The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is the seventeenth main installment of The Legend of Zelda series. It is the first Zelda title developed specifically for the Nintendo 3DS and an indirect sequel to A Link to the Past, featuring the same version of Hyrule but new characters and gameplay elements. The title was released on November 22, 2013, in North America and Europe, November 23 in Australia, and December 26 in Japan. The Korean version was released the following year, on June 21, 2014.
After having a nightmare involving facing down a dark, shadowy figure, Link awakens to the sound of Gulley, the Blacksmith's son, calling for him. Having overslept again and shirked his responsibility to his master, Link follows Gulley to the Blacksmith's shop where he runs into the departing Captain. As the Captain thanks the Blacksmith for his new shield and departs, the Blacksmith's Wife quickly realizes that the absent-minded Captain has forgotten his sword and tasks Link with returning it to him. A guard at Hyrule Castle's front gate reveals to Link that the Captain intended on visiting the Sanctuary before returning to his duties.
As Link arrives at the Sanctuary, he walks in on a conversation between the Priest's daughter, Seres, and the gravedigger, Dampé. Seres offers to retrieve the Captain from inside as Dampé continues speaking to Link, before the doors to the Sanctuary slam shut and Seres screams in terror. Dampé informs Link of a secret passage into the Sanctuary beneath one of the graves and urges Link to use the Captain's sword to navigate the passage and rescue those inside. As Link arrives, he witnesses a strange sorcerer by the name of Yuga casting a spell on Seres to transform her into a painting. The Captain - having failed to defend the Priest and Seres - met with a similar fate on the Sanctuary's wall. As Link charges to confront Yuga, the sorcerer transforms into a painting himself, yet retains his mobility. Link loses consciousness after hitting the wall, and Yuga escapes with Seres' portrait in tow.
Link awakens in his house once more, this time with a strange person in a rabbit hood greeting him as he regains consciousness. The person introduces himself as the merchant Ravio. After learning what happened to Link and asking permission to stay in his house a while, Ravio gifts him with an old, musty bracelet and suggests Link report the happenings to Princess Zelda so something can be done about it. At the gate, a guard laughs at Link's story and gains the attention of Impa, Princess Zelda's attendant. Impa allows Link entry into the castle as she announces Link's arrival to the Princess.
Princess Zelda quickly recognizes Link from her dreams, and gives him the Pendant of Courage - something Link at the time believes to be a simple good-luck charm - and tasks him with finding the elder of Kakariko Village, Sahasrahla. Upon meeting him in his home, he urges Link to warn his student Osfala of Yuga at the Eastern Palace, since he is also a descendant of a Seventh Sage. Link finds him at the entrance, but Osfala is sure of himself and does not view Yuga as a problem.
After navigating through the palace, Link sees Yuga turn Osfala into a painting before his very eyes. After Link manages to get the upper hand in their battle, Yuga furiously turns him into a painting as well. Leaving him there, Ravio's Bracelet lights up and frees Link, granting him the ability to merge into walls freely. He finds Sahasrahla at the entrance of the palace shortly before hearing an earthquake near Hyrule Castle.
Yuga puts a barrier around the castle, upsetting Sahasrahla, who believes the Pendant of Courage is still inside. This is relieved when Link reveals he already has it; he is then tasked in finding the other two pendants in the House of Gales and Tower of Hera so he can obtain the Master Sword to break the barrier and save Zelda.
After obtaining all three Pendants of Virtue, Link ventures deep into the Lost Woods and pulls the Master Sword from its pedestal. Returning to Hyrule Castle, Sahasrahla tells Link to destroy the barrier and save the sages. Link confronts Yuga. Near the top of the highest tower, Yuga turns Zelda into a painting as well. Link and Yuga battle again, and Yuga then flees through a crack on the wall.
Link follows him, only to find himself in Lorule, a dimension opposite to Hyrule that is on the verge of ruin and Yuga's homeland. In the throne room, Yuga revives Ganon with the paintings and fuses with him to obtain his Triforce of Power. Becoming a beast, Link is almost doomed until Princess Hilda appears and imprisons Yuga. She tells Link he must save the Seven Sages if he wishes to save their worlds from Yuga's threat.
