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The Legend of Zelda Game & Watch Secret Part 1: Japan vs Overseas Versions

The Legend of Zelda Game & Watch Secret Part 1: Japan vs Overseas Versions

the legend of zelda game & watch secret part 1

Nintendo of Japan has started a blog recently titled The Legend of Zelda Game & Watch Secret, and today was the first post that talks about regional differences and how both are included in the upcoming Game & Watch model.

Here is the translation:

This year marks the 35th anniversary of the release of The Legend of Zelda, and The Legend of Zelda Game & Watch will be released soon where you can enjoy the nostalgic Zelda title anywhere, anytime.

With only two weeks until November 12th (Release day for Zelda Game & Watch), we will introduce a “secret” of the product three different times starting today.

The first content will be about “the Japanese version and overseas version of the original games”. The Legend of Zelda, The Adventures of Link, and The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening will be included in today’s post, pointing out the differences between the Japanese versions and the overseas versions, all of which will be included in the upcoming Zelda Game & Watch.

Did you know that the Japanese version and the overseas version of these three titles differ not only in language but also in content? Here are some of the differences to compare:

The Legend of Zelda (Japanese/English)

The Legend of Zelda Game & Watch Secret Part 1


The first big difference is that the sounds, including the soundtrack, are different. Did you know this? Please listen and compare.

At that time, the Japanese version was for the Family Computer Disk System, but the English version was released as a cartridge for the Nintendo Entertainment System (the overseas version of the Family Computer, AKA Famicom). The Japanese version for the disk system was able to use one more sound source, which makes this difference in the music. The Japanese version sounds a little gorgeous, don’t you think?


If you look closely, the thickness of the lettering is different. It’s a subtle difference, but you can see it, right?

Dungeon Monsters

In some dungeons, there are differences in monsters between the Japanese and English versions.

Notice the Japanese screens on the left have no monsters while the English screens on the right include many monsters.

The Adventures of Link (Japanese/English)


There are many places where the appearance of “Zelda II: The Adventures of Link” differ greatly between the Japanese version and the English version. Here are just a few examples, so be sure to play and compare them to find the differences:

  • Character Start: There are torches near Princess Zelda, and the number of pillars is different.
  • Bosses: In addition to different appearances and attack behavior, there are also differences in the experience points that can be obtained, like in the example here of Barbasia.
  • Temples: The Japanese version has the same color for each dungeon, but the English version uses different colors. Here’s an example of the 5th Temple:

There are a couple more examples on the actual blog post, so head on over there for more.


There are many areas where soundtrack and sound effects are completely different between the Japanese version and the English version.

Level Up System

As a feature in The Adventures of Link, you can strengthen your abilities like “ATTACK”, “MAGIC”, and “LIFE” by accumulating experience points, but the specifications of this level-up system differ greatly depending on the language.

In the Japanese version, all abilities require the same experience points, and you can strengthen whichever you like. In the English version, the required experience points differ for each ability.

Also, when you die and it’s “GAME OVER”, all levels will be reset according to the lowest level ability in the Japanese version, but the level will not drop in the English version. Some people may find the Japanese version to be more strict because of this.

Link’s Awakening (Japanese/Overseas)

Opening Scene

The trees are different in the opening scene of the game. Do you notice it?

The Japanese version on the left uses a more generic tree whereas the overseas version has palm trees.

Player Name

In Link’s Awakening, you can hear a special song by setting the player’s name to “Zelda” (ぜるだ) in the Japanese version. In the overseas version, you can listen to it in the same way by typing “ZELDA”.

Also, in the Japanese version, in addition to “ぜるだ”, there is a rumor that there is a name where you can hear another hidden song (What could it be?)! Also, you can listen to another special song that is not included in the Japanese and English versions by entering “LOLO” in the French version and “MOYSE” in the German version. Please try these when you can.

So how was it? The differences between the different language versions introduced here are just a few examples. Please try to compare them by playing all the different versions!

The Legend of Zelda Game & Watch will be released on November 12th. Currently, reservations are accepted at game stores, online shops, and My Nintendo stores worldwide.

Also, 300 Gold Points will be given to those who purchase The Legend of Zelda Game & Watch at My Nintendo [in Japan]. You can receive the 300 Gold Points by entering the “My Nintendo Point Number” that comes with your product on the My Nintendo page. (Receipt period ends December 31, 2022)

Gold points can be used for Nintendo Switch software download purchases, Nintendo Switch Online vouchers, etc. 1 point = 1 yen, so if you purchase The Legend of Zelda Game & Watch, please do not miss out on this opportunity.

Next time, we will share the topic of “Save the world in 12 hours? A mysterious watch function that you can play”. Please look forward to it!

Thank you for stopping by Nintendo Link for all of your gaming news and updates! What do you think of this blog post? Are you satisfied with the translation? Let us know in the comments below! Happy gaming, everyone.

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