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Video Game / The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

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May the way of the Hero lead to the Triforce.

"The Hero's triumph on Cataclysm's Eve wins three Symbols of Virtue.
The Master Sword he will then retrieve, keeping the knights' line true."

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is the third game in the series, released in 1991 in Japan and 1992 in North America and Europe. A prequel to the NES installments, A Link to the Past (Triforce of the Gods in Japan) returned to the top-down adventure format of the first game. Unlike the previous games, which were almost purely focused on combat and exploration, A Link to the Past introduces a puzzle-solving element to the series, requiring players to use items in complex ways in order to make progress. The game also contains the first in-depth (yet still simple compared to later games) story in the series, giving the game more than just an Excuse Plot. These puzzle and story elements, along with the established constituents of combat and exploration, eventually became a part of the greater Zelda experience because of A Link to the Past, and this unique combination of elements would be solidified by later games.


The story begins with Link receiving a psychic message from Princess Zelda, telling him to come and save her from her imprisonment in Hyrule Castle. Link's Uncle also receives the call but dies, so Link must take up the call. He discovers that the evil wizard Agahnim is capturing girls from across Hyrule, and learns that the only way to defeat him is to obtain the three Pendants of Virtue from dungeons across Hyrule, and then collect the Master Sword. Of course, saving the world isn't that easy... Link is eventually forced to travel to the Dark World, a parallel version of Hyrule distorted by Ganon's wishes after he was sealed in the Golden Land (that story would later be told in Ocarina of Time), to save the captured maidens and the Princess, and finally defeat Ganon. The basic plot formula of A Link to the Past (gather three items, get Master Sword, huge plot twist, gather more items, fight final boss), known to some fans as "The Legend," would be repeated many times throughout the series.


The game would recieve a sequel in 1993 in the shape of Link's Awakening for the Game Boy. Link to the Past was re-released in 2002 on the Game Boy Advance, sharing a cartridge with the multiplayer only Four Swords. A sequel for Nintendo 3DS, A Link Between Worlds, was released in 2013. It has the general look and feel of the original except with 3D graphics (though still top-down) and features the same version of Hyrule with completely new dungeons.

In 2016 a "randomizer" program (which now has its own page on this wiki) was created that hacks the game to shuffle the locations of items and other elements (such as monsters and cave/house/dungeon entrances, should the player set options to shuffle them) around. Since many locations are only reachable using certain items, this can considerably change the path taken to reach the end of the game. It has become very popular in the speedrunning community, and open races and tournaments have been held regularly since 2017. In 2018, another "randomizer" program was created which brings this Up to Eleven by merging the game with Super Metroid and shuffling all the items of the two games between each other, requiring the player to often use predetermined warp points to jump between the two games and, ultimately, defeat both Ganon and Mother Brain.

There is also a comic adaptation.

This game provides examples of:

  • Alien Geometries: In the lower right corner of Hyrule's Death Mountain is a cave with a non-bottomless pit inside. Falling into it, however, lands you in front of a cave exit even higher up than where you entered. Fans have nicknamed this "Paradox Cave".
  • Alien Landmass: The manual for the game includes a picture of the legendary Golden Realm, the resting place of the Triforce. The picture shows a world with a golden sky and endless planks of extremely thin, twisting landmasses balanced precariously on columns. However, the lore itself makes it clear no one actually knows what the Golden World looked like before Ganon corrupted it, and later games show it to be just a beautiful, lush world not much different from Hyrule.
  • All There in the Manual: The manual contains six pages of backstory, and a sealed booklet explaining how to beat some of the tougher puzzles. The translators of the American manual took a few liberties with the text. It created a few inconsistencies with later titles.
  • All the Worlds Are a Stage: Ganon's Tower incorporates enemies and puzzles from many previous dungeons, as well as featuring rematches with the bosses of the Light World.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Due to the timing of when Ganon reveals himself, the nature of his and Agahnim's identity is ambiguous. On one hand, Agahnim is trying to break the seal on Ganon in the Sacred Realm, but as Ganon reveals Agahnim to be his "split soul" in the Japanese script or "alter ego" in the English translation, Ganon is somehow able to send a fragment of himself out of or escape the Sacred Realm. This leads to two possibilities: 1. That Agahnim was possessed by Ganon with some power that could leak out of the Sacred Realm, or 2. That Agahnim is an alternate body created by Ganon that can escape the Sacred Realm but with limited power. Neither explanation is used in-game, but the comics and two mangas use the former explanation.
  • And I Must Scream:
    • Some of the trees in the Dark World are actually people. They’re able to talk, and are very unhappy about their condition.
    • The seven maidens, each trapped in a block of crystal after being sent to the Dark World.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • On Death Mountain, around the same place that the falling rocks appear, there's an old hermit that can refill your hearts for free.
    • Trinexx, the boss of Turtle Rock, can initially only be hurt by attacking his fire and ice spewing heads with their opposite elements. If you run out of magic power to use the Fire and Ice Rods, however, his elemental breath attacks will have a chance of leaving a small magic container behind.
    • Subverted with Kholdstare. You need to use the Fire Rod or the Bombos medallion to thaw him and properly fight him. If you run out of magic before fully thawing him, there are no magic containers around, but that's where another Anti-Frustration Feature comes into play: At that point in the game you will have the Magic Mirror, and can use it to warp back to the beginning of the level.
    • If you try to upgrade your bomb or arrow capacity while they are fully maxed out, the fairy will return the 100 rupees you spent.
  • Antlion Monster: Antlion like enemies called Devalants in Hyrule's desert area. They bury themselves, then create whirlpools and try to suck you in.
  • Arc Words: "May the way of the Hero lead to the Triforce."
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: Some of the bosses of the Dark World dungeons, especially Kholdstare.
  • Bad Future: The timeline included in Hyrule Historia says that A Link to the Pastnote  occurred had Link failed to defeat Ganondorf in the Adult Timeline of Ocarina of Time. While the Sages still manage to seal Ganondorf away, presumably the Imprisoning War cost many more lives than would have been lost if Link had won.
  • Baleful Polymorph:
    • Most residents of the Dark World are at least somewhat displeased with having been transformed against their will. Link the pink bunny arguably handles it well, but given his Heroic Mime status, it's hard to know what he really thinks of the situation. He doesn't seem ecstatic with the change, if this piece of artwork is any indication.
    • The missing Dwarven Swordsmith who works near Kakariko ended up in the Dark World trapped as a frog within a wall of heavy stones. Link can escort him back to his partner in the Light World to be rewarded with the Tempered Sword.
    • You can find a Cucco under a pot inside one of Kakariko's houses. Using Magic Powder on it will turn it into a human woman, who instantly regrets the change and longs to be a Cucco again.
