* EightPointEight: The notorious Gamespot review was the TropeNamer. Averted with the HD version. Gamespot gave ''Twilight Princess HD'' a 9/10 score, meanwhile it was other sites who were giving the same game scores like 8.6/10 (IGN) or 8/10 (Destructoid).
* AccidentalInnuendo:
-->'''Agitha''': Li'l stag beetle, li'l stag beetle, your spiky pinchers are so sharp! They must feel so good...
** ''Most'' of whatever Agitha says is [[UnresolvedSexualTension bug]] [[CreepyChild crazy]].
** "Li'l snail, li'l snail, [[HeadTiltinglyKinky just once I'd like to take a bath in that slime...]]
** As Ilia is scolding Link for injuring Epona's leg:
-->'''Mayor Bo''':Now, now, Ilia. There's no need to get so hot with him.
* AlternateCharacterInterpretation: Lanayru. His visions to Link of the past, makes for a thought-provoking and intelligent cut-scene (nightmare fuel not withstanding). But, is he a benevolent guardian who is looking out for Link's well-being? Or just a {{jerkass}} who is berating and scolding the wrong person for seeking a dangerous power? Midna is the one collecting the Fused Shadows for her own selfish motives, not Link!
* AnticlimaxBoss:
** 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]]he mainly fires energy blasts and when you get to Blizzeta's phase, he tries to stomp on you.[[/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.
* AuthorsSavingThrow:
** A minor one for the HD remake. The game is incorporating both the Gamecube and Wii versions of the game world, so this way people more familiar with one version can play the map they're most familiar with (with the Gamecube map being the one for the main game mode, and the Wii map for the harder Hero Mode).
** When it was revealed the Ganondorf Amiibo's main function in the HD remake is that it makes enemies hit harder, people worried that this meant Hero Mode was only accessible via owning said Amiibo. Nintendo later confirmed this to ''not'' be the case, and Hero Mode does not require Amiibo in order to play. In fact, the two can actually ''stack'' with each other, making you take quadruple damage.
* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic:
** A series staple of course, but special mention goes Midna's Lament and Lake Hylia. See AwesomeMusic.TheLegendOfZelda.
** The triumphant little snippet that plays when you start attacking a boss's weak point is ''incredibly'' gratifying, too.
* BaseBreaker:
** Zant, partly due to him being HijackedByGanon, but especially because of his rather sudden VillainousBreakdown right before he fights Link. Does him being a PsychopathicManchild hiding behind a calm facade undermine his previous badassery, or does it add depth to a previously bland and generic villain?
** Ilia, due to being portrayed by the game as Link's primary ImpliedLoveInterest. Either she's a cute and heartwarming character who deserves Link's love or an annoyingly forced character who cares more for Link's horse and doesn't have any chemistry with Link at all. It doesn't help for her haters that a particularly long segment required to unlock the City in the Sky centers on her.
* BestBossEver:
** 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 [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Volvagia and King Dododngo's theme]] playing.
** Fighting your first Darknut in the Temple of Time. The fight is just wonderful (assuming you're not overpowered), you feel like you're fighting a worthy ''evil human'' opponent, rather than just another G-rated monster. His cries of pain/shock ring out as you strike him. His armor goes flying off, and when you reduce him to chainmail, he proves how much of a badass he is when he's had enough of your antics. Throwing his broadsword and shield at you, [[LetsGetDangerous he comes at you with a longsword]] and is now quite agile.
** For those with arachnophobia, Armogohma may prey on their fear for just a moment. But then you use the Dominion Rod to take possession of the giant statues around the room and slam a massive stone fist into the thing's chest.
** Argorok is first seen when it takes down a bridge (and very nearly Link along with it) in the City in the Sky. It creates a pretty effective paranoid atmosphere as the players wonder if it's going to come back and try to finish the job, and confronting it at its nest is quite relieving. It's also got some neat gameplay to its boss battle, particularly the fact that you have to latch onto its tail with your Clawshots and then literally stab it in the back so that it falls out of the air.
** Ganondorf's battle takes the form of a four-phase MarathonBoss and continues ''The Wind Waker'' and ''Ocarina of Time'' tradition of intense sword fights with him in the final section of the battle. And [[CrowningMomentOfFunny 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.
