Is The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening Still Relevant?

If it wasn’t for the fact that A Link Between Worlds was a perfect game, I would’ve given up on The Legend of Zelda.

I tried really hard to like Skyward Sword, I swear. Giving up on that game was like breaking up with a longtime girlfriend. I still found Skyward Sword attractive, but she was so boring that I often found myself texting Dark Souls every time we hung out.

And what’s the deal with people caring about Hyrule Warriors? Are you kidding me? Dynasty Warriors has always been a poor life decision, regardless of whether or not Ganondorf is a playable character.


Giving up on Zelda is not something I considered lightly. Zelda has played larger role in my life than any other franchise. It’s what made me a gamer. For over a decade, I purchased Nintendo consoles exclusively for Zelda. When I bought the GameCube, it wasn’t because they lowered the price to $99 — it was because it came with the Legend of Zelda: Collector’s Edition. The only reason I have a Wiimote Plus is because of Zelda.

I first contracted this disease when my grandma bought my sister a Game Boy for her birthday. It came bundled with Link’s Awakening, which was promptly handed off to me because she “got stuck.” Link’s Awakening was not the first time I enjoyed playing a video game, but it was the first time that I became truly engaged in one; Super Mario Bros. 3 is a classic, no doubt, but the story didn’t exactly evoke an emotional response in me.

This was the first time I actively searched for more information about a game, which was not an easy task considering the state of the Internet at the time. If I got stuck, I had to, like, talk to people at school (I know, gross). Long story short, I never gave my sister her Game Boy back.


I’m sorry…WHAT?

One thing that makes Link’s Awakening (and A Link Between Worlds) different from a modern Zelda game is a metric a friend told me about called “Time-to-Sword.” It’s the time between starting a new game, and getting your sword. Historically, the lower the TTS, the more enjoyable the game is. Link’s Awakening’s TTS is less than five minutes. Skyward Sword has a TTS that’s closer to 45 minutes.


So would modern gamers enjoy Link’s Awakening? It’s hard to say.

The biggest obstacle is the presentation. The current generation is obsessed with HD graphics. The graphics in Link’s Awakening come in two colors — green and slightly less green. Sure, DX came out a few years later and added some more color, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s still a Game Boy game.

People probably also complain about how linear the game is, but those people can’t be helped.

Tell me what you think in the comments. And while you’re at it, tell me what games were instrumental in making you a gamer?

  • Zaque Pangburn

    That’s cool and everything, but Hyrule Warriors is actually pretty fun.

    • JP Natysin

      To be fair, I haven’t played Hyrule Warriors yet. But I’ve played a dozen variations of Dynasty Warriors, and I always come away feeling the same. I’ll have to check out HW when I get a chance.

  • gooney121

    Man, that TTS thing is kinda dead on.

    • JP Natysin

      Isn’t it, though? I learned about it from Elliot Page. He fights bears.

  • Sakamoto-san

    wow how does it feel to have absolute shit taste?

    • JP Natysin

      Ha! That’s a bit hyperbolic, don’t you think? I’m am the worst guy, but somehow I still find the willpower to play the games we disagree about.

  • Bames

    Wow you’re a big nerd JP, Link’s Awakening is pretty good though. Love that egg!!!!!

    • JP Natysin

      As long as you’re happy, Bames, I can sleep well at night.

  • Anthony LaBerge

    The opening to A Link to the Past has always been my favorite. The narrative it provided really puts you into the game world. I loved how the game had multiple segments, starting with the pendants and the Medallion things that gave you special attacks. Then adding the search for pieces of heart, and the mythology of the Master sword. There were so many elements that made that game so good.