[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/awakening.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[-JUMP OF VICTORY-]!]]

->''"SEA BEARS FOAM''\\
''SLEEP BEARS DREAMS.''\\
''BOTH END IN THE SAME WAY''\\
''--[[{{Foreshadowing}} CRASSSH!]]"''

The fourth game in ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' series, and the first on the GameBoy.

Following the defeat of Ganon in ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast A Link To The Past]]'' Link left Hyrule to go on a JourneyToFindOneself and train in preparation any for future threats to Hyrule. After completing his travels, later revealed to be the events of the ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOracleGames Oracle Games]]'', he began sailing back towards Hyrule. However, while sailing back, his boat was suddenly caught in a violent storm and struck by lightning. When he awoke, he discovered that he had been shipwrecked on the shores of Koholint, an island home to a giant egg that rests upon its mountain's peak.

Link soon discovers that Koholint Island is the home of a creature known as the Wind Fish, and that as long as the Wind Fish slumbers within his egg, it is impossible to leave the island. The only way to wake the Wind Fish is to gather and play the [[PlotCoupon eight Instruments Of The Sirens]] hidden around Koholint, guarded by monsters known as Nightmares. And so Link begins a new quest to defeat the Nightmares and return to Hyrule. But he may soon discover that everything isn't quite as it seems...

''Link's Awakening'' returned to the straightforward 8-dungeon approach of [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaI the first game]], but introduced the trend of prominent story-developing sidequests that occur between dungeons. The game can also be credited with the addition of a ExpositionFairy (in the form of the Owl) that periodically nudges players in the right direction to the series, as well the first ''Zelda'' game to feature a wide variety of side characters. Additionally, while previous games in the series had utilized MagicMusic as a WarpWhistle, this was the first game to include more than one playable song, and make these songs actually important to the story. A story which, according to [[WordOfGod Takashi Tezuka and Eiji Aonuma]], [[https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Iwata-Asks/Iwata-Asks-The-Legend-of-Zelda-Spirit-Tracks/Iwata-Asks-Zelda-Handheld-History-/3-Make-All-Characters-Suspicious-Types/3-Make-All-Characters-Suspicious-Types-233845.html was heavily inspired by]] Creator/DavidLynch's ''Series/TwinPeaks''. Finally, it's also the first[[note]]and until ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTriForceHeroes'' twenty-two years later, the only[[/note]] ''Legend of Zelda'' game '''[[ArtifactTitle not]]''' to feature the titular princess.

This game is chronologically the fourth one to take place in the "Hero Defeated" timeline.

----
!!This game provides examples of:
* OneHundredPercentCompletion: Possible, but with a price. If you want to get all of the pictures in the DX version, you must steal from the shop, even though this will permanently rename you "THIEF" and [[ShopliftAndDie the shopkeeper will kill you if you come back]]. If you want to get the game's GoldenEnding, which can only be achieved with a NoDeathRun, with 100%, the only item you can steal is the bow. There's also two pictures that are mutually exclusive, one for just agreeing to let the cameraman take your picture and another for declining several times.
* AbilityRequiredToProceed: The game ''loves'' this, like blocking paths with stones... in areas that you can only get to if you can lift stones. And unlike in ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast A Link to the Past]]'', you have to actively equip a different inventory item for every bit of lifting, jumping, or dashing you do.
* AllJustADream: [[spoiler:In a twist on the trope, the dream nature is revealed about halfway into the story and presents it as a moral dilemma. Link can only escape Koholint by waking the Windfish, but in doing so he will erase the island and its inhabitants from existence. This adds a shade of doubt to whether or not Link and, by extension the player, really is doing the right thing by continuing the quest.]]
* ArtifactTitle: This is the first game in the series where the titular princess doesn't appear at all. She's briefly mentioned in the manual and at the beginning, where Link mistakes Marin for her.
* AwesomeButImpractical: The Fire Rod. Easily one of the best weapons in the game, faster than the boomerang (another Awesome weapon) and just as powerful, essentially one-shotting almost anything besides bosses. Unfortunately by that point in the game, there's barely anyone worth using it on, aside from the Hot Head and literally ''one'' phase of the FinalBoss (and you don't even need it for ''that''!). Even using the game's various glitches to get it early only makes it slightly more practical, since it kills about half the regular enemies in the game in one shot... and does absolutely nothing to the other half (not even just bosses, mini or otherwise, either).
