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The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening/Room Design Changes

From The Cutting Room Floor
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This is a sub-page of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening.

Room Design Changes

Due to the way rooms are set up in Link's Awakening, some older room layouts can be found. The old layouts are covered up with different tiles. These older layouts are hidden in all versions of the game.

Overworld

Early version Final version
Rooster statues don't have the fight they used to Do roosters eat flowers?

The flowers around the rooster statue were originally bushes.

Early version Final version
Homeless fisherman A brand new house! Door not included

The fisherman's house is built on top of six tiles of grass, probably there before they remembered to give the poor guy a home.

Early version Final version
You found some secret grass! Keep it away from the police Yep, flowers

More flower conversion, this time from grass.

Early version Final version
Just a lone tree standing tall in the presence of death. Annnnnd now it's dead.

The lone tree in the center was replaced with a row of skull trees, likely to force the player to walk through the entire graveyard instead of just skirting the top row.

Early version Final version
Hope you didn't want to go back up there. Fine, here's your stupid shortcut.

Stairs were added to this screen, making it so that you can bypass the Mysterious Woods after you beat Level 2.

Early version Final version
You should ride down in a barrel Who builds stairs on top of a waterfall?

The stairs on this screen cover up another waterfall, which would have been used as a one way path down the mountains. Since the lack of this staircase makes it impossible to go further up, there might have been a different way to climb the Tal Tal Mountain Range in earlier versions.

(Source: Xkeeper)
Early version Final version
CHICKENS ONLY Stairs added for your convenience

Another one way drop changed to a staircase, further supporting the different Tal Tal Mountain Range layout.

Early version Final version
Inviting Anyone know what animal that's supposed to be?

Yarna Desert's entrance once featured two palm trees in the center. This was likely before the animal skull tiles were in the game.

(Source: Xkeeper)

Level 1: Tail Cave

Early version Final version
I'll just waltz right in and out Swept under the rug, as it were

This room's chest was changed from being out in the open to appearing after all enemies are destroyed. In the final room layout, the early chest is hidden behind the decorative tiles.

(Source: Xkeeper)

Level 2: Bottle Grotto

Prototype room layout
Early version Final version
The lighting really helps the mood Seems like its missing some ambience

The doorway in this room was widened while the torch was hidden under a corner tile. This is actually a remnant of a layout seen in a prototype image of the game.

(Source: Xkeeper)

Level 4: Angler's Tunnel

Early version Final version
Don't have the flippers? Too bad I'm free!

The early layout is impossible to cross from the north without the flippers. You can still cross from the south with the Pegasus Boots.

(Source: Xkeeper)

Level 5: Catfish's Maw

Early version Final version
It's a bit cramped in here Thank you bottle gods

The empty chest room had some item bottles added to it for the final version.

Level 6: Face Shrine

Early version Final version
1 head 3 heads. Cerberus?

Minor cosmetic change. Two more statues were added to the lower left of this room.

Early version Final version
A tricky puzzle Thanks, I needed more ammo to throw at the chest

More bottles were added to the back row in the final.

Level 8: Turtle Rock

Early version Final version
I hate stairs Lava drain

Probably just changed for convenience purposes. In the early layout you can't look at the next room unless you go up the stairs. The final version's layout lets you do just that.

Early version Final version
Nasty Potholes covered

This room has a lot more pits than what's seen in the final. They were covered up to both make the room easier and to make room for the stone slab / owl statue.

Eagle Tower Boss Fight

The Eagle Tower boss fight was supposed to have animated clouds in the background instead of the still clouds that finally got used. A tile layout for this is loaded on every map transition from dungeon to overworld (and even vice versa!). Currently it doesn't seem to be utilized at all.