News Article

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds Shakes Up Item and Dungeon Conventions

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Dated for 22nd November

While the Wii U gets the remake treatment with The Wind Waker HD, the 3DS is getting the all-new The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, which itself is set in the same world as Super NES classic A Link to the Past. Relatively little has been revealed to date, with Nintendo teasing small details and revealing returning mechanics such as a dark / light world.

In today's Nintendo Direct presentation, Satoru Iwata outlined a shift in convention that could have a fairly substantial impact on the way the 3DS title is experienced. Whereas the series is known for introducing new items and abilities with fairly structured progress, with these options then utilised in increasingly challenging puzzles in relatively linear dungeon routes, this time around players will have greater freedom deciding the order of dungeons to play. With obtaining money clearly hugely important, you rent or buy key items — those typically obtained with progress in previous games — and essentially determine your own path; naturally we'd expect certain items and areas to have some form of linearity, potentially early and late in the game.

It was also clarified that the shop owner responsible for supplying most of these key items is Ravio, who despite visual similarities is not related in any way to Nabbit from New Super Mario Bros. U; that puts that speculation to bed. Some familiar characters, such as Dampe, will also appear in the game.

This new entry in the Zelda franchise arrives on 22nd November in North America and Europe. What do you think of this new approach to obtaining important items?

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User Comments (77)

Blast

#4

Blast said:

I'm buying this on day one. That image of Zelda in this game was gorgeous.

AdanVC

#5

AdanVC said:

I think this is great. It adds a more freedom vibe to the experience almost like if it was an open world/sandbox game.

WaLzgiStaff

#6

WaLzgi said:

I think it's funny how Iwata acknowledged the similarity between Nabbit and this guy

rjejr

#8

rjejr said:

I actually like the graphics of this game more than WW HD. And the pace seems better too, this seems more like a game, WW seems more like a story.

Of course that could just be the trailers.

Mommar

#9

Mommar said:

Actually, this is more like a throwback to the original title in a lot of ways. I recall doing some of the dungeons out of order in The Legend of Zelda back in the day when I was a kid. We even made it part of the way through Death Mountain before we had finished all of the other dungeons.

Dreamcaster-X

#10

Dreamcaster-X said:

I'm excited but I hope they don't screw up the formula the way they did with Paper Mario:Sticker Star.

Ralizah

#11

Ralizah said:

Experimentation is always risky, but I'm always happy to see Nintendo taking risks and playing with their established formulas a bit.

Salnax

#12

Salnax said:

It sounds like this is sort of testing the waters for changing the formula with Zelda Wii U. I hope this ends up being good, if only because the Zelda dungeon format has been a bit repetitive this past decade. High quality, but predictable.

aaronsullivan

#13

aaronsullivan said:

Experimenting for the new Wii U Zelda? I think so.

As distasteful as it looks to see all the previously arduously begotten artifacts just sitting out on a table in a shop, I think the ability to suss out the best approach will be fun. It was possible in the original Zelda, but this goes further to suggest you experiment, sort of like Mega Man.

I like it.

MegaManEP3

#14

MegaManEP3 said:

I really like this idea. It takes me back to the original Zelda for NES days where you could buy the candle and keys in shops and find bombs from defeated enemies. I'm all for changing up the Zelda franchise.

MrMario02

#15

MrMario02 said:

FYI, A witch named Irene appeared in the trailer. Odds are, she's based on Maple from Oracle of ages.

Mayleene

#16

Mayleene said:

Pre-ordered this ages ago! Can't wait. Of course I have to finish setting up the WiiU I got this past weekend and work on WW, finish M&L Dream Team, Pikmin 2, get Pikmin 3, 101, etc....sigh....not........enuf..........time........

thesilverbrick

#21

thesilverbrick said:

The horrible, obsessive nerd that I am, I've been playing the Zelda games in timeline order since Hyrule Historia was released. And yes, I've played the first four (Skyward Sword, Minish Cap, Four Swords and Ocarina) three times (one for each branch). Fortunately, I'm currently playing the last timeline branch (the downfall one) and I'm wrapping up the Oracle games, leaving me only Link's Awakening and the NES Zeldas. I'm so happy A Link Between Worlds falls in between Link's Awakening and the original NES Zelda so I can add it to my itinerary and not interrupt the proper timeline order. End nerd rant.

DestinyMan

#22

DestinyMan said:

I like that they're willing to try something different for Zelda. There was somewhat of a freedom to choose which dungeons to tackle in A Link to the Past, if I remember correctly, but this will clearly take it to another level. No doubt they're testing the waters for how to structure the pace of Zelda U.

unrandomsam

#23

unrandomsam said:

I think they should take the difficulty from the Ages games and try to match that.

(A Link to the Past was so easy if you had completed Links Awakening first as I had).

I think I prefer Secret of Mana for that reason.

AlexSora89

#25

AlexSora89 said:

@Trikeboy
Actually, in a non-sarcastic way, that is a hint - remember that the Pokémon Centers in Sinnoh have a Gold-and-Silver-colored Pokéball painted on the floor, a few months before HeartGold and SoulSilver were confirmed.

In other words, Majora's Mask 3D isn't confirmed... but it's strongly hinted at.

tsm7

#30

tsm7 said:

I have a feeling based on the different prices of each weapon you may be pushed into doing the dungeons in a certain order anyway...Not that big of a deal to me because I never hated on the traditional Zelda mechanics anyway

Nightowljrm

#32

Nightowljrm said:

While the approach is different; in a way, the concept is a return to tradition. As we all know in the original, the dungeons could be completed in any order to a degree. I'm very interested and welcome the new approach as long as there's still a reason to loot chests and that backtracking to switch your inventory isn't obnoxious. Those are my main two concerns.