  • Bandit Mook: The thief in the forest, with his nasty habit of making you spill your items and then snatching them up before you can retrieve them. He doesn't steal anything important (just rupees, bombs, arrows, etc.), but the fact that he cannot be defeated, stunned, or driven away makes him a rather severe pain in the ass.
  • Blackout Basement: The somewhat-aptly named Palace of Darkness, the first dungeon in the Dark World. With the exception of a handful of rooms, the basement areas are very dark, making it difficult to see the enemies and doorways. Almost crosses over into Nonindicative Name territory in comparison to the sequel's corresponding dungeon of the same name as only a total of 6 rooms, out of a total of 24, are pitch black.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: In the original Japanese version, the Flippers were translated in the ending as "Finger Webs." Not surprisingly, this error was fixed in the English translation.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: Link's strongest sword is made out of (presumably magical) gold.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Justified. The maidens are a major threat to Agahnim's plans, since they are the only ones capable of sealing Ganon or countering his evil magic. This obviously raises the question of why Agahnim only teleports the maidens to the Dark World instead of killing them. The first maiden explains that this is because they are also the only ones who can unseal Ganon, so he has to hijack their powers to free himself from the Dark World. However, one of the maidens implies that Ganon already siphoned all the power he needed from them, which does raise the question of why he's still keeping them around.
  • Bonus Boss: The GBA version has four differently-colored Dark Links as the bosses of the Bonus Dungeon.
  • Bonus Dungeon: The Palace of the Four Swords, in the GBA version.
  • Bootstrapped Theme: After its absence in The Adventure of Link, this game recovered the old Title Screen / Overworld theme from the original NES game, where it became the undisputed Main Theme of the whole series. A decade later, The Wind Waker turned it into Link's leitmotif as well; up to this day, the melody still maintains both functions.
  • Boring, but Practical: The humble Magic Powder can't defeat most enemies or directly defend against their attacks, and for puzzle-solving purposes it only unlocks one useful but non-essential item. However, it can also convert the common anti-fairy enemy into fairies that can refill Link's health or be captured in a bottle for later use. Once you have a decent working knowledge of where anti-fairies can be found, the Magic Powder becomes one of the most useful safety items in the game.
  • Boss-Only Level: The Pyramid of Power, the place in which you face Ganon, is nothing but a boss arena and a short hallway to get back to the boss arena if you fall off.
  • Bottomless Pits: The first game of the series to properly introduce them as they are known today. Although some pits drop you to the floor below (usually they are textured), the stark black pits result in Link being sent back to where he fell from and losing half a heart.
    • Of particular mention is a large chasm which surrounds the bottom of Death Mountain and divides it into two parts. It's too dark to see the bottom, but star-like sparkles appear in it. It's unclear if they are meant to be gemstones, or if something else is going on. The Dark World equivalent at least does appear to have a bottom, as veins of lava can be seen running through it. Only the light world counterpart presents an actual fall hazard (it is not possible to jump into the dark world chasm) and it has the same effect as any other bottomless pit.
  • Bowdlerise: A number of religious references (such as Agahnim being called a "priest") in the original Japanese game were removed from the English translation. This extends to the game's title, the Japanese version of which translates to "Triforce of the Gods". The Japanese text also explicitly states that the maidens were being "sacrificed" - the English translation makes exactly what was done to them much more ambiguous.
    • Averted in the English manual, which uses the word "gods" repeatedly when telling the Hyrule creation myth.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: All of the guards, soldiers, and dungeon-keepers in Hyrule are slaves to Agahnim's command. For the most part, though, they still seem to be doing their regular duties, as some of them are very chatty and helpful to Link at the start of the game and the townsfolk will still call them for help if they see Link. Regardless, once they see Link, or are given an direct order by Agahnim, they will carry it out with insane determination.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: It has several examples: The Great Swamp in the Overworld, which is portrayed in a more positive light but has no lack of critters and monsters like other areas. The Dark World, however, sports two: The Swamp of Evil and the unnamed, Dark World version of the Great Swamp, each with its own dungeon.
  • But Thou Must!: Many times during the game, you are asked if you understand. Each time you must say Yes to continue. When you are asked if you wish to find the pendants, your choices are "Yes." and "Of course!"
  • Call to Adventure: Zelda telepathically contacts Link in the beginning.
  • The Cameo: A pair of Chain Chomps appear in Turtle Rock. There’s also a portrait of Mario in a hanging in a house.
  • Chain Reaction Destruction: Sandworms and other bosses are known to go down in a series of small explosions.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The armor of the enemy soldiers as well as Link himself is green for the weakest form, blue for the stronger version, and red for the even stronger version.
    • This also corresponds the the ascending order of rupee values. Green is worth 1, blue is worth 5, and red is worth 20.
    • As well as the pendants you collect from the Light World dungeons to get the Master Sword.
    • Healing potions are red, mana potions are green, and blue potions heal both.
  • Collision Damage: Obviously, Link will suffer this if he touches a monster. However, the Cane of Byrna allows Link to generate a magic force field that not only allows him to inflict this on the enemies, but also protects him from everything up to falling into pits. You'll still bounce (with no damage) off spikeballs, though.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: Three of them:
    • The western comic adaptation by Shotaro Ishinomori serialized in Nintendo Power and later published in graphic novel form.
    • The first manga adaptation by Ataru Cagiva published in Japan after the SNES release.
    • A second manga adaptation, this time by Akira Himekawa. It was originally published after the GBA release and was released in the states in 2010.
  • Company Cross References: A portrait of Mario appears at one point in the game, and there are also two Chain Chomps that appear in Turtle Rock.
  • The Coup: Agahnim seizes power by mind-controlling the castle guards shortly before the game.
  • Crystal Prison: The first in the series, and perhaps the Trope Codifier. The seven maidens are all put in giant, blue crystals.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: When Ganon reveals himself in Ganon's Tower, Link uses the flute to summon the bird to give chase and take him to the Pyramid of Power. Not only can the bird not be summoned indoors, it can't be summoned in the Dark World period, being a denizen of the Light World.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: For those coming from later 2D Zelda games, getting used to the starting swords hitbox can take a while. Unlike later games where the sword hitbox tends to stay mostly consistent throughout with a decent range, the starting swords hitbox in this game is tiny, often requiring you to get far closer to enemies to hit them than you'd likely be used to in a 2D Zelda game. This often results in swinging the sword, missing the enemy and in the process the enemy hitting you if you don't immediately start spamming the attack button. Thankfully, once you get the Master Sword, the hitbox evens out to what you'd expect from later Zelda games.
  • Damsel in Distress: Seven of them, each trapped inside a crystal.
  • Dark World: This game is the Trope Namer. The "golden land" of the triforce is altered by Ganon's wish, and becomes a twisted version of Hyrule.
