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Twilight Princess is a fantasy-action-adventure video game for the Wii and Gamecube gaming consoles. In Twilight Princess, players play as a “wolf” named Wolf Link, who must find a way to return to his human form with the help of an imp known as Midna. The game features many familiar characters from previous installments in the Zelda series. It introduces newcomers to the series, including Midna, a powerful creature that helps Wolf Link on his quest.
Bottom Line Up Front
Twilight Princess significantly improves over previous Zelda games and offers a complex and exciting storyline. It’s excellent for any Legend of Zelda lover but probably isn’t a perfect game for those just entering the world of Zelda.
Twilight Princess begins with a small cutscene, which tells how all light vanished from the land of Hyrule and monsters began to roam. An imp princess named Midna asks Link if he can help her search for something in Hyrule’s Castle Town. After saving one other several times, they find an “armored warrior” who was telling the citizens of Hyrule to flee. This mysterious warrior is Princess Zelda, who has been using a disguise to avoid capture by the enemy (the antagonist).
Zelda dispatches Link and Midna to search for two ancient artifacts that can help her access the hidden areas of Hyrule Castle. Before leaving, she tells Link that the only thing that can help his cause is a mirror that had been previously used to fight against an evil spirit named “Ganondorf” a long time ago.
After finding both artifacts, they find a way inside Hyrule Castle and come across Ganondorf’s forces known as the Bulblins. They eventually make their way to the Mirror Chamber, where Link and Midna battle against Darknuts. After defeating these monsters, the mirror reveals itself as the “Mirror of Twilight,” which was used by a tribe that once inhabited Hyrule before the events of Ocarina of Time. The ancient sages contained Ganondorf in a sacred realm known as the Twilight Realm; however, Ganondorf broke free of his prison and took over the Twilight Realm. Link learns that he must find a way to access this realm to defeat Ganondorf once and for all. The mirror allows Link to transform into his wolf form, where he can travel back and forth between two worlds, but at a cost. Link can only return to his human form once he retrieves the Master Sword, a weapon used to defeat Ganondorf.
Link and Midna begin their quest by gaining aid from several Hyrule races, including the Gorons, Zoras, and the Ooccas. Link and Midna must free each tribe from the Twilight that Ganondorf has cast upon them to gain their support. After restoring light to several areas of Hyrule, they learn that to defeat Ganondorf, they must find a sacred realm known as the Sacred Grove. They also understand that Master Sword is located deep within this forgotten forest and is guarded by a spirit known as the Deku Tree.
Midna uses her powers to rip open a portal that allows Link and her to pass easily through the forest. After learning of Ganondorf’s departure, they know that he is trying to break the seal around Hyrule Castle to access it. Midna decides to confront Ganondorf to buy time for Link to rescue Princess Zelda. She tells him that for this plan to work, he must enter the Palace of Twilight and destroy Ganon’s “resurrection,” a pillar that provides a bridge between worlds.
Link begins his journey through the Palace of Twilight, where he encounters several enemies, including Zant and his minions. Link eventually reaches the top of the structure, destroying Ganondorf’s resurrection. Just before Midna can kill Ganondorf, Zant appears and restrains her, and in turn, Midna is injured in battle.
Zant then uses his power to curse Link and heal Ganondorf, transforming him into a monstrous beast. Link can break free of his curse by destroying Zant’s helmet, revealing that he uses magic to transform himself into a monster. After defeating Ganondorf within the Twilight Realm, Zelda uses her power to rid Hyrule of all traces of darkness. As she returns to Hyrule Castle Town, Zant appears and curses Link, causing his transformation back into a wolf. Midna also learns that because of Zant’s curse, she is now trapped in her imp form and requires Link to save her from the depths of the Twilight Realm.
After being saved from the darkness within the Twilight realm, Midna reclaims the Fused Shadows, which had been split apart by Zant, and turns into a giant monster known as the Twilit Igniter. After defeating the Twilit Igniter, it is revealed that Ganondorf has survived his encounter with Link and Midna. He causes an explosion which causes Link to fall from a great distance causing him to lose consciousness.
Link wakes up in Hyrule Field, where he encounters a mysterious man known as Auru. After traversing across the field, he heads towards Lake Hylia and enters an abandoned structure. After making his way through the building and speaking to Fyer, Link is launched into the sky, where he encounters Iza and learns that he can shoot himself over to Gerudo Desert by using the cannon.
Ganondorf is tracked down to the Gerudo Desert, where Link must find a way of getting across, as all pathways have been blocked. After seeing an alternate route of travel outside of Garuda Valley, he learns that he needs a Bomb Flower, which Hylia, for him to move forward, grows near Lak. Once the plant has been obtained, he travels back to the Gerudo Desert and uses the plant to explode a giant boulder. After gaining access into the Valley, Link encounters an evil sand monster known as Bongo Bongo.
