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The Bug That Almost Ruined The Legend Of Zelda: Link's Awakening

There are few names in the video game world as recognizable as "The Legend of Zelda." Link's adventures across the Kingdom of Hyrule have helped define Nintendo as a brand, serving as a major selling point for its consoles. "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time" is the only game to hold a score of 99 on Metacritic and, in 2017, "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" actually sold more units than the Nintendo Switch.

Even some of the lesser known entries in the franchise have dedicated fanbases. "Link's Awakening" has always held a more middling rank in the "Zelda" series. To some, this handheld game simply felt like a continuation of the mechanics and themes established in "A Link to the Past," but there were still plenty of others who enjoyed their time exploring Koholint Island while searching for the eight instruments to awaken the Wind Fish. Even a so-so "Legend of Zelda" game still punches well above the weight class of most action RPGs available on the Game Boy after all.

While "Link's Awakening" has a lot to offer, many don't know that the title can easily be ruined by a bug known as the Kennel or Doghouse Glitch.

Doghouse to another world

So, what does the Doghouse Glitch do? This bug lets the player explore glitched-out versions of the various dungeons available in "Link's Awakening." According to ZeldaSpeedRuns, players can achieve this by going to the kennel outside Madam Meow-Meow's house. This is located in Mabe Village on the southwestern portion of the island. They must then position Link at the top-right corner of the kennel and do a Wall Clip, allowing the Hyrulian hero to pass through the doghouse wall, touch the warp pad concealed underneath, and zap himself down into the glitchy, subterranean world below.

The effects are different depending on which corrupted dungeon the player enters. Disembodied character models and missing environmental assets are common occurrences. There are a few positive benefits that some players have chosen to exploit, however. There are different chests with items Link can find in a few of them and some people have even been known to use these dungeons as shortcuts for speedrunning the game.

Exploring the Glitch World isn't without risks though. Going into the rooms that generally contain mini-bosses can result in an endless start-menu loop where the only option for escape is to restart the game. That isn't the worst of it either. Some GameFaqs users have even reported that exploiting the glitch on the Nintendo 3DS can cause the entire system to freeze.