Just beat it.... WOW! :D
Comments and questions:
Ravio's real identity was a fine stroke of last-minute genius! Loved the reveal, and makes me smile that at the beginning of the game he said "I wish I was you"! It provides a perfect solution to how he may have gotten into Hyrule and why his Lorule house was empty (and perhaps, in that sense, why he knew about yours).
I think this was one of the best Zelda endings as well: We get spoiled by the amount of sacred realm treatment (two versions no less!) and the ending was, maybe not terribly surprising, but perfect anyways.
Hilda, despite her lack of screen time, was a great addition to the cast; her plight made sense, and her desperation and anger seemed realistic (I've become somewhat bored with how absolutely perfect Zelda is; she's somewhat one-tracked about saving her people, and being super-polite. Not that this is a bad thing, but that's about all there is to any of her dialogue... And while she was *wonderful* in Skyward Sword, it was short-lived and she was back to her usual kind and useless-self in subsequent meetings, asking you to save people because she can't do anything but provide/shoot magic arrows).
I wonder if things were actually going to simply turn to chaos should Lorule have been left alone? This is pretty damn sad! Ravio and Hilda would have indeed lost their world in their last act of kindness: Letting Link and Zelda go home instead of (selfishly but desperately) saving their own world. I love how sad the Dark World/Lorule are, because it really does feel hopeless. This also brings up an interesting point that the Triforce can actually be destroyed..! Who knew it was 'fragile'? I did like seeing Lorule with a bit of sunlight though.
And, quickly, I did like that Yuga was evil through and through, be it him as Ganon or as a Lorule version. I admire his last betrayal and wouldn't have wanted it any other way.
QUESTION! The end credits provided a peculiar cut to the old man who sets up the Street Pass games... and he's dressed in green... and he's oddly familiar with Shadow Link..and he's one of three topics with the rumor guy. Is he a Link descendant? If not maybe THE aLttP Link? HMMMMMMMMMMM.
I still think the graphics for the characters look pretty ugly (like kids toys), but the game's textures and lighting were wonderfully used (the snow temple had an especially fine and ornate floor pattern that was especially pleasant to look at).
This game probably has some of the best dungeon themes in the series (but that might not be saying much; how many Zelda dungeons have particularly memorable themes?). The multiple versions for track was also a special treat (iirc: Hyrule had 3, Lorule had 2, and the final dungeon had 3 versions as well).
Loved this game. A fine length, an extra difficulty, and lots to do. It was an excellent adaption of old material: It never felt like I was really "treading old territory" -- which may make taking on Xillia 2 that much more of a downer later on when it's out.
GRADE: A!, bitch. It justified the hype!
EDIT: Just typed the name "Zelda" for my Hero Mode file.... yup, it still changes the music (sadly to a tune that is still not as badass as it was for Link's Awakening)