Video Game: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
aka: Twilight Princess
"Shadow and light are two sides of the same coin… One cannot exist without the other."The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
— Princess Zelda
is the thirteenth game in The Legend of Zelda
series. It was released for the GameCube
In Twilight Princess
, Link is a mere farmhand living a passive life in peaceful Ordon Village. This peace is shattered when strange shadow monsters invade and kidnap some of the children, including Link's best friend Ilia. Pursuing them, Link discovers that most of Hyrule has become drowned in "Twilight": an oppressive darkness where monsters thrive and life is frozen. What's more, this Twilight curses him into the form of a wolf, which brings with it a whole new set of abilities (like a wolf's sense of smell). Fortunately, his lack of opposable thumbs is made up for by a sarcastic imp
named Midna, a denizen of the Twilight who allies with Link for her own mysterious reasons
. Together they must fight Zant, the King of the Twilight, who seeks to rule over both the realms of light and shadow.
The game featured a realistic graphics style that had been eagerly anticipated by fans since Ocarina of Time
. A main feature is that Link can (eventually) shapeshift at will between his Hylian and wolf forms in order to solve puzzles and pass obstacles. The game also features more complex character development than most other titles have had (Link, in particular, has an actual life before the whole story starts), attempted to include a bit of moral complexity (primarily Dark Is Not Evil
) and is the first to feature a character whose lines are fully "voiced" (Midna, even though it's just a selection of gibberish syllables
offers new variations on the Zelda
story, but still sticks to the series formula
of "gather first set of Plot Coupons
, Master Sword, gather second set of plot coupons, final dungeon", trademarked by A Link to the Past
. However, this is done much differently in Twilight Princess
in regards to function: the order of plot events is almost reversed from previous titles, and familiar items and locations show up in a much different context.
The game's dual-console release is something of a coincidence. Originally developed solely for GameCube
, its development cycle took so long that the Wii was preparing to launch by the time it was done. So a hasty port was made to add Twilight Princess
to the Wii's launch line-up, with the addition of motion controls for the sword and bow so that a swing of the Wii Remote would swing Link's sword. While this was great advertising, Nintendo hit a Spanner in the Works
when they remembered that Link is left-handed, unlike a good 90% of the human race. Their fix was to flip the entire game
left-to-right so that Link would hold his sword in the same hand as most players. Ironically, the Wii Remote was the only controller in the Console Wars
that was fully ambidextrous up until the release of Kinect and PlayStation
In 2011, alongside other Wii games released in 2006 and 2007, it was re-released under the Nintendo Selects category.
This game provides examples of:
- Added Alliterative Appeal: Speaking with Barnes within the timeframe after Barnes' Bombs reopens and before the water bombs are available reveals this little gem:
Barnes: Barnes's bombs boast the biggest blasts, believe it! Better buy a bunch before they're all bought! Can't beat Barnes's bombs!
- Adult Fear: The children of Link's hometown are stolen by Bulblins, and much of the first half of the game is about Link tracking down and rescuing all of them.
- Advancing Wall of Doom: The Twilight itself qualifies as this to all of Hyrule. In the actual gameplay, Link must escape a burning bridge before the flames reach him.
- All There in the Manual: Technically, more like All There In The Supplemental Material. The official strategy guide and the trading card deck each provide considerable additional information about not only Link and Zelda, but almost every significant supporting character.
- Alternate Timeline: This game follows the "child" half of the timeline split after Ocarina of Time, continuing from Majora's Mask.
- And I Must Scream: Jovani sold his soul for wealth, and was turned into a sentient golden statue.
- And Man Grew Proud: Lanayru relates the tale of the Dark Interlopers, a tribe of evil sorcerers who tried to use their magic to lay hold of the Triforce. They were stripped of their powers and banished from Hyrule. Midna and Zant are descendants of this tribe.
- Animal Talk: Being a wolf allows Link to talk to animals such as cats, frogs, and cuccos. He can even talk to Epona, although about the only thing Epona says is that she knows it's Link but would rather see him transformed back.
- Animorphism: Link , the hero's shade and Ganondorf.
- Apathetic Citizens: Most of the residents of Hyrule Castle Town are oblivious to what is going on around them, even when brought back out of the Twilight. A giant golden pyramid-barrier over the castle just means business as usual.
- Armor Is Useless: The improved graphics of Twilight Princess reveal that Link's trademark green tunic includes a suit of chain underneath. But he takes the same amount of damage wearing the Hero's Clothes as he does in the prologue without it.
- Artifact of Doom: The Fused Shadow; the Mirror of Twilight.
- Ascended Undocumented Feature: Bomb Arrows were an Easter Egg in Link's Awakening. They become an official item in this game.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: In the final battle of the game, the Final Boss can be distracted and made vulnerable by... a fishing rod. Granted, Ganondorf IS from the desert, and they probably didn't have a lot of opportunities to go fishing there. He probably saw it as some sort of weapon. Maybe? Hopefully.
- Attract Mode: An extended trailer featuring beautiful music and clips from various cutscenes and action sequences can be viewed if the start screen is allowed to idle for a period of time.
- Audible Sharpness: How you know your sword/tail is ready for another spin slash.
- Awesome but Impractical:
- For the most part, the wolf form takes more damage, can't block, and enemies that are knocked down can't be attacked directly. But new abilities are available in this form, and on rare occasions you find a suitable enemy, few things are more cathartic than literally ripping their throats out.
- The Magic Armor. It looks badass, but it'll drain your wallet away to nothing in no time. After that it truly becomes a dead-weight, leaving you vulnerable in battle until you take it off. Its not completely useless, but you definitely want to keep this ace up your sleeve, just in case those four Darknuts in the Cave of Ordeals are giving you trouble.
