A new Reddit post answers the terrifying question of why Nintendo changed its design of Link for the 2019 remake of Link’s Awakening on the Switch.
An inquisitive Legend of Zelda fan has answered their own question regarding what the original sprite from Link’s Awakening would look like if it was directly translated into 3D. Originally released for the Game Boy back in 1993 and later for the Game Boy Color, Link’s Awakening received an update to modern consoles in 2019 when an official 3D remake came to the Nintendo Switch.
Considered by some to be one of the best titles ever released for the Game Boy, the sequel to A Link to the Past was somewhat of a departure from the usual Zelda formula by telling a unique story for the franchise and incorporating recognizable elements from other Nintendo intellectual properties. The 2019 remake kept much of what made the original title so successful and most of the changes revolved around updating the 2D world into 3D. One fan recently proved that there must have been a lot of work put into this particular part of the remake by doing a direct translation of the original 2D Link sprite into 3D.
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The original Link’s Awakening sprite does not have a strictly accurate color scheme and Reddit user SpaceMasters took this into account in a side-by-side drawing they posted. That drawing was then converted into a 3D model and the result does not resemble the official 3D Link at all. SpaceMasters does, however, seem to answer their own question about why Nintendo decided to tweak the design for the remake.
While the Reddit 3D model is not entirely a one-to-one translation of the original 2D sprite, it seems to achieve its desired effect according to the comments of the post. Every aspect of the design was either questioned or remarked on in some capacity. One dedicated commenter even took the time to write out a massive, many paragraphed backstory for the creation that another Redditor nicknamed Lonkle the Gronkle.
This is not the first time a character from an old Zelda game was given this sort of bizarre 3D treatment, but it does manage to achieve the same level of humor and terror as those that came before it. It has, in a way, become a unique form of fan art to redo old sprites as 3D models in “the most accurate way possible,” and there will undoubtedly be more done in the future. In time, there will certainly be something else from another classic Legend of Zelda title that is just as strange as Lonkle the Gronkle.
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