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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
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The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is the thirteenth game in The Legend of Zelda series, released in 2006. Both a launch title for the Wii and the final first-party release for the Nintendo GameCube, the game later received with a remastered version 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.

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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.

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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. History repeated itself nearly a decade later with the release of Breath of the Wild on the Switch, which again took so long to develop that it was released as a launch title for the system following the one it was developed for.note  As such, Twilight Princess can be seen as something of the start of a series tradition in this regard.

In 2011, alongside other Wii games released in 2006 and 2007, it was re-released under the Nintendo Selects category. In 2015, an HD remaster co-developed by Australian studio Tantalus Media 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.

As mentioned elsewhere, Twilight Princess is generally Darker and Edgier than other Zelda titles, and is thus far the only main series Zelda game to be rated T by the ESRB.

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


This game provides examples of:

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  • Abhorrent Admirer: Telma is this for Renado. After helping Link and Ilia get Prince Ralis to Kakariko Village for Renado to treat medically, she soon starts flirting with Renado after first meeting him. She eventually returns to Hyrule Castle Town, and when a later quest requires Link to deliver a letter from Renado to Telma, Renado admits that he really can't stand her.
  • Ability Mixing: Like in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, Link can combine Bombs with Arrows to shoot Bomb Arrows.
  • Aborted Declaration of Love: When Midna goes back to the Twilight Realm, she says, "Link, I...See you later." Granted, she may not have been about to do a love declaration, but it's implied. Apparently it is not implied at all in the Japanese version. According to Zelda Wiki, her last words in Japanese translates to "Link...s...see you." Which, as you can see, only includes the Ironic Echo.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The game features one of these twice in the game: the same location appears as the training level for Link's wolf form, as well as later, after the third dungeon. While not a huge area, it's still absurdly spacious, and seems to double as a prison of some kind. Said area is apparently inside Hyrule Castle, and clearly above ground level.
  • Action Commands: A similar system to the Parry mechanic in The Wind Waker is employed for the finishing blow and helm splitter.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: The game has this happen in the opposite direction. When freeing the town and thus getting access to its stores, one store is very obviously meant for the wealthy (it doesn't even let you in without cleaning your shoes first). The few things it sells are so ridiculously overpriced that it is impossible to buy them with even the biggest rupee bag. It is an option though to kick that shop out and replace it by the discounter that a child from your hometown founded, leading to much lower prices.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • Air-Aided Acrobatics: When hanging from an Oocoo in the City in the Sky, Link can gain extra height with the help of the eolic setpieces present there. They become the only reliable way to make way through the dungeon until the second Clawshot is collected.
  • Airborne Mook: The Lizalfos enemies have winged relatives in this game, the Aeralfos, that attack Link from the air with strafing attacks.
  • The Alcatraz: The catacombs of Hyrule Castle and the Arbiter's Grounds. The former is where Link is taken to after turning into a wolf, forcing him to escape. The latter's inmates on death row couldn't be killed by normal means, so they were instead banished to another dimension. Its only known "escapee" is Ganondorf himself, though he actually escaped as he was being sent there and needed the Triforce of Power to do so.
  • Alien Sky: The Twilight version of Hyrule has a yellowy brown sky, and there are black squares floating upwards. In the "real" Twilight Realm, the sky (such as it is) is swirling black, blue and purple.
  • All Deserts Have Cacti: Like in Ocarina of Time, the Gerudo Desert is notable for being cactus-free, though Leevers (leech-like creatures) look similar to cacti in this game.
  • 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.
    • Hyrule Historia also reveals details about several of the characters that were otherwise never mentioned, such as the true identity of the Hero's Shade and slightly more info about the Twili and Oocca.
  • Already Done for You: Happens in the final dungeon: As Link approaches the tower where the Boss Key is being held, he gets attacked by some mooks, but several secondary characters arrive and deal with them from the grounds.
  • Alternate Timeline: This game follows the "child" part of the timeline split after Ocarina of Time, continuing from Majora's Mask.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: After The Wind Waker's disappointing sales on the West, it was decided that the next game would cater to Western gamers. The result was the Zelda game with the most realistic art style in the series, in addition to having a more serious and epic tone, being one of the darkest installments (tied with Majora's Mask in many fans' eyes), and having a higher age rating than previous games. Much of the game's official art also had Link looking more serious and aggressive.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Telma is obviously black, but she bares a heavy resemblance to the Gerudo race. The problem is that most Gerudo have fled by the events of this game, though they come back in the next two games in the timeline. So, does Telma have Gerudo in her blood or is she just a Gerudo-looking Hylian?
  • Amphibian Assault: The Deku Toad is a gargantuan amphibian who drops from the ceiling and is defeated by hitting its tongue. Midna panics at the sight of it.
  • Amphibian at Large: Deku Toad is a gargantuan amphibian who drops from the ceiling and is defeated by hitting its tongue. Midna panics at the sight of it.
  • And I Must Scream:
    • Jovani sold his soul for wealth, and was turned into a sentient, but unmoving, golden statue.
    • Midna in the manga explains that this is what the Twilight does to any human caught in it. It strips them of their physical bodies and keeps their spirits in a sort of limbo. They're not alive, nor are they dead. They simply wander the Twilight, living in fear.
    Midna: Have you forgotten? When Light-dwellers enter the Twilight, they turn into spirits.
    Link: Are they alive?
    Midna: They're not dead... but they're not alive either. They simply exist in the interval of Twilight, forced to go around in fear.
  • And Man Grew Proud: Lanayru relates the tale of 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.
  • ...And 99¢: After Malo buys out Chudley's Emporium, the Magic Armor which was previously 100,000 Rupees (400,000 in the HD port) there is reduced to 598 Rupees.
  • Androcles' Lion: The first dungeon is full of monkeys that need to be saved, and are quick to return the favor, proving themselves to be vital to progressing through it. Furthermore, the first miniboss is a possessed baboon named Ook. After Link beats the insect possessing him off of Ook, he returns the favor by helping Link in the fight against the dungeon's boss Diababa.
  • Angel Face, Demon Face: Princess Zelda becomes sickly pale, gets glowing yellow eyes, and starts developing blackish veins around her face and neck after she's possessed by Ganondorf.
  • 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.
  • Animorphism: Link and the Hero's Shade can both transform into wolves, while the final boss Ganon is, of course, a big boar.
  • 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.
    • In the Palace of Twilight, backtracking to the first two sections would seem impossible without the Sols that activated platforms, and there's a tall room in the central section that involves several elevator platform rides, only some of which will carry you up. Returning to these areas activates new floating platforms that will let you go through the rooms in the first section, and skip the series of elevators in the last section.
    • 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, when they are not physically present. 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.
  • 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.
  • Aquatic Mook: The game features neither River Zoras nor Octoroks (the latter's absence is a major omission, as it was present in all prior games(, but has Toadpolis who behave in the exact same manner.
  • Arboreal Abode: Link lives inside a tree, like in Ocarina of Time.
  • Armored Dragons: Argorok, a dragon fought as the boss of the City in the Sky, wears a full suit of armor all over its body. In order to defeat it, Link has to destroy said armor to reach its hidden weak spot.
  • Armor Is Useless: This incarnation of the Hero's outfit has chain mail under the green tunic. But Link takes the same amount of damage wearing the Hero's Clothes as he does in the prologue without it.
  • Armor of Invincibility: The game brings back the Magic Armor from The Wind Waker, this time as an actual suit of armour that Link can change into or out of as he pleases. As the game doesn't have a magic meter, this one eats Rupees at a rate of 2 per second.
  • Arrows on Fire: The game gives fire arrows, no longer available as items, to Bulblins and their twilight counterparts, which typically do minimal damage and can be swatted out of the air with your sword. If you're wearing the Zora armor, however, they do a massive six times normal damage. Out of combat, Fire Arrows are used on two separate occasions to trap you on a bridge coated with oil.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Fused Shadow and the Mirror of Twilight. The former is an ancient, powerful armor 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, and may let through dangerous beings.
  • Artificial Brilliance: A Darknut with its armor removed is smart enough to hang back behind the fully armored Darknuts, darting in and out to attack. Have fun fighting four at once in the Bonus Dungeon. It's a significantly greater challenge than the actual final boss... unless stocked up on bomb arrows.
  • Artificial Script: The game features a developed Hylian alphabet like that of The Wind Waker, though the text itself converts from English words instead of Japanese.
  • Artistic Age: Shad, who looks and acts like someone in his late 20s minimum, is apparently the same age as Link... which is 17.
  • Artistic License – Child Labor Laws: Malo is the youngest and shortest of the village children, but he ends up not only running several shops, he even buys out the competition (thanks to Link's continued funding) and employs adults. We're to assume the Hyrule Kingdom's labor laws are either very lax, or simply don't exist.
  • 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 the bridge of Eldin 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.
  • Art Nouveau: The Lakebed Temple draws a lot of inspiration from Catalan Modernism, especially Gaudí's famous trencadis technique. It's noticeably one of the most beautiful temples of the game.
  • Art-Shifted Sequel: Among 3D games, the game follows up The Wind Waker (which employed cel-shaded visuals) by opting to use a more realitic art style.
  • Ascended Glitch: Originally, it was possible to get Green Chu Jelly if a Blue and Yellow Chu combined. Seeing as it only worked in the Wii version and it had no effect when drunk, had no text on the item subscreen, and no text appeared when obtained, it was most likely left in by mistake from when the game had a magic meter. The HD version not only leaves it in, but gives it proper text referencing that it has no effect.
  • Aside Glance: Link glances in your direction if you leave him standing in one place long enough. Presumably to check you're still there.
  • Ass Kicking Pose: At the end of a boss defeat cutscene, or if you sheathe your sword right before a tough enemy poofs, Link will twirl his weapon before he sheathes it over his shoulder, looking particularly badass. Combining this with the Mortal Draw technique makes for some nice showing iaijitsu.
  • Asteroids Monster: Chus are small blobs of slime that split into smaller blobs when killed (this can go both ways, as smaller junks can congeal to form a larger enemy); since each small Chu comes in a different color, it's important to avoid the merge if the player seeks to scoop the remaining fluids they leave after being killed.
  • 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.
  • Attack Reflector: The Shield Bash allows you to reflect projectiles, but it requires good timing.
  • Attack the Injury: When the Sages attempted to execute Ganondorf it failed, but left an injury. In both the dark beast forms and Ganondorf form, this remains a vulnerable weak spot for him, and Link must take advantage to defeat him. The finishing blow with the Master Sword is also delivered to this spot.
  • Attack the Mouth: The Deku Toad is defeated by repeatedly attacking its tongue.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Following the classic Zelda tradition, one of Ganondorf'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. You have to keep stock of maximizing your rupees with the Giant wallet and wear it ONLY in difficult battles as there's no point into wearing it in puzzles with no enemies. Places like four Darknuts in the Cave of Ordeals would be best worn there. Downplayed in the HD remake, where the max rupee count for each wallet has been increased, in addition to the new Colossal Wallet that can hold 9,999 rupees, ensuring that you can actually make decent use of it for long periods of time.
  • Awesome, but Temporary: The game has the Light Sword, a super-powered Master Sword that can One-Hit KO all Shadow Beasts, and do tremendous damage to Zant. However, it can only be used in the Twilight Realm. Justified, as the power that the Master Sword acquires comes from the Sol, which are used as the Twilight Realm's equivalent to the Sun, and are necessary to keep the realm functional. After restoring the Sol and overthrowing Zant, Link and Midna return to the Light World to face Ganondorf, where the Master Sword loses the power of the Sol and returns to its prior state.
  • Babies Ever After: One of the final scenes of the game shows this happening to Rusl and Uli. Granted they were married with a child for the course of the game and Uli's pregnancy is both visually noticeable and plot-related, the fact that they show the baby at the end makes it count.
  • Back from the Brink: By the time Link starts fighting back the Twilight, it's taken over all of Hyrule apart from Link's hometown, Ordon Village. In fact, they would have gotten that area too had Link not come back at just the right time to kill off the Twilight Beasts.
