The Thousand and One Revisions of Link’s Awakening

2014-04-11 by . 2 comments

I have always loved The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. I can’t even remember how many times I played this game. I somehow got interested in the game’s numerous bugs and tried to learn about many of them. The main problem with these bugs is that some of them are reproducible only in some revisions of the game. In order to know which bug could be performed with which revision, I tried to take an inventory of the revisions… but it soon turned out to be a nightmare!

Obvious differences

When we think about the different versions of Link’s Awakening, the first obvious versions that come to our minds are the original black & white version from 1993, and the color remake from 1998, known as The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX. Another noteworthy difference is that the original game has been released in four different languages (Japanese, English, German and French). Releasing the game on a different cartridge per language may have been due to the lack of memory on the old cartridges. While it was certainly not a problem with the Game Boy Color cartridges, the language separation was kept for Link’s Awakening DX, probably to lessen the burden of the development team.

Lesser known versions

Since the original Link’s Awakening managed to sell more than a million copies, it was re-released in 1996 under the Player’s Choice label (also known as Nintendo Classics in Europe), along with other Nintendo games that reached the same number of sales. Some bugs were fixed for the Player’s Choice versions of the game, introducing some more revisions of the game.

Link’s Awakening DX has also been available on the 3DS eshop since 2011. Apparently, there is still one version per language. The 3DS versions have undergone some slight modifications before they were released, so I will consider that they are different from the Game Boy Color versions. The game was also available for the Nintendo Power flash cartridges.

That said, I don’t know much about the 3DS revisions of Link’s Awakening, and I can’t tell which versions of the game were available for the Nintendo Power and whether they were different from the Game Boy Color ones. Therefore, this article will mostly try to make a list of the different Game Boy and Game Boy Color revisions of Link’s Awakening. From what I told earlier, you could probably count at least 4 versions of Link’s Awakening and 4 versions of Link’s Awakening DX, plus the Player’s Choice versions. However… there are at least twice as many revisions of this game. We will try to provide a mean to differentiate them and to eventually count them.

Cartridge ID

Every Nintendo product has an identification number. To identify the version of a game, it is generally possible to refer to the cartridge ID. This number is often written on the left strip of the cartridge (except for the Japanese versions). The version numbers for Link’s Awakening cartridges are as follows (an underscore represents the characters that change between versions):

  • Link’s Awakening: DMG-ZL-___ (e.g. DMG-ZL-FRA).
  • Link’s Awakening DX: DMG-AZL_-___ (e.g. DMG-AZLF-FRA).

There is one exception to this rule: the Quebec black and white version ID is DMG-ZC-CAN. In addition, the cartridge ID can be followed by the revision number (e.g. the Player’s Choice USA revision is DMG-ZL-USA-1).

Here is a list of the different versions that I was able to find, with the regions where they were likely to be released:

Link’s Awakening

  • English games
    • DMG-ZL-AUS (Australia)
    • DMG-ZL-CAN (Canada)
    • DMG-ZL-ESP-1 (Spain)
    • DMG-ZL-EUR (Europe)
    • DMG-ZL-HOL (Netherlands)
    • DMG-ZL-SCN (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden)
    • DMG-ZL-UKV (United Kingdom)
    • DMG-EL-USA (United States)
    • DMG-ZL-USA-1 (Unisted States)
    • DMG-ZL-USA-2 (United States)
  • French games
    • DMG-ZC-CAN (Quebec)
    • DMG-ZL-FRA (France)
  • German games
    • DMG-ZL-FRG (Austria, Switzerland)
    • DMG-ZL-NOE (Germany)
  • Japanese games
    • DMG-407 CHN (China, Japan)
    • DMG-ZLJ (Japan)

Link’s Awakening DX

  • English games
    • DMG-AZLE-USA (United States)
    • DMG-AZLE-USA-1 (United States)
    • DMG-AZLP-AUS (Australia)
    • DMG-AZLP-EUR (Europe)
    • DMG-AZLP-EUR-1 (Europe)
  • French games
    • DMG-AZLF-FRA
  • German games
    • DMG-AZLD-NOE (Germany)
  • Japanese games
    • DMG-AZLJ-JPN (Japan)

DMG-ZL-FRG cartridge with a DMG-ZLD-0 microchip

Microchip ID

Unfortunately, the cartridge ID isn’t sufficient to identify which exact revision of Link’s Awakening (DX) we are playing. While it may give a good idea, some cartridges with the same ID may include different revisions of the game while some cartridges with different IDs may include the same revision of the game. There are only two ways to identify precisely a revision:

  • Check the microchip ID.
  • Check the hash of the ROM.

Two revisions of Link’s Awakening are exactly the same if they have the same microchip ID or the same hash. However, checking the microchip ID requires to open the cartridge while checking the hash requires to extract the ROM from the game. None of them is trivial. The version numbers for Link’s Awakening microchips are as follows:

  • Link’s Awakening: DMG-ZL_-_ (e.g. DMG-ZLJ-0).
  • Link’s Awakening DX: DMG-AZL_-_ (e.g. DMG-AZLD-1).
  • There is one exception to this rule: the Quebec black and white version ID is DMG-ZCF-0.

