“Do you know where dreams come from, Harry? Acetylcholine neurons fire high voltage impulses into the forebrain. The impulses become pictures, the pictures become your dream. But no one knows why we choose these particular pictures.”
Special Agent Dale Cooper is deeply invested in his dreams. He believes that dreams are coded truths, waiting to be broken and revealed. In the waking world, this FBI agent encounters many bizarre situations and suspicious characters. His experience with amazing violence and fantastic tragedy led him to the small town of Twin Peaks, where he felt compelled to solve an ominous mystery that could tear the tiny community apart.
As the investigation of Laura Palmer’s murder was airing on television in 1990, a similar story was being influenced by the events on screen. A small group of designers at Nintendo were meeting after hours to develop a pet project on the recently released Game Boy. What started as an experiment with the capability of the handheld became the most unrestrained entry into the beloved Legend of Zelda series.
Aptly titled Link’s Awakening, this game took the eponymous hero away from the familiar land of Hyrule to an uncharted island with a dark secret. Amidst the sleepy villages and serene coastal environment, suspicious characters and horrible nightmares lurked. As Link set out to find his way home, a singular question would occur again and again- Who is the Dreamer? Like the parallel inquiry into who killed Laura Palmer, the answer is the least suspected and most tragic.
Waking the Dreamer is a new blog written by Chip of GIMMGP. The site falls somewhere between a playthrough journal and a cultural analysis of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. He will cover the interesting “afterschool club” development of this odd title, its connections to the cult classic Twin Peaks, and how this game’s unique mechanics would influence the structure of the Zelda series for years to come.
If you are a fan of the Legend of Zelda, Twin Peaks, or long form games writing, please be sure to check out Waking the Dreamer!