Link defeats the creature by forcing its own hands onto its face, which causes him to go blind. As he makes his way through the Valley, he eventually reaches the top, where he finds an ancient stone carvion. He then encounters the spirit of Nabooru, who insists that Link must defeat Ganondorf to restore peace to Hyrule once again. After defeating several monsters, including Twinrova, Link can infiltrate Ganon’s Castle, where he meets with Zelda and Impa. Zelda tells Link that to defeat Ganondorf; he must find a way of obtaining the Silver Gauntlets. Once he can get them, they will allow him to lift the stone barrier that defends the room where Ganon lurks.
Link uses this information and information from an imprisoned Goron to obtain the Silver Gauntlets. After reaching the bottom of the Castle, Link enters Ganon’s lair to defeat his evil form in battle. Upon defeating Ganondorf, Zelda uses her power to transport him into another realm. The flashback reveals that Zelda had requested that Impa send Link to a different time to defeat Ganondorf.
Beating the Game
The game ends with a scene inside the Castle, where Link is shown wearing the Ocarina of Time. Zelda approaches him, and they share an embrace. After the scene is over, it shows the staff credits. After completing the game, two new modes are available for play: Master Quest and Boss Challenge. The only difference in these modes is that enemies do twice as much damage to Link, and there are no saves or recovery hearts.
Master Quest requires players to complete the game again with these changes, with the same amount of damage taken as before. The difference is that they start at the last door that they used to enter a dungeon or temple with only three hearts and have to complete it without using another/extra save.
Boss Challenge starts players off right in front of the boss’s lair without having saved, but all of their items and hearts are still intact.
The game’s difficulty is increased by giving enemies more health, faster attack rates, and the ability to break free from Link’s combos. The flashing damage indicator that appears when an enemy is about to attack is also removed. There are five stages in all; the first two stages increase the difficulty of the bosses, and the last three stages increase the problem of the enemies.
King Bulblin is the boss of the fourth dungeon and appears as a recurring enemy throughout the game. He fights on horseback and uses an ax to attack Link. To defeat him, Link must first injure his arm with either a regular arrow or subsequent hidden skills, then shoot him in the head with another arrow before he can recover from the blow. King Bulblin is later encountered in the game’s boss challenge, where he fights with increased strength and stamina but without his mount.
The Stallord is the mini-boss of the sixth dungeon. It can be found in Gerudo Desert’s Arbiter’s Grounds after Link uses his wolf form to dig into an underground chamber. To defeat the Stallord, Link must first use his Clawshot to pull out its spines, then attack it with his sword. The Stallord will then begin to summon Poes and employ other abilities to create a sandstorm and use a swarm of ghostly blue blades.
The final battle against Ganondorf is not a traditional boss battle; instead, the player must attack Ganondorf’s pig-like beast form and force him to his knees. Link then strikes at the beast, stunning it and allowing Zelda to use her Light Arrows to weaken the monster. Zelda must repeat this process several times as Link continues striking, finally defeating Ganondorf.
The final face-off with Ganondorf takes place on horseback, where he once again wields a trident. He can throw it at Link or Zelda to damage them and use the weapon as a lightning rod during the battle.
Link’s primary form of attack is his sword, which can be used in various techniques such as thrusting attacks to damage foes. Link can also use his shield to deflect projectiles and bounce them back by striking with it. Link’s swordplay also incorporates a “jump and stab” technique, where the hero uses a Spin Attack immediately followed by a jumping thrust of his blade. This allows for consecutive attacks while preventing enemies from recovering their defense. If the player’s shield breaks, Link can stun enemies by throwing his shield to knock them off balance.
The Hero’s Bow is used as a long-distance attack and can stunning Darknuts. It can also burn wooden crates and grasses that serve as obstacles throughout the game. The bow has alternate Fire and Ice Arrows, which are used to trigger switches and defeat certain enemies, respectively.
Link is a young Hylian who Princess Zelda chooses as the savior of Hyrule. He bears an ancient sword known as Master Sword, found in the Temple of Time after pulling it from a pedestal. As he embarks on his quest, the young hero is given some of his trademark clothing and items, which aid him in preventing Ganondorf from obtaining the Triforce.
Zelda is a princess descended directly from the goddess Hylia. She is locked away in Hyrule Castle after being attacked by Ganondorf, who seeks to obtain the Triforce. Zelda is a playable character in certain portions of the game, where she can heal Link and shoot Light Arrows.
The King of Hyrule is captured by Zant and imprisoned within a magical crystal. He later appears as a spirit after Zant releases him from his prison, which allows him to send Link on a quest to restore the Light Spirits.
The leader of the Gorons, who has been transformed into a monster by Zant. After being saved, he provides Link with information about his ancestor, Darmani.
This deceased member of the Zora race appears as a spirit after Link finds his tombstone in Snowpeak Ruins. He is the ghost of a fallen hero who wishes to restore his honor by defeating Goht.
The Light Spirits are five beings that protect parts of Hyrule from evil, each with their dominion. When Link returns them to power, they give him magical abilities known as “dowsing.” Ordona, Faron, Eldin, Lanayru, and the fifth spirit, known as the “Great Fairy,” reside in Hyrule Castle.
The Twilight Realm is a parallel world created by Zant, cloaks much of Hyrule in darkness. By turning Link into a wolf, he gains enhanced senses that allow him to travel through the Twilight and fight enemies impervious to regular attacks. Link also meets several characters that aid him on his quest, such as Midna, who can allow Link to transform into a wolf by using her hair.
Ganondorf is the main antagonist of Twilight Princess and the leader of a band of thieves known as the Gerudo. He originally appeared in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, where he is responsible for capturing Princess Zelda and attempting to obtain the Triforce. The Seven Sages sealed him away but eventually returned in Twilight Princess.
The Arbiter’s Grounds are a large prison located near Gerudo Desert. It houses prisoners who are transformed into monsters, including Stallard. Link later rescues the spirit of a deceased Goron hero, Darmani, here.
A weapon used to defeat Ganondorf during his first invasion of Hyrule. It is found inside the Forest Temple and is required to defeat Phantom Ganon.
An ancient race related to the Sheikah, responsible for protecting the Fused Shadows.
The Light Spirit Faron gives you the Hero’s Clothes worn by Link for most of his adventure.
Uniquely, Twilight Princess features two control schemes that can be switched between at any time. Holding down L allows players to move Link with the analog stick while aiming is controlled using the Wii Remote’s pointer function. This control scheme is necessary for specific actions, such as fishing and aiming the Hero’s Bow. Otherwise, Link will move in the opposite direction the analog stick is pushed. Pressing A lets players use items, while B allows them to perform sword attacks. By pressing 1, you switch between your available weapons using your D-pad, and this same action is performed by pressing two while targeting. The D-Pad can also equip a sword or item with the press of a direction on it.
Some items have multiple uses in Twilight Princess. For example, bombs can be thrown at objects such as boulders, so they explode on impact, or they can be set at a distance so that Link can safely detonate them later. The Bomb Arrow is an upgraded form of the Bombchu, which explodes upon contact or after traveling a certain distance. The Slingshot fires seeds, which serve as ammunition for other weapons, such as Fire Arrows. It can also draw in enemies, allowing you to kill them without making direct contact.
The Ball and Chain can be used to destroy various objects or as a weapon against enemies impervious to other attacks. This weapon often requires the Wii Remote’s pointer function, allowing players to aim by tilting it in different directions. It also returns as an item in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
The Clawshot can grapple onto objects and swing Link across gaps. It is necessary to progress through dungeons and across large expanses of land or reach high perches. The Spinner allows players to travel long distances along with a rail system by using momentum from a previous run to move for a short time after they jump off.
The Dominion Rod is a magical rod Link obtains in the Temple of Time. It allows him to summon statues by pointing them at them, walking forward to attack enemies or obstacles. This is most often used to solve puzzles.
Ganondorf’s signature weapon is the Trident, which he uses as his primary weapon in Twilight Princess.
Enemies and Traps
Twilight Princess features many enemies, many of which were first introduced into the series in this game. Unlike previous Zelda titles where a specific enemy guards each dungeon, Twilight Princess instead has single enemies scattered throughout the overworld and multiple levels within dungeons. This allows players to familiarize themselves with enemies before encountering them in a dungeon.
The Bokoblin is Twilight Princess’ most common enemy and features many variants, such as the Bulbins, which use spears, and the Technoblins, which wield technologically advanced weapons. Moblins are larger and more potent than Bokoblins, and they often attack in groups. Some variants of the Moblin wield spears, while others carry a more primitive stone age weapon known as a Moblin Club.
The Skulltula is a giant spider, an evolution of the large spiders of Ocarina of Time’s forest. Like its predecessors, it drops from trees and ceilings to engage Link. However, it can also crawl along the ground and launch itself into the air to attack.
The Keese is a bat commonly found throughout Hyrule. Fire Keese, Ice Keese, and Electric Keese use those elements as their primary means of attack. The Cursed Bokoblin is a more robust version of a Bokoblin that has been transformed and cursed. The Cursed Moblin is a stronger Moblin that has also become cursed.
The Stalfos is an undead animated skeleton that can attack with its sword or bones, and its bone-based attacks are more potent than its sword swings. Its head must be cut off to rout it. Like past incarnations, it wields a shield in its left arm to block head-on attacks.
Here are some alternatives you may want to play if you like Twilight Princess.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
An innocent-looking cartoon, The Wind Waker put a new twist on the series with its cel-shaded graphics. With all dungeons present in one location and no overworld, The Wind Waker has much less to go off of when compared to other titles in the series. It features many interesting characters and enemies, such as the Moblin-like Miniblin, which come in large swarms.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
This Wii title applies motion controls to many elements from Twilight Princess’ combat system, allowing players to swing their swords by swinging the controller. It also makes use of a stamina meter that can be depleted by uncoordinated swings, requiring players to time their attacks. It also introduces Fi, Link’s companion who assists him in the game with her own special abilities.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Arguably one of the best titles on Nintendo Switch and a worthy follow-up to Twilight Princess, this Wii U launch title takes place within the same timeline as Twilight Princess. It features many familiar gameplay mechanics, like its physics engine and elaborate weapon system that allows players to use objects in the environment as weapons.
The Legend of Zelda (NES)
This title was Nintendo’s first venture into The Legend of Zelda series. As such, it only featured two dungeons with a limited amount of weapons and items. It features a top-down style of gameplay, with players descending pathways on their way to dungeons.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
This Nintendo 64 title was the first in the series to implement a time system into its gameplay, which forced players to complete some actions within a certain timeframe or else the world would be destroyed. It features various masks that each contain special abilities, which can be used to progress through dungeons. The mask system also allowed players to transform into different races, such as Deku Scrubs and Gorons.
Here are some frequently asked questions about Twilight Princess to help you understand and play the game better.
Question: When attacking enemies, why does my sword go through their bodies?
Answer: All damage in Twilight Princess is reduced to a quarter of its original strength. This is because Master Sword lost power when Link became an adult. Therefore it will only deal a quarter of its average damage until you complete the Temple of Time and receive the actual Master Sword.
Question: Can I use a Game Boy Advance as a controller?
Answer: No. While it is still possible to use a Wii Classic Controller on the Virtual Console version of Twilight Princess, it’s impossible to do so on the Wii U version due to an incompatibility with Gamecube controllers.
Question: Why can’t I talk to certain characters?
Answer: There are several characters with whom Link cannot speak. Most of these NPCs are there as part of the background scenery, and most will give a generic response to any conversation attempt. Others, however, have specific functions that cannot be activated without certain items or equipment upgrades. For example, Renado, Luda, Telma, and Ashei can only be talked to after you have Master Sword and have obtained the Broken Picori Blade from the Elemental Sanctuary.
Some characters do not speak Hylian, such as Twili Midna or Oocca. Others only talk in foreign tongues, such as Gorons and Zora s.
Question: Why Can’t I Use my Wolf Form Inside Buildings?
Answer: There are several buildings in which Wolf Link can’t go, but he’ll follow you inside if you get too close to the walls. This is simply a precaution against clipping errors that could corrupt your saved file or game data. It’s only a minor inconvenience, and it will not happen again once you leave the building.
Question: What are These Green Spots on the Ground?
Answer: These are known as Gossip Stones, and they communicate by emitting bright light when Wolf Link is nearby. They’re mainly used to activate warping points or give hints about something within the area. However, you can also use them to improve your abilities randomly. Just play the Goddess’s Harp near a Gossip Stone to upgrade your wallet, bomb-carrying capacity, or arrow quiver.
Question: What Consoles are Twilight Princess Available for?
Answer: Twilight Princess is currently available for the Wii, Wii U, and Gamecube. The original version of Twilight Princess was made exclusively for the Gamecube. It features a different art style that reflects its darker tone, as well as Phantom Ganon appearing in both his human form and horseback form depending on where he appears.
Some individuals consider this version to be the definitive one since it has more content and a better story. It was later ported to the Wii as part of a Zelda Collection with enhanced graphics, a bundled Twilight Princess strategy guide, and a twenty-minute playable demo of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.
Twilight Princess is a vast and detailed game, and it cannot be easy to understand without the correct information. Hopefully, this article can help prepare you for what’s to come and make it easier to enjoy the game. While Twilight Princess isn’t without its flaws, there’s no denying that it is a significant improvement over its predecessor and a fantastic game in its own right.
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