It's revealed at the end that Ravio came to Hyrule to seek a hero who could help defeat Hilda. Which is why he rents a bunch of useful equipment to Link. But why did he rent the Sand Rod to Osfala? Because Osfala thought he was the hero of legend, and probably confused Ravio into thinking the same.
Or maybe he knew that Osfalawasn't the hero, and gave him a dud item to slow him down. The Sand Rod is useless in the Eastern Palace.
Why is it that Ganon never hijacked the plot from Yuga, as per his usual style? Because he was fused with Yuga, and Yuga was pretty much doing exactly what he would have done on his own in that situation already — namely, try to steal the Triforce and Take Over the World. What use would he have in resisting Yuga's will when his will had the same aim that was being achieved right then?
Worse, Yuga becomes much more violent and stole the Triforce of Wisdom just to kill Link. It's pretty clear Ganon's hate is influencing him.
Alternately, it's entirely possible that he was being hijacked, just more subtly. Yuga boasts at least once about how happy "Her Highness" will be with his work in a place where nobody that mattered would hear it, so it's possible that Yuga was entirely willing to go along with Hilda's plot, but was corrupted by Ganon's hate and ambition after they merged.
Actually, Ravio's Journal seems to indicate Yuga was using Hilda for his own ends all along.
Lorule's counterparts to the usual heroes (and villain) lack the definite trait of the Hyrule Triforce wielders: Link is courageous, while Ravio is a coward; Zelda is wise, while Hilda foolishly tries to steal another Triforce and trusts Yuga; Ganon is powerful, while Yuga runs away and needs to steal his strength to be an effective threat. They're mirrors in every ways.
Not...quite. Ravio claims to be a coward, but in reality, his actions show markedly the opposite. Rather than kick back and let Hilda consign Hyrule to a slow, decaying demise, he stepped in to help Link stop her, potentially dooming himself in the process. He might not take an active combat position, but he does, in his own way, show courage. Hilda's plan is a bit short-sighted, but does acknowledge her view of a greater good. She clearly doesn't like what she's doing, and sees it as, at best, a necessary evil, and does what she can to help her people. Not to mention, her plan is rather well thought-out, simply not accounting for Yuga and Ravio's respective betrayals. Finally, Yuga, while not even close to as powerful as Ganon was, is still strong... in his own way. I mean, even as a one trick pony, his one spell, outside of with Link, courtesy of Ravio's bracelet, is a one hit kill/incapacitation. Seriously, the only reason Yuga's not a threat to Link is because he sidesteps Yuga's silver bullet. He merely exercises it differently, relying on guile more than Ganon's brute force. In effect, it's not that they are opposites, but rather similar characters, just viewed through a different lens.
All three of the counterparts had the traits the Hyrulians have, but not quite enough of it. Ravio didn't have the courage to stand up to Hilda and Yuga, but he was brave enough to find someone who could save them. Hilda had the intelligence to think of a good plan, but failed to account for everything, such as the fact that Link would be strong enough to beat Yuga and keep them from getting the last Triforce piece. Yuga was strong enough to get all of the sages and Princess Zelda, but before absorbing Ganon, he wasn't strong enough to completely defeat Link.
In regards to the traits of the Lorulean Triforce - What if they represent Ambition, Focus, and Caution? I mean, Yuga's pretty ambitious, Hilda is very focused, and Ravio is Cautious. However, these traits seem to have been corrupted, since Yuga's ambition has been turned to avarice, Hilda is focusing so hard on saving her people that she's blind to all else, and Ravio is so over-cautious that he's pretty much a coward. Similar virtues that are helpful and balance each other well, but also easily twisted.
Consider the fact that Lorule's Triforce was gone. Destroyed. Poof. Because of it, Lorule was decaying. There was just a chance that the Triforce was there to give the people of Lorule Courage, Power, and Wisdom... and with its destruction, it couldn't give Ravio the Courage he needed, Hilda the Wisdom to lead Lorule, and Yuga the Power to try to control Lorule by himself.
