The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening: 5 other video game remakes with drastic changes

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#1. Donkey Kong ’94

Donkey Kong ’94 for the Nintendo Gameboy might just be the best example of a bait and switch in the best possible way ever. The original Donkey Kong is, of course, a seminal classic. It’s arguable that without the success of Donkey Kong, we never get to Nintendo eventually making the NES as it was their first true breakout hit in arcades.

However, the original Donkey Kong was pretty simple in its design. As Mario, you chased the big monkey through four levels to rescue your girlfriend Pauline (Princess Peach did not yet exist). And that was pretty much it. You repeated the levels trying for a higher score with more difficulty added, but it was the same four levels repeating; that’s it.

So when the game was released for the Nintendo Gameboy over a decade later with a promise of “100 levels of pain” we all just figured it was 100 levels of the same four levels you played in the arcade. Makes sense, right? Especially on the Nintendo Gameboy. It couldn’t possibly be 100 levels that consisted of multiple worlds with different themes and new mechanics constantly introduced with incredibly challenging new puzzles, right?

But that’s exactly what the 1994 release of Donkey Kong for the Nintendo Gameboy was. It was an incredible shock after beating the fourth level in this version to have Donkey Kong actually take away Pauline yet again and then open up with a whole bunch of brand new levels you’ve never seen with completely different gameplay than the first four. This kind of surprise was only possible in a world where the internet was still in its infancy because this would have been spoiled for people long before the game came out otherwise. Donkey Kong ’94 remains one of if not arguably the most extensive and best remakes ever and if you have it a 3DS it’s available on there so be sure to check it out.

And that’s our list of five remakes that made some pretty notable changes from the original, for better or worse. Will The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening be a remake for the better or make people wish we could just play the original Gameboy version? We’ll find out soon!