Daily Debate: Is A Link to the Past (Alongside Other SNES Classics) Too Sacred to Remake?
Posted on January 18 2023 by Rod Lloyd
Back in 2021, YouTube content creator Storm Dain reviewed — or, rather, adventured through — Twilight Princess HD and Skyward Sword HD. Amidst that “adventure,” Dain took a brief aside to discuss Nintendo’s recent pattern of remaking, from the ground up, older titles for modern hardware, such as with 2019’s Link’s Awakening remake. With a somewhat controversial take, Dain questioned why Nintendo has “resorted to remaking spinach-green games [such as Game Boy titles like Link’s Awakening and Metroid II: The Return of Samus] when there’s far more fertile ground.”
The “fertile ground” Dain was referring to is Nintendo’s SNES library, chiefly acclaimed and historically significant titles like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Super Metroid. For years, the games of this console generation have been held aloft as some of the best ever made, rightfully so in my opinion. And when games earn such renown, there exists the idea that they are perfect works, perfect products, that still hold up today and therefore need no attempts to improve them for modern audiences. Why remake something that is perfect?
Storm Dain questioned this line of thinking:
“I would like to say that my generation is wrong. The Super Nintendo is not the end-all, be-all for video game entertainment. If you haven’t noticed, the world did not stop turning when its production was discontinued. You’re allowed to remake [A Link to the Past and Super Metroid], Nintendo. Particularly, remake them in a way that is palatable to modern gaming.”
That take does make one wonder if critically acclaimed and historical important games like A Link to the Past and Super Metroid, alongside others like Super Mario World, Eartbound, and Chrono Trigger, are considered too sacred to remake by the gamers who grew up loving them. Would attempting to modernize these classics simply tamper with or lessen a definitive work of art that has stood the test of time for a reason? Would a remake of A Link to the Past be seen in the same light as largely panned film remakes / re-releases, like the Star Wars Special Editions, the E.T. Special Edition, Gus Van Sant’s Psycho remake, or Spike Lee’s Oldboy remake?
While I personally believe that A Link the Past and Super Metroid, as two of the absolute best SNES titles, are perfectly fine without remakes (spiritual successors like A Link Between Worlds are great though), I do recognize that some of the console’s other classics can be enhanced with a remake in such a way as to not sacrifice what made them special in the first place. For example, with the recent release of their Live A Live remake, Square Enix proved that a Super Nintendo title can be modernized while still retaining its 16-bit charm. I may not think A Link the Past or Super Metroid require such a revamp, but Square Enix’s approach may be the best scenario if such remakes were on the table.
So, there lies the question: Are SNES classics like A Link to the Past and Super Metroid too sacred to remake? Are they palatable to modern audiences just the way they are? Or do you, like Storm Dain, think that Nintendo should consider remaking these titles? Join the debate in the comments below!
Rod Lloyd is the managing editor at Zelda Dungeon, primarily overseeing the news and feature content of the site. Rod is considered the veteran of the writing team, having started writing for Zelda Informer in 2014 as a junior editor. After ZD and ZI officially merged in 2017, he stepped into the managing editor role and has helped steer the ship ever since.
You can reach Rod at: email@example.com