The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening isn’t among the more difficult Zelda games. But between the intentionally cryptic vibe of the original and new additions to this Switch remake, there are a number of things you might not know that can be helpful in your adventure on Koholint Island. So here are nine tips for new dreamers and old fans alike.
You can check which collectibles you’ve found
There are a lot more Heart Pieces and Secret Seashells in this version of Link’s Awakening than in the original. Thankfully, you can check which you’ve collected so far and compare it against a guide to get the rest, though the functionality is tucked away in the menu screen. Open up the map, then open the Memories list. Now hit R to see a map of Hyrule with the locations of the Heart Pieces and Secret Seashells you’ve already collected superimposed on it.
The Boomerang is your best friend
Once you get the Magnifying Glass, head to the shore and bomb open a cave to trade one of your items for the Boomerang (unlike in the original, you can buy the item back for 300 Rupees). In many Zelda games, the Boomerang only stuns enemies. In Link’s Awakening, though, it’s incredibly powerful. It can damage bosses, stun and destroy most enemies, and even destroy the annoying fireballs that circle around the walls in many dungeons.
You don’t need the Bow until the last dungeon
The only way to get the Bow in Link’s Awakening is from the shop. Either you steal it, in which case you’ll be branded THIEF for the rest of the game, or you save up the 980 Rupees. Thankfully, you don’t actually need the Bow until the final dungeon, when you use it to hit a statue’s eye. So unless you feel like you need a ranged attack, you can put off getting it until late in the game.
Bomb Arrows, baby!
This is a little trick from the original Link’s Awakening that still works in the remake. Equip both the Bombs and the Bow and press both buttons at once to fire Bomb Arrows, for when you absolutely positively have to blow up every Moblin in the room.
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You can switch color tunics whenever you want
Link’s Awakening DX on the Game Boy Color introduced a new, optional dungeon to the game that is all about color and rewards you with one of two special tunics. The blue tunic doubles your defense, while the red one doubles your damage. The dungeon and its rewards are in Link’s Awakening on the Switch, too. Unlike the in original, you can even go back to Link’s classic green whenever you want if you feel like things are getting a little too easy.
Bombs hit different
In most Zelda games, you can pick up and throw bombs — but their fuses will keep burning while you’re doing so. In Link’s Awakening on the Switch, picking up bombs resets their timer. It’s a small tweak, but it makes certain bosses and enemies a little easier to deal with.
Get the Seashell Sensor ASAP
There are way more Secret Seashells in this version of Link’s Awakening than in the original. That means you’re going to have to collect a lot more to get Link’s upgraded sword. Thankfully, the game provides you with a tool that pings when you’re near a Seashell, which is your cue to dig, lift rocks, or slam into trees. You get the sensor once you visit the Seashell Mansion with 15 shells. The sooner you get it, the easier it will be to find the rest of the Secret Seashells.
Manbo’s Mambo is your jam
There are far more warp points in this version of Link’s Awakening than in the original, but you still have to get to one to travel anywhere else. Until, that is, you learn Manbo’s Mambo. In the original game, it would only warp you to Manbo’s Pond. But in the Switch version, playing it will allow you to travel to any warp point you want. It’s not well-hidden, but it is somewhat easy to miss — just swim left from the entrance of Angler’s Tunnel after getting the Flippers, and you’ll learn this useful song from some friendly fish.
This last one isn’t a tip so much as it is a fun little secret. Starting a new file and entering different names will play remixes of various tracks. Some of these were in different releases of the original Link’s Awakening, while one is new. Enter “totakeke” to hear a remix of the famous Totaka’s Song, “ZELDA” for a horn-heavy mix of the series theme, and “MARIN” for a version of Ballad of the Wind Fish that totally slaps.