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Mike Salbato
Nintendo Remastering The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening for Switch
Pardon me, there's... there's something in my eye.
02.13.19 - 9:57 PM

It's been rumored for a little while now that Nintendo would be remastering the Game Boy classic The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, and closing out today's Nintendo Direct, we got confirmation of exactly that:

If you're unfamiliar with this entry in the Zelda series, it may not be fully surprising, as the game released in 1993 for the original Game Boy, with a color-infused re-release for Game Boy Color. Link's Awakening was the real start of the trend of sometimes setting Zelda games in a place beyond Hyrule, and while it features Link as the protagonist once again, there are no traces of Princess Zelda or Ganon(dorf) here. Instead, Link finds himself caught in a storm at sea, leading to a shipwreck. In the Game Boy version, this was the series' first use of still-image cinematic scenes (yes, despite releasing after the Super NES' A Link to the Past). This classic intro has been beautifully recreated in a new animated style seen above.

In any case, Link awakes on the mysterious island of Koholint, and we gradually see that it is a strange place with many secrets. Plus, cool touches like talking owls (before his appearance in Ocarina of Time), and even a surprising amount of Mario series cameos!

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening for Switch Screenshot

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening for Switch Screenshot

Link's Awakening has remained a classic for good reason, and while it's been available on some of the eShops of Nintendo's other consoles, there's no denying that there is a lot that could be upgraded going from the Game Boy to Switch, most notably by having more than 2 buttons! It'll be great to explore without having to swap button assignments so much. The visuals have been given a wonderful new look that I'm still trying to describe. Each scene feels like a tangible plastic model, like you're looking down inside a meticulously-crafted toy box or diorama, and the tilt-shift camera effects really bring the effect home. It's a cute and very effective way to upgrade the look of the game, while still fully adhering to the original game's "tiles" (note the rectangular garden in town, for instance — a tile-for-tile recreation).

And because Nintendo knows how to tug at the heartstrings — I won't spoil anything for anyone who hasn't played — there is a key musical motif in the trailer that really brings one back to a certain scene or two.

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening for Switch Screenshot

Before I get too emotional, I better get going. For now, Nintendo is simply calling this remake "The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening," and it's coming to Switch sometime this year. Check out our gallery for more screen shots!