The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (Switch) Articles RSS Feed | The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (Switch) RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Nintendo Merchandise Gift Guide: 16 Gift Ideas for Your Favorite Nintendo Fan Wed, 13 Nov 2019 16:11:50 -0500 Josh Broadwell


Super Mario Maker 2


Rating: 4.5/5 stars (485 total ratings)
Price: $43.94
Buy it from: Amazon


We'd be remiss if we didn't include Super Mario Maker 2 in our list, the follow-up to the excellent Super Mario Maker for the Wii U. It's the game series that lets you design, play, and share your own Super Mario levels, using items and obstacles from throughout Mario history and offering multiple aesthetic styles to suit your creative needs.


As comprehensive as the original was, it might seem like there's no way to improve. But Super Mario Maker 2 did improve, adding even more items, even more ways to design your stages, multiplayer options, and a special new Super Mario 3D Land style that lets you create stages with 3D elements.


On top of that is a much more expanded single-player mode, one that goes far beyond simple tutorials to use for building and sharing stages. The idea is that Mario must help rebuild Peach's castle. While it exists mostly to teach players how to make their own stages, the included levels are easily some of the best designed Mario stages in general, essentially adding a new 2D Mario game on top of the Maker components.


Even those who spent hundreds of hours with the original found Super Mario Maker 2 to be exciting and fresh.




And that's it for our Nintendo merchandise gift guide for this year. Hopefully, this list of awesome Nintendo products helped you find a gift for your favorite Nintendo fan — or at least got your gears turning! 


The Art of Bravely Default


Rating: 5/5 stars (11 total ratings)
Price: $23.49 (Hardcover)
Buy it from: Amazon


Bravely Default isn't a new game, but it's only just now we're getting the lovely art book we've needed since the game launched. Bravely Default itself is a solid RPG, but one of the best things about it is how completely gorgeous it is, alongside the way the story plays with RPG storytelling and its Final Fantasy roots.


Dark Horse Books — the same ones that published the Mario Odyssey art book — brings us 256 pages stuffed full of content. There's the usual art, of course, following location and character designs from conception through to the finished product. There's also never-before-localized commentary from the development team, covering the story and its origins plus general commentary on the development process.


This is a natural fit for anyone who's played Bravely Default, though should it already be on your intended recipient's shelf, Dark Horse published a similar book based on the game's sequel, Bravely Second.


Dragon Quest XI Luminary's Crest Slim Fit T-Shirt


Rating: 90% 5 stars (150 total ratings)
Price: $18.81
Buy it from: Redbubble


Like Fire Emblem, Dragon Quest still hasn't quite reached a level of popularity in the West that generates a wealth of merchandise. But the Luminary, the hero of Dragon Quest XI, is probably a bit more well known now thanks to his debut in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.


Whether your intended recipient has played DQXI or just knows the Luminary as that quirky character with the random moveset from Smash, the Luminary's Crest T-shirt from Redbubble is a great way to show off some of that Dragon Quest fan love. The design itself is central to the game, plus it's understated enough to be something you could wear anywhere, unlike some of the character-centric shirts that tend to be just a tad too loud for normal wear.


Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age Definitive Edition


Rating: 5/5 stars (239 total ratings)
Price: $49.99
Buy it from: Amazon


Dragon Quest XI was one of the best RPGs that launched on the PlayStation 4 last year. Though Dragon Quest traditionally doesn't push too many boundaries in terms of RPG conventions, DQXI brought the series forward by leaps and bounds, with more character interactions, a bigger world, and a particularly potent plot twist that turns those conventions upside down.


And now it's on the Nintendo Switch. It isn't just the regular game, either. The "definitive edition" moniker is well earned, as the Switch version includes new content, side chapters fleshing out every main character's story, a section that lets you explore elements from previous Dragon Quest worlds, and even the ability to play almost the entire game with SNES-style graphics.


Players take control of the nameless Hero, the Luminary of ancient legends reincarnated for reasons unknown. There's a bit of a hitch in this setup, though, since the Hero ends up in prison precisely because he's the Luminary. From there, players meet up with an eclectic and fantastic cast of characters and travel around the (huge) world to uncover the mystery behind the Luminary and the dark plans unfolding behind the scenes.


This is a meaty game, with a long main storyline on top of an extended post-game set of challenges


The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (Switch)


Rating: 4.5/5 stars (540 total ratings)
Price: $49.94
Buy it from: Amazon


Speaking of love for retro, Nintendo released an enhanced version of the classic The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening on the Switch this year. Structurally, it's almost exactly like the Game Boy and Game Boy Color original, but that's not a bad thing. It isn't considered one of the best games in the storied Zelda series for nothing, and it places a greater emphasis on exploration and storytelling than many of the Zelda games that followed it.


Link wakes up on a strange island and finds out he has to also wake up a mysterious creature known as the Wind Fish. He can't figure out why everyone on the island reminds him of people in Hyrule — or why creatures from other Nintendo franchises are wandering around. It's a surreal adventure tightly woven around some wildly unique personalities.


While the core gameplay remains largely untouched, the game's visuals and soundtrack received some excellent upgrades. The entire game looks like a mix of toybox and diorama style in what, alongside Crafted World, stands out as one of the year's most innovative use of visuals in a game.


If you can't tell already, we liked it. A lot. You can see all the reasons why here if you're interested.


The NES Encyclopedia


Rating: 4.5 stars (12 reviews)
Price: $37.04 (Hardcover) or $29.95 (Paperback)
Buy it from: Amazon


This is the quintessential guide to everything Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). There's a comprehensive, but concise, overview of that period in gaming and the system itself, along with a detailed entry for every NES game released  all 714 of them  plus the 160 unlicensed games. It's the only book of its kind.


The author is considered an expert in retro gaming as well, so you know it's coming not just from a reliable author, but from someone with personal experience of, and passion for, the topic. The enthusiasm for retro gaming is only getting stronger, so this would be a perfect gift for someone who already has the latest Nintendo products and even the NES Classic.


