We return to Koholint Island to relive one of the most atypical and beloved installments in the saga.
Almost three decades have passed since The Legend of Zelda: Link”s Awakening appeared on the original Game Boy. It was the year 1993 and after The Legend of Zelda , Zelda II: The Adventure of Link and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past , Link”s Awakening would be the fourth installment of the saga, the premiere on a laptop of this, and the first to dispense with such characteristic elements as Princess Zelda or the Triforce . The story did not take place in Hyrule either, instead it took place on the remote Koholint Island, guarded by a deity in the shape of a whale. Due to a strong storm Link is shipwrecked and ends up waking up on the Koholint coast, from where he will not be able to leave until he finds the eight musical instruments that will awaken the Fish of the Wind.
The story is strange, surreal, a small island where the edges of reality are blurred and where you feel like a dream from which you will wake up at any moment. If Majora”s Mask is said to be the darkest in the series, it could well be said that Link”s Awakening is the most dreamlike. Both games share spirit, stories told far from Hyrule that at first glance might seem like a simple spin-off but that would end up becoming authentic references of their generation.
One of the best Nintendo remake
A few years ago, the need to recreate or restore those most valuable works that had become, say, difficult to play began to be understood. Only six years had passed since the original was put on sale, but in 2002 Capcom gave us what is still today one of the best video game remakes . That game took a chair, and set the guidelines of what it means to make a remake as a reinterpretation of the original material, adding new elements and novelties that, even for those who played the original, made that version a new experience. All this until just a few months ago Capcom Raise the bar again and take that concept to new heights with the sequel remake, Resident Evil 2.
Then came the Remaster HD, criticized by fans at the time for the poor performance – the case of Silent Hill HD Collection is a good example of this – but they finally proved their worth thanks to, among others, quality work such as the one did Square-Enix with Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD Remaster . The Remasters are versions with improvements in resolution, textures and sound that, rather than reinterpret the original material, what they do is restore it so that it looks good on today”s televisions. The new The Legend of Zelda: Link”s Awakening is closer to Capcom”s work than that of Square-Enix, being an excellent remake very faithful to the original of Game Boy, with some new features, but keeping the gameplay practically unchanged.
The playable mechanics of the game are classic in the saga. Link starts without a weapon, he doesn”t even know how to jump, and his hero skills are being formed challenge by challenge, dungeon by dungeon. After a while we will have our sword and we will have acquired a feather that will allow us to jump and thus, little by little, we will be achieving all those skills and classic objects of the saga such as the bombs, the bow or the hook. With each new object that we get more in depth we can explore each of the corners of Koholint and the more we can advance in our mission. There is not much more to comment on the playable, like a good Zelda (or better, like a good Nintendo game) the control is precise, fluid, and the layout of the levels and the map is brilliant. If you have played any other game in the main saga you will know what I mean, and being this Link”s Awakening the predecessor of many others, it is perfectly understood that what is presented here is what marked the path of many other Zelda that came later.
The map is large enough so that we do not get bored for around the 14-hour adventure, and at the same time small enough that it costs us too much to learn each of its areas and invite us to explore every corner. Despite the fast travel points, it sometimes gets a little tedious having to cross the map up and down over and over again, especially when we have to fulfill the “commissions” of the island”s peculiar inhabitants. Luckily, in this remake a new diary has been included that allows us to access those important conversations so that we know where to go at each moment of the adventure.
The design of the dungeons of the game is easier than we remembered, most of them can be completed in one sitting. On the other hand, the puzzles are varied enough, but not too complicated either, which can be a negative point for some and positive for others. As in the world map, backtracking in the dungeons can be tedious, especially due to the slowness of the character, with the final bosses surely being the most fun in each dungeon.
Going back to that haze that blurs the edges of the real that I was talking about at the beginning of the text, it becomes literal thanks to the graphic aspect chosen in this remake, which uses the diorama or tilt-shift effect to give everything the game world the appearance of a dollhouse. It is not the typical cartoon effect, nor cel-shading, but a kind of toy aesthetic that suits both characters and each of the elements on the island. By the way, I almost forgot. The game includes a creator of dungeons, but do not get your hopes up, far from being a “Zelda maker” it remains because of its many limitations in a simple curiosity, an anecdote that does not contribute much to the game.
The Legend of Zelda: Link”s Awakening is an excellent remake of what is considered one of the most unique The Legend of Zelda. Thanks to the new graphic and artistic aspect, Koholint Island is more than ever a wonderful place to visit. Link”s Awakening is a simple, straightforward game, a gem of history that deserves to be tested by all those who missed the original.
It is said that Majora’s Mask is the darkest in the saga, it could be said that Link’s Awakening is the most dreamlike. A gem of history that deserves to be tested
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