Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
|The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening|
|Release date:||August, 1993 - Game Boy,|
|Game modes:||Single player|
|ESRB rating:||1st Release - Kids to Adults(K-A)
DX version - Everyone(E)
|Platform:||Game Boy, Game Boy Color|
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening was a 1993 video game, originally created for the Game Boy. A color version, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX, was created for the Game Boy Color in 1998. The latter is compatible with the Game Boy Printer and features a new dungeon.
Link's Awakening was an action-adventure game, as were all of its prequels and most of its sequels. Being played from a viewpoint above the playfield looking down at Link and his surroundings, it followed its closest relative from the Legend of Zelda line of games, A Link to the Past (which in itself is a further developed version of the original NES Legend of Zelda), in its sense of gameplay and the possible actions that could be performed in the game.
Link's Awakening was the first of the topview games in the series (that excludes Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, which is more of a platformer with RPG elements) to feature jumping and platformer action scenes. The treasure caves from Legend of Zelda (platformer scenes seen from the side found in dungeons where treasures lay hidden) make a cameo appearance in Link's adventure and other side-view scenes (e.g. the chamber below the first dungeon boss or the hiding spot of the fisherman below the bridge) were added also to fully use the new jumping abilities of Link.
The graphic style was similar to that of a cartoon. The intro and extro utilized almost nearly fullscreen comic stillframes in this style. With the release of Link's Awakening DX, the audio and visuals of the game only required minor changes (adding another dungeon, a photographer's shop and advanced armor as the major changes), already considered by Nintendo to be of high enough quality. The DX version of the game was well received on the market and was able to outsell the successful Pokémon games in Japan for a brief time.
In 2001, Nintendo and Capcom released the Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons games for the Game Boy Color. The two games used large parts of the graphics and sounds of the 1993 monochrome original as well as much of the 8-year-old program code, including nearly all of the music playing code.
Link journeys out to sea in search of adventure but he is soon shipwrecked in a violent storm and awakens on Koholint Island in the house of a kind man named Tarin and his daughter Marin, who bears a strong resemblance to Princess Zelda. A mysterious owl tells him that to return home he must awaken the Wind Fish by playing the eight Instruments of the Sirens. The instruments are: the Thunder Drum, the Full Moon Cello, the Conch Horn, the Sea Lily Bell, the Surf Harp, the Wind Marimba, the Coral Triangle, and the Organ of Evening Calm.
It is the first in the series to take place outside Hyrule and the main "Triforce" storyline, and can therefore be considered one of a number of Zelda side stories. These side stories are games in which Ganon is not the principal antagonist, such as The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask for the Nintendo 64. Even though the story's marine setting bears a similarity to The Wind Waker, it is much more closely related to its direct prequel A Link to the Past and sequel Ocarina of Time.
In 1998, Link's Awakening DX was released. It had all the fun of the original 1993 Link's Awakening, but was now reborn in rich, vibrant color, a true showcase of the Game Boy Color's power. Many fans of the game, despite already owning the original version, bought the DX version as well, because of the new color scheme.
But Link's Awakening DX offers series fans much more than turbo-charged graphics. One addition to the newer version of the game is the brand new, never seen before, Color Dungeon that is hidden somewhere on the mystical island. The Color Dungeon makes good use of the Game Boy Color's capabilities to deliver complex puzzles based on color. The creators hid this dungeon well, so even the most experienced players from the previous version of Link's Awakening may have a difficult time locating it.
One other addition to the game that the DX version has over the original version is a photo album feature. This allows the player to collect various pictures throughout the game. Note that it is not to be confused with The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker's DX Pictobox (camera) as the player does not take the pictures themselves, but instead do certain particular actions in order to make the Camera Shop owner come and take their picture. The pictures can be viewed in the player's photo album at the new Camera Shop and printed using the Game Boy Printer.
Link's Awakening as part of the series
Link's Awakening (including the DX version) is the best-selling Zelda game for a portable gaming system to date, surpassing the successful re-release of A Link to the Past on the Game Boy Advance. It has, however, suffered from the stigma of being technically inferior to the previous SNES game. That Link's Awakening was the first game in the series not to feature Hyrule as an accessible location also hindered its success.
Despite this, many characters and items from Link's Awakening were carried over to newer Zelda games and have become important elements of the Legend of Zelda series as a whole. Among others, Marin and Tarin have become major influences on the Zelda games—especially The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
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