  • Background Music Override:
    • When Midna is nearly dying; "Midna's Lament" will play in all areas unless an enemy is nearby, in which case it gets overriden.
    • While you're busting through Hyrule Castle, the normal enemy music will be overriden with the sound of the rain if you're outdoors, or Hyrule Castle's theme if you're inside.
  • 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 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.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: The game does this in the fourth dungeon (which may seem like the final dungeon if you aren't familiar with the series tradition of having two sets of Mac Guffins). Big Bad Zant appears, but rather than facing Link directly, he just drives his sword into the skull of a dragon skeleton, animating the boss of the dungeon. Even then, you may think it's just his Dragon and you'll be facing him [immediately] afterwards, but no.
  • 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.
    • Link changes into a wolf whenever he enters the Twilight, and Zant tries to do this to him outside the shadows 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 doesn't stick. Rather, it actually makes him more powerful since the Master Sword removes the crystal, and with Midna keeping it, gives him the means to transform to and from his wolf form at will. Midna is quick to point out how accidentally helpful this was.
  • Ballad of X: The main theme in Hyrule Field is called "The Ballad of Twilight."
  • Balloon-Bursting Bird: One minigame in Lake Hylia has you steering a big Kargaroc (basically a monstrous vulture) to pop fruit-shaped balloons for points.
  • Banishing Ritual: Ganondorf was originally supposed to be executed by the sages, but he survived and started attacking them. In a last-minute maneuver, they resorted to banishing him to the Twilight Realm, where he found Zant.
  • Barbarian Tribe: Bulblins seem to operate in this fashion. They live in a crude encampment in the desert, but venture out into the world for raping and pillaging. They tame wild boars, and are ruled by the gargantuan Lord Bulblin (who, as the biggest of the Bulblins, is also Large and in Charge).
  • Bare-Bottomed Monkey: The monkeys encountered in the Forest Temple are all bare-bottomed, with a couple of jokes about them falling on their backsides ensuing. Of particular note is their boss Ook; not only does he taunt the player by spanking his big red behind at them, it's actually his weak point during his boss fight.
  • Barely Changed Dub Name:
    • In the German translation of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Ilia became "Ilya" and Zant became "Zanto".
    • The French version changed the name Zant to Xanto.
    • Depending on country, Midna's name was translated as either Midna or Midona.
  • Bathos: At one point, you find yourself in an abandoned village, having been tasked to kill 20 Bulblins (orc-like creatures) in a western-style shoot-out in order to save the last resident (an elderly lady). This particular scene is also accompanied by a western soundtrack. Later on, you're given a similar task that's accompanied by the same music piece. This time however, you're tasked with talking to and befriending 20 of the old lady's cats.
  • Battle Boomerang: A unique variant. The Gale Boomerang is enchanted with the power of a wind fairy, allowing it to hit things with magical accuracy and move in physics-defying ways.
  • 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 King Bulblin for Colin.
  • Battle Theme Music:
    • For this game, the boss battle music often gets a triumphant version of the game's overworld theme when you're in the process of exploiting the enemy's weak spot with some well-aimed sword strikes. It uses one song for the bosses before the fourth dungeon, and another for the ones after. The switch happens right in the middle of the fourth boss's fight. Also in the game, there is also a tense 'You're Losing' mix when Ganondorf seems to get the upper hand when you've locked blades with him.
    • Regarding minibosses, several of them has unique themes that fit their nature or style, though a few still adhere to a general track (such as Darknut and Aeralfos).
  • Battle Tops: The Spinner is a top-based battle vehicle. In addition to allowing Link to ride through magnetic rails and over quicksand, it can also be used as a cog to operate large machines or structures. It can also attack small enemies and is vital to defeat one of the bosses, Stallord.
  • 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.
    • During the final battle, Ganondorf possesses Zelda's corpse and uses her magic against you, which includes holy light. When you send it back at him, Zelda is dead and a holy being, but Ganondorf is demonic, so only he gets hurt. Also, this only weakens him. It takes magic from Midna to actually drive him out of Zelda.
  • Beautiful All Along: After the Final Boss battle, it's revealed that Midna was cursed into her diminutive impish guise, and has a rather more shapely and statuesque humanlike true form which is then only seen in the epilogue.
  • Beetle Maniac: Agitha, who plays at being a princess hosting a ball for insects. She is willing to pay handsomely for any new bug Link brings her.
  • Begin with a Finisher: The most powerful attack Link can learn is the Mortal Draw, which does critical damage while drawing the sword. Against unarmored foes, it can end a battle as soon as it begins.
  • Benevolent Architecture: The dungeon where the Spinner it's found in is covered with slots in the walls for the Spinner to slot into. There are also a lot of places where Midna can jump you around. When you lack that ability due to her being mortally wounded, there are ropes spread across the areas you'd normally need her to cross.
  • Bequeathed Power: Partway though the game, Zelda sacrifices her physical form to save Midna's life by transferring... something to her. It's never specified what she gave her, but it's hinted to be the Triforce of Wisdom.
  • Best Friend: Link grew up with Mayor Bo's daughter, Ilia, who's shown to be his best friend in Ordon Village by tending to Epona for him. She also made the Horse Call for him, to wish him well on his journey to deliver the Ordon Sword and Shield to Hyrule Castle, but was abducted by King Bulblin before she had the chance.
  • Betty and Veronica: 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.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: The Lizalfos tie sharp objects, such as axe heads, to their tails.
  • BFG: Auru whips out a cannon held like a rocket launcher near the end to help defeat some enemies in Link's way.
  • 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 the Sages attempted to execute Ganondorf with, which he takes for himself after breaking free, and uses it to fight Link.
  • Big Boo's Haunt:
    • The Arbiter's Grounds combine it with Shifting Sand Land and features undead enemies (like ReDead Knights and Stalfos) and spectral enemies like the Poes and the Mini-Boss Death Sword.
    • The Palace of Twilight is located in the Twilight Realm and is infested by Shadow Beasts and other Twilight-based enemies, as well as dark fog made of Shadow Crystal particles that turn Link into a wolf and can only be removed by the light of the Sol Spheres or the enhanced Master Sword.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Rusl, the Ordon swordsman and Colin's father, is this to Link. It's stated that he was responsible for teaching Link everything he knows and can be viewed as either a sample of this trope or a straight father figure. Their relationship is more depicted as this in the manga adaptation.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: The light stolen to the guardian spirits has to be retrieved by killing electric, luminiscent Shadow Bugs. Their queen is the Twilit Bloat, found in Lake Hylia.
  • 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 into the room during the battle with Diababa, Leit Motif and all.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: A pair of peaceful Yeti are characters Link meets and befriends over the course of his adventure, namely when he travels to Snowpeak. One of them (Yeta) suffers a Demonic Possession due to a curse by a fragment of the Mirror of Twilight, but Link manages to exorcize her via a boss battle. Afterwards, Link can compete against them in a sliding race.
  • 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.
  • Bishōnen Line: The final battle against Ganon, who goes from his 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 will probably 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.
  • Blackout Basement: Many dark caves and basements are found in the game. You have the standby of your wolf senses, but they are significantly nerfed in the aforementioned dark caves. The best thing to do is light the lantern.
  • Blade Lock: During the final battle, there is a move called "chance" that initiates a lock between Link's sword and Ganondorf's. It's the easiest way to beat him.
  • Blind Shoulder Toss: No sooner have you gotten the three Plot Coupons than the apparent Big Bad Zant shows up, takes them, looks at them for a moment, and then tosses them away in disdain, leaving you to find four more Plot Coupons to find him again.
  • 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.
  • Blocking Stops All Damage: There's an example with enemies in the Darknuts. If they're blocking, an attack won't hurt them. It doesn't matter if it's Link's sword, the ball and chain, an explosion from the bomb arrows, or even if his attack doesn't actually hit the area they're guarding with said block, their block animation just prevents all damage.
  • Block Puzzle: The blocks on ice in Snowpeak Ruins and an optional ice cavern in Hyrule Field, where the low friction makes the puzzles more difficult. The blocks have to press and hold switches found in the floors, but due to the low friction the blocks have to be stopped exactly where the switches are, for which it's important to manipulate the positions of the blocks themselves.
  • 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: Played with. Enemies' and Link's blood flash briefly on screen, but as there is no Clothing Damage, one won't think much of it. But after the monster invasion to Ordon Province, visiting Rusl after the cleansing of Faron Province but before defeating the game's first boss (Diababa) in the Forest Temple will show him on his sofa with nightmares wrapped in bloody bandages. It's finally played straight at the end of the game, when Link stabs the Master Sword through Ganondorf's abdomen, yet no blood is seen out of his wound.
  • Blush Sticker: There's a very unusual example of the Deku Toad, a miniboss monster with a pair of these designed with differently colored rings that give them the appearance of archery targets.
  • Bokukko: It's explained that Ashei was raised by her widowed father, an exiled knight, who basically treated her as a boy. She's a really good warrior, and cute with a nice figure, but doesn't know much about social niceties and is a little self-conscious about it.
  • 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.
  • Bonus Feature Failure: Getting all the Poe Souls rewards you a Silver Rupee (200 rupees) every time you ask... but by then, Link has already beaten seven dungeons and the Cave of Ordeals to get those souls, filling up his wallet along the way. By comparison, the earlier reward of getting a bottle full of Great Fairy's Tears seems much better. It's Not Completely Useless, though, since Rupees also serve as fuel for your Magic Armor.
  • 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 at the end of the Wii cycle.
  • Boom, Headshot!: This trope is optionally self-inflicted. There is a section at the Snowpeak Ruins dungeon that contains cannons. If you load one with a cannonball and one of your bombs and position Link in front of the blast, he will die instantly, regardless oh how many hearts you have at the time.
  • Boss Arena Idiocy:
    • Armogohma fights you in an arena filled with giant, hammer-wielding statues, which are the only way to kill it and the only such devices in the game.
    • Stallord fights you in a circular room that conveniently has grooves spiraling up it, allowing Link to ride up using his Spinner and attack.
    • Argorok fights you on a rooftop with towers in each corner that Link can use to Clawshot his way up to where Argorok flies around.
  • Boss Corridor: The fight against Ganondorf is preceded by a long, decrepit upstairs corridor. The game gradually replaces the background music of Hyrule Castle with Ganondorf's Leitmotif to hype the upcoming battle.
  • Boss Remix:
    • The Theme Music Powerup during boss battles is a remix of the Hyrule Field theme. Relatedly, two of the boss themes (namely those of Fyrus and Blizzeta respectively) remix one of the variations of Hyrule Field's theme as well.
    • The Shadow Insect Queen's theme is a remix of the Twilight mook battle theme.
    • Stallord, a dinosaur/dragon skeleton, fittingly uses remixes of "Dinosaur Boss Battle" from Ocarina of Time.
    • As Zant serves as a Final-Exam Boss, he gets several themes, which are each a mix of the original music of whichever boss or mini-boss he's currently mimicking and his own Leitmotif, before finally descending into a frantic, sped-up version of his original theme.
    • The fight against Puppet Zelda is a remix of Ganondorf's theme and Zelda's Lullaby. The final boss theme incorporates snippets of Ganondorf's theme.
  • Boss Room: In Arbiter's Grounds, neither the boss nor miniboss are immediately visible: The boss room has a house-sized dragon skull that doesn't do anything until Zant reanimates it), while the miniboss room only has a very big sword tied to the floor with lots of ofuda-carrying ropes that just screams DO NOT CUT THESE ROPES.
  • Boss Subtitles: With the descriptor of "Twilit [X]", 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 Tease: The boss of the City in the Sky can be seen when you first arrive, and later serves to cause a Broken Bridge.
  • 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.
  • A Boy and His X: The game features a fallen Twili named Midna who turns out to be the titular princess and her wolf companion Link (some of the time, anyway). At first, their relationship is more akin to pet and owner, with Midna riding Link around as though he were a horse and simply using him to fulfill her own ends, but by the end of the game, they've become Fire-Forged Friends (with no small amount of Ship Tease on the side).
