The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is bringing us back to its fever dream world thanks to an upcoming Switch remake. Originally released for the Game Boy, the game was the first in the Zelda line not to include the titular princess or take place in Hyrule. And between the slightly “off” inhabitants of Koholint Island and the fact that the whole situation centers on an owl telling us not to wake up a giant sky fish, it’s no big surprise to discover that the game was directly and deliberately influenced by Twin Peaks.
One of the wildest aspects of the game is the constant appearance of characters from other Nintendo franchises. Link encounters a Chain Chomp and an evil smiling Kirby, meets characters who looks suspiciously like Mario and Luigi, and even sees Dr. Wright of SimCity receive a photo of Princess Peach. And by the looks of the Switch trailer, at least a few of those cameos aren’t going anywhere.
With 26 years of Nintendo games since the game’s debut, it only seems right that the new Link’s Awakening update its cameos along with its graphics and gameplay. Bring back Wart and Shy Guy, sure — but let’s see some of these kids make it into the mix, too.
We’ve got a weird world where nothing makes sense, everything is led by prophecy, and the locals aren’t all that great at being helpful. What we need now is a psychic legal aide!
Maya Fey first appeared in 2001 via Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, meaning she was almost a decade too late for an appearance in the original Link’s Awakening. With all the strangeness going on, though, she’d be right at home. Cross-examining animals? Check. Getting to the bottom of paranormal weirdness? Check. Frankly, the Wind Fish would probably be one of the least strange things she’s encountered.
As of the events of Spirit of Justice, Maya is likely grown-up and spiritually attuned enough that she could handle things on her own. That’s a good thing — despite Phoenix’s own character development over the last several games, I’m not sure how he’d cope with the whole situation once it came unraveled. I can see that freak-out face now…
Link (Phillips CD-i games)
You want to get weird? Let’s get weird. The most recent season of Twin Peaks had us dealing with multiple Kyle Maclachlans of varying moralities, so why not have Link’s Awakening evolve alongside its inspiration?
The Phillips CD-i Legend of Zelda games are mainly remembered as meme fodder, and feature a weirdly talkative Link. His hobbies include fighting, eating, flailing around awkwardly, and trying to score kisses off Zelda. To be fair, he does get the job done, but not without making you cringe out of your own body first.
Could there be room in the weird world of Link’s Awakening for a Link doppelganger who overacts and demands attention at strange moments? The answer is yes, absolutely. Ideally, we’d get to fight him, if only because dispatching him personally would put a lot of old feelings to rest.
Tell you what, Nintendo. Put The Wa in Link’s Awakening and we’ll shut up about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Deal?
Though in all seriousness, it’s not outside the realm of possibility. Tarin, the father of Link’s new friend and love interest Marin, looks a lot like an older, redder-nosed Mario. Between that and the fact that Tarin transforms into a raccoon, his appearance is treated as a cameo. The same goes for the Cucco Keeper, whose appearance and color palette make him as good as a Luigi expy.
Maybe Waluigi and his partner-in-crime Wario can find something to do in Koholint. First thing I’m doing when I boot up the game is looking for a tennis court. That’s where they’re bound to be if they’re anywhere.
Just a Whole Bunch of Zubats
When I say I want to see Zubats in Link’s Awakening, I mean that in the same way I wanted to see the Duck Hunt dog in Smash: so I can beat ‘em up.
The cameos of Link’s Awakening come in the form of both NPCs you can chat with and enemies you can take out — and their roles on Koholint Island don’t always correspond to their roles in their source games. Goombas are there for the thrashing, but so is the smiling Anti-Kirby. So while Pokémon rules may demand that Zubats found in the wild be battled with a ‘mon of your own, that wouldn’t necessarily be the case in a different game.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, please let me take a sword to these jerks. Just once. I’ve earned it after all those caves I’ve survived.
Come on, Nintendo. You know what you have to do.
Shigeru Miyamoto is, as most (if not all) gamers will know, the mastermind behind both the Mario and Zelda franchises. Both his babies are still running strong many generations later, with the two titles being Nintendo’s priority output. Clearly, in more ways than one, Miyamoto rules.
So with Link in this confusing world, isn’t it about time he met his maker? (And no, I don’t mean like that… we’ve had plenty of chances to get him killed ourselves.) There’s even precedent for it: in DLC for Square Enix’s NieR:Automata, the player can go toe-to-toe with CEO Yosuke Matsuda.
Though personally, I can’t see Miyamoto wanting to beat up one of his good sons. Maybe they could just take selfies and then go on their way. Or maybe Miyamoto could offer Link some advice before he continues his journey… “The owls are not what they seem,” perhaps. And it’s not as though Nintendo hasn’t done something like this before. You can talk to the devs in many Pokémon games, up to and including Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon.
Given the shiny new look of Link’s Awakening, and all silliness aside, we’re almost certain to get to see some new Easter eggs and references in the upcoming release. For those who first experienced the game in its original version, it’ll be a fun opportunity to search out changes and additions while reliving the familiar story. And players discovering the game for the first time via the Switch are in for an amazing adventure as they learn the truth about the mysterious Wind Fish — and find themselves meeting a host of oddly familiar characters along the way.