Plus, the author is currently compiling an SNES Encyclopedia, which means we just sorted your Christmas 2020 plans for you as well. You're welcome.


Poke Ball Classics


If that certain someone isn't a plushie fan or can't carry their favorite stuffie around with them, the Poke Ball Classics collection is a consideration. It's a range of professional attire and accessories for adults (or those who have to pretend to be adults during the day).


Though the wallet is shown above, the line contains a number of choices.


It's a great reminder of the child at heart, that the things we love don't have to fall away just because time passes and we grow up. And they look cool, which is always a bonus.


Pokemon Sitting Cuties Plush


Ratings: Generally 5 stars (number of ratings varies depending on which plush)
Price: $10.99
Buy it from: The Pokemon Center


The National Pokedex in Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield might not include all 1,000+ Pokemon this time around, but the spirit of Gotta Catch 'Em All is alive and well with The Pokemon Center's line of Pokemon Sitting Cuties.


Right now, the line includes every Pokemon from Generations 1 and 2, which equates to 253 different plushies. These range in size from 5-inches to roughly 8-inches, but all are $10.99.


As you'd expect, they all sit up somehow, which makes them easy to display or even just to sit around without worrying about them falling over and becoming the dog's next meal.


The size also means these could be great individual stocking stuffers or grouped together as more than one, and they won't take up much space for the recipient either.


The Art of Super Mario Odyssey


Rating: 4.5/5 (9 reviews)
Price: $34.98 (Hardcover)
Buy it from: Amazon


Super Mario Odyssey, the beloved plumber's first Nintendo Switch outing, has been around for two years now, and many players have seen all there is to see. What they may not have seen, though, is how it all came to be.


Publisher Dark Horse Books recently put out The Art of Super Mario Odyssey, an in-depth art book presenting the various kingdoms Mario ventures to in a completely new light.


And it's not light on content either, with 368 pages worth of material. From finished products and concept art, to cut designs and stories from the development team, this artbook is a must-have for Mario Odyssey fans.


Luigi's Mansion 3


Rating: 4.5/5 stars (145 total ratings)
Price: $59.99
Buy it from: Amazon


Luigi's Mansion first appeared on the GameCube way back in 2001, and despite being well-received, it's only seen two sequels since then. It's kind of okay, though, because the most recent of those, Luigi's Mansion 3, is a polished game that's an absolute blast to play from start to finish.


Luigi, Mario, Peach, and some Toads are on vacation at the ominously named Last Resort Hotel. Everything seems perfect until night falls, the hotel owner reveals she's in alliance with Luigi's old nemesis King Boo, and everyone except Luigi has been sealed inside portraits.


Fortunately, Luigi soon recovers his trusty Poltergust vacuum that lets him suck up ghosts and basically everything else. From there, it's up to the player to explore all 17 floors in the massive haunted hotel, uncovering secrets, solving puzzles, playing with toilets, and fighting off hordes of ghosts.


It's definitely one of the better-looking games on the Switch. You're rewarded for paying attention to the details as well since many puzzle solutions are found by carefully examining what's around you. All in all, Luigi's Mansion 3 is just plain fun for any age.


Keep Calm and Have an Apple Gel Mug


Rating: 95% 5-star ratings (out of 66)
Price: $15.76
Buy it from: Redbubble


2019 has been an excellent year for RPGs on the Switch, but one that sort of got lost in the shuffle is Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition. It's a remaster of a game that's largely considered the best in the long-running Tales of series, and it made its debut on a Nintendo system with the Switch earlier this year.


For a while, Apple Gels are quite literally your lifeblood in the game, being the most basic — and affordable — method of restoring your health and keeping you going. This mug does the same thing for whatever your essential building block of life might be, whether it's coffee, tea, or something else entirely.


It's a fun little reminder to take a break and give yourself a nice little treat in the middle of the day. 


Etrian Odyssey Nexus


Ratings: 4.5/5 stars (50 total ratings)
Price: $29.97
Buy it from: Amazon


The 3DS still saw some new releases in early 2019 as well, with Etrian Odyssey Nexus being one of the more prominent ones. It's a celebration of, and possibly farewell to, Atlus' long-running Etrian Odyssey series that first debuted back on the original DS.


Etrian Odyssey Nexus is a throwback to traditional, first-person dungeon crawler RPG mixes, where you put together a party of five adventurers and explore a series of labyrinths. The exploration is the real star here, since Etrian Odyssey games require you to draw your map as you explore, documenting shortcuts, secrets, walls — or not, if you don't want to (but you should).


These labyrinths aren't for the fainthearted, either. Etrian Odyssey is known for being one of the more challenging RPG series on the 3DS, and Nexus is no exception (though as always, the difficulty can be changed at any time to suit your needs).


Overcoming the challenges in each labyrinth requires some careful party planning, and that's one of the game's biggest strengths. You have access to over a dozen unique classes pulled from all the previous Etrian Odyssey games, each with its own set of skill trees that offers a ton of customization options. No two EO parties will be the same and each offers a tremendous level of freedom in how each player approaches the game and keep things fresh for a long time.


We go into more detail in our review here.


I Am Ferdinand Von Aegir T-Shirt


Ratings: 90% 5/5 stars (118 total ratings)
Price: $17.36
Buy it from: Redbubble


Maybe the person on your list already has Fire Emblem: Three Houses. If so, and if they're active on the Internet at all, they're probably familiar with this little gem of a phrase.


For a bit of context, Ferdinand is a character in the Black Eagles House, the son of the imperial prime minister and someone who has rather a good opinion of himself. Every character has a sound byte play when you first choose them during your turn. Dorothea, the former opera songstress, says, "That's my cue!" while the ever-impatient Lysithea says "Let's make this quick...".