  • Braggart Boss: King Bulblin, complete with admittance of Link being a Worthy Opponent and Heel–Face Turn.
  • Bragging Rights Reward:
    • There's a Poe-collecting sidequest that, like the Skulltula one in Ocarina of Time, rewards you with infinite money. While this game does have more use for rupees, thanks to the invincible Magic Armor being fueled by it, it still counts as this trope since a) You don't get infinite Rupees on hand, just have a quick source to max out your wallet, and b) The only location in the game where most players would want to use the item that benefits from the infinite money reward, the aforementioned Magic Armor, is the Cave of Ordeals... but you won't be heading in with the advantage of this sidequest's reward because the last Poe needed to complete it is located on one of the final floors of said 50-floor dungeon.
    • The bug hunt is a maddening example. Every unique bug you give the girl gets you money. She gives you a total of 150 Rupees for every matched male/female pair. And the reward for giving her all 12 pairs of bugs? The ability to carry 1000 Rupees. It would've been useful before she gave you 1800 Rupees. And by the time you could do this, you have been given enough Rupees to buy everything of value. It does synergize well with the Magic Armor, however.
    • Completing all fifty levels of the Cave of Ordeals in grants you the ability to refill your empty bottles with Great Fairy's Tears (and fairies while you're at it) at any spring. If you were able to complete the Cave of Ordeals though, you'll likely not need the Great Fairy's Tears for any other part of Twilight Princess.
  • Braids of Action:
    • Ashei, the lady knight, wears her glossy black hair tied in two braids.
    • Princess Zelda wears one long braid in the back and has a slim braid on either side of her face. She does get in on the action as part of the endgame.
  • Brainy Brunette: Princess Zelda, in her only remotely brunette incarnation. She is noted by her former tutor to have been an excellent student. She's also the chosen disciple of the Goddess of Wisdom, so it's only logical.
  • Brats with Slingshots: Oddly, grown-up Link gets a slingshot to play with the village kids, and it's obviated halfway through the second dungeon combat-wise.note 
  • Breakable Weapons: Like in Ocarina of Time, wooden shields are destroyed if set on fire. As an added bonus, the Ordon Shield in this game is Permanently Missable. You can buy an infinite number of replacement Wooden Shields, which work just as well, but they don't have the same coat of arms as the Ordon Shield has.
  • Breaking Old Trends:
    • The Octoroks had a perfect attendance record in the series (even acknowledged in-universe in The Wind Waker), but they fail to show up in this game.
    • As with previous bosses in the Zelda series, while various items may play a role in exploiting a boss's weakness, it's your sword that is the key to actually defeating every boss in this game... with two glaring exceptions:
      • Blizzeta is remarkable as a boss in that the ball and chain is the only weapon that can damage her and take her down. Your sword, despite being the Master Sword, will be completely ineffective against her.
      • Armogohma has to be stunned with the arrows and then hit with a statue controlled by the Dominion Rod, not with the sword. The sword isn't even required for when the boss is reduced to a small spider, as the arrows can do the job just fine.
    • For the first time in the series, Link actually has a required key item stolen from him. Just when you collected the 3rd Fused Shadow and return to the grotto, a cutscene happens where Zant easily defeats you and Midna from behind and steals the 3 pieces.
    • Zant is the first major antagonist in the series to give up a heart container once defeated. All other antagonist bosses before Zant never gave a heart container.
  • Breaking the Bonds: In a flashback, Ganondorf does this. Set for execution at the hands (or sword rather), of the sages, he breaks free from his chains (AFTER he is already stabbed in the stomach) and in one swift move kills one of the sages. Of course, he had the Triforce of Power on his side, so he did have some help.
  • 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 and warp back to its place.
  • Brutal Bonus Level:
    • The Cave of Shadows is a marathon of enemies with no heart drops and keeps you stuck in wolf form, meaning no healing items or Magic Armor either. You may occasionally find a dig spot with a heart or three, but they are exceptionally rare. Most enemies do half a heart of damage, with some doing a full heart. You also have to fight multiple ReDead Knights at a time on several floors, as well as two floors full of icy enemies and obstacles. The only things that can heal you are the Wolf Link amiibo if you have completed the current challenge at least once and the Sheik and Zelda amiibos, once a piece.
    • Both the Cave of Ordeals and the Cave of Shadows become more difficult the second time through. Thought three Darknuts at once was bad? How about four?
  • Bugs Herald Evil: The most prominent example is the Arbiter's Grounds, an abandoned prison where ghosts still roam. The location is shrouded in evil even without being the home of the Mirror of Twilight, and is crawling with scarabs that will swarm Link en masse unless kept away with a lantern. The Death Sword is an ancient evil that dissolves into a cloud of locusts when defeated. There's also the Temple of Time, which while in much better condition when you visit it as a dungeon, is also crawling with giant spiders. Naturally, this is a giveaway that their progenitor was corrupted by a shard of the mirror and became Armogohma.
  • 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 King Bulblin in the right instant to avoid being bumped into the pit.
  • But Now I Must Go: Midna. Eiji Aonuma 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.
  • Came from the Sky: Oocco and her son come from the City in the Sky. She fell off, and eventually gave up hope of getting back to the sky until she met Link.
  • 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. The mechanic is taught before Link acquires his companion, but Midna still serves as the lock-on in Wolf form, with her magic trapping enemies and letting Wolf Link lock onto them and attack in rapid succession.
  • 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.
  • Can't Refuse the Call Anymore: When Link finds himself turned into a wolf and locked in the twilit Hyrule Castle. The mid-game twist occurs when Zant blindsides Link and takes the Fused Shadows they worked hard to get.
  • Cap: Somewhat controversially, the game has a feature where if you open a treasure chest that contains more rupees than you can currently carry, you will simply put the rupees back into the chest to come back for later. Sounds good on paper, but it can hamper dungeon exploration as the player searches for which unopened chest contain a missing key, and rupee chests obstinately remain "unopened".
  • Cardiovascular Love: The reunion of a yeti couple after a quick bout of possession results in a huge mass of hearts shooting out of their loving embrace. Since this is a Zelda game, the hearts are actually the series' long-standing recovery items, plus a health-boosting Heart Container.
  • Cartoon Bomb: In addition to having standard round bombs as well as a Bombchu-like type known as Bomblings, the game also introduces an special variant that is water-proof and can be used underwater. These explosives, known as Water Bombs, looks like blue round fish with red eyes and white fangs.
  • Cash Gate:
    • You need to purchase the Slingshot in Ordon Village in order to progress through the first part of the game.
    • After you restore light to Lanayru, you will regain control of Link in Lake Hylia. The only way out of the lake at this point is to pay Fyer so that his cannon can blast you back to Hyrule Field. Downplayed in that it only costs ten Rupees.
    • The first time Fyer sends you to Gerudo Desert is free of change; any future trips will cost you ten Rupees. Should you warp out of Gerudo Desert before first accessing a portal there, the only way back will require you to pay Fyer.
    • Played straight with getting to the City in the Sky. You must pay Fyer 300 Rupees so that he will fix the Sky Cannon, which is your only means of getting there.
  • Cast from Money: Lacking the magic meter of many other games, the magic armor in this game drains your wallet at a extremely fast rate.
  • Catapult to Glory: Fyer's Cannon is capable of shooting someone to the desert, but that destination is forbidden without a permit (Link receives one from Auru, who is one of Fyer's closest friends). Much later in the game, the sole transportation method between the ground and the high skies to reach the Oocca's homeland is via the even more powerful Sky Cannon, though it needs to be repaired beforehand.
  • Cats Are Mean: Subverted. While it seems like the cat in Ordon is mean for stealing Link’s fish, he’s actually nice and helps Link out when he’s turned into a wolf and must get past Hanch. Same thing with Louise who helps Link get into the castle to save Midna.
  • The Cavalry: Telma's resistance at Hyrule Castle basically blow up the bad guys pursuing Link.
  • Cerebus Call-Back: Whenever Link purifies a Light Spirit spring and frees the surrounding region of Twilight, Midna, who rides on Wolf Link's back in the Twilight but must hide in his shadow in normal Hyrule, will playfully say "See you later!" before disappearing into his shadow. She says this again at the end when she must return to the Twilight Realm while destroying the Mirror of Twilight, knowing fully well that this means she will never see Link again.
  • Chained by Fashion:
    • Midna wears a shackle in her hair in both forms. In Hyrule Warriors, it forms the basis of her imp form's weapon type, since she attacks with her hair and magic like in this game.
    • 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 holding the chains on his ankles while wearing the Iron Boots to stay in place and serve as a stake to anchor the chain. Fyrus keeps walking until his legs are pulled out from under him, letting Link rush in to attack.
  • Challenging the Chief: The Gorons in The Legend of Zelda series have a culture revolving nearly entirely around physical strength. The strongest and toughest Goron is the tribal chieftain, no exceptions. This comes into play in this very game, wherein the Gorons will not allow you to enter their mines until you beat one of their elders in a sumo contest (which is actually impossible to win unless you cheat with the Iron Boots).
  • Chandelier Swing: There's a subversion in Hyrule Castle; the chandeliers don't swing, but Link can use his Clawshots to grapple from one to another.
  • Chaos Architecture:
    • This was actually done fairly well between The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and this game, with the kingdom simply being a bit larger and the places more evenly distributed. The game also justifies why Midna wouldn't recognize the Palace of Twilight, her own home, by her commenting that Zant's dark magic warped it.
    • It happens when you visit dungeons from Ocarina of Time. The Forest Temple, the Water Temple and the Temple of Time all return in this game, and yet they all have drastically different architecture (for starters, the Forest Temple is no longe a mansion, likely because the mansion itself crumbled and fell down at some point in the chronology).
  • Character in the Logo: The game's logo has a stylized silhouette of Link's wolf form and Midna's helmet.
  • Charged 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 slashing.
  • Chase Fight: During an Escort Mission of a coach from Hyrule Castle Town to Kakariko Village, Link has to fight off several Bokoblins while riding Epona. At one point, Link must also defeat King Bulblin in a joustic match like in an earlier moment (albeit requiring a different method this time due to the opponent's higher defense).
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • On Death Mountain, a giant volcanic 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.
  • Chekhov's Volcano: Death Mountain is shown to be spewing ash and rocks when Link first arrives, foreshadowing that something wrong is going on in what will soon be his destination.
  • 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).
  • Cherry Blossoms: A gameplay mechanic in Lanayru's fishing hole. Cherry blossoms filling the trees lets you know that the current season is spring, which affects the likelihood of finding certain fish.
  • Cherry Tapping: Using the fishing rodnote  to swing at him makes him drop his nigh-unbreakable guard as he just STARES. Proceed to unsheathe your sword and slash him to pieces.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin:
    • Midna makes quite a few of these (in her imp form). Especially whenever she hits a turning point in her quest to overthrow Zant.
    • The Skull Kid has one plastered on his face almost throughout his entire encounter with Link.
  • Childhood Friends: Link grew up in Ordon Village with Mayor Bo's daughter, Ilia, and they're heavily implied to have feelings for each other.
  • Children Are Innocent: The children of Ordon Village, particularly Colin. Malo, however, has the cynicism and maturity of an adult, being capable of running a shop in Kakariko Village and planning the purchase of an abusively expensive emporium in Hyrule Castle Town so its products are made available for less wealthy people.
  • Choice of Two Weapons: Link is shown training with the sword and bow, and can learn sword techniques throughout the game.
  • 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 or very cold water while wearing the Zora Armor, and standing in front of a cannon as it fires are all guaranteed instant kills. Fairies still revive you, though, and you will live if wearing the Magic Armor, though you'll lose 1000 Rupees.
  • Cleavage Window: Iza's small halter top like shirt has two fastened buttons that still leave a huge hole between buttons, revealing her clevage. Her brother Coro also wears the same kind of shirt that also shows off a hole in his chest.
  • Clifftop Caterwauling: Wolf Link from the pre-release trailer and opening. Also, the sequences in-game before Link discovers a new technique.
