Link Between Worlds news is a perennial news subject these days, so it's a good thing I'm not tired of writing about it and vainly speculating about the Majora's Mask remake tease that may or may not be embedded in the game. Today, though, we learned a lot more about what is actually embedded in the game: all kinds of cool stuff. Let's take a look at what's going on in Hyrule and Lorule today.

The bulk of the latest Zelda: Link Between World release date news comes to us via Nintendolife, which managed to wheedle some good information out of Nintendo. Here are the highlights:

During a journey of discovery in both Hyrule and Lorule, Link will meet characters familiar to fans of The Legend of Zelda series, such as Princess Zelda and the elder of Kakariko Village, Sahasrahla, as well as new figures central to the storyline such as the travelling merchant Ravio, and the mystical figure of Hilda, the Princess of Lorule. Appearing for the first time in the series, little is known about Ravio, the item vendor who sets up shop in Link's house and provides our hero with a helpful bracelet...


Um, what? The return of Sahasrahla on the Link Between Worlds release date? That's a bit of a weird one, since the game is set hundreds of years after Link to the Past. But chances are he's either a ghost - there are lots of ghosts of Sages in the Zelda series - or another guy with the same name (cf. Link, Zelda, Impa, but not Ganondorf). Ravio, on the other hand, is the guy who sets up the new rental shop that rents and sells all the key items in the game. That's what allows you to go through any of the seven dungeons in any order.

We got the official confirmation of that, too: seven dungeons. All of them in Lorule, all of them in roughly analogous locations to the ones in Link to the Past. That means we're finally going to see Turtle Rock again. As for the Tower of Hera, that's in Hyrule, but we've already seen it in trailers, and we know at some point Link has to get the three pendants again. Nintendolife also revealed the presence of the old Ice Rod and the new Tornado Rod; no word on the Staff of Samaria or Burna.

But here's the fun part: there's a Hero Mode, unlocked once you beat the game. There's also a secret: according to Nintendo, "intrepid explorers may even find a small hidden extra waiting to be found somewhere in Lorule during a second play through." Is it Majora's Mask? Hm, yea, we think so. Based on nothing.

Link Between Worlds is shaping up very well; check out Kotaku's play-by-play notes for even more detail, including details on the rental system and how it feels. Also worth looking at.

The Link Between Worlds release date is November 22, along with the new golden Zelda 3DS.