Eye-opening Link’s Awakening Easter egg shocks boy, shows it only takes a moment to do something bad that will damage your reputation forever.

26 years after its initial Game Boy release, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is back in the spotlight, thanks to a new version of the action RPG classic for the Nintendo Switch. However, the new Link’s Awakening isn’t a loosely interpreted spiritual successor, but a bright and shiny remake that ups the technical artistry and tightens up the gameplay while remaining true to the spirit of the original.

▼ Trailer for Limk’s Awakening

One example of that fidelity: In the Game Boy version of Link’s Awakening, it’s possible for the player to steal items from the in-game shop. Nintendo to keep that feature in the new Switch version, and when the son of Japanese Twitter user @bhkanon, who’s experiencing the game for the first time via the Switch remake, found out about the theft opportunity, he was eager to try it out, but things didn’t turn out quite like he’d expected.

“My son was watching a YouTuber who explained how you can run away from the shop without paying for things in Link’s Awakening, so he tried it, and he was like ‘It’s true! You can.’

After that, he went back into the shop, and he thought maybe the shopkeeper would charge him double for items from then on, but instead the shopkeeper shot out a beam of energy and killed the hero. From that point on, for the whole rest of the game, the female lead Marin and all the fairies call him ‘Thief,’ and now my son is really depressed.

Nintendo, thank you for teaching him a valuable lesson.”

While the YouTube video the boy had watched included the part about the angry shopkeeper’s energy beam, apparently he had no idea he’d then be referred to as “Thief” for the rest of the game, and the permanent consequences of his actions came as a shock. Making the emotional wound especially deep is that, like a lot of kids, @bhkanon had entered his own name for the hero’s when starting the game, and so it really felt like he himself was now seen as a criminal in the eyes of the game’s characters.

Like a good parent, @bhkanon turned this into a teachable moment. “In real life too, even if you do something like that just one time, the people around you will think you’re a bad person forever,” she explained, and her son, with a newfound appreciation of the gravity of his choices, nodded meekly in understanding.

In the years since Link’s Awakening’s Game Boy release, the whole “Thief” thing has become sort of an open secret among veteran gamers, many of whom purposely get the hero stuck with the name for the bizarre comedy of the game’s emotional and dramatic scenes being peppered with dialogue that opens with phrases like “Hey, Thief, I need to tell you about…” But for @bhkanon’s son, who didn’t see that coming, the long-lasting stigma has left a profound impression on him. Still, he’s just a kid, and thankfully @bhkanon reports he’s no longer depressed about what happened, and who knows, maybe 26 years from now he’ll be able to channel his meaningful childhood Zelda memories into making video game art of his own.

Source: Twitter/@bhkanon via Hachima Kiko
Top image: YouTube/Nintendo UK
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