Many of us know the story of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening‘s development: once A Link to the Past went gold, programmer Tōru Ōsawa began experimenting with Game Boy development kits to see how far he could push a Zelda experience. The results were so impressive that more staff started contributing to this unofficial passion project and eventually it got the thumbs up from Nintendo top brass to enter full production.
But one important element is often left out of this tale, the foundation of Link’s Awakening wasn’t built from scratch. The team used the skeleton of a recent Game Boy release developed by R&D1; Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru — translated as The Frog for Whom the Bell Tolls.
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