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Videogame: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
A Link between worlds goes on an epic adventure to save both.

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 was directly involved in the production, in contrast to the other post-Ocarina of Time games being handled more by Eiji Aonuma.

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 traveling across Hyrule turning 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 (a land similar to the Dark World from its predecessor) 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 Zelda Dungeon Crawling formula, after a certain point in the game, you can complete the dungeons in any order you want.note  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.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds features these tropes:

  • Adipose Rex: Oren, the Queen Zora. At least until you find her Power Limiter.
  • Antlion Monster: Antlion-like enemies called Devalants in the Sand Palace Dungeon. They bury themselves and create sand vortexes that they're visibly at the center of, and they try and get you to fall into. Some also shoot fireballs. You defeat them by using the Sand Rod to get them above ground, then attacking them.
  • Already Undone for You: The Eastern Palace when Osfala steps away from you.
  • Alternate Self: Hilda for Zelda, Yuga for Ganondorf, and Ravio for Link.
  • Anti-Frustration Feature:
    • You no longer have to collect arrows, bombs, or magic, as nearly all the items simply run off of your (rather quickly replenishing) stamina meter, making a host of puzzles much, MUCH easier. To make things simpler, some dungeons have purple potions that instantly replenish this meter, to avoid situation that would otherwise just require wasting time.
    • Certain tasks in the game become easier if you fail them the first time. For example, if the thief girl gets caught during the Escort Mission, fewer enemies will spawn when you retry, and the ones you already beat don't come back.
    • If you fail the ghost chase in the Lost Woods, you will start out with fewer ghosts up to two times.
    • The ball homes in on the crows to an extent in the baseball minigame.
    • The Fast Travel system (Irene's broom) is introduced very early on, making it much easier to get around the overworld.
    • The Maiamai Map tells you however many Maiamais are left in a particular area of Hyrule or Lorule.
  • Anti-Poop Socking : If you make a good deal of progress in one go, generally triggered by beating a dungeon, the nearby weather vanes will start shaking, flapping their wings, and making noises to direct your attention to them so that you won't forget to save and lose it. Alternatively (or sometimes as well), playing roughly for an hour straight will make them suggest taking a break when you save, complete with a Beat in between. Irene will also pipe in on the subject, saying that Link looks tired.
  • Artistic License - Physics: Lorule Castle has a portion which requires link to move spiked balls out of his way by letting other spiked balls roll into them. As anyone who knows the basics about collisions (or even has just played pool) knows, the rolling ball should stop after hitting the stationary ball, which would leave Link just as stuck as before.
  • 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 that 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.
  • Badass Grandpa: Gramps.
  • Beautiful Dreamer: There's a reason Zelda wakes up before Link when they return to Hyrule in the ending.
  • 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.
  • Bigger Bad: Ganon. Although not as prominent, Ganon's presence can be felt, as he is heavily featured in the game's backstory and is mentioned by the elders as the Demon King that nearly brought Hyrule to ruins long ago. Subverted when it is revealed that reviving Ganon is part of Hilda's plan, since she wants the Triforce for the benefit of Lorule, and Yuga wants the Triforce for himself. Neither of them care about Ganon other than that, and Ganon himself doesn't get to do anything before Yuga absorbs his power and takes over his body.
  • Bigger on the Inside: All of the buildings, especially the dungeons. Gets strange when there are points in certain dungeons where you go outside — but it's still counted as an area "in" the dungeon, and thus subject to the same scale.
  • 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 for invisible platforms and walls, which glow in complete obscurity (meaning your lantern makes them invisible, looking like a dark circle around Link).
  • Boss Rush: The final dungeon, Lorule Castle, has Link battle retreads of two bosses, a miniboss, and a Boss In Mooks Clothing.