* BagOfSpilling: Justified. Link lost all his stuff in the shipwreck. He only retrieves his sword and his shield.
* BalefulPolymorph: Tarin, who turns into a raccoon. This may not be a full example, because Tarin remembers it as a dream and comments that "it sure was fun!"
* BeeAfraid: During the ChainOfDeals, you'll encounter Tarin, who wants to borrow the stick you acquired at the castle. He then uses it in an attempt to... [[WhatAnIdiot knock a honeycomb out of a tree]]. Three guesses as to [[HilarityEnsues what happens next]], and the first two don't count.
* BigBad: Link spends the game wandering Koholint Island and defeating the various Nightmares to gain the Instruments of the Sirens. It isn't until the very end of the game where Link finds a particularly powerful Nightmare, Dethl, who's been preventing the Wind Fish from ever waking up. [[spoiler:However, it accuses ''Link'' of being the Big Bad for wanting to wake the Wind Fish, thus destroying Koholint Island and depriving it of a place to rule.]]
* BigBoosHaunt: Tabahl Wasteland, the Cemetery, and the Color Dungeon.
* BittersweetEnding: Link is finally off the island, but [[spoiler:Koholint ceases to exist in reality and Link will never see Marin again (at least in the default ending), and oh yeah, '''Link's still stranded in the middle of the ocean''']].
* BleakLevel: Face Shrine.
* BlindIdiotTranslation: "[=DethI=]". Its printing has resulted in many a player to think it was actually "Dethl" (small L), even though it's actually supposed to be "Death Eye". Even Zelda.com ended up getting this messed up.
* BonusDungeon: The DX version has a color-themed dungeon. Completing it allows you to choose a colored tunic to increase either your offensive (red) or defensive (blue) power.
* BookEnds: The game starts with Link waking up. The game ends with [[spoiler:Link ''waking up'']].
* {{Bowdlerize}}:
** The bikini top of the Mermaid became a pearl necklace.
** There's a model Hippo in Animal Village who tells you to go away so the artist can paint her. Originally, she was a nude model (with visible breasts) with a towel which she pulls up when Link enters the studio.
* BubblegloopSwamp: Goponga Swamp.
* ButThouMust: Played with in the DX version. The photographer won't take "no" for an answer when he asks if you want your picture taken. If you repeatedly refuse, though, [[Funny/TheLegendOfZeldaLinksAwakening you'll get a picture of Link beaten up in front of the curtain instead of the usual picture of Link giving a V-sign]].
* CallOfTheWildBlueYonder: Marin wishes she was a seagull so she could fly off the island and sing to various people. [[spoiler:She gets her wish if you finish the game without dying.]]
* TheCameo: A Yoshi doll ([[LampshadeHanging "Recently, he seems to be showing up in many games!"]]), a picture of Peach, a pet Chain Chomp[[note]]Referred to here as "[=BowWow=]", which is closer to his Japanese name "[=WanWan=]"[[/note]], [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Goombas, Piranha Plants, Thwomps]], and an evil Franchise/{{Kirby}} as enemies, Wart from VideoGame/SuperMarioBros2 and Dr. Wright from VideoGame/SimCity appear as [=NPCs=], along with Pokeys and Shyguys as additional enemies, and Richard from the Japan-only game ''VideoGame/ForTheFrogTheBellTolls.'' The last one is fitting, as both games run on the same engine.
* CaveBehindTheFalls: Angler's Tunnel.
* ChainOfDeals: The first in the series, in fact. Starts with the Yoshi doll in the Trendy Game (which you need 10 rupees to play). A few places, it's actually required to proceed further in the game - you at the very least need to go through six of the fourteen items in the chain, the bananas (number four) so monkeys will build a bridge for you, and then the honeycomb (number six) to give to the chef in Animal Village, who will tell you how to wake up a walrus blocking your path into the nearby desert.