When all Seven Sages are saved, Link is gifted with the Triforce of Courage. He returns to Lorule Castle to confront Yuga for the final time, only to have Princess Hilda end up betraying him, shortly after explaining Lorule's history of how it too once had a Triforce, but the people destroyed it due to the conflict it caused. While it was done with good intentions, it had terrible consequences on the state of their world. Wanting Hyrule's Triforce in order to save Lorule, Hilda takes Zelda's Triforce of Wisdom and is ready to take Link's Triforce of Courage as well.
After Link and Yuga battle once more, Yuga betrays Hilda and takes the Triforce of Wisdom from her, now having two pieces. Planning to take Link's to remake Lorule in his image, they have one final battle. Zelda grants Link the Bow of Light, which he can use to get Yuga out of his painted form. After a long battle, Yuga is finally defeated.
Zelda is freed, but Hilda is still desperate to save her kingdom. After a brief argument between the two, Ravio shows up and reveals himself to be Link's Lorulean counterpart. He explains to Hilda that this sort of chaos is exactly what led to their Triforce being destroyed in the first place. Realizing the error of her ways, Hilda sends Link and Zelda home through Lorule's version of the Sacred Realm. It is revealed that through the crack on the large slab there is where Hilda and Yuga first felt the presence of the other Triforce, which led them to devise their plan to steal it. Ravio, being a coward at heart, was too scared to confront them himself and came to Hyrule to find a hero who could stop them. After Link and Zelda's departure, Lorule grows dark, showing that it is at its end at last.
Returning home, Link and Zelda find themselves in Hyrule's Sacred Realm, with the whole Triforce up ahead. They both touch it, with the wish for Lorule's Triforce to be restored after all they had seen. It is granted and then reforms right in front of Hilda and Ravio. They are surprised and grateful to them both as light shines on Lorule once again, saving it and Hyrule in the end.
The top screen shows the main game, while the bottom screen shows various game options and inventory features: It allows access to the map, a Rupee count, item buttons, the inventory, and "Gear", which provides an overview of Link's sword, armor, and main items. The touchscreen is comparable to that of Ocarina of Time 3D with enhanced map features (e.g., zooming, placing location marks and real-time tracking of Link's position). An Energy Gauge that regenerates over time also appears, this time used for every item in the game, even replacing collectible bombs and arrows. Additionally, after Link meets Irene, he can call her at any time with a button on the screen.
The A button controls basic actions like transforming and talking, the B button is dedicated to the sword, and Y (and later X) use items. R raises the shield, and the D-Pad can shift the camera in certain areas.
A Link Between Worlds is non-linear, compared to many previous Zelda games, including its direct predecessor A Link to the Past. This is accomplished via an item rental system, which allows Link to temporarily use or permanently buy most items from the game, provided he has enough Rupees to pay for them. Because of this, most key items are no longer found in dungeons but rather available through Ravio's Shop. If Link loses all of his hearts while renting items, they will be returned to the shop, forcing him to re-rent them. Purchasing items, on the other hand, is far more expensive but allows Link to keep items and to upgrade them via Mother Maiamai.
One of the game's major new abilities is Wall Merging, which is tied both to the plot and used heavily as a gameplay element. The ability can be used to cling to and move along walls, fit through crevices and access Lorule, among other functions. Wall Merging depletes the Energy Gauge and thus cannot be used indefinitely. When Link merges with a wall, he resembles a hieroglyphic sketch, as do other characters who have been transformed into paintings.
The development of a new Zelda game for the Nintendo 3DS was first confirmed in November 2011, while ties to A Link to the Past were hinted at the following year by Eiji Aonuma and Shigeru Miyamoto. A Link Between Worlds was officially revealed on April 17, 2013 during a Nintendo Direct.
The development of A Link Between Worlds was halted several times, due to members of the development team being drafted to other Nintendo 3DS and Wii U projects, as well as Skyward Sword. Originally, the game was conceived as a sequel to the Nintendo DS games, featuring the cel-shaded Link from Spirit Tracks. The Wall Merging ability was already conceived in an early prototype made in 2010 based on this concept, which was approved by Shigeru Miyamoto. With the team focused on other titles, development did not start fully until Miyamoto suggested to base the new title on A Link to the Past. During development, the team was focused on achieving a frame rate of 60FPS as well as using the stereoscopic 3D effect of the Nintendo 3DS hardware.
