Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is both unique and retro. Longtime fans will love the classic A Link to the Past vibe, while also appreciating Link’s new merge ability. That said, there are plenty of dangers ahead, so be sure to keep these tips in mind.
X Always Marks the Spot
If you're not sure where to go next, the destination is always marked on the touchscreen map with an X. You're capable of zooming in to get a better look. Every dungeon will also be placed on your map, but some require a bit more strategy to achieve access. Example: The Desert Palace can only be reached with the Sand Rod.
Merge into Walls
The biggest change in A Link Between Worlds is Link's new ability to merge into walls after completing Hyrule Castle. This nifty new feature allows you to slide into walls and navigate across areas in a different way. For example, perhaps you're stuck in a dungeon and you spot a switch on a far ledge that cannot be reached on foot. Try merging into the walls. You're capable of reaching inaccessible areas by sliding. This new feature plays a huge part in completing dungeons and evading enemy attacks. If you're surrounded by a large group of foes, try sliding into the wall to get away. Keep in mind that not all walls are available for merging; rocks may impede your progress.
Use Weather Vanes
You're introduced to weather vanes near the beginning of the adventure. These work as a save tool and checkpoints your progress. This is beneficial when venturing into dungeons; all of them have a mid-boss, and after you defeat them, an entrance portal is available. There's a lot to do in the dungeons, so don't forget to save your game – do it often! Additionally, once you meet up with Irene (the witch), weather vanes also work for fast-traveling – every one you've triggered can be used as a warp point; they're marked on your map.
Rent and Buy Items
A Link Between Worlds is a Zelda game. This means there are numerous dungeons, bosses and tricky puzzles you must endure to advance. However, A Link Between Worlds changes up the series' formula a bit – you can now tackle dungeons in any order you please. No longer are you acquired to claim a special item in each dungeon, but there are special hidden treasures in them. After you encounter Yuga and venture in Hyrule Castle, a mysterious fellow named Ravio will reconstruct Link’s House into a shop. He offers a variety of weapons available for rent, and later, you'll be able to purchase them. Most of these items are required to gain entry to each dungeon; for example, for the Tower of Hera, you'll need the Hammer. Take note when carrying a rented item, you'll lose it upon death and have to rent it again.
Watch that Power Meter
Ditching the idea of quantity, every item and its use now relies on a single gauge: the Power Meter. This includes Link's merging ability. You can forget about searching for arrows or bombs. The items are purchased from Ravio's Shop, and deplete from the meter each time you use them. A forewarning: Using them too much will drain your meter quickly, and you'll have to wait awhile until you can use them again. Look for Power Potions to refill it.
How to get More Rupees
Rupees return in this game, and they’re as important as usual. You'll want to save up all your cash for renting and buying weapons from Ravio. Enemies have a tendency to drop cash often. Additionally, you can find Rupees by cutting grass or venturing into hidden caves. More so, every dungeon features optional chests. When you obtain the compass, every chest in the dungeon will be marked on your map. It's well-worth taking your time and scouting each room, because many feature Silver Rupees (100) and Gold Rupees (300).
Got the Guts?
You might have stumbled upon strange items such as Monster Guts or Monster Horns. These nasty and cool items can be brought to the Witch's Shop. There, you're able to sell the monster remains to the Witch, or use them as ingredients to make a potion and receive a discount. Take note: you'll need an empty bottle to store them! Here's a breakdown of the shop's potions and what they do:
- Red Potion: Restores eight hearts
- Blue Potion: Restores all hearts (10 Monster Tails)
- Yellow Potion: Makes Link invulnerable for a short time (10 Monster Horns)
- Purple Potion: Damages all surrounding enemies (10 Monster Guts)
Enemy Tactics 101
There are a variety of enemies in The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. Many have different strategies to beat them. If your sword doesn't do the trick, you may need another weapon to defeat them. More importantly, each dungeon that requires a different weapon or item to enter also plays into how enemies act and how they're constructed (as well as the puzzles). In other words, most enemies are ice-based in the Ice Ruins – the Fire Rod makes battles more forgiving in that dungeon.