* BestLevelEver: Many fans consider the dungeons in ''Twilight Princess'' to be among the best in the series, especially those in the latter half. Particular favorites include the Arbiter's Grounds,[[note]]a desert prison full of ghosts and traps where Ganondorf was once held, capped off by a great boss fight[[/note]] Snowpeak Ruins,[[note]]a creepy yet oddly cozy abandoned mansion on a snowy mountain, inhabited by a yeti couple[[/note]] the Temple of Time,[[note]]an expansion of the Temple of Time from ''Ocarina'' where Link gets to manipulate statues[[/note]] and the City in the Sky.[[note]]a floating city that requires Link to use his Clawshot(s) and float with Oocca to get around[[/note]]
* BreatherBoss:
** 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.
* BreatherLevel: 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''.
* BrokenBase:
** The overworld, due to it being ''much'' bigger albeit less dense than ''Ocarina of Time'' and ''Majora's Mask'' in particular. Detractors often blame the overworld for bringing the game down, as they feel that it was just ''too'' big and had nothing interesting to find or explore. Fans on the other hand defend the overworld for giving the game an unprecedented sense of scale for the ''Zelda'' series and fire back at detractors for ignoring the vast amount of caves and grottoes that peppered the overworld. Some TakeAThirdOption and say that the overworld was good in theory and did have much to explore, but it was bogged down by forcing the player to go through the dungeons, slowly [[OpeningTheSandbox open it up]] (which isn't helped by the dungeons being particularly longer than in previous installments), and having rather [[MoneyForNothing paltry Rupee rewards]] or just didn't have enough things to find per area. It was partly due to this debate that ''Skyward Sword'' went far in the opposite direction, itself an even more divisive choice more than anything.
** A common criticism of this game is that it's an ItsTheSameSoItSucks rehash of the games that came before it. For instance, back with the release of the 3DS ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]'' UpdatedRerelease, an often repeated TakeThat among detractors was usually something along the lines of "A remake? [[SerialNumbersFiledOff 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: [[{{Squick}} the Gorons)]]. Other points of debate are whether the graphics are indeed more colorful and vibrant than many people believe them to be, and [[TechnologyMarchesOn 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 AnimationAgeGhetto after ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker 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 [[spoiler:[[HijackedByGanon 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 NobleWolf and welcomed addition that sets ''Twilight Princess'' apart from other games in the franchise, or an annoying ScrappyMechanic that feels clunky and slows the game down when you're forced to use it.
** Of course, this isn't complete without mentioning the Wii vs. [=GameCube=] argument. While the game was focused on the [=GameCube=] throughout most of its development, it ended up being released on Wii first. Some fans really enjoyed the then-new Wii Remote controls, while others preferred to wait for the [=GameCube=] release since they felt it more closely represented the developers' intention (which would make it something of a MythologyGag later on, with a mirrored world in ''Ocarina of Time 3D Master Quest'' and a definitely right-handed Link in ''Skyward Sword''), along with having [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking a free camera]]. For the record, outside of the two major changes (control scheme and game orientation), they really aren't that different, but this came up again when the HD version was leaked, about which version it should be based on, and subsequently when it became apparent it was using the [=GameCube=] version as a basis, at least by default.
** When [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZG8Zzn27YM Link's artwork for the HD version]] was accidentally revealed during a publicized press conference, it was revealed to have more saturated colors than [[http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/zelda/images/c/ca/Link_Artwork_2_(Twilight_Princess).png/revision/latest?cb=20090726020350 the equivalent from the original]]. This created a debate on whether the game should be brightened up for the HD version using the bloom lighting system from ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker HD'' and the ''Twilight Princess''-based Wii U tech demo, or whether that would spoil the "[[TrueArtIsAngsty atmosphere]]" of the game. When the game proper was revealed, it was revealed to be only a ''little'' brighter than the original, calming the debate down, [[ItsTheSameNowItSucks but also bringing up complaints that the remake looks too same-y without a major revamp in the artstyle]].
** Some of the smaller gameplay tweaks in the HD remake:
*** The removal of Link going off balance when Clawshotting to walls. Some find it less annoying and more convenient for speedrunning, while others think it makes the game feel less realistic.
*** Link's sword no longer bounces off against walls; instead, it simply goes through them in the HD remake. Some gamers complained about the realism, others saw this ''as a blessing''. It can be hideously evil to face down Dark Nuts in the Cave of Ordeals, finding your sword repeatedly striking the wall instead of them. Combat is now much more manageable in close quarters.
** The game's SlowPacedBeginning and the [[TechnologyMarchesOn poorly-aged graphics]]. Fans are divided on how well the game's strengths (namely its story, characters, dungeons and atmosphere) counterbalance these flaws, and whether it's enough to make it a worthy competitor to the other 3D games.
