The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening may be a remake, but it isn’t the exact same game as the Game Boy original. It’s fundamentally difference despite how much it chooses to respect and honor the source material. There’s loads of new content, often tucked to the side away from the main story. Unless someone’s looking for new content, they might not find it.
Of course, they’ll stumble upon everything new, but Link’s Awakening does obscure its finer details. Then again, what game doesn’t? For those looking to make the most out of their playthrough, however, it might seem important to know beforehand what to look for. After all, no Zelda game is devoid of secrets.
10 Keep Returning To The Trendy Game
In the original Link’s Awakening, players only needed to enter and play the Trendy Game one time in order to get the Yoshi Doll. After that, the Trendy Game offered virtually nothing of value. The remake changes things up considerably by making the Trendy Game not only harder, but far more dynamic.
Should players actively revisit the Trendy Game inbetween dungeons, they’ll find Heart Pieces, Chamber Pieces, and new Figurines to collect. It makes the Trendy Game far more valuable while also giving Rupees further weight. Ignoring the Trendy Game is really only doing one’s self a disservice. Link’s Awakening is a dense remake.
9 Grind For Rupees With Dampé
The original game didn’t have one clear location to comfortably grind for Rupees, but it didn’t need on anyways. While the Bow was certainly expensive, players weren’t expected to get it until later in the game when they would have naturally racked up a lot of Rupees. Things are a bit different this time around as Koholint’s economy incentivizes more active Rupee use.
Thankfully, there’s a way to quickly grind for Rupees: Dampe’s dungeon maker. Any Rupees Link finds in chest inside a created dungeon, he gets to keep. This is incredibly easy to abuse and frankly should be
8 There Are Way More Hidden Seashells
In the original Link’s Awakening, it wasn’t out of the question to get the Lv. 2 Sword upgrade before around the halfway point, if not earlier. After all, players simply needed to collect 20 Secret Seashells, of which there were more than 20 in the game. This time around, the Secret Seashell count has been pushed up to 50.
Not just that, new rewards have been added meaning that the Lv. 2 Sword upgrade is now at stationed much deeper in the Secret Seashell quest line. It doesn’t seem to be possible to get enough Shells for the sword before the fifth dungeon this time around— at least not comfortably or as intended.
7 Hero Mode Is Actually Hard
With very few exceptions, The Legend of Zelda has only gotten easier as a franchise with time. The drop in difficulty from Majora’s Mask to The Wind Waker is shocking enough on its own. While Link’s Awakening was never easy, it wasn’t known for being difficult and the remake’s quality of life additions make the game even easier.
Good thing Hero Mode is genuinely hard this time around. If anything, it seems like the game was balanced for Hero Mode and not Normal Mode. It’s not only the best way to play Link’s Awakening, it gives the remake a serious leg up over the original. When was the last time a 2D Zelda was actually challenging?
6 The Color Dungeon Is Back (And Better Than Ever)
Considering the photo taking side quest didn’t make it into the remake despite being considered a core part of the game’s identity, fans were skeptical whether or not the Color Dungeon would return. After all, the Color Dungeon was included alongside the photo sidequest as part of the Game Boy Color re-release.
Thankfully, Link’s Awakening does not remove the Color Dungeon whatsoever. In fact, it’s handled even better than before. Previously, Link would need to permanently get rid of his Green Tunic upon clearing the dungeon, but now he can swap between green, red, and blue whenever he wants.
5 Don’t Expect Zelda Maker
To say Nintendo marketed Link’s Awakening’s dungeon maker feature poorly would be the understatement of the century. For far too long, Nintendo did not clarify that the feature wasn’t implemented ala Mario Maker. There’s no way to take dungeons online and the only way to share them is to use the game’s Amiibo.
That said, this isn’t actually a problem of the game, only on Nintendo’s marketing. The feature is very clearly intended as a single player addition— something to engage players creatively when they want a break from the main game. Nintendo simply should have been upfront out the gate.
4 Speak With NPCs After Every Dungeon
This is true for the original Link’s Awakening as well (and, really, any Zelda game,) but it’s shocking how few people play games and refuses to talk to NPCs. That’s an awful habit to have and it’s one that actively cripples experiences. Always make sure to talk to NPCs after dungeons in Link’s Awakening as it’s often the only way to truly appreciate Koholint Island.
Not only is the game’s script generally well written, each character on Koholint has a clear personality, making them fun to talk to. It’s the only way to get those juicier bits of lore and characterization. It’s especially helpful for characters like Marin.
3 There Are 20 New Pieces Of Heart
Expecting the Link’s Awakening remake to be a victory lap of the original game is really doing the remake a disservice. There’s an alarming amount of new content added to the game, and ultimately for the better. While having 20 new Pieces of Heart does screw up the balance on Normal Mode, it’s new content that’s added well (and works even better in Hero Mode.)
Don’t go into Link’s Awakening expecting to collect the same 12 Pieces of Heart. The exploration looper is much longer inbetween dungeons this time around. Which is a good thing considering it means more time is spent really understanding Koholint’s geography.
2 Fairies Don’t Revive Link
Ask anyone what Fairies do in The Legend of Zelda and they’ll more than likely say that they revive Link. More often than not, that’s just what they do. Not here, however. Anyone expecting Fairies to revive Link will be sorely mistaken should they die with a Fairy in a Bottle. Fairies are the game’s potions.
Rather, Crazy Tracy is the only way to get a revive. She’ll heal Link, buff his defense, and revive him once he dies for a fee. To make the most out of resources, players should catch Fairies for traditional healing purposes and go to Crazy Tracy whenever they’re revived. It’ll make Hero Mode a much easier experience.
1 Don’t Die
Which is something worth making easier considering the game’s secret ending requirements are still present. In order to get Link’s Awakening’s full ending, players need to get through the entire game without dying once. The game actively keeps track of death totals so only skill will get players the secret ending.
Unfortunately, some might assume that the remake wouldn’t feature such a criteria. Alas, this is indeed the case. Play carefully and play intelligently, especially on Hero Mode. Normal Mode players should have nothing to worry about, but Hero Mode— especially before Crazy Tracy is unlocked— can be a serious challenge.