The last digit in the microchip ID corresponds to the revision number of the microchip. The total number of Link’s Awakening different revisions corresponds to the number of unique microchip IDs.

I managed to create the following table thanks to many websites (especially DAT-o-MATIC). This table tries to match the microchip ID, the cartridge ID and the MD5 hash of as many Link’s Awakening (DX) revisions as possible (Game Boy and Game Boy Color only):

Link’s Awakening
Microchip ID Cartridge ID MD5
DMG-ZCF-0 DMG-ZC-CAN DD0752E29D7754AE3249F32BF0352811
DMG-ZLD-0 DMG-ZL-FRG, DMG-ZL-NOE 8B7AF1A8CA96C74301D633E0CE83BA0B
DMG-ZLE-0 DMG-ZL-CAN, DMG-ZL-UKV, DMG-ZL-USA C4360F89E2B09A21307FE864258ECAB7
DMG-ZLE-1* DMG-ZL-CAN, DMG-ZL-ESP-1, DMG-ZL-UKV E202EE96A60CE347E39FE3F5D9FD65E7
DMG-ZLE-2* DMG-ZL-EUR, DMG-ZL-USA-1 69D643BF4E37B3C133518517338B6A1C
DMG-ZLF-0 DMG-ZL-FRA 5BC0913D533000522C7C9CAC1EF6F97F
DMG-ZLJ-0* DMG-ZLJ* AE08C1F73F822116060EF58293B94ED8*
DMG-ZLJ-1* DMG-407 CHN 3AFBE0CF110FC6AD8DEF8377ECFFC34D
Link’s Awakening DX
Microchip ID Cartridge ID MD5
DMG-AZLD-0 DMG-AZLD-NOE E91FD46E7092D32CA264F21853F09539*
DMG-AZLD-1 DMG-AZLD-NOE B0080C2F1919A4BB0EA73B788F4A6786
DMG-AZLE-0 DMG-AZLE-USA 07C211479386825042EFB4AD31BB525F
DMG-AZLE-1* DMG-AZLE-USA-1* 1043FD167D0ED9C4094E3C9D8E757F1E
DMG-AZLF-0 DMG-AZLF-FRA
DMG-AZLF-1 DMG-AZLF-FRA 68242187B65166B5F8225B20E2021659
DMG-AZLJ-0* DMG-AZLJ-JPN* F75874E3654360094FC2B09BD1FED7E8
DMG-AZLJ-1* DMG-AZLJ-JPN 6D8F9CD72201CAABDFD0455A819AF9CE
DMG-AZLJ-2 DMG-AZLJ-JPN 2E2596C008D47DF901394D28F5BD66EC
DMG-AZLP-0 DMG-AZLP-EUR, DMG-AZLP-AUS*
DMG-AZLP-1* DMG-AZLP-EUR*, DMG-AZLP-AUS*
DMG-AZLP-2 DMG-AZLP-EUR, DMG-AZLP-AUS 7351DAA3C0A91D8F6FE2FBCCA6182478

The fields followed by an asterisk are the ones that I could not verify but that are likely to be true. For example, I could never find any mention of the numbers DMG-ZLJ-0 or DMG-ZLJ-1, but the corresponding versions exist. The only missing information is the exact name of the microchip that I assumed to be DMG-ZLJ-* since it would follow the apparent naming conventions. I couldn’t match every microchip ID with the corresponding cartridge ID(s) either.

Anyway, trying to take an inventory of all the revisions of Link’s Awakening and Link’s Awakening DX was a great adventure, I would never have thought that there were so many of them! Even if the game is quite old, looking for this kind of data is a slow process and I probably wont be able to complete this list for many years.

Filed under Old Games

An Interactive Walk Through Gaming History

2013-04-17 by . 6 comments

GameOn-banner-375I recently took a trip to Toronto, Ontario to celebrate my birthday with my twin sister (albeit a bit belatedly).  We saw some of our extended family, went to a Jays game (they lost, unfortunately), and spent some time at the ROM.  None of this is important (well, at least in the context of this blog), since I also spent some time in the Ontario Science Centre, and their special exhibit, Game On 2.0.

In the words of the Science Centre:

[On] Sept. 26, 1969, a radio signal over 1.5 billion light years away struck a circuit that raised the curtain at the Science Centre’s official opening. It was one of the world’s first interactive science museums.  The Science Centre has since welcomed more than 46 million visitors for a range of fascinating experiences in science and technology. It is one of Ontario’s most significant cultural attractions, focused on interactivity and hands-on learning for visitors of all ages.

An exhibition about gaming seems right at home. more »

League of Legends – Support is Science

2013-04-02 by . 8 comments

Sightstone

Here I come again to talk about League of Legends. With the reign of Season 3, many things have changed. I am sure you have found a number of comments for your favourite AP/AD/Top/Jungle/IDoTonsOfDamage build, but I would rather talk about my favourite role and its changes: the Support. It is really a special type of gameplay that requires more skill than one would think of at first glance, and not just anyone can Support, just as not just anyone can Top, Jungle, AD or AP. Why? Because of many things, the main reasons being because of the gold gathering mechanism and the prevalence of the champion’s kit over its AP/AD ratio. This article will focus on the former.

