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The Legend Of Zelda: Link's Awakening Has An Interesting Connection To Twin Peaks

The relatively recently remastered "Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening" stands out among early "Zelda" titles for being the most... out there. It has a uniquely whimsical, dream-like setting, and there are even references to other Nintendo games everywhere, particularly "Mario. In a lot of ways, it's the most surreal "Zelda" game ever released. The fact that the game takes place inside the dream of an enigmatic being called The Wind Fish makes many of these new mechanics and references — like the chain chomp dog — feel less out-of-place, and in the end, players got a "Legend of Zelda" game like no other.

In a similar vein, the cult classic TV series "Twin Peaks" stands out from its contemporary crime dramas for its incredibly surrealist take on the genre – changing TV in a way nearly no one noticed. "Twin Peaks" doesn't just share a dream-like tone with "The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening," though. In fact, according to an Iwata Asks post, the game was directly inspired by "Twin Peaks" in several ways — notably the localized setting and suspicious characters that the show is so well known for.

Suspicious characters and the setting of Twin Peaks influenced Link's Awakening

In the second volume of Iwata Asks, a series in which Satoru Iwata held behind-the-scenes roundtable discussions, guests Takashi Tezuka, Eiji Aonuma, and Toshihiko Nakago discussed the history of "Zelda" handheld games. When it came to "Link's Awakening," Tezuka was asked by Aonuma about the influence of "Twin Peaks" on the game, which debuted in Japan in 1991. "At the time, Twin Peaks was rather popular. The drama was all about a small number of characters in a small town." Tezuka said. "I wanted to make something that, while it would be small enough in scope to easily understand, it would have deep and distinctive characteristics."

Tezuka specifically pointed to the "suspicious characters" of "Twin Peaks" as inspiration for creating Koholint Island's distinct NPCs — the raccoon in the Mysterious Forest, for example, tricks players over and over again until they sprinkle magic powder on him. Tezuka said he was surprised that these types of suspicious characters continued to be in future "Zelda" titles like "Majora's Mask," but he was happy to have opened the door.

Iwata admits earlier in the discussion that "Link's Awakening" had "quite a large influence over the general direction of the 'Legend of Zelda' series." In a way, this means "The Legend of Zelda" timeline as we know it — not just "Link's Awakening" — might not be the same if it wasn't influenced by David Lynch's surreal drama series early on.