The enormous Nintendo Gigaleak continue to giveth. Earlier this week, fans of The Legend of Zelda discovered some curious unused maps for 1993's The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. The maps, when assembled, make an almost-perfect Game Boy version of The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds for the SNES.
Twitter user "MrCheeze_" posted the maps to their Twitter account and credited another Zelda fan named "LongJohnsonDE." A few screens are missing, primarily in the northern Death Mountain area, but otherwise the tweet offers an almost 1:1 Game Boy replica of A Link to the Past's overworld. We can clearly see Hyrule Castle, the Lost Woods, Lake Hylia, the desert, and the swamp south of Link's house.
This is an especially interesting find because Link's Awakening is an unusual Zelda game with an unusual development history. The Gaming Historian has a video that lays out the details of said history, but to summarize, Director Takashi Tezuka and a team of enthusiastic developers started Link's Awakening as a passion project. Tezuka and the team gathered after work to tinker around and see if they could get a Zelda game running on the Game Boy.
As MrCheeze_'s maps demonstrate, a straight port of A Link to the Past was initially planned for Link's Game Boy outing. Over time, Link's Awakening acquired original maps and dungeons, in addition to a strange story about Link's attempt to escape from a dream. Link's Awakening eventually hit shelves carrying a style of its very own, and that style helps make it one of the most beloved games in the Zelda library.
The Nintendo Gigaleak occurred last month, but it continues to spill new information about Nintendo's incomplete games and betas. The leak is highly controversial, as it involves stolen data. But it's also the source of valuable bits of game history that we'd never see otherwise. I remain conflicted in a conflicted world.