  • Bullet Hell: Cuccos, of course. They are now a Mini-Game. Getting the heart piece is easy. The crazy 100% Completion Bragging Rights Reward is to do "Endless Mode" for 999 seconds (About 16.6 minutes) perfectly. This causes the farm girl giving Link the quest to call him the Cuccomaster and presents a giant Cucco that replenishes Link's hearts at her ranch anytime he visits.
  • The Bus Came Back: Dampé the gravekeeper returns for the first time since The Minish Cap.
    • Sahasrala reappears for the first time since A Link to the Past.
    • Ganon is back for the first time since Twilight Princess, seven years earlier.
    • Returning enemies such as Gibdos, Wizzrobes, Zazak, Ball and Chain Soldiers, Dactos, Deadrocks, Lynels, and many, many others haven't appeared in a Zelda Title for a few years. Some even decades.
  • But Thou Must:
    • Dampe will ask you to use the Captain's sword in order to save Seres until you accept.
    • The same happens when Ravio asks you to borrow your house.
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: Some of the Eyegores that function as a Mini-Boss are in unlit rooms. Their eyes light up in a flashlight in front of them.
  • Call Back:
  • Casual Interstellar Travel: The powerfully magic Mother Maiamai explains to Link that she and her many children were on a great voyage through all the worlds until they happened upon the heavily unstable Lorule. The dimension is on the verge of collapsing, thus Maiamai was separated from her children between Hyrule and Lorule. She pleads for the hero to find and rescue her scattered babies.
  • Cardboard Prison: If you are caught during the Stealth-Based Mission, you are put in a cage; you can easily go through the bars.
    • Subverted, somewhat, in that it's only easy to escape because Link has the magical ability to turn two-dimensional and shimmy through the cracks. Otherwise, the prison would be completely inescapable... how they even get you in there isn't even entirely clear, since there's no actual door. Played straight, however, with the Thief Girl, who is placed in an unlocked jail cell if she gets captured.
  • Chaos Architecture: In a bizarre aversion, this is the first Zelda game ever to have the same geography as a previous title, although Ocarina of Time and the GameCube version of Twilight Princess has some subtle similarities.
  • Check Point Starvation:
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • 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.
  • Color-Coded Characters/Painting the Medium: The dialogue boxes of certain characters are colored differently from the standard brown. The Sage's are the same as the paintings they become trapped in, Zelda's are yellow, Hilda's are gray, Ravio's are purple, and Yuga's are black with moving scribbles in the background and yellow text.
  • 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.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • 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.
    • As a painting, Link resembles the introductory artwork from The Wind Waker.
    • You can see Majora's Mask on the wall in Link's house.
      • The very Talon-like bartender is based on Mr. Barten.
      • And his Lorule counterpart seems to be based on Ingo/Gorman.
    • The overworld music for Lorule is the Dark World theme from A Link to the Past.
    • And the theme of the Treacherous Tower is an arranged version of the "Dark World Dungeon" Theme, also from A Link to the Past
    • Once again, the bug-catching net can be used to reflect projectiles in the final battle.
    • The theme that plays in the Seven Sages' chamber is a remix of the theme that played in the location of the same name in Ocarina of Time. And speaking of that game, its Game Over theme is used in this game as well, followed by a remix of the Game Over theme from the original game.
    • The jingle that plays after saving a game is the flute melody from A Link to the Past — fitting, since the save points are weather vanes exactly like the one that gives the flute its power in that game.
    • The palace theme from Zelda II plays whenever you battle someone's Shadow Link.
    • Whenever Link leaves the Sacred Realm, the Seven Sages strike the same poses as the ones from Ocarina of Time, when they sealed away Ganon.
  • Continuity Snarl: The intro claims that the Triforce was split and its parts went to their respective owners after Link made a wish at the end of A Link to The Past. However in the Oracle games, the direct sequels to A Link To The Past according to Hyrule Historia, the Triforce is whole and at the castle. Other differences in historical events imply that either this game is actually making reference to unshown events or historical records have been compromised.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Potentially applies to the entire main cast. Both Link and Zelda are (probably) young teens with no parents in sight, and it's safe to assume that Ravio and Hilda are in the same situation.
