Nintendo Showdown handheld 2D Zelda

Welcome back to another edition of Nintendo Showdown! This is a weekly series at Nintendo Enthusiast, and it requires some audience participation. Every week we’ll compare two (or more) Nintendo games and pit them against each other in a showdown. Your votes decide the winner, so choose wisely! In celebration of the upcoming launch of the Link’s Awakening remake, we’re doing a month of Zelda matchups! This week’s contest is between all of the handheld 2D Zelda games. Click below to cast your vote and help us decide the winner!

Nintendo Showdown: Handheld 2D Zelda games

Link’s Awakening

Link’s Awakening was the first major handheld Zelda adventure. For the first time, the series left Hyrule behind and set sail for new land. The core gameplay remained largely the same from its predecessor, but Koholint Island was a strange and mysterious new place. It quickly captured the hearts of its players, and it remains as one of the most charming in the series, despite its somber undertones. This game is a dream you won’t want to wake up from.

The Oracles

Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages continued the trend of sending Link to foreign lands. In Seasons, he manipulates the weather on his quest to defeat General Onox and save the land of Holodrum. In Ages, he travels through time to overcome the sorceress Veran in the land of Labrynna. Thanks to a password system, players could transfer certain items over from one game to the other. Beating both games unlocked a final, climactic showdown with Twinrova and Ganon himself. These ambitious titles offered challenging combat and clever puzzles galore, and even animal sidekicks!

The Minish Cap

The Minish Cap finally sends Link on a handheld adventure in Hyrule, but perhaps not quite how you remembered it. Link shrinks down to explore Hyrule in a whole new way with the help of the magical Minish. As Link battles to save Hyrule from the villainous Vaati, the Picori blade slowly transforms into the Four Sword. This mechanic created some fun puzzle opportunities, and it also paved the way for multiplayer Zelda adventures.

Ben Lamoreux
Nintendo Enthusiast's Managing Editor. I grew up on Super Nintendo and never stopped playing. Been writing video game news, opinions, reviews, and interviews professionally for over a decade. Favorite franchises include Zelda, Metroid, and Mother.

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