Video Game / The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/image_062.jpeg
Those are only for the one who carries the blood of the hero...the one whose spirit is that of the sublime beast.
"Shadow and light are two sides of the same coin… One cannot exist without the other."
Princess Zelda

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is the thirteenth game in The Legend of Zelda series. It was released for the Wii and Nintendo GameCube, with a remastered version released a decade later on the Wii U.

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).

Twilight Princess 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 dual-console release of Twilight Princess is something of a coincidence. Originally developed solely for Nintendo GameCube, its development cycle took so long that the Wii was preparing to launch by the time it was done. Therefore, the game was somewhat hastily ported 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 Move.

In 2011, alongside other Wii games released in 2006 and 2007, it was re-released under the Nintendo Selects category. In 2015, an HD remake was announced for the Wii U and released on March 2016, which included 1080p HD retextured, amiibo compatibility (including a new Wolf Link figurine created for the game), and the same functionalities featured in later console installments, such as gyro control for arrows and slingshots as well as Inventory and map placement on the Gamepad. While the main quest is based on the GameCube version, Hero Mode mirrors the entire game like the Wii version.

In 2016, the game received a manga adaptation by Akira Himekawa.

This game provides examples of:

  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Speaking with Barnes within the time-frame 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" part 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, but unmoving, 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 he's Link but would rather see him transformed back.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • When climbing Hyrule Castle, falling in one of the half-dozen flights of staircases will restart you at the staircase you fell in, rather than the beginning of the (single large) room.
    • Like Wind Waker HD before it, the HD version of this game brings a few:
      • Link swims and climbs on vines much faster, unlike in the original.
      • Link doesn't do an Item Get animation the first time he collects a given value of Rupee anymore, nor does he return excess Rupees to treasure chests anymore.note 
      • Only 12 Tears of Light must be collected in Twilight segments, as opposed to the original 16.
      • A new item called the Ghost Lantern lights up when a Poe is nearby, even during the day. The map also shows how many Poes are in a general region, and how many you've killed.
      • The map in general shows more info, like where you last started your game, minigames, horse grasses and sidequests.
      • The sword doesn't clash against walls anymore, making combat in narrow areas much easier.
  • Animorphism: Link and the Hero's Shade can both transform into wolves, while the final boss Ganondorf can turn into a big boar.
  • 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 and the Mirror of Twilight. The former is an ancient, powerful dark weapon that can be used to defeat powerful enemies, but can corrupt those who can't control dark powers. The Mirror of Twilight can be used to warp between worlds when it's in complete form, but it too can corrupt careless people and creatures when it's torn apart and misused.
  • Artistic License – Engineering: The bridges of Eldin and Lake Hylia are an architect's nightmare because virtually nothing is holding them up or supporting their massive valley-spanning structures. And it's not a case of Bizarrchitecture because they are both in such a state of disrepair. And it technically shouldn't even be standing anymore after having a large chunk of its center span being broken off by twilight magic: The rest of the bridge would've already fallen from its sudden removal.
  • Artistic License – Physics: in the sliding block puzzles, if a block in motion collides with a stationary block that is not flush against the edge of the area, the stationary block remains stationary and the moving block instantly comes to a halt. In reality, the moving block would transfer its kinetic energy to the stationary block, causing it to slide away.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: Non-character examples. The grass that makes the hawk call resembles a soaring bird, and the grass that calls Epona resembles a horseshoe.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Following the classic Zelda tradition, one of Ganon's forms is vulnerable to a random useless item in your inventory. In the final battle of the game, the Final Boss can be distracted and made vulnerable by... a fishing rod.
  • 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 the rare occasions you find a suitable enemy, few things are more cathartic than literally ripping their throats or souls out.
    • The Magic Armor. It looks amazing, 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. It's 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. In the HD remake, getting the Colossal Wallet and collecting the 9,999 rupees ensures you almost never lose with this armor.
  • Backstab: More like backslash — the Back Slice Hidden Skill, which allows you to roll around an enemy to slash their back. (It's actually the parry attack from Wind Waker, only it can be used at any time instead of being strictly a Counter Attack.)
  • Bag of Holding: Comes standard with the hero garb, being able to to carry a wallet, a fish journal, a bottle, a slingshot, a lantern, a wooden sword, and a big lantern before meeting Midna for the first time. Afterwards, 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 which limits the magical powers inherent in her being the Twilight Princess.
    • Zant tried to do this on Link by fusing a crystal into his head, permanently trapping him within the form he took while he was within the Twilight.note  Thanks to the Master Sword, however, it didn't stick. Rather, it actually made him more powerful since the Master Sword gave him the means to transform to and from his wolf form at will, something Midna was quick to point out.
  • 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 Him:
    • 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.
    • Yeta turns into the boss Blizzeta when she looks at her reflection of a shard of the Mirror of Twilight and is corrupted by it. Link must defeat her in battle to dispel the curse and claim the mirror fragment.
  • Beetle Maniac: Agitha. She is willing to pay handsomely for any new bug Link brings her.
  • 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 for the Darknut, that is; given the Darknut's size, the sword is 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 is revealed to be this after Zant explains to Midna why her curse isn't lifted yet even after retrieving the Fused Shadow for the second time.
  • 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 keeps most of his predecessor's pretty boy look from Ocarina of Time.
  • 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 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 woman who turned into a shadow beast and died shortly beforehand. Plus, he looks like a toddler, and talks about cornering markets like a McDuck.
  • Blade Lock: During the final battle.
  • Bling of War: The Magic Armor is primarily red with golden trim, and we mean actual gold trim. It even weighs Link down if you let it consume all your money.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Link, Zelda, and Ganondorf (respectively) have this kind of dynamic. This even extends to their personalities: Link falls under Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold, Zelda is a Brainy Brunette, and Ganondorf is a Fiery Redhead (albeit slightly less than in Ocarina of Time).
  • Bloodless Carnage: Subverted, mook and Link's blood flashes briefely on screen but as there is no Clothing Damage one won't think much of it. A straight aversion is visiting Rusl after becoming human again, he'll lie on his sofa with nightmares wrapped in bloody bandages. If you don't visit them then will the scene be Lost Forever until you start a new save file.
  • Bonus Dungeon:
    • The Cave of Ordeals is an optional gauntlet area with 50 floors filled with enemies and (near the end) some minibosses. But it's optional, as the only reward for its completion is releasing fairies in the Light Spirits' springs and providing an unlimited supply of Great Fairy's Tears in them.
    • In the HD version, the Wolf Link amiibo unlocks a new dungeon, "Cave of Shadows," which is similar to the Cave of Ordeals but can only be done in wolf form.