* ComicBookAdaptation: By Ataru Cagiva, who later did a manga adaptation of ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast A Link to the Past]]''.
* ContinuityNod:
** To ''A Link to the Past''. Link is "cursed" by a crazy bat, a monkey helps Link get into a dungeon, Link gets Magic Powder from a witch after giving her mushrooms, and a few bosses from the previous game show up again.
** Before Link awakens the Wind Fish, the owl says that he has shown his "wisdom, courage, and power."[[labelnote:Explanation]]These are the three parts of the Triforce, which isn't present in this game.[[/labelnote]]
** [=DethI=]'s various shapes resemble [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast Agahnim, Moldorm, and Ganon]] (although Moldorm has already appeared in the game as the first dungeon boss).
** Marin is stated to look a lot like Zelda, only with red instead of blonde hair. Her father Tarin is a dead ringer for Link's late uncle from ''LTTP''.
*** In turn, Malon and Talon from ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'' are these to Marin and Tarin.
* CreatorThumbprint: As the game was composed by Kazumi Totaka, his song can be found here. Twice no less! The first method is to wait in Richard's house for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. The second method, which is [[RegionalBonus only accessable in the Japanese version]], is done by entering "とたけけ" (Totakeke) on the file select screen.
* CursedWithAwesome: Awaken a bat (on loan from ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast A Link to the Past]]'') and he'll "curse" you, forcing you to carry twice as much magic powder/bombs/arrows. Oh no, anything but that!
* DateMyAvatar: Mr. Write's 'pen pal' mailing him her alleged photo, which is actually a photo of Princess Peach. The 'pen pal' is actually an anthropomorphic goat.
* DeathMountain: Tal Tal Mountain Range, Mt. Tamaranch.
* DidNotGetTheGirl: Because, like everyone else he meets in the game, she [[spoiler:was a dream]]. Alternatively, in the secret ending, she [[spoiler:turns into an angel/seagull and flies away,]] but for obvious reasons he still Does Not Get The Girl.
* DiscOneNuke: The Boomerang can be obtained as soon as just around the fifth - sixth dungeon, and is one of the most powerful gweapons in the game.
* DisproportionateRetribution: If you steal an item from the Mabe Village shop, no matter how cheap, the shopkeeper '''kills you''' if you return.
* DivineBirds: Sporadic bird statues provide hints, implied to be from the subconscious mind of the Wind Fish itself.
* DoNotTauntCthulhu: The fifth dungeon's miniboss goes out of character and steals the dungeon's item from its chest. He then leaves a note behind, taunting Link to come and get it. Especially stupid since he'd already said, "Argh! ''I can't defeat you!''" before [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere giving up and running away]].
* DoubleMeaningTitle: The game's title can either refer to the fact Link woke up an island, [[spoiler:or the ending of the game]].
* DownTheDrain: Angler's Tunnel.
* DreamApocalypse: [[spoiler:The Ending.]] Easily the most well-known example of this trope.
** The secret ending animation (unlocked by completing the game without dying) teases that the apocalypse may have been somewhat less than total, although it gives no indication of how or why this might be.
* DreamWithinADream: The way Link obtains the Ocarina.
* EasterEgg:
** Entering "ZELDA" as the player's name on the file selection screen changes the music for that screen until it is exited (and only once unless it is entered again).
** Kazumi Totaka worked on the soundtrack, and this time there are three versions of Totaka's Song programmed into the game, though one [[DummiedOut never plays in-game]] and the other required entering "Totakeke" (Totaka's nickname) as the player's name in the Japanese version using kana, after which it would play in the same manner as the other file selection screen EasterEgg; due to the writing system change, this was DummiedOut in most international versions [[RegionalBonus except for the German translation]], whose script writer, Claude Moyse, added it back in by making it play when his last name is entered in all caps as the player's name in that version. (The third can be found by waiting for several minutes in Prince Richard's villa).
* EatingTheEnemy: Upon saving a Bow-Wow, a [[SuperMarioBros Chain Chomp]] {{Expy}}, in the Moblin Cave, he'll then be able to devour all enemies, including the Goponga Flowers blocking Bottle Grotto.
