YMMV: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

  • 8.8: The notorious Gamespot review was the Trope Namer.
  • Accidental Innuendo:
    Agitha: Li'l stag beetle, li'l stag beetle, your spiky pinchers are so sharp! They must feel so good...
  • Anticlimax Boss:
    • Argorok. He's after one of the most challenging dungeons in the game. And he's a giant dragon you fight on top of the City in the Sky during the middle of a big storm. Despite the absolutely breathtaking setting and circumstances, he goes down with very little fight in a rather simple boss fight, to the point that many players will switch back to the Ordon Sword just to drag the fight out a little longer.
    • Zant to an extent. While he is the most diverse boss in the game and has an awesome battle theme to go with it, he is not that difficult if one remembers what weapon to use, not helped that Zant doesn't exactly have a vast repertoire of attacks. note  Also, the sword duel at the end was pretty lackluster due to Zant only having three attacks at his disposal, all of which are results of his insane breakdown.
  • Awesome Music: A series staple of course, but special mention goes Midna's Lament and Lake Hylia. See AwesomeMusic.The Legend Of Zelda.
  • Base Breaker:
  • Best Boss Ever:
    • Stallord has been very well received, with its fight making good use of the incredibly fun spinner item: The first part of the battle being a game of pinball on its skeleton minions and the second involving bouncing between walls until you knock its levitating skull out of the sky, all while having a kickass remix of Volvagia and King Dododngo's theme playing.
    • Ganondorf's battle is far more satisfying than the above-mentioned Zant's, with him taking the form of a four-phase Marathon Boss and continuing Wind Waker and Ocarina of Time's tradition of intense sword fights with him in the final section of the battle. Oh, and being able to distract him with your fishing rod for free hits is another plus, even if doing so makes him much easier to fight.
  • Breather Boss:
    • Morpheel. The fight is sandwiched between a very frustrating dungeon and the emotional/plotline climax of the first half of the game. If anything, the fight is more finnicky than hard. In fact, you have to really try in order to take damage from the second form, despite the fact that if the game actually obeyed the laws of physics, Link would probably die quickly just from the pressure waves caused by something that huge swimming around.
    • Armogohma. The first phase of the battle is incredibly straightforward and the second phase is literally a joke. As with Morpheel, you really have to try in order to get hurt in this fight.
  • Breather Level: The entire second half of the game after the Sacred Grove. With no more Twilight in Hyrule, the ability to transform into a wolf at will, and the fact that you've grown stronger at a much faster rate than your adversaries, life is good.
  • Broken Base:
    • A common criticism of this game is that it's an It's the Same, so It Sucks rehash of the games that came before it. For instance, back with the release of the 3DS Ocarina of Time Updated Re-release, an often repeated Take That among detractors was usually something along the lines of "A remake? Didn't they already do that with Twilight Princess?" Meanwhile, fans of the game will often defend the familiarity as a highlight it has for what they perceive as a series that experiments "too much".
    • Is a realistic style the 'correct' look and appearance for a colorful fantasy game such as Zelda? Many were divided. Some loved being able to see the world of Zelda, warts and all. Though others find those details less appealing at times (read: the Gorons). Other points of debate are whether the graphics are indeed more colorful and vibrant than many people believe them to be, and how well the graphics have held up over the years. Fans also tend to forget that Twilight Princess broke the Zelda series out of the Animation Age Ghetto after The Wind Waker came under fire for its "Disney-like" graphics, which had many people believing at the time that Zelda would skew in a more kid-friendly direction from that point forward.
    • One that is debated among both detractors and fans is Ganondorf's inclusion. It is either one of the series' greatest Boss Battles or an unnecessary addition which undermines Zant's character.
    • To a lesser extent, Wolf Link is either an awesome Noble Wolf and welcomed addition that sets Twilight Princess apart from other games in the franchise, or an annoying Scrappy Mechanic that feels clunky and slows the game down when you're forced to use it.