  • Bookends:
    • 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 GameCube cycle and the beginning of the Wii's, 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: The Final Boss is weird in the sense that you have to make him vulnerable, 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.
  • 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 avoid him running into you. The battle takes place on the Bridge of Eldin, and is a jousting duel where Link has to attack Bulblin in the right instant to avoid being bumped into the pit.
  • 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: As with all other console 3D games, enemies and characters can be aimed at with the help of the targeting button. Like Wind Waker, it doesn't include a fairy as a justification.
  • 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.
    • This ends up being the weakness of Fyrus, as Link can bring him down by pulling the chains in his feet during battle.
  • Charge Attack: The Jump Strike Hidden Skill and the Midna-Wolf Link energy field attack. The Spin and Great Spin attacks can be used this way too, complete with Audible Sharpness, though they can alternately be performed by rotating the stick 360 degrees and a 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 you have to use the Dominion Rod on later in the game 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 is a young, energetic girl who rarely loses her joyful mood ("rarely" because Link can upset her if he leaves her house-sized castle without giving her a Golden Bug he still has).
  • 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.)
  • Climax Boss: Zant is only the penultimate boss in the game, as he confesses after his defeat that Ganon is back in the Light World and ready to take over Hyrule.
  • 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.
  • Continuity Nod: Agitha isn't the first little girl to nickname Link "Grasshopper" because of his green clothes.
  • 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.
    • Also for a second time, Ganondorf's demon horse... thing.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The in-game explanation for why the shop in Castle Town sells things at outrageous prices. How crazy? The cheapest thing on display is a set of 10 Arrows... for 2,000 Rupees. That's double your possible maximum money capacity in the original game with both wallet items.note  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 half the price of anywhere else.
  • The Corruption: The Fused Shadows and Mirror of Twilight shards both corrupt creatures (and people) into monsters. Though Midna doesn't care about what the Fused Shadows do, seeing what the mirror shards do to Yeta and Armogohma 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: Skull Kid not only acts creepy, 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. You can even talk to them as Wolf Link and they always seem eager to help you or play with you, meow!
    • 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 has a small fang visible when her mouth is either open or closed.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: Subverted. The scene in the final dungeon when Link is about to be ambushed by a group of Bokoblins- he prepares for battle, but The Group blasts them from afar. Fact is, he was prepared (and capable) for battle; the Group just kill-stole them in a CMOA - not because Link couldn't, but because they've got his back, saving him a little time and picking off stragglers.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory:
    • A minor example, but if you're playing this game after The Wind Waker, don't assume that drowning will merely send you back to shore with a bit of health taken away; it causes a Game Over right then and there.
    • This game's got several mirrored versions with respect to others: Gamecube vs. Wii, Wii vs Wii U HD normal mode, HD normal mode vs. hero mode. When you are used to playing one version, you'll probably head the wrong way a few times when you play a mirrored version.
  • Dance Battler: Zant, during the final part of his battle. He uses a stylish melee combat that involves repeatedly waggling with his swords and spinning rapidly.
  • 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 that 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.
    • When Akira Himekawa finally got premission to create a manga adaption, does it manage to be even darker with having Ordon villagers turning into shadow beasts, and they can even talk.
  • 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. The Game Over theme is also a darker snippet of the main theme of the game.
  • Dark World: The Twilight-covered areas of Hyrule. The geography is almost the same as that of their original rendition, but they're corrupted by Shadow Beasts and they can only be restored by retrieving all Tears of Light. There's also the Twilight Realm, but only its palace is visited during the events of the game.
  • Darth Vader Clone: Zant and this game's depiction of Ganondorf seem to be inspired by Darth Vader and his character archetype in different ways, with Zant having a slightly Vader-like role, a menacing helmet, and Vader Breath, and Ganon being more similar in terms of appearance, build, abilitiesnote  and personality. The Hero's Shade subverts this; his imposing, dark, helmeted appearance, Vader Breath are similar to the Trope Namer, and his sword "duels" with Link evoke shades of Vader's interactions with Luke Skywalker, but otherwise he's a heroic mentor to Link.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Midna. "This village is full of idiots."
    • Also Malo. "Time is money, stop wasting both." "I suppose I could part with it."
    • The STAR Game's owner in Hyrule Castle Town Market. He attempts to act cool towards Link when they speak in person, but when he thinks no one is listening he softly speaks to himself rudely about him.
  • Deal with the Devil: Jovani sold his soul to the Poes in exchange for unlimited wealth. They turned him into an immobile but completely sentient golden statue to go along with it.
  • Death from Above: The Helm Splitter Hidden Skill, 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. Zelda is a secondary decoy, as you naturally assume she's the Twilight Princess, and indeed Midna addresses her as that in their first meeting, and Midna's royalty isn't revealed until rather late in the game.
  • 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 is presented as a mean-spirited Tsundere with little care towards the Light World, but that changes 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.
    • Miniboss Ook is being controlled by a Twili bug during the starting events of the game. He's cured after being defeated by Link in the Forest Temple.
  • 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 that she's found another love interest.
  • Disability Immunity: Besides Zelda herself, the Zora queen is the only being of light unaffected by the Twilight's effect of turning people into spirits, and by extension, the only being of light besides Zelda and the spirits of light able to see him. This is because she was already dead by the time Link met her. She was an undead ghost by the time she asked Link for help.
  • Disc One Final Dungeon: The Lake Hylia temple cleanly ended the game's first act, with the Twilight cleansed from Hyrule and the Fused Shadows retrieved, but Zant proves too powerful for the Fused Shadows alone, so Link and Midna set out to recover the Master Sword and the Mirror of Twilight.
  • Disney Acid Sequence:
    • Unlocking new sword techniques involves meeting Link's ancestor and... um... howling a duet with him.
    • The infamous scene when Link first meets Lanayru. The latter tries to explain the former the origins of the Fused Shadow and what happens to those who can't control its power, but the images displayed are very abstract, only fitting the description given in a symbolic manner.
  • 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's evil actions respond to Zant's plans to overrun Hyrule. Zant in turn responds to Ganondorf's plans to take revenge from the Light World for his imprisonment in the Twilight Realm.
  • Down the Drain: The underwater sewer segments of Hyrule Castle, where Link (in wolf form) has to open water gates to get past obstacles.
  • Dr. Jerk: Dr. Borville in Castle Town is not fond of the majority of his patients, and refuses to accept consult from non-human ones.
  • Dual Wielding:
    • Once Link obtains the second Clawshot, it becomes the "Double Clawshot" — one on each hand.
    • In the final phase of the battle with Zant, he wields two swords.
  • 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 spawn via an oversight in the Wii version of the game), 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.
