Headscratchers / The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

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  • Okay, let's talk about the ending of Link's Awakening. Why does the Wind Fish just leave Link behind?! Link just went through loads of dangerous battles to save the Wind Fish from endless sleep, and had to cause Dream Apocalypse in the process... the Wind Fish even says that the island will continue to exist in Link's memories, so why not give him a ride home so he can tell people about it?! Stupid inconsiderate whale.
    • Give the guy a break, he just woke up. Are you rational and intelligent when you wake up? The way I see it, Windfish is halfway to [presumably] Zora's Domain when he remembers he left The Hero out in the ocean, at which point he figures that if Link was gonna drown he woulda done so already, so too late to go back.
    • I attribute it to the Windfish being a Semi-Divine Jackass. (Is that a trope?) He considers assisting him a great honour in itself, and thus doesn't feel like he needs to help the insignificant Hylian after all Link went through.
    • We don't know he left him in the middle of the ocean. For all we know, Link woke up near an island or something.
    • He almost certainly did. He wakes up to the sound of seagulls calling, and seagulls are never very far from land.
    • Not quite correct. Gulls sometimes do venture far out to sea. Tighter groups follow foraging whales, groups of dolphins, or schools of large fish in open water, hovering to nab small prey driven to the surface. Guess what the Wind Fish is?
    • This Troper liked to joke that Link grabbed some driftwood and started paddling while singing "Row Row Row Your Boat" to the tune of "Marin's Song".
    • The manga adaptation actually does end with Link grabbing some driftwood and paddling away towards the horizon.
    • Maybe the WMG about how the game was Link's dream, not the Wind Fish's, is actually supported by this ending?
    • Literary Agent Hypothesis would solve this. Link obviously had to survive in order to tell somebody about the story. If Link had died without sharing the story, we wouldn't know about it. Or maybe I misunderstand the trope.

    Marin's ears 

  • Are Marin's ears the pointy elf kind, or are they more human-like? All the official art of her has her hair covering it, so it's hard to tell. And consider that with differing art styles, the length of a Hylian's ears can vary, so just saying they're round because if they were elf ears, they'd be longer is not the end of the discussion.
    • Presumably she just has shorter pointed ears, given how Marin is supposed to be a Zelda Expy and Zelda does have pointed ears.
    • Even in the manga where there's a lot of art of Marin, her hair is always covering her ears. Apparently, it's part of her character design. Nonetheless, all of the other natives of Koholint Island have rounded ears, so presumably Marin would as well.

    Marin as a seagull 

  • Why does Marin want to be a seagull of all birds? Seagulls make horrible-sounding squawks, right?
    • But the point is that they can fly across the sea, which is Marin's dream.
    • But I thought seagulls only went out to sea to die.
    • You might think the squawks they make are horrible-sounding, but that's your opinion. Marin evidently thinks otherwise, seeing as she refers to their calls as "singing". Not to mention, seagulls are probably the only birds she knows, and all she sees them do is fly out over the sea. Of course she would wish to be one of them.


  • We all know the infamous shopkeeper, who kills you with his super lightning spell, if you steal? Why isn't he the one saving the day? Couldn't he just walk into all the dungeons and fry every monster inside leaving the easy part?
    • Because he's not real. Link is. So, apparently, is Prince Richard (although it could be argued that he is meant to be a reference to Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru, rather than a literal appearance by the character, in which case the above would not be true).
    • Well, he only does that if you steal. Perhaps he just doesn't care about saving the day because the monsters aren't stealing from him, so as long as they don't bother him specifically he's not going to do anything about them.
    • A major part of the characterization of the islanders is that they don't really know what's going on and that they're blissfully ignorant of Link's quest and the island's true nature.
    • Maybe the lightning attack isn't effective on all enemies. Aren't there items in this game that damage some enemies but can't damage others?

    Skip text 

  • Why did the developers remove the ability to skip the text from common dungeon items? (keys, compass)
    • Lazy programmers?


