#1 Posted by meteora3255 (62 posts) -

I recently replayed this game. I was writing a piece on the experience and specifically how I managed to complete this game as a kid a couple years after it came out without the internet or a strategy guide but as an adult I didn't have the patience or the mindset to do the same. At some point I looked at the release date and realized this game is 20 years old. It blows my mind to think that something that still felt so fresh and played so well a few months ago is almost as old as me (25).

#2 Posted by Soapy86 (2597 posts) -

One of the best.

#3 Posted by JackSukeru (5816 posts) -

I only played it after playing both Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages and it seemed too much like that for it to hold my interest for long.

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#4 Edited by BisonHero (5661 posts) -

@jacksukeru: The weirder way to look at it is that both Oracle games reuse a TON of enemy and NPC sprites from Link's Awakening, which is crazy when you consider that Link's Awakening came out EIGHT YEARS earlier.

How often does a sequel borrow assets from an eight-year-old game? The lifespan of the Game Boy/Game Boy Color (very minimal technical improvements) is just mind-boggling.

#5 Edited by SenorMartinez (32 posts) -

It's funny to consider that here is a fantastic Zelda game, with no Zelda, no Ganon and no Triforce. I didn't play the other handheld ones, but compared to the console games that's unheard of.

#6 Posted by tread311 (352 posts) -

My favorite era of Zelda games, with Link's Awakening and LTTP. I like the games that came before and the games that came after, but for me this was the sweet spot.

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#7 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11001 posts) -

@bisonhero: To be fair, there was also Link's Awakening DX when the GBC launched in '98, the success of which probably prompted the creation of the oracle games in the first place. The 8 year disconnect isn't so strange when you think of it that way.

Also this thread has reminded me that I should really finish Oracle of Seasons, which I've gotten quite far into.

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#8 Posted by JazGalaxy (1577 posts) -

It's funny to consider that here is a fantastic Zelda game, with no Zelda, no Ganon and no Triforce. I didn't play the other handheld ones, but compared to the console games that's unheard of.

When Link's Awakening came out, it was pre Ocarina of Time. The whole Zelda universe was much bigger, then, ironically. The way Zelda is now, it would be considered heresy for them to make a zelda game that didn't feature the same well worn concepts. But back in the day it seemed normal and natural to have a zelda game that had nothing to do with previous games.

Actually, that's not fair of me. Majora's Mask did the same thing very well. But, I still blame Ocarina for ruining zelda.

#9 Posted by BeachThunder (11264 posts) -

I would say it's my favourite Zelda game (and I've played all the 2D Zelda games that Nintendo acknowledges...)

Also this thread has reminded me that I should really finish Oracle of Seasons, which I've gotten quite far into.

Get to it :P it's the better of the two games - or, at very least, the most interesting.

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#10 Posted by alanm26v5 (414 posts) -

I remember really liking Link's Awakening but was annoyed by the item swapping necessary due to only 2 action buttons. I played Ages but barely started Seasons. Basically what I'm thinking is forget Majora's Mask, remake those 3 games with a modern control scheme. I'd settle for just Link's Awakening remade.

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#11 Posted by Soapy86 (2597 posts) -

@senormartinez said:

It's funny to consider that here is a fantastic Zelda game, with no Zelda, no Ganon and no Triforce. I didn't play the other handheld ones, but compared to the console games that's unheard of.

When Link's Awakening came out, it was pre Ocarina of Time. The whole Zelda universe was much bigger, then, ironically. The way Zelda is now, it would be considered heresy for them to make a zelda game that didn't feature the same well worn concepts. But back in the day it seemed normal and natural to have a zelda game that had nothing to do with previous games.

Actually, that's not fair of me. Majora's Mask did the same thing very well. But, I still blame Ocarina for ruining zelda.

I love Ocarina of Time, but I totally agree. Well, mostly. It's not OoT's fault. Nintendo just can't stop trying to recapture what made it special.

#12 Posted by WickedFather (1713 posts) -

It's awesome. I love the songs and especiallythe "MmMmMmMoblins!!" bit. Me and my friend talked about how much that sentence could pass information. I started Four Swords Adventures for the first time 2 days ago. It's lacking narrative beacause it kind of has to for urgency, but man it's so much better than modern crap. Modern games just don't seem designed to make you have wide eyed wonderment and fun. I'm aiming all this at the 360, by the way.

Ok - I heard about the special ending to Awakening if you did it without any deaths. So I went at it big time. One day in bed I heard some giggling girls downstairs but thought no way, I need my snooze. Got up later, picked up my gameboy and found 1 death registered on my playthrough - this was like almost at the end. I'm feeling sick even remembering it.

#13 Posted by Video_Game_King (34600 posts) -
#14 Edited by sissylion (677 posts) -

Link's Awakening is one of my all-time favorites, to the point where I don't even feel like a heretic for saying that I think it's much better than A Link to the Past.

#15 Edited by MideonNViscera (2257 posts) -

This is an amazing game. Clearly inspired by A Link to the Past, but so impressive for what they crammed on an old Game Boy cart. I dabbled in other Zeldas before, but this was the first one I beat and cherished. I have the DX version on my 3DS, along with Zelda 1, 2, and Minish Cap(?) but this is the only one I ever feel compelled to beat again.

