We had legends. We had heroes. Lorule had hope. But all that is gone now. Lorule has only me now. And YOUR hero, of course... Lorule was just like Hyrule. So very beautiful. So very... promising. We have need of a hero—and your Link is superb.
— Princess Hilda
The Legend Of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is a game for the Nintendo 3DS released in 2013, the 17th installment in The Legend of Zelda series.The game takes place in the same world as the SNES installment A Link to the Past, generations later. Chronologically, it takes place after Link's Awakening and the Oracle games, but before the original game and featuring a new Link. This makes it the 7th game in the "Hero Defeated" branch of the Hyrule timeline leading to the NES games. Shigeru Miyamoto is directly involved in the production.Although Hyrule appears similar to A Link to the Past, it is set long after that story and features a brand new Link. The plot sees this Link, an apprentice to a blacksmith, encountering an Evil Sorcerer named Yuga who is going across Hyrule turning various people into paintings. With help from Princess Zelda, the elder Sahasrahla, and the seedy rabbit-costumed merchant Ravio, he embarks on a quest to halt Yuga's reign of terror. His journey eventually brings him to a Mirror Universe with a decaying kingdom called Lorule (not theDark World from its predecessor, but rather a similar land) ruled by Zelda's Alternate Self, the somber Hilda. Satoru Iwata has hinted at the existence of a "mirror" of the Triforce within this world, which shows up on the game's logo as an upside-down black Triforce.The game once again features Dual-World Gameplay, though this time Link travels back and forth between Hyrule and Lorule. He is aided in his quest with a magic bracelet that gives him the ability to turn into a 2-dimensional painting, letting him walk along walls and enter narrow openings. In a twist on the traditional ZeldaDungeon Crawling formula, after a certain point in the game, you can complete the dungeons in any order you want.note With one exception: The Thieves' Hideout dungeon must be completed before the Desert Palace dungeon This is done thanks to a shop owned by Ravio, where you can rent and eventually purchase various items depending on which is needed to enter a particular dungeon.
Alternate Self: Hilda for Zelda, Yuga for Ganondorf, and Ravio for Link.
Anti-Poop Socking : If you play for long enough or make a good deal of progress in one go, the nearby weather vanes will start shaking, flapping their wings, and making noises to direct your attention to them. They'll suggest taking a break when you save while they're in this state. Irene will also pipe in on the subject, saying Link looks tired.
Apocalypse How: The Loruleans rejected the gift from the gods and opted to completely destroy their Triforce. While this was done with the best of intentions to prevent further warring over and abuse of its power, this inadvertently caused Lorule to begin to crumble without the protection of their Triforce to hold it together. They didn't understand the essence of the gods is literally the foundation of their creation that prevents it from reverting back into the chaos it once was. As the generations went by, Lorule fell further and further into disrepair and edged closer to its doom. It is unknown how it would have affected Hyrule, but at least Lorule would have eventually completely died out had Link not intervened.
Big Bad: Yuga. Subverted. He's actually The Dragon to Hilda, the real Big Bad. However, this is double subverted when he betrays her and gets the Triforce pieces for himself; he had been using her and her kingdom's plight from the very beginning, and Hilda was never really evil to begin with.
Blackout Basement: There are once again caves and dungeons that are pitch black except for a dimly-lit circle around Link. This time around, snuffing out the torches in the Dark Palace reverses the effect (read: the dungeon is well-lit except for a dark circle around Link) while also revealing hidden platforms and walls.
The first artwork image of Link revealed portrays him similarly to how he appears in A Link to the Past, whereas the later artwork first shown in an August 7 Nintendo Direct clip seems to be inspired by the Oracle games.
Much like in A Link to the Past, you must collect the Pendants of Courage, Power and Wisdom to unlock the Master Sword in the Lost Woods.
As a painting, Link resembles the introductory artwork from The Wind Waker.
The musty old bracelet Ravio gives Link in exchange for letting him stay in Link's house. After Yuga turns Link into a painting in the Eastern Palace, the bracelet allows Link to escape... and gives him the power to enter and exit walls at will.
The whole monster mask cult ("mumbo jumbo, mumbo jumbo...") apparently got started by Sahasrahla's Lorule counterpart as a way for the Loruleans to cope with their kingdom falling apart and keep from descending into thievery and other forms of wickedness in their despair. These monster masks are based on the monster forms that people stuck in the Dark World would take in A Link to the Past. Ravio is dressed as a rabbit, the form Link took in that game before getting the Moon Pearl, which foreshadows the fact that he is Link's counterpart in Lorule. Furthermore, it also foreshadows his role as a Defector from Decadence, since Hilda and Yuga, two Loruleans who don't wear monster masks, are the main villains whose plan he wants no part of.