- Backstab: More like backslash - the Back Slice Hidden Skill, which allows you to roll around an enemy to slash their back.
- Bag of Holding: Comes standard with the hero garb. In this case it's justified: Midna is shown to have access to a hammerspace where she keeps Link's sword and shield while he's in wolf form, so she's likely holding onto all of his items for him.
- Baleful Polymorph:
- Midna, the Twilight Princess, spends most of the game trapped in imp form.
- Link, as a wolf, gets the chance to spread the bale around. It turns into Voluntary Shapeshifting once he gets the Master Sword, though.
- Ballad of X: The main theme in Hyrule Field is called "The Ballad of Twilight."
- Battle in the Rain: The second half of the battle against Argorok takes place on the top of the City in the Sky, during a raging thunderstorm. It's also raining in the courtyard of Hyrule Castle and will occasionally in Hyrule Field. It is likely to rain at least once when you fight Bulblin for Colin.
- Battle Tops: The Spinner is a top-based battle vehicle.
- Beat The Curse Out Of Her:
- Zelda, when she is possessed by Ganondorf (and is thus "Puppet Zelda").
- Also Yeta, literally when she is possessed by the evil magic of the mirror shard.
- There's also Ook, the baboon miniboss of the forest temple, who is being mind controlled by some strange insect on his head. You snap him out of it by hitting him in his bright red bottom with your sword (and at the end the bug falls off and dies); in the temple's boss battle, he comes back and helps you, free of the curse.
- Beetle Maniac: Agitha. She is willing to pay handsomely for any new bug Link brings her. And the first time Link leaves without giving her all the bugs, she gets a little bit creepy.
- Betty and Veronica:
- Midna and Ilia towards Link, at least until the former deliberately breaks the Mirror of Twilight so that Hyrule and her realm can never again be connected... just as she's being whisked back through the portal.
- It's very background, but if you look for it, it's quite funny. After Colin is injured saving Beth's life, blonde Beth and dark-haired Luda become rivals for the right to take care of him.
- BFG: Auru whips out a cannon held like a rocket launcher near the end.
- BFS: Several enemies have one.
- Most notable are the Darknuts with the large claymore they initially fight with. Once their armor has been stripped off, they throw it at you before pulling out a more sensibly-sized sword. Sensible in that given the Darknut's size, it's almost as big as you are.
- The Death Sword miniboss is an enormous floating meat-cleaver thing, wielded by an invisible ghost boss.
- There's also the one with which the Sages attempted to kill Ganondorf, which Ganondorf uses in the final duel
- Big Bad: Ganondorf
- Big Damn Heroes: When Colin is kidnapped from Kakariko Village, Link comes bursting in on his horse with a look that just guarantees King Bulblin's asskicking.
- Also Ook, when he heroically bursts in to the room during the battle with Diababa, Leit Motif and all.
- Bilingual Bonus:
- The Twilight Realm has 'Sols' which act like their version of the sun. Guess the Latin word for "sun."
- In the Spanish translation, where 'Sol' is the same word for "sun", they are referred to as 'Taiyo.' Which is Japanese for sun.
- Bishōnen: Link, of course. Shad may also qualify.
- Bishonen Line: The final battle against Ganon, who goes from a bestial form, to his regular, Ganondorf form on horseback, to a one-on-one sword duel.
- Bittersweet Ending: Sure, Link defeats Ganon and saves Hyrule, but Midna destroys the Mirror of Twilight, meaning the two of them may never see each other again.
- Black Cloak: Zelda wears one over her regular garments while being held prisoner in the tower. The robe is implied to be a costume of mourning for her ravaged country.
- Black Comedy: Malo, resident Comedic Sociopath, opens up a shop in Kakariko village - instead of visiting the injured Colin in the makeshift hospital. The real kicker is that Malo is using the merchandise and building of a girl who turned into a shadow beast and died shortly beforehand.
- Blade Lock: During the final battle. It is required to land a finishing blow.
- Bling of War: The Magic Armor, which is primarily red with golden trim - until you run out of Rupees, at which point the gold takes on the appearance (and weight) of lead.
- Bonus Dungeon: The Cave of Ordeals.
- Book Ends:
- The game begins and ends in twilight: it starts at dusk, and ends at dawn.
- The final dungeon of the Fused Shadows arc is accessed from a cave at the bottom of Lake Hylia, and the boss is fought at the lowest point in the entire game world. The final dungeon of the Mirror of Twilight arc is accessed by a cannon that is also at Lake Hylia, and the boss is fought at the highest point in the entire game world. Both bosses have the same music, and both eventually involve latching onto and attacking an eye on the boss's back. Even more interesting is that in both of these dungeons, you get a Clawshot.
- On a meta scale, Twilight Princess was released during the end of the Game Cube cycle, while Skyward Sword was released on the end of the Wii cycle.
- Boss Subtitles: With the theme of "Twilit", up until Zant. In some countries, Stallord is also exempt from the theme, being reanimated by Zant instead of corrupted, though he follows the Twilit theme in English speaking countries.
- Boss Vulnerability: Type 2. The Final Boss is weird in the sense that he is essentially one of these, but the action you can do to break his guard is a free action (so long as you went to the trouble of getting it, of course) you can easily spam nonstop. However, this leads to the Final Boss becoming a Marathon Boss. In order to avert that trope and play type 2 straight, please see Blade Lock.
- Broken Bridge: Three, in fact. Two of them are missing and must be rebuilt or restored, while the third has an entire chunk yanked out of its middle which you must hunt down.
- Bullfight Boss: King Bulblin, when you first
run into him avoid him running into you.
