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The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

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The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
A Link Between Worlds logo.png
A Link Between Worlds cover.jpg
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD[1]
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Designer(s) Hiromasa Shikata (director)
Eiji Aonuma (producer)[1]
Ryo Nagamatsu (sound composer)
Koji Kondo (Original "A Link to the Past" musical score)
Akito Nakatsuka (StreetPass battle theme composer)
Release date
North America November 22, 2013[2]
Japan December 26, 2013[3]
European Union November 22, 2013[4]
Commonwealth of Australia November 23, 2013[5]
Republic of Korea June 21, 2014[6]
Rating(s) ESRB: E
USK: 6
Platform(s) Nintendo 3DS
Predecessor Skyward Sword
Successor Tri Force Heroes
StrategyWiki Favicon.png Guide/Walkthrough at StrategyWiki

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is the seventeenth official Zelda game. It is the first Zelda title developed specifically for the Nintendo 3DS.

A Link Between Worlds is an indirect sequel to A Link to the Past. It features a similar Overworld, gameplay, and music. The title thus marks a deliberate return to the series' 2D roots.

The game was released on November 22, 2013 in North America and Europe, November 23 in Australia, and December 26 in Japan. The Korean version was released the next year, on June 21, 2014.


After having a nightmare involving facing down a dark, shadowy figure, Link awakens to the sound of Gulley, the Blacksmith's son, calling for him. Having overslept again and shirked his responsibility to his master, Link follows Gulley to the Blacksmith's shop where he runs into the departing Captain. As the Captain thanks the Blacksmith for his new shield and departs, the Blacksmith's Wife quickly realizes that the absent-minded Captain has forgotten his sword and tasks Link with returning it to him. A guard at Hyrule Castle's front gate reveals to Link that the Captain intended on visiting the Sanctuary before returning to his duties.

As Link arrives at the Sanctuary, he walks in on a conversation between the Priest's daughter, Seres, and the gravedigger, Dampé. Seres offers to retrieve the Captain from inside as Dampé continues speaking to Link, before the doors to the Sanctuary slam shut and Seres screams in terror. Dampé informs Link of a secret passage into the Sanctuary beneath one of the graves, and urges Link to use the Captain's sword to navigate the passage and rescue those inside. As Link arrives, he witnesses a strange sorcerer by the name of Yuga casting a spell on Seres to transform her into a painting. The Captain - having failed to defend the Priest and Seres - met with a similar fate on the Sanctuary's wall. As Link charges to confront Yuga, the sorcerer transforms into a painting himself, yet retains his mobility. Link loses consciousness after hitting the wall, and Yuga escapes with Seres' portrait in tow.

Link awakens in his house once more, this time with a strange person in a rabbit hood greeting him as he regains consciousness. The person introduces himself as the merchant Ravio. After learning what happened to Link and asking permission to stay in his house a while, Ravio gifts him with an old, musty bracelet and suggests Link report the happenings to Princess Zelda so something can be done about it. At the gate, a guard laughs at Link's story and gains the attention of Impa, Princess Zelda's attendant. Impa allows Link entry into the castle as she announces Link's arrival to the Princess.

Princess Zelda quickly recognizes Link from her dreams, and gives him the Pendant of Courage - something Link at the time believes to be a simple good-luck charm - and tasks him with finding the elder of Kakariko Village, Sahasrahla. Upon meeting him in his home, he urges Link to warn his student Osfala of Yuga at the Eastern Palace, since he is also a descendent of the Seven Sages. Link finds him at the entrance, but Osfala is sure of himself and does not view Yuga as a problem.

Link and Yuga fighting

After navigating through the palace, Link sees Yuga turn Osfala into a painting before his very eyes. After Link manages to get the upper hand in their battle, Yuga furiously turns him into a painting as well. Leaving him there, Ravio's Bracelet lights up and frees Link, granting him the ability to merge into walls freely. He finds Sahasrahla at the entrance of the palace shortly before hearing an earthquake near Hyrule Castle.

Yuga puts a barrier around the castle, upsetting Sahasrahla, who believes the Pendant of Courage is still inside. This is relieved when Link reveals he already has it; he is then tasked in finding the other two pendants in the House of Gales and Tower of Hera so he can obtain the Master Sword to break the barrier and save Zelda.