* ElementalRockPaperScissors: Averted by Turtle Rock's boss, Hot Head. He lives in lava, attacks you with fire, and is made of fire. You kill him by [[ViolationOfCommonSense shooting fireballs at him]]. This might be playing off the phrase "fight fire with fire".
* EscortMission: A large steel ball in the seventh dungeon. It's entirely possible to get the thing stuck in such a way that the game becomes UnWinnable. Also used when Link escorts Marin around the island, although she's invulnerable to damage.
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: It's a game [[spoiler:about Link waking up]].
* ExpositionFairy: The owl.
* {{Expy}}: Tarin, the mushroom-obsessed man with a fabulous mustache who transforms into a tanuki? [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Sounds familiar, doesn't it?]]
** Combined with his daughter Marin and the Cucco Keeper listed below, there's a [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime double expy situation]], although that could just be translation weirdness.
** Mr. Write is a pretty obvious Expy of Dr. Wright from the [[SuperNintendoEntertainmentSystem SNES]] port of VideoGame/SimCity. His theme music is even the same.
** The Cucco Keeper in Tal Tal Heights wears green and sports a thick mustache. [[SuperMarioBros Where have we seen this before?]]
* ExtremeOmnigoat: Christine in Animal Village eats the letters that Mr. Write sends her.
* FishingMinigame: First one of the series!
* FriendToAllLivingThings: The residents of Animal Village adore Marin.
* FunetikAksent: Tarin.
* FetchQuest: One of the most extensive of the series.
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
** Parodied. Papahl [[BreakingTheFourthWall outright tells you at the start of the game]] that he'll get himself lost somewhere in the hills later on. Sure enough, he ''is''.
** As for a more serious example, [[spoiler:the ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros2'' cameos, such as Wart, foreshadow that this game, like that one, is AllJustADream. Franchise/{{Kirby}}'s appearance also serves as part of that hint (Dreamland)]].
* GameBreakingBug: It's possible to use the keys in the wrong order in the fourth... thus locking you in... forever.
** Strangely enough, the third and eighth dungeons actually have a security key for just that case (the former in the very last puzzle before the boss and the latter hidden in a statue you'd shoot with an arrow). The fourth dungeon, however, lacks one.
* GenreBlindness: The fifth dungeon's miniboss makes the mistake of stealing the dungeon's item, thus making it mandatory to find and kill him, no matter how much he flees. Had he not done this, he would probably have survived; the fourth room where you encounter him requires a great deal of backtracking to get to.
* GiantFlyer: [[spoiler:The Wind Fish]], albeit with comically-undersized angel wings.
* GuestStarPartyMember: At certain points in the game, Bow-Wow the chain chomp, Marin, a ghost, and a flying blue rooster all accompany Link temporarily.
* GuideDangIt: At more than one point, [[spoiler:you have to ''throw a pot at a door'' to open it. At another point, you have to throw a pot at a ''chest'' to open ''it''.]]
** At another point, you also have to [[spoiler:shoot a statue with an arrow. Nowhere else in the game do you ever have to do this]].
** The game has comparatively few Pieces of Heart, only 12, but they are ''very'' well-hidden. A couple are hidden behind (unmarked) bomb-able walls in otherwise inconspicuous caves, and one is hidden underwater in a dead-end waterway, but not at the end as you might expect; it's in a random tile along the path.
** A puzzle in the second dungeon requires you to kill three enemies in a specific order to reveal a key required to progress. There is a hint earlier in the level which refers to the enemies by name, but the enemies' names are nowhere in the game or the manual. The only way you'd know them is from the manual of a previous Zelda game on a console you might not even own (though the first enemy to kill being described as "imprisoned" helps narrow it down).
** The DX version includes more hints in the dungeons, including using pots on said door and chest.
* IdenticalStranger: Link, upon first meeting Marin, mistakes her for Princess Zelda.
* InfinityPlusOneSword: [[KillItWithFire The Magic Rod]], found in the [[LethalLavaLand 8th dungeon]]. It allows Link to fire projectiles at any HP that are ''twice'' as powerful as the LVL 2 Sword. On top of that, he doesn't even have to stop moving while swinging it (as opposed to the sword). {{Mook}}s catch on fire and die a slow, painful death. It goes without saying that this is a sadistically fun weapon, too. It's also one of exactly two items in the ''entire series'' (the other being the Magic Powder in the same game) that can [[VideoGameCrueltyPotential kill Cuccoos.]]
