Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda – Different versions of the games, footage, and official websites

After Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the Mario series last year, Nintendo are about to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the Legend of Zelda with another Game & Watch console (logically called Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda). It will launch next month, on November 12th worldwide.

It will include the following games and extras:

  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
  • The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (GameBoy version)
  • Game & Watch Vermin (Zelda-themed)
  • Clock and timer functions

Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda actually includes several versions of the games (Japanese and overseas versions). This is noteworthy not just for the languages included, but also for the various differences between versions:

  • The Legend of Zelda: Japanese (Famicom Disk System) and overseas (NES)
    • Font: font used in overseas version is thicker
    • Dungeons: some dungeons feature different enemy placements
    • Music: the two versions feature slightly different BGM due to different Hardware specs (the Famicom Disk System allowed for richer sounds)
  • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link: Japanese (Famicom Disk System) and overseas (NES)
    • Graphics: some areas are different, such as the starting areas which features additional columns in the overseas version. Also, some character/enemy sprites were tweaked for the overseas release
    • Field: enemy icons on Hyrule Field look like ghosts in the Japanese version, and like actual monsters in the overseas version
    • Dungeons: each dungeon in the overseas version features a different colour scheme
    • Music and Sound Effects: there are some noticeable differences between the two versions
    • Level-Up System: the level-up system is different between the two versions. In Japanese, all abilities require the same amount of XP, which isn’t the case in the overseas versions
    • Game Over: in the Japanese version, when you get a Game Over, you start again with Life – 1, whereas in the overseas version, you can try again with Life – 2 instead
  • The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening: Japanese and English, French, and German versions
    • Opening: the trees in the overseas versions are more detailed than in the Japanese version
    • Name select: you can listen to special music if you write “ぜるだ” (Japanese version) / “ZELDA” as your name. The Japanese version also features some other secret tracks, while the French and German versions also feature their own secret track (if you input LOLO and MOYSE respectively).

Finally, here’s some footage for Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda:

Finally, Nintendo have launched the official websites for the three games included in Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda:

(Unfortunately, those websites are only available in Japanese).

Now, it may seem surprising that Nintendo would only launch the official websites for those three games in 2021, decades after their release. And yet, it’s not the first time they’ve done this… they did it last year, for Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 2 (known as The Last Levels outside Japan).

The reason for this is simple: the internet simply wasn’t a thing when those games were launched. And launching an official website for those old games is a most interesting and uniqute way to celebrate the anniversary of a series!

Also, unlike other companies (including Nintendo of America!), Nintendo in Japan rarely take down official websites. For example, you can still check out the (unsurprisingly barebone) Super Mario 64 official website. No need to make use of the Wayback Machine! By opening official websites so late, Nintendo ensure that all their major games will always have their own official website in Japan.

Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda comes out on November 12th worldwide.

Source: Nintendo


Founder and main writer for Perfectly Nintendo. Tried really hard to find something funny and witty to put here, but had to admit defeat.