  • Cosmic Keystone: The Triforce. Specifically Lorule's Triforce, which was destroyed by Princess Hilda's ancestors generations ago. Though they had good intentions in doing so, wanting to stop the constant fighting over its incredible power, they didn't realize until it was too late that the Triforce's existence kept their entire world from slowly crumbling into oblivion.
  • Crapsack World: Lorule is this. It's dark, gloomy, there's gigantic chasms all over the place, and everyone is grouchy and miserable.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Oren the Zora Queen used to be this; her role as Adipose Rex is only because her Power Limiter is stolen.
  • Cute Witch: Irene, who gives Link rides around Hyrule.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory: Remember playing A Link to the Past? Not only does the Nintendo 3DS have the exact same amount of buttons as a Super Nintendo controller, it replaces where you dash from, you also use two items, and the start button is now pause instead of "Menu".
    • However, notably averted if you played the Game Boy Advance enhanced remake of A Link to the Past – the controls are almost identical (save the addition of the X and Y buttons). In fact, the controls are essentially the same as every other button-focused Zelda title in recent memory, as they've been evolving since those early titles.
  • Damsel in Distress: A young thief girl is imprisoned in a monster's lair operating in Thieves' Town. After a grueling marathon to get her to safety, the resident "Boss", Stalblind, hinders their progress, refusing to let the girl go, and mocks her for actually thinking she was home free. The demon then proceeds to battle Link.
  • Dark World/Dual-World Gameplay: Although Lorule isn't the Dark World from the original game, it's very similar.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: If you managed to buy Ravio's items, then you won't lose them upon defeat. Ravio even jokingly encourages you to get defeated as many times as you please when you buy an item for the first time.
  • Demonic Possession: Inverted! Yuga merges with Ganon to obtain the Triforce of Power. Afterwards, he is in complete control.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: What the entire battle with Knucklemaster can be summarized as. Continuous use of the wall-merging technique makes it appear that Link is in one giant-taunting-session with the boss of the Skull Woods. The monster cannot even change strategies, and knocks itself out repeatedly, as Link is invincible in a painting-state.
  • Digitized Sprites: The wild audience of the Treacherous Tower is pre-rendered, to avoid rendering too many characters in addition to the (already numerous) monsters in the arena with you. The effect is somewhat reminiscent of Donkey Kong Country's visuals.
  • Disconnected Side Area: Despite being of the same general configuration otherwise, Lorule is crisscrossed by enormous chasms, resulting in 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: In after clearing a certain number of dungeons, we get this, Foreshadowing Hilda's plan to steal the Triforce of Courage.
    Hilda: But I must have courage, or all is lost.
  • 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).
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: The game opens with Link making a premonitory dream in which he faces a mysterious shadow. Later Zelda reveals she had the same dream.
  • 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 in the X slot when playing the Octoball Derby makes Link use it instead of the stick you normally get.
    • There is an alternative version of the Milk Bar rendition of the Death Mountain theme where the flute segment goes crazy and off-tune, likely a scrapped recording that was left in as a joke.
  • Elemental Baggage: Averted with the Sand Rod, which can only generate walls of sand if there is actual sand nearby to change. Otherwise, it just causes a small burst of dust to rise up and stun whatever's hit. (The upgrade extends the number to up to eight, but works the same way.) Played straight with the other three rods, which can generate fire, ice, and wind.
  • Eleventh Hour Superpower: The Bow of Light. Unlike the other games, you can only use it against Yuga while merged in a wall.
  • Epunymous Title: Following in the footsteps of the original.
  • Escort Mission: In the Thieves' Hideout, you have to escort a girl to the exit and protect her from the enemies who want to put her back in her cell. Unlike ALTTP, the girl is NOT the boss in disguise. Same for the Bomb Flower, which you have to protect from enemies while you travel to the location you want to use it in.
