Eiji Aonuma Discusses Why They’re Remaking ‘The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening’

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening for the Switch

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening for the Switch by Grezzo (Nintendo)

The Legend of Zelda is without question one of the most powerful IPs in Nintendo’s portfolio, and new installments in it always garner attention. Back in February, Nintendo announced a remake of the series’ fourth game, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, for the Nintendo Switch. It sported a nifty toy-like art style reminiscent of the original’s sprites. Nintendo featured it again during E3, confirming its launch date is September 20.

Speaking with Kotaku at E3, Zelda figurehead Eiji Aonuma discussed the game, divulging some interesting tidbits about its development. When it comes to choosing between making a sequel to an earlier entry (like A Link Between Worlds) or a remake, Aonuma described the process as a “case by case” basis. However, reflecting upon how Link’s Awakening graced the world over 26 years ago and is now harder to find copies of, Aonuma has wanted to remake it “for a while.”

Aonuma aims to make his remakes distinct by incorporating new elements into them, allowing even those who’ve played the original to enjoy “a fresh experience.” Internal discussions also took place among the Zelda team regarding user-generated content, which ultimately “landed on the idea of dungeons.” Creating puzzles within Zelda‘s iconic dungeons is generally “a little bit hard,” and the solution the team came to was the Chamber Dungeons, an editor where players can arrange their own labyrinth. As all of the dungeons in Link’s Awakening were roughly the same size, it was the game selected to be remade for this project. While Aonuma couldn’t commit to making a Super Mario Maker-esque Zelda game in the future, it’s something he’ll keep in mind should the Chamber Dungeons prove to be popular.

Grezzo is a studio that should be familiar to longtime Zelda fans; they were responsible for porting Ocarina of Time, Four Swords and Majora’s Mask to the Nintendo 3DS, and they’re spearheading the Link’s Awakening revamp.

While speaking with Kotaku, Aonuma also opened up about the Breath of the Wild sequel, chatting about why it’s being made rather than a new take on the formula.

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