Ferdinand? He says "I am Ferdinand Von Aegir!" That's it. That's all his enemies need to know, because for Ferdinand, the entire world is encapsulated in that one statement.


Naturally, this immediately turned Ferdinand and his catchphrase into a meme and even webcomic material. There isn't much Three Houses merchandise available, but this one, with its humor and stronger connections to the gameplay experience itself, is definitely one of the better pieces out there.


Fire Emblem: Three Houses


Rating: 5 stars (496 total ratings)
Price: $57.85
Buy it from: Amazon


Fire Emblem: Three Houses is an absolute must-have for any fan of RPGs or strategy games. It accommodates players of all skill and interest levels, and that's not something many strategy games do. It's a marriage of traditional Fire Emblem strategy gameplay with an RPG-style school setting that offers players an unprecedented level of customization. 


Then there's the story. Three Houses boasts a sprawling storyline split into four main branches depending on the player's choices. Each branch shares a similar first part, then they all diverge wildly, covering completely separate storylines and characters.


There's no "true" ending here, giving extra weight to the initial House choice and which students players choose to recruit into their armies. Fortunately, there are ways to shorten subsequent playthroughs, so experiencing each story won't just be a slog.


It's also one of the most accessible Fire Emblem games to date. There's Classic mode, where dead units stay dead, and Casual mode, where characters who drop to 0 HP just retreat. Then there's Normal and Hard difficulty, with the soul-shattering Maddening mode recently added as the highest difficulty level in the game. Stat crunching menu lovers can spend time optimizing every student, or you can skip the instructions part and let the game do it for you.


You can see our review of it as well if you need some more specific details, and we even have a range of Three Houses guides to point your happy recipient in the right direction should they need some assistance.


Yoshi's Crafted World


Rating: 4.6/5 (350 total ratings)
Price: $43.94
Buy it from: Amazon


With all the big releases and epic adventures that released on Nintendo Switch this year, it's easy to forget Mario's lovable dino-sidekick Yoshi had their own game release this year as well.


Yoshi's Crafted World follows in the footsteps of Yoshi's Woolly World on the Wii U and 3DS, sending Yoshi across a variety of absolutely gorgeous worlds stuffed full of detail to retrieve some special Gems stolen by an evil Magikoopa.


Crafted World goes beyond Woolly World in the detail department, though. Every item in the game is a handicraft item, made from cardboard, straws — anything and everything you'd expect to see in a craft project of some kind. Most of these are used in puzzles of some kind or can be interacted with to earn a special item or coins as well, and it's easily the best use of graphics and environment in a game this year.


Like most Yoshi games, Crafted World isn't designed for your hardcore challenge seeker. It's fairly easy, though trying to find all the collectibles is a challenge in itself. Still, someone who appreciates solid and fun design and is happy to just get lost in the world for a while would be a good match for Yoshi's Crafted World.


If you need more information about it, head over to our review for a more thorough description.


Nintendo Switch Lite


Rating: 4.5/5 stars (322 total ratings)
Price: $199.95
Buy it from: Amazon


The Nintendo Switch Lite is a more portable variant of the standard Nintendo Switch. While it sacrifices the ability to connect to a TV and it lacks HD Rumble — which means there's a handful of games it can't play — it's also a heck of a lot easier to carry around. It's also generally more comfortable to play in handheld mode.


Otherwise, it does everything the same, with a display that's just a bit clearer than the original Switch, longer battery life, and improved backlight and sound settings.


If you're buying for someone who mostly plays portable systems or who needs their own Switch outside the family unit, then this is definitely a better buy than the base model — not least because it's $100 less than the original Switch. Check out our full review and detailed comparisons here.


It's holiday 2019 already. Christmas is almost upon us, and it's time to start thinking about all the rad Nintendo merchandise you're going to gift that special someone. Luckily, we've done a lot of the leg work and put together a list of 16 awesome gifts to kickstart your holiday journey. 


The Nintendo Switch has been out for two years now, but 2019 was an extra-good year for Nintendo fans. Just in the past 10 months alone, we've seen several high-quality new titles added to the system's library, ranging from epic RPGs to games that let you build your own levels. The 3DS even got an excellent new title earlier in the year.


But what to do when that special someone already bought the latest games? We've got you covered there, too, with a selection of non-game merchandise to suit a variety of interests and tastes.


Let's see what we've got below. 

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening Switch Review — Aged to Perfection Tue, 24 Sep 2019 17:32:24 -0400 Josh Broadwell

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is the perfect follow-up to Breath of the Wild's franchise-busting experiment in open world, free choice gameplay. It's also a testament to the timelessness of excellent game design and the power of nostalgia.

There's not a whole lot one can say about the plot of Link's Awakening without spoiling things, since it adopts a more unusual narrative pattern for the series. 

After defeating Ganon in one version of the series' notoriously complicated timelines, Link sets off for new lands outside Hyrule. The problem is, his rather flimsy vessel gets hit by lightning, and he ends up unconscious on an unknown beach. 

That somewhere is Koholint Island. It's an odd place where animals talk and live side-by-side with humans. There's an egg at the top of the island's biggest mountain, and a mysterious girl called Marin, who looks an awful lot like Princess Zelda, takes an interest in Link's wellbeing.

You'll piece together more of Koholint's past and present as you journey around the island seeking out its eight mysterious ruins (i.e. dungeons), defeat the Nightmares inside, and obtain the Instruments of the Sirens.

The game's exploration structure is classic Zelda, and the original Link's Awakening is often seen as the game that cemented it for years to come, after it first debuted in Link to the Past.

But the loose story with a central plot twist is unique to this game and gives it so much character.

Zelda II was the series' first experiment in doing something different, back when making the second game different was almost a requirement. Yet Link's Awakening is where the spirit of experiment and innovation first shone through, making it memorable for more than just being the weird stepchild.

A big part of its character is because that destiny of yours involves a not entirely unexpected, though still gut-wrenching plot twist that completely reshapes how you approach the game from then on, but you won't learn about that until much later in your journey.

