Posted on February 10 2024 by Nick Miller
You’re nearing the end of a Zelda game; it’s time to face the big bad. You’re standing outside the boss’ lair with only two options. Do you charge through and finish the game, or do you drop back into the world to tidy up loose ends?
Your answer may vary depending on which game you’re playing. It’s understandable that not every player wants to collect every Korok Seed or Gold Skultulla. Sometimes the reward isn’t worth the effort, or maybe certain challenges just break the pacing of the game. Maybe you’re the type to avoid collectibles altogether as a self-imposed challenge, like a three-heart run. We’re not talking about those games though. I want to hear about the Zelda game where you do everything, the one where you complete every side quest and fill out every line of your Bombers’ Notebook. What is the game where you collect every RNG-blocked figurine that is so frustrating you almost rip your hair out but you do it anyway because you can’t stand the thought of beating the game without it? Which games do you see through to the end, with no stone unturned?
For me, this game is Link’s Awakening. This game is short enough as it is, so adding that extra challenge in there not only improves equipment like my tunic and sword, but also extends my time on Koholint Island, which is well worth the effort. It doesn’t hurt that the bonus content is fun too. The Color Dungeon, the rafting mini-game, the trading sequence, Secret Shells, none of it feels forced or tacked on, and none of it is unreasonably tedious or difficult.
What’s best is that, even though the bonus content will extend your time with the game, it doesn’t overstay its welcome. The game strikes that perfect balance of maintaining its fun factor and then bowing out before it becomes a grind. For that reason, I 100% Link’s Awakening nearly every time I play it.
So, now tell us, which Zelda games do you regularly complete 100%? What side quests do you find particularly rewarding? Are there any Zelda games that you won’t ever 100%? Let us know in the comments!
Nick is a writer for Zelda Dungeon and a longtime fan of the Zelda franchise. In his free time, he enjoys fishing, archery, skateboarding, and some good ol’ fashioned family time. He’s an advocate for physical media and an avid video game collector. His favorite Zelda game is Ocarina of Time, though Breath of the Wild and the Link’s Awakening remake are close contenders.