Somewhat surprisingly, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds doesn’t incorporate a direct top-down view.
The development team implemented a “trick” so that the perspective would come off well. As a result, elements like the Link character model and rupees are actually set at an angle, which allows players to see character faces and bodies when looking above.
As revealed in the latest Iwata Asks:
Shikata: If you looked straight down from the top, all you could see was Link’s hat. So it looked like some mysterious green object moving around! (laughs)
Iwata: A true top-down view actually has lots of problems. If you make it truthfully, it doesn’t look interesting at all.
Shikata: That’s right.
Iwata: So you have to fake it-but in a good way.
Aonuma: Right. We decided to fudge it a bit. Then I was on a speaking session at New York Comic-Con15 in October, and…
Iwata: You revealed the trick.
Aonuma: Yes. I showed Zelda fans pictures from a side view as well as from above, and it reveals that Link and the rupees were set at an angle.
Iwata: I saw those pictures too, that world looked so strange that I wanted to say, “What in the world?!” (laughs)
Aonuma: Yeah. We had purposefully tilted the objects back so you could see Link and the others’ faces and bodies when looking from directing above.
Iwata: That way, instead of an unrecognizable green object, it looked like Link.
Shikata: Right! (laughs)