  • Death Mountain: The Trope Namer returns and even has a Dark World counterpart that it shares a name with.note  (Unlike the Light World counterpart, the Dark World counterpart has more ominous (but still catchy) music than the rest of its world's overworld to go with its more twisted nature.)
  • Decoy Damsel: Blind. You really ought to know better though; Unlike the other Maidens, 'she' is trapped not in a crystal, but a dingy cage, without even bothering with an explanation as to why she isn't in a crystal to boot.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • Slightly altered dialogue exists for obtaining the second and third pendants out of order.
    • There is also a slightly altered dialogue for Zelda when you rescue her from Turtle Rock, in the unlikely event that you only half complete another dungeon and don't rescue all six other maidens first.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Aghanim is the initial antagonist you face, but is dispatched in time for the action to shift to the Dark World and rescuing the seven maidens.
  • Disc-One Final Dungeon: Hyrule Castle Tower, full of powerful enemies and where the battle with Agahnim takes place.
  • Disc-One Nuke: If you know where to get it, you can go grab the Ice Rod as soon as you rescue Princess Zelda, giving you a weapon as strong as the Tempered Sword.
  • Disconnected Side Area: The Swamp of Evil in the Dark World, which even has a sign indicating "No Entry, No Escape." You have to reach it via a transporter tile in the Light World, which can only be reached via Flute/bird transport. The Ice Palace requires a similar trick. According to the lore, it's because the swamp was overflowing with rain water that threatened to flood the rest of the land, so a mountain range was put up to prevent that from happening.
  • Distress Call: Zelda psychically asks Link and his uncle for help escaping her imprisonment by Agahnim to start the game.
  • Divine Birds: The bird statue in the town square comes to life and serves as Link's Warp Whistle, ferrying him across Hyrule and even serving as borderline Divine Intervention in the finale by carrying him to Ganon's pyramid.
  • Doomed Fellow Prisoner: Zelda mentions something happened to the other princesses, before Link saves her. It later turns out that they were banished to the Dark World and turned into a crystal in order to break Ganon's seal.
  • Doppleganger Attack: In the second fight with Agahnim, he summons two shadowy clones to attack Link.
  • The Dragon: Agahnim, the first time in the series that Ganon has someone doing his dirty work for him. The Japanese original implies that he is some kind of offshoot (the word used is bunshin, "spit soul) of Ganon similar to the Phantom Ganons from later games. The English translation suggests that Agahnim is actually Ganon in a form which can travel to the Light World, though only with limited powers. Adaptations in either language tend to make Agahnim a separate entity from Ganon.
  • Dual-World Gameplay: The Light World and Dark World. This would become a recurring theme in the series.
  • Dummied Out:
    • In the original and Virtual Console releases, a skull statue that somewhat resembles the large skulls at the entrance of Yarna Desert in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (which didn't get Dummied Out) exists that was apparently planned for Dark World dungeons (most likely Skull Woods due to its name), as it is part of the tileset for Dark World dungeons, but it was never used... in those versions. About a decade later, these very statues could be seen in the GBA version's added optional dungeon, the Palace of the Four Sword, which is located in the Dark World. There is also a fully working and sprited Soldier with a Cannon, who simply is unused.
    • A 1/4th magic use upgrade exists in the game's files but can't be obtained anywhere. Adding it back in via hacking shows that it's fully coded and functions perfectly as intended, so why it wasn't used is unknown.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Everyone who was killed because of Ganon is brought back to life and every single person you meet in the game goes on to have happy lives, even the random thief that hangs out in the forest! Justified, though, given that at the end the pure-hearted Link reaches the united Triforce and wills everything right.
  • Early Game Hell: You only start with three hearts at the start of the game, and after the easy-by-comparison Hyrule Castle and Eastern Palace, you'll commonly run into enemies that can do at least two hearts of damage. Combined with the prolonged threat of Collision Damage due to the regular sword's short range, the early game can be quite stressful. This doesn't end after you obtain the Master Sword either, as you're thrown into the Dark World not long after, which is where the game really stops pulling punches. You will quickly learn to value every heart you have, and it's up to you to have a Fairy or Red Medicine prepared when the damage adds up.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • This is the only game to refer to the Seven Sages as the "Seven Wise Men" and the Hylians as "Hylia". These terms were updated when the game was rereleased for the Game Boy Advance.
    • The official Nintendo Power Strategy Guide makes a distinction between the ancient Hylia people and the modern day Hyruleans, the Hylia having magical prowess while the Hyruleans are mundane folk. These days both would just be called Hylians. This is borne out over the series, as some games later in the various timelines feature Hylians with little magical power. Occasionally, even the term "Hylian" has been forgotten, with their elf-like ears regarded as a simple phenotypic difference some humans have, like larger noses or fuller lips.
    • Many iconic monsters like Moblins and Hinox are actually Hyruleans under a Dark World curse due to their evil nature rather than being natural pre-existing creatures.
    • This is the only Zelda game to have each bottle share an inventory spot. Later games in the series tend to have them as separate items (though this is changed in the GBA release, being given an entire row in the inventory with their old slot filled by the shovel.) In addition, they are called "Magic Bottles" in this game (while future games simply called them "bottles").
    • Unlike later games in the series, Link doesn't automatically heal when he takes a full Heart Container after defeating the boss (except for the Heart Container received at Sanctuary). Instead, he heals after obtaining the relevant Plot Coupon. Also of note, the Plot Coupon won't appear until after collecting the Heart Container, while in games after Link's Awakening, both appear at the same time and the Heart Container can be skipped.
    • This is the first Zelda game to feature the Sacred Realm, but due to Nintendo's censorship policies at the time, the translation refers to it as the "Golden Land", which carries over to the GBA port apart from one early mention of it as a "sacred realm". Later games and A Link Between Worlds use the proper translation.
    • Artwork and the logo show the Master Sword with a red grip, a yellow guard and a different design from the iconic appearance introduced in Ocarina Of Time.
    • The three Pendants of Virtue needed to draw the Master Sword were the first of the recurring sets of green, blue, and red Plot Coupons symbolizing courage, wisdom, and power; however, the Pendant of Wisdom was red and the Pendant of Power was blue, whereas nowadays the reverse is standard. Indeed A Link Between Worlds "fixes" the color of those Pendants.
    • The Master Sword itself is treated a bit oddly compared to other games. It is emphasized that the Master Sword cannot actually hurt Agahnim, and if you try it you'll be electrocuted for your trouble. Also, the sword can be tempered twice by the Dwarven Swordsmiths to increase its power, unlike later games where powering it up demands divine intervention. Finally, when fighting Ganon at the end of the game, the Master Sword cannot kill him — you have to use the sword to stun him, then shoot him with a Silver Arrow. Later games would reverse this to using a Silver/Light Arrow to stun Ganon and then using the Master Sword to hurt him. All in all, the legendary Blade of Evil's Bane isn't nearly as powerful as it would be in later games.note 
    • This is the only game where the Big Key is necessary to open the Big Chest containing a dungeon's special item, while some of the boss rooms aren't even locked if the item in the dungeon is crucial to reaching the boss. In later games, boss keys only open doors leading to the boss' chamber.