- But Now I Must Go: Midna. Word of God said she may return if enough people want it, and she eventually did show up in Hyrule Warriors (which takes place in an Alternate Continuity from the rest of the series).
- By the Lights of Their Eyes: If you go into Link's basement and move around for a while, you may be surprised to see a pair of catlike eyes staring at you from the darkness. Take your lantern out to see your reflection.
- Camera Lock-On
- Can't Argue with Elves: Midna has a kind of logic that's all her own, and her suggestions to Link are usually just thinly-veiled (or not at all veiled) orders.
- The Cavalry: Telma's resistance at Hyrule Castle basically blow up the bad guys pursuing Link.
- Chained by Fashion: Wolf Link only gets to enjoy a few moments without a manacle chained to his paw. Midna breaks it by the chain rather than the manacle itself, so it somehow becomes a permanent part of his form, as it goes away when Link turns human, only to be there again when he changes back.
- Charge Attack: The Jump Charge Secret Technique, and most awesomely, the Midna-Wolf Link energy field move. The Spin and Great Spin attacks can be used this way too, complete with Audible Sharpness, but it's easier to rotate the stick 360 degrees and slash.
- Chekhov's Gun: On Death Mountain, a giant lava rock rains down from the sky; then later on you have to have Midna teleport it to Zora's Domain in order to thaw it out.
- Only the true ruler of the Twilight Realm can destroy the Mirror of Twilight.
- Chekhov's Boomerang:
- Link's goat-wrangling skills from a quick minigame at the start of the game are critical to getting to the Goron Temple, and then Midna uses her Twilight hand to wrangle BEAST GANON.
- There's also the "random" owl statues that later in the game you have to use the Dominion Rod on to get the characters for the Sky Book.
- And the fishing rod, if you choose to wield and cast it during the final battle.
- Cheerful Child: Agitha.
- The Chosen One: Several different characters in the game explicitly refer to Link being the hero chosen by the goddesses. A Triforce mark (a sign of being the Chosen One) is also visible on his sword hand even from the beginning of the game.
- Zelda and Ganondorf - also chosen by the goddesses - have the same marks on their hands too.
- Chunky Salsa Rule: Unusually for this series, Twilight Princess features a few ways you can die instantly (as opposed to, say, drowning) regardless of how much health you have, although they're very specific things that players are relatively unlikely to do by accident. Staying in the burning bomb storage shack until it explodes, falling into lava while wearing the Zora Armor (also touching any damaging freezing object while wearing it), and standing in front of a cannon as it fires are all guaranteed instant kills. (Fairies still revive you, though.)
- Clothes Make the Legend: When Link is restored to his proper form for the first time after being a wolf, the light spirit Faron explains that his new garments are those of the legendary hero.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Agitha, the bug-loving "princess" in Hyrule Castle Town. She's also one of the few people not scared of Wolf Link; for her, it's because she simply sees him as an oversized puppy dog.
Agitha: Li'l snail, li'l snail, just once I'd like to take a bath in that slime.
- In a more literal example, Ooccoo, and by extension her son, Ooccoo Jr. Both of them are from the City in the Sky, and given this, it explains why they tend to act more than a little strange compared to everyone else whenever you meet them.
- Clucking Funny: Cuccos can once again be attacked to cause something funny to happen, but this time it doesn't result in a flock attacking you. Instead, you get to control the cucco you were attacking for ten seconds.
- Collared by Fashion: Shad.
- Controllable Helplessness: When Link first wakes up in the dungeon as a wolf, he's chained to the floor, and all you can do is move around a little bit before Midna shows up.
- Cool Horse: Epona, naturally. And for the first time in the series, you can use weapons and items other than your bow while riding her.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: The in-game explanation for why the shop in Castle Town sells things at outrageous prices. How crazy? The cheapest thing in display is a set of 10 Arrows... for 2,000 Rupees. That's double your possible maximum money capacity in this game with both wallet items. And it gets crazier from there. The absolutely most expensive thing in the shop is the Magic Armor... for 100,000 Rupees. Of course, there's no way you're buying anything from this shop as it is... so instead you help Malo buy out the owner, and then purchase things from him at more reasonable prices.
- The Corruption: The Fused Shadows and Mirror of Twilight shards both corrupt creatures into monsters. Though Midna doesn't care about what the Fused Shadows do, seeing what the mirror shards do to Yeta and Armagohma freak her out.
- Crazy Cat Lady: Impaz isn't crazy, but she's the only human citizen in an abandoned ghost town otherwise populated by 20 cats.
- Creepy Child:
- Malo, the unnervingly adult toddler from Ordon Village.
- Agitha. The first time you try to leave her house when you haven't given her all your golden bugs. "I know you have bugs...". Freaking CREEPY when you don't expect it. Fortunately, the creepiness is reduced in that she's quite a nice person, just very loopy.
- Skull Kid. Even worse, his face looks like the moon from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.
- Cute Kitten:
- There are several cats that run around Castle Town and Telma's Bar. And you can pick them up and carry them and they follow you when you walk around and yes, it is the most adorable thing ever.
- There's also the minigame late in the game where you explore the Hidden Village as a wolf in order to find and talk to 20 cats, all of whom want to be friends!
- Cute Little Fangs: Midna.
- Cutscene Incompetence: See Big Damn Heroes. Cool as it was, Link probably could have taken out that entire mob by himself.
- Dance Battler: Zant.
