The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX
With a newly reimagined remake for the Nintendo Switch recently released, I thought it would be fun to take a look at the first “reimagining” of a classic Legend of Zelda game: Link’s Awakening.
Originally released in 1993 for the Nintendo Game Boy, Link’s Awakening was the first handheld game in the series and an odd one at that as it didn’t take place in Hyrule, nor did it feature Princess Zelda.
In fact, the game makes a number of references to other Nintendo franchises, notably Super Mario Bros. in a dream-state Koholint Island. This adds to the uniqueness of this title, which originally began as a port of the critically acclaimed Link To The Past on the Super Nintendo.
Having been an owner of the original Game Boy cartridge who put countless hours into defeating this title multiple times, I never latched onto the “DX” remake of the game which came out in 1998. However, playing this game in modern times, the monochrome Game Boy colors are harsh on the eyes and the preferable color palette, as well as a few other additions, make the DX version of this game a more than worthy playthrough.
In fact, the DX version has an additional dungeon added that was not in the original game, which plays off of the Game Boy Color’s ability to, um, show colors. (The dungeon used color tiles as part of the puzzle solving scheme with a reward of a red or blue tunic.)
Link’s Awakening DX also makes numerous references to a long-forgotten Game Boy Printer add-on, of which it’s pretty much the only title that ever made much use of it!
Overall you cannot go wrong with this game. It’s one of the all-time classics which, until it’s Switch remake, has been locked in the Nintendo vault, only to be seen on old hardware with small screens. Alas, if you have the means to play the DX version, it’s more than worth its salt as a full-fledged Zelda title, one that you’ll likely want to compare to the newer version, if only for nostalgia’s sake.