  • Easter Egg: The HD version adds one: screenshots of the then-unnamed The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild can be seen in picture frames inside Chudley's Fine Good and Trinkets Emporium.
  • 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 and Aeralfos are degraded to this after they're defeated in their respective Mini-Boss battles. They remain as the most powerful enemies in the game due to their advanced swordplay and Link's need to resort to more complex strategies (namely dismantling the Darknuts' armor before being able to inflict them damage, as in The Wind Waker, and taking the Aeralfos into fround with the Clawshot at the right time).
  • Empathic Environment: It is raining as you rush a mortally injured Midna to Zelda.
  • 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, much like Farore's Wind from Ocarina of Time. However, 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. This makes her use as an Escape Rope far less viable, as you can't leave the shop or even save and quit without resetting her "warp point": as soon as you leave the shop or load the game, Ooccoo will be waiting for you in the first room of the dungeon.
  • 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: At first, Midna accompanies Link and helps him only for personal purposes, but eventually she embraces the role. She takes advantage of her powers to help Link whenever she can, and hides within Link's shadow when they're not interacting.
  • Fangirl: The three girls who witness Link while he's playing the STAR game become this to him after he wins, admiring his skills and giving him hearts when they're squeeing around him. Beth attempts to be a fangirl to both Link and Ralis, but in both cases it ends up being fruitless as it's one-sided (especially in the case of Ralis, since he's very depressed and only wants to return to Zora's Domain).
  • 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 pants-less. 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 when we see her bare feet.
  • 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 are 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.
  • Floating Continent: The City in the Sky and the Palace of Twilight. The former remains suspended in the sky thanks to the advanced technology that takes advantage of eolic energy, while the latter is simply kept in the air due to magic.
  • Floating Limbs: The spirits of the Sages have disembodied parts, including their faces.
  • Follow the Money: Rupees will guide you to risky (but rewarding) shortcuts during the snowboarding and canoeing sections.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • At one point during the story, Midna comments about how Princess Zelda seemed to be living the life of luxury instead of being more responsible, and that she, herself, shouldn't have problems with her lifestyle. This is forshadowing her role as the true Twilight Princess.
    • To stop Zant, who has somehow gotten a power boost, you'll need the Mirror of Twilight, which the Sages 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.
    • It's implied that the Hero's Shade fully expects Link to howl while in his wolf form next to the Howling Stones as to summon him, and then to come meet him as a human the next time they meet. This foreshadows the fact that Link gets to eventually be able to switch between his wolf and human forms at will.
  • Free Rotating Camera: Only in the GameCube and Wii U versions (borrowing the camera system that debuted in The Wind Waker), since the Wii doesn't have a secondary stick in its standard control (and the game isn't compatible with any other).
  • 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.
  • Freudian Trio: The three main antagonists form one.
    • Id: King Bulbin actively battles Link throughout the game, raided Ordon Village, and is implied to bring the Twilight Realm directly into Hyrule
    • Superego: Ganondorf plots behind the scenes, only confronts the heroes when everything else falls.
    • Ego: Zant is the main antagonist for most of the game, conquering Hyrule and leading the enemy forces. He normally acts calm, but is eventually revealed to have severe Ax-Crazy tendencies as well.
  • 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 Water: 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.
    Purlo: 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
    Runs out!
    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: Supposedly due to being rushed a bit earlier out the door, there are several minor bugs in the Wii version, which actually makes it the more ideal choice for speedrunning. However, one of the most infamous major flaws makes the game Unwinnable by Mistake by saving in a specific window, inadvertently letting an NPC permanently obstruct Link and Midna. Nintendo gave out replacement discs if the faulty ones were sent in.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • 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 only makes its appearance when all other Shadow Insects have been defeated. Midna believes it's just a stray bug, but that changes when it's suddenly revealed to be a King Mook.
  • Girl in the Tower: The deposed Zelda is found in the highest tower of Hyrule Castle. After Zant invades Hyrule and Zelda surrenders to prevent a gruesome war, she is forced to remain in the tower until she gives her life force to save Midna at one point.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Agitha and Ashei both have these, although Ashei's not very girlish otherwise. In the case of Agitha, the pigtails as well as the regal dresses and insect-shaped jewels add further to her personality as a very feminine character.
  • 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 sorcerer, actually is something of a Physical God since he's currently wielding the divine powers of the (incomplete) Triforce and is the reincarnation of Demise.
  • 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 quest for the Fused Shadow pieces make up the first arc of the game, in an ultimately fruitless attempt to defeat Zant; later, the quest for the shards of the Mirror of Twilight becomes the top priority to go to the Twilight Realm.
    • Two sidequests are based on item collection: The Golden Bugs to help Agitha complete her insect collection in her imaginary kingdom, and the hunt of the Imp Poes to collect their souls and help Jovani regain his physical form. The two sources of the collection are in Hyrule Castle Town-
  • Graceful Ladies Like Purple: 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.
  • Harder Than Hard: The HD version has a Hero Mode just like other previous Zelda games and remasters that makes Link take double damage. It also supports the Ganondorf amiibo, which also causes Link to take double damage. And you can use the Ganondorf amiibo in Hero Mode, so do the math.
  • 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 has pretty wide hips although not as pronounced in her true form.
  • Heartbeat Soundtrack: The music that accompanies each encounter with the Shadow Beasts.
  • Heel–Face Turn: King Bulbin, after beating him enough times.
    King Bulbin: I follow the strongest side. It is all I have ever known.
  • Henpecked Husband: And henpecked father. Hanch in Ordon Village is completely overruled in all choices by his wife Sera and daughter Beth.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Link experiences a short one after a particularly dark exposition sequence that tells of the history of the Twili and Hyrule's own shameful role in its unfortunate founding.
  • The High Queen: According to official sources, Zelda's queen-in-waiting. Zant's invasion interrupted her coronation.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: This game names the trope when Zant turns out to have been given his powers by Ganon. There is some foreshadowing of this when you first meet Zant, but the game makes Zant look like the Big Bad until Ganon's role is revealed.
  • Hitodama Light: When Link enters the Twilight Realm, normal humans become like spirits and appear as floating flames. Their real forms are only visible by using the animal senses of Link's wolf form.
  • Hollywood Magnetism: The main concept for the Goron Mines revolves around using the Iron Boots to walk around on areas of magnetic ore in the walls. That's plausible enough. What's not is that fact that in some places, the ore emits some kind of super-strong column of magnetism that will pull you onto the wall if you fall into the beam with the boots on. Plus, Link's carrying several other items made of metal (such as his sword and shield) which are unaffected by the magnets. His hat, seemingly, is, since it still points towards his feet when he walks upside-down on the magnets.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: This appears to be the case at the beginning of the second half of the Diababa fight. When the 3rd head emerges, it sinks the bomb plants, making it impossible for you to damage it. You have to basically fend off its attacks for a minute before the now-good miniboss swoops in to help by bringing bombs.
