159. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX (1998, Game Boy Color) by Nintendo

Current Any% No WW/OoB Leaderboard (speedrun.com)

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX (Game Boy Color)
-Pokémon: Red Version (Game Boy)
-Metroid 2: Return of Samus (Game Boy)
-The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages (Game Boy Color)
-Game Boy Camera (Game Boy)
-The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (3DS)
-Batman Forever (Atari Lynx)
-DuckTales (Game Boy)
-Tetris (Game Boy)
-Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Game Gear)

Some games are amazing speedruns, no matter how you slice it, and yet, it’s hard for me to run the game.  The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX for the Game Boy Color is one of those games.  I adore this game casually, and I did enjoy the speedrun, but it brought out of me levels of salt and anger that I don’t like showing on stream.  The level of technical skill required, the concentration you must have, and the volatility of this run, make it a challenge in both the best ways, and the worst.

When the Nerd did his Game Boy Accessories episode, I wasn’t sure what game to choose.  This time, I left fate in my Twitter followers’ hands, putting a poll up that included games such as Pokémon Red, Oracle of Ages, A Link Between Worlds, and many others.  This game won by only a few votes over Pokémon, and this was nice to see at the time.  LADX was one of the few classic Zelda games that I had never attempted a speedrun of before, and I was excited at the prospect of a new challenge.


This speedrun is extremely tough.  There is a lot of speed tech here, like Rooster Skip (a frame-perfect pixel-perfect trick that allows you to “hover” over gaps using the hookshot), Villa Skip (landing on the edge of a hole and using a buffered menu to leap over bushes on a transition), Jesus Walks (basically hopping on top of water) and many others.  Some of them I did not attempt, as they were too risky for the time saves they give.  Others are practically required, and this run took a lot of work and patience to get down.  I was good enough to go for the sub-hour, but my patience ran thin and I called this trial early.

It’s a shame as well; casually this is one of the best games of all-time.  Gorgeous graphics, tight play control, and an amazing story in an amazing setting, combined with some of the best level design in the entire Zelda franchise, makes for an absolute must-play.  The speedrun is really good, but bring your resolve and patience if you want a go at this run.


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