  • Climax Boss: Zant is only the penultimate boss in the game, as he confesses after his defeat that Ganondorf is back in the Light World and ready to take over Hyrule.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: After defeating Armogohma, a friggin' huge armored spider in the Temple of Time, it's revealed that the "eye" that was Armogohma's weak point was the actual boss; a small spider with an eye design on its back that runs around the room, trying to stay away from Link, and it's easily beaten with a few arrows, or one pound from an animated statue. This is Played for Laughs: the boss takes this form after Link does his customary victory pose. He gets this hilarious "WTF?" expression on his face when the miniature spider appears.
  • 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.
  • Clothing Appendage: Queen Rutela of the Zora has a long and elaborate skirt that seems to be made up of leg fins. Queen Oren from The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds would later show the same feature.
  • 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.
  • Colossus Climb: Two bosses in the game don't have to be climbed as much as getting high enough to use the hookshot on their weak point on their back. Cue Link sitting on the boss frantically stabbing said weak point with his sword until he gets shaken off.
  • Combat Tentacles: Midna's Fused Shadow form has seven tentacles and a pitchfork.
  • Comfort Food: Yeto brews a soup for his sick wife using pumpkin, goat cheese, and fish... and as you add each ingredient, the soup becomes tastier and is a better healing potion. You can drink as much of it as you want, and considering how many bottomless pits and spiky ice monsters haunt the premises, you'll probably want a lot of it.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: Averted this time. The aforementioned rating mark-up note  prevented Akira Himekawa from publishing one. It was eventually released in 2016 to coincide with the HD version, with an international release planned for 2017.
  • Confusion Fu: Zant is somewhere between this and Unskilled, but Strong, due to him being a Ganon-powered Psychopathic Manchild.
  • Conlang: Midna speaks Twili, the language of her character's race. The language is never seen written, but the spoken aspect is basically scrambled English. If one takes the time to unscramble every phrase Midna speaks, you'll find that it is applicable to the given situation. For example, Midna's statement when teleporting you being "I will take you there with my power."
  • Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: Done in the City in the Sky dungeon. You're urged to hurry up because the place is under attack by Argorok, and as you explore you get to watch said monster fly around and trash the place. You're not actually timed, but it's probably the first dungeon in Zelda history to actually create a sense of urgency without some kind of timer.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: Link gains access to a One-Hit Kill move that, as you'd expect, cannot be used on most bosses. On some, the move can Attack Its Weak Point, but is merely a powerful attack and not a one-hit kill. The only exception is against Darkhammer, who actually goes down to it.
  • 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.
  • Conveniently Timed Attack from Behind: In the final dungeon of the game, Link is about to get hit by an arrow when "The Group" comes in with a bazooka.
  • Convenient Weakness Placement: Armagohma will fight you inside a ring of statues whose only purpose is to smack the crap out of whatever's in front of them.
  • 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.
  • Cool Loser: Shad. He's just as handsome as Link is, and comments about how he's more suited for bookish tasks than combat, but he's still part of the group storming the Hyrule Castle grounds at the end of the game.
  • Cool Sword: Besides the Master Sword, there is the Sword of the Six Sages, an ornate sword made of Hard Light created to kill Ganondorf.
  • 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 with both wallet upgrades.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.
  • Cosmic Deadline: The first three dungeons take the longest to locate (the very first one in particular). But from there, each dungeon takes less time than the previous one, with the exception of the City in the Sky. The last two dungeons merely require Link and Midna to go where they are, which takes little, if any, effort. It doesn't help that the very last dungeon houses the Final Boss that hijacked what was supposed to be the last opponent, whose residing dungeon had at least some smooth buildup.
  • Cosmic Keystone: In relation to prior Zelda games, this one changes up the mythos a bit: the Triforce is notably backgrounded, and new Light Spirits are added; without the Light Spirits, the Twilight Realm takes over the world. And the Twilight Realm has its own — small suns that return Dark creatures to their original, more peaceful forms.
  • Counter-Attack: The "Mortal Draw" is especially risky as Link must have his sword and shield put away to use it, though it's still worth using despite that. Many tough enemies are almost impossible to harm when they aren't trying to hit you, as well. Especially Darknuts.
  • Coup de Grâce Cutscene: The end of the Final Boss battle shows Link impaling Ganondorf through the chest.
  • Cranium Ride: In order to reach the source of the river that feeds Lake Hylia, Link and Midna must make use of one of the enormous Twilight avians. Once Link has subdued the creature, Midna jumps onto its head and takes control of it to make it fly them past a series of otherwise impassable obstacles.
  • Crate Expectations: Link comes across randomly located crates in the game, which he can destroy with his sword (or, if you're a wolf, your claws) to reveal hearts and Rupees. These crates are found all over the place; there are even crates, for no discernible in-game reason, on small islands in the middle of Lake Hylia.
  • Crazy Cat Lady: Impaz isn't crazy, but she's the only human citizen in an abandoned ghost town otherwise populated by 20 cats.
  • Creepily Long Arms: Zant. The effect is enhanced by the tassels at the ends of his long sleeves, which nearly reach the floor. As it turns out, his actual arms aren't much shorter. It seems to be a typical trait of the Twili people in general, even the ones who aren't enemies.
  • Creepy Child: The Skull Kid not only acts creepy, his face looks like the moon from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask crossed with Barrel from The Nightmare Before Christmas.
  • Crossing the Desert: The Gerudo Mesa, a large and treacherous desert that Link and Midna must cross to reach the Arbiter's Grounds.
  • Curse: Being in the realm of Twilight turns him into a wolf. Later, he is cursed to turn into a wolf by Zant, even when in the World of Light. It's also revealed that Midna herself used to be a Twili, but was cursed into the form of an imp by Zant.
  • 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.
  • Cuteness Overload: Agatha squees whenever Link presents her a Golden Bug, despite her not (visibly) doing so in the presence of bugs he already gave her.
  • Cutscene Incompetence:
    • Zig-zagged in the cutscene immediately after completing the Lakebed Temple and retrieving the last piece of the Fused Shadow. Zant surprises Link from behind and knocks him senseless before he can even go for his weapon. Then, halfway through the ensuing confrontation between Zant and Midna, Link, now in wolf form, gets back up, goes on the attack...and is promptly tossed aside and knocked out again.
    • Fully subverted in the final dungeon. Link is ambushed by a group of enemies and prepares for battle, but before he can get a hit in, the resistance group shoots them down from afar. Though Link almost certainly could have handled the enemies himself, the moment is significant for the resistance that shows they've got Link's back and will handle things on the lower floors while he forges ahead to the throne room and the final boss.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max:
    • Midna's Fused Shadows. She could destroy practically anything with them, yet she leaves Link to risk his life doing all the dirty work. This one may be justified in that she doesn't want to risk being seen talking to human Link.
    • Midna can only warp Link when he's in wolf form... except for when you've just finished a dungeon.
  • Cycle of Hurting: The Redeads in this game are often accompanied by half a dozen mini-skeletons; the skeletons knock you down, when you get up the Redead paralyzes and hits your with their BFS, then the skeletons hit you again, lather, rinse, repeat.
  • Daddy System: Originally announced as a GameCube game, it was repeatedly delayed, with much speculation that it would be moved to the next Nintendo system — eventually, it was released on both GameCube and Wii. Apart from controls, resolution, and the need to flip everything backwards for the Wii version to make Link right-handed (inconveniencing left-handed players), the games are exactly the same.
  • Damage Discrimination: Put back in full force for enemies. The worst example is the trio of Darknuts at the bottom of the Cave of Ordeals, who clump together into an unassailable wad in spite of their tendency to use wide ground-clearing slashes.
  • 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 style 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 breaks the Mirror into four pieces so Link and Midna can't use it to reenter the Twilight Realm. Midna explains that only the true ruler of the Twili could completely shatter the mirror and that this proves Zant is a fake, so she has Link wander all over Hyrule to gather all the Mirror Shards and reassemble it so they can access the Twilight Realm where he waits.
  • 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. It even turns out that the Big Bad's power of darkness is not the usual Twili magic. It's Ganondorf's.
  • 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 ESRB E rating and earn a T rating for its more realistic depictions of violence and some legitimately disturbing imagery. Japan's CERO gave it a 12+ rating, and this was the reason why Akira Himekawa could not create a manga adaptation for this game until 2016, when the HD edition of the game was released. 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 permission to create a manga adaptation, it managed 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.
  • Dash Attack: Wolf Link's most common attack (since attacking normally has much less range than if you had a sword, it's safer to back away and dash at enemies), and is also be used to move faster.
  • Deadly Gas: Faron Woods has one area with a deadly purple gas/mist that can be temporarily locally dispelled by waving a lantern about.
  • 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 and his cat into immobile but completely sentient golden statues to go along with it.
  • Death from Above:
    • The game introduces a combat technique called the Finishing Blow, a One-Hit Kill which involves Link jumping very high in the air and coming down to impale the foe on his sword.
    • The Helm Splitter Hidden Skill, which requires a Shield Bash to disorient the enemy before Link slices from above.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: If you die in a dungeon, rather than being booted back to the entrance like in previous games, you restart in the room where you died. Unless you quit and reload.
  • Death Mountain: In addition to the classic Death Mountain area, which is once again filled with lava in its caves, the game also has Snowpeak. It is a snowy highland where you fight the same sort of wolves alongside skeletal ice-people and encounter friendly yetis.
  • Death-or-Glory Attack:
    • The sword tech "Mortal Draw" works like this. To use it, you must walk up to an enemy with your sword sheathed, and then press A when prompted during a small window. If it hits, you kill almost any enemy in one strike. If you mistime it, then the enemy gets a free strike at you.
    • Facing a certain charge attack from the Final Boss will prompt you with "chance" and to press A, which enters you into a (completely optional) button-mashing Blade Lock event with him. If you miss the "chance" window and fail to get out of the way, then you get hit with the brunt of the attack. If you fail the Blade Lock, he'll take away a chunk of your health. But if you succeed both of those, you're well on your way to killing him.
  • Deer in the Headlights: As the Bulblins who invaded Link's home and kidnapped the children there arrive in Kakariko Village, Beth is too scared to move, unlike her friends. Colin notices it just in time, grows a backbone, and pushes her out of the way just in time, leading to him getting kidnapped instead. Beth is quite grateful for it after Link saves Colin.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: Defeated monsters tend to turn black and explode (Twilit monsters explode and leave Tron Line particles).
  • 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.
  • Degraded Boss: The City in the Sky features a fight with an Aeralfos, a winged reptilian creature that uses a sword, shield, and a suit of armor. Later in the dungeon, you're faced with two of them at once and the Cave of Ordeals features scores of such creatures; one is fought as an enemy in Hyrule Castle as well. Darknuts switch from miniboss (Temple of Time), to enemy (Cave of Ordeals), then miniboss (Hyrule Castle at the mid), and enemy yet again (Hyrule Castle at the end).
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The Twilight areas, in a partial manner. According to the early trailers, the Twilight was originally supposed to be completely monochrome, but the development team decided to make it more sepia-like with lots of bloom.
  • 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.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • If you are wearing the Magic Armor powered up while riding Epona, and it runs out (making it as heavy as the iron boots), Epona bucks you off, since she can't carry you.
    • When you talk to her in Snowpeak, Ashei's dialogue will vary depending on if you previously introduced yourself to her at Telma's bar.
  • 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.
    • Midna destroys the Mirror from the other side at the game's ending, ensuring she and Link will never meet again.
  • Didn't Need Those Anyway!:
    • Darknuts, much like in The Wind Waker and the Iron Knuckles in Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask. Once the armor is removed, they toss their massive weapon and draw a longsword, and become capable of doing combos.
    • The seventh boss is an armored dragon. Link must drag it down to the ground with the weight of his iron boots to crack the armor. After two incidents of this, the dragon will burst out of it.
  • Died Standing Up: At the end of the Final Boss battle, Ganondorf is left lying on the ground when you finish him, but in the cutscene, he's standing, meaning he didn't just die on his back, he stood back up after you ran him through.
  • Dilating Door: Doors are surprisingly complicated, mechanically speaking. Many dungeon doors are round, and when pushed in, roll out of the way through some mystery of technology.