  • Complete Monster: The Sociopathic Zant is described by the game as a "Usurper King". At first, he gained power from Ganondorf, but he had his own agenda. His first heinous act was attempting to murder Midna, the rightful heir to the throne of the Twili. When that failed, he transformed her into an imp and banished her and transformed all her people into hideous shadow beasts just so he could have zero opposition to the throne. When he took over, his lust for power still wasn't satisfied, so he decided to extend his tyrannical reign to the prosperous kingdom of Hyrule. There he executed the Queen of Zoras in front of them, and froze Zora's Domain, leaving many of the Zoras to die. He then forced Princess Zelda to surrender and uses Twilight on her kingdom of Hyrule, rendering all the citizens of Hyrule as spirits who could only watch as the shadow beasts tore up the kingdom. When he's confronted by Link, he attempts to kill Midna and transforms Link into a wolf with powerful magic just because Midna defied him, and later rants about only he is allowed to rule the world.
  • Contested Sequel: To Ocarina of Time and The Wind Waker. Considering both this and the latter are very different, and this and the former are quite similar, disputes over this game predictably end up contested by either party. Most of the debate comes from whether Twilight Princess is an Even Better Sequel to Ocarina of Time that takes its formula and improves on it, or whether its similarities to Ocarina don't make it unique enough.
  • Critical Dissonance: Twilight Princess is one of the best-selling (tied with Ocarina) and best-reviewed games in the acclaimed Zelda series, but fan opinion is more divided, with the aforementioned Wind Waker getting slightly more praise.
  • Demonic Spiders: The ReDeads in this game are some of the hardest enemies to deal with, since if you get in certain range of it, it instantly does its infamous shriek leaving you defenseless, then hit you with its BFS, which takes off a big portion of your health.
  • Die for Our Ship:
    • Ilia. Link/Zelda and Link/Midna shippers blow her overreaction to Epona's minor injury out of proportion until she is a complete Jerkass, even though Ilia herself admitted she overreacted and apologized to Link for it.
    • There's some, but not quite as much, of this toward Zelda. Generally though, the more mature Link/Zelda and Link/Midna shippers tend to get along.
    • Like with Zelda, Midna gets this too from some Link/Zelda shippers, it doesn't help them that Midna spends most of the time interacting with Link.
  • Ear Worm:
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: The Hero's Shade is a big one, as Link has never had such a badass mentor before. It helps that the Shade himself is another Link.
  • Foe Yay: In a rather creepy scene with Midna right after the Lakebed Temple, Zant refers to her as "my Midna" and says he needs her "not just for [himself], but for all of [their] people". Midna even looks like she's listening to him for a moment, but is otherwise quick to refuse.
  • Game Breaker:
    • Mortal Draw. It takes a little practice, but is by no means difficult — if you can perfect re-sheathing your sword mid-battle, you can oneshot any regular enemy, and kill bosses in three or four hits. And you can get it about midway through the game.
    • The Great Spin is even moreso. Once Link learns it, he can one-shot entire waves of enemies at once... as long as he has full health. Which turns the Storming the Castle segment at the end into a cakewalk.
    • Ooccoo within the dungeons. There is a trick that if you warp out of the dungeon and then save, you can go back to the exact same spot you warped from after saving. This is especially useful if you're short on time and don't want to go all the way through the dungeon again.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • It only works in the second dungeon, but switching out the boots just before landing on a magnetized surface allows you to walk at normal speed across the ceiling (putting them back on and off to drop). You can't roll or use items, but it is a lot faster (and quieter).
    • There's also the glitch that allows you to use infinite bombs and arrows (and thus infinite bomb arrows) through exploiting the minigames on Zora's River.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: Midna's comment about the Master Sword accepting you as its master becomes much more emotional after you consider the ending of Skyward Sword.
  • Hell Is That Noise: You can tell that hand in the Twilight Realm is gaining on you when you can hear that horrifying noise. The Twilight leitmotif in general.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Twilight Princess has some amusing similarities to the Zelda-like Star Fox Adventures, including:
    • Both games being on the GameCube and the first Teen-rated entries in their respective franchises.
    • A plot twist that involves the respective overarching Big Bad of the series revealed to be The Man Behind the Man, posing as a god to manipulate the apparent main villain to help him return.
    • Link can turn into a wolf, which is a canine like Fox, and the protagonist of Starfox Adventures was originally going to be a wolf before the Star Fox theme was applied.