** The Boomerang. You can only get it at the end of a sidequest spanning half of the game, but it is well worth it, being able to slaughter almost anything in the game, including otherwise unkillable Anti-Fairies and Sparks, and including [[spoiler:the final boss, [=DethI=]]].
* IslandOfMystery: Koholint Island, full stop. Link reaches it entirely by accident, it's full of weird things, bizarre people and creatures, there are hidden ancient ruins, its geography is surprisingly varied for such a small island, and the whole place is shrouded in mystery. That is, until it's revealed [[spoiler:it's actually just a dream]].
* ItemGet: Link actually holds up Marin in this manner at one point.
* ItsAllUpstairsFromHere: Eagle's Tower.
* JourneyToFindOneself: The game starts off this way.
* JumpPhysics: When using the feather.
* LethalJokeItem: It wouldn't be a ''Zelda'' game without one of these, but this one has a few:
** The Shovel can be used against the TennisBoss, [[spoiler:Agahnim's Shadow]], to reflect its shots.
** In most games, the Boomerang can only stun most enemies, not damage them; it's still a good item, but it's virtually useless against bosses. [[spoiler:Not here, though. Pretty much everything in the game dies in one hit to it, including the final boss.]]
* LethalLavaLand: Turtle Rock.
* LightningCanDoAnything: [[spoiler:Even drag you into a flying whale's imagination.]]
* LostWoods: Mysterious Woods.
* MagicMusic: Your Ocarina has special powers starting in this game. Also, your goal in the game is to collect magical instruments to play along with the Ocarina.
* TheMaze: Wind Fish's Egg.
* MeaningfulName:
** [[spoiler:[=DethI=]. It's a giant eye monster that wants to kill you, and is also the "dying form" of the boss.]]
** Interestingly, Marin is a double case of this, depending on how you translate it. In French, Marin means [[spoiler:"queen of the sea", hinting at her being a personification of the Wind Fish]]. However, in Hebrew it means [[spoiler:"sea of sorrow"]].
* MetalDetectorPuzzle: Explore the island with Bow-Wow before you return him, and he'll tell you the location of buried shells.
* MindRape: This is what the [[spoiler:Nightmares are essentially trying to do to the Wind Fish. By invading his mind and hijacking his dream world, they plan to control his mind. In response, the Wind Fish's spirit draws Link into the dream as a means of trying to protect himself.]]
* MiniDungeon:
** Southern Face Shrine. It houses the Face Key that gives access to the northern Face Shrine (main dungeon).
** The Moblin Cave and Kanalet Castle.
* MockMillionaire: Richard has a loose definition of "villa," even if he used to live in an actual castle.
* MoneyForNothing: If you steal from the shopkeeper, all that happens is that your save file is renamed THIEF upon exiting the store. If you don't mind the name, this is just a minor inconvenience, making actually ''paying'' for your stuff rather pointless. Actual death can be avoided simply by not returning to the shop after you've stolen from him. Though if you want to avoid death and get the GoldenEnding, this means you must not steal anything before the bow.
* MultipleEndings: There's a bonus scene at the end of the credits if you manage to win without a game over.
* NeverSayDie: "You k-k-k-beat my brothers!"
* NoobCave: Tail Cave.
* NoDamageRun: Well, No Game Over Run anyways--this is required to get the best ending.
* NonIndicativeName: "[-THE WIND FISH IN NAME ONLY, FOR IT IS NEITHER.-]"
* NotAlwaysEvil: [[spoiler:A friendly Zora can be found in Animal Village after obtaining the magnifying lens. Link can even get a picture taken with him in DX.]]
* NotQuiteFlight: The Flying Rooster required to access the seventh dungeon can be picked up with the Power Bracelet to fly pretty much indefinitely, though he doesn't accompany you into the actual dungeon, and he leaves you after it's completed.
* OffscreenInertia: Tends to hit the ending pretty hard. [[spoiler:Can Link make his way back to dry land?]]
