Each of Link's Awakening's eight main dungeons featured all the trimmings introduced in Link to the Past: multiple floors of locked doors, switches, keys, enemies, treasures, and traps. As in the first Zelda, rooms were uniformly square (to fit the Game Boy's screen), but the rooms of these dungeons were connected by far more than north/south/east/west passageways. Each was a mess of walkways, tunnels, rooms and half-rooms, and special hazards that any 16-bit title would envy. Link's Awakening dungeons had a more detailed map than Link to the Past's, as well as stone tablets with secret messages. And the final dungeon was a repetitive (but totally fair) nightmare gamers would surely never forget.
Photograph from DX version
Color dungeon from DX version
Most of Link's equipment was familiar to series veterans. To wit, the boomerang, bomb, bow and arrow, hookshot, fire-shooting magic rod, magical powder, shovel, flippers, power bracelet, and Pegasus boots all returned. The new Roc's feather let Link jump into the air to cross pits and to snag floating items. Last, but far from least, Link could learn three useful songs for his Ocarina. This musical gameplay element was later brought to the forefront in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
Do You Remember?
Stealing from the shopkeeper? It could be done ... but your character was renamed "Thief," and if you ever entered the shopkeeper's store again you were knocked off instantly. But when the bow cost 980 rupees and the most you could hold was 999, temptation was hard to resist. Then there was also the joy of taking Marin to the claw-activated Trendy Game and having her pick up Mr. Trendy himself! Oh, that Marin.