- Dangerous Device Disposal Debacle: Inverted. After using the Mirror of Twilight to enter Hyrule and take it over, Zant smashes the mirror to pieces so Link and Midna can't use it to reenter the Twilight Realm. Midna declares that only the true ruler of the Twili could shatter the mirror and that Zant is a fake, so she has Link wander all over Hyrule to gather all the Mirror Shards and reassemble it so they could access the Twilight Realm.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Double Subverted. The Twilight is initially shown to be a threat to Hyrule, but it turns out Midna and the rest of the Twili (who have been living there for generations) are mostly good people. However, it turns out that the Big Bad's power of darkness is not the usual Twili magic, as seen here.
- Darker and Edgier: Twilight Princess is on par with Majora's Mask as one of the darkest entries in the franchise. It was even the first Zelda game to go above an E rating and earn a T rating for its more realistic depictions of violence and some legitimately disturbing imagery. note It is aesthetically darker, deals with mature themes, and has plenty of suspenseful moments the first time you play through.
- Dark Reprise: Midna's Lament is a somber piano variation of the main theme that replaces all non-battle BGM while Midna is suffering from exposure to Lanayru's light.
- Dark World: The Twilight Realm.
- Deadpan Snarker: Midna. "This village is full of idiots."
- Also Malo. "Time is money, stop wasting both." "I suppose I could part with it."
- Not to mention the STAR Game Owner in Hyrule Castle Town Market. Under his breath, though.
- Death from Above: The Head Splitter Secret Technique, which requires set-up from a Shield Bash.
- Decoy Protagonist: Link is simply that; a character used to move the game where it needs to go. Midna, the titular Twilight Princess, is the real hero of the story.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Ook the baboon, the miniboss of the Forest Temple, shows up to help you defeat the temple boss. Justified, because your defeating him causes him to be freed from the Twilit insect which was chewing on his brain and making him evil, and he comes to your aid out of gratitude.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Midna, after being saved from death by Zelda.
- Demonic Possession: Most of the bosses were under possession by a Fused Shadow, Zant's sword, or a shard of the Mirror of Twilight.
- And miniboss Ook, mentioned above, was being controlled by a Twili bug.
- Descent Into Darkness Song: Perfected in this song. Listen as Hyrule Castle's theme is slowly taken over by Ganon's theme as you progress.
- Did Not Get the Girl: After you restore Jovani's soul he happily runs off to find his girlfriend. He's found later in the tavern crying his eyes out, when he discovers he's been gone so long she's found another love interest.
- Dirty Old Man: Heavily and creepily implied with Dr. Borville, who keeps wondering if Ilia had said anything about him.
- Disc One Final Boss: Zant.
- Disc One Final Dungeon: The Twilight Realm.
- Disney Acid Sequence:
- Unlocking new sword techniques involves meeting Link's ancestor and... um... singing a duet with him.
- The infamous scene when you first meet Lanayru.
- Disney Death: Despite all evidence to the contrary, Midna actually survives her final battle with Ganon.
- Diving Save: Colin saves Beth from being run down by King Bulblin's charging boar in a striking slow-motion cutscene.
- The Dragon: King Bulblin to Zant. Later Zant is revealed to be this to Ganondorf.
- Down the Drain: Lakebed Temple, with its stairwell-shifting waterfalls.
- Dr. Jerk: Dr. Borville in Castle Town.
- Dual Wielding: Once Link obtains the second Clawshot, it becomes the "Double Clawshot" - one on each hand.
- Duel Boss: Several: Four instances with King Bulblin (two of which even resemble jousting matches!), a couple of times with a Darknut and, of course, the final duel with Ganondorf.
- Due to the Dead: After Ganondorf finally dies, Zelda is seen standing behind Link with her hands folded and her head bowed. The implication is that she's praying for the soul of her departed enemy.
- Dummied Out:
- The game was supposed to use the traditional magic meter but it was scrapped. Evidence of this still remains; the back of the game box shows a green meter in the screenshots and the game itself has some Green ChuChus, which would restore your magic (in theory). Since there is no magic system, drinking them has the same effect as drinking water, a.k.a. nothing.
- Also, on some copies of the game disc, one can find a few different enemies that were removed - including a golem made of Gorons.
- Easy Amnesia: Ilia suffers this after she and the other village children are kidnapped. Unlike the others, Ilia was shot with a poisoned arrow, and Word of God explains that this is the reason for her memory loss.
- Elite Mooks: The Darknuts.
- Empathic Environment: It is raining as you rush a mortally injured Midna to Zelda.
- Engrish/Intentional Engrish for Funny: GOAT IN!
- Epic Flail: A ball and chain takes the place of the Megaton hammer.
- Escape Rope: The character Ooccoo can be found in several dungeons and allows Link to teleport out at any time; then, by using Ooccoo Jr., the player can teleport back inside, even to the same room. In the City of the Sky, Ooccoo won't teleport the player back to Lake Hylia, but instead to the shop, which is near the entrance of the dungeon. However, it's not possible to teleport back to where you were this time, because Ooccoo Jr. doesn't work in the shop, and as soon as you leave it Ooccoo jumps back into your inventory.
- Escort Mission: Escorting Telma's wagon to Kakariko on horseback about midway through the game.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: The Forest Temple largely revolves around freeing adorable monkeys from cages so that they can help you out. And if that wasn't enough, the miniboss is a baboon, whose weak spot is his prominent posterior.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: Aside from Zelda, there is Midna and Agitha, the (self-proclaimed) bug princess. In Zelda's case, this is for once a Justified Trope, as explained by the official trading card deck. She's the ruler of Hyrule but still only a princess; however, her card explains that her coronation day was only a few days off when Zant invaded. She is actually supposed to be Queen Zelda at this point, but the plot of the game interrupted. Note that the manual for Super Smash Bros. Brawl identifies her as the Queen of Hyrule.
- Exposition Fairy: Midna.
- Fake King: Zant, the Usurper King of Twilight.
