The Legend of Zelda Link's Awakening E3 2019 Preview: Gameplay You Remember, New Visuals You Already Love

At E3 2019, we got some hands-on time with the remake of the beloved Game Boy classic

When the Nintendo Switch remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening was first announced, longtime fans were overjoyed. Now, their favorite entry would be returning.

While details were scant at the time, we now know more about the upcoming remake. Fortunately, everything is just as players remember, other than the new and improved visuals that is.

Our E3 2019 demo covered the very first section of the game, starting at Link's actual awakening on the island of Koholint in Tarin's house. After meeting Tarin's daughter, Marin, and picking up his shield, Link goes off to the beach to try and find his sword.

Once found, an owl tells him that if he wants to go home, he must wake the wind fish by collecting the eight instruments of the Sirens.

The demo then took us to the forest with the tanuki encounter, collecting toadstools for the witch's magic dust, and going to the witch's house to obtain the dust to prevent the Tanuki from confusing Link and getting him lost. Unfortunately, the demo ended before we could take care of the tanuki.

Having played a large portion of Link's Awakening DX years ago, this Nintendo Switch remake feels exactly the same from a gameplay perspective. For most remakes, this would seem like a bad thing, but it works well for this particular title.

Traversal works just fine and combat is just how you would expect it to be from any top-down Legend of Zelda title.

While I've never been a huge fan of Link's Awakening, it's clear that Nintendo has put plenty of care into this remake and has tried its best to update it without changing the core gameplay elements that diehard fans love.

Being able to also develop a new and unique art style that fans are now enamored with only further improves the fact this remake exists. While I was disappointed I couldn't try the brand-new dungeon editor mode, this demo and the impending release of the full game gives me hope for the future of Legend of Zelda titles, and if any more of the Game Boy entries are planned to be remade.

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening will launch for Nintendo Switch on September 20, 2019. A limited edition with a Game Boy-themed steelbook case and 120-page art book is available for pre-order in Europe, but it is unknown if or when it will be available in other territories.

Additionally, a Link's Awakening Link amiibo will be released on the same day as the game and will unlock additional content in the Dungeon Editor.


Writer pursuing a career in Games & Entertainment media. Specialties include coverage of non-Pokémon monster taming RPGs, event coverage, indie game coverage, and coverage of various Japanese games.

Published Jun. 17th 2019

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