Does anyone remember the glitch where you could press either Select or Start when switching screens and warp to the other side of the next screen? It made for some real crazy playthroughs.

#16 Edited by Soapy86 (2597 posts) -

@mideonnviscera said:

so impressive for what they crammed on an old Game Boy cart.

This really can't be overstated. At the time most handheld versions of console games, even simple ones, oftentimes felt like poor imitations of their big brothers, but Link's Awakening really was something special. It was a big, fully-featured Zelda adventure you could play in the palm of your hand. It really seemed astonishing at the time.

#17 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1355 posts) -

I recently replayed this game. I was writing a piece on the experience and specifically how I managed to complete this game as a kid a couple years after it came out without the internet or a strategy guide but as an adult I didn't have the patience or the mindset to do the same. At some point I looked at the release date and realized this game is 20 years old. It blows my mind to think that something that still felt so fresh and played so well a few months ago is almost as old as me (25).

Man, I can totally relate. I'm 23 now, and played Link's Awakening DX when I was maybe 10. I'm pretty sure it's the first Zelda game I finished (having grown up with the fairly impenetrable NES games), and maybe the first RPG-ish game I finished after Pokemon Red. I've got an insane amount of nostalgia tied up in that game, and I'm kind of scared to go back to it because of that.

Also:

And that amazing Tal Tal Heights music:

#18 Edited by BisonHero (5661 posts) -

@grantheaslip: Worth noting that I'm only very slightly older than you, and played LA DX at the same age as you, so assume we have similar feelings on how awesome Link's Awakening is. I didn't realize until subsequent playthroughs, but you can play the Ballad of the Windfish by the egg prior to having all 8 instruments, and it'll be missing all the melody/harmony/percussion instruments you haven't collected yet, because the song does actually have 8 distinct parts to it (though obviously they take turns). Also, it's probably pure nostalgia being shot directly into my veins, but hearing that music also makes me think "Man, that game did some pretty good stuff given the fairly primitive sound chip that the Game Boy had".

See also: any goddamn song you want from Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins.

#19 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (4435 posts) -

After having gone back and played A link to the past recently, it gave me an itch to play some other classic zelda games. I'll have to get to this eventually.

#20 Posted by huser (930 posts) -

I recently replayed this game. I was writing a piece on the experience and specifically how I managed to complete this game as a kid a couple years after it came out without the internet or a strategy guide but as an adult I didn't have the patience or the mindset to do the same. At some point I looked at the release date and realized this game is 20 years old. It blows my mind to think that something that still felt so fresh and played so well a few months ago is almost as old as me (25).

Loved this game. Also without a strategy guide...thus somehow beating the game without a boomerang and more importantly with a Lvl 1 sword. One of the best stories of a Zelda too.

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#21 Edited by GrantHeaslip (1355 posts) -

@grantheaslip: Worth noting that I'm only very slightly older than you, and played LA DX at the same age as you, so assume we have similar feelings on how awesome Link's Awakening is. I didn't realize until subsequent playthroughs, but you can play the Ballad of the Windfish by the egg prior to having all 8 instruments, and it'll be missing all the melody/harmony/percussion instruments you haven't collected yet, because the song does actually have 8 distinct parts to it (though obviously they take turns). Also, it's probably pure nostalgia being shot directly into my veins, but hearing that music also makes me think "Man, that game did some pretty good stuff given the fairly primitive sound chip that the Game Boy had".

Yeah, that music's hitting the nostalgia spot as well. I've generally got a soft spot for the Game Boy sound chip (here's another awesome GB sound chip accomplishment). I went back and played Super Mario Land 2, and as far as I'm concerned, it's still pretty great, and holds up better than Super Mario Land 1. That game had some really inventive level and enemy design, especially within the constraints of the system.

The weird thing about childhood nostalgia about a game is that you're never really sure if it will hold up. I've revisited many of my other formative childhood games, but never Link's Awakening. I got it on sale on the eShop a while ago, and grabbed the two Oracle games on sale more recently. For whatever reason, I'm sure I played one of the Oracle games, but I remember next to nothing about it, but still remember a ton about Link's Awakening.

#22 Posted by BeachThunder (11264 posts) -

It's nice to see so many other people enjoy this game.

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#23 Posted by BisonHero (5661 posts) -

@grantheaslip: I'm positive that when I made my post it had that line introducing Super Mario Land 2 instead of it having no introduction whatsoever (that I've now edited in), but then the forums ate it because they're weird like that.

#24 Posted by gokaired (425 posts) -

I never beat this stupid game as a Kid, I felt sucky about it for years, if i go back to it now i know i'd beat it but i'm just too bitter.

#25 Posted by Nightriff (4343 posts) -

Playing A Link to the Past right now for the first time and reading what you guys are saying about LA, I might need to play that next in my backlog of Zelda games (where I try to play one or two a year). I was thinking WW or MM would be next but LA sounds worthy enough to bump ahead of those 2.

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#26 Posted by planetfunksquad (368 posts) -

I'm another 25 year old dude who somehow beat this game sans-walkthrough as a kid. I think I played it a while after it came out, maybe '97, which would make me 9. It was definately before LA DX came out. No game has ever held me like that, except FF7 (fuck you, it was good). I can't even imagine how many hours I spent on it.

My friend told me how to steal from the shop. I was ENRAGED at him because everyone called me thief after that...