- Fangirls: Link gains some after playing the STAR game. Beth is this to both Link and Ralis.
- Fanservice: Link (however briefly) sumo wrestles with the village mayor... shirtless. We find that he possesses a not overly muscular, but very nicely toned chest and biceps. Balanced out by the fact that the mayor is also shirtless and pantsless. But one can pause the game, leaving only Link on the menu screen.
- Fantastic Racism: The Gorons complain about the Hylians mistreating them, and Dr. Borville refuses medical treatment to Prince Ralis because he is a Zora. An NPC mentions that Borville was playing that off because he didn't want to be exposed as ignorant of Zora physiology.
- Feet-First Introduction: Ilia is introduced this way.
- Final Exam Boss: Zant, when he takes Link on a wild goose chase through an ever-changing backdrop of different fight scenes from throughout the game, which conveniently hint at whatever tactic the player should use to counter it.
- Fisher Kingdom: When the Twilight envelops Hyrule, most people fade to mere spirit beings and powerless against the dark monsters. Link, on the other hand, is protected by the Triforce and gets transformed into a wolf and is able to fight them. Zelda (also protected by the Triforce) seems completely unaffected.
- Finishing Move: The Ending Blow, the only one of the Hidden Skills which you are required to master in order to advance the plot/win the game (the others are optional). It can also be used on bosses after doing enough damage to their weak points.
- Fishing Minigame: Bobber fishing can be done anywhere the water is deep enough. Lure fishing can be done in a fishing hole at the "playground for adults" on the Zora river.
- The Team: "The Group," also known as "The Resistance," whose members are:
- Floating Continent: The City in the Sky and the Palace of Twilight.
- Follow The Rupees: A series staple; in this case, rupees will guide you to risky (but rewarding) shortcuts during the snowboarding and canoeing sections.
- To stop Zant, who has somehow gotten a power boost, you'll need the Mirror of Twilight, which the Gerudo used to use to execute criminals by sending them directly to the Twilight Realm. By extension, this included Ganondorf (the Gerudo King).
- Midna tells you that Zant's power is a false one, and he himself says that he got it from a god.
- Free Rotating Camera: In the GameCube version.
- Free Sample Plot Coupon:
- Midna and Link proceed to look for the Fused Shadows after purging Faron Woods from the influence of twilight. Luckily, the former already has the first one (her helmet).
- When they find out that the Mirror of Twilight is broken, the Sages tell them about where the missing Mirror Shards are. Good thing the fourth shard is still in its place, so they only have to find three more.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Before gaining Ganondorf's powers of darkness, Zant was a regular member of the Twili race, occupying some unspecified rank within the ruling hierarchy in the Twilight realm. Given that he feels he had a legitimate claim to the throne and can't understand why he was passed over in favor of Midna, he must have held some role of importance.
- Frothy Mugs Of Milk: Averted for the first time since A Link to the Past. Telma's Bar apparently serves actual alcohol, and Jovani can even be seen drowning his sorrows after you collect all 60 Poe Souls and turn him back to normal.
- Fun with Acronyms: Purlo's description of the STAR game plays a variation on this trope.
: The rules are exceedingly simple!
So all you must endeavor to do is
Track down all the glowing orbs
And collect them all before time
Quite an outstanding name, I must say...
- Gaiden Game: Link's Crossbow Training takes place in the world of this game, with many of the same settings and enemies.
- Game-Breaking Bug:
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
- The black parts of Midna's body? They're not clothes, meaning she's naked.
- The Great Fairy is completely topless, her hair maintaining the T rating.
- In the cutscene after the Escort Mission, Telma speaks to Link for a bit, inviting him to join the Resistance. Keep a close eye on where Link's gaze falls on her throughout that sequence.
- When you fight Ook the baboon in the first dungeon, his vulnerable spot is his prominent butt, so to beat him you have to literally spank the monkey.
- Ghostly Glide: The Death Sword hovers in the air until it crashes down on you. Then it floats back up and heads slowly toward you. Only when you use the wolf's senses do you see the robed ghost holding it up.
- Ghost Town: The Hidden Village north of the Bridge of Eldin, which you visit during your quest to help regain Ilia's memory.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The Twilit Bloat.
- Girl in the Tower: The deposed Zelda is found in the highest tower of Hyrule Castle.
- Girlish Pigtails: Agitha and Ashei both have these, although Ashei's not very girlish otherwise.
- Go Back to the Source: Link has to return the Master Sword to its pedestal in order to gain access to the Temple of Time.
- God Guise: Ganondorf pretended to be a god to make Zant his Unwitting Pawn to get out of the Twilight Realm and take over Hyrule. Played with in that Ganondorf, while technically just a very powerful sorceror, actually is something of a Physical God since he's currently wielding the divine powers of the (incomplete) Triforce.
- Gonk: There are quite a lot of ugly/weird-looking characters in the game, but probably the biggest offenders have to be Falbi◊ and Fyer◊.
- Go for the Eye:
- Several bosses corrupted by the Fused Shadows or Twilight Mirror are weak when you aim for the eyes. It's particularly Diababa's and Morpheel's main weak point. Fyrus and Armogohma are also susceptible to an arrow in the eye, though it's only to stun them.
- Good Guy Bar: Telma's Bar. Inside are a bunch of hapless soldiers that stand around all day doing nothing, but La Résistance also meets up there and offers advice to Link.
- Gotta Catch 'Em All:
- The Fused Shadow pieces, then later the shards of the Mirror of Twilight.
- Collecting bugs for Agitha.
- The Poes.
- Graceful Ladies Like Purple / Purple Is Powerful: Zelda's dress is largely purple in this game, instead of its usual pink.
- Gratuitous Japanese: The lyrics to the Malo Mart song are in Japanese.
