Waking Adorable Link

Invoking my self-imposed video game review rule about not letting my game summary section grow out of word count control, here is a babblethrough post detailing my journey through The Legend of Zelda Link’s Awakening! I truly love rambling about video games. ❤

Also: MAJOR SPOILERS as I will be describing the whole game including screenshots. You have been warned.

After Link was woke, I talked to Tarin to get a free shield and grabbed the sword from the beach where Link landed. From there, I made my way through the Mysterious Forest, got a Witch to make me some Magic Powder out of a toadstool I found, used the powder on the evil raccoon blocking my path (turns out it was Tarin on a bad mushroom trip), and got the key to the first dungeon near the beach area.

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Don’t do drugs, kids!

Level 1 – Tail Cave: This dungeon was super straightforward (I didn’t have to cheat once with a guide). The treasure inside was Roc’s Feather, allowing Link to jump with the equipped item button. This stayed active for almost my entire playthrough. Jumping is important! The mini-boss was a monster who pushes a spiky log at you (use the feather to jump over it and slash him). The final boss (or, Nightmare as the game calls them) was Moldorm a wormy thing that wiggles across the boss room. Hitting its tail is the weak spot. Jumping away from him also helped. The reward was the first Instrument of Sirens: Full Moon Cello.

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Ha! You’re a buzzing pushover.

With Level 1 done, Link ran into a world event on my way back through Mabe Village. A pair of distraught kids tell Link that “m-m-moblins” have attacked the village and kidnapped poor BowWow the pet Chain Chomp from his mistress Madam MeowMeow. Oh noes! It took me a bit of wandering around to find the moblin base, but I was easily able to kick ass and rescue BowWow. Madam MeowMeow wanted Link to take BowWow for a walk after the rescue, which was a good thing since he is needed to get into the next dungeon. BowWow is able to chomp through a few plants in Goponga Swamp that block the way into Level 2.

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Thanks, Owl! You are so much more helpful than your cousin in Ocarina of Time.

Level 2 – Bottle Grotto: Nothing overly difficult in dungeon #2. There is the usual crystal that raises and lowers whatever colour blocks it is set to. Also, there is a pair of Shy Guy mimics that are freaking adorable (I couldn’t bring myself to kill them). The treasure is the Power Bracelet that allows Link to lift pots and other objects. It doesn’t take up an item assignment spot either, which is awesome. The mini-boss is a big ugly cyclops that likes to grab Link and throw him across the room (don’t hug me, bro!). The Nightmare is Genie, complete with bottle. Basically, you throw his bottle at the wall enough times to break it, which exposes him. Then move in with the sword for a win and the Conch Horn.

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Don’t get too attached to that bottle then, buddy.

Returning BowWow after the dungeon lands Link and awkward kiss from Madam MeowMeow, then it’s off to help rich dude Richard to get the key to the next dungeon. Richard was rudely evicted from his castle and has to chill in his villa until things blow over. He asked Link to go get his precious golden leaf (well, actually five of them) from the castle. To get into the place I had to be at the Bananas part of the trading activity so some helpful monkeys can build a bridge for me (I almost laughed when they said their “monkey business” was done). Once inside, I scared a crow and pwned some knights (including an annoying ball and chain wielding one) to get the golden leaves. Richard granted me access to the Pothole Field as a reward. Carefully avoiding holes and cutting grass led Link to the buried key at the foot of an owl statue.

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Vous êtes les bienvenus!

Level 3 – Key Cavern: Gah! There is one hella frustrating enemy in here. These parrot looking things who warp away whenever Link gets close. They always warp to same spot in the room so you have to put a well-timed bomb there to explode them when they move. Some rooms required me to kill them for small keys, otherwise I would’ve happily skipped them. Once I got the dungeon’s treasure, the Pegasus Boots (they allow Link to dash into stuff by holding the L button), these were easy to take out. The mini-boss is a pair of bomb-wasting Dodongo Snakes. The Nightmare is Slime Eye, a big ball of slime with an eye. I started the fight by dashing into the wall to knock it down from the ceiling, slashed its eye to split it in two, dashed into the final glob holding Slime Eye together, then slashed the two halves to death for the Sea Lily’s Bell.

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Not a ton of thought went into naming the bosses in this game.

With the Pegasus Boots, I took a trip to the Dream Shrine to plow my way through Mimics and obtain the Ocarina. Marin then taught me the Ballad of the Wind Fish. I also took a side trip to the optional Color Dungeon and pwned Hardhit Beetle to obtain the blue outfit that reduces all damage Link takes (you can choose more attack power instead, but that was a red outfit and blue is my favourite colour).

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Take that, optional dungeon boss!

The next main things to do were: have a heart-to-heart moment with Marin by the sea, bring her to the Animal Village to sing awake a Walrus blocking the path to the desert, and entering the desert to fight a worm thingy while not falling into a sand vortex to obtain the key to the next dungeon. Link basically has to cliff dive into a waterfall cave to get to the dungeon entrance. Phew! Never a dull moment on this island.