  • Hope Spot: Two short ones concerning Ilia's memory loss. Both Link's and Epona's names seem to trigger the return of her memory, but she simply ends up telling you that she will never forget your name (as if you really were some brave stranger she just met) and that Epona is a very lovely name for a horse.
  • Horseback Heroism: In a number of scenes, but particularly when Link rushes to save Colin from the Bulblins, and when chasing down Ganondorf for the final battle.
  • Humanity Is Insane: After the Goddesses created the world, everyone lived in paradise. All shared the light equally, the people were content in body and mind. Until... word of the Sacred Realm got out. All hell breaks loose afterward.
  • Hypnotize the Princess: Zelda is possessed near the end and you are forced to fight her.
  • Iaijutsu Practitioner: The Mortal Draw technique lets Link instantly draw his sword and attempt to One-Hit KO the opponent.
  • I Fight for the Strongest Side: After losing several matches against Link, during the final dungeon, King Bulblin finally declares a draw and just hands over a key to proceed before naming this trope and running off.
  • I Know Your True Name: Epona cannot be deceived by the wolf form, and encourages Link to return to his true form and ride with her instead.
  • Implacable Man: The Postman is a benign example. He always completes his deliveries no matter where his recipient is. Even the Twilight itself doesn't seem to be a barrier to his job, and that's an area that turns people into ghosts, or wolves, when they enter! He's even able to recognize Link while he's in his wolf form, showing just how dedicated he is within his job.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: The fight with Argorok over the City in the Sky is the only dragon in the game.
  • Instant Expert: Link's mastery of the sword is justified, given that his father figure is a Master Swordsman. Not so much with the rest of his arsenal. Lampshaded when Malo challenges his skills with the bow, stating that "I've never seen you so much as hold a bow back in Ordon..."
  • Interface Spoiler:
    • Part of the reason for the game's Ring Menu is to keep players from using it to measure their progress throughout the game. It still keeps track of your Plot Coupons, though.
    • The minimap in the HD version shows you how many Poes you've defeated out of the ones in an area. If you aren't following a guide but have been to one area where there's 19 to defeat and 2+ in another, you quickly realize that Jovani's sidequest is going to take a lot longer than initially suggested in-game.
  • Internal Homage: In The Legend of Zelda cartoon series, Link would twirl his sword before sheathing it. After doing certain sword moves or if you sheathe it right after an enemy's defeat, the Link in this game will do the same.
  • Inverse Law of Utility and Lethality: After a certain point in your lessons, the Hero's Shade tells you that the rest of the secret techniques he's going to teach you are incredibly powerful, but also very dangerous to perform. They are actually quite useful (the Mortal Draw in particular one-shots everything that isn't a Darknut), but they're also easy to screw up, and you may want to stick with more pedestrian techniques if you're not confident in your ability to use them.
  • Irony: After all the fragments of the Fused Shadow are retrieved, Link is turned into a wolf for a fourth time after Zant forcefully inserts into him a Shadow Crystal. Zant's intention is to render Link powerless forever, but once the latter finds the Master Sword, the ability of switching forms between human and Wolf anytime thanks to the now-compromised power of the crystal ends up making Link even more powerful. Midna lampshades this right before the battle against Zant.
  • Item Get:
    • Played straight with the "item get" music, except when Link receives the horsecall from Ilia. At that point, Link just calmly holds up the item while "Ilia's Theme" plays in the background. This is actually a good thing, as it probably would've killed the mood if he did a normal Item Get pose.
    • The original version does annoyingly often with rupees. Every time you load a save file, the flag for anything larger than a green rupee gets reset, so the first time you obtain a blue/yellow/red/orange rupee during that play session will result in an Item Get, even if you've sat through it twenty times before. Apparently Link has a really bad memory and needs the Item Get narrator to remind him how much each kind of rupee is worth as well as how he feels about it. Fortunately, this is fixed in the HD version.
  • It's Personal with the Dragon: Much of the game is spent with a grudge against and trying to take down Zant, who is ultimately Ganondorf's pawn. And before Zant enters the plot, It's Personal between Link and King Bulblin.
  • Jerkass: Midna, is really bossy and condescending to Link until she gets some Character Development.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: The Castle Town doctor's tone may be a little harsh when he refuses to treat Prince Ralis, but given that Zora biology is presumably very different from that of humans/Hylians, turning down the case is the right thing to do if it was outside of his expertise.
  • Jump Scare: The scene where Yeta becomes Blizzetta is shown by her face flipping around to a Nightmare Face.
  • Just You Me And My Guards: King Bulblin makes Link fight this way in the mounted combat sequence, though once Link defeats the guards he faces Bulbin one on one.
  • Karmic Twist Ending: The end of the Snowpeak Ruins subplot, where Yeta is transformed by the Mirror Shard into a Nightmare Fuel beast — while contemplating the beauty of her reflection, qualifies as this, especially because of what Yeto tells her afterwards.
  • Kid Hero: Link's timid little friend Colin gets to be one of these when he saves one of the other children from being mowed down by a monster. He can be seen with a wooden sword and shield on his back during the end credits.
  • Lady of War: Princess Zelda in the battle on horseback toward the end where she wields the Light Arrows.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • In Kakariko Village when you're refilling the Vessel of Light.
      Midna: Anyway, what's with having to light candles to get to the basement?! Not very subtle, is it...
    • In the Oocca Shop, the shopkeeper asks herself why she filled her store with material not used by her usual customers.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler:
    • The Zelda trophies in Super Smash Bros. Brawl give away most of the twists in the game.
    • The HD rerelease puts a couple of spoilers on the front of the box.
  • Laughing Mad: Zant, while breaking down over the course of the battle against him.
  • Last Villain Stand: After the Twilight has been purged from Hyrule and is unlikely to return, Zelda has been freed, and Hyrule Castle destroyed, Ganondorf does it twice, first on horseback and then on foot.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: During an early cutscene, Midna hums a bar from her own theme song.
  • Leave the Two Lovebirds Alone: Done by Renado, Cor Goron, and the others once Ilia's memories have been restored. They all leave the room to give her and Link a moment alone (though Talo has to be yanked away from the window, by Beth).
  • Left the Background Music On: The Postman hums the Item Get theme when he hands you the mail. Also, one of Midna's random selections of gibberish includes her humming a few bars of her own leitmotif.