* OhCrap: From the 6th dungeon on, the dungeon bosses panic when defeated, realizing that Link's coming closer and closer to awakening the Wind Fish and causing the aforementioned DreamApocalypse. To say nothing of the VillainousBreakdown the Wind Fish's Nightmare has when it's defeated.
* OneHitKill: The Boomerang instantly defeats the last form of the Final Boss.
* OneWingedAngel: The final boss warps through five or six different shapes in a last-ditch effort to beat Link, with the final one being particularly monstrous.
* OnlyShopInTown: Mabe Village only has one store. Confusingly, though, the crane-minigame building also has "SHOP" written on the roof in giant letters, but you can't actually buy anything there.
* OntologicalMystery: [[spoiler:Link presents this conundrum to the Mabe Village inhabitants. Since they never existed before the dream, they cannot answer questions such as "When did you come to live on the island?" or consider what's beyond the island, and any attempt to do so on their part [[GottaGetYourHeadTogether results in a migraine]].]]
* PalmtreePanic: Toronbo Shores.
* PermanentlyMissableContent:
** Some secret seashells if you don't go to the mansion at the right times, and another one only accessible while you have the Flying Rooster. But there are more than enough to get the level 2 sword, even without those.
** One-third of the photographs in the DX version.
** Averted in the third dungeon; just before you enter the boss room, you can collect an extra key to access any side rooms you skipped along the way.
** Steal from the infamous shop and your name is lost forever, as you get renamed to THIEF permanently.
** The only way to get the bow is to buy or steal it from the shop, and if you steal an item, the shopkeeper will kill you if you return. This means that if you steal something other than the bow before buying it, the bow is lost forever -- unless you're willing to die to regain access to the shop, in which case the secret ending is lost forever.
* PlatonicCave: [[spoiler:Koholint Island, including all its inhabitants.]]
* PowerUpMotif: The Piece of Power and Guardian Acorn work exactly this way; they change the background music for a short time, and when the song stops, the powerup is over.
* TheProblemWithPenIsland: The final form of the FinalBoss of ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaLinksAwakening'' is named [=DethI=] (with an uppercase "I" at the end and pronounced "Death Eye"), but since a uppercase "I" looks identical to a lowercase "L" in many fonts, its name is often mistaken for "DEATHL." Even the encyclopedia on the official Zelda website made this mistake.
* RecurringRiff: The Color Dungeon in ''DX'' uses the dungeon theme from the original ''Legend of Zelda'' game.
* RegionalBonus: As mentioned above, the German translation re-added an EasterEgg that most other Western translations removed.
* SequenceBreaking:
** Although it's a far more minor example compared to the boatloads of SequenceBreaking possible in [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast the previous installment]] as well as [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime the next installment]] (mostly due to the way dungeons are accessed in this installment), in Turtle Rock, there's a bombable wall on the other side of a small pool of lava. Using the bomb arrow trick allows Link to simply bomb said wall from across the lava (and thus from the opposite side of the wall from what the designers intended) and then equip the Roc's Feather and jump over the pool of lava from either side. The fact that this gives Link access to a few keys makes the dungeon much easier.
*** [[http://touriantourist.blogspot.com/2011/05/magic-of-links-awakening.html This blog post]] demonstrates it's possible to beat Turtle Rock with over half of the rooms not visited.
** There's also a glitch in the original black and white version which allowed the player to "warp" from his current location to the exact same location -- one screen away. Not only did this allow for a lot of extra exploration, but could occasionally lead to "Glitch Rooms" that contain later items, and allowed one to clear the second dungeon without either obtaining the power bracelet or beating the boss. Demonstrated most effectively in [[http://lparchive.org/Legend-of-Zelda-Links-Awakening/ this Let's Play by MeccaPrime.]]
** The speed boost provided by Pieces of Power can be used for several minor breaks -- for example, getting one key in the third dungeon early, and dash-jumping over some gaps that normally require the Hookshot to cross. This allows you to learn the [[spoiler:Frog's Song of Soul]] before clearing the third dungeon, when you're not supposed to have it until after the fifth (although you can't use it until halfway through the sixth).
