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Link's Awakening Version Differences


Graphic Designer
Feb 22, 2011
Link's Awakening, the fourth game in The Legend of Zelda series, features a huge array of differences between the versions released in different regions. So, without further ado, let's get started.

Here are many of the differences between each region's version of the game.

Introduction Background


The background in the introduction sequence has been changed for the international versions of the game. The somewhat odd-looking trees were turned into palmtrees, and the shadows they cast have been redrawn. This difference also carries over to the DX versions.

The Hippo


The Hippo in Animal Village has breasts and a sheet in the Japanese version, the implication being that she's doing some artistic nudity for the painter. This was changed in the North American version to remove the breasts and sheet.


This explains why the hippo sits down when Link comes in: she's covering herself.

The Mermaid


In the Japanese version, the mermaid's missing item was actually her bikini top. This was evidently deemed too "racy" for American audiences, and it was changed to a necklace in subsequent releases. The text icon was also modified accordingly.

The Photographer

One of the more significant additions to the DX version was the photographer: a strange mouse who shows up periodically when a "photo op" arises.



In the original version, the screen containing the photo studio was an empty field with a single moblin wandering around. The interior of the studio (located, map-wise, just below the quints' house) was simply yet another of the game's many inaccessible, empty filler rooms.

Dungeon Hints


For whatever reason, the stone slab & fragment from the original were replaced with the owl statue & beak. All dungeons barring Angler's Tunnel also have additonal hints.



The dog on this screen starts in a different position in the first release (JP 1.0) of the game. Probably you would carelessly hit it while trying to cut the bushes and get bitten by it in return.

In the DX version, a chimney (which actually uses the well tile) was added to Grandpa Ulrira's house for decoration.



A nasty little bit of layout failure. Once you fall into the pit on the left, there's no way out. Thankfully, this was fixed for all other revisions.

Bottle Grotto


In the first release of the game, you can go east of this room without the Power Bracelet. This was changed for every other version of the game by adding two more jars at the bottom of the screen.

The Genie's fireball firing speed was slowed down for the DX version. In the original he fires every 30 frames (1/2 second). In the DX version he fires every 45 frames (3/4 second).
An additional line of dialogue has been added for when you stun the bottle.
. . . . ! I can't
move! But I am
still all right.
Your little
sword won't
break this

Moreover, the number of time the Genie's bottle has to be thrown isn't the same in all the versions. In the Japanese and North American versions, you have to throw it three times before it breaks; in the French and German versions, you just have to throw it twice. This difference still exists in the DX version.

Angler's Tunnel


In the revisions JP 1.0, NA 1.0, and NA 1.2 of the original game, it's possible to jump across the water with the Pegasus Boots. This can lead to an unwinnable situation where you run out of keys in the dungeon and can't get more. Fixed in other revisions of the game by adding two more deep water tiles. This makes it impossible to access this door without the Flippers.

Eagle's Tower

In the original, the floors on the map were marked with 1F, 2F, etc. The DX version removed these, probably because of the new PUSH SELECT notice, making the 2F and 4F labels unable to fit.



For some reason, this inaccessible room was given a cosmetic upgrade for later revisions of the game.


These are all of the differences I've found... so far. If you guys have found any, be sure to comment below. And with that, I'm out.



The game is on!
Wow! It was really interesting to see all of this. Especially the forest in the background of the intro. I've never known about that before! There are also a lot of fun minor differences. Thanks a lot, zeldahuman, for posting this! :D


Super Melee Brawler
Aug 31, 2011
Fighting evil
Wow, I never knew that.

I've only played the DX version on my 3ds.

It's odd that they think that other country's children are too "soft" for stuff like bikini tops.
Last edited:
Aug 7, 2008
I've beaten the original, but I never played the DX even though I have a copy. I was planning on playing the DX version soon, so I'm glad I saw this first. I'll know what to look out for.

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