Link's Awakening Switch - Link stands above a goomba

Link’s Awakening Script Comparison: Tail Cave

When checking the keyhole before getting the key, it’s misspelled as “Tale Keyhole” on GB/C. (Though it’s correctly spelled “Tail” most everywhere else.) There are other inconsistencies like this scattered about on GB/C, but the Switch version corrects them.


J and E text both still say the compass has a new feature. To be fair, this feature only appears in Link’s Awakening and the Oracle games, so it is sort of “new” in that sense. The E text is updated slightly to reflect the fact that dungeons aren’t divided into rooms anymore.

Also, the Switch version finally gets full-fledged em dashes!


As previously noted, Switch capitalizes less terms: Hearts > hearts, Small Key > small key, etc.
Also small key text has been slightly tweaked from “You can open a locked door” to “It can open a locked door.”


When finding an owl beak, the GBC text says “Let’s find…”, phrasing that matches the Japanese, but doesn’t necessarily sound natural in English. Switch uses “Now to find…” which is actually closer to the original E GB text.


In Japanese, the owl statues speak not only entirely in katakana, but also use grammar reminiscent of classical Japanese, giving them a bit more of an esoteric feel.


Also, while the E GBC hint referred to “a stone block”, E Switch says “a square block” which is what the Japanese actually says (J text hasn’t changed on Switch). Perhaps “stone blocks” was considered too confusing, so they wanted a more direct translation.


Random non-language fact! Jumping on Goombas always yields a heart. I just love all the little details in this game.


In Japanese you get the “Boss Key” which opens the door to the “Boss Room”, but in English these get a little extra flair with “Nightmare Key” and “Nightmare’s Lair”. (Also text tweaked slightly from GB/C: Nightmare’s Key > Nightmare Key)


The boss is literally デグテール (degu te-ru) in Japanese, but “Moldorm” in English. テール (te-ru = tail) is evidently the Japanese name for the common Moldorm enemy. (Which would mean this should technically be Moldorm Cave, not Tail Cave.)
The デグ (degu) part seems to be a distortion of the Japanese word デブ (debu) meaning “fat, chubby.” (Final Fantasy fans may know that Fat Chocobo is called デブチョコボ (debu chocobo) in Japanese.) This “degu” prefix is used in Japanese for other bosses in Link’s Awakening as well, which are also large in size.

Also, it isn’t clear to me where these boss names originated from in the first place. They’re never referred to by name on GB/C, so maybe these come from a strategy guide or other official material that was published afterwards?


In Japanese, Link gets the “Full Moon Violin” while in English this is changed to “Cello”. This may be because the original GB/C sprite appears to have an endpin, which would make it a cello. Though it still sounds pretty high-pitched.


In J, the owl says Link must be the real deal/an actual hero after all, and apologizes for being rude (because he doubted Link’s capabilities, I guess?). In E he simply says “I did not believe you were real…” which sort of ends up having a double meaning later on.


I’ve sometimes heard that N1 grammar is pointless to learn because it’s so obscure and never comes up, but it does pop up in games on occasion! “-nga tame” here is an extra formal way of saying “for the purpose of/in order to.”


Next is the lead up to the second dungeon!

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