  • Leitmotif:
    • The overworld theme, which could be considered Link's theme as well. Especially since, if you listen closely, you can hear a variation on the original game's overworld theme in it.
    • Zelda has Zelda's Lullaby, Midna has Midna's theme, The Ococco species has Oocco's theme...
    • Zant and the Twilight Realm has one. It's the BGM for Twilight-covered Hyrule.
  • Lethal Chef: Eating Coro's soup actually damages Link's health (usually; sometimes it will heal him a tiny bit).
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: Though the game was designed to avert this trope, the trope is lampshaded by the Fortune Teller in Castle Town. She talks about how the fortunes often have to load before they play.
  • Lonely Piano Piece: "Midna's Lament" is all sad piano notes.
  • Lost Forever:
    • In an interesting variant of the burnable Wooden Shield mechanic, the Ordon Shield that you get in the beginning of the game is one of-a-kind; a different kind of Wooden Shield is the only replacement for a burnt Ordon Shield.
    • The first letter Ooccoo sends to you can be missed permanently if her warping ability is used in the first dungeon. The second is lost if the ability is not used until the completion of the sixth dungeon.
  • MacGuffin: The Fused Shadows, throughout the entire game. The first three dungeons are about trying to reclaim them, only for Zant to steal them away right after you finish Lakebed Temple. The next half of the game is then spent collecting another set of MacGuffins specifically to enable you to travel to the Twilight Realm and reclaim the Fused Shadows.
  • MacGuffin Delivery Service: Zelda-fans (especially Ocarina of Time veterans) will be wary when the plot seems to draw to a close 3 dungeons in. But Zant still manages to shock players by ambushing Link the very instant he warps out of the third dungeon and stealing the Plot Coupons.
  • Made of Iron:
    • Ganondorf is one. In the final battle, damaging him only serves to make him more vulnerable to the Ending Blow; unless you use that, you can literally keep hacking away at him forever and he just... won't... die.
    • King Bulblin survives falling off a cliff twice, and getting cut up by Link's sword.
  • Magic Wand: The Dominion Rod is a blue-grey staff, shaped like a club, that allows Link to control certain objects.
  • Magitek: In spite of its magical properties, the Dominion Rod is described as being a piece of ancient Oocca technology.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: Averted this time. The aforementioned rating mark-up note  prevented Akira Himekawa from making one.
  • Man Behind the Man: When Zant appears after the third dungeon, he states that he got his power from a god. After the fourth dungeon, said "god" is revealed by the Sages to be Ganondorf.
  • Memetic Mutation: Invoked in-universe, with the Malo Mart dance. By the end of the game, there's a scene in Hyrule Castle Town's central square of many townspeople doing the dance.
  • Meta Guy: Malo lampshades Link's Instant Expert skill at archery, among other things.
  • Metal Slime: The Rare Chu. It spawns extremely rarely and almost always with other chus. These other chus will also combine with each other and take on the more common chu's color. However, the Rare Chu jelly that it drops once it's defeated has the same effect as the Great Fairy's Tears (fully heals you while doubling your attack for a short time).
  • Mini-Dungeon: The Bokoblin's fortress in Gerudo Desert, immediately preceding the Arbiter's Grounds. At the end of it, a Mini-Boss (King Bulblin) is fought.
  • Money for Nothing: Zigzagged:
    • While several items and sidequests are expensive, there's still so many Rupees laying around that the player is left with a full wallet several times and a lot of items can be obtained by cutting grass, breaking pots, opening chests, and killing enemies. The Magic Armor, however, runs on Rupees, so when you get it, having a full wallet can still be useful even after everything else of value is bought.
    • What makes the original version the top contender is that if the player finds a chest containing a purple (50) or orange (100) rupee and has no room for it, then Link puts it back and closes the chest. If one wanted 100% Completion, then one would have to make room in Link's wallet by purchasing items or using the Magic Armor to drain rupees and then opening the chest. Fortunately, this is fixed in the HD version, where Link doesn't return Rupees to their chests even if his wallet is full; the wallet capacities in general are also bigger, which alleviates a lot of the problem.
  • Mundane Made Awesome:
    • When you first arrive at the Hidden Village, your goal is to slaughter the bulbins inside. This sequence is accompanied by spaghetti-western Shout-Out music, camera angles, and dialogue. But this isn't what we're talking about. This trope comes in during a later sequence in the same town, using the same music, angles, and dialogue, as you befriend kittens.
    • GOAT IN! whenever you successfully get a goat herded into the barn. Similarly, FISH ON! whenever you successfully catch fish.
    • The home of the Yeti who are perfectly willing to give you a piece of the Plot Coupon is treated just like any other dungeon within the game, complete with a boss fight at the end.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • A Goron in town at one point says "It's a secret to everybody," borrowing a famous line from The Legend of Zelda I.
    • The cowl on Zelda's black robe, which covers the lower portion of her face, is speculated to be a shout-out to Sheik's face mask in Ocarina of Time. The robe is also embroidered or tooled with an image of the Sheikah eye. Additionally, the gown she wears beneath the robe is embroidered with a pattern of harps around the skirt — harps which are identical to the one Sheik played.
    • The howling songs made previous appearances in Ocarina of Time (Requiem of Spirit, Zelda's Lullaby,note  and Prelude of Light), Majora's Mask (Song of Healing, Goron Lullaby), and The Wind Waker (Ballad of Gales). All of them except the aforementioned Zelda's Lullaby return as the songs of the Golden Wolf, and to them a new song (the fan-named Ballad of Twilight) is added to the list.
    • The Temple of Time's entrance hall is quite similar to the one in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (the music is identical) and a certain cliff at Lake Hylia resembles the coastline of Outset Island from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker a lot, even including a similarly placed lookout.
    • The boathouse for the Fishing Minigame has posters of the owner's family with various fish, along with one black-and-white photo of the owner of the Fishing Hole from Ocarina of Time. She also regards her brother as a "cheater" for using a sinking lure to catch his fish.
    • The dungeon passage that Link and Midna use to escape from Hyrule Castle is similar to the one used by Link and Zelda in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Also, Hyrule Castle proper uses the music from that game.
    • Continuing the A Link to the Past nods, the Temple of Time is in ruins in the Lost Woods, en route to the state it is in that game: reduced to the Master Sword's pedestal. note 
    • A more ironic one, but the music from Ocarina that plays when you escape Ganon's Castle plays when Ganondorf himself attempts to escape.
    • The Hidden Village is a Ghost Town with a single inhabitant remaining, much like Old Kasuto from Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.
  • Narrative Shapeshifting: After the first segment in Hyrule Castle, Midna briefly shapeshifts into screaming images of Ilia and Colin to get Link to help her.