Meet the Islanders

The general story structure up to that point might seem a bit bland by modern standards. However, what really makes Link's Awakening stand out — and makes that eventual twist dig in even further — is its characters.

Not even Breath of the Wild or Majora's Mask include such a varied cast of strong personalities and downright bizarre scenarios.

The village dog lady keeps bloodthirsty but fashion-conscious Chain Chomps for pets. There's a starving alligator who's also a banana salesman. Old Man Ulrira won't talk in person, but he's Koholint's version of Dear Abby, and the goat (ghost?) writer Christine sends letters to her beloved Mr. Write but won't reveal she's a goat. 

It's one of the only games in the series where every personality stands out and contributes something to the game, even if it's just worldbuilding, which is more important than ever in this entry. 

What's especially impressive in Link's Awakening for the Switch is that the game's core hasn't changed from the original Game Boy version, and yet it's still as engaging as ever before.

The dialogue and scenarios are helped along by some modern touches that make them more dynamic and boost engagement. Text boxes are no longer limited to three or five words at a time, so it's a lot easier to get the spirit behind the message. Delivery is also improved by adorable and expressive character models, each of which gets its own set of sound bytes that add even more personality.

It's the best next step for the series after BotW. In that entry, Hyrule itself is arguably the main character. Take that away and return to something like Ocarina of Time or Twilight Princess, where interesting characters are mostly one-offs, and it'd be very easy for the game to feel flat.

Old Feels Surprisingly New

Gameplay in Link's Awakening is classic Zelda with a bit of a twist.

For first-timers, it might seem too linear since there's no flexibility in the game's overall progression; you have to get to Point C from Point A via Thing B, and you have access new tools in the order the game wants you to.

However, the game is surprisingly open despite that strict structure. For example, after getting the Power Bracelet from the second dungeon, a huge portion of Koholint Island opens up, and there's nothing stopping you from exploring it.

And it's worth taking the time to look around. Link to the Past offers a big world, but despite originating on more limited hardware, Link's Awakening feels bigger, with more things to do, see, and uncover.

There's practically no unused space on Koholint Island, whether it's a place to uncover a Secret Seashell, a cave hiding a new Heart Piece, or the next path you need to unblock.

There are still places you can't go until you learn to swim and get a certain other item, and you won't be able to access dungeons out of order, but you can go almost anywhere you want in between — as long as you can figure out the route. 

It turns the game into a puzzle within a puzzle, with everything falling satisfactorily into place the further you progress. 

Toys to Life

Link's Awakening uses a delightful mix of toybox style characters in diorama settings and hyper-detailed 2.5D environments to create something that surpasses even Octopath Traveler in innovation and looks.

It's the little touches that really stand out, though.

Unlike the original, characters are capable of facial expressions, too, which adds a charming touch of nuance to the game.

Because of the Switch's hardware, water sparkles while flames shine and look realistic. The Keese's glowing eyes challenge you from the darkness, and a subtle blue tint washes over the screen when you're near the ocean.

The world isn't divided into a grid map anymore, either. Moving from one place to the next no longer requires transitions. That change, however, comes at the cost of framerate stability. FPS drops mostly occur where screen divides used to be, among some other areas unconnected to the old divides. Some spots always stutter, while others sometimes won't.

While these hiccups aren't game-breaking, nor do they make your in-game death more likely, it is a shame the lovely aesthetic has to be marred by these issues.

Respect the Past, Envision the Future

The Soundtrack

What isn't marred is the soundtrack. Full-bodied, subtle, and entirely appropriate in all contexts, the real draw is how it expertly pays homage to the original while using nostalgia as a springboard to do something amazing.

The original chip tunes were fine for their time, but there were basically two sounds: silence and BEEP. Here, however, every song is beautifully re-imagined with modernity while being painted with the undertones of emotional nostalgia.

In almost every facet, it's an incredibly effective soundtrack adding even more life to a vibrant remake.

Dungeon Crawling

Dungeons are a bit on the simple side overall. Most of them are fairly short by series standards, though that isn't a bad thing considering this is a portable game remade on portable hardware. They sit in a comfortable position between BotW's mini-puzzle Shrines and the lengthier, more complex dungeons of games like The Wind Waker or Twilight Princess.

Rather than having you solve puzzles spanning multiple stories or relying on more complicated movement-based puzzles, you'll piece together the right path much in the same way you do in the overworld. Clearing out one part of the dungeon always gives you the necessary keys tools to open previousl-closed areas.

Those with fond memories of the original will probably be more likely to overlook their simplicity here. But it's still a nice cleanser after spending over 40 hours dealing with 100+ Shrines in BotW

Dampe, Dungeon Master

The Chamber Dungeon mechanic is the only completely new addition to Link's Awakening, and it's a fun one, if more limited than it should be.

Eventually, you can visit Dampe the grave keeper in his home, and he helps you put together mini-dungeons using tablets on his special worktable.

He'll teach you the basics, then set out a series of challenges for you to complete. You have to meet his requirements and create a feasible dungeon with no loose ends. It's an interesting set of brain teasers, and finally landing on an ideal layout is very satisfying.

Playing through them is not, though. Most of the tablets are rooms from dungeons you've already conquered. Even though piecing together rooms from random different dungeons does keep things fresh, it's just not as compelling as actually piecing the layout together. 

  • Tightly-knit narrative and gameplay scenarios
  • Surprising amount of freedom within a linear system
  • World stuffed full of secrets
  • Engaging characters
  • Expertly pays homage to the original, while updating as needed
  • Innovative and highly appealing graphics direction
  • Fantastic soundtrack
  • Not much (read: hardly any) new material
  • Might seem too simple for first-timers

The 1993 version of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is a masterpiece — and its 2019 remake is one, too. 