* CompleteMonster: {{The Sociopath}}ic [[PsychopathicManchild Zant]] is [[BossSubtitles described by the game]] as a [[FakeKing "Usurper King"]]. At first, he [[HijackedByGanon 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 [[BalefulPolymorph 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 [[AndIMustScream 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 [[DisproportionateRetribution Midna defied him]], and later rants about only he is allowed to rule the world.
* ContestedSequel: To ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]'' '''and''' ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker 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 EvenBetterSequel to ''Ocarina of Time'' that takes its formula and improves on it, or whether its similarities to ''Ocarina'' [[ItsTheSameSoItSucks don't make it unique enough]].
* CriticalDissonance: ''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.
* DemonicSpiders: The [[UndeadMooks 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.
** Facing two or more Dark Nuts at any one time. You better have come prepared and mastered those optional Hidden Skills, ''[[CurbStompBattle otherwise they will trample you]]''.
* DieForOurShip:
** ''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.
* EarWorm:
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vISBI_C_bJw The Malo Mart theme]]
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRHoPxAfy_Q Hyrule field]]
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHdm-iKQNLo Midna's Lament]]
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vr-gy2b5TlY Midna's theme]]
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hniroTzQdVU Ilia's theme]]
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5vWiXcJrDE Hidden Village]]
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iltlMCj3Lw Main Theme]]
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6LaSRlzozI Light Spirit's theme]]
* EnsembleDarkhorse: 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 [[PreviousPlayerCharacterCameo another]] [[Videogame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Li]][[Videogame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask nk]].
* FandomRivalry: With ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'', as explained under ContestedSequel. As the two games have radically different artstyles and structures, such a rivalry would be inevitable. It doesn't help that ''Wind Waker'' has earned many supporters over time while ''Twilight Princess'' is treated as an {{Acceptable Target|s}} by the same fans while the opposite is quite rare, which only heats up negative opinions on both sides. This rivalry was rekindled with the announcement of ''Twilight Princess HD'' for the Wii U, as now both of the Gamecube entries have a high definition remake on the same console. A common argument among both fanbases is which game received the "better" remake treatment, particularly in areas relating to the graphics and gameplay streamlining.
* FoeYay: 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.
* FriendlyFandoms: In contrast to their relationship with ''Wind Waker'' fans, the ''Twilight Princess'' fanbase generally gets along well with that of its spiritual predecessor, ''Ocarina of Time'', due to how similar the games are and how both games were surrounded with similar hype, anticipation and praise at the time of their release.
* GameBreaker:
** [[OneHitKO 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 [[spoiler:[[OneHitKill Great Spin]]]] is even moreso. Once Link learns it, he can [[InstantDeathRadius one-shot entire waves of enemies at once]]... as long as he has full health. Which turns the StormingTheCastle 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.
** The Magic Armor makes you invincible, and takes Rupees in exchange. You get practically handed Rupees constantly. Do the math.
* GeniusBonus: The description for the male and female golden snails ends with "it might actually be a [opposite gender]" in small text. This is a reference to the fact that real-life snails have NoBiologicalSex.
* GoodBadBugs:
** 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 ([[MostAnnoyingSound 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.
* HeartwarmingInHindsight: Midna's comment about the Master Sword accepting you as its master becomes much more emotional [[spoiler:after you consider the ending of ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword Skyward Sword]]''.]]
* HellIsThatNoise: 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.
* HilariousInHindsight:
** ''Twilight Princess'' has some amusing similarities to the ''Zelda''-like ''VideoGame/StarFoxAdventures'', including: both games being on the [=GameCube=] and the first Teen-rated entries in their respective franchises; a plot twist that involves [[spoiler:the respective overarching BigBad of the series revealed to be TheManBehindTheMan, [[AGodAmI posing as a god]] to manipulate the apparent main villain to help him return]]; how Link can turn into a wolf, which is a canine like Fox, and the protagonist of ''Star Fox Adventures'' was originally going to be a wolf before the ''Star Fox'' theme was applied; the comparatively more realistic graphics from the rest of the series that were praised upon release; and the protagonists of both series being playable in all four ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' games. 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 ''Star Fox Adventures'' is criticized for being too much of a departure from the rest of the ''Star Fox'' series.