    • The "Dwarven Swordsmiths" — the only appearance of classic fantasy dwarves in the entire series. The franchise was still fairly young at the time this game was made, and canon lore was not clearly established — the idea of "dwarves" was dropped from later games and never mentioned again. They were, however, thematically replaced by the Gorons, who share many similarities with the classic dwarf concept. The most popular fan theory clears up this inconsistency by retconning the swordsmiths as simply Hylians who are afflicted with dwarfism.
    • The "Essence of the Triforce" talks to Link at the end. It only happened once again in the series at the beginning of the Oracle games ("Accept our quest, hero!") but otherwise the Triforce is silent and seemingly inanimate in all its appearances.
  • Easter Egg: The Chris Houlihan room, an extremely well-concealed note  chamber filled with rupees that was named for the winner of a contest in Nintendo Power.
  • Empathic Environment:
    • When Link first sets out, It Was a Dark and Stormy Night. After stalling Agahnim by hiding Zelda, the weather becomes much clearer.
    • The Lost Woods is covered in some sort of mysterious fog (a recent phenomenon according to two nearby lumberjacks), but that fog immediately breaks after Link claims the Master Sword.
    • The Swamp of Evil is overcast, stormy and ominous when Link first arrives there. However, after using the Ether Medallion (which calls down lightning from the sky) to open Misery Mire, the weather is much more amicable. This is justified according to a nearby NPC, who states that the endless rain is the result of magic clouds, and only a stronger weather magic (i.e. the Ether Medallion) can blow them away.
  • "End of the World" Special: Link gets the full Triforce at the end of the game, which he uses to reverse all the evil that Ganon / Agahnim have done throughout Hyrule.
  • Epunymous Title: For the English version at least. "Link" has double meaning as both the name of the main character and the fact that the game is describing the "link" between the previous games and this one.
  • Escort Mission: A few, most of which are quite brief. Thankfully all of them are very easy because all of the subjects are Invulnerable Civilians.
    • Link must "escort" Zelda out of the castle dungeon at the start of the game.
    • Rather brief compared to most examples of the trope due to how short the walking distance is, but in the Dark World, Link finds the missing swordsmith turned into a frog and trapped behind some heavy rocks (which he can lift with the treasure from the dungeon north of there) and has to take him back to his shop in the Light World. This is of course required to obtain the Infinity -1 Sword from the swordsmiths (which is upgraded to the Infinity +1 Sword later).
    • Another brief one is the old man on Death Mountain whom you lead home after he loses his lantern.
    • The disguised thief Blind has elements of an escort mission. One of the rare examples of the player escorting an enemy boss.
    • Two non-living examples: at one point, Link has the option to "escort" a locked treasure chest to a man who can open it, and later must "escort" a bomb to destroy a certain wall. Both of these are made slightly difficult because pressing "A" (e.g. to run or lift something) or running off a ledge will "disconnect" the item until Link walks back to retrieve it. And if one is not quick enough, the bomb will explode.
    • There is also the monkey that is needed to open the Palace of Darkness. While not a horrible example of an escort, he does require 10 rupees to just have him follow you and another 100 to open the palace. Compared to the other escorts, getting hurt does cause the monkey to run away. This means having to pay another 10 rupees just to get him back. Thankfully, there are about three enemies between finding the monkey and getting to the palace entrance, and it is possible to deny the monkey at first, then go ahead and kill the enemies before coming back.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: You have to bribe a cute little monkey to show you how to find the entrance to the first Dark World dungeon.
  • Evil Chancellor: Agahnim. According to the manual, after he miraculously fixed the numerous ills Hyrule was suffering at the time when he appeared, he more or less became the King's right hand man. This transitioned to Agahnim being the de facto ruler and finally "eliminating" the King.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: Ganon's Tower.
  • Faceless Eye: Several of the bosses, most notably Kholdstare and Vitreous, who is nothing but a bunch of eyes in a pile of slime.
  • Fanfare: The first game in the series to play the overworld theme as such.
    • Likewise, the ending fanfare.
  • False Innocence Trick: This is how you trigger the boss fight with the boss underneath the Town of Outcasts (which is the Dark World equivalent to Kakariko Village). You are told he kidnapped one of the maidens, and in some way you can say he did, but he also disguised himself as her.
  • Forced to Watch: Agahnim waits until Link has arrived in his attempt to rescue Zelda before he banishes her, and does it while Link can only watch helplessly.
  • Free Sample Plot Coupon: Unlike in the game, the manga adaptation has Link getting the first pendant from Sahasrahla, instead of getting it after some difficult dungeon exploration as in the case of the other two pendants.
  • Fisher King: The Golden Land became the Dark World in reflection of Ganondorf's dark desires.
  • Fisher Kingdom: The Dark World transforms everyone into a form that reflects their heart (except for Link, once he acquires the Moon Pearl).
  • Game Mod: Parallel Worldsnote  and Goddess of Wisdom, among others. Made possible with Hyrule Magic and Black Magic editing programs.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: You can't ordinarily use the Flute in the Dark World, but after the second fight with Agahnim Link uses the Flute in a cutscene and the bird comes flying in to whisk Link away to the Golden Pyramid. Try not to think too hard about the Fridge Logic.
  • Gold-Colored Superiority: The Tempered Sword (an upgrade of the Master Sword) is red, but near the end of the game, even that can be upgraded to the Golden Sword.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: The Hookshot, the first time such an object shows up in a Zelda game. It can pull items toward Link, and pull link across gaps with its spring-loaded chain mechanism.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Some enemies that cannot be killed with sword attacks don't offer much idea to how to kill them, like red Goriyas which are only vulnerable to arrows, or the Stalfos Knights being vulnerable to bombs. Sometimes this is mitigated by Convenient Item Placement (rooms with these enemies tend to have ammunition or magic refills as needed for you to beat them), but it's still not immediately obvious considering that such items are located under objects throughout the game.
    • Several puzzles in the Dark World have rather obscure solutions, where without a guide to help you your only recourse is to Try Everything. For example, several rooms in Ice Palace have their doors opened by pulling on the tongues of statues — these statues are unique to this dungeon but otherwise are prolific inside it and only a couple of them can have their tongues pulled. There's also a room in the Palace of Darkness where you progress by shooting a statue with an arrow — the statue is colored differently so it's obvious you're supposed to do something with it, but it isn't immediately clear.