The time that's passed since experiencing Link's Awakening in its original form has helped showcase how well the game has aged, as well as where it fits in with the series and gaming overall.

It's the best entry after Breath of the Wild to keep the series fresh while something completely new bubbles away. It's a strong testament to the power of caring, thoughtful design.

Even a 26-year-old games can be made new again with a little love.

Link's Awakening Switch: Heart Piece Locations Sun, 22 Sep 2019 13:21:46 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Like most games in The Legend of Zelda series, Link's Awakening includes dozens of Heart Pieces scattered around the map for Link to find, on top of the bigger Heart Containers the Nightmare bosses each drop. Gather four Heart Pieces, and you get a new Heart Container for your troubles.

Link's Awakening isn't the most difficult game around, but having an eight-heart safety net is never a bad thing, plus it makes exploring every inch of Koholint Island worthwhile.

Some Heart Pieces are out in the open, waiting to be found after you get the right tools, while finding others takes you off — or under — the beaten path. There are 32 Heart Pieces to find in all, and here's where to get them.

Mabe Village Heart Pieces

  • On the western side of the village, jump off the ledge into the well. Open the chest to find the heart piece.

  • Purchase for 200 Rupees in the village shop. Note you can technically steal it by picking it up and going in circles around the shopkeeper until he's dizzy. Save the game before you decide to steal it, though; you're in for a surprise the next time you enter the shop.

  • Win at the Trendy Game store.

  • Later in the game, if you've won several prizes at the Trendy Game store, another Heart Piece will be up for grabs.

  • Catch a small fish in the fishing game (the hut north of Madame Meowmeow's house).

  • Catch a medium fish in the fishing game.

Mysterious Woods/Tabahl Wastelands/Cemetery Heart Pieces

  • Enter the log in the eastern part of the Mysterious Woods, push the stones aside, and use the Power Bracelet to lift the skulls.

  • After acquiring the Hookshot, enter the log surrounded by three rocks, and use the Hookshot to navigate your way to the chest; inside is a Heart Piece

  • Directly east of the Woods and north of the Witch's Hut, use Roc's Feather to jump onto a small strip of land, where a Heart Piece rests in some grass.

  • In the bottom-left part of the Cemetery, push the bottom-right gravestone to reveal a staircase. Go into the cave, bomb the cracked rock, and use the Hookshot to get to the treasure chest. You'll find a Heart Piece inside.

  • North of the Cemetery, and directly south of Dampe's house, use Roc's Feather to jump over the row of holes and nab the Heart Piece waiting there.

Dampe's Heart Pieces

Two Heart Pieces come from Dampe. He gives you the first after you clear his fourth challenge, "Fill Up Your Hearts", and the second once you've completed several challenges. You won't be able to start experimenting with the Chamber Dungeons until after you complete Bottle Grotto, though.

Ukuku Prairie and Martha's Bay Heart Pieces

  • Right outside Mabe Village's eastern exit is a crumbly cliff wall. Bomb it, and go inside to obtain a Heart Piece.

  • Right above where Tarin tries to outwit the bees (near the Ukuku Prairie warp point) is another cracked wall. Bomb it, use the Pegasus Boots to make your way further in, bomb the cracked wall, and there's your Heart Piece.

  • Once you've obtained five Secret Seashells, present them in the Secret Seashell hut near Kanalet Castle.

  • Make your way to the field behind Richard's villa, and work your way to the upper right portion of it. There's a Heart Piece lurking behind some holes.

  • After you obtain the Flippers (which is after you complete Angler's Tunnel, the fourth dungeon), swim in the Kanalet Castle moat, and approach the bridge from the left. You'll spot a Heart Piece under the water, which you can get by diving.

  • South of the Secret Seashell hut is a stairway that lets you cross under the river to get to Animal Village. With Flippers in hand (or on foot), dive in the deep water in the passageway, and you'll find another Heart Piece.

  • Swim to the south side of Martha's Bay, south of the Catfish's Maw dungeon, until you're near the spot where the Mermaid Statue sits. In the little stretch of water south of the statue sits a Heart Piece. Dive for it, and it's yours.

  • The patch of bushes south of the previous Heart Piece holds another one. Exit the bay, and go counterclockwise around it, past the phone hut, and use the Pegasus Boots and Roc's Feather combo to leap over the holes. Head downstairs, and dive in the deep water to find the Heart Piece.

Animal Village and Yarna Desert Heart Pieces

There aren't as many Heart Pieces to find here.

  • Go to the northeast part of Animal Village, and find the path that takes you around the back of the village. At the end is a Heart Piece, the one you can see from outside the village.

  • There's a cave near the path as well. Go inside, bomb the cracked rock, and use the Hookshot to cross the gap and obtain the Heart Piece.

  • In the far eastern part of Yarna Desert is an Owl Statue, and near the statue is a cave. You'll pass through a couple of rooms until you see a cracked wall. Use a bomb, then go in the newly revealed room to find your Heart Piece.

Tal Tal Heights Heart Pieces

  • East of Angler's Tunnel is a cave in the water. Hop in (after obtaining the Flippers, of course), go in the cave, and dive for the Heart Piece.

  • From the Cucco House in Tal Tal Heights, head west along the path. Use your Hookshot to cross over the bridge, and slash the bush to reveal a staircase. Go inside and grab the Heart Piece.

  • Head down the path outside the staircase you just exited, and remove the rocks in front of another cave entrance. Bomb the southern wall that looks like it'd be a doorway, then make your way through another room with four enemies. You can just ignore these and exit the room to the right. A Heart Piece awaits you there.

  • Follow this same cave system to the west, until it spits you out in western Tal Tal Heights. Work your way along the path above Goponga Swamp until you reach the Heart Piece there on the ledge.

  • This next one is actually connected to the eighth dungeon, Turtle Rock. In the dungeon's upper left area is a room with two enemies and a staircase. Take the staircase up into the overworld, and a Heart Piece is on a platform above you.

