Link’s Awakening

Whoops. I didn’t realize I was playing the color version, which is named after a wrestling stable.

Game Data:

  • Review Date: June 4, 2021
  • Release Date: August 1, 1993
  • Platform: Game Boy/Game Boy Color
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Genre: Adventure

Anecdotes: Like Metroid and Kid Icarus, Zelda finally made it over to the Game Boy. Unlike the Metroid series, though, Zelda’s Game Boy entry came after the SNES iteration. This meant that Link’s Awakening had a very tough act to follow in A Link to the Past. On top of that, Nintendo had to work around the graphical limitations of the Game Boy. Considering the circumstances, they did a wonderful job with it.

Description: Link fell asleep, and when he woke up, he found himself on Koholint Island. Similar to the first Zelda game, the game uses flip scrolling as Link travels screen by screen. There are also 9 dungeons. However, the overworld is twice as big and the ninth dungeon is just the boss. The first eight dungeons each hold a musical instrument, each of which Link needs to awaken the Wind Fish Egg. That’s the stated goal, but there are a ton of other things for Link to do.


  • Nintendo decided to add crossover elements with Super Mario series, and I thought they did a nice job with it. It’s very limited, mostly just Goombas and Piranha Plants, and it all, with a few exceptions, appears in small side scrolling areas. One exception is an absolutely awesome friendly Chain Chomp named Bow Wow. Bow Wow is even a companion for a little while, which is a nice touch.
  • Generally, the game thrives on puzzles. One of my goals for the screenshot run was to get at least to level 7, which has a very clever puzzle involving knocking down columns to bring to upper floors down to Link, as opposed to finding a way up.
  • I didn’t do it myself, but I find it funny how the game actually allows players to steal from the shop. It’s not worth doing, as the shop will be unavailable the rest of the way. The best part is that the player name will be changed to THIEF in the save file.


  • The game includes a long bartering sequence that really is just a huge pain. Sure, it offers some comic relief, but it’s a tedious time waster. Everything up to the Stick is required, but the rest can be skipped. It involves talking to people in a certain order, and missing one stop the sequence cold until Link goes back and finds who he missed.
  • Some obstacles lead to a time sink text box and it will repeat every time Link walks into it. It doesn’t hurt Link, it’s just obnoxious.
  • Speaking of obnoxious, S-Bomb has been replaced by an owl that has the same inability to shut up. I’m sure I won’t see any annoying characters like this when I cover Ocarina of Time on July 16…


My sword was just getting some sun on the beach.
Look, I really don’t want to hear about his Mysterious Wood.
Ah, somebody read my Super Mario 2 review. I picked Toadstool for the whole game.
I’ve already won more times on this skill crane than a real one.
Look at that little Chain Chomp trying to be Ms. Pac-Man!
Moldorm is already causing trouble.
Go away, stupid owl.
I have Bow Wow here, who I’m carrying like a balloon.
Level 2 is the Bottle Grotto. It shocks me that the boss is a giant bottle.
Monkeys and bananas…a match made in heaven.
This thing isn’t too tough. Just ram das boots up its cleavage and be done with it.
Well, that’s it. I’m sure I’ll never see an Ocarina in a Zelda game ever again.
I like Animal Village. I also like how excited they are to see Marin visiting.
That’s one huge huevo.
Were they hoping no one would notice that “Christine” is actually Princess Toadstool?
With the price of that bow, no wonder people steal from that shop.

Final Opinion: There’s always something to do in Link’s Awakening, but often it’s difficult to figure out what that is or which thing to do next.

Grade: B

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