Link explores Hyrule Castle

After obtaining all three Pendants of Virtue, Link ventures deep into the Lost Woods and pulls the Master Sword from its pedestal. Returning to Hyrule Castle, Sahasrahla tells Link to destroy the barrier and save the sages. Link confronts Yuga. Near the top of the highest tower, Yuga turns Zelda into a painting as well. Link and Yuga battle again, and Yuga then flees through a crack on the wall.

Link follows him, only to find himself in Lorule, a dimension opposite to Hyrule that is on the verge of ruin and Yuga's homeland. In the throne room, Yuga revives Ganon with the paintings and fuses with him to obtain his Triforce of Power. Becoming a beast, Link is almost doomed until Princess Hilda appears and imprisons Yuga. She tells Link he must save the Seven Sages if he wishes to save their worlds from Yuga's threat.

When all Seven Sages are saved, Link is gifted with the Triforce of Courage. He returns to Lorule Castle to confront Yuga for the final time, only to have Princess Hilda end up betraying him, shortly after explaining Lorule's history of how it too once had a Triforce, but the people destroyed it due to the conflict it caused. While it was done with good intentions, it had terrible consequences on the state of their world. Wanting Hyrule's Triforce in order to save Lorule, Hilda takes Zelda's Triforce of Wisdom, and is ready to take Link's Triforce of Courage as well.

After Link and Yuga battle once more, Yuga betrays Hilda and takes the Triforce of Wisdom from her, now having two pieces. Planning to take Link's to remake Lorule in his image, they have one final battle. Zelda grants Link the Bow of Light, which he can use to get Yuga out of his painted form. After a long battle, Yuga is finally defeated.

Zelda is freed, but Hilda is still desperate to save her kingdom. After a brief argument between the two, Ravio shows up and reveals himself to be Link's Lorulean counterpart. He explains to Hilda that this sort of chaos is exactly what led to their Triforce being destroyed in the first place. Realizing the error of her ways, Hilda sends Link and Zelda home through Lorule's version of the Sacred Realm. It is revealed that through the crack on the large slab there is where Hilda and Yuga first felt the presence of the other Triforce, which led them to devise their plan to steal it. Ravio, being a coward at heart, was too scared to confront them himself and came to Hyrule to find a hero who could stop them. After Link and Zelda's departure, Lorule grows dark, showing that it is at its end at last.

Returning home, Link and Zelda find themselves in Hyrule's Sacred Realm, with the whole Triforce up ahead. They both touch it, with the wish for Lorule's Triforce to be restored after all they had seen. It is granted, and then reforms right in front of Hilda and Ravio. They are surprised and grateful to them both as light shines on Lorule once again, saving it and Hyrule in the end.


ALBW Artwork.jpg


A Link Between Worlds uses traditional 2D gameplay as featured in the early Zelda games, unlike the Nintendo DS games (Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks), which used an unorthodox touch-screen control system, and the 3D games, which started with Ocarina of Time.

The top screen shows the main game, while the bottom one shows the map, Rupee count, item buttons (X and Y), a button labeled "Items" which allows players to access a twenty-slot inventory, and "Gear," which provides an overview of Link's main items like Pendants and the sword. The touch screen is comparable to that of Ocarina of Time 3D, though the map is enhanced in several ways: the player can zoom in and out of it, up to 20 pins can be placed to mark locations, and the map tracks Link in real time. The A button controls basic actions like transforming and talking, the B button is dedicated to the sword, and X and Y use items. R raises the shield, and the D-Pad can shift the camera in certain areas.

The 3D capabilities of the console enhance gameplay in several ways; for example, some dungeons allow the player to see beyond the current floor they are on. An Energy Gauge that regenerates over time also appears, this time used for every item in the game, even replacing collectible bombs and arrows.

At the beginning of the game, only the Y button is available for items; later, Link finds Gulley's Pouch, which allows him to equip items to X. Also, after he meets Irene, he can call her at any time with a button on the touch screen.

Item Renting

A Link Between Worlds is non-linear compared to other recent Zelda games, almost to the extent of the original The Legend of Zelda, allowing Link freedom in choosing dungeons or areas to explore. This was accomplished with a new item rental system, which allows Link to temporarily use any item in the game, provided he has enough Rupees.