  • Disability Immunity: Besides Zelda herself, the Zora queen Rutela 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, asking for his help as a ghost.
  • Disappears into Light: The Sage of Water puffs away into billowing white smoke when Ganondorf throttles him. His mask gets left behind, though.
  • Disc-One Final Dungeon: The Lakebed Temple cleanly ends 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.
  • Disconnected Side Area: The Gerudo Desert cannot be reached on foot like every other land-based area and must instead be traversed to with a giant cannon at Lake Hylia. The only way to get out of the area is to warp out.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: The game does this thrice on its own. The boss key of the second dungeon is split up into three pieces, and when assembled, it gives you access to a piece of the Fused Shadow (as they were in turn split beforehand). Then you have to reassemble the Mirror of Twilight in the second stage of the game.
  • 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.
  • Distracted by the Sexy:
    • When Midna is in her true form, Link's eyes are glued to her. She lampshades that along with his Heroic Mime lack of words.
    • Whenever Link talks to Telma, her cleavage is always very close to his eyes, though she doesn't call him out on it.
  • Divine Birds: The Oocca live in the City in the Sky and are implied to be the descendants either of the sky people or possibly their pets.
  • Diving Save: Colin saves Beth from being run down by King Bulblin's charging boar in a striking slow-motion cutscene.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Ilia is barefoot whenever she appears.
  • Door to Before:
    • There's the elevator down from Gor Coron's chamber. If you plan on going straight into the Mines and never returning to the chamber after you beat Fyrus, you'll never need it, but hey, there's the option.
    • After obtaining the Zora Armor and Water Bombs, both of which are required for the Lakebed Temple, you can open a shortcut back to Lake Hylia from Kakariko Graveyard (it becomes handy after you bring Prince Ralis to the village, as from there the way back to Lake Hylia is very long otherwise).
  • Double Unlock: The ultimate armor is available at the Hyrule shop for more money than you can ever hold. In order to buy it, you need to fund Malo's shop to the tune of several thousand Rupees, at which point he buys out the shop, leaving the armor for sale. But it's still very expensive, and works on Rupees (so if no money remains after the purchase, it still won't be ready for use).
  • Down the Drain: The underwater sewer segments of Hyrule Castle, where Link (in wolf form) has to open water gates to get past obstacles.
  • Draconic Humanoid: The game has incarnations of Lizalfos and Dinolfos, but also Aeralfos: winged lizard-men found in the City in the Sky.
  • The Dragon: King Bulblin's evil actions respond to Zant's plans to overrun Hyrule, though he later helps Link after being beaten four times, choosing to side with the strongest. Zant in turn responds to Ganondorf's plans to take revenge from the Light World for his imprisonment in the Twilight Realm.
  • Dramatic Drop: Zelda drops her sword in classic slow-mo fashion when she realizes she is outnumbered by Zant's invading forces and that any form of resistence will endanger her kingdom further, signifying her passing the Despair Event Horizon.
  • 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. Turns out he doesn't know Zora biology very well, but didn't want to admit it.
  • Drought Level of Doom: The Cave of Ordeals, which is 50 floors long and is devoid of supplies save for a few obscure spots with hearts that can be digged by Wolf Link. You do encounter Chus that drop drinkable Chu Jelly, but it's primarily Purple Chu Jelly that has a random effect (it can heal you or take away hearts). The HD remake also adds the Cave of Shadows, which has the same idea but you are stuck as Wolf Link, which means no healing at all.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: After you complete his quest and leave his house, you can come back and find him missing. He's gone to the local tavern and is seated at the bar, crying his eyes out because his girlfriend is seeing someone else.
  • Dual Wielding:
    • Once Link obtains the second Clawshot, it becomes the "Double Clawshot" — one on each hand. This lets him latch onto a target while already hanging from another.
    • In the final phase of the battle with Zant, he wields two swords.
  • Dual-World Gameplay: Oddly, the game averts this trope. The world doesn't change much when it's under the Twilight Realm's influence, but all the NPCs and monsters do. The Twilight Realm itself does not mirror Hyrule at all, and acts instead as the penultimate dungeon.
  • 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.
  • Dungeon Bypass: When reaching the Temple of Time, you gain the Dominion Rod and thereby gain control of a monolithic, mobile, hammer-wielding statue, which you have to return to the first room. The hammer-wielding statue can break past all of the fiddly little gates and things that you had to work your way past on the way up. And kill all enemies in one hit. You do not know what fun is until you see an entire puzzle-room destroyed 'neath the mighty tread of the Hammer Golem!
  • Dungeon Shop: The game has a shop run by a friendly NPC in one of the last dungeons in the game. The existence of the shop is also justified, in this case, as said dungeon happens to be an actual city that is overrun by monsters, with the shop being located near the beginning where they haven't managed to spread to yet.
  • Dungeon Town: The City in the Sky is the home of the Oocca. In addition to occassionally seeing Oocca wandering around inside it, there is a handy shop near the entrance.
  • Dutch Angle: The game has several of these, with one of the more prominent examples being when Ganondorf dies while standing with the Master Sword lodged in his chest.
  • Duty That Transcends Death: It's stated in other texts that the protagonist of Ocarina of Time was filled with regret because, in his own timeline, no one knew him as a "Hero" and so his legend, his skills, and the other valuable lessons he learned were never passed on to anyone else. He was so committed to the need to pass on his heroic legacy that he wandered the world as the restless "Hero's Spirit", not able to move on until meeting the Hero of Twilight (his direct successor) and passing his teachings to him.
  • Dying Town: Kakariko Village, due to the rampant attacks from monsters that reduced considerably its population.

    E-J 
  • Ear Fins: The Zora in this game have droopy dog-like ears that also resemble pectoral fins.
  • Early Game Hell: The first fights against Shadow Beasts are the hardest because Link only has three hearts, the Shadow Beasts deal a full heart of damage, and there's no healing available during the fights. The first fight adds another nasty wrinkle: the move required to prevent the Shadow Beasts from reviving is locked until they revive once and Midna teaches it to Link, so Link effectively has to beat them twice. Lastly, unlike the game's two 3D predecessors, the entire prologue also lacks enough Heart Pieces for Link to assemble a fourth Heart Container (especially since it's now required to collect five Pieces to do so), so the player will have to keep surviving with only three Hearts until the defeat of the first boss (Diababa) in the Forest Temple.
  • Earthy Barefoot Character: Ilia is introduced feet first and is the only villager, besides Talo, to not wear shoes. According to the supplemental material, she spends more time at the Ordon Spring and the surrounding forest, than the village itself. Or occasionally pitching in at the ranch. She's an expy of both Saria and Malon, who were friends with nature as well.
  • Easter Egg:
    • A short minigame for a Piece of Heart has you trying to shoot an arrow at a wooden pole at the highest point in Kakariko, from the lowest point at the other end of Kakariko. Talo, attending the pole, has lines for Link hitting the pole, and Link missing the pole. Once the minigame is completed, he also has lines for Link hitting it again, missing it (again), Link hitting it from the rooftop Talo is standing on, and missing it from the rooftop Talo is standing on. He even has a line for Link hitting it with the Hawkeye.
    • 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 Eiji Aonuma explains that this is the reason for her memory loss. Returning items of significance to her helps unlock her memory.
  • Easy Level Trick: Defied with the Roll Goal mini-game. It's possible, via building momentum, to "jump" the ball across gaps and reach the goal in spite of skipping large portions of the maze, but Hena will fail you anyways, pointing out that you didn't technically complete the whole maze.
  • Editorial Synaesthesia: While Wolf Link's senses are activated he can "see" smells as clouds and spirits as their true forms.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Ashei fits this trope physically, with her black braided hair and almost paper-white skin (complete with under-eye dark circles). She's one of the good guys, however.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: Agitha is dressed this way, and the clothes are decorated with figures of butterflies to denote her apparent status as the "princess of the Insect Kingdom". In Hyrule Warriors, Agitha's alternate costume from the "Master Quest" map, which trades out her bright colors for black and blue to match her Level 2 weapon. The "Twilight Princess" map gives her a pink version instead, to go along with her Level 3 weapon.
  • 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 damage on them, as in The Wind Waker, and taking the Aeralfos to the ground with the Clawshot at the right time).
  • Elves Versus Dwarves: Subverted. The Gorons appear to be a brutish race locked into a conflict with the civilized Hylians, but it's later revealed they chose to isolate themselves out of concern, since their leader has been transformed into a dangerous monster. Once Link breaks the curse, the Gorons restore their amicable relations with the Hylians, with members of both races happily working together at Kakariko Village.
  • Empathic Environment: It is raining as you rush a mortally injured Midna to Zelda.
  • Empty Room Until the Trap:
    • One room in the Lakebed Temple appears to be empty at first and Midna advises you to look around. Then you realize that small tadpole-like enemies are dropping down from the ceiling, and you look up to see the dungeon's mini-boss, a giant toad, who drops down to fight you.
    • The mini-boss in the Snowpeak Ruins is in what looks like a simple hallway with two suits of armor on display. Then when you get to the other end of the hallway both doors suddenly lock and the suit of armor immediately behind you is smashed by the other one, which comes to life wielding a ball and chain.
  • Enemy Chatter: Near the beginning of the game, you can see two Bokoblins conversing. You can't understand what they're saying, of course.
  • Enemy Rising Behind: Snowpeak Ruins has a cutscene like this. A ball and chain statue comes to life and attacks Link from behind while the camera is in front of him.
  • Enemy Scan: Midna can give some limited information on a few enemies, like Darknuts and Shadow Beasts. Unfortunately, she offers the least informative hint system of all the 3D games in the series.
  • Enemy Summoner: King Bulblin uses a horn to call other Bulblins during his first battle against Link.
  • Epic Flail: A ball and chain takes the place of the Megaton Hammer as the heavy, destructive item that Link acquires.
  • Equivalent Exchange: Link can acquire a magical suit of golden armor which will prevent him from taking any damage. However, whenever he wears it, his wallet is slowly drained of money, and he loses extra money every time he takes a hit. Once he runs out of Rupees (the coin of the realm), the armor weighs him down considerably, making his movements slow and awkward.
  • 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: You have to escort a comatose prince from a huge, fortified city to a small mountain town's shaman/doctor by fighting off raiders that try to light his wagon on fire (your tornado-spewing boomerang can take care of that). Fortunately, it's a resilient little wagon. Unfortunately, the enemies drop bombs that blow hard enough to spook the horse off the path.
  • Eternal English: Hero's Shade (aka the Hero Of Time himself) speaks in a modern dialect, though somewhat formally, but that could be explained as him knowing it to converse with this game's Link more easily.
  • Every Proper Lady Should Curtsy: Princess Agitha makes a brief reverence when you give her one of the golden bugs.
  • Evil Learns of Outside Context: In the backstory, a tribe of Evil Sorcerers attempted to use their shadowy power to claim the Triforce. As punishment for their deeds, the Spirits of Light had them sealed away in the Twilight Realm, where they eventually became the Twili and mostly forgot about both Hyrule and their previous evil ambitions. Centuries later, in the "Child timeline" created at the end of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Ganondorf is also banished to the Twilight Realm. However, he has a piece of the Triforce himself, and he uses a God Guise to convince Zant to usurp the Twilight throne and raise a new army of monsters to conquer Hyrule on his behalf. So this counts as a double example: Ganondorf becomes aware of the Twilight Realm and its resources, while Zant becomes aware of Hyrule.
  • Expansion Pack World: Hyrule is portrayed on a grander scale than in Ocarina of Time, having a snowy area. The game also adds a parallel world of twilight, note , connected to Hyrule only by a mirror, note  which has an otherworldly glow to it filled with the shadowy descendants of dark wizards trapped by the Goddesses. They were the creators of the first set of Plot Coupons in the game, the Fused Shadows. It's also the home of Midna and Zant.
  • Exploding Barrels: Exploding Barrels assist in taking out enemies in a Western sequence.
  • 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. She does not provide enemy names and strategies, however, and has less useful comments about bosses.