Notable changes have been introduced in the third season. These changes have considerably improved the quality of life of LoL’s Support champions by allowing new possibilities. This has been made possible by changing the default passive gold per second, the addition of self-recharging items like the “Sightstone”, and the Pickpocket mastery. Furthermore, as the gold pot increases for supports, new items have been developed to add more diversity to the builds. more »

Filed under Theory crafting

Are you ready to conquer the Swarm?

2013-03-12 by . 0 comments

AnswerSwarm Top Piece

You’ve been waiting for it for three years, and now it’s finally here: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm has arrived. Join Sarah Kerrigan on her quest to assume leadership of the various rival broods of the fractured Swarm and exact her revenge on the Dominion.

You also get to win cool stuff from Arqade! The top prize this time is a sweet graphics card, and we have plush toys and peripherals up for grabs as well.

When you ask and answer questions about SCII: HOTS during the first ten days after launch, you’ll start working your way up through the leagues of AnswerSwarm. Anyone who chooses to participate will be featured in the leaderboards.

Go make posts, earn some achievements, and vengeance will be yours!

Filed under Contest

Crysis 3 – Of Benchmarks and Borrowing

2013-03-08 by . 1 comments

I recently built a new PC to replace the aging laptop I was using for my day-to-day PC gaming needs. Included with my new video card was a coupon for a free copy of Crysis 3 and a free copy of Bioshock: Infinite. While I’m interested in the new Bioshock game, I can’t say I really had much interest in Crysis as a series before now. Getting it free was awfully motivating, though, so I thought I’d check it out.

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Filed under Reviews

Shopping Advice for Gamers

2012-11-13 by . 1 comments

Shopping advice is another one of those topics that we don’t allow on Arqade. We did, once upon a time, and we attracted a couple of “canonical” questions on the topic. In an effort to preserve whatever value they have, as well as allow us to clean them up from the site, I’ve prepared this blog post. Remember, though, that asking shopping advice questions on Arqade is off-topic – the intent of this post is just to give people a pointer to some additional resources when we close questions. more »

Filed under Gaming 101

XCOM: Enemy Unknown – First Impressions of Earth

2012-10-20 by . 0 comments

Although I joined Steam in 2004, I managed to avoid spending very much money on it in the early years. That all changed in 2009, when the allure of sales finally won me over, and some $2,000 worth of games later, here we are. One of my very earliest purchases on Steam was the X-COM Complete Pack. X-COM was a franchise that had always interested me – I’m a sucker for tactical RPGs and strategic base building games. However, the difficulty, coupled with the somewhat impenetrable interface turned me off, and I still haven’t played a complete game in of any of them. The purchase ended up being the first in a very long line of games that I ended up buying but never quite could get into.

When I first heard that Firaxis was being handed the XCOM license and were making a turn-based strategy game with it, I was elated. I’m a big fan of Firaxis, and I’ve logged nearly 200 hours on Civilization 5 as of this article. I will play pretty much anything if the title starts with “Sid Meier’s.” I pre-ordered this game, and I’ve spent nearly every free moment I’ve had since the release playing the game. After a good chunk of hours invested, I think I’m ready to at least give my impressions of it. I think I’ll probably be sinking a considerable amount of hours into this game, including its higher difficulty levels and other challenging modes in the coming months, so this is by no means a final word.

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Filed under Reviews

Getting the most out of your Followers in Diablo 3 (Part 2)

2012-10-17 by . 1 comments

Welcome to part 2 of our Follower guide. In this article I will be talking about the spell casting Follower; the mystical Eirena. I recommend this Follower to any melee class in the game as she is very effective with her AOE (Area of Effect) spells when farming and also gives good buffs to the player.

Eirena the Enchantress

Eirena the Enchantress

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Filed under Gaming 101

Getting the most out of your Followers in Diablo 3 (Part 1)

2012-10-10 by . 0 comments

Followers in Diablo 3 are weak when compared to the majestic ones Diablo 2 had, but that does not mean they can’t be made to be useful. You probably know by now that the only customizable things on your Follower are his armor and his skills, two things I have analyzed deeply to come up with a perfect combination.

 

This is part 1 of a 3 part series where I will be showing you how to make the most out of Kormac, the Templar.

Kormac the Templar

Kormac the Templar

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Filed under Gaming 101

Happy Second Anniversary, Arqade!

2012-10-06 by . 4 comments

Happy Birthday Arqade! Today is the second anniversary of Gaming’s graduation from beta, October 6th, 2010. What a busy couple of years it’s been! Let’s take a moment to celebrate the accomplishments of the community and the site over the past year. Put on your party hat, throw a handful of confetti at the nearest unsuspecting co-worker, roommate, family member, pet, houseplant, or whatever else is nearby, and have a slice of cake!

Party Cat is ready to party, are you?

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Filed under Featured