  • Everything's Worse with Bees: At least until you get the Bee Badge.
  • Evil Twin: Surprisingly averted, all considered. No one is really out and out evil over their counterpart, rather just a different take on the character, or put through a darker lens. Even Hilda, who is playing and betraying you, is doing so because she has run out of options, and does it with a great deal of remorse.
  • Exactly What I Aimed At: In the Final Boss battle, to land the final blow, you must aim a light arrow away from Yuga. Since the room is circular, and both of you are merged into the wall, the arrow travels around the room and hits him in the weak point in his back, forcing him out of the wall to be finished off with the Master Sword.
  • 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.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • 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 (one shouldn't forget Link morphed into a bunny in A Link to the Past if he traveled to the Dark World without protection), and 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), in Hero mode 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.
    • Yuga drops a couple comments early on about "Her Grace", even making a direct comparison to Zelda.
  • Free Sample Plot Coupon: Zelda herself gives you the Pendant of Courage, claiming it was a special charm for her. In A Link to the Past, it is earned after completion of the Eastern Palace.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Snap a picture of your screen just as Link suddenly freezes while traveling between worlds. While he wears the Green Tunic, he's a dead ringer for Dark Link.
    • And if you do the same when you have the Red Mail, the freeze-frame instead shows him wearing his normal green tunic.
  • Fusion Dance: Between Yuga and Ganon. And no, Ganon is NOT in control of the fusion.
  • Generation Xerox: This game takes place a few hundred years after A Link to the Past, in the same world. As a result, this game's Link seems to live an almost carbon copy of his predecessor's entire life story, complete with Identical Grandson and Expy forms of the prior game's entire cast list.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The guy in the bee house says this when you bring him a bee: "Oh, thank you from the very bottom of my buzz!". Um...
  • Giant Mook: Some of the enemies have varieties of these as a dungeon's Mini-Boss.
  • Good Morning, Crono: The game starts off with Link being woken up from a nightmare by the blacksmith's son, Gulley.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: Subverted in Lorule. The world is on the verge of collapse, the sanctuaries are all abandoned, while clergymen/philosophers can do nothing but mourn the people forsaking their gods (even questioning if they in turn have forsaken mortals). Lorulians have become depraved and worship monsters such as Gemesaur King, who in turn, need human devotion in order to become more powerful and god-like.
  • 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.
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: If an enemy knocks you off the edge of a bottomless pit, you hang in the air for a second before falling. The same is true for them if you knock them off the edge.
  • Guide Dang It: How to get the hidden item in the Dark Palace. In the room immediately south of the treasure room, there are two switches, which raise and lower the platforms in the room. However, one of the switches also rotates the north wall which connects to the treasure room. But due to the camera angle, you can't have both that switch and the wall on screen at the same time, making it difficult to figure out.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Happens after the first fight with Yuga. Losing to him results in a Game Over like normal, but when you beat him, he traps you as a painting in a wall and escapes.
  • Helpful Mook: Wall Masters return, but this time you occasionally have to manipulate them to solve puzzles, such as having them slam down on a switch that's out of your reach. Some of the dungeons wouldn't even be solvable without them!
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Yuga succeeds in his goal of reviving Ganon at the end of the first quest, but instead of Ganon being able to practice any goals of his own, Yuga merges with him almost immediately in order to take the Triforce of Power for himself, making this an inversion.
  • Hijacking Cthulhu: Yuga merges with Ganon and takes control of all his power.
  • Humans Need Monsters: Despairing over their crumbling world and feeling abandoned by the gods, the Lorulians have turned to the monsters for salvation. This has opened up the citizens to all manners of abuse conceivable, though on the flip-side, unlike Hyrule, people are more tolerating of them, and it's formed closer ties with some benign monsters as well.
  • Hurricane of Puns: A bee-loved quirk of the Bee Guy.