** Zant is occasionally cited as a more psychopathic and childish take on the DarthVaderClone archetype. Nine years later, ''Film/TheForceAwakens'' would introduce Kylo Ren, who is a DarthVaderClone ''in-universe'' and is frequently seen as the ''Franchise/StarWars'' equivalent of Zant, right down to becoming a BaseBreaker due to his inexperienced PsychopathicManchild nature behind a menacing masked façade and being overpowered by a female protagonist with the same powers who is TheHero despite not being marketed as such.
* HypeBacklash: 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 ''The 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 by fans of those two games (particularly ''The Wind Waker'') for being ''[[ItsTheSameNowItSucks too]]'' similar to ''Ocarina of Time'', too linear for a Zelda game, and [[RealIsBrown too brown]].
* ItsTheSameNowItSucks:
** The biggest fan complaint against the game from those on the "It's the same" side is that it is designed too much like ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]'', and not having an aesthetic difference like ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker The Wind Waker]]'' or gameplay differences like ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask Majora's Mask]]''.
** The reception to the HD port. It looks like no more than a simple up-res of the GameCube version to many fans, [[UsefulNotes/{{Emulation}} something that could already be done years ago on emulators like Dolphin]], [[https://twitter.com/Dolphin_Emu/status/654127675964043266 which even is pointed out by the emulator developers themselves]]. This is especially compared to the better treatment that ''The Wind Waker'' got on the Wii U in regard of using the same lighting technique as the ''Twilight Princess'' inspired tech demo, as well as better detailed 3D models. However, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaW_0Z_Y95A a quick graphics comparison]] showed that the remake actually does in fact have improved textures and lighting over the original, and lacks the notorious blurry filter, calming a few worries that the remake's visuals aren't up to snuff.
* ItWasHisSled: Ganondorf hijacks the plot. Mostly averted with Midna though.
* KillerApp: 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.
* LesYay: Midna and Zelda exchange plenty of meaningful dialogue and looks and are very motivated in helping one another, to the point of HeroicSacrifice. Midna often gives Zelda a grin.
* LoveToHate: For his fans, Zant is such a imposing yet despicable villain that it makes it all the more urgent to save Hyrule from him. And when you finally unravel his plans and come directly to him, his VillainousBreakdown just makes finally killing him all the more satisfying.
* MemeticMolester: When Ganondorf possesses Zelda, a few people have to ask themselves if he "Enjoys being inside Zelda".
* MemeticMutation: Just as this was invoked in-universe, the Malo Mart dance also became a meme online -- see [[http://www.youtube.com/results?search=Search&search_query=malo%20mart%20dance here]] and [[http://www.youtube.com/user/MaloMartUDC2007/videos here]].
* {{Moe}}: Midna, at least whenever [[NightmareFuel she's not sporting a full on]] SlasherSmile [[spoiler:or appearing in her (quite attractive) true form]]. There's also Ilia, the [[EarthyBarefootCharacter earthy barefoot girl]]; and Agitha, the self proclaimed [[SpoiledSweet Bug Princess]].
* {{Mondegreen}}: Some gamers thought that Ganon's theme was telling them to get a job.
* MoralEventHorizon: 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.
* MostAnnoyingSound: 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.
* {{Narm}}: Zant [[spoiler: popping like a balloon thanks to Midna. Sure, he's been nothing but a total asshole, but that still doesn't make it any less funny.]]
* NeverLiveItDown: Ilia snaps at Link ''one time'' for accidentally injuring Epona's leg. Her hatedom took the incident and [[{{Flanderization}} ran away with it]], by making her out to be a short-tempered shrew who cares more about Epona than Link. They completely ignore the fact that she apologized only minutes later. Plus, Link and Mayor Bo had shrugged it off humorously.
* NightmareFuel: [[NightmareFuel/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Has its own page]].
* NightmareRetardant: Zant is supposed to be the BigBad, 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.
* OneTrueThreesome: Midna / Zelda / Link, or "Midzelink". It helps that Midna decides the goddesses must have left the Mirror so the three of them could meet.
* PanderingToTheBase: The game was intentionally designed by Nintendo to evoke the same mood and atmosphere of ''Ocarina of Time''. The latter is the highest-rated game of the franchise, so when ''Twilight Princess'' was announced, it was heaped with praise from both critics and fans alike as being a return to form for the series after [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask two more]] [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker experimental games]]. Upon release, it became a major commercial and critical success, but some players started accusing the game of trying to focus too much on the ''Ocarina of Time'' prestige and nostalgia instead of being its own entity.