    • The protagonists of both series being playable in all four Super Smash Bros. games, while the newly-introduced female leads of both games (Midna and Krystal) are Assist Trophies.
    • Even more amusingly, both games are regarded exactly the opposite way by their respective series' fanbases: Twilight Princess is sometimes criticized for being too formulaic for a Zelda game, while Starfox Adventures is criticized for being too much of a departure from the rest of the Star Fox series.
  • Hype Backlash: Inevitable, but when released, Twilight Princess received critical acclaim from critics and audiences alike for returning to the roots of Ocarina of Time instead of being another "experimental" entry like Majora's Mask or Wind Waker. Years down the line, reception ironically completely 180'd; with the former two games now getting more praised for their originality while Twilight Princess would get derided for being too similar to Ocarina of Time, too linear for a Zelda game, and too brown.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks/They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Twilight Princess is the entry that got hit by this Double Standard the worst, since it was the first major console installment that came out when it was already in full effect.
  • It Was His Sled: Ganondorf hijacks the plot. Mostly averted with Midna though.
  • Killer App: Like Ocarina of Time before it, Twilight Princess was heavily hyped as one of the greatest games of all time, and became one of the best-selling games in the series and helped introduce many newcomers to Zelda; in fact, it was sold with 3 out of 4 Wii systems at launch.
  • Les Yay: Midna and Zelda exchange plenty of meaningful dialogue and looks and are very motivated in helping one another, to the point of Heroic Sacrifice. Midna often gives Zelda a grin. Also a little questionable is that Midna call Zelda 'Twilight Princess' when that's her title. How do you think she could also be called that?
  • Magnum Opus: Zig-Zagged. Shortly before and after its release, Twilight Princess was hailed as the greatest video game of all time (to be), but as time passed, some of the praise wore off and Ocarina of Time and a few other games are generally better-liked with the fandom. That said, like most major Zelda games, Twilight Princess has phenomenal review scores, and some people still consider it the best game in the series.
  • Memetic Molester: When Ganondorf possesses Zelda, a few people have to ask themselves if he "Enjoys being inside Zelda".
  • Memetic Mutation: Just as this was invoked in-universe, the Malo Mart dance also became a meme online — see here and here.
  • Moe: Midna, at least whenever she's not sporting a full on Slasher Smile or appearing in her (quite attractive) true form. There's also Ilia, the earthy barefoot girl; and Agitha, the self proclaimed Bug Princess.
  • Mondegreen: Some gamers thought that Ganon's theme was telling them to get a job.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Zant crosses when he traps Link in wolf form and exposes Midna to Lanayru's light, knowing full well she'll be weakened to the point of near death. That is, if turning the Twili into Shadow Beasts or executing Queen Rutela in front of the Zora didn't count.
  • Most Annoying Sound: It seems Midna can't be bothered to properly remove that rattling chain still around Link's front paw. And the imp herself keeps yelling "Duh-Oh!" every single time you bolt.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Has its own page.
  • Nightmare Retardant: Zant is supposed to be the Big Bad, the dark lord of the Twilight Realm. His long arms and his squidlike helmet make him look downright goofy, and the sounds he make during his battle are very timid.
  • One True Threesome: Midna / Zelda / Link, or "Midzelink". It helps that Midna decides the goddesses must have left the Mirror so the three of them could meet.
  • Player Punch:
    • Ganondorf crushing Midna's helmet.
    • Zant mortally wounds Midna, who while still a jerk had likely grown on the player by that point. You then have to carry her to Zelda as she begs you to hurry. When you reach Zelda, you learn it was so Zelda could help you, not her. You then watch as Zelda sacrifices herself for Midna, despite her pleas not to.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: The way Rupees are handled in this game irritate most players. If he doesn't have space for a Rupee you find in a chest, Link puts it back in the chest. Since the game practically hands Link Rupees, he'll run into this often, leaving a lot of dungeons from being 100% cleared until Link empties his wallet. Moreover, every time players start up the game, due to a bug it will always remind them how much differently-colored Rupees cost... even the blue and yellow ones.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: Similar to New Super Mario Bros. 1 released in the same year, Twilight Princess was highly anticipated and unanimously praised at its time of release for being a return to Ocarina of Time's beloved formula after the unconventional and controversial (at the time) Majora's Mask and Wind Waker. Its Real Is Brown aesthetic was also praised for being a return to the "mature" Zelda style fans had been clamoring for, especially since Wind Waker and Minish Cap had raised fears that the series was falling into the Animation Age Ghetto. Nowadays, Twilight Princess is more contested for these very reasons: some feel that its formula is too derivative, and that its "realistic" graphics come across as dull, drab, and slightly outdated, especially since Zelda games have shown a much wider variety of formulas, artstyles and tones ever since.