Pachterkid

#33

Pachterkid said:

I don't care what conventions they shake up; Wind Waker is the only Zelda game that I have ever enjoyed and that's the way it's going to stay.

I hope everybody else enjoys this game, but the series is simply not for me.

DerpSandwich

#37

DerpSandwich said:

I just hope this feature adds depth of strategy without making the game easier. If we can just grind for rupees and rent/buy what we need to blast through the game I'll be pretty bummed.

Emaan

#38

Emaan said:

Very interesting. This and Super Mario 3D World really seem to be changing things up. Which is ironic considering how at first fans were saying they were more of the same. Aren't they also releasing the same day? :p

SomeBitTripFan

#39

SomeBitTripFan said:

I'm concerned about the difficulty curve now. If there isn't a clear order, will every dungeon be about the same difficulty or will the game employ some type of adaptive difficulty system?

RR529

#41

RR529 said:

Looking good. Also, I'm really glad that the in-game character models still look like ALttP artwork come to life, instead of that new pastel colored Link they're using as the official artwork.

Melkaticox

#43

Melkaticox said:

@DestinyMan Eh, no, there isn't. You need to play most of the game in a linear order.

I've been playing the original Legend of Zelda today for the first time with a map and...I gotta admit, it's pretty great! I'm gonna skip Level-6 for now and play level-7 and level-8, I've heard the sixth one is the hardest of the eight dungeons...
Hopefully ALBW and Zelda U are just as non-linear as LOZ...

AyeHaley

#45

AyeHaley said:

Anyone who played Zelda for NES will love this I bet! I wanted this and I can't believe its finally happening! Freedom! <3

Icefreak45

#51

Icefreak45 said:

I'm excited to see how this Zelda game unfolds, could be one of the top to date. Now I just need to figure out where the money to buy this game is coming from... A kidney maybe....

jmularczyk

#54

jmularczyk said:

"my nightmare" You want the bow well that can be purchased from the eshop as dlc for $2. While your there feel free to pick up another 10 pack of bombs for the sale price of $.99.

Henmii

#55

Henmii said:

I really don't know if this is good or bad! I just have to wait and see!
By the way: Did you guys see that these evil green Zora's also have a leader? Some kind of queen!

ueI

#56

ueI said:

Choosing what order to play through the dungeons is always fun.

Kaabiitorori

#57

Kaabiitorori said:

Making the resolution of the dungeons in a non-lineal structure, while a little risky on one side, this could be quite an interesting approach in the series. If done well, could be definitely an improvement. Gotta give them some confidence and see how it turns out!

JellySplat

#59

JellySplat said:

Look... As long as each item has its own position in the item slot, I'll be okay.
That is one mechanic that they USUALLY have in zelda games, but oot 3d lacked. it greatly annoyed me.

MadameJynx

#61

MadameJynx said:

I'll always love every Zelda game and have fun playing, but really when you play one you know how to play them all so I love this change and it makes me wonder what's in store for Zelda games in the future!

Austroid

#62

Austroid said:

I've honestly never been into Zelda. I have beaten one though, a friend let me borrow Minish Cap and kinda helped walk me through the game when needed.

But there's something about ALBW that really captures my interests in a way no other Zelda has or does. Its a combination of the art style, classic top-down perspective, and overall tone that just pulls me into it.

Definately going to keep an eye on this. :)

Genesaur

#64

Genesaur said:

I really don't get it. While I appreciate the effort to allow for out-of-order dungeon progression, I feel that making it stem from a store that has all of the integral tools takes away from the mystical element those items used to represent. Seems like a bit of a cop-out, to me.

Purple

#65

Purple said:

@SparkOfSpirit ...YES I agree less tutorials for the love of god. that's what instruction manuals are for if you need them. I don't remember tutorials in the first Legend of Zelda and i don't care how many buttons theyve added since then. people can figure it out ... my goodness!

Purple

#66

Purple said:

@jmularczyk Please don't say things like that... you're gonna give me nightmares. I hope I don't lose sleep tonight... no...no they wouldn't?... they... they couldn't?..... right?!

Araknie

#69

Araknie said:

This freedom is a try out for the freeroaming Wii U Zelda game, i'm sure of it.
These changes are finally gonna in the direct where the first Zelda game left.

Moshugan

#70

Moshugan said:

Can it be a coincidence that people have been rambling a lot about the ''freeroaming'' nature of the first Zelda, and here we are hearing about ALBW being more open and non-linear! (;<
Looking forward to this!
P.S. Hehe, Princess Hilda... Seriously, did everyone else miss that?

Dogpigfish

#72

Dogpigfish said:

Does anyone else see this as a major step backwards? I mean they give us an amazing version of Ocarina, the greatest Zelda of all time and now this crap? This is probably the same developer as the minish cap, which was pure crap. No more 2d nonsense, give us a triple a title already. Oh well, there is plenty of other stuff to play on 3ds, but as a huge Zelda gamer I wanted to state the obvious.

Jellitoe

#73

Jellitoe said:

@Dogpigfish
Me, I see this a a slap in the face to Zelda fans and Miyamoto sticking his Mario stickers idea forcibly in a series that it doesn't belong. Sadly I might end up with a copy of this in my house since my son might get it, but much like sticker star as much of a fan I am to Zelda, I won't play this.

They could have given us a truly quality game like OoT but they give us this.
Disappointed completely.

Note - Capcom developed Minish Cap so it is not the same dev :)

Dr_Corndog

#74

Dr_Corndog said:

I've never been one to complain about the dungeon linearity of Zelda game. Hey, I even play the dungeons of the original Zelda in their standard order! But I have thought that the structure of the dungeons themselves need a bit of shaking up. This might do exactly that.

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