The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is an action-adventure game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 3DS. It is the 16th installment in The Legend of Zelda series and a sequel to the 1991 Super Nintendo Entertainment System game A Link to the Past. Announced in April 2013, A Link Between Worlds was released in Australia, Europe, and North America in November 2013. A month later, it was released in Japan as The Legend of Zelda: Triforce of the Gods 2[a] (Triforce of the Gods being the Japanese title of A Link to the Past).
Players play as a young adventurer, Link, who sets out to restore peace to the kingdom of Hyrule after the evil sorcerer Yuga captures Princess Zelda and escapes through a rift to the ruined world of Lorule. Yuga seeks to kidnap the Seven Sages and use their power to resurrect the Demon King Ganon. Link is granted the ability to merge onto walls as a painting after obtaining a magic bracelet and encountering Yuga, which allows Link to reach previously inaccessible areas and travel between Hyrule and Lorule.
Concept development began with a small team in 2009. During this phase, the game mechanic of Link merging onto walls was prototyped. However, development suffered several setbacks and ceased entirely in late 2010 as core team members were reassigned to different projects. A year later, development restarted and, after several failed pitches to series creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, the game entered full production in 2012. Changing the established conventions of the series became a goal for the game’s designers; this led to a change in the game’s structure, allowing players to clear the majority of dungeons in any order they choose, and the introduction of the item rental system.
A Link Between Worlds received critical acclaim and sold over 2.5 million copies worldwide within five months. The audio, dungeon and puzzle design, open structure, and level of difficulty were praised by critics. The introduction of features such as the wall-merging mechanics and item rental system were well received, with reviewers complimenting how well they integrated with the existing gameplay formula. The game also received multiple awards and nominations.