** The developers didn't think through the jump controls fully, as simply jumping on an angle allows you to bypass puzzles in a few dungeons, such as the fourth where a cross-shaped gap meant to only be crossed horizontally or vertically can be crossed any way with the right timing, allowing you to skip using a key to access the room from the other direction.
** The shrine containing the key to the sixth dungeon and [[spoiler:TheReveal]] can be reached as soon as you have the Pegasus Boots. The Bow is strongly recommended, but you can get it from the shop at any time, and, contrary to popular belief, it's not necessary -- inactive Armos can be pushed with your shield, and the miniboss in the shrine can be killed with your sword. (Bombs are also effective against Armos.) You need the Flippers to access the sixth dungeon itself, but this still means that the fifth dungeon can be skipped (for a while, at least) if you use the Piece of Power trick mentioned above.
** All dungeons but the first two can be cleared in any order -- in general, all you need from each one to get to the next is the new item.
*** The exception is Turtle Rock, the final dungeon. All you need is the Hookshot from the fifth dungeon, and Tracy's special potion (and [[spoiler:Frog Song of Soul]]). When you reach the flamethrower where the Level 2 Shield is required, just lose all hearts, and you're given a long stretch of invincibility to walk through the flames (the dungeon has a warp point, allowing you to head back to Tracy's for a refill). This renders both the Level 2 Bracelet and Shield useless, turns the Magic Rod into a late game breaker, and consequently renders pursuing seashells (and thus the Level 2 Sword) mostly useless.
* SchizoTech: Telephones, photography, and a crane game exist in a MedievalStasis world.
* SchrodingersButterfly:
** The island is nothing but [[spoiler:one big dream]], and the point of gathering the 8 dungeon items is to wake both you and the Wind Fish up. Link is oblivious to this since you aren't directly told that [[spoiler:it's a dream]] until a good bit into the game, but the owl and boss monsters don't really try to hide this fact from you.
** The owl has a monologue in-line with Schrödinger's theory when you find the relief that reveals everything to Link.
--->'''Owl:''' I see you have read the relief... While it does say the island is [[spoiler:but a dream of the Wind Fish]], no one is really sure... Just as you cannot know if a chest holds treasure until you open it, so you cannot tell if [[spoiler:this is a dream until you awaken]]..."
** The end does reveal that [[spoiler:the owl, being an avatar of the Wind Fish, knew that the relief told the truth all along, and what he told Link was a MotivationalLie to ensure that he would continue and complete his quest]].
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: The fifth dungeon's miniboss will flee from the battle after being hurt a few times... and does this two more times after you find him again.
** The boss of the seventh dungeon first appears as a miniboss, but clears the scene once you [[NeverSayDie k-k-k-beat]] his batty brothers.
* ShaggyDogStory: Not the main plot, but a lot of the sidequests mean absolutely nothing in light of the ending.
* ShiftingSandLand: Yarna Desert.
* ShipTease: Link basically takes Marin on a date at one point in the game.
* ShopliftAndDie: "I wasn't kidding when I said pay! Now you'll pay the ultimate price!" *cue [[ShockAndAwe lightning]] and [[OneHitKill death]]*
* ShoutOut: There is a whole ''mess'' of Super Mario shout outs. See TheCameo, above.
* SkyFace: In the Game Boy Color version, Marin's face appears in the sky at the end if you managed to beat the game without dying.
* SmallSecludedWorld: The people of Koholint Island have never seen or heard of anything beyond the ocean, and many of them questioned if there ''was'' anything until Link arrived.
* SoundtrackDissonance: Sort of. The final boss has a pretty awesome theme, but when you reach his final form, ''the miniboss theme'', of all things, begins to play.
* SpaceFillingPath: The route to a location less than a screen away is often surprisingly convoluted. Several puzzles in Turtle Rock also require you to trace out a space-filling path with a movable block.
* [[SpaceWhale Sky Whale]]: The Wind Fish.
* SpiritualSuccessor: To ''Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru'' ("VideoGame/{{For the Frog the Bell Tolls}}") an earlier action-adventure game for the UsefulNotes/GameBoy. TheRival character from ''Kaeru'', Richard, makes a cameo in ''Link's Awakening''.
