This page walks you through the process of starting a new game of Link's Awakening, from naming your character to starting the quest.
Name Your Character
Press Start to go from the title screen to the Player Select screen. Choose an empty slot (or choose Erase and select a slot to erase if there are no empty slots) and then enter your name. If you enter ZELDA (in all capital letters) a different song will play. In the Japanese version you can enter とたけけ to play Totakeke's Song. In the German version you can enter MOYSE to hear a different song.
After you enter your name, choose your game slot to begin the game.
Meet Marin and Tarin
When you begin, you are tossing and turning in a bed, then you wake up. A girl next to the bed talks to you. She is Marin. Afterward, press the d-pad to get out of bed. If you talk to Marin again, she says to follow the path south to go to the beach where she found you.
Before you leave, talk to the guy, Tarin, to get your shield. (He won't let you leave before you talk to him.) The shield is assigned to the B button. You can press the B button to raise your shield.
Go to the Beach
Exit the house. You can follow the dirt road to go to the beach, or you can explore first. There is a shop to the east, but you don't have any money yet. You can steal from the shop by picking up an item and walking behind the shopkeeper, but if you do this, your name will be permanently changed to THIEF, and if you try to go back to the store, the shopkeeper will kill you!
Keep following the dirt path until you find some kids playing catch. Go south from them until you arrive at the beach. Be careful of the monsters on the way. Raise your shield to block their attacks.
When you arrive at the water, go southeast until your path is blocked by a spiky creature. Raise your shield and walk toward the creature to push it out of the way. Then go into the water and walk up to the sword. An owl will talk to you and say to go to the Mysterious Forest next. After the owl leaves, walk up to your sword to take it.
Get a Heart Container
Go back the way you came. In the area north of the two kids playing catch, there is a hole in the ground. You can go up on the ledge and cut the grass to jump down the ledge into the hole. In the hole, you find a Piece of Heart.
Get the Yoshi Doll
Go east from Marin and Tarin's house and cut the grass to enter the shop. This is the Trendy Game. Talk to the man and pay 10 rupees (cut grass to get rupees) to play the Trendy Game. After you pay, stand on the green tile. You want to get the Yoshi Doll that is in the middle of the spinning conveyor belt. First, hold the B button to make the crane go to the right. When the crane is where you want it, hold A to make the crane go downward. When you are ready, let go of the A button. The crane will go down and grab anything that is in its path. In this case, you're trying to get the Yoshi Doll in the middle.
After you get the Yoshi Doll, go north and then west to reach a blue house with two doors. Go into the door on the right and talk to the woman. Agree to give the doll to her baby. She gives you a ribbon.
Go to the house with the Chain Chomp in front. Go into the small door on the right. Talk to the little chomp and give her the ribbon to get a can of Dog Food.
Go to the beach. There is a house north of where you found your sword. Go in and talk to the alligator to give him the dog food. He gives you bananas in exchange.
Now go north from the two kids playing catch and you will reach the Mysterious Forest.