Circling Birdies: Happens to Link when Yuga avoids his attack, causing him to run into the wall Yuga became a painting on.
Done for comedic effect at the end when Ravio's bird friend Sheerow flies circles around his head after the former is knocked on his ass by an earthquake.
Continuing Is Painful: If you die while you have a rented item, you have to rent it again. The game also returns Link there if he dies on the overworld (even in Lorule) and, though an option to restart in a dungeon is available, it's best to go back there anyway unless you own the item needed.
Crapsack World: Lorule is this. It's dark, gloomy, there's gigantic chasms all over the place, and everyone is grouchy and miserable.
Cute Witch: Irene, who gives Link rides around Hyrule.
Disconnected Side Area: Lorule is made up of these. Only two dungeons out of seven share a section of the world map with each other, with those two being located in the section containing Lorule's counterparts to Hyrule Castle, Link's house, and Kakariko Village. The only way to access the different sections before inspecting the weather vanes there is to take a portal from Hyrule.
Double Meaning Title/Pun-Based Title: In keeping with the tradition set by A Link to the Past, the first Zelda game with a pun (in the West at least). A Link Between Worlds, referring to Link traveling back and forth between the two dimensions, and the connection between them (which itself could be the various portals, Link again, the various Alternate Self characters, or the parallel Triforces, which let the Loruleans first know about Hyrule and which serve as the primary driving force of the conflict).
Early Game Hell: Hero Mode is like this, since without the unlockable 'mail', you take quadruple damage compared to the normal game and with low hearts, many enemies can wipe Link out in one or two hits. It gets much more bearable when you get to buy the items and stuff after three dungeons... and then goes back to being hell when you enter Lorule. Until two or three dungeons later, when you get things like a more powerful sword, the blue mail and more hearts.
Easter Egg: Having one of the elemental Rods equipped when playing the Octoball Derby makes Link use it instead of the stick you normally get.
Eleventh Hour Superpower: The Light Arrows. Unlike the others games, you can only use it against Yuga while merged in a wall.
Escort Mission: In the Thieves Hideout, you have to escort a girl to the exit and protect her from the enemies who wants to put her back in her cell. Unlike ALTTP, the girl is NOT the boss in disguise. Same for the Big Bomb, which you have to protect from enemies while you travel to the location you want to use it in.
Expy: From the bird's eye view the game has, Ravio bears a striking resemblance to Nabbit. Humorously, in the October 1st Nintendo Direct, Iwata devoted a minute to dispelling any possible Epileptic Trees.
The proprietors of the Hyrule and Lorule Milk Bars each resemble Talon and Ingo respectively (the Hyrule barkeeper even gets his milk from an unseen Lon Lon Ranch). Which is funny, because those two were already Expies of Mario and Luigi.
Ravio being Link's Lorulean counterpart was hinted at long before his reveal. He hoards money, possesses a vast equipment stash that would be found in a Zelda game, walks right into other people's homes and re-arranges things around, is more than aware that if you "die" you don't actually die, wears a bunny hood, and even has a winged companion. But the ultimate icing on the cake? The pots that were in your house at the start of the game? They're gone.
Similarly, inside the abandoned house in Lorule (the Hyrule counterpart being Link's house), you can find what is apparently Ravio's diary. Said diary highlights Ravio's, Hilda's and Yuga's goals without giving any names. Yes, this building is Ravio's house.
The post-dungeon scenes in Lorule of Hilda monologuing to Zelda about how much she envies her in a poorly lit room will probably set off a few red flags... aaaand yup, Hilda was the Big Bad all along...except not..
Gameplay and Story Segregation: No matter how many times you have upgraded the Master Sword or if you collect the Blue or Red Tunic, the final scene will always show Link with the basic Master Sword and his standard green tunic.
Good Morning, Crono: The game starts off with Link being woken up from a nightmare by the blacksmith's son, Gulley.
The Goomba: A variety of Buzz Blob that can be attacked without being electrocuted even without a stronger sword.
Gotta Catch 'Em All: Collect Maiamais and return them to their mother for upgraded items. Catch all 100 and you get an improved spin attack that is very useful in the Treacherous Tower.
Gusty Glade: The House of Gales looks like a windmill on the outside and has loads of wind-based puzzles inside.