    • Turtle Rock holds rails where, when you use the Cane of Somaria on them, the cane will create a platform you can ride on. This is the only time the cane is used in this manner and nothing hints to this, not even the cane itself which otherwise has an entirely different usage.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Link is declared a criminal after he rescues Zelda in the introductory dungeon. Some citizens of Kakariko Village will actually call the guards if Link gets too close to them.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Downplayed. Agahnim is the main baddie through much of the early part of the game, but revelations from rescued maidens reveal that Ganon is behind it all, and it's finally subverted when Ganon himself says Agahnim was his bunshin (Japanese) or alter-ego (English), meaning he was a disguise or Remote Body for Ganon, making Ganon the man behind himself - so there was no new villain, just an old villain in a new hat.
  • Honest Axe: Link can upgrade the boomerang and basic shield at the beginning of the game, and obtain the best sword and the silver arrows at the end, by tossing them in a pond. A Great Fairy will appear and ask if they are his: answering honestly will net you the upgraded version. Also a way to get free magic-refilling potions if you throw in an empty bottle.
  • Iconic Logo: The first time the series' distinctive logo appears, with the title in front of a sword and shield.
    • Interestingly enough, the original Japanese version had a far more plain in-game logo with the title in front of the Triforce on a black background.
  • I Fought the Law and the Law Won: Averted, the guards who are called to arrest Link in Kakariko Village are some of the weakest enemies in the game, although the rarely-summoned trident-wielding variety is noticeably stronger than the normal variety with swords.
  • Improvised Weapon: To defeat Agahnim, you need to use the Master Sword to deflect his magic blasts back at him, but in a pinch the bug catcher's net will work just as well. It avoids Sequence Breaking by the fact that you absolutely need the Master Sword to break the seal on his chamber. This concept would become an Ascended Glitch, with Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker, Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: The Tempered Sword is a result of skilled Dwarven Swordsmiths taking the legendary Master Sword and improving it. It even makes a more forceful-sounding sound effect when slashed. However, it would seem the swordsmiths still didn't unlock the sword's full potential:
  • Infinity +1 Sword: In this game, the swords don't get any better than the Golden Sword, which is more than just a prettier version of the Master Sword. One fansite did an analysis of all the swords in the entire series (up to The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword at that time) and found the Golden Sword to be the strongest of them all.
    • Yet the Golden Sword is also downplayed in the aspect of difficulty to acquire. You just need to beat a particular dungeon or two to unlock a special bomb, which opens up a room where you can trade for the sword.
  • Interface Spoiler:
    • Such a big inventory screen, with such huge spaces for items and equipment, should tell you that even after you get all three Pendants and the Master Sword, there's still a ton of game left.
    • And if that didn't clue you in, the sheer scope of the map should do the same. Especially the Dark World map, which you can first sneak a peek at when you take the portal on Death Mountain. There's no way all of that landscape is going unused...
  • Interspecies Romance: The instruction manual states that the Hylians are an extinct race by this time, replaced with the identical-looking Hyruleans. An excerpt from Hyrule Historia implies that this is the reason why (which also explains why the Sages' descendants all appear to be humanoid).
  • Invincible Minor Minion: The thieves can at best be stunned, but not killed as they try to ram into you to knock away items and rupees.
    • Also, the Anti-Faeries that circle around blocks or walls in the dungeons though Magic Powder can turn them into normal Faeries... Except the four in a particular room of the Eastern palace, who are immune.
    • The rodent-like Deadrock enemies that roam the Light World's Death Mountain can't be killed normally; they simply turn to stone after being struck. However, sprinkling Magic Powder on them changes them into Slimes, which are not only killable, they're also the least dangerous monsters in the game.
  • Invisibility: The Magic Cape. Comes with invincibility, allowing you to walk on Spikes of Doom undamaged. Also good for hiding from enemies.
  • Item Get!: When Link gets a new item, he usually holds it above his head while victory music plays. This is even Lampshaded by a merchant. He tells Link to hold the bottle he just bought above his head because it's good for businessnote .
  • Karmic Transformation: Most residents of the Dark world take on monstrous forms. Most of them went there to search for the Triforce. The magic of the Dark World changes one's outer appearance to match what is in their hearts. So, their monstrous forms reflect their selfish greed.
  • The Key Is Behind the Lock: There's one locked treasure chest whose only key, you are told, is inside the chest, and you can never open it. Fortunately you can drag it with you until you find a master lockpicker.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Your Uncle survives long enough to give you his sword, but dies as he tries to tell you something very important: "Zelda is your..." He gets better along with everyone else killed after you beat the game, presumably because of Link's wish on the Triforce. We never find out what he was going to say, though, until the GBA re-release which alters his "dying" speech and he actually manages to finish what he was saying before dying. In the new version, he basically tells Link that it's his destiny to save Zelda and that he really enjoyed their time together.
  • Last of His Kind: Link is "perhaps" the last one to carry the bloodline of the Knights of Hyrule.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: When you buy a bottle from a merchant in the village, he tells Link to hold it up high above his head because that's good for business. Of course, this is what Link does with every item you find regardless.
  • Literal Genie: When Ganon obtained the Triforce (which, being an inanimate object, couldn't judge between good and evil), he wished to rule the world. So the Triforce made him the ruler of the Dark World where he was imprisoned.
  • The Lost Woods: As with Death Mountain, the Trope Namer returns. This time, it's significantly creepier in this installment than in their previous appearance in the original. Its Dark World counterpart, Skeleton Forest, is even creepier (and more confusing) and also shares its ominous-yet-catchy music with the Dark World's Death Mountain.
  • Made of Iron: The thieves and chickens are the only enemies in the game that you simply CANNOT kill.
  • Magic Mirror: The lost old man on Death Mountain gifts Link an enchanted hand mirror used to create portals between the Light and Dark Worlds.
  • Magic Music: The Flute can magically summon a bird anywhere in the Light World.
  • Magic Wand: The Rods of Ice and Fire summon magical blasts of their respective elements. The Staff of Byrna summons an invincibility shield, while the Staff of Somaria conjures blocks useful for puzzle-solving.
  • Medal of Dishonor: A Link to the Past is one of the first games to include a counter for player deaths, "charitably" labelled as your score. The credits will list all of your deaths in each dungeon before displaying your grand total, which will be tacked onto Link's character sprite in the file select screen after resetting. A perfect game should have a score of zero. And no, you can't cheat the counter with a Fairy to resurrect you, the game counts those too. You can however reset the game during the death animation to trick the game into not counting it, but that's not very sporting. Also, due to a glitch in the original SNES version, doing a normal Save and Quit without dying first still counts. The only way to get a perfect score in the SNES version is either to complete the game in a single session, or pause the game and leave it running if you need to take a break.
  • Mercy Invincibility: Getting hit causes Link to blink and become invulnerable for a few frames. Useful for saving time and glitching your way past stronger enemies by getting hit by weaker ones. Also invoked when standing on lowered blue/orange blocks if you raise them by hitting a crystal switch... even though this doesn't actually damage you. This was most likely done to prevent the player from being stuck in a solid object. You also get this when you come out of a portal or flute-transport, which is very important since you can easily drop on top of enemies/spikes/whatever.