  • No Arc in Archery: Averted in the case of Bomb Arrows. The boat minigame at Lake Hylia (where you shoot giant pots with arrows) takes this into account.
  • Noble Wolf: Wolf Link, and also the golden wolf with whom he performs howling duets.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: Particularly jarring here, where Ilia is clearly a love interest for Link, and yet after the scene in which Ilia regains her memory, the camera pans down to show the kids (Malo, Talo, and Beth) looking in through the window at Link and Ilia, who are simply staring at each other.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: The HD remake includes the Colossal Wallet, which holds a grand total of 9999 Rupees. Setting aside the fact that the other wallets have already had their Rupee caps boosted from 300, 600, 1000 to 500, 1000, 2000, the Colossal Wallet is enough to wear the Magic Armour (which eats Rupees at a rate of 2 per second) for an hour straight, and take a few hits from Darknuts while you're at it.
  • No Ontological Inertia: When you go through the time portal that bridges the present era with the Temple of Time from the past, the Dominion Rod instantly goes from being a great artifact full of magic to a useless trinket that needs to be reactivated.
  • Nostalgia Level: The Temple of Time can be entered through its door, having its entrance hall identical in layout to the one it had in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, right down to the background music. The dungeon part averts the trope, since the Temple of Time had no dungeon segments in Ocarina of Time.
  • Not Completely Useless: The Fishing Rod that you get at the very beginning of the game can be used to distract the final boss, leaving him vulnerable to Link's attacks.
  • Not Quite Dead:
    • Nice job defeating Armogohma, Link, strike that Victory Pose, and — it turns out the boss is still alive. It goes down after just one more hit, though.
    • Ganondorf. You expel him from Zelda? Good, but then he transforms into a gigantic beast Ganon. But we slice open his old wound, and he's dead... and becomes some kind of spirit thing, Midna then proceeds to sacrifice herself to blow him up with magic. But it doesn't work. He becomes humanoid again, only this time on a demon horse. But even after various slashes and Light Arrow shots, plus receiving a Sword Plant in the chest during a swordfight, he's still able to stand up. Only when the Triforce of Power abandons him does he finally die.
  • Off-into-the-Distance Ending: The final scene of the game's ending shows Ilia at the entrance of Ordon Village, watching as Link rides off in the direction of the Faron Woods.
  • Oh Crap!:
    • Midna does this when Zant forces Lanayru to hit her full force with pure light, mortally wounding her, and when she sees that the Mirror of Twilight has been broken.
    • Ganondorf has this reaction when the Triforce of Power abandons him.
  • One-Hit Kill:
    • The Ending Blow, capable of instantly killing any enemy that lays knocked down in the floor. This also works against most bosses. You need to use it to finish off Ganondorf.
    • The Mortal Draw, which requires you to have your sword in its sheath and not lock-on to an enemy. Tap A once an enemy draws near, and any non-Darknut/non-boss enemy close to you who isn't defending right that second will be instantly killed. If an enemy still has health left but is knocked down, you can One-Hit Kill it with the Ending Blow.
    • As Wolf Link, you can use a Charge Attack by virtue of having Midna with you in which she spreads an energy field. After the field is fully formed, any enemies within it will be run through in rapid succession by Link once you release the button, unless there are physical barriers blocking some opponents.
    • A lesser-known example which can apply to you, is if you get hit by your own cannonball in the Snowpeak Ruins. Unless you happened to be wearing the Magic Armor, it's an instant Game Over.
  • One-Winged Angel: Yeta and Ganondorf have different forms when you fight them. Midna even has a different form when she unlocks her full power, and looks quite a lot like an Eldritch Abomination.
  • Optional Stealth: To reach the Arbiter's Grounds, Link must pass through the Bokoblin Compound, a mini-fortress/guard station. If he approaches during the day, the lookouts will spot him the moment he enters the area, and call for reinforcements.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Link is cursed to take the form of a wolf while in the Twilight Realm.
  • Pants-Free: Averted, for the first time in the entire series; unlike previous installments, in which Link was either bare-legged or wearing tights, Twilight Princess definitely gives him pants.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • Rusl acts as this for Link. Supplemental material states that he considers Link to be his younger brother. Rusl shows equal bravery in defending his own family — he's willing to fight off a wolf to protect them despite being badly injured (keep in mind he has no way of knowing who the wolf really is).
    • Link, in his turn, acts as this for the village children. Kidnapping or otherwise harming them will lead to you having a severely pissed Link coming after you.
  • Parasol of Prettiness: Princess Agitha carries one.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Zelda has her standard fancy dress with the gold trimmings, and Agitha wears a fancy dress with cute insect trimmings.
  • Plot Tailored to the Party: Some items become nigh-useless once their plot function is fulfilled. Dominion Rod and the Spinner have no real functions once you get the last of the items and areas they unlock.
  • "Pop!" Goes the Human: Midna kills Zant and makes him explode. Even she is horrified by how easily she dealt with him using just a fraction of her ancestors' power.
  • The Power of Love: After you defeat Yeta and she returns to normal, nothing interesting happens. But then her husband comes and after a heartwarming speech, he plows through you, they hug, and hearts began to pop from them (which can actually heal you), and the last is a Heart Container.
  • Precious Puppies:
    • There's a puppy in Ordon Village that does nothing more than happily follow Link around, and whom the player can pick up and hold just like the cats.
    • There's a few in Castle Town, including one outside the STAR game tent that Link can play fetch with.
  • Precocious Crush: Beth, from Ordon Village, has a pretty obvious crush on Link at the start of the game. Humorously, she later switches her affections to Colin after he saves her life.
  • Prehensile Hair: Midna uses her hair-ribbon-hand thing to manipulate things and to kill Zant.
  • Pretty in Mink: Iza is not comfortable with the cold surrounding Lake Hylia and the Zora falls. This trope comes in when she says she misses her fur coat.
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: The Hero's Shade is the Link from Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask.
  • Princess Classic: Agitha acts like this, especially how she gushes and giggles over the golden bugs you bring to the ball she is holding.
  • Princesses Rule: Zelda, although apparently she was about to be crowned queen before everything went bad. Also Midna, the eponymous Twilight Princess.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Zant kept a calm facade, but acts like this when it's broken.
  • Punny Name: The inn in Karakiko Village, located in Eldin Province, is named "Elde Inn".
  • Racing Minigame: Link reaches Yeti Manor by snowboarding down the mountain with yetis, and they give you a prize if you beat them.
  • Raised by Dudes: Ashei's backstory, given briefly by her fellow Resistance members, and acknowledged even more briefly by herself when she says that this is the reason she may seem a bit rough around the edges.
