Yes, you read that correctly. Nintendo has been cooking up a brand new 3DS Legend of Zelda adventure that will take place in same timeline and Hyrule as The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past from the Super Nintendo. While there is no official North American title yet, it can be safe to assume that it will probably be A Link to the Past 2 as the Japanese title, Zelda no Densetsu: Kamigami no Triforce 2, simply adds a 2 to the end of title of the original Super Famicom game.
There is little information on what the story might be, only that it will be all new. The game plans to make strategic use of the 3D effect to make the elevation of levels more apparent, adding more depth, making the more vertical platforming sequences easier to navigate, similar to Super Mario 3D Land.
The newest mechanic being introduced to the series is Link’s ability to transform into a drawing and traverse the walls, wrapping around corners and edges to reach places you wouldn’t have imagine you could reach before. Usually in a Legend of Zelda game, you’d find some way to just get a wall out of the way or just open up a door, but this new mechanic opens up a lot of new opportunities and challenges that will likely reassess the skills and methods of long-time fans of the series.
Additionally, some form of a stamina bar that was introduced in Skyward Sword will be returning. The trailer shows the stamina gauge depleting slightly with every mighty swing of the mallet, as well as sprinting. The stamina reserve seems pretty kind, so I would not expect it to impair a lot of the gameplay. A lot of it is familiar, especially the title, which has piqued my curiosity a bit about this title in relation to the series’ plot.
It should be noted that, interestingly enough, the drawing Link closely resembles the Hero depicted in the intro to The Wind Waker, as unspecified past events are recalled. As far as the Legend of Zelda timeline is concerned, it is unknown where it will fit exactly as A Link to the Past and The Wind Waker take place on two entirely different timelines, The Decline of Hyrule and The Hero of Winds timelines, respectively. If you need help with what I’m talking about, I try to explain the chronology of the series as best as I can here, with help from the Hyrule Historia. There is also the possibility that this title might feature another significant time traveling event to create another split in the timeline, paving the way for a new arsenal of LoZ games, set in yet another different Hyrule.
A move like that could mean an easy route to more fiddling with the LoZ formula. A new timeline could mean new worlds, lands, races, and adventures. I can trust Nintendo with keeping new ideas tasteful and familiar, with Skyward Sword as evidence.
I could just be over-thinking it all. Maybe I’m just too excited… Nah. One does not get too excited for a sequel to one of the greatest games ever made.
The sequel to A Link to the Past will be released worldwide this holiday season. For now, you can watch the Nintendo Direct announcement below. You can also download a stereoscopic 3D version of the gameplay trailer off of the Nintendo 3DS eShop for three dimensions of hype.