  • Shipping:
    • The fandom has tons of it for this game, especially since (except for the ones listed under Happily Married) there are no Official Couples. The Link/Midna shippers equal, if not outnumber, the Link/Zelda shippers. Of course, then there's the Link/Zelda/Midna threesome option. And then of course there's Ilia to factor in to the equation....
    • Shad's also very popular with the shippers, being the only other Bishōnen in the game. He's paired with both Zelda and Midna as often as Link, and also with fellow La Résistance member Ashei. Yaoi fans also enjoy slashing him with Link.
  • Shocking Swerve: The main reason why fans reacted so negatively to the reveal of Zant's true nature was the fact that the story did absolutely nothing to foreshadow it. For most of the game fans were led to believe Zant was this cold, aloof, almost menacing figure. But when we fight him in the Palace of Twilight, Zant suddenly breaks his earlier persona and reveals his true nature without any warning to it. And though a flashback reveals he was insane from the start, it's shown during the Villainous Breakdown. Thus, to many fans it felt like an Ass Pull.
  • Squick: Everything about the Deku Toad, from its weak point being its tongue, to it vomiting up the chest containing the Clawshot, is just gross.
  • That One Level:
    • The Lost Woods. A twisting labyrinth of samey-looking chambers and passageways where you have to chase after the Skull Kid while fending off the endless Deku Puppets he summons, made even worse by Skull Kid's annoying giggling and trumpet playing. The first time you're forced to get through it as a wolf and track down Skull Kid by sound alone. Mercifully, the second chase allows Link to use both of his forms and has Skull Kid carry a lantern so you can track him down more easily.
    • Snowpeak Ruins. Slippy-Slidey Ice World, block puzzles, and a bunch of enemies that can freeze you on contact. One of them breathes a stream of ice, one flies into you and freezes you, and the others slid and bounce around like hockey pucks after you strike them, requiring you to be quick with hitting them again when they slide back towards you. Not to mention the spear-chucking ice soldiers who are a total pain to hit from a distance, OR to fight up close... even with the dungeon's weapon, the ball and chain, which causes Link to walk slowly while carrying it, and takes a little time to aim and throw, leaving you open. Plus, the deep snow that only Wolf Link can walk freely on. Link sinks up to his knees and trudges around very slowly.
  • That One Sidequest:
    • Beating Yeta in a sled race. The first race, against Yeto, is fairly easy, as long as you're careful. The race against Yeta is more difficult in comparison. To beat her, you have to take the high-up shortcut, which A) has a very small entrance point, and if you miss it you'll smack into the wall and thus never, never catch up and beat Yeta; and B) takes extreme precision to avoid falling off the edge. And though easing up on the control stick can make it easier to control yourself and thus avoid sailing over the edge, that's not an option here, as you won't beat Yeta to the finish line unless you go full-speed the whole way. And the controls often leave Link either refusing to turn or veering suddenly to the side. And if you get close to Yeta, she can bounce you off-course.
    • Bringing a barrel of spring water across Hyrule Field. Not only is the barrel a One-Hit-Point Wonder that doesn't survive being hit by enemies or thrown, the enemies are Giant Flyers (who flap in very close, making it difficult to see what's going on), plants (who circle around you in ever-tighter circles), and Bulbins (who shoot your barrel full of arrows). And to top it all off, it's a Timed Mission, killing all enemies before moving on only ensures the water cools down and therefore useless. Fortunately, you get a Piece of Heart out of it.
