Skyward Sword concept art
Long before The Legend of Zelda fans even heard the words “Skyward Sword”, all they knew about the game came from some of its first concept art. While artwork did not exemplify The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword’s art style (which turned out to be drastically different), it did provide clues to the game’s story. Shortly after the artwork became public, sharp-eyed Zelda fans quickly noticed similarities between design of the mysterious figure standing behind Link and that of the Master Sword, and many even theorized that this figure was some sort of incarnation of the Master Sword. They were not far off; the “mysterious figure” turned out to be Fi, who is indeed very closely connected to the Master Sword.This is important to note because the first official artwork for A Link Between Worlds, the A Link to the Past sequel scheduled to be released this November, was revealed around the time of E3 2013. While there are two trailers, gameplay impressions, and a handful of screenshots to pick apart, I feel that there is just as much to be said about the artwork.
Link from A Link to the Past
placed over the artwork.
When looking at the artwork, some fans will immediately recognize this as Link as they know him from his updated look for the GBA port of A Link to the Past. Even his pose is almost exact to the older artwork, but now he has pants, unlike in his former design; nice, new addition if you ask me. Aside from that, Link’s design as a whole is reminiscent of the old artwork, only with a fresh coat of paint.
That is obviously the Master Sword in his left hand, so he has it as some people speculated based on the first trailer of A Link Between Worlds. In the trailer, Link could be seen shooting sword beams at some Stalfos, from a sword with a blue hilt. The reason why he has the Master Sword that was supposedly sleeping again “forever” is another question. However, with the exception of Skyward Sword, where the Master Sword is involved, so is Ganon, but it may be too soon to speculate over his presence in the game.
Link is also equipped with the Hylian Shield; not the shield he is usually seen with in A Link to the Past‘s artwork. In fact, the shield he is seen with in A Link Between World’s trailers and demo more closely resembles the old shield, so perhaps Link will get the Hylian Shield at some point. This is also the most simplistic design for the Hylian Shield to date. It notably lacks the metal designs that were normally on each side of the Triforce that have been a part of its appearance since its debut in Ocarina of Time.
What is perhaps most interesting in this entire image is Link’s golden bracelet. It might be linked to his ability to turn into a painting. Looking at the painting itself, it is easy to see his wrist has a gold band on it that is the same color as the bracelet. According to Anouma in an interview with Edge, Link’s ability to become a painting is somehow connected to the Dark World, an element from A Link the Past that is returning to the new 3DS title.
The painting also has designs below his feet, which appear to be connected to Link’s shadow. That may be significant, or it could just be aesthetic. On top of that, Link is noticeably incongruous with his painting form, the art style of which clearly pays homage to the drawings in the prologue of The Wind Waker.
Link from The Wind Waker’s prologue and Link as a painting.
Finally, it would make sense to also talk about the logo for A Link Between Worlds that was released alongside the artwork. The logo is rather plain; the words The Legend of Zelda are presented the style that they have been since A Link to the Past. From The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask and onward, the logo has been decorated with images that say something about each game’s story. Some have subtle meanings behind them. The Triforce seen in the logo is nothing new to the series, but it is accompanied by what seems to be a dark reflection of itself. It could be a symbolic connection between the Light World and Dark World, or it could mean that there really will be a dark Triforce in the story.
The game launches in November, so it is all a matter of waiting and seeing whether this speculation holds any merit.