The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

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North American box art.

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is an action adventure game developed and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy on 1993-06-06. It's the fourth title in the Zelda series. Later, an upgraded version, called "DX," ("Deluxe" in Japan) was released for the Game Boy Color. Though similar in game play to the first and third Zelda games, the game doesn't take itself as nearly as seriously and includes jokes, mergers from other Nintendo franchises, and fourth wall breaking.


I had first seen this game on my high school friend's Game Boy (around 1996), and he said it was just as good as The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, if not better, which I found hard to believe. But after playing it for a few minutes, I was surprised at how close it was graphically to the SNES game. I didn't do much with it because I didn't want the game spoiled with his mostly complete save-file, but around 2010, I decided to try and play the game through, and made it through the first few underworlds, but then got bored of it. I eventually returned to it and beat it on 2017-09-26.


I do not own this game, but I have beaten it.


  • Overall: 7/10
  • Best Version: Game Boy Color

— This section contains spoilers! —


  • The pixel art is really good and fitting for the Zelda franchise.
  • The music and sound effects (the work of Minako Hamano, Kozue Ishikawa, and Kazumi Totaka are quite good.
  • It's cute to see the inclusion of other Nintendo franchises like Goombas, Chain Chomps, Piranha Plants, Dr. Wright, Kirby, etc.
  • Jumping was a nice addition and well-executed.
  • I like that you can get regular hints about where you need to go next, because the game is pretty vague at certain times.
  • The designers made a fair amount of clever puzzles that didn't fit with the typical game play.
  • The game has a pretty nice ending sequence with nice full-screen animation.
  • The Game Boy Color version is well-updated, not just with attractive colors, but with a whole new dungeon and the camera puzzles.


  • I don't like having to switch items so often. I preferred the previous games where several items like the bracelet, boots, and shield were always on.
  • There are only a few items to buy in the game, so rupees go mostly unused, and aren't a very welcome treasure chest prize.
  • The anachronistic telephones are really out of place. A Zelda game should never have modern technology.
  • Several of the dungeons contain puzzles that don't fit with the expected game play and left me needing a online hint.
  • I didn't like having to bomb random dungeon walls again. This should have stayed dead with the original The Legend of Zelda.
  • Several of the secret seashells are hidden obnoxiously well requiring you to have to dig nearly everywhere on the map to find them.
  • The super powerful boomerang, though a fantastic weapon, doesn't fit thematically.
  • There are a handful of bugs in the game that have been discovered over the years, but you rarely encounter them.


  • I get extremely pissed every time I have to read that damn message about not being able to pick something up with my bare hands. The first time was informative, the second was a refresher, the thousandth was Game Boy-throwingly-annoying. You would think it would stop after you get the bracelet, but no! Same with acorns, energy pieces, chests, black boulders, ice blocks, etc. It's really frustrating.


Box Art



Fan Art


Review, Game Boy Works.
Did You Know Gaming?
Son of a Glitch (DX version).
Longplay, DX version.


Language Native Transliteration Translation
English The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
Japanese ゼルダの伝説 夢をみる島 Zeruda no Densetsu: Yume o Miru Shima Legend of Zelda: The Dream Island


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