  • Missing Secret: A cave in dark Death Mountain has a screen of narrow pathways in a cross pattern, with two clear exits South and West, and two "bombable wall" tiles North and East. The North passage doesn't lead to much, just some fairies in a pond. The East passage, however, cannot be broken down by any means and doesn't lead anywhere. While not the only case of this happening in the game, other instances are more clearly meant for decoration. Here, the narrow hallway and similarity to other paths in the room strongly suggest it *is* supposed to lead to something.
    • Due to a misprint in the instruction manual, some fans were led to believe that there was an upgrade to the bow called the "silver bow". This wasn't helped by a unique enemy, Octoballoon, being situated over a bow-shaped patch of dirt.
  • Mission Control: Sahasrahla telepathically contacts Link through special tiles to give hints or move the plot along.
  • Mission-Pack Sequel: The BS Satellaview Japan-only sequel, for the Super Famicom add-on. ALttP's Link is gone, and you are controlling a hero who must complete 8 dungeons to regain tablets needed to reseal Ganon. Also, you'll have to complete the game in under 4 hours. It featured a score counter, full voice acting for Zelda and Sahasrahlanote , guided you throughout the game with gameplay advice, sometimes triggered the medallion spells you couldn't use yourself, and rendered your bomb/arrow/heart count to be infinite for a couple of minutes.
  • Money for Nothing: The game can be finished with a minimum of 710 rupees,note  but the game loves giving out huge sums of money in treasure chests and dungeons throughout the second half.
    • Fortunately, there's a convenient and useful Money Sink in the Pond of Happiness. However, this is exhaustible, and once you've finished upgrading your bombs and arrows you'll basically have nothing to spend money on except medicine. If you're particularly obsessive about collecting rupees you'll probably have already bought everything you can buy by about the fourth Dark World dungeon (except for the Super Bomb, which only becomes accessible after completing the fifth and sixth dungeons, but that's only 100 rupees).
  • Mook Bouncer: The Wallmasters drop from the ceiling to grab you and return you to the entrance of the current dungeon.
  • Morphic Resonance: Early on, you could encounter a "bully and his friend" within the Dark World. The bully's friend takes on a form of a spherical creature due to him "not being able to make up his mind". By sheer coincidence, his human form face happens to be just as round.
  • Moth Menace: Mothula, the boss encountered in Skull Woods, is a gigantic moth which can shoot energy beams at Link.
  • Mythology Gag: In the GBA version, Link's Uncle's dying speech is rewritten to omit the infamous line, "Zelda is your...". But in the Palace of the Four Sword, Link will encounter Blind the Thief impersonating Link's Uncle who says the original dialogue including the infamous original line before apparently dying and transforming into Blind's true form. The reference is somewhat lost in the American localization which translates the original words more accurately, "You must rescue Princess Zelda... You are... the Princess's... ... ... ..."
  • Never Say "Die": Averted in the Japanese version - in the file select screen of all things! The "delete a file" option is written as "KILL" and is in English lettering to boot.
    • Averted in the American version, too. Death Mountain gets to keep its moniker, even in spite of Nintendo's censorship policies at the time.
  • Never Trust a Title: With the subtitle "A Link to the Past" you would expect time travel to play a major part, but there is nothing like that anywhere in the game. The title refers to the fact that, in its original English release, it was marketed as a prequel to the first two games.
  • No Delays for the Wicked: Subverted twice during the game:
    • At the start of the game, Zelda is the last maiden Agahnim needs to banish. When Link rescues her, she hides at the Sanctuary and Agahnim is forced to search for her, giving Link time to find the Master Sword.
    • Even when Agahnim banishes Zelda and breaks the Sages' seal, it takes time for the gateway between the two worlds to open completely. This gives Link time to rescue the maidens and confront Ganon before he can invade the Light World.
  • Non-Indicative Name: A few, as a result of dubious changes made by the English localization:
    • The "Flute" is actually an Ocarina, as its sprite and Japanese name clearly show.
    • The area called Great Swamp is actually a large grass field with a few ponds of water. In Japan, it's called a prairie, a much more fitting term.
    • One of the NPCs refers to the breakable jars as bottles in the English localization. It's especially confusing because Bottles are a separate object in the game.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: In the GBA version, the witch's apprentice was replaced with Maple from The Legend of Zelda: Oracle Games... Using her unaltered, three-colors-plus-transparency sprite from the games, which looks out of place among the SNES-grade graphics.
  • Not the Intended Use: Using the butterfly net when facing Agahnim is a surprisingly effective way of deflecting his projectiles.
  • One-Time Dungeon: Hyrule Castle and its tower are permanently locked after defeating Agahnim and entering the Dark World for the first time.
  • Opening the Sandbox: After you complete the first Dark World dungeon, the game is as linear as the original Zelda. In fact, if you already know where to go, completing the first dungeon isn't even necessary: once you have the Magic Hammer from it, the sandbox is busted wide open. You can even leave King Helmasaur for until you've gotten everything else in the game short of the Red Mail and a single Heart Container.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: The Dwarven Swordsmiths. Short? Check. Beards? Check. Talented smiths? Check. Interestingly, this is the only time "dwarves" have ever appeared in the entire Zelda franchise.
  • Pants-Free: The official artwork for this game makes it pretty clear that Link's not wearing any pants underneath that tunic.
  • Parrying Bullets: Link can use his sword to deflect the magic attacks by the wizard Agahnim. Of course, it's a lot easier to do it with the bug-catcher's net.
  • Player Nudge: If you fall off the platform when fighting Ganon, you'll see a telepathic tile on the next screen telling you that you need Silver Arrows to defeat him; it's possible to not even have Silver Arrows yet.
  • Prequel: A Link to the Past is the third game in the series but is set chronologically before Zelda I and Zelda II The Adventure of Link
  • Prison Episode: Early in the game, you break into prison to save princess Zelda.
  • Prolonged Video Game Sequel: A Link To The Past has a longer main quest than the first two games, which is reflected in the presence of two overworlds, between which Link can explore up to 12 dungeons, tied with The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds for having the highest number of any Zelda game. It also features more sidequests (which, to be fair, were barely present at all in the previous titles), as well as more overworld activity.
  • Rebuff the Amateur: One sword upgrade is obtained by giving it to two smiths who take turns hammering at it. If you try to join in with your own hammer, they tell you amateurs shouldn't interfere.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Ganon was a bloodthirsty king of thieves, while Agahnim gains the trust of the King before killing him and sacrificing the Maidens. It becomes funnier once the player learns that Agahnim is the alter ego of Ganon.