  • Rasputinian Death: Ganondorf provides one of the greatest examples yet. The Triforce of Power has been keeping him alive since the events following Link's final return to the past in Ocarina of Time — during which he was stabbed through with a light-powered greatsword and imprisoned in the Twilight Realm. Then he breaks out and confronts Link, who savages him as Beast Ganon. Then he comes back as some sort of energy spirit, only to face Midna empowered by the Fused Shadows — and apparently survive, only to be shot through with light arrows by Zelda. Then he gets stabbed through the chest by the Master Sword, and then gets back up looking like he's about to rip Link a new one when the Triforce of Power abandons him, finally killing him. And even then, he doesn't fall over; he just stands there. Made of Iron indeed.
  • Rated M for Manly: The game features more realistic graphics, violence and monsters than previous Zelda games, has the highest content ratings out of the canon games (and highest period tied with Hyrule Warriors), and features manlier-than-usual incarnations of Link and Ganondorf.
  • Rearing Horse: Epona does this pose in a couple of the cut scenes after Link fights an epic battle. In the Wii version she either does this or backs up in gameplay, depending on how much you move the joystick on the nunchuck.
  • Real Is Brown: Especially compared to its immediate predecessors, which were bright and colorful. There is certainly color to be had, but much of it is washed out, and the bloom effect is on maximum, particularly during the Twilight Realm segments of the game. The HD remake on Wii U cuts back on the sepia considerably and returns to a color palette more like that of Ocarina. Aside from looking better in general, it makes the contrast between Twilight and non-Twilight areas much more significant.
  • Recurring Boss: King Bulblin is fought at least three times.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: The Twilight Beasts have red tron lines instead of the blue green that the rest of the Twili have.
  • Red Herring: In an early cutscene, Midna mockingly calls Zelda "Twilight Princess". The Reveal that Midna is the actual Twilight Princess comes halfway through the game. If no mention of the title had been made before that, it would have been a very obvious Spoiler Title for that reveal.
  • Red Shirt Army: As usual, Hyrule's guards prove less than effective in combat.
  • Redundant Researcher: Poor Shad. He makes it his life's work to find the Sky City, and Link just swoops in, uses magic tech from the past to find all the Runes Shad couldn't, teleports the sky cannon away to get it fixed, and explores the city himself without bringing Shad along! Way to repay him for translating that spell, repowering the Dominion Rod, and opening the way to the cannon, Link.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Unlike most versions of Link, this one doesn't need Power Bracelets or Power Gloves to manipulate heavy objects (he wrangles goats as his day job, so he already has the muscle for it). He does, however, need to use the Iron Boots to anchor his feet.
  • La Résistance: The Adventurers' Guild, also simply called "the Group." They're the only people in Hyrule (apart from Link and Zelda) to figure out that something's not right and try to stop it. They also help you get to the realms where the Twilight Mirror shards are.
  • Ring Menu: The items menu is ring-shaped and can become relatively crowded as the player acquires more items.
  • Ring Out Boss: Dangoro in the Goron Mines requires you to knock him off the side three times.
  • Rule of Three:
    • In the Snowpeak Ruins, Yeta incorrectly guesses the location of the bedroom key twice before getting it right on the third try. The first two times, Link inexplicably finds food items in the treasure chests.
    • The quest to retrieve the missing three shards of the Mirror of Twilight.
  • Russian Roulette: Gameplay-wise, purple Chu jelly. More often than not, it takes away one heart, but if you're willing to take the gamble, it can restore one or all of your hearts, or drain your health down to one-quarter of a heart. This is also true for Coro's soup.
  • Same Content, Different Rating: Despite being rated T, the game is only marginally more violent than its spiritual predecesor, Ocarina of Time, and there are very few despictions of animated blood in the game. There's also the scene with the half-naked Great Fairy in the Cave of Ordeals, but it wasn't addressed by the ESRB when they rated the game. Averted in the case of the HD remake.
  • Sampling: Zant's battle music samples the music of the boss he's imitating in his fight.
  • Say It with Hearts: Link's fangirls in Hyrule Castle Town have hearts in their dialogue box whenever Link talks to them. In fact, while they're swooning over him, they'll drop three actual hearts to replenish Link's health.
    Fangirls: EEEEEEK! It's HIM! ♥♥♥
  • Scenery Porn: The game's environments are brilliantly rendered, with a great emphasis on scale. Major landmarks such as Hyrule Castle or Death Mountain are visible from a considerable distance, with swaths of terrain surrounding them. The former deserves special mention, being visible from most any point in the overworld, and which looks even better up close. This also holds true for the Bridge of Eldin in sunset, as seen in the game's opening.
  • Schizo Tech: The Goron Mines dungeon is notably industrialized compared to most other things in the game. It even contains an electromagnet.
  • Schmuck Bait: Subverted. The bomb shop in Kakariko Village has warnings plastered everywhere that lit lanterns are forbidden. Once Barnes reopens the bomb shop, go up to the second floor and put the warnings to the test. Barnes activates a sprinkler system on your head, soaking you and extinguishing the lantern immediately. Trying the same thing in the house of bomb supplies is necessary to kill three Dark Insects during the Twilight ordeal, though.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Mirror of Twilight. The dark interlopers, failed to conquer the Sacred Realm. The light spirits sealed away their magic into the Fused Shadows, and the invaders were chased across Hyrule into the Gerudo Desert, where they were then banished to the Twilight Realm by the Goddesses. When they passed through the mirror, all their anger and hatred left them. Bathed in Twilight in a new world, with their own unseen light spirits, they became gentle and docile. The mirror however, still exists as a gateway, and breaking it into shards is not something you want to do.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: The Ganondorf amiibo in HD doubles the damage you take until you quit or get a Game Over. It stacks with the double damage you get naturally in Hero Mode, which means that if you use it in that mode, you take four times the damage.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Midna. "Am I so beautiful that you've no words left?"
  • Shirtless Scene: Link takes sumo lessons. And he's standing shirtless with a fat man.
  • Shockingly Expensive Bill: Dr. Borville amassed one from Telma's bar, and showing him it is how you get him to spill the beans about an item that's important to retrieving Ilia's memory.
  • Shoe Shine, Mister?: Paying the shoeshine boy is necessary to enter the fancy store.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Jovani. After you finally collect all 60 Poe Souls to break his curse, his girlfriend turns out to have met someone else, driving Jovani to become a drunk.
  • Shout-Out:
  • 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.
  • Shown Their Work: The descriptions of the golden snail male and female claim they might actually be of the other gender. Snails are hermaphrodites, so this is technically correct.
  • 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" plays when Midna is mortally wounded. It's a sad remix of the main theme.