This troper was thinking about this earlier, and pondered: 'What if Ravio had the counterpart to wisdom, and Hilda had the counterpart to Courage? Then both characters' actions would make a lot more sense. Ravio, who may not be all that courageous, is certainly wise enough to see that both Hilda's and Yuga's plan is a spectacularly bad idea. Hilda, on the other hand, has enough courage to save Lorule by any means neccessary, even if it would destroy another world entirely.
This troper had some thoughts in a similar vein to the above theory. We know that Lorule's triforce is basically just an upside-down version of Hyrule's triforce. So, theoretically, we could think of it as an upright Triforce rotated a few degrees. In the final boss battle of this game, you may have noticed that each piece of Hyrule's Triforce has a specific placing (power is at the top, wisdom bottom-left, courage bottom-right). But if we assume that Lorule's Triforce has been rotated to the right, then that means that the Alternate Selves of Hyrule's representatives have also moved to the right. If you move each correspondent one place over accordingly, it leaves Ravio with wisdom, Hilda with power, and Yuga with courage (this troper personally believes that Hilda is a better candidate for power than courage, as she specifically mentions being tempted by the power of Hyrule's Triforce). Also, consider the following line:
Ravio: There was no way that I had the courage to stand up to you and Yuga. But I was smart enough to go to Hyrule.
Ravio's pet bird Sheerow is innocuous enough. Its purpose seems to be a way to explain how Ravio gets his items back if you fall in battle. However, after the reveal that Ravio is Link's Lorule counterpart, it's clear that Sheerow serves another role — Ravio's Exposition Fairy! And given its appearance, a tiny white ball with two wings, it suddenly looks like a nod to another Link's own Exposition Fairy — Navi from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
Along those same lines, Sheerow works in roughly the opposite way of the fairies that Link can put in bottles. While those fairies bring Link back to life if he falls in battle, Sheerow simply takes advantage of Link's death by retrieving his rented items.
This game's version of the bow of light only works while Link is a painting. This doesn't make much sense until you remember that Zelda gave it to you when she was a painting!
Something concerning Zelda's office in her castle. It is a nice and tidy office, a subtle indication that she is The Wise Princess and signifying her connection to the Triforce of Wisdom. But Hilda's equivalent to the office in Lorule is disheveled. This serves as Foreshadowing that her wisdom has been rather... corrupted.
Why does Hilda have purple hair? It's because Zelda has blonde, like yellow hair. Yellow and Purple are color inverts. Link and Ravio also follow this, with Link having blonde hair and Ravio having purple hair.
None of the Seven Sages have a counterpart in Lorule, which seems rather strange at first. In light of Lorule's backstory as revealed in the ending, it starts to make more sense: with no more Triforce to protect, Lorule doesn't have much need for Sages anymore.
There's something of a Broken Base over the item renting system, as opposed to Zelda's usual dungeon items. But with the reveal that Ravio is Link's counterpart, it makes sense — he's already collected the dungeon items from Lorule!
The Dark World and Lorule have a good share of similarities; for one, while the inhabitants of the Dark World were transformed into monsters, the Loruleans wear monster masks. Lorule's Ravio wears a rabbit mask; Link transformed into a rabbit in the dark world.
After freeing all the sages and obtaining the Triforce of Courage, the Lorule overworld theme is replaced with an epic orchestral arrangement, pumping you up for the final dungeon... It makes you, the player, feel like you're suddenly filled with courage!
Ravio finds Link unconscious around the Sanctuary and, rather than take him to the village nearby, decides to haul him down to an empty house much further down the map that just happens to belong to Link. In Lorule, the village is full of enemies and thieves, and in Hero Mode it's revealed that Lorule's counterpart to Link's house is Ravio's house. Of course he'd take Link to the house instead of the village, Ravio's used to it being much safer!
But Ravio had been in Kakariko Village before trying to sell his goods, so he should have known that it was safe. Maybe Ravio just realized that Link was his own Alternate Self, so he most likely lived in the house corresponding to Ravio's own house in Lorule.