  • I Choose to Stay: After rescuing all of her children and talking to enough NPCs afterwards, you can trigger a scene where Mother Maiamai and her babies continue their travels on to another dimension. The 72nd Maiamai you saved, however, chooses to remain in Hyrule, asking Link to wish her luck in becoming as big and as powerful as her mother.
  • 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 Zelda Final Bosses being vulnerable to mundane equipment, with the Bug Catching Net being able to reflect his second phase energy balls.
  • Infinity–1 Sword: The red Tempered Sword/Level 2 Master Sword. It can be reforged by giving the blacksmith in Hyrule two chunks of Master Ore, which aren't very difficult to find in Lorule's dungeons.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: The Golden Sword/Level 3 Master Sword. You can unlock the sword's full potential by finding two more pieces of Master Ore and taking them to the Lorule blacksmith. This is a little trickier than the above, since the first three are in dungeons, but the fourth is in an area of Lorule only accessible from one area in Hyrule which you probably wouldn't visit unless you're collecting Maiamais or using a guide, since it's not required for normal completion.
  • Informed Attribute: The thieves say Link has a "fetching" voice, but we never hear him speak outside of his usual vocalizations.
  • Kick the Dog: Yuga actually kicks Link aside as he leaves the Sanctuary.
  • 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, but good luck hitting anything with the former without stunning it first.
  • Lighter and Softer: Than A Link to the Past. In the opening for this game, Link is casually delivering a sword to a careless guard captain. Compare that to the prequel, where he's avenging his dead uncle on a stormy night where the king has been assassinated, and Hyrule is mostly deserted due to greed for the Triforce in the Sacred Realm, now the Dark World. Subverted when you see that Lorule's fate is just as bad, if not worse, than the Light and Dark Worlds of A Link to the Past, and it takes the idea of a Crapsack World and runs with it.
  • Line Boil: Link in his drawing form, as well as the objects Link collects in said form.
  • Macguffin Delivery Service/Batman Gambit: Hilda's plan actually depends on Link getting the Master Sword and rescuing the Seven Sages, as he needs to do that in order to get the Triforce of Courage, which is an essential part of Hilda's plan to steal a new Triforce for Lorule. Defeating the penultimate boss is the first thing Link does in the entire game that does not somehow advance the Big Bad's plot.
  • Meaningful Name: Yuga's name is based on the Japanese word for "painting," which obviously fits with his painting obsession. But there is another meaning to it, when you read the name with Hinduism in mind. In this case, Lorule can be seen as a universe, which is in its last epoch, the Kali Yuga, as it is headed to its imminent destruction. In addition, almost all Loruleans have lost their virtues, which is also a marking for the last era of the cycle, as humanity starts absolutely virtuous in the first era and declines through the four Yuga ages to a World Half Empty, which is destroyed at the end. After the Kali Yuga has passed, the universe will be created anew in a new Yuga cycle.
  • Mini-Dungeon: There are several smaller puzzle dungeons over Hyrule and Lorule, usually accompanied by a Treasure Hunter who will give the player a hint as to how to get to the rupees.
  • 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. However, money is also really easy to come by, and the wallet can hold up to 9999 rupees from the beginning of the game.
  • Monster Lord: Gemesaur King and Stalbind. Many Lorulians have forsaken their homes and duties to Hilda to follow these beings, and revere them.
  • 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.
  • Mythology Gag: Majora's Mask can be seen hanging on the right wall of Ravio's shop (which is also Link's house).
  • New Game+: A hard mode called Hero Mode is available after you first complete the game.
  • No Cutscene Inventory Inertia: Averted everywhere except the one credits scene Link is in, where his Master Sword and Tunic are both their original colors regardless of any upgrades.
  • No Fair Cheating: If you use Irene's broom to try to beat the Hyrule Hotfoot minigame more easily, the NPC at the finish line scolds you for cheating and won't give you the prize until you beat the minigame fairly.