Block Enemy Attacks
Unlike A Link to the Past, the blocking feature makes a return. Once you claim a shield, you can use this for a line of defense. Although your merging ability tends to work better, certain scenarios may have you cornered and helpless. Hold R to shield yourself. The shield can block many threats such as arrows or other projectiles.
Explore both Hyrule and Lorule
For those of you that were around in the SNES days, A Link Between Worlds plays a lot like A Link to the Past. The world is largely similar and behaves in much the same way – you've still got a Light World (Hyrule) and Dark World (Lorule) that intertwine with each other. Warping between the two (from cracked portals) allows you to reach new areas. For instance, perhaps there's a chest resting on a high ledge in Hyrule you can't reach. Warping to Lorule may gain access to higher ground, and you may find another cracked portal to warp back to Hyrule and reach that same ledge you couldn't before.
Explore the World
Any fan of Zelda knows how important (and fun) it is to explore the world map. You will stumble across several side quests, meet new people and even access mini-games that can win you a superb prize. You're capable of completing the main quest and dungeons without doing much, but discovering new items and upgrading Link's attributes can make the adventure much easier. There's a lot out there! That said, more exploration is available after collecting important items – the Power Glove, Titan's Mitt, the Flippers and the merging ability plays a big part in wandering through the worlds, as well as Ravio's items.
Increase Link’s Health
The Heart Pieces return in The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. Collecting four of them grants you additional hearts to your life bar, increasing your health capacity. They are scattered all over Hyrule and Lorule. If you discover one you can't reach, try warping to the other dimension, renting new equipment or merging into the wall.
Upgrade Link’s Weapons
Once you've acquired some bombs, you can blast open a cracked wall just east of Link's House in Hyrule (from Link's House, go right and then down one screen). You'll meet Mother Maiamai, a giant pink creature that asks you to rescue her babies that are hidden throughout both worlds. You're also given a device you can use on the touchscreen that shows how many there are in each area, as well as a signaling feature that chimes when they're close. For every 10 you collect (and return to the mother), she'll offer to upgrade one of your weapons. The choice is yours, and each one offers your items new features. For example, upgrading the Hookshot extends the tool's grappling effect and speed.
There are a total of 100 Maiamais in the game. Many are hidden underneath rocks, behind houses, in water and/or on cliffs. Once you gain the merging ability, you'll be able to access ones hidden on walls (merge behind them, then morph out of the wall to free them).
Upgrade the Master Sword
Similar to A Link to the Past, the Master Sword can be upgraded twice. This time, however, you'll need to collect Master Ores and give them to the Blacksmiths (in both worlds) for the upgrades. Two are required for each upgrade. Once your sword is tempered, its attack is more efficient, and enemies require fewer hits to take down.
Get some Bottles
If you're having trouble surviving the world of Hyrule and Lorule, an empty bottle can save your life. Bottles allow you to store numerous items such as potions, fairies or even bees! However, you'll need the Net from the Bee's house (in Kakariko Village) to catch them. Recovery items can be a difference maker and extremely helpful in boss battles. For this entry, there are a total of five you can locate.
Play A Link Between Worlds in 3D
Although many prefer to turn off the handheld's 3D feature, we recommend spending some time playing the game in 3D. Not only does it look cool, but perception, obstacles and dungeons bring a better effect on your gameplay. If you run into platforms that require descending, for example, the 3D effect gives you a better view and may help you land better. That's not to say you should stare too close to the screen – turn it off if you get dizzy! (Warning! Remember, the 3D may hurt some eyes after a long glance, so take a break if needed.)
Use the Hint Glasses
Having trouble with the puzzles in the dungeons, or need a hint? Talk to the Fortune Teller (his house is immediately north of Kakariko Village). He will give you the Hint Glasses. The Hint Glasses allow you to see and speak to special ghosts that offer hints in the game. The drawback? Hints cost Nintendo Play Coins, and those can sometimes be a chore to earn.