* PlayerPunch:
** [[spoiler: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.
* ScrappyMechanic: 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. Since unopened chests ''do not'' disappear from the map, neither does it differentrate them from the rest of the chests i.e. containing important items such as heart pieces, this can also confuse players. Moreover, every time players start up the game, due to a bug [[ViewersAreGoldfish it will always remind them how much differently-colored Rupees cost... even the blue and yellow ones]]. Both of these mechanics were removed in the HD remaster, on top of increasing the size of Link's wallet
* SeinfeldIsUnfunny: Similar to ''[[VideoGame/NewSuperMarioBros1 New Super Mario Bros.]]'' 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 ''The Wind Waker''. Its RealIsBrown aesthetic was also praised for being a return to the "mature" ''Zelda'' style fans had been clamoring for, especially since ''The Wind Waker'' and ''Minish Cap'' had raised fears that the series was falling into the AnimationAgeGhetto. Nowadays, ''Twilight Princess'' is more contested for these very reasons: some feel that [[ItsTheSameSoItSucks its formula is too derivative]], and that its "realistic" graphics come across as dull, drab, and [[TechnologyMarchesOn slightly outdated]], especially since ''Zelda'' games have shown a much wider variety of formulas, artstyles and tones ever since. Despite this, the game's very high production values and creative ideas show through, and it still has a lot of fans.
* {{Shipping}}:
** The fandom has tons of it for this game, especially since (except for the ones listed under HappilyMarried) there are no {{Official Couple}}s. 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 {{Bishonen}} in the game. He's paired with both Zelda and Midna as often as Link, and also with fellow LaResistance member Ashei. Yaoi fans also enjoy slashing him with Link.
** Ilia and Zelda was really popular on {{DeviantArt}}, often nicknamed 'Zelia' despite the two never even meeting each other.
* ShockingSwerve: The main reason why fans reacted so negatively to the reveal of Zant's [[PsychopathicManchild 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 VillainousBreakdown. Thus, to many fans it felt like an AssPull. Justified, since this was basically one of the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=au4ZGt1MReA&t=1m50s last-minute additions in development.]]
* SilentMajority: If poll results and game and merchandise sales are any indication, one would be surprised to find out that ''Twilight Princess'' is one of the most popular games in the series with general audiences, and a contender for second place behind ''Ocarina of Time''. However, the core ''Zelda'' fanbase is more divided, often praising ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast A Link to the Past]]'', ''Majora's Mask'' and ''The Wind Waker'' more vocally while deriding ''Twilight Princess'', while the actual ''Twilight Princess'' fans are generally less vocal about their game preference.
* {{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.
* ThatOneBoss: Argorok. He is paradoxically an anticlimatic boss that dies too quickly, and yet a frustratingly slow fight. This is because the player must adjust their speed ''and wait for him to attack'', which is a beginner's trap as you are hyped at this point. Going crazy with the clawshots means... he won't attack, and you circle him like a merry-go-round. And you have to go slower than you'd think you'd have to dodging his fiery breath. And when his HP is low and only one more round of sword attacks is needed to defeat him, he'll trick Link by changing the direction of the flame attack, so unless you switch to clawshooting to the opposite direction as well, the flame ''will'' burn you and make you fall to the ground, forcing you to climb to the top again.
* ThatOneLevel:
** 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 [[MostAnnoyingSound 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. SlippySlideyIceWorld, 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''.
* ThatOnePuzzle: Guiding the statues back to their positions in order to be granted access to the Master Sword is often called one of the hardest puzzles in the game and the series. Even worse, you can inadvertently get yourself crushed by them if you both end up on the same pillar, or stuck, sandwiched in a corner by one of the golems, meaning you have to [[ResetButton reset the puzzle]] for another attempt.
* ThatOneSidequest:
** 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 OneHitPointWonder that doesn't survive being hit by enemies or thrown, the enemies are {{Giant Flyer}}s (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 TimedMission, 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 BraggingRightsReward.
** Talking to [[{{Padding}} 20 cats in the hidden village]]. There's nothing to do, or see in this ghost town. After taking out 20 enemies beforehand it becomes quite a borefest even if you're a cat lover. It really doesn't help that the wild west music drones over you. And you can't tell which cats you have or haven't spoken to, since they linger, and all look practically alike.