  • Ribcage Ridge: Not really a ridge, but the Dark World's counterpart to The Lost Woods, Skeleton Forest, is named as such because of the large skeletons, which are in fact ribcages. Fortunately, whatever creature they came from is never seen living.
  • Schmuck Bait: "Curses to anyone who throws something into my circle of stones." You have to do it at least once to beat the game, though doing it again is rather funny.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: In the Dark World, Link has to rescue the seven maidens, who are descended from the Seven Sages in the game's backstory; Agahnim has imprisoned them in crystals scattered in the dungeons of the Dark World.
  • Second Coming: Agahnim sets himself up as this in the back story. In a period where Hyrule is simultaneously ravaged by plagues, famine, drought, and other hardships, he appears out of nowhere and works miracles to set things right. He becomes a hero to the people and the King declares him to be the second coming of the Sages of old and appoints him his priest and second-in-command. Granted, he does herald the return of someone from the past, that being Ganon.
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop: While not an easy game note , it's still easier than the first two, a trend which has stayed so far.
  • Sequence Breaking:
    • Explotation of glitches opens up worlds of possibilities.
      • It's possible to glitch your way past the guards blocking the rest of the world at the start of the game, letting you go do Eastern Palace without a sword (pots and the Bow can kill all enemies inside), collect the Green Pendant, and give it to Sahasrala for the Pegasus Boots. You can then use another glitch to "reset" the world to its normal state after the start of the game, but still no sword, and then go do the Desert Palace without getting your sword or rescuing Zelda.
      • If you know how to exploit the "Death Mountain Descent" glitch to get into the bulk of the Dark World from Dark Death Mountain, you can progress a fair ways through the Dark World without defeating Moldorm, getting the Master Sword, or fighting Agahnim. You still need to make sure you get the Moon Pearl from the Tower of Hera, though. The Fighter Sword can be reforged into the Tempered Sword, letting you get the Ether Medallion for Misery Mire and thus complete all dungeons and beat Ganon. The only thing that you can't actually get is the Piece of Heart from the Lumberjacks' tree in the Light World, but you're otherwise good to go. note 
    • While the Dark World seems fairly linear, only the Palace of Darkness needs to be beaten in order, and really you just need to get the Hammer from it, you don't need to complete it. The other six dungeons can be completed in any order, though some require the dungeon items from other dungeons. A popular order to beat the Dark World dungeons is 1, 4, 2, 6, 3, 7, 5, 8. This requires no backtracking, and gets you the nicest goodies as early as possible without having to half-finish dungeons.
    • If you feel like being brave and doing Ice Palace and Misery Mire early, you can get the Super Bomb that blows a hole into the Pyramid of Power early, giving you access to the Golden Sword and the Silver Arrows, making the rest of the game a breeze.
    • On small scales inside of dungeons, the "bonk" from the Pegasus Boots that send you flying back when you run into an obstacle can be exploited to jump over gaps, some of which would otherwise require the Hookshot, or you can use a trick to "hover" with the Boots and cross large gaps that way. Bomb Jumps (using the knockback from a bomb to push you over a pit) are also a common exploit.
  • Shout-Out: The boss of the Desert Palace is a trio of worms named Lanmolas. They resemble the Spice Worms who live in the desert planet Arrakis from Dune.
    • Mothula, the third Dark World boss, is based on Mothra
    • In the Japanese version, the Magic Hammer is called "M.C. Hammer."
    • The Master Sword is lodged in a stone and can only be pulled out by a worthy hero, just like Excalibur in Arthurian Legend.
  • Socialization Bonus: The Bonus Dungeon in the GBA version can only be unlocked by linking up with someone else with the game and beating Four Swords.
  • So Near, Yet So Far: After beating the Disc-One Final Boss, Agahnim, Link is transported to the Dark World atop a large pyramid, with the landscape of the Dark World visible in the horizon. This trope is doubled because not only does the view of the Dark World shows you Ganon's Castle, where the Big Bad resides, but the pyramid Link is standing on actually contains the Triforce, which is the true goal of the entire game!
    • Even earlier, when you first go into the Dark World en route to the Tower of Hera, you can see the base of Ganon's Tower atop the Dark World version of Death Mountain. The only thing separating you from the final dungeon in the game is a single, unclimbable wall.
  • Space-Filling Path: Various areas are bordered off by fences, cliffs, and trees, for instance, with only one direct pathway Link must get to in order to reach.
  • Spikes of Doom: Averted; spikes only do minor damage.
  • Spin Attack: This game introduced the signature Spin Attack, called the "Whirling Blade" in the US manual. By holding down the sword button and moving slowly for a moment, Link charges a circular spin attack with a very forgiving hit box and timing that does twice the damage of a normal sword slash.
  • Spotting the Thread: All of the maidens were sealed inside magic crystals. So in the Thieves' Town dungeon, you probably realize immediately that something isn't right when you find the maiden imprisoned in a prison cell. The "maiden" also asks you to take her outside, but if you try to do so, she won't actually let you. Turns out, "she" is actually the dungeon boss in disguise.
  • Sprint Shoes: This is the first appearance of the Pegasus Boots, which allow link to dash quickly in a straight line and vastly increase the pace of the game.
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: The Triforce in the intro is made of polygons, as are the crystals in which the maidens are imprisoned.
  • A Storm Is Coming: The death of Link's uncle is heralded by a huge thunderstorm.
  • Stripped to the Bone: In the game's intro, the King of Hyrule, recently "eliminated" by Agahnim, is shown seated on his throne as a skeleton.
  • Swamps Are Evil: It's even called "The Swamp of Evil."
  • Sword Beam: The Master Sword and its upgraded forms send forth a spinning energy blast when Link has full hearts.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement: The Master Sword — you're finally worthy to wield the legendary weapon, probably a good time to go Save the Princess then, eh? Notable in that this is the first appearance in the series of the Master Sword.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: You'd think that after the first time you reflect Agahnim's beam back at him, he'd only use the other two non reflective attacks. It's even worse when you encounter him again in the Dark World, since there's two copies of him and all three versions still use the reflective attack, with both clones using only that, meaning that the fight can actually end up being easier than your first encounter with him.
  • Take Up My Sword: Link's Uncle, injured and dying, hands Link his sword and shield and charges him with rescuing Princess Zelda as the quest begins.
  • Tele-Frag: Averted; if you teleport via Magic Mirror from the Dark to Light Worlds, you'll be kicked back to the Dark World if you wind up inside a solid object. Can be annoying, since if you first teleport from a spot next to a solid object in the Dark World, and then approach the sparkling gateway from the wrong side, you get forced back to the Light World to try again.
  • Tennis Boss: Agahnim can't be attacked directly; he can only be harmed by reflecting his magical attacks back at him.
  • Tragic Monster: All the generic soldier mooks, sort of. They're actually completely innocent people who are being forced to do evil, because Agahnim's used magic to make them Brainwashed and Crazy. Yet there's absolutely nothing you can do to help them - you have to kill them, or they'll kill you.