Item renting is done through Ravio's Shop, which carries all key items- they are no longer found in dungeons. Link can either rent or buy items, the difference being that renting is temporary and costs fewer Rupees. If Link loses all of his hearts while renting items, they will be taken from him and returned to the shop, forcing him to trek all the way back to re-rent them. This was a conscious decision on the part of the developers to make the game more challenging. Purchasing items, on the other hand, is far more expensive, but allows Link to keep the items and also allows him to upgrade them with Mother Maiamai.

Wall Merging

Main article: Wall Merging

A major new ability in the game, tied to both the gameplay and the plot, is the ability for Link to transform himself into a painting. This ability is used to cling to (and move along) walls, fit through tight crevices, and access Lorule,[7][8] among other functions, allowing it to be an integral part of puzzles. Other characters in the game, such as the Sages, also become portraits in a similar fashion as a plot device. This ability depletes the Stamina meter, so it cannot be used indefinitely. Link resembles a hieroglyphic sketch in this mode, as do others who have been transformed.

Game Information


Early prototype that first featured the transforming ability; note the appearance of Toon Link from the DS games.

Confirmed by Eiji Aonuma on November 3, 2011,[9] this new installment takes elements from previous console Zelda games. Aonuma also stated that it is not a direct sequel to any of the other titles released on the Nintendo DS.[10] Shigeru Miyamoto publicly stated he wished to create something "new, based on, or starting from" A Link to the Past in an April 2012 interview.[11] The game was officially revealed on April 17, 2013 during a Nintendo Direct.[12][13] A playable demo was made available to the press shortly afterwards, showcasing the dungeon from the trailer.

Upon the game's release, an official Iwata Asks feature was released, an interview conducted by Satoru Iwata to the game's developers, regarding the game's conception and creation. They revealed that the project involved a rocky development cycle, being put on hold after various members of the team were drafted to other 3DS/Wii U projects. At first, the game was meant to be a sequel to the Nintendo DS games, and a prototype was made in 2010 that featured the same cel-shaded Link as seen in Spirit Tracks, with a simple flattening ability that allowed Link to blend into the wall.

This prototype approved by Shigeru Miyamoto (who had dismissed previous ideas for the game as "20 years old"), the team was ready to develop the game, but they were drafted to various Wii U titles and Skyward Sword; the team effectively disbanded. Aonuma quietly resumed work on the game along with a few other people before the rest of the team began returning. Miyamoto then proposed that the game be based directly on A Link to the Past, and development started "in earnest". Elements that the team focused on were achieving a framerate of 60FPS, which allowed the action on-screen to flow smoother and also allow drag-and-drop item rearrangement on the Touch Screen, use of stereoscopic 3D, and new gameplay elements that built on A Link to the Past.

Timeline Placement

A Link Between Worlds is an indirect follow-up to A Link to the Past and its direct sequels, set in the same world as the SNES classic, but features a new storyline and new dungeons. In various interviews, Eiji Aonuma said that the game shows what happened to characters from A Link to the Past after the events of that game,[14] but features different incarnations of Link and Zelda than those of A Link to the Past.[15] The Hero and Princess of A Link to the Past are mentioned repeatedly, and their story is even narrated through a series of paintings in Hyrule Castle.

A Link Between Worlds takes place centuries after the events of Link's Awakening but before The Legend of Zelda in the "Downfall" split timeline after Ganon successfully defeated Link in Ocarina of Time. It features different incarnations of Link and Zelda,[16] including the descendants of most the characters from Ocarina of Time and A Link to the Past, such as the sages.

The final cutscene of the game reveals that it is most likely set immediately before Hyrule's Golden Age, which was when the Royal Family of Hyrule gained possession of the unified Triforce, and peace ruled the land. The main story of the game ultimately concerns how all three parts of the Triforce were unified and enshrined again in the Sacred Realm. The game ends with Link and Zelda touching the Triforce together and wishing Lorule, along with its own Triforce, be restored to its former state. Both worlds are restored to lasting peace, having learned to respect the power of the Triforce.


