Link’s Awakening remake lets you zoom out to see the entire island

An anonymous and inventive Nintendo fan has recreated the Game Boy classic The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening with a twist that separates it from the official 2019 remaster. The widescreen Windows remake adds high frame rate support and lets you zoom out to view a larger portion — or even all — of Koholint Island. But the game may not last long as Nintendo has a habit of crushing copyright-infringing fan games, even when crafted lovingly and offered for free like this one.

Spotted on X (alongside a writeup by Polygon), Link’s Awakening DX HD is a love letter to the 1993 original and its 1998 color re-release. The unofficial port recreates the quirky Zelda installment with 120 frames per second (FPS) support, which the developer describes as adding “unparalleled fluidity.”

The homebrew port also gets rid of the original’s transitions, which loaded a new screen every time you walked to the next one (old-school Zelda style). In this version, the camera pans fluidly as Links strolls around the island, something we imagine was no small task for the unnamed creator.

linksawakeningdxhd / itch.io / Nintendo

Zoom level, available in the in-game settings menu, lets you pan out to a 1:1, half or one-third pixel scale, allowing you to view as much as the entire island simultaneously. This isn’t a static perspective, either. Each visible section is fully activated (as if Link were on it in the original) and swarming with enemies. You can move around in the panned-out views, swinging your sword at Moblins and searching for the next task without pausing to consult a static game map.

The game’s developer posted the 90s love letter anonymously, likely to shield them (for a time, anyway) from Nintendo’s litigation-happy legal team. The 24 MB Link’s Awakening DX HD is a free download on itch.io, but we wouldn’t count on it staying there for much longer. Either way, you can watch a snippet of gameplay in the video below.

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