While The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening on Nintendo Switch is very much a remake of the Game Boy classic, that doesn’t mean it’s exactly the same game you remember from all those years ago. Aside from a major visual overhaul, there are a few notable quality-of-life improvements that help make the game easier to digest for modern audiences, such as additional equipable item slots and the ability to refer to previous conversations.
However, if you’ve never played the original Link’s Awakening or it has been a while, the remake may leave you somewhat disoriented. Below we’ve gathered nine spoiler-free tips to help you along your adventure. Click from the table of contents below to get to find exactly what you’re looking to know.
- Turn In Your Seashells
- Use Map Markers
- Get Ready For A Trading Sequence
- Listen To Your Compass
- The Rapids Raid Gets You $$$
- Refer To Your Memories
- Crazy Tracy and Her Secret Medicine
- Return To The Shop Often
- The Color Dungeon
For more Link’s Awakening, be sure to check out our video feature comparing the remake and the original. Otherwise, be sure to check GameSpot often for even more Link’s Awakening guides and features.
In GameSpot’s Link’s Awakening review, critic Peter Brown gave the game an 8/10 and said: “Though the remake has a couple of blemishes, it’s still an easy game to recommend. People speak of Link’s Awakening as the secret best Zelda game. That’s a tough call to make, but it’s one of the best. If you haven’t touched a classic Zelda game since Breath of the Wild, it will almost instantly transport you back to the ’90s. It’s simpler, in many ways, but the orchestrated journey still conveys a sense of adventure, and this new version is without question the best way to experience it. And more than anything else, it will put a smile on your face. Remakes are a dime a dozen nowadays and often easy to overlook. Don’t make that mistake with Link’s Awakening.”
If you have any advice for new or returning players, feel free to leave it in the comments below!
Turn In Your Seashells
If you haven’t noticed yet, there are a lot more seashells in Link’s Awakening remake than the original. While these collectibles don’t have much of use at the beginning, that will change when you eventually come across the Seashell mansion. This house lets you trade in the seashells you’ve found for rewards. We won’t spoil the prizes for collecting seashells, but they will prove useful during your adventure.
Use Map Markers
One of the most useful additions to the remake is map markers. Sure, the Island in Link’s Awakening is much smaller than Hyrule proper, but there are a lot of caves and areas you’ll want to return to later on. The easiest way to remember is to drop a marker!
Get Ready For A Trading Sequence
Link’s Awakening has a trading sequence that spans most of the game. We won’t spoil the exact sequence here, but if you find or see an odd item, like a Yoshi plushie, you should probably get it. To beat the game, you’ll need to complete the entire trading sequence, so keep this in mind as you progress.
Listen To Your Compass
It might go without saying, but if you’re having trouble finding a key in a dungeon listen for your compass to chime. There are a lot of keys that you won’t find in chests, so if you enter a room and hear a chime, that means there’s a key waiting to be found in that room.
The Rapids Raid Gets You $$$
In Link’s Awakening, there are some high-priced items at the shop that are super useful but a bit expensive. Fortunately, there are some quick ways to get a ton of money. The most efficient money-making mini-game is called Rapids Raid. Once you get to this part of the map, talk to the guy pictured above, and for 100 rupees you can either race or raid. While you should do both, we recommend starting with Rapids Raid. On most runs, we made 200 rupees–more than enough to restock on supplies and have a little leftover saved for the higher-priced items.
Refer To Your Memories
If you’re unsure about what to do or where to go next, check the Memories screen by pressing X with the map open. This feature tracks speeches from the owl and other key characters as well as the number of locations and collectibles you’ve found.
Crazy Tracy and Her Secret Medicine
Unlike in most Zelda games, if you die in Link’s Awakening, a bottled fairy won’t automatically revive you. Instead, you’ll need Crazy Tracy’s secret medicine. You can buy the medicine directly from her, but keep in mind, the price does fluctuate. If you’re short on Rupees, you can also find the medicine in some dungeons.
Return To The Shop Often
If you’re a completionist, make sure to frequently check the shop and the crane game house in Mabe Village. As you purchase or win different items, new ones will take their place. So, if you’re having trouble finding the last few seashells or heart pieces, then make sure to stop by. And while you’re there, it’s also worth restocking on arrows, bombs, or magic powder.
The Color Dungeon
In the Game Boy Color re-release Link’s Awakening DX, a secret area called the Color Dungeon was added to the original adventure. This area returns in the remake, and there’s a valuable prize awarded to those who manage to find it and complete its puzzles. We won’t say where the Color Dungeon is or what you’ll get, but if you’re having trouble finding it, maybe stop by Mabe Village’s Library and read up on the Island. It’s well worth the effort!