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Twin Peaks' co-creator finally sheds some light on the classic series' connection to Link's Awakening

A mystery, solved.

Agent Dale Cooper is sat drinking a cup of coffee in a diner booth as Audrey sits behind him. Link is jumping with his sword in the air in some 2D key art from Link's Awakening.
Image credit: Showtime/ Nintendo

Twin Peaks has long been touted as an influence on The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, and now the show's co-creator has spoken about how direct that is.

Back when it was airing, Twin Peaks was incredibly popular in Japan - so much so there was a whole series of trailers advertising Georgia coffee that featured several members of the original cast, including Special Agent Dale Cooper, i.e. Kyle MacLachlan, himself. In 2010, Link's Awakening director Takashi Tezuka even noted the influence of the show on the Game Boy classic in an Iwata Asks. And then, last year, to the surprise of everyone, Twin Peaks co-creator Mark Frost quoted a tweet about Link's Awakening, writing, "Anybody ever play this? I met with them about it and gave them some ideas, never tried it myself."

Obviously this excited fans, given that it was never confirmed that anyone who worked on Twin Peaks had any kind of involvement in the game itself. Now, in an interview with The Verge, Frost has shed a bit more light on just how involved he got. "I don’t want to overstate it. It was a single conversation," Frost explained. "But it was fun." Apparently this single conversation took place between the first and second seasons, so before Twin Peaks' ratings started to decline due to a messy latter half.

"I remember meeting someone who was kind of their resident engineering genius," Frost continued. "He had hyperhidrosis, so his hands were really sweaty, and he was continually wiping his palms all through the meeting. They were talking to me about a Twin Peaks game, and they mentioned Zelda at the time. They said, 'One of the things we love about your show is how there's all sorts of sideways associations that can drive the story forward.' They asked me about that as they were thinking about expanding the Zelda universe."

Frost noted that he'd never actually played a Zelda game before, though had his fair share of fantasy storytelling through D&D. "I'd played lots of Dungeons & Dragons when I was young, so I was familiar with the kind of story they were thinking about. I think I said, 'Don’t be afraid to use dreamlike, Jungian symbolism. Things can connect thematically without having to connect concretely.' It was things like that that I was urging them [to consider]."

With how secretive Nintendo can be sometimes, it's interesting to get insight like this, even if it was for a game that's now 30 years old. The full interview is worth a read, as Frost is also asked about Deadly Premonition, another game clearly influenced by Twin Peaks, and how he feels about it.

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