The plot of the game: Link must travel to an Alternate Universe version of Hyrule (with counterparts of most of its inhabitants to match). The parallel world seems doomed to fade, and Link stops someone that is not Ganon (though his body is fought in a way).sound familiar?. As Termina is a counterpart of Hyrule in Ocarina of Time, Lorule is a counterpart of Hyrule in A Link to the Past. Both were fated for the end, and were ready to face their demise, but Link (and Zelda in Lorule's case) saved them at the very last minute. Lorule is the Decline timeline's version of Termina.
The Lorule Triforce can represent Influence, Knowledge, and Determination. Influence is a Form of Power and can be used to gain more Power. Determination to meet a goal can cause the person to be Courageous or at least seen as it. Knowledge is our understanding and information of a situation, and learning how to apply it is Wisdom. This also comes with a 180 degree turn so that Knowledge reflects Courage and Determination reflects Wisdom, since both can become a hindrance to the other's counterpart. Knowledge can lead to fear and Determination can make one so focused in their goal(s) that they fail to see any short-sightedness in their plans born of the Wisdom they gained.
Of course, the one with Knowledge ends up being the hero of Lorule due to the position of that piece if the opinion that it's a 180 degree turn is the right one because that character ends up gaining the other two virtues by virtue of their Knowledge, but they also get the aspects of Hyrule's triforce as well, due to having Knowledge (which is Power) that leads into Wisdom which result in their Influence in the story and the Determination that overrides their fear showing more Courage than they thought.
Skyward Sword had aspects of Wind Waker and Twilight Princess, but this game contains the remaining aspects that didn't fit either of the other two games. In order to travel anywhere in Lorule, you either had to return to Hyrule or get help from a character in the game, just like you need to return to Skyloft or the Catapult (even though it only sends Link to the minigames). There's even a character that thought they were the hero and had to get their egos checked.
Ravio in his bunny mask is obviously supposed to compare to Link's rabbit form in A Link to the Past; while others who entered the Dark World with greed in their hearts became hideous monsters and strange creatures, Link's pureheartedness transformed him into an innocent one. A more subtle note...Many of the residents of Lorule have taken up thievery as a means of coping with the chaos that has consumed their world, while those who haven't don masks in the likeness of monters and worship them in the hopes that it will save them from corruption. But for Ravio? Just like Link in the Dark World, he takes the guise of an innocent rabbit and doesn't let the dilapidated state of his kingdom coerce him into doing dishonest work instead of what he knows is right, and refuses even to try saving it when he knows he would be dooming another. He remains pure-hearted until the end.
Of course, considering the Happy Mask Salesman's suspicious character, Majora's Mask may have received it's evil from him and since he obviously never recieved it in this timeline, the Mask may have never become a vessel of evil in the first place...
Who's to say anything? Given the Mask Salesman simply vanishing at the end of Majora's Mask, he may very well be able to travel into alternate times. It could potentially have even been made by Link in his spare time.
The ending looks like it worked well for all involved parties, but let's think through the consequences of Lorule's Triforce being restored a little. The whole reason Hyrule's Triforce was hidden away, and Lorule's destroyed, in the first place was because people were waging wars over its power. Now there's nothing preventing that from happening again.
The boss in Skull Woods is the Knucklemaster, which you damage by hitting it after it charges you, hits a wall, and stuns itself. The easiest way to dodge its charging attack is to merge with the wall behind you. The thing is, the Knucklemaster is essentially punching the wall, and strongly enough to knock itself out for a few seconds. So why don't you get hurt when you're part of the wall...?
The walls are probably pretty thick in that room, and Link himself is a work of magical art. Yuga's paintings probably don't deteriorate at all unless the walls they've been merged with are destroyed.
Wait a sec... the Triforce can make more Triforces? Did they just get around the traditional "no wishing for more wishes" restriction?
Not...exactly. The Triforce didn't create a new Triforce; it only exhumed the one that was destroyed in Lorule.