- Green-Skinned Space Babe: The Zoras, as well as Midna's true form.
- Groin Attack: Link appears to be doing this whenever he uses a finishing stab on a Bokoblin.
- Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: During the horseback portion of the Ganondorf boss battle, Zelda shoots Ganondorf with her Light Arrows while Link attacks him with the Master Sword.
- Happily Married: Rusl and Uli in Ordon Village, and Yeto and Yeta on Snowpeak.
- Hard Light: The bridge to the Twilight realm, and the stairs in the Temple of Time, both complete with a warm jingle.
- Hartman Hips: Midna. Both forms.
- Heartbeat Soundtrack: The music that accompanies each encounter with the Shadow Beasts.
- Heel-Face Turn: King Bulbin.
King Bulbin: I follow the strongest side. It is all I have ever known.
- Henpecked Husband: Hanch, in Ordon Village, is completely overruled in all things by his wife Sera and daughter Beth.
- Heroic BSOD: Link experiences a minor one after a particularly dark exposition sequence.
- The High Queen: Zelda, probably more so in this game than in any other part of the series. Even if she is still technically a princess.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: Midna
- Shirtless Scene: Link takes sumo lessons. Unfortunately, he's standing shirtless with a fat man. Then again, this is sumo.
- Shoe Shine, Mister?: Paying the shoeshine boy is necessary to enter the fancy store.
- Show, Don't Tell: In-universe: Sure, the Water Spirit could just tell Link that long ago people, in their greed, fought each other over control of the Sacred Realm. But the spirit decides to show too. With a vision of Link and his childhood friend stabbing each other to death. The warning is much more memorable that way. Also, Nightmare Fuel.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: Zant claims that he should have been the rightful ruler of the Twili instead of Midna and her "useless, do-nothing royal family". One ass kicking at the hands of Link later, Midna tells Zant that the reason the Twili didn't go along with him was because they knew he was a power hungry psychopath.
- Simple Score of Sadness: "Midna's Lament".
- Sliding Scale of Content Density vs. Width: Wider than The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, but Denser than The Wind Waker.
- Slow Motion Drop: The scene where Zelda drops her sword as she surrenders to Zant.
- Small Annoying Creature: Midna. Though many fans prefer her to Navi.
- Smart People Wear Glasses: Shad, who mixes this up with Nerds Are Sexy.
- Smashing Survival: The game doesn't indicate it, but rapidly hitting buttons/waggling the Wiimote allows you to break free of a ReDead's paralyzing shriek before it can slam you with its BFS.
- Locking blades with Ganondorf also requires you to repeatedly tap the action button, but at least the game gives an onscreen prompt for that one.
- Sniping Mission: The Hidden Village, if you feel like it. Requires the Hawkeye if you do.
- Also, to get the Hawkeye, a useful item that is pretty much a scope for your bow, you need to shoot targets in Kakariko Village. For the last challenge, you need to nail a pole on top of a guard tower from the other side of the village. The game is nice to you by giving you a different view to show where the arrow went.
- Sociopathic Hero: When you first meet her, Midna doesn't give a damn about the dying people of Hyrule, only helps Link escape as a means to an end, and doesn't try to hide her amusement at Zelda's terrible plight. Over the course of the game, however, she becomes softened by the repeated proof she finds of Link and Zelda's selflessness; she warms up to them, and to the people of Hyrule in general.
- Speaking Simlish:
- Midna's speech is actually scrambled English. Unscamble it, and it forms coherent (and surprisingly relevant) sentences: "Have you made up your mind?", "I'll take you there with my power.", "What do you think happened to those who tried to rule with sacred magic?", "I'll be watching." and "I guess you aren't stupid.".
- Shad in the scene where the Sky Cannon is discovered.
- Spider Swarm: The Temple of Time dungeon is infested with tiny baby spiders watched over by four-legged spiders. After defeating the Giant Spider Armoghoma, it drops to the floor, surrounded by a swarm of the tiny spiders.
- Spin-Off: Link's Crossbow Training takes place in the Hyrule presented in this game, with many of the same adversaries.
- Spoiled Sweet: Agitha, Princess of Bugs. She's got a lavish house and Impossibly Cool Clothes, has no day job (to be fair, she's ten), and spends Rupees like water — but she rewards Link with Rupees for the simple task of bringing her golden bugs, her dear little friends, and appears to not have a malicious bone in her body. Aww.
- Spoiler Opening: An illustration in the instruction manual (which happens to be the same one used at the top of this article) reveals Midna's true form.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Almost everything that gets focus in the plot was invented in this game, i.e. the Light Spirits, the Twili, Midna... The Triforce is present, but never mentioned by name, and the Master Sword is just sort of there. In fact, the game should probably be called The Legend of Midna. Zelda is in it for 15 minutes tops, and it sure isn't Zelda who gets the character development.
- Stab the Sky: Upon acquisition of the Master Sword.
- Starfish Aliens / Starfish Language: The Oocca and their language (called Sky Writing), respectively. Sky Writing is so old and forgotten that Cunning Linguist Shad is apparently the only person in the entire country who understands it.
- Steam Vent Obstacle: The game not only has a few around Death Mountain, but while it's enveloped in twilight, a Goron even laments that the appearance of one particular fumarole makes the path "impassable".
- Stupidity Is the Only Option: In the Arbiter's Grounds, you'll come to a pitch-dark room with a large sword in the center that is bound by several ropes with seals attached to them. You'll find that you cannot make any further progress until you cut one of the ropes which destroys the seal that was placed upon the sword and releases the phantom that lives inside it, starting a mini-boss fight.
- Supreme Chef: Yeto makes some great soup. When complete, it heals as many of Link's hearts as a red potion!