  • A rather minor one, but since it's all a dream, there's no way Link can actually die during his quest, is there?
    • Your Mind Makes It Real?
    • Maybe, since the monsters were created or controlled by the Nightmares, Link being killed results in the monsters being able to inhabit Link's mind and use his powers for evil in the real world.
    • Alternately, this is the only Zelda game that has an in-game justification to continues — since Link doesn't actually die, the dream just "jumps back" to a point where he was still alive and continues forward as if nothing happened.
    • Even if he can't die in the dream, he can certainly remain caught in it long enough for his physical body to starve or drown. If the monsters can keep him in the dream long enough, he's dead and the Wind Fish will never be freed.
    • "THE WIND FISH SLUMBERS LONG...THE HERO'S LIFE, GONE..." This issue is touched upon by one of the owl statues in the game — even if the island was created through the Wind Fish's dreams, as long as Link remains inside it, anything and everything that happens is just as real as the rest of the world. In short, the Wind Fish could sleep for 100 years or more, but there's nothing to stop Link from aging away and dying in that time.

    Hyrule geography 

  • Hyrule in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is a landlocked valley surrounded on all sides by impassable mountains. Where did Link board the ship in the intro?
    • Since the release of Hyrule Historia, this was answered quite nicely: from Labrynna. (In fact, if you compare the two, the ship at the end of a linked completion of Oracle of Ages already had a strong resemblance to the ship in the intro of Link's Awakening.)
      • Hyrule Encyclopedia retcons this again. The Link of the Oracle games is a different character.
      • Do you have the exact source for that statement? I don't mean to offend, but I have a hard time believing two books released by the same company would contradict each other so much.


  • Say two people, Marin and Link (rhetorically speaking) had a child. Since Link is from the real world and Marin is a part of the Wind Fish's dream... would the child they had together disappear along with the rest of the island or continue existing in the real world, like Link?
    • They'd probably disappear, given it would be the dream making the baby happen. Or they'd become a seagull, if that's what happened to Marin at the end. It's kinda vague.


  • In the trading sequence, the woman that you give the Yoshi doll to says her baby's been asking for one. But... he's very clearly a baby, how is he asking for anything specific?
    • Maybe the kid pointed to it while the mother was walking by.
    • Or perhaps he is old enough to form simple words, and communicated what he wanted to his mother this way.

     Why only her? 
  • Why is Marin the only one on the island who wonders and desires to explore what lies beyond it? Whenever Link asks anyone else about it, it's always "Whoa, OUTSIDE the island? What do you mean, OUTSIDE? Whoa! The whole idea just makes my head hurt!" Did the Wind Fish dream up Marin as an especially special someone amidst the other people on Koholint? Was it because she was the one who found Link on the shore? Or is she just the only curious person on the island?
  • Considering Marin's resemblance to Zelda, it's possible that Marin actually comes from Link's dream rather than the Wind Fish's. She doesn't really belong on Koholint Island at all, even though everyone else presumes she does. Also notice that she always refers to Tarin by his first name rather than as "dad" or "father".

     The Storm 
  • How did Link survive the violent storm in the prologue? Or dreaming days, maybe even weeks away, in the real world? He's seen in the ending half-submerged in the ocean, tied to what's left of the ship's mast. The prospects aren't looking good there, unless the Wind Fish dreams at a different rate of time, Link would soon die of starvation, dehydration or hypothermia.
    • The specifics aren't terribly clear. The developers did state at one point that the Wind Fish's dreaming brought Koholint into the real world, but that does clash with the ending, in which Link is still tied to the mast like he was during the intro. So it could be something like Phantom Hourglass, where the events of the dream moved slower through time than those of the real world. (Kind of like how dreams in real life work.)
  • The symbolism of the ending's events was a little peculiar in that Koholint disappeared before the "celestial area" where Link held an audience with the deity's consciousness, he was later ejected out through a column of water. Was he blown out through a spout? Was he not just in the Wind Fish's dream, but also cryptically inside the whale god the entire time? Would the survival rates be higher or lower?