A Link Between Worlds takes place in both the identical map of Hyrule from A Link to the Past and an alternate, corrupted version of Hyrule, called Lorule.[17] Lorule once housed a counterpart to the Triforce of Hyrule[18], with similar powers and history. However, wars were fought over Lorule's Triforce, and the people ultimately destroyed it, resulting in Lorule beginning to fall apart. As a direct counterpart to Hyrule, Lorule features many counterparts to Hyrule's citizens, like Lorule's Princess Hilda being the Lorulean counterpart of Hyrule's Princess Zelda.


The game features re-arranged music from A Link to the Past.[19] The sound effects are also carried over from A Link to the Past. In addition to this, the "StreetPass Battle Theme" and "StreetPass Victory Theme", are rearrangements of the "Temple Theme" from The Adventure of Link. This marks the second time that a music theme from The Adventure of Link has appeared in a subsequent Zelda game (the first being The Minish Cap, using the Japanese encounter theme for mini-bosses and the theme when Princess Zelda awakens in both games). This is because in StreetPass mode, the player is Link and the opponent is 'Shadow' Link, inspired by the final boss fight from The Adventure Of Link.[20]

The Japanese commercial theme is a deliberate throwback to the original commercial from A Link to the Past, featuring new vocals by Schadaraparr.

Limited Editions

3DS XL Zelda Edition.png
The interior and exterior of the limited editon 3DS XL
ALBW Chest Holder.png
The Treasure Chest cartridge holder

A special limited edition 3DS XL bundle was released, including a gold and black Zelda-themed console emblazoned with the Triforce on the top and bottom, and an eShop code to download the digital version of the game. It was released at retail price of $219.99 in the United States.[21]

A collector's edition version of the game was also released exclusively to the European retailer GAME. It included a physical copy of the game, a Link's Awakening DX eShop download code, a cartridge holder shaped as Treasure Chest which plays the item get fanfare, and a poster.

Completion Records

Main article: Speedrun Records
Time Performer Date Notes
1:21:30 [22] bunnybie November 8, 2016 Any%
3:08:42 [23] TheLegendofZaheer September 2, 2015 100%













As of March 2014, A Link Between Worlds had sold 2.51 million copies worldwide.[24]


ALBW illusion.jpg
  • While experimenting with a strict top-down view with 3D graphics, the team ran into a unique issue: the game "looked boring" because only the tops of characters' heads and buildings could be seen. In order to emulate the older, 2D, pseudo-3D graphics, all non-environmental models are skewed in their placement, to slightly face up at the camera. At certain parts in the map, this can be seen on statues and tall grass by wall-merging.
  • A Link Between Worlds's Hero Mode is the only one in the series to include recovery hearts.
  • This is the first Zelda game where the highlighted text is blue rather than the traditional red.
  • Bosses in this game flash red when they are low on health to indicate that they are near defeat (Big Moldorm gradually turns red as it takes damage).
  • A number of small changes made in A Link to the Past & Four Swords were carried over to this game. These include dungeon names displayed upon entrance, pots and signs breakable with the Sword and (for the former) Arrows, bushes able to be destroyed with the Hammer, sparkling stones that spit out Rupees, the ability to dive under water with the Zora's Flippers, and the Lamp being able to deal damage (albeit in minuscule amounts).
  • The Japanese Zelda rap for A Link to the Past was remade for a new commercial.


TMC Forest Minish Artwork.png Names in Other Regions TMC Jabber Nut Sprite.gif
Language Name Meaning
Japan Japanese ゼルダの伝説 神々のトライフォース 2 (Zeruda no Densetsu Kamigami no Toraifōsu 2) The Legend of Zelda: Triforce of the Gods 2
Spanish-speaking countries Spanish The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Federal Republic of Germany German The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Republic of Korea Korean 젤다의 전설 신들의 트라이포스 2 (Jelda-ui Jeonseol Sindeul-ui Teulaiposeu 2) The Legend of Zelda: Triforce of the Gods 2
Republic of China, Hong Kong and Macao ChineseTR 薩爾達傳說 眾神的三角神力2 (Sàěrdá Chuánshuō Zhòngshén de Sānjiǎo Shénlì 2) Zelda Legend: Divine Triangle of the Gods 2
People's Republic of China ChineseSI 塞尔达传说 众神的三角力量2 (Sàiěrdá Chuánshuō Zhòngshén de Sānjué Lìliàng 2) Zelda Legend: Triangle-Force of the Gods 2


