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The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

Hello, my lovely Hylians!

This week on NEP, we’ve got a special episode: a bonus feature with twice the content!
A Nintendo Direct dropped just the other day, so we’re breaking down each release in the North American AND Japanese presentations with supplemental information and our added commentary. Galen gets analytical, Oni gets cultural; come hang out with us!

Also, we can’t figure out why Kingdom Hearts keeps on coming up during this episode. Is it fate? Like, is any of this for real… or not?

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Today’s Nintendo Direct ended with the announcement that The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is seeing a remake on Switch. Well over 20 years later, the classic title is returning in a big way. Get a look at a few comparisons below showing how the Game Boy / Game Boy Color original stacks up to the new Switch version.

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New screenshots are in for the just-revealed Switch remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. View the images below.

This week’s episode of Nintendo Minute has gone live. In today’s video, Kit and Krysta take on The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX. Watch it below.

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening started out as an idea for a modified version of A Link to the Past for the Game Boy. In the end though, that never came together. Link’s Awakening was ultimately born from, as Game Informer puts it, “an unsanctioned after-hours passion project for members of the Link to the Past team.”

Director Takashi Tezuka told the site:

“The main programmer wanted to challenge himself to create a Zelda experience on a portable system to see what he could do, and I was into the idea. We just had a passion to try and do something interesting. We didn’t really have permission to do it necessarily. We were just playing around.”

“Once we got it to a certain level of creation and completion that we wanted to show, then we took it to the company and got permission to continue developing it. But initially it was just a little pet project of ours. Because we started it that way – just making a game we wanted to make – it may defy Zelda conventions. It might have interesting characters and situations we may not have had otherwise.”

During an Iwata Asks discussion for Phantom Hourglass, Tezuka made a comment about how the experience of creating Link’s Awakening was similar to “making a parody of The Legend of Zelda.” He clarified these comments with Game Informer, in which he said:

“When we say parody, I’m not sure where that word comes from because maybe there are translation issues. With Zelda games we usually plan them out, every detail is considered. With Link’s Awakening, we were working on that after our other work was done. Kind of like a club of people who loved Zelda and got together to make it. It has a different feeling for that reason.”

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