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Ah, the pain of unrequited love. Poor Marin 😦

Level 4 – Angler’s Tunnel: Unsurprisingly for a dungeon behind a waterfall, there’s a lot of deep water you have to avoid until you acquire the treasure: Flippers! These allow Link to swim and that’s very useful in the overworld as well. The mini-boss is a big creature you run around in circles with so you can slash its’ back. The Nightmare is Angler Fish. The fight takes place underwater in side view perspective. I had a lot of fun with this one! Just avoid rocks and keep slashing the light above its head to acquire the Surf Harp.

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Link’s Flippers are so adorable!! 😍

After the dungeon, I swam over to the cave on the left to learn Manbo’s Mambo from a friendly giant fish. This hella useful song allow you to warp to the start of dungeons and to any warp point on the overworld map. Woot! The next world event also happens. Link is now haunted by a depressed pink ghost who begged me to take it home. Aw. Its abandoned house is near the beach area. Once inside, it looks everything over in sadness (I almost cried) then demands to be taken to its grave. Once I did that, it cheered up and gave me a bottle before departing into the afterlife. Yay! The next dungeon is in the middle of the bay. I have to dive down and navigate a side scrolling area to get to it.

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I feel your pain, pink ghost. Poor thing…

Level 5 – Catfish’s Maw: The sore loser Master Stalfos stole the dungeon’s Hookshot treasure (jerk) and I had to beat him on four separate occasions to get it back. That’s pretty much the dungeon in a nutshell. The mini-boss is twin Ghomas I had to shoot in the eye with the Hookshot. Big bad nightmare is Slime Eel. I avoided the tail and pulled him out of one of 4 possible wall holes with the hookshot, then went to town on the weak spot with my sword. Once its downed, it hinted that the island is not what it seems. Ooo! Then I grabbed the Wind Marimba to move on.

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Whatever. This “fool” pwned you so there.

Next, I finished up the trading activity to get the Magnifying Glass. This is needed to read a book that gives you directions through the final dungeon at the end of the game. At this stage of the game, I used it to find a secret beach cave where a dude named Goriya resides. He traded me the Boomerang for my Shovel. The Boomerang is the best freaking weapon in the game and made the last dungeons so much easier.

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Its pays to be a master of trade agreements, eh?

Off to the ancient ruins! The Boomerang made this an easy time. There are statues that come to life and attack you as you make your way through the ruins. The Boomerang takes care of them in two hits, plus the first hit stuns them. Nice! I had to defeat a big Armos Knight at the end to get the key to the next dungeon. It was a bit of a pain to hit his weak spot at the start of the fight, but once I knocked off enough of his armor, he went down fast. Behind him, there is an ancient relief that foretells a prophecy of the island disappearing once the dreamer wakes up. That sounded kinda bad…

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Um… maybe I shouldn’t be trying to wake up the weird Wind Fish?

Level 6 – Face Shrine: A puzzle is introduced here that is kind of annoying to figure out. You have to bounce two chess pieces into their proper slots. To do that, you have to figure out the right spot in the room to throw them from (yeah, I cheated with a guide). The treasure is the Powerful Bracelet which allows Link to lift really heavy things. I found it hilarious that the item description was “You feel like you could lift an elephant!” and then I had to lift elephant statues with it to move along. Hahahaha.. ha. Easily amused over here. Ahem. The mini-boss is a monster you play dodgeball with. The Nightmare is Facade, a cranky talking face in the floor. I dodged all the flying tiles at the start of the fight, then bombed the face without falling in holes until it was downed. Before it disappears, it explicitly tells Link the island will disappear forever if the Wind Fish wakes up. Yikes. Oh well! I grabbed the Coral Triangle on my way out.

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The bosses are so sarcastic… I love them!

My next task was to resurrect a rooster. This game, I tells ya… To do that, I had to learn a lively song from a Mamu the giant frog thing who resided at the end of a signpost maze (I’m good at following directions). With Link’s newfound Powerful Bracelet induced strength, I was able move the rooster statue in the middle of Mabe Village. Under it was the crypt of the flying rooster. I played Mamu’s song to bring it back to life. Then I dragged it all the way to the mountains in the northeastern corner of the map. I used its flying ability to get the key to the next dungeon and enter it.

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That is one hell of tune there, Mamu!

Level 7 – Eagle’s Tower: Ah, the dungeon young me gave up at back in the old Game Boy days. The overall goal is to knock down four pillars using a giant ball to get to the boss. I couldn’t for the life of me figure this out as a kid. But yes, it is tricky to navigate. You can fall through holes to the level below that threw me off course once or twice. Oh! And there is an adorable enemy here who looks and behaves exactly like Kirby. Aw. The dungeon’s treasure is the Mirror Shield (useful for reflecting projectiles).

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Kirby!!