  • Eyes Are Mental: Link retains his blue eyes and a similar-looking gaze while in wolf form.
  • Fairy Companion: The onscreen cursor in the Wii version of the game appears as a fairy, although the actual companion in the game itself is rather different.
  • Fake Platform: In order to get to the Big Bad in the final dungeon, you have to go through a room full of these. Changing into your wolf form lets you see ghosts that point the way; aside from that, all you can do is avoid the ones that killed you last time.
  • Fallen Princess: Midna. Not only is she the princess of the Twilight Realm, Zant seized power and cursed her with an imp's form, leading to Midna's fall from grace and a struggle to regain what she once had.
  • Falling Chandelier of Doom: In the Arbiter's Grounds dungeon, you can drop a chandelier on yourself at one stage, if you're not careful. Later, you must actually drop a chandelier on yourself (standing in a gap in the middle so as not to be reduced to a 2-dimensional object) in order to progress.
  • 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 and barefoot. We find that he possesses a not overly muscular, but very nicely toned chest and biceps. Balanced out by the mayor being also shirtless and pants-less (and the camera is centered on his rear while he's bent over).
  • 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.
  • Farm Boy: Link was a goatherd before he was pulled into a world of Triforces, shadow demons, and the never-ending battle of good vs. evil.
  • Farmer's Daughter: Ilia is a straighter example, in that she has a simple "downhome" look, has a strong affinity for nature, and is always barefoot. Though she also subverts the trope, since she's actually the Mayor's daughter.
  • Feed It a Bomb: There's a giant frog Mini-Boss in the Lakebed Temple that stuns itself when it falls from the ceiling. However, when it opens its mouth, you can toss a bomb in there to stun him again, thus preventing most of its attack pattern. There are also carnivorous plants in the Forest Temple which can only be killed by lobbing Bomblings into them. A bigger-than-usual Deku Baba houses a carnivorous plant as well, and can only be bombed once the Baba is killed.
  • Feet-First Introduction: Ilia's introductory cutscene begins with a close-up of her bare feet, then slowly pans up her body, stopping just shy of fully showing her face. Though you get to see her smile, before she leads Epona offscreen towards the Ordon Spring.
  • Fiendish Fish:
    • Morpheel, the boss of the Lakebed Temple, is a disgusting mix of a cyclopean eel and a coelacanth with anemone-like tentacles around its maw to boot.
    • Skullfish are series-recurring enemies resembling skeletal fish with jaws bristling with sharp teeth. They're generally entirely skeletal besides the usual Glowing Eyelights of Undeath, but the ones in this game still have some sort of fleshy core inside their ribcages. They are, of course, highly aggressive.
  • Fighting Across Time and Space: The battle against Zant revisits several previously defeated boss arenas and plays a distorted version of the boss' theme. Each time, the same item used to defeat the previous boss (boomerang, Epic Flail, hookshot, etc.) is key to beating Zant.
  • Fighting Your Friend: Happens during the climax, where the traditional Tennis Boss fight is against a possessed Princess Zelda.
  • Final Boss, New Dimension: Inverted when, after going through the second-to-last dungeon in an alternate dimension, during the boss battle Zant actually transports you to places in Hyrule visited previously during the game.
  • Final Boss Preview: Zant ambushes Link and Midna after beating the Lakebed Temple, trapping Link in wolf form and nearly killing Midna by exposing her to Lanayru's light. However, Zant isn't the final boss.
  • Final Dungeon Preview: Early in the game, Wolf Link gets dragged to Hyrule Castle, where he is freed by Midna, traverses the high towers with her, and hears about Hyrule's plight from Princess Zelda before getting warped back to Ordon. He goes through the same area almost midway through the game to save an injured Midna. Link finally gets to storm Hyrule Castle as a proper dungeon at the end, though not the section he traversed as Wolf Link.
  • 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 learn 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. Wolf Link can use this move, but only on Poes.
  • Fire, Water, Wind: The first three dungeons, mimicking the archetypes and motifs of prior games' starter dungeons (like those of Ocarina of Time and The Wind Waker). The Forest Temple has a major use of wind (both for puzzle-solving and by way of its main item, the Gale Boomerang), the Goron Mines take place inside a highly-volcanic cavern, and the Lakebed Temple is located in the depths of Lake Hylia.
  • Fishing for Mooks: The two Dark Nuts in the Very Definitely Final Dungeon can be fought this way by carefully attracting the attention of only one of them and luring it down the hall and away from the other. The three you fight in the Brutal Bonus Level can also be taken on in this manner, but only if you're really careful and lucky.
  • 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 wind-powered propellers, while the latter is simply kept in the air due to magic.
  • Floating Limbs: The spirit Sages have disembodied hands and faces that float in front of their heads like masks.
  • Flunky Boss: Armogohma drops several eggs during battle, each of which is hatched near-instantly to give birth to smaller Gohmas that proceed to attack Link as soon as they're born.
  • Fluorescent Footprints: As a wolf, Link can see a floating colored fog of scent which he can track while using his senses. It also prevents you from taking in much of the scenery.
  • Fog of Doom: Once you head to the Forest Temple in human form with Midna, you have to go through a mass of purple fog following a monkey with your lantern. The fog doesn't affect your enemies, sadly, making it very annoying when you're running along and the monkey suddenly stops in terror and you careen into purple death. The penultimate dungeon also has black, ashy mist that traps you in wolf form as long as you stand in it.
  • Follow the Money: Rupees will guide you to risky (but rewarding) shortcuts during the snowboarding and canoeing sections.
  • Forced Tutorial: Happens during the prologue, where you have to learn everything including fishing, goat wrangling and swordplay in your home village. Also, the game forgets that it already taught you what the different-coloured Rupees are worth when you turn it off. Every single time you boot up the game, you'll have to go through the Item Get! routine again and again the first time you pick up each colour of Rupee other than green. This was fixed in the Updated Re-release for the Wii U, to the relief of many.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • At one point during the story, Midna comments about how Princess Zelda seemed to be living the life of luxury (something she envies) instead of being more responsible, and calls her out on surrendering to Zant. This is foreshadowing her role as the true Twilight Princess, used to luxury, and when she called out Zelda, she was probably talking more about her own cowardice in leaving the Twili.
    • To stop Zant, who has somehow gotten a power boost, you'll need the Mirror of Twilight, which the Sages used to banish people directly to the Twilight Realm. It is soon revealed that this was done with Ganondorf after his execution failed.
    • Midna says only the true ruler of the Twilight Realm has the power to destroy the Mirror of Twilight, and we see Zant has only broken it into four pieces. Midna layer clarifies the implication, that this proves he is a false king, and who else but the true ruler herself would know?
    • Midna tells you that Zant's power is a false one and unlike Twili magic, and Zant himself says that he got it from a god... Ganondorf.
    • There's a symbol on the front of Zant's armor that looks like the Gerudo Symbol (the one used starting with the Updated Re-release of Ocarina of Time, not the crescent moon). This foreshadows that Ganondorf is the one behind him.
    • It's implied that the Hero's Shade fully expects Link to howl while in his wolf form next to the Howling Stones 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.
  • Fossil Revival: The boss fight at the Arbiter's Grounds is against Stallord, Twilit Fossil, a giant skeleton dragon, which is reanimated by Zant and his dark sword.
  • Four-Element Ensemble: The dungeons where Link finds the four pieces of the Mirror of Twilight.
    • Fire: The Arbiter's Grounds, which is lit with lamps and torches. The boss Stallord has a fiery Breath Weapon.
    • Water: Snowpeak Ruins, which is filled with ice.
    • Earth: The Temple of Time, which is located in a grove and is filled with smooth stone surfaces and statues.
    • Air: The City in the Sky, which is suspended in the clouds and is filled with air geysers and flying enemies.
  • Four Is Death:
    • Both the Fused Shadow and the Mirror of Twilight, artifacts on the decidedly dark side, are split into four pieces.
    • The Arbiter's Grounds, which serves as the game's fourth dungeon, is an ancient gibbet located in the desert where the worst criminals of Hyrule are executed; it is overrun by larger-than-usual Poes, skeletal monsters (including a very large one serving as the boss) and living mummies. The place is also home to the portal leading to the Twilight Realm.
  • 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).
  • Freaky Electronic Music: The Twilight beasts are announced by distorted, muted electronic music. This is combined with use of Tron Lines and floating pixels to emphasize how alien they are in a medieval fantasy setting.
  • 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.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Ilia, despite being the Mayor's daughter, spends more of her time in the surrounding forest, rather than Ordon Village. She's portrayed as selfless and giving: from tending to Link's horse (Epona) for him, to saving Prince Ralis when she found him collapsed in the road leading to Hyrule Castle Town.
  • Friend to Bugs: Agitha, the self appointed princess of the "Insect Kingdom". If the player chooses, Link can embark on a sidequest to find the 24 golden bugs for Agitha's ball. She squees over each one you bring to her and rewards you accordingly. She rewards you for the first bug by giving you the Adult's Wallet, which allows you to carry up to 600 rupees. For every bug after that, she bestows you with 50 rupees as, "compensation for your efforts" and 100 for each matched pair. The final reward, for successfully escorting all 24 to her castle, is the Giant's Wallet, which can hold 1000 rupees, after which, you are made an "honorary member" of her kingdom. If you try to leave her "castle" without giving her all the bugs you're carrying (perhaps because you've got no more room in your wallet) she'll menacingly growl, "I know you have bugs" as you go.
  • 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.
  • Full-Boar Action: The game has the Bulblins, who ride giant, aggressive boars called Bullbos. Link can even ride the Bullbos himself in a couple of locations. The Bullbos are pretty stupid, and can run right into walls or off the edge of cliffs (your horse Epona will always stop before doing either of these); but when charging can also smash down walls, allowing access to new areas, or break archer towers. They're also completely unkillable — after taking damage they just collapse and get back up again after a while.
  • Full Health Bonus:
    • The final sword technique is an upgrade to the basic Spin Attack that increases its range, but it only works if Link is at full health.
    • The Great Fairy's Tears act much like Wind Waker's Elixir Soup, restoring Link to full health and doubling attack power as long as he remains so.
  • Funny Afro: Siblings Iza and Coro rock positively epic 'fros almost as large as they are. Coro has a bird's nest in his hair, and his pet bird Trill has an afro too.
  • 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 Unintentionally Unwinnable 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.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: In the final dungeon, Link is rescued by his allies from an arrow to the face and about four mooks, despite the fact that by now Link has destroyed entire hordes of enemies and has been hit by more arrows than a practice dummy.
  • Gemini Destruction Law: Shadow Beasts always attack in groups of 3 or more, and when only one is left standing it will let out a howl that revives the others. To defeat them you must use area attacks to take down the last two at once.
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss:
    • Stallord. After seemingly defeating it in a normal type battle, has its head come alive and fly around the area shooting fireballs, requiring you to chase after it with the Spinner.
    • Armogohma, whose Clipped-Wing Angel form will run randomly around the boss room faster than Link. Easiest way to finish it off? Stick a bomb arrow in its ass.
    • At the end of the game, you face Ganondorf on horseback. Link must steer the horse close enough to him so Zelda can strike him with her Light Arrows, all while Ganondorf is constantly running away and taking potshots at Link with his sword.
  • 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 Hands of Doom: On each side of the Twilight Palace, Link must remove a Sol from one of Zant's Hands and carry it outside through several complicated rooms while continually being chased by the hand. If the hand succeeds in grabbing a Sol, it will carry it back to the last room and force Link to start all over again.
  • 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. However, this does not involve relinquishing the sword; he just strikes the pedestal.
  • 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 in a later game would be revealed to be the reincarnation of Demise.
  • Gonk: Despite the realism, several characters are ugly in over-the-top ways, like Falbi, Gor Ebizo, and Dr. Borville.
  • Go for the Eye: Several bosses corrupted by the Fused Shadows or Twilight Mirror are weak when you aim for the eyes. Eyes are Diababa's and Morpheel's main weak points. Fyrus and Armogohma are also susceptible to an arrow in the eye, though it's only to stun them.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: Twilight Portals that Link can use to teleport have green highlights, while those with red highlights spawn enemies.
