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Five Things You Might Not Have Noticed About Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Most of the focus during today’s Zelda: A Link Between Worlds announcement was on the more obvious stuff: the game’s overhead perspective, an A Link to the Past-inspired world, and the ability to meld into walls as a kind of hieroglyph to navigate dungeons in unique ways. The gameplay appears to consist of a healthy mix of old and new elements.

However, we’re serious Zelda nerds, so we looked a little bit deeper than what was described and came up with a few more obscure observations…

He Sounds Like Toon Link, But Isn’t

From the overhead perspective, the incarnation of Link in A Link Between Worlds looks almost like a pure re-coloring of the Toon Link model used in Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks. His outfit definitely looks more like the one he wore in A Link to the Past, complete with browner sleeves, yellow brim on his hood, and darker reddish-blond hair. He also sounds like Toon Link, borrowing the same vocal performance used since The Wind Waker.

However, upon closer inspection, it’s clear Link isn’t just a new version of Toon Link. It’s simply a 3D render of the Link from A Link to the Past.

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Just look at that face! He doesn’t borrow the facial features used by the Toon Link style at all! He’s got normal eyes with fully-detailed pupils, just like his original form. The proportions of his model may be fairly close to Toon Link’s, but I presume that’s more a consequence of the perspective and the need to display characters in a distinguishable way that looks nice from a bird’s-eye view. After all, the 2D sprites were never particularly “realistic,” either.

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The Magic Meter Returns

After a long absence since The Wind Waker, it appears the Magic Meter is back in business. You can see it as a vertical green bar on the left-hand side of the screen in most of the official screenshots.

CTRP_Zelda_scrn05_Ev04Unlike the previous Magic Meters, this one doesn’t require Magic Jars to refill – it’ll regenerate automatically as long as you aren’t using items or abilities that consume magic. So far, actions that require magic include using a charged Hammer or Bow attack and utilizing Link’s new “drawing” power to creep along the walls.

Given that it’s connected to the Hammer and Bow, it’s also possible that it could be a more all-purpose Stamina Meter instead. However, given the vertical alignment and the fact that this is after all a sequel to A Link to the Past, we prefer to think it’s actually magic.

And we might stick to that, even if we wind up being wrong. We old-school fans are a stubborn folk.

Life and Magic are Now Displayed at the Bottom of the Screen

This one might border a bit on obsessive-compulsive, but we couldn’t help but notice that the Life and Magic Meters have been bumped from their usual place at the top of the screen to the bottom.

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It’s a bit of an odd change, and likely doesn’t really mean much, but it’s one of those things that a small group of hardcore fans might actually explode over. Maybe.

The Shield Seems Really Important

zelda-3ds-shieldUsually when I see the shield pop up in a Zelda trailer, its appearance winds up being pretty insignificant. Just another gameplay feature, as it were. In A Link Between Worlds, the shield doesn’t seem insignificant at all. Apart from the Hammer, it’s actually the most-used secondary item in any of the footage we’ve seen.

It also seems much more robust than in A Link to the Past. While we haven’t played the game to confirm anything, it appears it can be activated at will, rather than simply passively as in the older 2D games. It can also block attacks that previously weren’t blockable, including the dive-bombs of the crows.

I Spy a Legendary Blade…

While I’d like to avoid jumping to any unfounded conclusions, there’s a sword in A Link Between Worlds that looks and behaves similarly to the Master Sword from A Link to the Past. See the blue hilt and the sword beams? Compare that to the sword seen throughout most of the trailer, which has a plainer hilt and doesn’t fire beams when Link has full life.

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Did you notice anything interesting in the A Link Between Worlds footage we’ve seen so far that you’d like to share? Tell us in the comments!

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