Link’s Awakening is among one of the most unique and creative entries in the series. Taking place within a dream, Link faces a moral dilemma in his journey to escape the island. If he wakes up the Wind Fish, he threatens to destroy the existence of the entire island and everyone on it, including the endearing Marin, and the ending of the game is rather unclear on what exactly happens, leaving it open for interpretation.

After Link’s dream ends, he wakes up at sea on his boat and looks up at the sky to see a seagull flying overhead. This seagull is believed to be Marin after she achieved her wish of being able to fly, but how she appears here is unclear. Is the seagull real, and is it really Marin? Was she saved before Koholint Island vanished? Did the island disappear at all, or is it real and she got her wish? Is Link imagining it? The possibilities are endless, making it among one of the most compelling endings the series has to offer. It can be considered a happy ending, but not in an outright way, allowing it to achieve a level of deeper storytelling and symbolism that only a handful of other installments in the series have achieved. It’s because of these qualities that this ending stands out to me as among one of the most interesting in the franchise, offering something beyond a “happy” ending and reaching for something greater and philosophical. What does everyone think? What is your favorite ending in the Zelda series? Let us know in the comments!

Michaela El-Ters is an Original Content Editor at Zelda Informer. For more of her thoughts on happy endings versus sad endings, check out her blog.

Feature art by bellhenge

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  • Jebradiah Drake

    Well I mean it would be a moral dilemma if Link had the ability to convey emotions in this game, but due to his undefined personality I always imagine Link just shrugging it off whenever his journey ends in the despair of others. It’s not until MM I really see Link begin to convey his own emotions.

    • measurecad

      Link’s emotions are the players emotions, thus the name “Link”, as he is the link between the player and the videogame world.

      • Oscar Yasser Garcia Juallek

        Doesn’t work like that if there’s a predefined path AND even a set of events the player has no control over in how the playable character reacts, though.
        Which is a MASSIVE issue here(both in this game and the franchise in general. Link often expresses his own interests and concerns through environmental clues and facial expressions, all of which is dead out of the control of the player in ANY capacity. It’s basically Nintendo wanting to have their cake and eating it too)

        • Dylan

          like how Link is more of a character in BoTW.

  • Happy Mask Collector

    Majora’s Mask

    • AnonymousGX

      Agreed. If somebody loves it enough to try turning it into an opera (pending completion and Nintendo permission), it must have a great plot and ending!

      • Happy Mask Collector

        Wait it’s getting turned into an opera?? :O

        • Dylan

          yeah its been worked on as an opera for like a few years now.

        • AnonymousGX

          It’s a fan work. Link is absent, and instead follows Kafei as he struggles to hunt down Sakon and his mask.
          He has already completed Act 1, Act 2 is awaiting final revisions, and the Final Revisions Chart doesn’t have Act 3 up yet. However, the guy working on this is not connected to Nintendo, and they may end up turning down the project.

          His website: https://www.mbulteau.com/majora/

          Youtube Demo playlist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4sSTB5gqD0&list=PLO0uA5Q5rp-WTqNVpyY-c7BZEAHwNeCfy My favorites are Odolwa and the Deku, #7 Clock Town Choir (basically post Prelude intro), Deku Palace (updated instrumental and old Demo #4), and #5 Stock Pot Trio.

    • measurecad

      Yoshiaki Koizumi wrote both LA’s and MM’s story.

  • Vados

    Personally, I liked Skyward Sword’s ending the most. The entire finale of the game was just bombastic, from the epic battle against Ghirahim and Demise, to the sad farewell of Fi and Impa, to the uplifting and hopeful ending that sets up the new beginning for Hyrule.
    OoT’s and MM’s endings are amazing as well.

    Link’s awakening on the other hand always left me like ”Well…I’m stuck on the ocean on a piece of wood now…neat”.

    • Jebradiah Drake

      “Oh boy I sure hope no evil pig lord swoops down and imprisons me in a comfy tower!”

      “I guess that trick only works for Zelda…”

  • measurecad

    Yes, absolutely.

  • Chad Westenskow

    However you only get this ending if you don’t die at all.
    But I personally love Wind Wakers ending. The destruction of old hyrule with link and tetra sailing away with the possibility of never seeing grandma again

  • Bree Frost

    I think Link’s Awakening is the best representation of the “just a dream” trope. You are warned of consequences and the thread of waking up is interwoven rather than just being the cop out reset button.

  • Terminatwilisamieru98

    This is almost an impossible question for me. There are many variables. Like a game that has the best ending but the worst things to do before it (Triforce shards, Wind Waker). You can have a good climax but a scene that appeared from nowhere (Fi’s “happiness” in Skyward sword)…

  • K2L

    No. I’m not a fan of overly depressing endings. I’d say the best endings are from AOL, ALTTP, OOT and TWW

  • Anonymous

    Is it Wind Waker? No?

    Then it doesn’t have the best ending

  • Corey R

    It wasn’t until I started thinking about this that I realized how amazing the endings of Zelda games always are haha honestly I couldn’t pick the best. The ones that come to mind are WW, TP, SS, OoT, ALttP, ALBW, and LA. Im gonna have to say LA gets beaten out by a few of these but you’re right that it’s definitely the most ambiguous and makes you question and think everything you just experienced

  • Terminatwilisamieru98

    BOTW may be the only 3D game that has a disappointing ending. I think it’s reflected in the staff credits music. It can’t compete with previous games. BOTW is the best game for doing other things aside of the main quest.

    If the next zelda game includes a story with more presence (AKA TP, MM, SS…), the ending will be a lot more impactful.
    It’s about to show and feel a story that is going on, not telling it in cutscenes.