View Gallery
View Gallery

External Links


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Nintendo confirmed to Polygon that the new Zelda game set in the world of A Link to the Past is being developed by series producer Eiji Aonuma and his team at Nintendo EAD." — Michael McWhertor, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past sequel coming to Nintendo 3DS this holiday, Polygon, published 2013-04-17, retrieved 2013-04-19.
  2. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds,
  3. Nintendo Direct 2013.10.1 プレゼンテーション映像, YouTube, retrieved October 1, 2013.
  4. Nintendo Direct Presentation - 01.10.2013, YouTube, retrieved October 1, 2013.
  5. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Nintendo Australia, retrieved October 2, 2013.
  6. The Legend of Zelda | 신들의 트라이포스 2, Nintendo of Korea, retrieved May 28, 2014.
  7. Timothy, Aonuma confirms Dark World for Zelda 3DS, ZeldaDungeon, published May 1, 2013.
  8. "Part of what made A Link To The Past interesting was the way you could move between the Light World and the Dark World and solve puzzles, and we’re planning to bring that back in A Link To The Past 2 for sure. Link’s ability to become a painting will be related to that."Eiji Aonuma on the return of A Link To The Past, after 22 years in a twilight realm, EDGE, published June 27, 2013.
  9. Daniel Silvestre, Entrevista com Eiji Aonuma e Koji Kondo, MyGames, published November 3, 2011.
  10. "We are already preparing a new game, a game in the series for the Nintendo 3DS, but don’t think that it is a direct sequel to the Zelda titles released on DS. We are talking about a new game, but it takes much of what has been done on previous consoles." —Eiji Aonuma (Zelda 3DS Confirmed)
  11. "I think I'd be even more interested in creating something new maybe based on, or starting from, A Link To The Past" —Shigeru Miyamoto (Miyamoto Interested In Revisiting Link To The Past)
  12. NintendoUKofficial (YouTube), Nintendo 3DS Direct Presentation - 17.04.2013 - YouTube, YouTube, published 2013-04-17, retrieved 2013-04-19.
  13. Nintendo (YouTube), Nintendo Direct 4.17.2013 - YouTube, YouTube, published 2013-04-17.
  14. "Rather than forcing elements of the original story into this one, we’ve instead focused on bringing back the characters, so you can see what happened to them after the events of the first game." —Eiji Aonuma (Eiji Aonuma on the return of A Link To The Past, after 22 years in a twilight realm)
  15. "It's not a direct sequel in the sense that it's the same Link and Zelda. The world is the same and it might be a different generation of Link and Zelda." —Eiji Aonuma (The World of A Link To The Past Has Changed in the New 3DS Zelda)
  16. Venus, A Link Between Worlds is centuries after A Link to the Past, ZeldaDungeon, published July 28, 2013.
  17. "The presence of two worlds like light and dark have been a recurring theme in Zelda games in the past, and this time, a kingdom exists in the other world in the way Hyrule exists in the main world. The story will revolve around the events that will unfold in that kingdom, and I think you’ll have fun experiencing the game’s distinctive world that is like no other in the series." —Eiji Aonuma (A Link Between Worlds Miiverse)
  18. "Please take a look at the game's logo. Here you see the Triforce in gold, as well as another Triforce that looks like a shadow. The Triforce represents Courage, Wisdom and Power, and is one of the key items of the Legend of Zelda series. This shadowy Triforce suggests the existence of another Triforce in a different world from where Link lives." —Satoru Iwata (Nintendo Direct 2013-08-07 Gameplay Footage)
  19. "We will be using arrangements of music from A Link to the Past, since this is a sequel to that game, and we are also trying to make the music sound like it's played on real instruments. People who know the original will definitely be able to tell and be happy about it, while newcomers will also be able to enjoy it." —Eiji Aonuma (The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds to feature orchestral-style music from A Link to the Past)
  20. Streetpass Battle, Youtube.
  21. Nintendo 3DS catalog,
  22. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds - Any%, ZeldaSpeedRuns.
  23. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds - 100%, ZeldaSpeedRuns.
  24. Supplementary Information about Earnings Release, May 2014, Nintendo.
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