Identical Grandson: A character named Sahasrahla who looks exactly like the one who appeared in A Link to the Past tells to Link a story from "the days of my grandfather's grandfather's grandfather...".
Improvised Weapon: Yuga Ganon carries the proud tradition of ZeldaFinal Bosses being vulnerable to mundane equipment, with the Bug Catching Net being able to reflect his second phase energy balls.
Infinity–1 Sword: The Tempered Sword or Master Sword Level 2. By giving two Master Ore to the blacksmith in Hyrule would improve the Master Sword to this form. However just like A Link to the Past they didn't give this sword its true potential:
Infinity+1 Sword: The Golden Sword or Master Sword Level 3. By collecting two more Master Ore and giving them to the blacksmith in Lorule would improve the Master Sword to this potential.
Lethal Joke Item: Much like previous installments in the series, a somewhat innocuous item can be used against the final boss. The harmless bug catching net swings in such a way that you can accurately reflect the boss's projectiles twice in a row. Also applies to the upgraded lantern and bug catching net, which have power rivaling the fully upgraded Master Sword.
Line Boil: Link in his drawing form, as well as the objects Link collects in said form.
Money for Nothing: Defied. Nintendo is making a conscious effort in this game to make rupees a more necessary part of the quest in the form of item rentals.
Musical Nod: The somewhat more relaxing remix of the Dark World music from ALTTP sounds very similar to the version heard in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
My God, What Have I Done?: The Shady Guy seems to genuinely regret stealing the Smooth Stone from the Zoras after Link tells him just what its importance was to them.
Hilda has this when Ravio points out she's no better than the people who nearly destroyed Lorule fighting over their Triforce.
Punny Name: The name of the other world in this game is called "Lorule" in order to contrast with "Hyrule".note High-rule and Low-rule. Get it?
Red Herring: In the Thieves' Hideout in Lorule, you'll find a girl locked in a cell asking for help and promises to give Link the Sage Painting after her rescue. Players who have played The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past would know that in the same Thieves' Hideout in the Dark World, the girl is in fact the boss in disguise. A Genre Savvy player is thus fully prepared for a betrayal at any time. The game teases you by making it an Escort Mission and having Link work together with her to go through the dungeon. Upon finally reaching the boss door, the game reveals that the girl is in fact, not actually the boss that the player had been expecting (though they do fight Blind 2.0). That's not even the end of the teasing. After the battle, Link has to cross a narrow bridge with the girl behind him, teasing that she might push him off. In the end, she keeps her word, and gives Link the painting as promised.
Regenerating Mana: Instead of using potions, the Magic meter refills over time, and since it is used for every item, this is a necessity.
Retcon: The game takes place after A Link to the Past, and Link holds the Master Sword despite the fact that the end of A Link to the Past stated that "the Master Sword sleeps again... forever".
Revisiting The Roots: A return to the 2D roots of The Legend of Zelda after years spent refining the mechanics of the 3D iterations of the series and after 2.5D games like Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks went for more of an experimental hybrid approach. It also harkens back to the much more non-linear titles of the franchise's early years.
Rewarding Vandalism: You're even more encouraged to do so now due to the renting/purchase system.
Its implied Ravio also suffers from this, as the only missing furniture in Link's house after his "renovations" is the pots.
Running Gag: Ravio taking up residence in Link's house is an escalating one during each visit at certain points in the game:
He asks to stay.
He says he's a merchant and he would like to sell some stuff here.
He starts advertising for adventurers to come visit his shop.
He dumps all of Link's belongings to the corners of the room and sets up shopping counters.
He puts up a massive billboard with his face on it on top of Link's house.
Last, but not least; He changes the name on the sign from "Link's House" to "Ravio's Shop".
Sequence Breaking: Enforced. The player has the ability to choose what dungeons to go to, since the items are in a centralized area. The only exception is that you have to do the Thieves Hideout before the Desert Palace for the Sand Rod you need.
Stealth-Based Mission: In order to reach the Palace of Darkness, you have to go all the way avoiding the guards.
Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Lorule, to A Link to the Past's Dark World. It isn't the same realm, but it is similar enough to be mistaken for it: Six of the Dark World dungeons make a return, and the seventh is likely an altered version of the last one. The same types of enemies are in the same locations, and the only thing missing is the Pyramid of Power, with Lorule Castle now in its location. Weirdly enough, the ending sees you visit the Sacred Realm (i.e. the Dark World freed from Ganon's influence).