A Link Between Worlds is a follow-up to A Link to the Past, set in the same version of Hyrule. In interviews, Eiji Aonuma stated that the game shows what happened to characters from A Link to the Past, but features new incarnations of Link and Zelda. The Hero and Princess of A Link to the Past are mentioned repeatedly, and their story is even narrated through a series of paintings in Hyrule Castle.
A Link Between Worlds takes place centuries after the events of Link's Awakening, but before The Legend of Zelda in the "Downfall" branch of the Zelda timeline. The final cutscene of the game hints that it is likely to set immediately before Hyrule's Golden Age. The main story of the game ultimately concerns how all three parts of the Triforce are unified and enshrined again in the Sacred Realm. The game ends with Link and Zelda touching the Triforce together and wishing Lorule, along with its own Triforce, to be restored to its former state and lasting peace.
A Link Between Worlds takes place in both the identical map of Hyrule from A Link to the Past and an alternate, corrupted version of Hyrule, called Lorule. Lorule once housed a counterpart to the Triforce of Hyrule, with similar powers and history. However, wars were fought over Lorule's Triforce, and the people ultimately destroyed it, resulting in Lorule beginning to fall apart. As a direct counterpart to Hyrule, Lorule also features many direct counterparts to Hyrule's citizens, including Hilda and Ravio.
The game features re-arranged music and sound effects from A Link to the Past. Additionally, the "StreetPass Battle Theme" and "StreetPass Victory Theme", are rearrangements of the "Temple Theme" from The Adventure of Link, marking only the second time that music from this game has appeared in a subsequent Zelda title.
A special limited edition 3DS XL bundle was released, including a gold and black Zelda-themed console, emblazoned with the Triforce on the top and bottom, and an eShop code to download the digital version of the game. It was released at a retail price of $219.99 in the United States. A collector's edition version of the game was also released exclusively to the European retailer GAME. It included a physical copy of the game, a Link's Awakening DX eShop download code, a cartridge holder shaped as Treasure Chest which plays the item get fanfare, and a poster.
|Any%||TheLegendofZaheer||1h 21m 1s||October 23, 2018|
|Any% (Hero Mode)||romulostx||1h 29m 26s||October 22, 2019|
|Any% (Glitchless)||Herreteman||2h 15m 17s||Feburary 5, 2020|
|Any% (Glitchless, Hero Mode)||Herreteman||2h 23m 2s||October 10, 2021|
|100%||TheLegendofZaheer||3h 1m 11s||April 30, 2019|
|100% (Hero Mode)||TheLegendofZaheer||3h 23m 13s||November 17, 2014|
|Low%||Herreteman||2h 9m 29s||March 28, 2018|
|Low% (Hero Mode)||—||—||—|
As of March 2014, A Link Between Worlds had sold 2.51 million copies worldwide.
- While experimenting with a strict top-down view with 3D graphics, the team ran into a unique issue: the game "looked boring" because only the tops of characters' heads and buildings could be seen. In order to emulate the older, 2D, pseudo-3D graphics, all non-environmental models are skewed in their placement, to slightly face up at the camera. At certain parts in the map, this can be seen on statues and tall grass by wall-merging.
- A Link Between Worlds's Hero Mode is the only one in the series to include recovery hearts.
- This is the first Zelda game where the highlighted text is blue rather than the traditional red.
- Bosses in this game flash red when they are low on health to indicate that they are near defeat (Big Moldorm gradually turns red as it takes damage).
- A number of small changes made in A Link to the Past & Four Swords were carried over to this game. These include dungeon names displayed upon entrance, pots and signs breakable with the Sword and (for the former) Arrows, bushes able to be destroyed with the Hammer, sparkling stones that spit out Rupees, the ability to dive under water with the Zora's Flippers, and the Lamp being able to deal damage (albeit in minuscule amounts).
- The Japanese Zelda rap for A Link to the Past was remade for a new commercial.
