Hyruleand Lorule

As the weeks whizz by in the remainder of 2013, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds on the 3DS gets ever closer — it arrives in Europe and North America on 22nd November. Nintendo, for its part, has been firing up the hype train, and a press release has now been issued with a number of enticing details.

To start off with a basic outline of the storyline, below is what Nintendo has revealed to date.

The story begins in The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds with an ominous threat looming over Hyrule. A mysterious, wizardly figure named Yuga has been appearing throughout the land, transforming the kingdom’s seven sages into paintings and spiriting them away into another world. With the future of Hyrule at stake, Link must therefore step into the unknown realm of Lorule and stop Yuga’s nefarious plans in order to restore peace and harmony to his home world.

During a journey of discovery in both Hyrule and Lorule, Link will meet characters familiar to fans of The Legend of Zelda series, such as Princess Zelda and the elder of Kakariko Village, Sahasrahla, as well as new figures central to the storyline such as the travelling merchant Ravio, and the mystical figure of Hilda, the Princess of Lorule. Appearing for the first time in the series, little is known about Ravio, the item vendor who sets up shop in Link’s house and provides our hero with a helpful bracelet...

Moving on from that, the much-rumoured and previously leaked Hero mode has been announced, and it will be available after beating the game; Link will unsurprisingly take more damage in this option. Perhaps hinting at Eiji Aonuma's Majora's Mask tease, it's also stated that "intrepid explorers may even find a small hidden extra waiting to be found somewhere in Lorule during a second play through". Items confirmed also include the Ice Rod — for freezing enemies — and the Tornado Rod.

In addition, Nintendo is emphasizing that mini-games and sub-quests will also occupy players outwith the main adventure. Examples given are Treacherous Tower, in which multiple levels of enemies are taken on in three difficulty settings, and Octoball Derby, a baseball-inspired game in Lorule where you aim to smash pots and hit enemies in a field.

Some interesting snippets to consider, then, and we're certainly looking forward to this one. Let us know which of these details intrigues you the most in the comments below.