Let’s have a moment of silence to take in an appreciate the gloriousness of the box art…now, on to the deep and mildly humorous discussion.
So, if you don’t know what The Legend of Zelda series is, you should probably (cue Gollum impression) leave this blog and never come back… JUSTKIDDINGDON’TLEAVEME. In a nutshell it’s an action-adventure video game series created by legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto (Also know for Mario, Metroid and many more). For this game in particular, we need some history.
The year was 1991. I was but a wee babe at breast, naked as my name day with aught to do but suckle on my fair mother’s teat. To cut a long and interesting story short, a video game for the Super Nintendo was released: The legend of Zelda: A link to the Past. The game was a massive hit. Many fans will tell you this is “The definitive Zelda title” or even “The best game in d hole ntire wordlzzz”. Well, we will let them be entitled to their opinion, because it’s clearly The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. I’m just kidding of course, everybody has their own opini- blah blah blah…
So, some of the top Nintendo execs got together and came up with a very interesting little formula. Those of you not fond of mathematics may be a little overwhelmed, but try to bear with us
(Successful video game + Sequel)*(Nostalgia) = Money
And thus a sequel was created. The game was officially announced on the 17th of April this year during a Nintendo Direct with the title “A legend of Zelda: A Link between Worlds”. Since then many details have emerged about it from interviews with the series producer Eiji Aonuma and also Miyamoto. Along with more Nintendo Direct and gaming event coverage. Lets kick things off with this years official E3 trailer
Take as many moments necessary to wipe away those tears of joy.
So, what can we extract from this preview? Well, lets start with overall vibes. The music sounds awesome. The game will feature orchestral remasters of songs from the original along with newer themes. I love some of the new motifs coursing through over-world theme.
Along with sounding great, it looks great too. It’s colourful and runs very smooth. The world looks exactly like it did in A link to the Past. But don’t be fooled into thinking this makes it the exact same game. It will be structured to be completely different from the original. So, for example, accessibility to certain areas will be completely changed. With that said GameXplain did some magic and made a side to side comparison. Check it out, it’s awesome:
If we can trust Aonuma as a viable source; this will be the first 3DS game to run at 60fps both in and out of 3D mode. He continued by saying
“The faster the framerate, the more stable the 3D effect, so 60FPS is a big deal. There are players who don’t like 3D and always keep it switched off, so there’s nothing in the game that absolutely requires 3D, like puzzles that can’t be solved without it.” 
This is excellent news for those who don’t like the 3D effect or who are considering purchasing a 2DS system. But, even though it can be played with the 3D off, in a different interview Aonuma also made it clear that
“Playing without 3D enabled will not give you the full experience.” 
I think its immediately clear from the footage why this is so. Just like its predecessor the game has you control link from a fixed overhead perspective. With an overhead perspective it can be hard to judge depth. At times in the original game it really made no difference whether you were on the ground or atop Death Mountain because of the 2D plane. The dungeons appear to take advantage of the greater depth perception offered by the 3D effect, having link bounce between different ‘levels’ to solve puzzles. Here’s a quick example of what I mean
Another interesting thing is the introduction of the drawing mechanic. Link can use his new ability to become a “drawing” and move along walls of dungeons. This opens up new ways to explore and puzzle elements that give Link access to locations he could not otherwise reach. I absolutely love this mechanic. I think it will feel really fresh. For old fans, when traversing dungeons there will certainly be many “OOOOOHHHH YEAAAA, I should try drawing” moments when they get stuck.
Players can use the second screen as a map and inventory. It comes in handy when switching between items. It certainly made the (nightmare that is the) water temple in the Ocarina of Time a much more pleasurable experience in the remake. Also, since this is being built from the ground up for the 3DS hardware, I hope they use the second screen in other interesting ways like, for example, gadget use. Those who have played the DS games might also remember the ability to take notes on the dungeon map. This is another feature I hope they bring back.
Here’s some other interesting facts about the game and its development process
- The game has a magic/stamina meter that regenerates on its own. Usually it would go down and a potion is required to replenish it. You can see it in action during the above footage
- Aonuma has made it clear he is listening to fans on social networks and miiverse and taking their opinions on board. 
- He has also made it clear that he does not want to alienate the original A Link to the Past Fans. Instead he wants to create a healthy balance of old and new. 
- Those of you with a keen eye may have noticed the Nintendo Network logo on the box art. This hints that there may be some online functionality such as multiplayer. I’ve seen some crazy theories on this one. Some people flat out take it as a hint that miiverse is coming to 3DS. Like, what?
- Like A link to the Past the player will be able to traverse between two different worlds this time around using the drawing mechanic. Each world will contain its own triforce. 
- The game takes place generations after the original 
- The game will be amazing 
A Link Between Worlds launches November 22nd at a suggested retail price of $39.99 in North America. Nintendo of Europe says that the game will launch in November there. I’m super excited for it. I absolutely loved the original. I’ve actually only been a Zelda fan for the past year. I picked up Ocarina of Time 3D last year and since then have played 4 more titles in the series. Lets hope this title can live up to the name.
I’m going to update this article as more news pours in. If you think I missed something, let me know. Have a good day.
UPDATE 1 (15/09)
As promised here’s the first update. Since writing this article IGN has caught up with Aonuma  who has revealed new details about the game
- First IGN asks why the art work has changed. In particular Link looks younger and has a much more cartoony vibe. Aonuma explains that for A Link to the Past, because the player could not see Link’s details (due to technology restraints) the art work could essentially be anything. But, because of the 3DS’s power in comparison to the snes; The player can in fact see Link’s details. So they used the old art work as a placeholder while they worked out how they wanted Link to look in this game. He also stresses to “Please understand” that this can change.
- IGN bluntly asks if there will be cinematic scenes. Aonuma takes a paragraph to say yes.
- The bracelet Link wears in the new concept art (I will post this below) is an important item
Finally, in another recent interview, this time with the Official Nitenndo Magazine; Aonuma states:
“Collecting rupees, the currency of the Zelda world, will be very important in this game. You might think that was the case with all the past games too, but I must say that this time it will be more important than ever and you will need to collect a great deal of them.” 
Those of you who have played a Zelda game before know that typically the player receives a new item in a dungeon and then continues to use this item to complete the dungeon and defeat the boss. However, combining the above statement with the picture below
Maybe this time around we need to collect rupees to purchase a new weapon!
That’s all for this update 🙂
UPDATE 2 (04/10)
So, Nintendo shared some new details about ALBW in the October Nintendo direct summarised below
- It ha been confirmed that items will be both bought and rented from the shop in the picture above. This goes against the typical Zelda convention of receiving an item in a dungeon and then using said item to complete the dungeon. According to Iwata this makes for a very fresh experience in that the player can decide how to progress through the story and choose which dungeon to visit next. This also opens up a money management aspect to the game.
- The character in the shop who looks like Nabbit from New Super Mario brothers is actually an entirely new character called Ravio (pic below). Production of ALBW and NSMB took place on the same floor in the Nintendo headquarters. Iwata speculates that the teams unintentionally inspire each other from time to time and perhaps this is how Ravio cam to look similar to Nabbit
- Some really nice looking cutscenes were shown.
- The game releases on November 22nd in Europe
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