight instruments to wake the Wind Fish. It was a bit unusual, given the presence of cameos from characters like Goombas and Yoshi. But, it also established some features and ideas we’d see in later The Legend of Zelda games. This was the first time an owl appeared to tell Link what to do. It was the first time he could pick up a rod and start fishing. We were able to acquire and use the Roc’s Feather to jump for the first time too.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX (Game Boy Color, 1998)
The Game Boy Color version was an updated version of the game that made a few major and minor changes. It being entirely in color was a big deal and the most notable alteration. However, it also brought in a Color Dungeon filled with puzzles that all rely upon different colors to solve. There is also a Photographer mouse and Camera Shop, which leads to some images you can print off with the Game Boy Printer.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (Switch, 2019)
The latest version of Link’s Awakening gives the adventure a whole new look. A whole new art style is in play, but other than that, it should feel familiar. The new gimmick here involves the Chamber Dungeon. This lets you create your own dungeon by collecting Chambers by clearing existing dungeons, scanning amiibo and winning minigames. You can then arrange them to meet certain objectives and get rewards. If you get the Link amiibo being released alongside this game, Shadow Link will appear in a Chamber Dungeon.