    • Unless you warp to Lorule, then use Irene's broom and warp back.
  • No Man Should Have This Power: As was the case in Hyrule, the people of Lorule began to lust for their Triforce's limitless power, and many lives were lost as people warred over it. The Loruleans were sick of the gift from the gods. To put an end to this, Hilda's ancestors decided that their Triforce had become too much trouble, but rather than seal it away, they opted to completely destroy their Triforce. This has disastrous consequences.
  • Not His Sled: In the Thieves' Hideout in Lorule, you'll find a girl locked in a cell asking for help, who 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 Thieves' Town dungeon in the Dark World, the maiden there was 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's Expy, Stalblind). 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.
  • Not the Way It Is Meant to Be Played: You can actually run off and explore Hyrule on your Captain's Sword errand, though you'll run into monster encounters that will attack defenseless vulnerable little you, with no means of fighting back except throwing bushes at them.
  • Nothing but Skulls: In Lorule, skulls replace pots, so you'll see a lot of them, and no sign as to where the rest of the bones went. There's one room at the start of Lorule Castle that takes the cake, and is sure to provide a few hearts on each visit.
  • Numbered Sequel: In Japan, the game is Triforce of the Gods 2 (Triforce of the Gods being A Link to the Past's Japanese title).
  • One-Hit Kill: Just about what all the strongest enemies will do to you in Hero Mode. Avoid Lynels.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Used for the Yuga battles and for The Very Definitely Final Dungeon. In contrast to the wordless chants used in the Skyward Sword soundtrack, the Yuga battles feature actual lyrics.
  • Opening the Sandbox: After one point, it's possible to do the dungeons in many possible orders.
  • Parental Substitute: It's heavily implied that the blacksmith's wife has looked after the parent-less Link on many occasions. She knitted his own tunic and made him an item pouch. Whenever he arrives late for work and her husband gets furious, she tells Link behind her partner's back, he will not start the day's work without breakfast.
  • Player Data Sharing: The game has a feature where the streetpassnote  loads other players' profiles. These players can be fought as Shadow Links for an amount of money based on their difficulty (players can customise their Link's equipment and make battles with their shadow as easy or hard as they like).
  • Plot Coupon: The Pendants of Virtue are back. This time, they have the symbols of the Goddesses like the Spiritual Stones and the Pearls of the Goddesses. In Lorule, the paintings of the Seven Sages are what must be collected, to restore them back to normal and free the sages.
  • Punny Name: The name of the other world in this game is called "Lorule" in order to contrast with "Hyrule".note 
  • Red Herring: Rosso's Ore Mine, despite having a sequence of signs leading the player along through Death Mountain, is just a pile of rocks that has absolutely nothing important. It seems to only exist as an excuse to lead the player to the portal for the Ice Ruins section of Lorule's Death Mountain.
    • The thief girl in the Thieves' Hideout, which veterans would predict is actually the boss, just like in the dungeon it's a homage to. She's not.
  • Regenerating Mana: The magic meter is replaced with an energy gauge that 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.
    • It's implied Ravio also suffers from this, as the only missing furniture in Link's house after his "renovations" is the pots.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Mother Maiamai rhymes everything with her name; she doesn't tell us why.
  • Sequence Breaking: Enforced. The player has the ability to choose what dungeons to go to, since the items are in a centralized area. Out of the twelve dungeons, only four have to be done in some sort of order: Eastern Palace (Done first), Hyrule Castle (Requires Master Sword, which can only be retrieved after completing the Eastern Palace, House of Gales, and Tower of Hera), Desert Palace (Requires Sand Rod, which can only be acquired after the Thieves' Hideout is cleared), and Lorule Castle (Requires Triforce of Courage, which is acquired after all other dungeons are cleared). All other dungeons can be done as soon as they appear on the map.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: Octoroks will carelessly damage any monsters in their line of fire. Also, two of the enemy archers in Hyrule Castle can be tricked into shooting each other.