  • 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.
  • Gotta Kill Them All: There are sixty Poe souls for you to collect in a side quest by killing Poes. They're almost everywhere and some are only visible at night.
  • Graceful Ladies Like Purple: Zelda's dress is largely purple in this game, instead of its usual pink.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: Found in the Lakebed Temple, the Clawshot has a few unique differences from the Hookshot (which by itself is absent this time): If you're latched onto a ceiling, you can adjust the chain's extension to go up or down; also, Link remains attached to the targeted object until the Clawshot is put away. Rather than getting a length upgrade, you get another one later on, allowing Link to Building Swing with the best of them.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: The lyrics to the Malo Mart song are in Japanese.
  • Great Escape: Link gets captured by the Shadow Beasts shortly after he enters one of the Twilight areas of Hyrule and is transformed into a wolf for the first time. Midna meets him in jail and the two of them make their way out of prison (and eventually meet Princess Zelda).
  • Great Offscreen War: The game describes how an evil tribe of powerful sorcerers (nicknamed the Dark Interlopers) came so close to getting the Triforce that the Spirit.
  • The Great Serpent: A rare benevolent example: Lanayru, one of the Spirits of Light whom took on the form of a serpent, is a benign spirit that warns Link of the dark power.
  • Green-Skinned Space Babe: The Zoras, as well as Midna's true form.
  • Grimy Water: The boss of the Forest Temple resides in a pit filled with toxic purple water, despite the water in the rest of the dungeon being relatively clean. Defeating the boss will purify the spring and return the water to normal.
  • Groin Attack: Link appears to be doing this whenever he uses a finishing stab on a Bokoblin.
  • Guide Dang It!: There is a certain room in the Goron Mines with a seemingly impenetrable fence. Up until now, the player has seen weak woodem barriers that can be smashed, and large iron ones that can be dropped by snipping the ropes holding them up. The fence, although worn, doesn't respond in any way to weaponry and can't be dropped, and you can't shoot through the gaps in it to the barrels or torches beyond. You're actually supposed to roll against it to collapse it, but at no point is this indicated to you.
  • Gusty Glade: The Forest Temple mixes this with The Lost Woods, as there are outdoor areas where wind blows and puts into work the eolic machinery (in the indoor areas, Link has to use the Gale Boomerang instead). Later in the game, Link visits the City in the Sky, which has lots of gusting winds and fans that help and/or hinder his progress.
  • 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.
  • Hailfire Peaks: The first dungeon in the game (Forest Temple) is predominantly The Lost Woods, but also has setpieces that make use of the wind, thus invoking Gusty Glade (in fact, the main item found here is the Gale Boomerang, which is blessed by the Fairy of Winds). Later in the game, the Arbiter's Grounds is a mix between the desert and haunted crypt themes that had previously been separate in Ocarina of Time when last present in the same game.
  • Hallway Fight: Snowpeak Ruins' miniboss room appears on the map as a circle, as with all the others. Once inside, however, it's actually a long corridor (the extra space is used for storing, of all things, cannons), with the miniboss being a giant armored lizard swinging an Epic Flail. To get past him without getting smashed to bits, Link has to hookshot the ceiling behind the lizard and drop down.
  • Happily Married: Rusl and Uli in Ordon Village, and Yeto and Yeta on Snowpeak.
  • Happy Ending Override: After defeating Ganondorf and saving two lands from destruction, Twilight Princess shows that this has befallen the Link of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Not only has he been forgotten by his people, he's been reanimated as a zombie-like creature called the Hero's Shade as he watches Ganondorf come back to haunt his country. All he can do now is pass on his skills to his new incarnation and hope he can save the day.
  • 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.
  • Harmless Freezing: When Link reaches Zora's Domain while it's frozen, he and Midna can see an absolute plethora of Zoras frozen beneath the water; and none are harmed by the freezing itself, being instead popsicles who'll return to normal when the waters' temperature lowers. This doesn not apply to Link himself when using the Zora armor: If he falls under cold water or is hit by a Freezard's ice breath, it'll be a One-Hit Kill for him.
  • Hartman Hips: Midna has pretty wide hips although not as pronounced in her true form.
  • Healing Potion:
    • Red potions can be purchased from shops.
    • Milk heals three hearts.
    • The Great Fairy's Tears. Much like Wind Waker's Elixir Soup, except you can fill up as many bottles as you have; there's only one helping per bottle, though.
    • Chu Jelly, which can be scooped up after killing Chus. Depending on the color, they can act as lantern oil (yellow), restore eight or all of Link's hearts (red and blue, respectively), make him lose a heart (black), do nothing (green; it would likely have been used as a Mana Potion had the magic meter been kept in the game), act like the Great Fairy's Tears (rare), or be a Russian Roulette of sorts (purple).
    • All kinds of soup. The Nasty Soup is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. You can scoop as much as you want for free, but you probably wouldn't want to, as like the Purple Chu Jelly it has a random chance of damaging Link. Yeto's soup is also free, and starts off Simple (restores two hearts). As you go through the Snowpeak Ruins and get him some more ingredients, it turns into the Good Soup (restores four hearts), then into the Superb Soup (restores eight hearts; basically a free red potion).
    • Hot Spring Water. It's easy to obtain and replenishes all hearts, but useless in long journeys as it turns into regular, non-drinkable cold water after it cools down.
  • Healing Spring:
    • The Goron Hot Springs slowly heal players back to full health. Twilight Princess has a sidequest where you need to bring a barrel of springwater to a lethargic Goron to wake him up, the problem is that the water needs to be hot, the barrel has only a single hit point, and getting hit by an enemy makes Link drop the barrel.
    • The springs guarded by the guardian spirits contain the spirits of light, which turns out to be a plot point: when Zant throws Midna into one, the mere presence of the light spirit nearly kills her due to being a Twili, and only after Zelda gifts Midna most of her life force can she move around in the light world again.
  • Heartbeat Soundtrack: The music that accompanies each encounter with the Shadow Beasts.
  • Heart Container: A unique case with the Heart Pieces. The game abandons the traditional 4-Piece system seen in most other games in the series in favor of a 5-Piece one because it ended up having two more dungeons (and thus two more heart containers earned from bosses) than originally planned; the resulting abundance gives them presence not only in the overworld but also in the dungeons. Fortunately, a character in Hyrule Castle Town can help Link locate the missing pieces for a modest price.
  • 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.
    • It's not seen if Bo has a wife, but his daughter bosses him (and Link) around in the same way.
  • Herding Mission: Ordon Ranch has a Goat Herding mini-game available where Link must corral goats into a barn. It must be completed twice in the campaign but can be played multiple times after that. Completing it once after the required times gets you a Piece of Heart.
  • Heroic BSoD: 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.
  • High-Altitude Battle: There's the battle against Argorok, a flying dragon, from the City in the Sky. You get to the city by shooting yourself up into the sky with a cannon. Once there, you climb to the top of the tallest tower on the entire floating island. At the top, you find several pillars, which you climb up on. From the top of those, you use the clawshot to hook onto some flying peahats to get even higher, and from there you use the clawshot again to get to the dragon.
  • The High Queen: Zelda may fit this trope in this game better than any other adaptation. For bonus points according to official sources, she's also a queen-in-waiting. Zant's invasion interrupted her coronation.
  • High-Speed Battle: The second half of the battle with Stallord plays out akin to an on-rails pursuit. Link has to chase him, by using the Spinner to ride the rails lining the arena and the central column. Stallord's speed increases as he takes damage, along with the number of spikes, forcing Link to jump between rails, to avoid them.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: This game names the trope when Zant turns out to have been given his powers by Ganondorf, with Midna even making a smart-ass remark about how that should have been obvious immediately after the revelation was made. There is some foreshadowing of this when you first meet Zant where he mentions his "God" while deriding the Fused Shadows, but the game makes Zant look like the Big Bad until Ganon's role is revealed.
  • Hint System: For a small fee, Madame Fanadi can give Link a vague hint as to what do do next or where to find a Heart Piece.
  • 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.
  • Hologram: Two holograms appear in Palace of Twilight as minibosses. Both of the holograms are of Zant, a major villain in the game; the holograms act as keepers of the Sols, alongside the hands that begin chasing Link as soon as he grabs them.
  • 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.
  • HP to 1: Both the Nasty Soup and the Purple Chu have random properties, ranging from this trope to an unexpected full health recovery. Very risky indeed.
  • Human Cannonball: Link fires himself out of a Sky Cannon to reach the City in the Sky.
  • 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.
  • Hurt Foot Hop: During the boss fight against Zant, at one point he becomes a giant, and in order to defeat him, you must swing the iron ball and chain into his foot. As he hops around holding his foot in pain, he shrinks back down to regular size, which is when you attack him.
  • Hypnotize the Captive: Zelda is possessed as Ganon's puppet 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.
  • Ice Crystals: Chillfos and White Wolfos are enemies made out of crystal-shaped ice, and Blizzeta shapes her icy pillars into the typical crystal shape (at least on the bottom) so she can spear Link with them.
  • Ice Palace: Snowpeak Ruins, located at the end of the Snow Province. It's not made of ice, but instead is a ruined manor that has frozen over. This one is actually inhabited, by two friendly Yeti—the ice is a non-issue and the monsters just household pests to them.
  • 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 citing this trope and running off.
  • I Know Your True Name: Epona sees through Link's wolf form and encourages him to return to normal and ride with her instead. Telma's cat Louise also recognizes Link trapped as a wolf after he is kicked out of the bar by scared patrons and shows Link a way to the castle.
  • Implacable Man: The Postman is a benign example. He always completes his deliveries no matter where his recipient is (and can even be found in the Cave of Ordeals). 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!
  • Implied Love Interest: Ilia for Link, which probably makes it the first time in the franchise it isn't Princess Zelda. The two of them grew up together and are clearly very close, and Link is as much motivated by rescuing her and the other Ordon children as by saving the world, but whether or not their relationship is purely platonic is left ambiguous.
  • Inescapable Ambush:
    • The portal locations are a side effect of Link being ambushed by shadow beasts, who show up in a group and erect a force barrier similar to a boxing ring around themselves. When Link defeats them, the portal becomes available.
    • At several points in Hyrule Castle, Link gets sealed inside magic barrier rings and attacked by enemies (that for some reason can walk straight through them).
  • Instant Cosplay Surprise: Link starts the game wearing clothes like those everyone else in his village wears. After he first ventures in the Twilight, is turned into a wolf, and eventually purges the Twilight from the area, he's turned back into a Hylian, now wearing the oh-so-familiar green clothes worn by his predecessor in Ocarina of Time, much to his surprise.
  • 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 HD version plays it straight, with a menu of inventory boxes on the GamePad that shows what you have and haven't gotten.
    • 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, beating a boss or if you sheathe it right after an enemy's defeat, the Link in this game will do the same.
  • Invasion of the Baby Snatchers: 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.
  • 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.
  • Invincibility Power-Up: The Magic Armor, which protects Link from enemy attacks at the cost of the current amount of money in his wallet.
  • Invincible Boogeymen: Once you grab one of the Sols present in the Palace of Twilight, a large mechanical hand similar to the Wallmasters will start chasing you. It cannot be killed, only stunned, and it aims to claim back the Sol to put it back to the spot you took it from. "Psycho" Strings play while it's roaming, and your objective is to take the Sol to its outer slot in the Palace's entrance. Once you do this process with both Sols, you'll be able to progress to the dungeon's second half and won't have to worry about the hands anymore.
  • Irony: After all the fragments of the Fused Shadow are retrieved, Link is turned into a wolf for a fourth time and trapped in the form after Zant forcefully places a shadow crystal into Link's forehead. Zant's intention is to render Link powerless forever, but once the latter finds the Master Sword, the crystal pops out and Midna keeps it, letting Link turn between wolf and human at will. Midna lampshades this backfire before the battle with 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.
    • The original version does this too 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.
    • The mailman either hums an off-tune version of the "secret found" tune or sings the regular Item Get tune ("Dah dah-dah-dah daaaaaah!") when presenting letters to Link.
