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The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (JP) is a remake of the fourth Zelda game and a direct sequel to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, released for the Nintendo Switch in 2019. The game retains most of the 2D elements found in the original game, but with an upgraded art style, providing higher-detailed environments than the original Game Boy game.

Gameplay

The game appears to be a faithful reproduction of the original, with similar gameplay and progression. Like in most traditional Zelda games, Link is required to go through dungeons and gather items that will help him progress in the story. Many challenging enemies and puzzles are found within those dungeons, and the player must use items they have gathered throughout the game to progress.

Story

After saving Hyrule from Ganon at the end of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Link departs to another land. While he is traversing the sea on his boat, he is struck by lightning and falls into a coma. In this dream world, Link meets Marin and soon realizes that he is trapped there by a powerful entity named the Wind Fish. His only hope is to awaken this dreamer, who is also the source of the entire island.

Development

After the release of The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, the team in charge of the Zelda series mentioned they wanted to try to remake Link's Awakening in the future. The game was officially announced during a Nintendo Direct broadcast on February 13, 2019. A release date for the game was announced during E3 2019. A new feature allowing the player to create their dungeons by arranging dungeon rooms unlocked while progressing through the game was also revealed.

Music

The game's remastered soundtrack is entirely arranged by Ryo Nagamatsu, who is responsible for the simple, live-performed brass instrumental arrangements. Nagamatsu has been experienced with the Zelda series since The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. While also experienced in orchestrated music since Super Mario Galaxy 2, Nagamatsu felt that a large-scale orchestra is unfitting for the game's art style, and focused on brass instruments while maintaining a "Zelda feel". He used the advantage of the original game's simple low tones, using singular instrumental performances for many tracks, while also using snippets from the original version.[2] The original game's music was composed by Kazumi Totaka, Minako Hamano, Kozue Ishikawa, and Yuichi Ozaki.

Reception

In Metacritic, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening receives "generally favorable" reviews holding a metascore of 87/100 based on 110 critic reviews.[3] While on whatoplay.com, this game ranks 6th place on its Top 10 Nintendo Switch Games of 2019 receiving an aggregate score (playscore) of 8.99 based on 75 critics.[4]

Sales

By the end of September 2019, the game sold 3.13 million units in only ten days. This made Link's Awakening among one of the best-selling games on the Nintendo Switch. The game reached 4.38 million units sold by the end of March 2020.[1]

Trivia

  • Despite being rated "E" by the Entertainment Software Rating Board in North America, the game received a much-higher "B" rating by CERO which requires players to be 12 years or older. This is likely due to the game being considered more violent for Japanese players than those in North America.
    • It similarly received slightly higher age ratings internationally, though not as high as a 12-years rating.

References

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