Rafting Game Heart Pieces

The rafting game is in the Tal Tal Heights region as well, east of Angler's Tunnel.

  • Using your Hookshot, work your way to the left in the rafting mini-game. Maneuver yourself into the current that takes you south around the island with the Heart Piece, and then, using the Hookshot again, pull yourself to said island.

  • South of the rafting game is a cave nestled in the cliff face. Enter the cave, and use your Hookshot to cross over both gaps and reach the Heart Piece.

  • Break the record in the raft race, and you get a Heart Piece.


Finding all the Heart Pieces might not be completely necessary for beating the game, but it is a good excuse to explore every nook and cranny on the island.

While you're off exploring, check out our other Link's Awakening Switch guides for more tips and secrets.

Link's Awakening Switch Guide: How to Get All Songs and the Ocarina Sat, 21 Sep 2019 13:11:09 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Ocarinas were already old hat in The Legend of Zelda when Ocarina of Time came along, with the item first debuting in Link's Awakening and playing a rather important role later in the game.

It makes a return in Link's Awakening on Switch and still plays the same role, and the two other, non-vital songs make a comeback as well.

However, like the start of the trading sequence, you can easily miss out on picking up the Ocarina at first and get stuck when you need it, to say nothing of missing the extra songs. Fear not, dreamy adventurer: our guide is here to save the day.

How to Get the Ocarina

The Ocarina in Link's Awakening is in the Dream Shrine, the blocked-off building north of the square in Mabe Village. You can technically access it after clearing Bottle Grotto, since the Power Bracelet lets you chuck the stones blocking the Shrine out of the way.

However, you'll need the Pegasus Boots from Key Cavern (dungeon three) to make any progress inside the Dream Shrine.

The Shrine itself is a short and simple affair. Make your way around the edges, clearing out enemies as you go, and then you'll find steps leading up to the Shrines central dais. Loot the treasure chest for its Rupees, then grab the Ocarina on the left.

If you're looking for something else to do with your newfound Pegasus Boots, you can head over to the Mabe Village Library to work on unlocking the Color Dungeon while you're here.

Your First Song: Learning Ballad of the Wind Fish

If Marin and the tune that plays when you acquire an instrument at the end of each dungeon didn't give it away, the Ballad of the Wind Fish is the game's central song and the first mandatory one to learn on the Ocarina.

You'll use it a few times, but the most important time you'll use it is to access the final dungeon.

You can technically learn the Ballad at any point after acquiring the Ocarina, either when Marin is singing in the Mabe Village square or when she's singing in the Animal Village (depending on when you clear the Shrine).

For practical purposes, though, you may as well go ahead and learn it right after you finish the Dream Shrine.

You'll need this song — and Marin — to enter the Yarna Desert, but even if you have the song, you'll still need to complete certain parts of the trading sequence to get Marin to go with you.

Manbo's Mambo: The Second Song

The second song is available after you get the Flippers in the fourth dungeon, Angler's Tunnel.

Exit the dungeon and swim to the left. Enter the cave there, and work your way through to Manbo the fish. Manbo will teach you his Mambo, which lets you warp to any of the warp points on Koholint Island, along with Manbo's Pond near the graveyard.

The Final Number: Frog's Song of the Soul

The third and last Ocarina song you'll get is Frog's Song of the Soul, but getting it is a bit more of an involved process.

You'll first need the Hookshot, which means you'll have to finish the fifth dungeon, Catfish's Maw.

After that, go back to Mabe Village's eastern entrance/exit, and go south towards Ukuku Prairie. Use your new Hookshot to fly over the holes in the ground and enter Signpost Maze.

How to Complete Signpost Maze

The signpost puzzle in Link's Awakening is one of the more devious puzzles the game throws at you. There isn't a set path to follow either, because it resets each time you enter or each time you mess up.

The first post you'll need to read is directly south of where you enter the maze — not the one near the hole.

From there, follow the instructions to the next post, which is always in a straight line from the previous one. When the sign tells you to go a certain way, it's serious. Don't deviate from that line, or you'll read the wrong sign and have to start over again.

Completing the maze reveals a staircase heading down into the earth.

Go down the stairs, and you'll come across the superstar frog Mamu. Mamu is perfectly willing to let you hear a special, uncut version of his latest song — for a price. You need this song, though, so shell out the 300 Rupees to hear it, and you'll learn the Frog's Song of the Soul.

The song's description says it's used for waking the dead, but you won't be going around playing necromancer with it.

Instead, you'll need it much later in the game, to awaken the Giant Turtle and access the eighth dungeon, Turtle Rock.


That's all you need to know about getting the Ocarina in Link's Awakening and all its songs, but be sure to check out our other Link's Awakening Switch guides.

Link's Awakening Switch: How to Get the Boomerang via Trading Sat, 21 Sep 2019 13:34:50 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Almost all the games in The Legend of Zelda series include some kind of trading sequence. Link's Awakening was the entry where this tradition began and also happens to be the longest trading sequence, spanning the entire game and bringing you closer to the quirky inhabitants of Koholint Island and getting you the coveted boomerang.

The Nintendo Switch version of Link's Awakening includes the trading game as well, with one special tweak at the end that'll be welcome to many.

There are a couple of things that make the Link's Awakening trading sequence different from those in other installments. For one thing, completing certain stages of it are required to progress in the story.

The end reward is different, too. Unlike in, say, Ocarina of Time, you don't get a mighty weapon or some other combat-oriented item for making it all the way through the quest.

Instead, you get two things. The biggest one is hidden knowledge that helps you traverse the final dungeon, where otherwise, you'd have to deal with rounds of trial and error to get through.

The other thing it gets you is the Boomerang item.

How to start it and where to go isn't always clear, and though the new version does add a few more helpful pointers to get you going, it's easy to get stuck if you miss a bit of dialogue or a clue just doesn't click. It's also not something you can do all at once, because it's so closely intertwined with the game's plot.

