Feature Article

Zelda: Link's Awakening - Everything We Know About The Nintendo Switch Remake

Wake up, Link.

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The next Zelda game is almost here--no, not the Breath of the Wild sequel, the remake of the beloved Link's Awakening. The original '93 Game Boy game came out over 25 years ago and eventually got a minor upgrade for the Game Boy Color in '98, but the new Switch remake completely overhauls the experience and adds a handful of new features. That, of course, only tells part of the story, and there's a lot more to dig into regarding the remake's development, its new modes, and the overall dedication to the source material.

Pulling from the game's announcement during the February 2019 Nintendo Direct and live demos at E3, and from speaking with Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma, we've compiled everything you need to know about Link's Awakening before its fall release--and don't miss our pre-order guide or the special edition previews below if you're already dead set on picking up the game.

The Announcement Trailer

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For many Zelda fans watching the recent Nintendo Direct, it only took a few seconds to recognize the trailer above as an announcement for Link's Awakening. Link's dark-and-stormy night was memorable even as a low-res slideshow on Game Boy, but seeing it animated in HD stirs up excitement for what's to come in the Switch remake. So far, it seems like it strikes a smart balance between modern flair and time-honored traditions.

Release Date And Special Editions

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During its E3 stream, Nintendo announced that Link's Awakening will release on September 20. News then quickly spread about the special editions of the game, which differ by territory. Customers in the US can pick up the Dreamer Edition, which includes a physical copy of Link's Awakening and a book of concept art from the remake's development. But if you're in the Europe, you have the option to get the Limited Edition box set that includes a copy of the game, an artbook, and a steelbook case resembling an old Game Boy with the title screen of the original Link's Awakening. For purchasing info and more, head over to our Link's Awakening pre-order guide.

The Remake Is Being Co-Developed By Grezzo

Series producer Eiji Aonuma confirmed to GameSpot at E3 that the team at Grezzo working on the game is also responsible for the upgraded 3DS ports of Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, two well received versions that boasted many notable improvements over the originals.

The New Soundtrack Is A Secret Wind Wakers Joint

Aonuma belongs to a Nintendo employee band known as The Wind Wakers, and when discussing Link's Awakening at E3, he told us that the creation of the soundtrack is being managed by a fellow Wind Wakers member. In describing the direction for the soundtrack, which is no longer bound by the limited sound processor in a Game Boy, Aonuma said, "I went to the sound team and tried to come up with an idea, and actually the person that's in charge of the music for this is in my band, so we talked it out, and we thought maybe an oboe or a wind instrument would be fitting for this world. It's not all live music, we wanted to incorporate that original digital feel as well, so it's actually a mix of both."

The New Dungeon Editor Mode

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Aside from the new look, the most notable addition to Link's Awakening is a new Dungeon Editor mode that lets you piece together custom dungeons using pre-made chambers that are unlocked while playing the main game. Of note to people who played Link's Awakening DX on Game Boy Color: the dungeon editor is accessible in Tal Tal Heights, in place of DX's Camera Shop. Is the Photographer still roaming around Koholint? We'll have to wait and see.

Checkout out our Dungeon Editor breakdown from E3, where producer Eiji Aonuma describes his approach by saying: "I've always wanted to create a way for players to create their own dungeons, but I didn't want to make it anything too hard. Just like solving a puzzle, I wanted to make this Chamber Dungeon easy enough for people to play and feel like they're solving a puzzle."

A New Amiibo Appears!

The shiny new Link's Awakening amiibo was one of a few new Nintendo toys unveiled at E3.
The shiny new Link's Awakening amiibo was one of a few new Nintendo toys unveiled at E3.

The corresponding Link's Awakening Amiibo also releases on September 20. We don't know the whole story about its functionality within the game, but Nintendo did mention during its E3 2019 Treehouse livestream that it can at least be used to introduce new effects in the Dungeon Editor. The game will also be compatible with any previous Zelda Amiibo figures, which can unlock additional Chambers. Whether you end up using this Link in the game or not, it's definitely an adorable recreation of Hyrule's (and Koholint's) tiny hero.

30 Minutes Of Gameplay And Insights From Nintendo Treehouse At E3

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Nintendo Treehouse always does a great job of demoing new Switch games from the E3 show floor, and it was the best place for an extended gameplay demo of Link's Awakening, which also included an interview with Aonuma. Check out the hefty video above to get an extended look at the new Link, Koholint Island, and... Yoshi?

Further Reading

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Peter Brown

Peter is Managing Editor at GameSpot, and when he's not covering the latest games, he's desperately trying to recapture his youth by playing the classics that made him happy as a kid.
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

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