When it comes to The Legend of Zelda, I think that I just praise it too much. Every time I play one of those games I get overly excited and I just love to take Link all over Hyrule (or wherever he is in that moment) and just explore the different places it offers. If there is a series that has definitely conquered my heart, it is that one specifically. But where does that strange love come from? It all can be answered in one of the older Nintendo game systems.
Long before emulation, long before this huge explosion in mainstream, long before I was a real gamer myself, there was the Game Boy. I had played before the NES and my parents kept hiding an Atari 2600 in their closet, which I occasionally got to play. But my first real gaming system was the portable one. I kept saving my lunch money for weeks, even did some paid chores, to get my own Game Boy, since my parents did not want me to have one. Once they noticed they could not beat me on what I wanted, they even helped a little bit.
Needless to say, my first own game was… Tetris. Now, this one was the stock game and, in my specific case, also a crappy tennis game that was included in an offer. Now, the first game has its own story, but I think most of you enjoyed it like crazy. The same happened to me.
Now, for the next game I saved up for this cartridge inside a golden box that had drawn my attention. A friend of mine recommended it to me a lot. So, after a lot of excitement building up, I finally managed to get my hands on a copy of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. A game I put great expectations in, and although it was not what I had imagined, it bewildered me forever. Just to tell you how much I liked it, I will mention that it is the game that I finished most of the times with 100% of the items. And I would, still now, do it again.
Now, what made this game a gem? Well, I can’t quite put my finger on it. But there are multiple reasons we could approach to: there is the exploration, which I was a fan of, the strange characters like the Stalfos that stole my dungeon item, the lady with the miraculous potion and that weird Walrus that blocked my way.
Also, there was a lot of action. From one side to the other I killed a myriad of creatures, each one in its own specific enviroment, each one with a new detail. Also the dungeons were interesting. Short, that may be (except for the seventh), but all had something new.
The game felt very well-rounded, except for the last two lairs (seven and eight), because their items were barely used in the game. But it was a consistent game with an interesting story, and though the programmers forgot to deepen the philosophical part, it really made me consider if I should just finish the game or if there was a second ending in which the island was not a dream. The game was so good that both flaws were easily forgotten, and only come to my mind because I have grown up and become more critical than when I was ten years old.
Maybe it is not the greatest game in the series, but it holds a special place in my heart. Even though I already stated that A Link to the Past was my favourite, Link’s Awakening is a close second, followed by Twilight Princess. This gem the Game Boy had to offer really would leave any Zelda fan satisfied with what they had just played and I still recommend it. On Hella’s name, I even recommend it over the Game Boy Color version which, even though it had some extra stuff, really felt like some thrown-in things with no real sense and that took the whole experience off-balance. But maybe this is just me.
In any case, if you have never played it before and you are interested in a quick and fun adventure, I definitely do recommend to get this game. It will surely not be forgotten, specially after playing the seventh lair, in which you had to carry a wrecking ball around the tower to knock one whole floor down to be able to kill the boss. Yeah, it was that crazy!
See you next time then!
May they smile upon your way!