  • Sliding Scale of Content Density vs. Width: The game's overworld is larger than The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, but smaller than The Wind Waker.
  • Slow-Motion Drop: Zelda drops her sword as she surrenders to Zant, and the rapier drops in slow motion.
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: Shad wears glasses and helps discover vital areas and items for Link.
  • Smashing Survival:
    • The game doesn't indicate it, but rapidly hitting buttons/waggling the Wii Remote 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:
    • 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.
    • This is one of the strategies to take out the invaders in the Hidden Village. Most of them can be taken out at a distance before they see you.
  • Soft Water: While crossing the bridge over Lake Hylia for the first time. Wolf Link finds himself trapped between two advancing walls of flame and must jump off the bridge to escape. While he falls a considerable distance, he is unharmed because he lands in the small amount of water still remaining in the lake.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The standard Battle Theme Music of the game interrupts the Midna's Lament theme whenever a regular enemy appears, and its tone doesn't match the critical situation of Midna and Link at the time.
  • Speaking Simlish:
    • Midna's speech is actually scrambled English. Unscramble 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 does this in the scene where the Sky Cannon is discovered, uttering an incantation.
  • 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.
  • Spirit Advisor: The Hero's Shade teaches Link special sword techniques.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Agitha, Princess of Bugs. She's got a lavish house and Impossibly Cool Clothes, has no day job, 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: Link does this pose upon acquisition of the Master Sword, signifying the fact that he managed to get it.
  • Starfish Aliens: The Oocca are largely birds with human heads.
  • Starfish Language: The Oocca's language (called Sky Writing). Sky Writing is so old and forgotten that Cunning Linguist Shad is apparently the only person in the entire country who understands it.
  • Stealthy Mook:
    • Poes are only visible at night, and even then, only their lantern is visible. Using the wolf's senses reveals that they're holding the lantern with their feet, and a very, very big scythe with their hands.
    • Ghost Rats aren't visible normally, their presence only revealed when Midna starts twitching and brushing herself off. Using the senses reveals that you are swarming with the things, sure to raise any first-timer's heart rate.
  • 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!
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Apparently a trait of Gorons. A Goron child at the hot springs has challenged himself to hold his breath under the surface for as long as he can, but remarks he feels no urgency to breathe. A minor side quest allows you to free a Goron from within the stone slab you used to melt the ice from Zora's Domain, but the Goron remains underwater after you free him, showing no signs of suffocating underwater and even doing a full dialog if you were to talk to him afterwards. In fact, he seems to like it there.
  • 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 involves striking her orbs back.
  • 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:
    • Plumm 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.
    • Initially, Midna acts like she doesn't care in the least about Link or the world he is living in. But after an incident with Zant that almost kills her, she changes her mind and gradually develops a trust towards him.
    • Ilia is a Dere variation. She is gentle and cheerful towards Link and her father, but upon provocation she gets very angry.
  • 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 shadow crystal Zant embedded in Link's forehead to keep him in wolf form effectively gives the player the ability to shape shift 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: The Twili people and their land have several glowing lines across them.
  • 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 — his fighting style consists more of wild flailing.
  • 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").
  • Useless Item:
    • The Slingshot becomes completely useless after the first 20 minutes of the game. Only very weak enemies are damaged by it, a few can be stunned, but the vast majority of foes you encounter are utterly immune to it. The bow and arrows effectively replace it as a ranged weapon after the second dungeon, anyway. The only thing it's good for is the occasional Skullwalltula when you need to conserve arrows, since they're the only enemies that are killed in one hit by the slingshot.
    • The Dominion Rod. While the concept is cool, unfortunately it becomes pretty useless after serving its plot-related purpose. It is only for solving puzzles, as it has absolutely no use against any enemies. You can only use it to control certain special statues, which there aren't very many of in the game. It can be used to obtain some non essential rupee chests and heart pieces, but aside from that, you'll never use it again.
    • The Horse Call is a portable version of the grass that you pick up and blow on to call your horse, allowing you to summon her from anywhere in the overworld. Very handy in theory, but unfortunately you don't obtain it until you're almost at the very end of the game, and by then the point is moot because you're probably not even using your horse anymore; her usefulness is limited because she can't go anywhere except Hyrule Field, the main area Kakariko Village, Ordon, and a small part of Faron Woods, and you can just teleport wherever you want to go anyway. It can still be useful for finding items in those places if you're aiming for 100% Completion, but other than that, it's largely useless.
  • Verbal Tic:
    • Ashei ends most of her sentences with "...yeah?" regardless of whether they actually qualify as questions.
    • Shad's liberal use of Britishisms like "I say" and "old boy."
    • Yeta does this with "...uh."
  • Victorious Chorus: The Item Get theme plays has a chorus backing it up.
  • 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 Caring Potential: Minor example; when you must return to Ordon Village to get the Iron Boots, you don't have to tell anyone other than Mayor Bo that their kids are OK, but hearing their relieved reactions feels too damn good not to do it.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • Cuccos can be attacked as in previous games, this time without the retaliatory Cucco Death Squad; however, if the Ball and Chain is used, Link won't be changed into a cucco temporarily as punishment for hurting the poor bird.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • During the horseback battles with King Bulblin, a frantic brass rhythm is added to the music when you get close to him.
    • 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: The fight against Armogohma plays with this in that all that's left of the boss when you defeat him is a small piece that runs away. It dies in one hit.
  • 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, has lava stripes on top of his body.
  • 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 him here and panics. Midna simply won't allow Link to transform in front of anyone.
  • "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 research on the Oocca is 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.
  • The Wild West: The game mixes up this setting with the usual Zelda high-fantasy theme; Link starts the game as a ranch hand, Karariko Village was designed with a Native American aesthetic in mind (complete with the appropriate music), and the Hidden Village resembles a Spaghetti Western ghost town (again, complete with the appropriate music).
  • 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, one of the Ordanian children, founds his own store over the course of the game and even takes over an overpriced one within the Castle Town to make the items more affordable.
  • 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 No Take Candle: The Yeti speak this way, presumably because they never interacted with the other races enough to become fluent in Hylian.
  • 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 Shouldn't Know This Already:
    • When Link first fights multiple Shadow Beasts at once, Midna would note that if one of the Shadow Beasts survives, it can revive the others. She'll then teach you the technique involving her in order to kill them all at once. Should you have used the Spin Attack before she does this (another technique that allows Link to attack multiple enemies at a time, and a technique he already knows by the time you get to this point of the game), one of them is guaranteed to survive the attack just so that Midna could teach you her technique anyway.
    • You have to learn the songs as a wolf before you can howl them, even when the mechanic itself is available.

Alternative Title(s): Twilight Princess

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Videogame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess