This Link is a simple Farm Boy living in Ordon Village who rounds up goats on the Mayor's ranch. One day, he is attacked by Bulblins and pulled into a mysterious fog known as Twilight by a Shadow Beast. After realizing he has turned into a wolf, he is rescued by the imp Midna in exchange for agreeing to help her recover the Fused Shadows to stop the Big Bad: Zant.
Animal Talk: He can understand and talk to animals as a wolf.
Chained by Fashion: His wolf form. It comes from being shackled up by Zant's minions at the start of the game, and Midna only breaks the chain instead of removing the shackle, so it's retained when Link becomes a wolf.
Character Tics: When targeting an enemy with his sword drawn, he will frequently twirl his weapon in his hand. This was carried over in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and the 3DS remake of Ocarina of Time.
Chick Magnet: Many girls show interest in him, like Ilia, Beth, Midna, and Telma (who apparently flirts with a lot of men). In a quite literal case, he also gets hit on by a chicken while in wolf form.
Master Swordsman: His skill at fighting is highlighted here through the various sword-fighting techniques he learns. Although those are optional, he does explicitly defeat Ganondorf in a straight up duel. While he doesn't start the game as a distinguished fighter, by the end of it he truly lives up the title of "Master Swordsman".
Magic Music: Less so in this game than usual, but he can howl in wolf form to do things.
An enigmatic and snarky imp who has a mysterious connection to the Twilight that has enveloped Hyrule. She offers to help Link escape from his prison and eventually becomes his guide. She rides on his back when he's in wolf form, and hides in his shadow when he's a human.
Fisher King: She fulfills this role for the Twilight Realm.
Forgotten Phlebotinum: She can levitate titanic hunks of rock with her mind, then teleport them through space, but makes Link do all the fighting. She can fly, but chooses to ride around on his back. Justified by the fact that this seems entirely in character for her.
Spotlight-Stealing Squad: If Twilight Princess is the only Zelda you've played, you can be forgiven for wondering why all the other games focus on that quiet chap she rides around on and that other girl.
Title Drop: She sarcastically calls Zelda the "Twilight Princess" during Link's first meeting with them. It turns out that Midna is the Twilight Princess; her earlier Title Drop was a false lead.
Tsundere: Type A. She even uses the classic "I'm only helping because I have to" line if you talk to her while you're restoring the light to Eldin Province.
Midna: Hey, don't think for a second that I care about your world of light... I don't! I'm helping you because I have to! You remember that!
The Vamp: She never really tries to seduce Link, though she's rather manipulative in other regards.
Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: The miniboss of the Lakebed Temple suggests that she is grossed out by frogs and/or toads, to the point that she refuses to give Link any hints during the battle.
Voiced by: Jun Mizusawa
The Princess and reigning monarch of Hyrule. She was to be crowned queen, but Zant invaded on the day preceding her coronation. She gives Link advice in a tower in Hyrule Castle in which she is imprisoned.
Out of Focus: While she doesn't really get that much less screen-time than her predecessors (and indeed, morethansome), on average, she is less important to the plot than usual. However, she is a pivotal part of Midna's Character Development.
Parental Abandonment: The fact that she was due to be crowned queen implies that her parents have died, although they're never mentioned at all.
A baboon with a spider above his head, the first mini-boss of the game. Apparently was the leader of the Monkeys, and after saving him from the spider Parasite on his head he gives you the Gale Boomerang. After you defeat him, he helps you finish the Forest Temple Dungeon.
Not Quite Dead: When Link crushes it enough times to reduce its health to zero, only its exoskeleton explodes. What's left underneath is a large amount of Twilit insects, with a large one with Armogohma's eye on its back. Link's reaction upon seeing it is amusing.
A flying dragon/Lizalfos with clawgripped shields. After its first defeat, it gives you a second clawshot.
A holographic Zant that is the miniboss of the Twilight Palace. Grants the light sword after defeat (but not immediately after).
Puzzle Boss: You have to defeat him TWICE. Then you have stop the Zant hands from getting the sols that create the light sword.
Played up to be the Big Bad of Twilight Princess, and later Hijacked by Ganon. He bonded himself to Ganon, whom he believed to be a god, and used his power to take over the Twilight Realm. At the opening of Twilight Princess, he is spreading Twilight all over Hyrule, and has invaded Hyrule Castle.
Ambition Is Evil: Midna states this is the reason why he was initially passed over for power.
Confusion Fu: His fighting style is heavily erratic, even moreso the more hits you give to him.
Darth Vader Clone: Walks around in black robes with a Cool Helmet. Makes that weird sort of distinctive sound whenever he appears that could be likened to Vader's breath. Also, the scene when he breaks down the door of Hyrule castle, massacres the Hylian soldiers, walks in after his troops like a badass and captures Princess Zelda really seals the deal.
Laughing Mad: Let's just say that during the final battle against Zant, he seems to laugh a lot of the time, and that it is one seriously disturbed laugh.
Leitmotif: Has a very subtle one. In his theme music at the beginning after the Scare Chord (see below) there is a very weird sequence of six notes played on what sounds like a very discordant stringed instrument. When you are in Twilight-covered areas of Hyrule, you hear the same six notes on a flute in the BGM.
Mask of Sanity: The immediate impression is of a calm, controlled Evil Overlord. The way he drools in Midna's ear is our first clue to his real personality. The mask comes off entirely in his boss fight.
Neck Snap: He does one in Ganon's death scene for some reason.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: He curses Link to stay in wolf form with a black crystal. This ultimately bites him in the ass later, as the power of the Master Sword not only allows Link to return to human form, but also become a Voluntary Shapeshifter by keeping the crystal.
Villainous Breakdown: Though he wasn't exactly sane from the start, only keeping a calm facade. He loses this facade once Link reaches his throne room, and he breaks down even more when their fight goes on, as his attacks get even more unpredictable as he is on his last hits.
The chief of the Bulblin tribe in Twilight Princess, who raid Link's village at the beginning of the game. He and his minions serve as recurring enemies throughout the game, with Link fighting him four times, two on horseback, two on foot.
Always Chaotic Evil: Subverted. While he and his race appeared to be this, he only fought on Ganondorf and Zant's side because he follows the strongest side - which, after battle after battle, turns out to be Link.
After falsely swearing allegiance to the king, Ganondorf was exposed as a traitor by the Hero of Time, having just come back from a Bad Future where he'd taken over Hyrule. His plans to get the Triforce were foiled, and he was condemned to execution by the Sages themselves. However, even though he got his heart pierced, it didn't quite kill him, as the mark of the Triforce of Power somehow appeared in his hand, and reanimated his body. In a fit of Unstoppable Rage, he broke free of his chains, killed the Sage of Water, and took the very sword meant to execute him for his own. In a desperate move, the Sages sent Ganondorf to the Twilight Realm, in the hopes of keeping him trapped there. After wandering there for who-knows-how-long, he met Zant, and the events of the game were set in motion.
However, he doesn't show signs of this any other time, and this is the only item you can use to distract him. It's a long-standing series tradition (dating back to A Link to the Past) for a single non-combat item to have an inexplicable combat usage like this.
Archenemy: Averted this time, from his point of view at least, as he doesn't really know who Link is in this game. Especially in contrast to the equivalent moment in the Wind Waker Timeline. There he faces The Hero of Time Reborn, who overthrew his kingdom after his successful grand master plan and stabbed him in the face at the end of an epic duel. Here he faces The Hero of Time Reborn who called the cops on him during the early stages of his grand master plan.
Badass: The sages chained him to a stone and impaled him with a sword, but when he got the Triforce of Power, he broke free from the chains and killed one of the sages by PUNCHING HIM IN THE FACE.
Blade Lock: For the first time in the series. Slash or Jump Attack at him when he comes running at you with his sword raised and you'll lock blades. Lose, and you'll get stabbed For Massive Damage (and a brief Dark Reprise of his already dark theme). Win, and he'll be left wide open for a devastating combo (and accompanying Triumphant Reprise of his theme).
Humanoid Abomination: He was human (or very close to it) to start with, but after getting the Triforce of Power, he became something much, much worse.
In the wake of Skyward Sword, some fans have suggested that this incarnation of Ganondorf became a true vessel for Demise's rage when he gained godly power during his "execution", which would make him fit even more squarely into this trope.
Leitmotif: Remixed with Hyrule Castle's while you progress through it. And with Zelda's for the first phase of the final battle.
Light Is Not Good: Light was good when the Sages tried to off him with a Cool Sword made of the stuff, but in his hands... not so much.
Also applies to Ganondorf himself to a certain extent. While he himself has very dark clothes and skin, he still falls into the "light" category by virtue of being a light dweller as opposed to a Twilight dweller.
Link's mentor and big brother figure. A swordsman from Ordon village, he acts as a surrogate father to Link and gathers some old friends to form a small group of mercenaries later in the game to counter Zant's forces in Hyrule.
A female knight who scouts out the Snowpeak region in search of the Yeti tribe. She joins the rest of the resistance at the end of the game by storming the castle. Supplemental material explains that her father was a Hylian soldier who raised her to be a warrior like the son he never had.
Shad is The Smart Guy of the group, who is usually too involved with his studies to do any fighting. However, his knowledge of ancient Hylian lore does help you get to the City in the Sky. According to supplemental material, his father worked as a butler in the royal palace.
Mama Bear/Team Mom: She's very sweet and flirty and fun...until the soldiers prove too cowardly to perform the above-mentioned Escort Mission, at which point she tears them a new one and tells them never to come back to her bar.
The emblem on her dress resembles a stylized Gerudo Symbol, leading to theories that she's related to the clan.
Link's best childhood friend is the daughter of the mayor of Ordon Village, and is abducted by Bulblins early in the game. A large portion of the later game is dedicated to helping her recover her lost memories. She functions in a role similar to that which Malon played in Ocarina of Time and shares Aryll's status of the "Girl who went missing and thus motivates Link to go on his quest." (But she's surprisingly not a Distressed Damsel.)
Berserk Button: Perceived recklessness with or cruelty towards animals.
Expy: Of Young Link from Ocarina of Time, by virtue of having an All of the Other Reindeer relationship with the other kids his age until he has his own moment of heroism and acknowledges the virtue of Courage, which eventually leads him to takes up the sword and shield. Colin's family also acts like a surrogate family to Link. And they're the only other blonds in town, so Colin's bowl cut looks even more like OoT Link's hair than the current Link's hair does. His name may even be a Stealth Pun, as he is the Co-Lin(k).
Took a Level in Badass: After he steps up as a hero, he gains respect in the eyes of the other kids, and during the credits, he can be seen carrying a sword and shield.
Another of the children of Ordon Village who gets kidnapped and taken to Kakariko Village. While there, he sets up a business called "Malo Mart", which, with Link's help, can get an additional branch in Castle Town.
Deadpan Snarker: "Time is money. If you're done shopping, then quit wasting both..."
The shaman of Kakariko Village, and one of the only residents to survive the slaughter that took place there before Link's arrival. He shelters the Ordon children and protects them until the end of the game, when it's finally safe for them to return to their own village, and is an old friend of Mayor Bo's. He counsels Link in how to access the Goron Mines.
A young girl who owns a fancy house in Hyrule Castle Town and has an obsession with bugs. One of the optional sidequests in the game is to collect various bugs scattered through the world and bring them to her.
Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Her obsession with bugs causes her to say some... off the wall things, to be sure.
Creepy Child: Though she doesn't mean to be, so it's not that creepy.
Unless you walk out of her house while still carrying a bug. Then she turns the creepy Up to Eleven.
Everything's Better with Princesses: She refers to herself as the Princess of the Bug Kingdom, although given her age (supplemental material states that she's ten), it might simply be a game of pretend.
Some fans have noted that in medieval times (which Hyrule largely resembles), claiming to be a princess would be Serious Business, and thus theorize that Agitha really is a blood relative of Zelda. The theory is lent credence by the fact that Agitha has Hylian ears, which few people in Hyrule still possess at this point in time, and it would explain how a little girl is so very wealthy.
Two Yeti who live in the Snowpeak region of Hyrule. Yeto regularly raids Zora's Domain for Reekfish, which frightens the locals who live there. In actuality, he's a textbook Gentle Giant who is also an excellent chef. His wife, Yeta, has a shard of the Mirror of Twilight in her possession, and she has fallen ill due to its dark influence.
A mysterious figure known only to Link. He appears when Link encounters the golden wolf, and teaches him the seven Hidden Skills. According to the Hyrule Historia book, he's the spirit of the Hero of Time from Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask and the ancestor of the current Link, which was hinted at strongly yet cryptically in his final meeting with Link. See here and here for more information of him.
The basic enemies in the game. Typically the underlings of Ganon, in this game they seem to be subordinate to King Bulblin (see the villains folder), who serves whomever he deems strongest. Rather than the Moblins seen in most games, in Twilight Princess you will encounter two varieties: Bulblins, weak enemies armed with clubs or bows, and Bokoblins, swordarms that come in two colours: blue and purple, with the latter being stronger.
Arrows on Fire: Bulbin archers use ignited arrows with their bows, but this is mainly done to make their arrows more visible.
The basic minions of Zant, appearing mostly in areas of Twilight and operating in small strike forces which usually drop from a portal into a force-fielded area (defeating them gives Link a handy portal for his own use later). As long as one survives, it can revive the rest, forcing Link to kill multiples in one strike.
Cutscene Power to the Max: In their introductory cutscene, they show speed and agility that isn't seen elsewhere in the game.
Demonic Possession: Their tribal patriarch, Darbus, has been corrupted by one of the Fused Shadows, causing most of their hostility.
Gentle Giant: When their village isn't experiencing a crisis, that is.
The familiar race of Fish People who inhabit Hyrule's water source, and have had their realm frozen yet again. In order to quell them, Zant has had their queen, Rutela, executed, leaving the young Prince Ralis the heir ascendant to the throne.
Faceless Goons: The Zora guards have large face-obscuring helmets with a fish-head shape.
Residents of the Twilight Realm, and descendants of the Dark Interlopers banished from the Sacred Realm by the Golden Goddesses. They are ruled by Zant, but the rightful heir of their royal family is Midna. The Twili do not seem to willingly serve Zant, though, and only follow him if they have been transformed into Shadow Beasts. According to Midna, they are actually a very peaceful people.
The Imp: Their natural forms, but Zant's curse has turned them into hulking brutes.