    • Collecting all 60 Poe Souls. They only appear at night in the only 3D Zelda game where you have no control over night and day, and it ultimately leads to a Bragging Rights Reward.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Many fans feel this way about Zant. While the idea of him being a Psychopathic Manchild hiding behind a calm facade is interesting enough and some fans didn't mind Ganon hijacking the plot, many fans felt it would have been better had the story actually built up to the eventual reveal rather than just throw it out all at once. It doesn't help that most of his onscreen appearances are usually in flashbacks that only focus on Zant's cruelty and not his character and that he only interacts with Link and Midna three times in the whole game, note  thus leaving his character underdeveloped. His lackluster and anticlimatic boss fight only rubbed further salt in the wound. That being said, many fans were quite elated to see him return as a playable character in Hyrule Warriors, which in fact plays up his psychopathic traits rather than keeping them a surprise.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The Twilight Realm could have been used as an avenue for more story and several more dungeons, but the player doesn't explore it beyond the Palace of Twilight.
  • True Art Is Angsty: This is one reason why Twilight Princess was so widely praised and sold so many copies, in contrast to The Wind Waker suffering from the opposite reaction at the time of its release. To this day, Zelda games that feature Adult Link in some form or otherwise have more "realistic" artstyles tend to sell more copies and get more attention from the general public; for instance, A Link Between Worlds, which has a cartoonish artstyle and a lighter plot, didn't sell as many copies as said "dark" games.
  • Ugly Cute:
    • Yeto and Yeta.
    • Midna (at least in her imp form).
    • Ooccoo, if you don't find her that creepy.
    • The helmasaurs look and sound a lot like baby dinosaur-lizards, which makes them unusually cute despite their aggressive nature and reptilian design.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • Ooccoo, who is basically a chicken with a human head. Much more unsettling than it sounds. Her son, Ooccoo Jr., who is a child's disembodied head with wings on the sides, is even worse.
    • Zant. During the boss battle with him, and the scene immediately before, he twists into various unnatural positions, and makes some very odd high-pitched noises. He is possibly even more creepy-looking when he's not wearing his huge robe and helmet, due to his creepy eyes and proportions being easier to see.
    • Midna's true form is certainly quite beautiful, but hearing that same childish voice coming out of that Amazon body? REALLY unsettling. Mitigated by the fact that she does notably sound older.
    • The Twili in the outside portion Palace of Twilight dungeon both before and after you change them back with the Sols (with the exception of the little kid Twili). Before, they look like oddly shaped Shadow Beasts, but they don't attack you. They just stand there. And it doesn't stop when you change them back as like before, they don't attack you. They just stand there. It doesn't help that you can't even talk to them and every time you pass by them, they make that weird moaning noise. Hacking the game reveals that they were supposed to have dialogue, mostly imploring Link to save the princess by returning the Sols to their pedestals. The text is written in a way to suggest that they have lost most of their hope under the oppression of Zant's rule.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: It gets cleared up pretty quickly, but Colin is kind of androgynous-looking.
  • Vindicated by History: There was a time after this game came out where it became socially acceptable not only to like The Wind Waker, but to start comparing it to Twilight Princess favorably. Once Skyward Sword came out, suddenly the same happened to this game. Though there are still some controversial aspects about it (such as the Hijacked by Ganon scenario and the early Twilight segments), it has been looked back as a good game because of the dungeons, the darker story, the new items and sword skills and (among timeline theorists) the subtle-yet-plentiful background nods to Ocarina of Time.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: While slightly dated, the graphics are absolutely breathtaking, with tons of Scenery Porn and effects such as realistically textured, clear water.
  • Win Back the Crowd: After the huge success of Ocarina of Time, between hands was a Tough Act to Follow, which neither Majora's Mask nor The Wind Waker managed to surpass (in fact, the former was for the most part overlooked, and the latter fractured significantly the fanbasenote ). Then Twilight Princess was released and, while not completely, it managed to put the series back on spot in sales, critical acclaim, awards and nominations.
  • The Woobie:
    • Midna. Starts off as a Jerkass Woobie, but after she travels with Link for a while, she eases up on him.
    • Colin, before he Took a Level in Badass.
    • And Prince Ralis, coping with his mother's tragic death.

Alternative Title(s):

Twilight Princess