That's why we put this handy guide for how to start and complete the trading quest in Link's Awakening on Switch.

Starting the Trading Quest: The Yoshi Doll

You'll start the trading sequence by visiting the Trendy Game store in Mabe Village; it's the building south of the field with all the grass.

Here, you'll face what's possibly the greatest trial on the entire island: winning a crane game. The Trendy Game crane game was notoriously finnicky in the original Link's Awakening, and that hasn't changed here, where being off just by a tiny bit means the crane drops your Yoshi prize.

Once you've finally nabbed the doll, head outside.

Stage Two: Yoshi Doll to Ribbon

In the Game Boy Link's Awakening, you were left to figure out what to do with your new Yoshi prize, but in the Switch version, the child outside Trendy Game tells you his mother could really use the doll to help calm her new baby.

Head up to Papahl and Mamasha's house in the northern part of the village, and speak to Mamasha. She'll give you the Ribbon in exchange for the Yoshi Doll.

Stage Three: Ribbon to Dog Food

The next stop in the trading sequence is close by. Go to the center of the village to the house where Madame MeowMeow and her BowWows live.

Enter the house and go to the right, then speak to CiaoCiao to learn she's pining for a new accessory to adorn herself with. Hand over the Ribbon, and you'll get some Dog Food in return.

Stage Four: Dog Food to Bananas

For the next part of the trading game, head down to Toronbo Shores again. Stick to the northern part of the area and go east until you come upon a house.

Go inside and speak to Sale, the alligator who sells bananas. Rather conveniently, he wants some Dog Food, and he's willing to give up a bunch of Bananas in exchange for your can.

Stage Five: Bananas to Stick

The Banana portion of the trading quest is tied in with the rest of the story.

If you didn't start the trade sequence already, you'll find you can't reach Kanalet Castle because there's no way across the bridge. If this is you, you'll need to head back to Mabe Village to start the sequence so you can progress in the game.

With Bananas in hand, find Kiki the cheeky monkey near the Kanalet moat. Grateful Kiki will summon a team of monkeys to build a moat for you, and they leave behind a Stick.

Stage Six: Stick to Honeycomb

If you've completed Key Cavern before this point, you might have noticed Tarin loitering around on Ukuku Prairie. (If not, go clear the dungeon so you can start the next step in the trading sequence.)

Tarin wants some honey and requests the Stick to knock a beehive out of the tree.

Tarin obviously hasn't played Animal Crossing and doesn't realize that bees will chase him once the hive falls. Fortunately for you, though, they leave their Honeycomb behind.

Stage Seven: Honeycomb to Pineapple

Exchanging the Honeycomb is also necessary to move on in your quest for the Instruments.

Take the Honeycomb to Animal Village, and speak with the bear chef. He'll give you a Pineapple in return, but he also tells you how to shift the Walrus blocking your way into Yarna Desert, namely, by bringing Marin along to sing to the Walrus.

However, if you don't give the Honeycomb to the bear, then Marin won't change her routine and go along with Link.

Stage Eight: Pineapple to Hibiscus

Remember when Papahl told you he'd be lost up on Tal Tal Heights later? Yeah, he wasn't kidding.

As you trek along through the Heights on your journey to find the Angler's Tunnel, the game's fourth dungeon, you'll come across him. He's not only lost, but he's so hungry he can't move as well.

Kindly agree to give him the Pineapple, and you receive a lovely Hibiscus for your pains.

Stage Nine: Hibiscus to Letter

After you get the Hibiscus, travel back to Animal Village, and visit Christine the goat in the village's northern part again. She'll take the Hibiscus, but asks you to deliver her letter to Mr. Write too.

Stage Ten: Letter to Broom

Mr. Write's house borders the Mysterious Woods and Goponga Swamp, and you've probably been past it several times already. Go back again with the letter, and after a scene and an Easter egg, you'll receive a Broom.

Stage Eleven: Broom to Fishing Hook

If you've looked around Mabe Village and spoken to its inhabitants at all, you probably have a good idea where to take the broom. Take it to Grandma Yahoo (formerly known as Grandma Ulrira) and she'll be so happy, she gives you a Fishing Hook.

Stage Twelve: Fishing Hook to Necklace

You may or may not have already visited the fisherman in Martha's Bay by this point. He operates under the bridge connecting the mainland to the little island jutting into the Bay, so naturally, you have to have the flippers to get to him.

Offer up the Fishing Hook, and he promises to give you whatever he catches next. It's quite serendipitous that his next catch is a Necklace, because there's a certain Mermaid in need of one.

Stage Thirteen: Necklace to Mermaid's Scale

Swim north of the Catfish's Maw dungeon to find the Mermaid and give her back her Necklace. She rewards you by letting you take a Scale off her tail.

Final Stage: Mermaid's Scale to Magnifying Lens

Take the Mermaid's Scale to the Mourning Mermaid statue on the south side of Martha's Bay, and insert the Scale.

The statue will move, revealing a staircase that leads you to the trading game's big payoff: The Magnifying Lens.

(Real) Final Stage: Magnifying Lens and the Boomerang

It doesn't sound like much reward for all this work, but the Magnifying Lens actually does a couple of important things.

The biggest thing you can do with the Magnifying Lens is work out the correct path through the Wind Fish's Egg, the final dungeon.

It saves a lot of hassle trying to figure it out yourself, and since you have to finish most of the sequence anyway, it's worth going all the way to get this benefit too.

The Magnifying Lens' other use is back down on Toronbo Shores.

You might have noticed the crumbly wall south of Sale's house before. If you bombed it and ventured inside, you'll have been greeted by absolutely nothing. Go back in this cave and use the Magnifying Lens to reveal Goriya, who asks for an item in exchange for the Boomerang.

Unlike the original Link's Awakening, you can pay Goriya 300 Rupees to get that item back, so it's a win-win situation.


