A fond memory of most gamers’ childhoods was running through the bizarre land of Hyrule chasing Cuccos, throwing pots and anxiety over missing Heart Pieces in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. When Nintendo announced a sequel to the classic game we were eager to pursue the grandeur that being a Hyrule hero creates. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds lived up to all the hype.
The beginning of the journey has plenty of quirky references to the original, though the game quickly demonstrates that this is not a remake. The main mechanic of the story is Link’s new ability to merge into a painting and navigate along walls, looking like a Picasso in motion. This ability is obtained by the antagonist Yuga, who traps descendants of characters (known as Sages) from the previous game inside pieces of art. Link’s job is to set them free and save Princess Zelda. Link’s merging ability is the focal point of the game‘s dynamic, not only with solving puzzles, but also in obtaining special items that many players could miss. While playing, merging feels so natural that fans may come to view this ability as just as iconic as Link’s ocarina of time.
Merge between worlds Link!
A new edition to the map is added once the merge ability is obtained and Link is able to access the world of Lorule (a bizzaro-Hyrule where the buildings are destroyed and thieves lurk). This world is somehow stranger than Hyrule, as it has a darker presence from the happy summer spirit of its opposing world. Allowing the player to travel between these worlds creates puzzles within the map and adds to the game’s many layers. This is best seen when introduced to Mother Maiamai, who asks Link to find a hundred of her missing babies. If a baby is located in an unreachable part of Hyrule, the player must go back into Lorule and find the accompanying portal that gives them access to the section. Although finding every baby Maiamai on the map isn’t necessary to continue the games main story, it is immensely rewarding to put in the extra effort to find each one.
The beautiful Mother Maiamai!
Playing through each dungeon brings you to a boss battle that must be cleared in order to access one of the trapped Sages. As in all Zelda games, each dungeon is a complex puzzle that requires an ample amount of brain power to figure out. This is where A Link Between Worlds really shows its genius as each dungeon is completely different from, but just as complicated as, the last. Aside from the merge ability, each player needs a specific weapon to make his or her way through, ensuring that each experience is different. There is also no specific order the player has to take when saving each Sage, which gives the game a sense of freedom not seen before in any other of the 16 Zelda titles. This freedom encourages the player to explore the worlds of Hyrule and Lorule, urging the player to experience all that it’s worth from early on to late in the game. From the Lorule Baseball Derby to the Hyrule Hotfoot mini-games there are plenty of worthy distractions to discover.
So how does this game play on weed? The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds plays beautifully when stoned. The mechanics and visuals will make your brain short circuit and you will want to play again. A definite must have.