- Suit-Up of Destiny: Like in Wind Waker, Link begins the game without his trademark green tunic and hat. When he returns to his human form for the first time he is revealed to be the Chosen One and gets a Mundane Made Awesome Moment when he is shown in the Hero's Clothes.
- Swiss Army Tears: Tears of Light, the Great Fairy's tears that Link can drink to heal him and increase his strength, and the solidified magic tear which Midna uses to shatter the Mirror of Twilight, thus ensuring that no one from the Twilight Realm will ever again do what Zant did. All of the examples are most likely justified, as they're probably magical in nature, and the last one was foreshadowed.
- Sword of Plot Advancement: The Master Sword, yet again. The Ordon Sword may also qualify, since Midna won't let you back into the Twilight-covered Faron Woods until you acquire it.
- Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors: In the sumo mini-game, Grab beats Slap, Slap beats Evade, and Evade beats Grab.
- Teaser Equipment: The shop at Castle Town sells bombs, arrows, and other mundane items for thousands of rupees and more than you can carry with both wallet upgrades - the exact same gear can be bought elsewhere for 1% of the cost, or found on monsters roaming town. Once you give enough money to Malo, he buys out the shop, which reduces the cost of items immensely, and puts the price of the Magic Armor within your rupee capacity.
- Technicolor Death: Though the Final Boss doesn't do this, all other bosses (and enemies) explode upon dying into little Twilight fragments.
- Tennis Boss: Link's fight with Puppet Zelda.
- These Questions Three: Getting one of the Pieces of Heart requires solving three ice block puzzles in a row.
- Throw The Mook At Them: Diababa is regularly invincible to anything Link does to it when in its final phase. However, Ook swings in during the action of the boss fight for you to blow Bomblings into its face. Justified in that it had no control over the Bomblings being present, and that Ook provides them in a way that benefits you.
- Tightrope Walking: Averted in that your human form can't move on ropes. Your wolf form is perfectly able to do so, do a jumping 180 on the spot, and even leap off as if he were on solid ground rather than a swaying rope no thicker than his leg.
- Title Drop: Played with when Midna addresses Zelda as the Twilight Princess, teasing her about her kingdom being plunged in darkness; in fact, Midna is the real Twilight Princess.
- Took a Level in Badass: Colin when he saves Beth from a group of stampeding Bulbos. By the end of the game, he's packing his own sword as he single-handedly escorts his friends back home safely across monster-infested Hyrule Field.
- Tsundere: Midna is a Type A, Ilia is a Type B.
- Also Plumm. Yes. It is cemented with the cliché Tsundere line when she gives Wolf Link a Piece Of Heart for breaking the high score of 10,000 points in her minigame.
- Training Dummy: Link shows off his sword skills for the village children using a conveniently placed scarecrow outside his house. This is really a tutorial for the player.
- Transformation Trinket: Halfway through the game, Midna notes that the combination of the Master Sword and the thing Zant embedded in Link's forehead to keep him in wolf form effectively gives the player the ability to shapeshift at will — however, Midna retains the final say on whether or not she'll allow the player to do so (such as if other people are nearby).
- Triumphant Reprise: Lock swords with Ganondorf. His normally ominous and imposing theme will flatten, as if left speechless, before taking on a progressively more heroic and triumphant tone as you overcome him, ending in a very pleasing climax when you throw him off, before the theme returns to normal.
- Tron Lines: Loads of it. Most of it comes from the Twili, but some come from other sources.
- Troperiffic: It was intentionally designed to be highly similar to Ocarina of Time, as the developers knew they would have to significantly change the formula for the next game.
- Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay:
- In the City in the Sky, at one point Link enters a bottomless room guarded by two lizalfos. Simply take two steps forward into the room (after the door locks behind you) and both leap to their doom while trying to come after you.
- Another example is the second jousting match with King Bulblin. The first time, you rode Epona past his boar and swung your sword to knock him off, a la a proper joust. The second time you face him, he's wearing armor on his sides that protects him from sword swings. How do you properly joust him this time? Who said anything about jousting? Just pull out your bow and shoot him a few times in the chest. The third match would be the worst offender, now that he traded his armor for shields that prevent swords AND Arrows. How do you get past him now? Well his reactions aren't perfect, just shoot him when you're close enough that he couldn't possibly be fast enough to block.
- The Unfought: The pair of large Shadow Beasts with round, silver masks, seen flanking Zant in some cutscenes. Beyond those cutscenes, they don't show up anywhere in the game.
- Unskilled, but Strong: Zant. He's very powerful due to the power granted to him by Ganondorf, but he's completely reliant on his magic and has no actual fighting skill.
- Unusable Enemy Equipment: Averted with the boomerang and the ball and chain. You can also pick up arrows fired by Bulbin archers once they've burn out.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Generally averted, as there are only a few human characters that don't freak out in terror at the sight of Wolf Link, and Midna does not allow you to transform in areas where other NPCs will see him. But you're otherwise free to transform in front of animals, monsters or bosses, who simply don't care. The animals in particular tend to think wolf Link is rather cool — a squirrel in Ordon specifically says that Link smells "like the trees of Ordon" (while one of the ranch's cuccos tells him that "You stink like the guy from the ranch").
- Verbal Tic: Ashei ends most of her sentences with "...yeah?" regardless of whether they actually qualify as questions.
- This is somewhat of a Running Gag by now, as she shares this trait with Gonzo and his descendant Alfonzo.
- And then there's Shad's liberal use of Britishisms like "I say" and "old boy."
- Yeta also does this with "...uh."
- Victorious Chorus: The Item Get theme has this.