That's all you need to know for the Link's Awakening trading sequence, but be sure to check out our other Link's Awakening Switch guides.

How to Unlock the Color Dungeon in Link's Awakening Switch Fri, 20 Sep 2019 12:19:03 -0400 Josh Broadwell

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening on Nintendo Switch isn't the game's first remake. It received a DX version for Game Boy Color that, obviously, replaced the black-and-white color tone of the original with vibrant color. But it also included a secret, color-themed dungeon, complete with two exclusive power-ups.

The Color Dungeon returns for Link's Awakening on Switch, but there's a bit of a process involved for accessing it. Here's everything you need to know.

How to Unlock the Color Dungeon in Link's Awakening

The Tools You Need for the Color Dungeon

The main tool you need is the Power Bracelet. That's the item Bottle Grotto is built around, so the earliest you can get to the Color Dungeon is after clearing the second dungeon.

If you want to break the sequence and don't mind missing out on some of the game's worldbuilding, you can go ahead to the graveyard to start the process.

If you want to unlock the Color Dungeon the way the game intends you to, though, you'll actually want to finish Key Cavern to get the Pegasus Boots first.

Using the Pegasus Boots to Unlock the Dungeon

Mabe Village Library

If you go the Boots route, head back to Mabe Village after clearing Key Cavern. Go to the Library, which is the bottom-left most building in the village, near where the kids usually play.

There's a book on top of a shelf at the back of the library, and now's the time to finally get it down. Use the Pegasus Boots to dash into the shelf and knock the book down.

The book describes a strange world underneath the graveyard and, more importantly, tells you how to access it: there's a specific order you need to move a set of gravestones in.

The Gravestone Shuffle

Leave Mabe Village through its east exit, then go north. Go up the stairs, and use the Power Bracelet to remove the rock blocking the way. Then, you can head east into the graveyard.

The area you want here is the southeast (bottom right) portion, where there's a set of five graves.

Like always in Zelda games, you'll first want to touch the gravestones to awaken the ghost enemies, called Ghinis, so you can defeat them before they get in the way of moving the gravestones.

From there, follow these orders:

  1. Move the bottom-right gravestone down.
  2. Move the bottom-left gravestone left
  3. Move the upper-left gravestone up
  4. Move the upper-middle gravestone right
  5. Move the upper-right gravestone up

Moving the last gravestone reveals a staircase heading down into the Color Dungeon.

There's a little bit of scraped earth showing you where each stone should be moved. However, should you make a mistake during the sequence, you can enter the nearest house to reset the stones; the Witch's Hut is the closest, just to the west of the graveyard's entrance.

What Do I Get for Completing the Dungeon?

After you defeat the Color Dungeon's boss, you meet the Fairy Queen, who gives you access to two new sets of clothes — but you can only take one.

The Sturdy Blue Mail is a blue tunic that increases Link's defense, while the Powerful Red Mail is a red tunic buffing Link's attack power.

Regardless of which you choose, you can return at any time to swap tunics or revert back to Link's traditional green garb.


Check out our other guides for The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening on the Nintendo Switch!

Nintendo Switch Games That Don't Support Handheld Mode Thu, 11 Jul 2019 13:19:58 -0400 Josh Broadwell

The Nintendo Switch Lite announcement dropped yesterday and confirmed long-rumored changes to the hybrid console, including its lack of detachable Joy-Con controllers.

Fusing the controllers with the system like the Switch Lite does means system owners can only play games in handheld mode since it'd be impossible to engage in docked or tabletop mode otherwise. Unfortunately, it means there are some games and features Switch Lite can't play natively, and we've put together a list of those for your convenience.

Note that the system itself can still run these games. It would just require an extra pair of Joy-Cons connected via wireless to the system for full functionality (and, by extension, a charging dock for the Joy-Con to keep them going).

Switch Games that Don't Support Handheld Mode

  • 1-2 Switch: The game requires detached Joy-Con, HD Rumble, and the Gyroscope for many of its mini-games.

  • Just Dance: All the available games in Ubisoft's dancing franchise only support TV and tabletop modes. As mentioned, you can still play Just Dance on the Switch Lite, if you synch an additional pair of Joy-Con.

  • Nintendo Labo + Labo VR: The Labo spinoffs require detached Joy-Con for play, so in a slightly baffling move, the product aimed at younger gamers won't work very easily on the system aimed at younger consumers.

  • Super Mario Party: Many of the latest Mario Party entry's mini-games require all the features the Switch Lite won't have, like HD Rumble and detached Joy-Con.

  • Fitness Boxing: Unlike Arms, this boxing game makes you play with detached Joy-Con and, thus, would require an extra pair of controllers should you wish to play it on your Switch Lite.

Switch Games with Alterations in Handheld Mode

There are a few other games that can still be played in handheld mode but might not be quite as convenient.

  • Super Mario Odyssey: Mario's 3D, globe-trotting adventure makes use of HD Rumble at times to clue players in to a Power Moon's location. Granted, there's usually some kind of sparkle effect that lets you know something good is hidden nearby, but Switch Lite players will need to be more observant to find them.

  • The World Ends With You: Final Remix: In handheld mode, Square Enix's cult classic only lets you use touch screen controls and won't recognize Joy-Con inputs. It's a different setup from the DS original, which  lets players use both button inputs and touch screen controls.

  • Pokemon: Let's GO Pikachu! and Pokemon: Let's Go Eevee!: The Switch reimaginings of the original Pokemon adventures lose some functionality in handheld mode and will lose even more with the Switch Lite. Since the Switch Lite won't have gyro sensors, it means aiming and throwing a PokeBall are limited to the left control stick.

The eShop lists mode support for some upcoming games, like The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening and Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age Definitive Edition, as "TBD." It's highly unlikely these major releases won't support handheld mode. However, it's a good reminder to get in the habit of checking eShop listings for those considering a Switch Lite purchase.