The grand finale in this past, highly acclaimed Nintendo Direct was quite the doozy– not only will there be a brand-spankin’-new Zelda game for 3DS out in only six to eight months, it will also be a successor to the beloved A Link to the Past. But what exactly do we know about it? Is it a direct sequel? Is it the same game remade? Is it brand new? We’ve got 5 of the biggest things you can expect out of this title, right here on NintendoEverything!
Due to some handy translations courtesy of the internet, we were able to see that there’s a ‘2’ in the temporary Japanese title of the recently announced– and naturally, highly anticipated– new Zelda game for 3DS. This, along with the rest of the translation, would suggest it being a sequel to 1991’s A Link to the Past (and it is), but it will not only be in the same vein stylistically as its predecessor (such as how Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks were to The Wind Waker), it will actually use the same overworld.
Whether additions will be made to the probably-too-small-for-this-day-and-age beloved overworld map from the original remains to be seen (I’m guessing there will be), but Nintendo shifting the dynamic back to a more true explorative feel is pretty got dang cool, especially considering how lacking the previous two handheld Zeldas’ overworlds were on DS.
That’s not all for allusions, either; in a recent interview with lead designer Eiji Aonuma, the entire Dark World is returning, in addition to the Light World. It remains to be seen whether or not Bunny Suit Link: 2013 Edition will make an appearance (here’s hoping), but the prospect of seeing the odd, spooky, mystifying Dark World from the original with modern stylings is very promising, especially considering how well they’ve captured the nondescript, yet still apparent atmosphere from the original Light World so well.
While the temples will be all new, it also appears they’ll, in large, draw heavily from the first A Link to the Past in the aesthetics department as well; screenshots from the showcased temple we saw look almost exactly the same as the third overall temple from the SNES original, the ‘Tower of Hera’. It’ll be interesting to see if these new temples will be reworked versions of the old ones in the same areas, or exist in potentially new extensions of the same core map. No matter the case, it’s awesome to see Nintendo both realize the dream of many players by providing a modernization of the original while, at the same time, creating new, fresh content. It’s like getting to have both your ketchup and cottage cheese, and not one or the other.
An eye-catching portion of the recent, scintillating Nintendo Direct that previewed the sequel to A Link to the Past was the breakdown of the 2D gameplay shift that allows Link to cling to walls as if he were a painting or drawing, enabling the crossing of otherwise impossible chasms, pits, and jailed-off areas with ease. The trailer makes it appear as though the ability can be used along any flat wall, but who knows? It might only be able to be used with certain walls as the adventure progresses.
I foresee the ability coming to Link later in the game, with teasers appearing in early areas, forcing you to wait and re-explore to nab Heart Pieces and other standard Zelda treasures. While it’s not certain whether it’ll be a dungeon-specific ability or not, I’m hesitant to assume it’ll be all that deep of an item; it was a great choice to showcase in the trailer, as it’s visually very creative and alludes to some pretty deep potential puzzles, but I don’t think it’ll be really anything grander than a glorified jump/crouching function.
Something of note– Eiji Aonuma, in his recent interview with CNet, said that the ability was initially inspired by the fight with Phantom Ganon from the second Forest Temple in Ocarina of Time; developers simply thought it would be cool if Link had a similar ability to Ganon’s being able to disappear into a painting in the fight. While its origins beget great potential positivity and creativity that I hope to see ‘round every corner in the game, it still reinforces my notion of the ability not being very deep gameplay-wise; it was spawned from flavor-minded thinking, not mechanic-minded thinking.