  • Shout-Out: Zelda's Lorule counterpart is named Hilda. There are a pair of characters named Zelda and Hilda in Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
    • And there's a teenage witch too!
    • The German version has a shout out to, of all things, The Bold And The Beautiful. The show is called "Reich & Schön" in Germany, meaning "rich and beautiful"; whenever you find 100 rupees in a chest, the game notes "you feel rich and beautiful".
  • Sinister Geometry: The monolithic-like structure in Lorule's Sacred Realm.
    • It's actually their inverted Triforce's tombstone. Inscribed on it is an account of Hilda's ancestors who destroyed the sacred relic to prevent chaos. When Zelda and Link wish upon their Triforce to restore Lorule's, the tombstone explodes.
  • Skippable Boss: An unintentional example is that you can skip the boss of the Skull Woods via a glitch (It's in French). You won't get its Heart Container, though.
  • Spread Shot: The Nice Bow, which fires three arrows, one straight ahead, the other two at opposite angles.
  • Sprint Shoes: The Pegasus Boots are back.
  • The Starscream: Yuga.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: In order to reach the Palace of Darkness, you have to go all the way avoiding the guards. Thankfully, avoiding them is pretty easy thanks to Link's wall merging ability, and if you do get caught, you'll always be sent to the nearest cage.
  • Stealth Pun: Given that Mama Maiamai's children are in Hyrule and Lorule, you could say that you've been looking high and low for them.
    • When Link turns 2D, the background music becomes decidedly... flat.
  • 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).
    • However, as an alternate dimension that seems doomed from the get-go, with counterparts of everybody but the sages, and is ultimately saved by Link (and Zelda), it seems to be very similar to Termina
    • The witch Irene to Maple.
    • 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.
    • Yuga is a cross between Ganondorf, Agahnim, Ganon, Chancellor Cole, and Ghirahim, and many other Zelda villains. He's fought as the first boss and has a personality like Ghirahim, he looks like Ganondorf's Distaff Counterpart (despite, y'know... still being male), he captures the sages to revive Ganon like Agahnim, and backstabs and merges with the full demonic power like Cole.
  • Sword Beam: The Zelda staple returns, allowing Link to fire beams when his Hit Points are full.
  • Theme And Variations Soundtrack: The Sage Dungeons are all arrangements of the same motif, even the Desert Palace, which is in Hyrule and had a counterpart in Link to the Past.
  • Theme Music Power-Up:
    • After Link receives the Triforce of Courage and is sent to Lorule Castle, the overworld theme becomes a more triumphant version of itself. Of course, you can dawdle, beating up monsters and collecting leftover heart pieces and enjoy the music.
    • Much earlier in the game, Hyrule's overworld music gets increasingly triumphant and intense as the first part of the story goes on. In the beginning, it's pretty relaxed. Then it becomes a standard theme after obtaining the Captain's Sword. Then, after getting the Master Sword, it becomes orchestral.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Hilda, to Yuga, until he later turns on her and absorbs her power.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: 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".
  • Third-Person Person: Dampé.
  • Triumphant Reprise: After Link has rescued all the sages and attained the Triforce of Courage, the Dark World/Lorule overworld theme song sounds notably more upbeat and heroic in contrast to the notably bleaker version that played before.
  • Turns Red: All the bosses feature this phase. After taking damage, they all get increasingly redder, angrier, and more dangerous as the battle progresses.
  • Turtle Power: When you reunite a mother turtle with her three lost children, they repay you by helping Link reach the fiery Turtle Rock dungeon.
  • Twinkle In The Sky: Inverted. If you throw something (like a pot) off a tall building, it will fall a good distance and then disappear in a twinkle.
  • Variable Mix: It's a Zelda trademark by now.
    • In the Maiamai cave, if you have Mother Maiamai upgrade an item, the background music will go from simple harp and flute to a full orchestra with a chorus chanting "Mai, mai, mai mai mai!"