** "Fruit Pop Flight Challenge". It's a mini game that's ''far harder'' to play than watch. The objective looks so simple: pop as many Fruit Balloons as possible to gain points. Get 10,000 points and you're rewarded with a piece of heart. But the controls of the Kargarok are sluggish regardless of which version you're playing, and you need maneuverability to get all those fruits. If you crash, ''and you will'', you're taken back to Lake Hylia, rather than the beginning of the course, which increases load-times AND you get the bird, Plumm, who organizes this event, continually insulting your failure, to the point where it starts to grate on your nerves because of his bad attitude. '''DON'T''' go for a perfect score: an insane '''61,454''' points, will only net you a pathetic 200 Rupees reward.
* TheyChangedItNowItSucks: People from the "they changed it" camp complain that ''Twilight Princess'' is not 'Zelda' enough due to being somewhat linear in comparison, especially towards the beginning where it has to [[OpeningTheSandbox open the sandbox]].
** Fairies no longer give [[GameBreaker full-health restores upon death]]. Many veteran players believe they can tank out whatever challenge the game provides and [[PerfectSolutionFallacy keep only one in reserve for the unexpected]]. Here, however, fairies aren't much of a back-up strategy considering that blue potions/jellies have greater healing capacity. While not worthless, they are effectively neutered. Bringing fairies to the Cave of Ordeals is ''not'' recommended.
** Milk was only a "useful" series healing item in the quest's beginning. You don't have much life-force at the start, therefore its senseless to invest in more powerful items until later on. In Twilight Princess, whether you're at the beginning, middle or end... it's practically '''worthless'''. Milk here only gives you ''3 pitiful hearts'' per swig.
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodCharacter:
** Many fans feel this way about Zant. While the idea of him being a PsychopathicManchild 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]]Once at Lanaryu Spring, before the boss fight with Stallord, and finally at the Palace of Twilight.[[/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 ''VideoGame/HyruleWarriors'', which in fact plays up his psychopathic traits rather than keeping them a surprise.
** This incarnation of Princess Zelda is barely relevant in this game. She only interacts with Link three times before the final battle with Ganondorf. Of those three, two of them were in Wolf form and she spent most of them speaking with Midna.
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot: The Twilight Realm could have been used as an avenue for more story and several more dungeons, but it's visited near the very end of the game and the player doesn't explore it beyond the Palace of Twilight.
* ToughActToFollow: Midna's debut was so successful that fans believe that Nintendo will never attempt to create another character like her, based on the belief that no future character can ever come close to surpassing or even equaling her in many ways such as personality and role.
* TrueArtIsAngsty: This is one reason why ''Twilight Princess'' was so widely praised and sold so many copies, in contrast to ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker The Wind Waker]]'' suffering from [[AnimationAgeGhetto 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, ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkBetweenWorlds A Link Between Worlds]]'', which has a cartoonish artstyle ''and'' a lighter plot, didn't sell as many copies as said "dark" games.
* UglyCute:
** Yeto and Yeta.
** Midna [[spoiler:(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.
* UncannyValley:
** 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 [[GlowingEyesOfDoom eyes]] and [[NoodlePeople proportions]] being easier to see.
** Midna's [[spoiler: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.
** The blurring and shadows on Ilia's face are removed on the HD version, and some find [[https://youtu.be/jtKJBGEdkEM?t=59s the resulting facial texture]] jarring.
* ViewerGenderConfusion: It gets cleared up pretty quickly, but Colin is kind of androgynous-looking.
* VindicatedByHistory: 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 HijackedByGanon scenario, the SlowPacedBeginning and the dated visuals), 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''.
* VisualEffectsOfAwesome: While slightly dated, the graphics are absolutely ''breathtaking'', with tons of SceneryPorn and effects such as realistically textured, clear water.
* WinBackTheCrowd: After the huge success of ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]'', between hands was a ToughActToFollow, which neither ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask Majora's Mask]]'' nor ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker The Wind Waker]]'' managed to surpass (in fact, the former was for the most part overlooked, and the latter fractured significantly the fanbase[[note]]Years later, funnily enough, both would receive similar praise to Ocarina of Time[[/note]]). Then ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Twilight Princess]]'' was released and managed to put the series back on spot in sales, critical acclaim, awards and nominations, very nearly eclipsed ''Ocarina'' as the most beloved game in the series at the time, became one of the best-selling ''Zelda'' games, and retroactively helped bring more attention to said "experimental" titles.
* TheWoobie:
** Midna. Starts off as a JerkassWoobie, but after she travels with Link for a while, she eases up on him.
** Colin, before he TookALevelInBadass.
** And Prince Ralis, coping with [[spoiler:his mother's tragic death]].
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