- Official North American Site (English)
- Official Japanese Site
- Official UK Site
- Official Canadian French Site
- Official European French Site
- Official Latin American Spanish Site
- Official European Spanish Site
- Official Italian Site
- Official German Site
- Official European Portuguese Site
- Official Austrian Site (German)
- Official Belgian Site (Dutch)
- Official Belgian Site (French)
- Official Dutch Site
- Official Swiss Site (French)
- Official Swiss Site (German)
- Official Swiss Site (Italian)
- Official Korean Site
- Official Russian Site
- "Nintendo confirmed to Polygon that the new Zelda game set in the world of A Link to the Past is being developed by series producer Eiji Aonuma and his team at Nintendo EAD." — Michael McWhertor, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past sequel coming to Nintendo 3DS this holiday, Polygon, published 2013-04-17, retrieved 2013-04-19.
- Nintendo 3DS - GAMES, Monolith Soft Co., Ltd., retrieved October 4, 2022.
- Encyclopedia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 7
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Nintendo Australia, retrieved October 2, 2013.
- The Legend of Zelda | 신들의 트라이포스 2, Nintendo of Korea, retrieved May 28, 2014.
- Nintendo Direct Presentation - 01.10.2013, YouTube (video), retrieved October 1, 2013.
- Encyclopedia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 10
- Daniel Silvestre, Entrevista com Eiji Aonuma e Koji Kondo, MyGames, published November 3, 2011, retrieved 2013-04-21.
- "We are already preparing a new game, a game in the series for the Nintendo 3DS, but don’t think that it is a direct sequel to the Zelda titles released on DS. We are talking about a new game, but it takes much of what has been done on previous consoles." —Eiji Aonuma (Zelda 3DS Confirmed.)
- "I think I'd be even more interested in creating something new maybe based on, or starting from, A Link To The Past" —Shigeru Miyamoto (Miyamoto Interested In Revisiting Link To The Past.)
- NintendoUKofficial (YouTube), Nintendo 3DS Direct Presentation - 17.04.2013 - YouTube, YouTube, published 2013-04-17, retrieved 2013-04-19.
- Nintendo (YouTube), Nintendo Direct 4.17.2013 - YouTube, YouTube, published 2013-04-17, retrieved 2013-04-19.
- Upon the game's release, an official Iwata Asks feature was released, an interview conducted by Satoru Iwata to the game's developers, regarding the game's conception and creation. Iwata Asks: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
- "Rather than forcing elements of the original story into this one, we’ve instead focused on bringing back the characters, so you can see what happened to them after the events of the first game." —Eiji Aonuma (Eiji Aonuma on the return of A Link To The Past, after 22 years in a twilight realm.)
- "It's not a direct sequel in the sense that it's the same Link and Zelda. The world is the same and it might be a different generation of Link and Zelda." —Eiji Aonuma (The World of A Link To The Past Has Changed in the New 3DS Zelda.)
- "The presence of two worlds like light and dark have been a recurring theme in Zelda games in the past, and this time, a kingdom exists in the other world in the way Hyrule exists in the main world. The story will revolve around the events that will unfold in that kingdom, and I think you’ll have fun experiencing the game’s distinctive world that is like no other in the series." —Eiji Aonuma (A Link Between Worlds Miiverse.)
- "Please take a look at the game's logo. Here you see the Triforce in gold, as well as another Triforce that looks like a shadow. The Triforce represents Courage, Wisdom and Power, and is one of the key items of the Legend of Zelda series. This shadowy Triforce suggests the existence of another Triforce in a different world from where Link lives." —Satoru Iwata (Nintendo Direct 2013-08-07 Gameplay Footage.)
- "We will be using arrangements of music from A Link to the Past, since this is a sequel to that game, and we are also trying to make the music sound like it's played on real instruments. People who know the original will definitely be able to tell and be happy about it, while newcomers will also be able to enjoy it." —Eiji Aonuma (The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds to feature orchestral-style music from A Link to the Past.)
- Streetpass Battle, Youtube.
- Nintendo 3DS catalog, Nintendo.com.
- Supplementary Information about Earnings Release, May 2014, Nintendo.