* SpoilerTitle: In the US version, about two-thirds of the way through the game, you make the (very unexpected) realization that [[spoiler:the whole of Koholint Island is just a dream of the Wind Fish]]. Meanwhile, the Japanese version of the game's name is ''The Legend of Zelda: [[spoiler:Dream Island]]''. Well, that certainly ruins the tension.
* SssssnakeTalk: The boss of the fifth dungeon talks like this.
* StealthPun: Hot Head, the boss for Turtle Rock, is a giant fireball that is fought by shooting fireballs at him with the Magic Rod. In other words, fighting fire with fire.
* TempleOfDoom: Face Shrine.
* TrickArrow: Equipping both the bow and the bombs allows Link to fire a [[RuleOfCool bomb arrow]]. Finally duplicated again [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess nine games later]].
* UndergroundLevel: Bottle Grotto, Key Cavern, and Catfish's Maw.
* UniqueEnemy: Almost every enemy found in the DX version's Color Dungeon is found nowhere else, but among them, there is only one each of the [[PaletteSwap blue variants]] of the Camo Goblin and Karakoro.
* UpdatedRerelease: A GameBoyColor-enhanced version was later released as ''Link's Awakening DX.'' Sadly a victim to [[{{Bowdlerize}} Bowdlerization]], see above. Now downloadable on the 3DS.
* TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon: [[spoiler:The Wind Fish's Egg.]]
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential:
** Unusually for a Zelda game, you can ''kill'' Cuccos and dogs with the magic powder or the Fire Rod.
** The friendly Zora in Animal Village can be killed just like any enemy, though not with the sword.
* VideoGameCrueltyPunishment: If you attack the dog, [[TheDogBitesBack it attacks you]]. And if you attack a Cucco too many times, it summons up a whole host of its buddies to attack you. However, unlike the other games in the series, you can stop a Cucco attack by using the magic rod or magic powder on the original Cucco. The Cucco will burn to death and the other Cuccos will stop attacking you.
* VillainousBreakdown: [=DethI=], the final Nightmare, when it's defeated. [[spoiler:"[[FamousLastWords This island is going to disappear...]] [[DreamApocalypse Our world is going to disappear...]] Our world... Our...world..."]]
* VSign: Link does one for his first picture in DX. And it looks ''adorable''.
* WarpWhistle: The Manbo Mambo will either teleport you to Manbo's Pond in the overworld or to the entrance of the dungeon you're exploring. Pretty handy for players who plan on exploiting the [[GoodBadBugs screen-skipping glitch]].
* WhaleEgg: It's rather self-explanatory. Seriously, it's part of the plot... It IS the plot.
* WhamEpisode: The Face Shrine. [[spoiler:You learn that the island is the Wind Fish's dream, and that by waking it up, the island and everyone on it will disappear.]]
* WhamLine: The wall in the Southern Face Shrine:
-->[[spoiler:TO THE FINDER... THE ISLE OF KOHOLINT, IS BUT AN ILLUSION... HUMAN, MONSTER, SEA, SKY... A SCENE ON THE LID OF A SLEEPER'S EYE... AWAKE THE DREAMER, AND KOHOLINT WILL VANISH MUCH LIKE A BUBBLE ON A NEEDLE... CAST-AWAY, YOU SHOULD KNOW THE TRUTH!]]
* WhatTheHellHero: People will call you "THIEF" instead of the name you chose for Link if you steal from the shop in Mabe Village. The game itself even chews you out for doing so (see YouBastard below). [[ShopliftAndDie And if you ever return to the shop...]]
* YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe: [[spoiler:The Wind Fish]] speaks it.
* YouBastard:
** "Guess what? You got it for free. Are you proud of yourself?"
** The Photographer will also take a picture of you in the act. [[CrueltyIsTheOnlyOption Meaning that getting]] OneHundredPercentCompletion [[CrueltyIsTheOnlyOption requires you to steal]].
----
->''[[YouBastard THIEF]], [[TheStinger are you listening to me?]]''
->[[color:white:_]]''Yeah''[[color:white:______]]''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaLinksAwakening ->No...]]''