The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is out, and the response has been great. While the game may be basically just a remake of the original, it carries the classic Zelda spirit with it and is a great starting point in the series for newcomers to jump into.
Part of the reason for the game's success is Nintendo's attention to detail in all aspects of their games. This is particularly evident in the Easter eggs that crop up throughout Link's Awakening, many of which are cameos of characters from other Nintendo games. Let's go over 10 Nintendo cameos you may have missed.
Our first cameo on the list comes from Nintendo's other major series, the Mario games. Shortly after starting the game, players will meet Tarin, who gives him his shield and directs him to his iconic sword. Tarin's portly appearance and distinctive mustache is a clear homage to the plumber himself, Mario.
The parallels are even clearer later in the game, where Tarin eats some mushrooms that look very similar to the ones Mario eats to get taller in his games. They have a slightly different effect here, though, and instead transform Tarin into a giant raccoon who must be cured in order to progress.
The next cameo on the list is also from the Mario series, which should be indicative of the pattern that these entries will take. Link's Awakening is chock full of cameos, and while not all of them are from Mario, the majority of them do originate from Nintendo's iconic franchise.
Bloopers are enemies that can be found in several Mario games. These squid-like creatures are also present in Link's Awakening, and a figurine of one can be obtained during the Trade Quest. As the game notes, they aren't nearly as intimidating when not in the water.
8 Goomba Stomp
What would a list of Nintendo cameos be without the inclusion of the Goombas, Mario's most recognizable foe and the first one he ever encountered. Link can come across these mushroom shaped enemies in a side scrolling segment of the game, where they behave just as they do in their original games, walking back and forth in a cycle.
Link can defeat these Goombas with his sword, but that may not be the best approach. If you stomp on their heads akin to a certain Italian plumber, they'll drop hearts for you. This lets players regain health, if they play this Zelda game more like a Mario one.
7 A Familiar (Stony) Face
Thwomps are another enemy from the Mario franchise that make a showing in Link's Awakening. They don't look exactly the same as their cousins from Mario's outings, instead sporting a reddish-orange hue and some cracks in their faces. This makes them look a bit more like bricks than anything else.
However, the Thwomps in this Zelda game behave just as you'd expect. When approached, they wake up and shoot downwards before returning up to their original level. They also appear during the side scrolling sections, and can make for an interesting foe to face, with their own unique challenges to overcome.
6 Friendly Neighborhood Chain Chomp
Another Mario enemy that shows up in Link's Awakening is the Chain Chomp, or BowWow. This one, however, isn't out to get you! The Chain Chomp you find in the game is actually friendly, and behaves more like a dog, which matches the signature sounds these creatures make.
You can find the Chain Chomp in a dungeon, where you'll be able to rescue it. Once you do, it'll show up in the village where you can interact with it further. It's a nice change of pace for the BowWow, suggesting that maybe it just really has an issue with Mario, not anyone else.
5 Sea Gordo
This next entry is not from a Mario game - what a twist! On the beaches of Koholint Island, you'll find Sea Urchins that can hurt you if you touch them. While it's no surprise to find Sea Urchins near the sea, they do share their design with another Nintendo foe - Gordo, from the Kirby games.
Gordo are an interesting enemy for Kirby to face, as he can't inhale them. The best he can do is avoid them to not take damage. They play a similar role in Link's Awakening, as they act more as environmental hazards rather than real enemies out to get Link.
4 Carnivorous Flora
Now that we've done one cameo from Kirby game, let's get back to the Mario series. Yet another enemy you'll find in the game in the Piranha Plant, which make an appearance during the side scrolling parts of the game alongside Goombas and Thwomps.
Just like the ones from the Mario franchise, the Piranha Plants in Link's Awakening routinely shoot up out of their pipes to chomp down on the player. They can be avoided by jumping over them, or by timing your movements to avoid their chomping jaws.
3 Plushie Yoshi
We've been focusing a lot on the various enemies, adversaries, and foes players can encounter throughout Nintendo's franchises. Let's now change pace and take a look at a character who wants to help you instead of hurt you.
During the Trade Quest, players will be able to obtain a plush doll of a familiar green dinosaur - none other than Yoshi, Mario's faithful companion. The rounded of his design and his bright green, white, and orange colors make Yoshi an instantly recognizable character. It's always nice to see a friendly face, even one from a different game series.
It was likely quite a surprise for anyone who played Super Mario Bros 2 when they first encountered Mamu in Link's Awakening. This giant frog creature looks exactly like the Mario boss enemy Wart, who was the main antagonist in Mario's second outing. His role in the world of Zelda is quite different, however, as he teaches Link a song to aid him on his journey.
Mamu also happens to share his name with the main antagonist of Yume Kojo: Doki Doki Panic, the game that Super Mario Bros 2 was modeled after. It was changed to Wart for the English release, but reappears in Link's Awakening for any eagle eyed fans who know the history of the games.
1 That's Not Kirby - Is It?
Finally, for our last entry on this list we have a cameo from Nintendo's other series, Kirby, and the character that shows up is . . . well, Kirby - sort of. These adorable pink blobs can be encountered in Eagle's Tower, where they are hostile towards Link and attack him by inhaling.
Canonically, players will be happy to know that these creatures aren't actually Kirby. They're officially known as Anti-Kirbies, and while they may look like the cute hero of Planet Popstar, they're actually evil doppelgängers. You can proceed to attack them guilt-free.