- Victory Pose: Link gets a particularly epic one of these after winning the joust on the burning Bridge of Eldin against King Bulblin. Epona rears up on her hind legs and Link raises his sword while flames dance behind him.
- He also uses a minor one if he sheathes his sword right after killing any somewhat powerful enemy, or if the killing blow was any of the Secret Techniques (such as Mortal Draw). Absolutely useless, unless you're preparing for another Mortal Draw, but it looks cool.
- The cutscenes that happen just after beating a boss typically have Link sheathing his sword with an elaborate flourish. This is lampshaded in one dungeon, when it turns out that the boss isn't dead yet.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: Cuccos can be attacked as in previous games, however, if the Ball and Chain is used Link won't be changed into a cucco temporarily as punishment for hurting the poor bird.
- Once the Shield Attack is learned, it can be used in ways that it was not originally meant for. While the attack does no damage, it does leave an opponent open to an attack, or another shield attack to the face. This allows one to punch a Bokoblin in the head with a metal (or wooden) shield forever without having to worry about finding a new victim, not that this has any practical application.
- Running around the Hyrule Castle Town as Wolf Link will scare the crap out of the townspeople as they flee in terror while screaming. If you go to the town square in this form, you'll cause the castle guards to appear, but they are deathly afraid of you and trying to attack them will make them drop items like hearts, arrows, and rupees as they run away screaming.
- Variable Mix:
- The Hyrule Field theme changes whenever you stand still, mount Epona, fight enemies, or when the sun goes down. Also, in Hyrule Castle, while climbing to the top, Ganondorf's theme rises in intensity the higher you go.
- The music to Hyrule Castle Town varies depending on which area you're in.
- The music for the Twilight Realm changes depending on whether you're inside or outside. The indoor version is much more sinister than the more relaxing outdoor version.
- Zant's battle theme has six variations, depending on what phase you're in. What changes are the speed, which gets faster as you get to each later phase, the mixed in song, as he is his own Boss Rush, fighting similar to previous bosses, and the main, common theme gets added to as you go through the fight. His final phase plays the music extremely fast and contains music from all of the previous phases.
- Most of Hyrule Castle plays a hollow, low-key variation of the classic theme, with a few notes of Ganon's leitmotif appearing near the end. Once you enter the main keep, a very sinister bassline is added to the tune, and the further you make your way up, the more Ganon's theme begins to encroach on the original music until it's finally been completely swallowed up and only his leitmotif remains.
- Victory Fakeout: Happens twice. First when fighting Stallord, and then again against Armogohma.
- Villainous Breakdown: Zant gets hit by this one very hard. In an interesting variation, however, a flashback shows that he was crazy from the get-go, and that it's only because he has what he wanted that he keeps a calm facade. When Midna and Link fight through all his defenses and are facing him in his own throne room, he loses it.
- The Virus: Barnes implies that this is how the Shadow Beasts operate: when the people of Kakariko went to save a woman being attacked by one, she was nowhere to be found and there were instead two of the monsters. It's not mentioned again though until the palace of twilight.
- Volcanic Veins: The boss of the Goron Mines, Fyrus. He takes this trope quite literally, too.
- Wall Crawl: Link uses the magnetized Iron Boots to walk on walls and ceilings in the Goron Mines.
- Weaponized Offspring: The Deku Toad is first seen when tadpoles drop from the ceiling and attack you (it repeats this tactic later on).
- Weapon Jr.: Link (17 years old in this game) shows off his aiming skills with a slingshot, and his sword skills with a wooden sword.
- Weirdness Censor: Inverted. Unlike in previous games, where nobody seems to notice that Link can use magic or change forms right in front of them. Everyone notices you here and panics. Midna will not allow you to transform in front of the townspeople. This can potentially get very annoying, because you're forced to leave town first if you want or need to change into a wolf or back.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: You never find out why the kids from Ordona were kidnapped even though finding them is one of Link's major drives in the first part of the game. Unexplained, the whole incident is what gets Link out into the world in the first place. It's possible it was merely For the Evulz.
- This is made further perplexing, much later, as the question is raised again when trying to restore Ilia's memory, leading to the discovery that Ilia was held prisoner in the Hidden Village. Since no reasoning is ever given behind the abduction nor the choice of prison, it becomes a Contrived Coincidence: had Ilia been held prisoner anywhere else, Link would have been unable to find the last Twilight Mirror piece.
- There's never a reason given for why Wolf!Link, after being captured, ended up in the Hyrule Castle cells.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: During the credits we learn that Prince Ralis, now king, rules the Zora with the spirit of his mother Rutela watching over him. The children leave Kakariko and return to Ordon. Uli has had her baby. Shad, satisfied that his researches on the Oocca are finished, turns his attention to an archaeological study of the ruins of the Temple of Time, aided by Ashei and Auru. And Link leaves Ordon Village.
- Workplace-Acquired Abilities: As noted above under Chekhov's Boomerang, the wrangling skills Link has learned from his work with the goats come in handy on two occasions during the adventure (one of which occurs when he's not even in human form, at that).
- Young Entrepreneur: Malo
- Younger Than They Look:
- Link appears to be about 20 or 21, but, as in Skyward Sword, he's really 17.
- Shad is 17 too and Coro is 16, though they all look to be well into their twenties.
- You Have Researched Breathing: It takes the instruction of an ancient hero's spirit to teach Link how to nudge his shield into enemies.
- Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Congratulations! You've restored all the Light Spirits, banished the Twilight from Hyrule, and recovered those three thingies Midna was looking for so you can match the power of — wait a minute, did Zant just throw them all away? And nearly kill Midna with light? And Link's trapped in his wolf form again?
- You Shall Not Pass: Midna to Ganon.