The official mini-boss is the Grim Creeper, who sends an army of 6 flaming bats at you. If you miss even one, he sends another wave after you. I just mashed the sword button in the corner to beat him. The Nightmare at the top of the tower is Evil Eagle, a giant eagle the Grim Creeper flies on. This was a really easy fight with my Boomerang! Just whack him when he flies by. After the fight was one, Grim Creeper warned me I’ll disappear like him when the Wind Fish wakes since this is all a dream. The mission must go on! I collected the Organ of Evening Calm and headed off.

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Loved the side perspective for this fight.

Aw yeah!! With the Mirror Shield in hand I was able to deflect the stream of fire blocking the path to the last official dungeon (on the other side of the mountain passed some falling boulders). On the way, I had to rescue Marin who was dropped on a bridge with no way off by some monsters, for some reason that wasn’t really explained…? Whatever. Hookshot saved the day! The next dungeon entrance itself was a stone dragon. I needed to play Mamu’s song to liven it up, then blow up its head a lot with bombs to get inside the dungeon.

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Yep. I totally believe this is all just some weird Wind Fish’s crazy dream now.

Level 8 – Turtle Rock: I have to say I would have never beaten this dungeon without an online guide and my Boomerang. Thank you to those things! There’s these weird paver thingys you use to fill in spaces over pits and lava, a crystal so well hidden behind a bombable wall I would have never found it, and lots of ice cubes to melt in correct with the dungeon’s treasure (Magic Rod) in a side scrolling area. Familiar mini-bosses make appearances as well. The Nightmare is a flaming head I would have jokingly named Hot Head, but that’s actually its name. The last dungeon boss was actually the easiest… I just stood there massing the Magic Rod button to win. Thunder Drum FTW!

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Ha!

And with that, all the freaking instruments were acquired. Time to wake this weird Wind Fish and get off this insane island. Luckily for me, I had already completed the trading activity to get the Magnifying Glass. You need that to check out the directions through the Wind Fish’s egg maze in a mysterious book at the town library. Never in a million years would I have figured that out on my own… so thanks again to the guide I shamelessly followed! There was a nice little cutscene where all the instruments played before the egg cracks open and I went inside.

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Link the One Man Band!

I guess this is considered a dungeon? I dunno. It’s pretty much just following the directions in the mysterious book until you reach the game’s final boss. This battle goes down in 6 phases that I surprisingly beat it on my first try! First, I had to beat Shadow Zol by chucking lots of Magic Powder at it. Secondly, I had to beat Agahnim’s Shadow by playing tennis with an energy ball thingy. Thirdly, I pwned Moldorm’s Shadow in a throwback to the first dungeon boss fight. Fourthly (and hardest-ly), I defeated Ganon’s Shadow by waiting for an opening and dashing at him a lot. Fifthly, I unloaded the Magic Rod on Lanmola’s Shadow. Lastly, I played tentacle jump rope and used my Boomerang to bring down Dethl. Woot! What a rush.

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Reality is merely an illusion anyway, my defeated boss friend.

Game done! The Owl reveals itself to be guardian of the Wind Fish’s dream world. The Nightmares entered this dream world and began wreaking havoc. Now Link has shown up and saved the day. Yay! The Wind Fish appears and babbles about his dream world a bit. Koholint is going to cease to exist now, but hey, the memories of the place apparently make it live on forever. That’s a nice message!

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Didn’t I say reality is merely an illusion?

And with that, the island disappears in a bittersweet cinematic sequence. Back to anime cartoon style, Link wakes up in the middle of the ocean on what little remains of his ship. He seems confused but then the Wind Fish leaps out of the water (Wind Whale is more accurate if you ask me) confirming Link is not crazy. He seems pretty happy as he pictures Marin and the credits roll.

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Not to be a buzzkill but… Link is still trapped in the middle of the ocean on a raft, and all he has is a barrel. That situation still kinda sucks, no?

The END!!

Thanks for reading!

If for some odd reason you want to read more of my posts, you can find a somewhat organized (and usually up to date) archive of my ramblings… I mean, articles here!


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"Lightning" Ellen

My name is Ellen, and I've been babbling on the interwebz about video games for over 15 years. Video games themselves have been a large part of my life since 5-year-old me first encountered a SNES in a children's hospital. Fun times... Video game escapism is still the #1 coping mechanism for adult me these days.

8 thoughts on “Waking Adorable Link”

  1. Really enjoyed reading your experience with this game. I never finished the original either (didn’t even make it as far as you back then!). But I totally fell in love with the game playing this remake. It has this wonderful balance of quality overworld exploration and cleverly designed dungeons. It’s a balance the series rarely strikes these days, usually favoring one over the other, so I loved what this delivered (I also realize it is that way because it was designed at a time when the series tended to be more balanced but still!). One of my favorite Zeldas now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey! I haven’t even played the current version, but those screenshots capture the look of the classic so well, this really takes me back.

    Link’s Awakening is really fun. Like, it’s geared more towards introducing fun situations than anything else. Not quite so thoughtful or carefully crafted as the others, it’s more just pure in-the-moment happys. And all those references!

    Liked by 1 person

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