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The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX (Game Boy Color) artwork

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX (Game Boy Color) review


"New in Link's Awakening DX is a full-color dungeon, only accessible through the GBC. In it, you will have to solve various color-oriented puzzles, and after defeating the boss, Link may don either a blue or red tunic, each with their own advantages and disadvantages."



The Legend of Zelda series has always been a strong one. Starting with The Legend of Zelda on the NES, and continuing on through the recent N64 titles, Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, it has become one of the most popular franchises in video game history. And, while many know of the recent Game Boy Color titles, the Oracles, some may recall Link's first adventure on the Game Boy handhelds, a wonderful adventure appropriately titled The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. With the release of the Game Boy Color, Nintendo revised their monochrome classic, and added full color to it, along with a new dungeon, and a few extra treats.

While sailing the sea on a voyage, our Hylian hero's ship is struck by lightning, tearing apart the wooden vessel, and sending Link flying. Laying unconscious on the beach, Link is found by a young girl named Marin. She brings him to her house, and when he wakes he finds himself stranded on the mysterious island of Koholint. It is up to you, as Link, to discover a way off the island, by awakening the dormant whale known as the Wind Fish. This can only be accomplished by recovering the eight instruments of the island, which are guarded by the Nightmares of each dungeon.

The gameplay is much the same as that of A Link to the Past. Items and weapons can be assigned to either the A and B buttons, and your sword will usually take up one of those slots. However, you can simply go to the Start menu and equip another item. Sometimes you'll have to use two weapons in these slots, as certain combinations are needed to bypass some areas. For instance, using the Pegasus Boots and the Roc Feather in tandem will allow you to jump over wide gaps, and using your bow and a bomb simultaneously, you can shoot an explosive arrow. This adds a little strategy into the mix, although a minor annoyance is when you must go back to the Start menu to equip your sword again. Every item serves a purpose, and using them appropriately is the only way to solve your problems. As in every Zelda games, rupees may be found either by destroying enemies or locating a treasure chest, and they are used to purchase items such as bombs, arrows, and certain weapons.

Throughout the game, there are many sidequests. You may want to find all the secret seashells in order to ultimately gain a level 2 sword, or, you might find it amusing to discover all the photograph locations, in which our little friend the mouse will take a snapshot of certain events during your adventure. Then again, there's always the trading quest, where a series of items are scattered throughout the island, and, if you can manage to find the inhabitants which play a role in the trading, you will be rewarded with a wonderful prize.

New in Link's Awakening DX is a full-color dungeon, only accessible through the GBC. In it, you will have to solve various color-oriented puzzles, and after defeating the boss, Link may don either a blue or red tunic, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Either one, however, is better than Link's normal, average green tunic.

Because it has been redone in full color, the world is now vibrant, full of greens and blues, and re-creates the visuals of A Link to the Past almost perfectly. Of course, the GBC doesn't have the power of the SNES, so it doesn't look exactly the same. Enemies are less detailed, dungeons are noticably smaller, and the world itself has less detail. However, everything is easily recognized, and the feel of the game is always magical.

The Zelda series has always had great music, and Link's Awakening is no exception. Although none of its backgrounds are destined to become classics like the Hyrule Theme, they manage to set the mood of the game rather well. Each weapon has a distinct sound effect, and the familiar sounds are all present.

All in all, Link's Awakening DX is a spectacular title, worthy of the Zelda name. Although its dungeons are small and quick, it has 9 altogether, and the sidequests will keep you playing for a while. Also, this game is just as much (if not more) fun the second or third time you play it, and is definitely one of the best handheld adventures ever created.

Rating: 10/10

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Staff review by Zack M (Date unavailable)

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