There are worse places to be shipwrecked than the tropical Koholint Island, the setting of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, which is out now on the Nintendo Switch family of consoles.
To tell us about his favourite point of interest on the island, here’s the game’s director Mikiharu Oiwa.
Hello, I’m Mikiharu Oiwa from Grezzo, director of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. I’d like to tell you a little bit about one of my favourite places to visit on Koholint Island: the Fishing Pond.
If you need a break from your adventures on Koholint Island, please swing by the Fishing Pond in Mabe Village. You’ll need some rupees to play, but you can go there and fish right from the start of your quest.
The fishing in Link’s Awakening is different from the fishing in other titles in The Legend of Zelda series in that you play it with a side view – just like in the original Game Boy game.
You can even see the fish perfectly. It’s like they are in a narrow aquarium. Don’t you think that this fits very well with the diorama art style of this game? Also, Link’s movements are different than in the top-down perspective and way cuter.
We put a lot of attention into making the gameplay for this feature as well. Since you can see the fish at all times, we put the emphasis not in finding the right fishing spot, but rather on the battle with the fish. It is split in three main parts:
1: Positioning the lure by casting it and letting it sink
2: Hooking the fish where it nibbles on the lure and then bites
3: Battling the fish by reeling it in at the right timing
By the way, if you try reeling in little by little as the fish is nibbling on the lure, you can bring the fish closer to shore. If you get it to bite there, you can lift it out of the water in one go with a splash! This only works with small fish though.
As your adventure progresses, different kinds of fish will appear in the pond. You might even find Cheep Cheeps from the Super Mario series that appear as enemies in some dungeons, swimming around in the Fishing Pond. Trying to reel in a Cheep Cheep is a bit more challenging compared from other fish, so please give it a try!
Also, as a reward for reeling in rare fish, the different kinds of lures you can use will increase as well. Here are some illustrations of the lures we designed during development. It’s hard to tell in-game because the lures are so small, but they’ve turned out rather well.
We also included fairy bottles as new items in this version of Link’s Awakening. The Fishing Pond was the first place that came to my mind as a hiding spot for one of them. I really wanted to fish for a bottle.
When fishing for the bottle, the fish that swim around will get in your way. They will take notice of the bottle and will try to pick at it. Because of that, you’ll need to reel the lure in skillfully to avoid them. Oh by the way, you can catch a fairy in the bottle, so if you manage to get your hands on it, it’s sure to be of use early on in your adventure!
Finally I wanted to talk about something that I personally really like: the expression on Link’s face after he catches a fish. He has this adorable expression that you can’t see during the rest of the adventure. A real treat! I hope you all enjoy looking into Link’s cute saucer eyes.