This morning at Nintendo’s E3 Nintendo Direct presentation, we were treated to a brand new trailer, and a final name, for the upcoming game The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. Most of the footage in the trailer is new, and there are new details we can glean from the video.
We’ll take an in-depth look at everything in the latest trailer after the jump.
If you haven’t already seen the trailer, take a look!
To anyone who is familiar with A Link to the Past (and I am extremely familiar) it’s easy to place all of the locations that appear in the trailer. A Link Between Worlds and A Link to the Past take place in the same Hyrule, so it is fitting that a lot of the locations have remained more-or-less the same. There are subtle differences, but it’s easy for a veteran to understand exactly where Link is exploring.
The trailer begins with Link leaving a house, presumably the house he and his uncle live in. Regardless, this is definitely the house where Link lived in A Link to the Past. The house itself is only visible for a split second at the very beginning of the trailer, so it’s easy to miss.
Link hops down the cliff outside his house and battles a nearby guard. The guards have the same look as the castle guards in A Link to the Past. In A Link to the Past, the guards were brainwashed by Agahnim, causing them to attack Link, but Agahnim and Ganon were defeated, so why are the guards once again pursuing the hero?
This is also the first glimpse we have of Link’s weapon in this trailer. As was noted in the original trailer from this past spring, the sword Link is using is clearly the Master Sword.
In addition, the area south of Link’s house, known as the Great Swamp, is blocked off by two stones. It’s not clear if these stones can be lifted (like the large stones in A Link to the Past) or if these boulders are blown away with bombs.
Next, the scene changes and we see Link entering the Eastern Palace. The palace itself looks the same as it did in A Link to the Past, but the insides are not shown. A Link Between Worlds features all new dungeons, but after previously (in the first trailer from this spring) seeing what is presumably the Tower of Hera, and now seeing the Eastern Palace, it appears that some of the dungeons (if not all) are in the same locations as before.
Even if the locations are the same, it’s clear that the insides of each dungeon are different.
A descendant of the sages, Sahasrahla, was hiding directly west of the Eastern Palace in A Link to the Past inside a small hut. Sahasrahla’s hideout is still present, but the entrance appears to be blocked by a statue of some sort. There were Armos near Sahasrahla’s hideout in A Link to the Past, so it’s possible that the statue is simply an Armos waiting to be brought to life.
Curiously, there are rupees scattered around the hideout. Finding rupees scattered around the floor of hidden rooms inside dungeons is normal for a Legend of Zelda game, but it is a bit strange to see so many individual rupees hidden in plain sight on the overworld.
This area is just north of the large white bridge to the east of Link’s house. Here, Link has used a spin attack, a classic Legend of Zelda ability originally introduced in A Link to the Past, to cut nearby bushes and to attack an octorok. As always, there are rupees and hearts to be found in the bushes.
The octorok is more interesting. While it is likely nothing more than a death animation (octoroks do not normally survive more than one sword strike), the octorok has flipped over and you can see its tentacles.
Here, Link uses the Magic Hammer to smash wooden stakes into the ground and collect a piece of heart. This piece of heart is hidden near the Eastern Palace and Sahasrahla’s (former) hideout. You can clearly see that using the Magic Hammer to smash the stakes has caused some of the purple stamina meter to deplete.
Using items makes the stamina meter deplete, but unlike the magic meter from A Link to the Past, the stamina meter gradually refills while not in use.
Next, we see Link use the Magic Hammer to stun a castle guard and then quickly attack the guard with the bow and arrow. You can see that using the Magic Hammer (he uses it multiple times in the video) and the bow and arrow has caused Link to deplete almost all of his stamina meter.
Nearby, you can see a buzz blob in the bushes, and an octorok’s stone (shot from its mouth) is visible to the right of the guard.
To the east of the large white bridge there is a narrow strip of grass that leads south towards Lake Hylia. A zora has attacked Link with a fireball, but he has blocked the attack with his shield.
The shield appears to be a manual item that works similarly to the shields found in previous handheld titles like Link’s Awakening and The Minish Cap. In A Link to the Past, the shield was automatic and would block anything Link was facing.
Nearby, you can see a sand crab roaming around.
After blocking the zora’s attack, Link retaliates with the legendary Fire Rod. The Fire Rod was first introduced in A Link to the Past, and has only appeared in one other game, Four Swords Adventures. The Fire Rod can be used to burn foes and light torches from a distance.
Next, we see the Magic Hammer in action again. This time, it is in the Tower of Hera. This is the same dungeon that Nintendo revealed this past spring. Here, Link is using the Magic Hammer to smash a cracked floor and fall to a lower area. You can see that the Magic Hammer creates a small shockwave.
The original Magic Hammer (which appeared in A Link to the Past) did not create a shockwave. This feature was borrowed from Four Swords Adventures, but the shockwave appears to be much more subtle.
It’s worth noting, that the same cave appears in A Link to the Past, and it contains a Great Fairy…
…and the cave still contains a Great Fairy in A Link Between Worlds. The Great Fairy room is identical to the room in A Link to the Past, and the Great Fairy still heals your wounds. The Great Fairy shown in the trailer does not bestow any gifts (like the Great Fairies often do in newer titles), but we don’t know if that is the case for all Great Fairies.
Next, we return to the area surrounding the Eastern Palace. Now, Link is using his bow and arrow to activate crystal switches on the overworld. Puzzle elements, like crystal switches, were not present on the overworld in A Link to the Past. Looking at The Legend of Zelda series as a whole, adding puzzle elements to the overworld has become increasingly common (especially in Skyward Sword).
Activating both crystal switches causes a treasure chest to appear. We do not see the contents of the treasure chest in the trailer, but Link jumps down the cliff to retrieve the treasure. Each time Link jumps down a cliff (or springs up to a higher level), you can see the character model move towards the screen.
Similar effects were used in Four Swords Adventures, but they will be made more profound by the 3D capabilities of the Nintendo 3DS.
The next portion of the trailer shows off Link’s new ability, merge. Link is able to “merge” with the wall to become a 2D drawing. As a drawing, Link can access areas that were previously unreachable and clear obstacles. In the first clip in the Tower of Hera, Link uses merge to walk around a wall while traveling on a moving platform.
We again see Link using merge. This time, he is using it to reach a piece of heart. This area appears to once again be near the Eastern Palace, but it is a little odd that two pieces of heart as so close to each other. My assumption is that when you first visit the area, one or both of the pieces of heart are unreachable and you must return to grab the second (that is of course just a theory).
That’s it for the trailer. We saw a lot of the same areas, but aside from the footage in the Tower of Hera, they are all areas we had not seen before. Even though this is the same Hyrule present in A Link to the Past, there are still a lot of questions to be answered about the game. Who is the villain and what is the “dark world” said to be present? There is still a lot of mystery surrounding A Link Between Worlds, but we won’t have to wait long, the game is scheduled for released before the end of this year.