10 Reasons Link's Awakening May Be the Perfect Intro to the Legend of Zelda Series

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening for the Nintendo Switch may be a remake of a nearly 30-year-old Game Boy game, but you don't need to be familiar with the original to completely fall in love with it.

In fact, the game has a lot to offer to old and new fans alike. If you've never picked up a Zelda title, this might be your perfect introduction to the series. Keep reading to discover all the reasons why.

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(The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening via Nintendo)

The Style

Link's Awakening looks like no other Zelda title to come before it, with every detail beautifully crafted to look like little figurines inhabiting a gorgeously colorful playbox world. The unique design makes every different area memorable, and makes it easy to appraise situations at a glance, enhancing the gameplay. Not only is the aesthetic the perfect match for the playful, dreamy tone of the game, but it also makes it instantly recognizable in the best way possible.

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(The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening via Nintendo)

 

The Powerups

2D Zelda games aren't known for having a lot of powerups, but the ones in Link's Awakening are incredibly helpful items for intrepid explorers. Pieces of Power double your sword damage and push enemies away with every swing, while also making Link super fast. They appear after defeating about 40 enemies, and the effect lasts until you've been struck thrice or you leave the current area. On the other hand, Guardian Acorns halve the damage you take for three hits. They'll appear every time you take down 12 baddies without getting hit by them. By playing particularly well, you can  maximize your chances for success.

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(The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening via Nintendo)

 

The Familiar Nintendo Characters

Even if you've never played a Zelda game in your life, chances are, you'll recognize some of the characters in this game. That's become it's packed with iconic Mario enemies from Goombas and Piranha plants to Chain Chomps, Cheep Cheeps and Bloopers. Kirby even makes an appearance as a quite tricky enemy. There's a good in-game reason they're all here, and they serve as something that both familiarizes us with the world and makes us feel like something's a little bit off. We think their inclusion is perfect.

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(The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening via Nintendo)

 

The Trendy Game

Link's Awakening will send players off on an epic adventure across Koholint Island, but when you need a break from the action, there are all kinds of great minigames and side quests that allow you to pause and catch your breath. The "Trendy Game" crane game was one of our favorite ways to keep the experience going. For one, collecting a certain doll is absolutely necessary for progression through the game. Beyond that, it's a great place to occasionally pick up handy heart containers and Secret Shells, or to score extra rupees. We also had a great time collecting all of the Nintendo character figures, even if it's completely optional.

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(The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening via Nintendo)

 

The Bosses

Besides the Moldorm boss, who appears in other Zelda games, the bosses in Link's Awakening look and feel different from the ones you might be used to. In this game, you'll face a taunting genie, an underwater angler fish, an evil eagle in the sky, and even a face on the tiles of a dungeon itself. You'll have to use your smarts (and whatever items you've recently acquired) to best them, and each one is more fascinating and satisfying to defeat than the last.

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(The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening via Nintendo)

 

The Fishing Pond

We probably spent way more time than you're meant to playing Link's Awakening's fishing minigame in Mabe Village's Fishing Pond. Gameplay is simple. All you have to do is throw your line, get the lure near a fish's mouth and wait for it to bite. From there, you want to hold right and quickly tap A, except when the fish is struggling against the line, because that can break it. By progressively reeling in bigger and bigger fish (and the super elusive Cheep Cheep and Blooper), you can collect all kinds of rupees, heart pieces, Secret Seashells and more. And if you're anything like us, you'll probably keep fishing even once you've collected all the rewards.

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(The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening via Nintendo)

 

The Music

It's no surprise that the music in Link's Awakening is an utter delight, with each piece of music working in tandem with the visuals to create a cohesive world. But we also love that music is part of the gameplay as well. Once Link gets his hands on the ocarina, music also becomes intrinsically tied with how Link moves about the island, how he interacts with the other characters and how he fulfills his destiny. It helps that all three of the songs he can learn are also bops.

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(The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening via Nintendo)

 

Chamber Dungeons

We were a little bit wary when we heard that Chamber Dungeons would be a new addition to Link's Awakening because we didn't quite understand how they'd play out. It didn't sound that fun or challenging to put together dungeons using pre-constructed chambers. However, the game ingeniously makes the most of this feature by turning the Chamber Dungeon challenges into a series of logic puzzles to be solved. First, you have to build a dungeon based on special parameters. Then, you send Link in to beat it. While the building was often more fun than the adventuring, it's a satisfying process with some great rewards waiting for players who complete them.

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(The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening via Nintendo)

 

Secret Seashells

Unless you've played Minish Cap, you probably don't have much experience collecting seashells in Zelda games. Still, we found that uncovering each and every one of the 50 shells spread across the map was one of the most fulfilling aspects of Link's Awakening. While they might not seem very special at first glance, they can be exchanged for some amazing rewards in the game's Seashell Mansion. Bring enough shells and you'll earn the Seashell Sensor, which makes it easier to locate them in the wild. You'll want to collect as many as possible, because Secret Seashells are the key to taking home the Koholint Sword, which is tougher than your starter sword and shoots out powerful beams when you're at full health.

Link's Awakening: Secret Seashells Found

(The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening via Nintendo)

 

Helpful Clues

One thing that can be tough about Zelda games is that when you put them down, it can be really tricky to remember what you were doing and where you're headed next. One thing that makes this a lot easier is the fact that you can place pins on your map to mark important locations, or spots you need to revisit when you nab a certain powerup. But if you're feeling totally stuck and not sure where to go, the Telephone Booth can be your best friend. Use it to contact the shy Ulrira, who always has a handy clue to point you in the right direction.

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(The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening via Nintendo)

 

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is available now for $59.99 in stores and the Nintendo eShop.

 

If you adore all things Zelda, click HERE to take the quiz and find out which Breath of the Wild champion you are.