    • Again with Maiamais, every time you find a baby, it sings (squeaks?) along to the traditional "you got a shiny" fanfare.
    • In Lorule Castle, another instrument will be added to the background music with every successive victory in the Boss Rush. Once you beat three of four, Ganondorf's theme gets mixed in.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: In addition to the classic staple being able to attack Cuccos (and getting killed by them in retaliation), there is a peaceful Hinox (those cyclops monsters that normally throw bombs at you) living in a cave under a waterfall in the northeastern section of Lorule's Dark Palace region. He will quickly give you five rupees to make you not tell anyone where he's hiding. You can continue to extort him and the amount of rupees he gives increases. But if you extort him too much, he will call you a monster and try to kill you. Unlike the Cuccos, however, you can't unpress this Berserk Button by simply leaving the cave and going back in, as he'll still want you dead.
    • In another example of the deliberate use of Money for Nothing in this game, you can unpress Hinox's Berserk Button by saving and quitting, and then reloading your save file, making extorting him a great way to get fast cash.
  • Videogame Settings:
    • In Hyrule:
  • Void Between the Worlds: As a painting, Link can enter very thin vertical gaps in walls that lead to a technicolor void used to go between Hyrule and Lorule.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Link can become a painting and meld with the walls in certain areas. He is unaffected by gravity while in this state.
    • Yuga can also become a painting, as well as turn others into drawings. This, combined with a bracelet from Ravio, is how Link gets his shapeshifting ability.
  • Warp Whistle: Irene the witch's purpose, as she can be summoned to get Link a ride to other places in Hyrule and Lorule. Even after she gets turned into a painting, her broom can still bus you around.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Hilda wants Hyrule's Triforce in order to restore Lorule to its former glory, since Lorule's Triforce was destroyed instead of being sealed away.
  • What a Piece of Junk: What the Lorulian blacksmith regards Link's Master Sword as. He pours his heart and soul into tempering swords to reach their ultimate capability, and the sight of kids picking up any weapon or ancient relic they find lying around depresses him. It's not until Link finds ores for the Hyrulian blacksmith to temper the sword that he becomes impressed with the craftsmanship of his counterpart and sees the true potential in the blade.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Ravio forces Hilda to realize that stealing the Triforce from Hyrule would simply cause it to go through the same events that led to Lorule being in its current state.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Subverted. For all his evil gloating, Yuga recognizes Link is a true threat to his plans, and blasts him away with his magic, turning him into a painting on the wall. It's only thanks to Ravio's magical bracelet that Link is able to escape.
  • World-Healing Wave: Link and Zelda wish upon the Triforce to restore the Triforce of Lorule, reversing its collapse.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Osfala, like Ralph and Groose, initially thinks he's the hero of the story and goes through the Eastern Palace with nothing but a Sand Rod he borrowed from Ravio, but ends up captured by Yuga. He later realizes that Link really is the hero and that he's just a Sage, and is very disappointed.
    • Sahasrahla is convinced that the plot is the same as in A Link to the Past, urging Link to go through the same trials and collect the same tokens. In truth, things are a bit more complex.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Seres, the daughter of the priest, has blue hair.
    • As does Irene.
    • Impa, Hilda, and Ravio have purple hair.
  • You Shouldn't Know This Already: In the last phase of the final boss, you must shoot a Light Arrow away from Yuga so that it encircles the room and strikes him in the back. This apparently does not work in the previous phases despite the circumstances allowing it to still be a viable option, as the arrows just disappear when you shoot them that way.
    • Averted with the password in the Thieves Hideout. If you remember the song lyrics from an earlier playthrough, you can enter the dungeon without having to seek the clues in the town.

"Mumbo jumbo, mumbo jumbo..."
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alternative title(s): The Legend Of Zelda A Link To The Past2; A Link Between Worlds
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