    • At the beginning of the game, there are several friendly guards who haven't been affected yet. One of them laments how his fellow men have lost their minds - and the fact that it is going to happen to him, too.
    • Some of the guards in green armor carry very short swords. They will injure Link if they walk into him, but unlike the others who will charge at him when he is noticed, these guards just wander around at random and don't really pose a threat. You can still attack and kill them, however.
  • Tube Travel: The Turtle Rock dungeon features pipe-like tubes that must be traversed.
  • Turns Red: Most boss fights have multiple stages (the boss might become faster and more aggressive after taking a certain amount of damage, or Link might have to kill a group of smaller enemies before he can attack the main boss), but the one which adheres most closely to this trope is the fight against the six Armos Knights note . At first, they jump around the room in fixed patterns, but when you have killed five of them, the last one turns from blue to red and actively tries to stomp Link.
  • Underground Monkey: Stronger varieties of soldiers simply have differently colored armor. Interestingly enough, the color coincides with the colors of Link's own armor upgrades obtained later in the game (green being the standard version, blue being stronger than green, and red being the strongest). The Dark World's version of soldiers, Tauruses, come in red and blue varieties, though the red ones are rarer, and unlike the soldiers their weapons are different (they wield tridents instead of spears).
  • Unending End Card: You defeated Ganon, harmony is restored to the world, the credits roll, and you're stuck looking at The End in the corner. The Game Boy Advance remake provides a second example if you play and clear The Palace of The Four Sword.
  • Unique Enemy: The weird blimp-like creature on the southern shore of Lake Hylia is the only one of its kind, and Lynels appear only on two screens of Death Mountain. There are also a few dungeon specific monsters like Freezors and the unnamed in English antlion-like enemies in the Desert Palace.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: There is a room that crashes the game (it tries to generate a chest it doesn't have) that is inaccessible except through the out of bounds glitch.
  • Updated Re-release: The Game Boy Advance version released in 2002 added voice bits for Link (taken from Young Link in Ocarina of Time,) and a Bonus Dungeon unlocked after beating Four Swords. Also a new riddle sidequest for the Hurricane Spin.
  • Upgraded Boss: Ganon's Tower features reprises of the four Light World bosses, each with an upgraded arena or moveset to increase the difficulty. However, even with this boost in difficulty, Link's endgame equipment means that these fights still wind up being much easier.
    • The Armos Knights from Eastern Palace return on a slippery ice floor, making it tougher to line up bow shots.
    • The Lanmolas from the Desert Palace are accompanied by a fireball shooter, meaning Link has one more obstacle to keep track of.
    • Moldorm, from the Tower of Hera, appears in a small, narrow arena that makes it even easier for Link to fall down and have to restart the fight.
    • Agahnim, from Hyrule Castle, is the only repeat boss whose moveset changes. Now, he creates two shadowy clones of himself; only the real Agahnim can be harmed, but all three fire magic bolts that can damage Link. However, for a skilled player, that also means three times the opportunity to reflect them and damage Aga.
  • Useless Useful Stealth: An aversion; the invisibility from the Magic Cape is quite useful to go through certain boss fights and other situations without taking any damage.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Ganon's Tower, a compilation of puzzles, enemies, and gimmicks you've seen throughout the rest of the game, and hosts rematches with the four bosses of the Light World.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: After draining the lake in the swamp south of Link's house, you'll see fish flopping around on the land left behind. Pick one up and throw it into another body of water and it will reward you with some rupees as thanks.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Go ahead. Keep attacking that Cucco. (It will eventually summon a swarm of deadly friends.)
  • Villain-Beating Artifact: The Silver Arrows.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: The rematches against the Light World bosses in Ganon's Tower are really easy because by this point you can have the Infinity +1 Sword and the Silver Arrows.
  • Warp Whistle: The Flute summons a friendly bird to take you to one of eight fast travel points.
  • Was Once a Man: Blind the Thief, the only boss (and the first boss in the series) besides Ganon and Agahnim to actually be given any backstory. He was originally a human man who lived in the Light World, and was the leader of a gang of thieves, earning the nickname "Blind" because he hated sunlight. He was likely brought to the Dark World by a greedy desire for the Triforce, like many others, but the effects of the Triforce turned him into a red skinned, fire spitting demon, completely loyal to Ganon.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Mothula is the only boss that is vulnerable to a humble bee sting.
  • Weather-Control Machine: The Ether Medallion clears up some rain to open one dungeon.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The first part of the end credits revisits all the characters you've met on your adventure.
  • Where It All Began:
    • The game opens with Link infiltrating the sewers and dungeons of Hyrule Castle to rescue Princess Zelda; once you get the Master Sword you return to the Castle to climb its central tower and face Agahnim.
    • When Agahnim is defeated, he warps you to the top of the Dark Pyramid in the Dark World, and the second half of the game begins with the quest to rescue the seven maidens. When you complete Ganon's Tower, Ganon flees the tower to the Dark Pyramid, crashing through the platform at the top leaving a hole you fall down to face the Final Boss.
    • The first time you enter the Dark World will be at the foot of the Tower of Hera, where you can see Ganon's Tower, The Very Definitely Final Dungeon you'll be entering several hours later.
  • Wishing Well: There is a fountain at the center of Lake Hylia where Link can throw in rupees. If he throws in a certain amount, a Great Fairy will appear and grant his wish, which is limited to either the ability to carry more bombs, or more arrows.
  • You Are Too Late: Agahnim decides to wait until Link arrives so that he can send Zelda into the Dark World right in front of him. D'oh.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: Rather cleverly subverted. While Link isn't able to stop Agahnim from sending Zelda to the Dark World and opening the portal between worlds, he is able to stall him by rescuing Zelda and hiding her at the Sanctuary, forcing Agahnim's soldiers to search for her while Link retrieves the Pendants and the Master Sword. If Zelda had been banished at the start of the game like Agahnim was intending, Link would have had a lot stronger opposition to face in his quest, and Agahnim would have remained alive and made Ganon's foothold in the Light World significantly stronger.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: If you look closely, you can see that Link has pink hair (though official artwork shows he's supposed to be a dark blond). No clear explanation for this has ever been forthcoming. Some fans think it was palette limitations, specifically sharing the same palette between regular and Bunny Link (although this is unlikely, since the two don't actually share the same palettenote ), others say it was to give it better contrast with the rest of his sprite, and the game's backgrounds.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Ganondorf killed his followers after they reached the Triforce.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: A Link to the Past inverts tradition by having Link rescue the princess in the opening act. Later, Agahnim's men storm the Sanctuary and drag her back to Hyrule Castle.

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Alternative Title(s): A Link To The Past


A Link to the Past (Lanmolas)

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