The remake of Link’s Awakening was teased all the way back in 2016

Link's Awakening

Remember February 2019’s Nintendo Direct? Remember how surprised and psyched you were when they revealed a remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening? One of the thoughts going through my mind was, “How did they keep this a secret?” Well, it turns out there was at least one clue that was dropped three years ago.

Keeping up with their excellent stream of details, the development team let us in on a tiny surprise in this month’s issue of EDGE magazine. Eiji Aonuma, the man possibly most associated with the Legend of Zelda series, confirmed that an offhand remark from a 2016 interview was indeed referring to the upcoming remake. In a discussion about future projects, here’s what he had to say:

Actually, Nintendo has been telling me to create a new IP. But then, they’re also telling me to make more Zelda games.

I can’t really share much; I’m not sure I’m allowed to say anything. But I really like the idea of a game where I can live as a thief. That’s all I’ll say.

When asked if this was referring to Link’s Awakening, Aonuma laughed and confirmed that, yes, it was a cheeky clue as to what he was working on.


For those who haven’t lived in Koholint for as long as some of us, here’s what he’s referring to. In Link’s Awakening, there’s a shop where Link can buy two essential items. Crafty players can distract the shopkeeper and steal from the counter. However, doing so gets the hero’s name changed from whatever the player entered at the beginning of the game to THIEF. Everyone in the game from that point on, including the characters in the final cutscene, use THIEF to refer to Link. Going back into the store will also cause the shopkeep to go all Darth Sideous on THIEF.

This is a very cool reference and a sly way to give a hint at one of Nintendo’s biggest announcements of the year. Do you think going back and reviewing every word Mr. Aonuma has ever said would be overkill? Let us know!


Dominick Ashtear