  • It's All Upstairs from Here:
    • The Temple of Time is an interesting case, as Link has to reach the top, fight his first Darknut, get the Dominion Rod from him, and then go back to the first floor while escorting a big statue.
    • The path to the throne of Hyrule Castle where Ganondorf awaits is a badly damaged staircase with many pits, requiring Link to use the Spinner and the Double Clawshots to traverse it. He also has to defeat powerful enemies like armored Lizalfos and a Darknut in the process.
  • 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.
  • Jackass Genie: Jovani was a poor man who sold his soul to the Poes for immeasurable wealth. They answered his wish, filling his home with elegant furniture, portraits, and coins...but also turned him and his cat into immobile but sentient solid gold statues, unable to enjoy their riches.
  • Jaw Drop:
    • Link's jaw drops when he sees Armogohma's wimpy second form.
    • Link has this reaction when he sees Midna's true form. Lampshaded by Midna; she makes fun of him for being stunned speechless.
    • Midna gets an at least somewhat serious one when she discovers that Zant has broken the Twilight Mirror.
  • Jerkass: Midna is really bossy and condescending to Link until she gets some Character Development.
  • Jerkass God: Implied by the Sages when they suggest the reason Ganondorf is imbued with the Triforce of Power was due to some "divine prank".
  • 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. Thing is, he doesn't want people to know it's outside his expertise, so he just comes off as discriminatory instead.
  • Journey to the Sky: The last piece of the Mirror of Twilight lies in the City in the Sky, homeland of the Oocca. To reach it, Link has to travel across Hyrule to find some ancient statues and move them with the Dominion Rod (which in turn needs to have its power restored by completing a prior task) to acquire the characters in sky language written beneath them. Doing this will complete a text that, once read by Shad in the basement of Renado's sanctuary, allows a nearby statue to be moved with the Rod and reveal a Sky Cannon. Unfortunately, the Cannon is broken, so Link and Midna have to transport it to Lake Hylia and pay 300 Rupees to Fyer so he repair it. Only then can the young hero use it to launch himself skyward and reach the City in the Sky.
  • Jump Scare: The scene where Yeta becomes Blizzeta is shown by her face flipping around to a Nightmare Face.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: A Castle Town guard is heard to say that they can't investigate the lake drying up because it's under East Hyrule jurisdiction.
  • Justified Tutorial: Link's friends ask him to show off the slingshot and wooden sword he acquired, shortly before they chase after a monkey and Link gets his first taste of real enemies chasing after them. More advanced sword moves are taught to Link by the ghost of the Hero of Time.
  • 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 King Bulbin one-on-one.

    K-P 
  • Karl Marx Hates Your Guts: The shops have varying selections, but everything that is sold has the same price regardless of where you buy it... with three exceptions: the Gorons who set up shop in Castle Town, who sell Red Potion, Lantern Oil, and Arrows at a 10-Rupee markup from the standard (they call it "regional pricing"); the other shop before it becomes a branch of Malo Mart, which sells a good selection of things, but at a higher price than even the last wallet upgrade can hold; and Malo Market Castle Town, which has the same selection at half the standard price. However, you drop some serious Rupees making these discounts available...
  • Karmic Twist Ending: The Snowpeak Ruins arc has one for Yeta. She found a shard of the Mirror of Twilight and admired its beauty and her own reflected in it, but bad things started to happen and she took ill. When she feels well enough to take Link to the room so he can take away the shard, she gets drawn to it again with vanity and its magic transforms her into a monster. After she is defeated, her husband Yeto tells her that their love for each other is more important and that true beauty is in each other's eyes.
  • 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.
  • King Mook: King Bulblin, along with his steed, Lord Bulbo. Other examples include that giant version of the Twilight Kargaroks with trumpet bells for heads that you have to fly up Zora's River on, Diababa (a giant Deku Baba), Twilit Bloat the Shadow Insect Queen, Armogohma (a Giant Spider in a spider filled area), Stallord (biggest Stalfos in any game, and the player only sees him from the waist up) and Argorok (once again Kargarok). Even a boss who came from a corrupted good character, Blizzeta, takes the form of an enemy (Freezard). And then there's Ganon, whose One-Winged Angel form resembles a Bulbo.
  • Kneel Before Frodo: In the final battle, Princess Zelda turns to Link, as simple goat herder, and bows to him as she asks him to save her kingdom.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Lord Bulblin eventually realizes that he can't beat Link. He explains he always fights for the strongest side (with the implication that Link is now that strongest side), before he hands Link a key and leaves. Particularly surprising, as the character had been the definition of a Recurring Boss up until that point.
  • 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 things that other Oocca can't or won't use.
  • Last Grasp at Life: If Link falls into lava or quicksand, he'll sink down into it, with just his hand reaching up before he respawns.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler:
    • The Zelda trophies in Super Smash Bros. Brawl give away most of the twists in the game.
    • The HD rerelease's box art gives away Ganondorf's presence and Midna's true form.
  • 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.
  • Lava Is Boiling Kool-Aid: Death by falling into lava uses the same animation for drowning in quicksand. You can also fish in the lava (you won't catch anything, of course), indicating that the game simply thinks of it as retextured water with an added contact penalty. Falling into lava with the Zora Armor leads to a One-Hit Kill.
  • 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, Gor Coron, 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 main theme (used for "Midna's Lament" appears in all of the overworld music and, of course, the pieces relating to Midna specifically.
    • The overworld theme 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 Oocca species has Ooccoo's theme...
    • Zant and the Twilight Realm has one. It's the BGM for Twilight-covered Hyrule.
  • Lethal Chef: Eating Coro the lantern-oil man's soup actually damages Link's health (usually; sometimes it will heal him a tiny bit).
  • Lethal Joke Item: The final Arena-style sword battle with Ganondorf can be made ridiculously easy by using your fishing rod as one of these. The fishing rod has no practical use in battle, since you normally use it only for fishing, but if you pull it out, Ganondorf will stand and stare at the line while you wave it around, completely confused as to why you're doing this during a life-or-death battle. You can then quickly whip out your sword and slash at him while he's caught unawares... rinse and repeat, because he never catches on.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Goron Mines, with the addition of some electromagnetism thanks to the machinery present, which makes use of the Iron Boots. There is also a lava-heated cavern near Eldin Bridge, and once again the Iron Boots will be required.
  • Level in Reverse: Has a variation where different ports of the game are this to each other. The game was originally developed for the GameCube before Nintendo decided to also release it for the Wii and incorporate motion controls, which they felt was natural for things like swinging Link's sword. The problem was, however, that most people would want to make the motions with their right hand, and that Link was traditionally left handed. They couldn't just flip Link's model, since that would interfere with animations, level design, etc. which they didn't have time to redo, so instead they just flipped the geometry of the entire game to make Link right-handed in the Wii version. The HD Updated Re-release for the Wii U uses the original Gamecube orientation for its normal difficulty setting, and the mirrored Wii orientation for Hero Mode.
  • Light Is Good: The Light Spirits of the four springs, who aid you and who keep the land peaceful.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Sword of the Six Sages is a purely white sword once utilized by the Sages, when it was actually good. That is until Ganondorf seizes the sword for himself and it becomes his signature weapon for the game, still being a pure white blade in heavy contrast to Ganondorf's dark ensemble. Ironically, he also promises to "blot out the light forever" with this white sword before his final duel with Link.
  • Literal Ass-Kicking: In the Forest Temple, Link must defeat a baboon mini-boss by targeting his oversized bright-red ass.
  • Live Item: The game has Ooccoo, which can be used to warp out of certain dungeons. The game even says something to the effect of "You can treat her just like an item!" There's also the Bomblings, which are insect-like things that run forward and explode when they hit something.
  • Living Statue: The Dominion Rod lets Link bring certain statues in Temple of Time and Hyrule Field (and more situationally in other places) to life and control them.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: Though the game was designed to avert this trope (like in The Wind Waker, only the miniboss and boss rooms in dungeons require being loaded separately), it is still lampshaded by the Fortune Teller in Castle Town. She talks about how the fortunes often have to load before they play.
  • Locked Out of the Fight: The third phase of the final boss fight has Link and Zelda on horseback chasing after Ganondorf. Once he falls, barriers pop up separating Link from Zelda, and he has to fight him alone.
  • Lonely Piano Piece: "Midna's Lament" is all sad piano notes. It's actually a variation on the Hyrule Field theme and Midna's theme.
  • The Lost Woods: Faron Woods, which is very peaceful and serene until the dark forces of the Twilight Realm corrupt it. There's also the Sacred Grove, where you follow a Skull Kid from Ocarina of Time to find the Master Sword in a clearing similar to the one in A Link to the Past, and also very reminiscent of (and structurally identical to) the Temple of Time in Ocarina of Time, for good reason. Last but not least, there's the Forest Temple, which is more organic than its Ocarina of Time counterpart.
  • 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.
  • Machete Mayhem: Rusl carries a machete across his lower back later in the game, although his main weapon is a longsword.
  • Madame Fortune: The Fortune Teller that can foresee Link's next tasks and Piece of Hearts locations is named Madame Fanadi.
  • Mad Marble Maze: The minigame Rollgoal in the boat rental shop. In each level, you have to guide the marble ball across a thin path; you'll lose if the ball falls off. Beating every level allows you to use the frog lure for fishing.
  • 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 Mirror: The Mirror of Twilight can create a gateway to the Twilight Realm, and its pieces serve as the second major set of Plot Coupons after it gets shattered.
  • Magic Music: While the game doesn't have an instrument per se, Link can blow (or howl in wolf form) on grass whistles to summon Epona or birds, and late in the game gets a whistle that can also call Epona. And in his wolf form, Link can also howl at Howling Stones to summon the Golden Wolf/Hero's Spirit and learn new moves from him.
  • Magic Wand: The Dominion Rod is a scepter that allows Link to control statues by throwing animating magic into the hollow spaces in them.
  • Magitek: In spite of its magical properties, the Dominion Rod is described as being a piece of ancient Oocca technology.
  • Make an Example of Them: Zant executes the Zora queen when he shrouds the Lanayru Province in twilight. This later sets up a subplot when her son, Ralis, falls ill on his way to Castle Town to get help.
  • 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.
  • Marathon Boss:
    • Zant, due to being a Final-Exam Boss. He teleports himself alongside Link and Midna to different parts of Hyrule, namely battlefields where previous bosses and minibosses were fought beforehand. After five phases, you have to fight him in a lengthy one-one-one sword duel in the southern yard outside Hyrule Castle.
    • Ganondorf. After going through a gruelling route to the top of Hyrule Castle, with three Darknuts to face, including one right by the entrance to the boss room, you have to go up against Ganondorf himself. First, he possesses Zelda, as a Tennis Boss with a nasty habit of stabbing you and using light magic to fry the floor around you. Then, he turns into the giant beast, Ganon, who you either have to be good at shooting in the crystal above his eyes or use the Wolf Link form with Midna to wrestle to the ground before going for his belly. Then he goes riding across Hyrule Field and you have to keep him directly ahead of you so Zelda can stun him with Light Arrows, all while dodging his summoned ghost riders and avoiding his occasional opportunistic attacks, and THEN you finally face off in a brutal one-on-one swordfight.
  • Marathon Level: City in the Sky is the longest dungeon in the game, as Link has to explore two large sides of it, effectively encasing the entire city as a big dungeon. The game also has the 50-floor Cave of Ordeals, but unlike the Savage Labyrinth it's completely optional.
  • Match In A Bombshack: While hunting for twilight bugs in Kakariko Village, one of the places to look is in a bomb shack. However, upon entering, there are no bugs to be found. Upon bringing a flaming stick into the shack and lighting a fireplace, the bugs jump out, having been set aflame by the stick, and lighting all of the explosives. Upon this happening, Midna is quick to leave. Staying inside the shack when it explodes results in a Non Standard Game Over. Exiting results in the bugs being killed and their tears of light available to be collected, but the shack is destroyed, forcing Barnes the owner into having to start fresh with bomb making. It's later subverted, where bringing out a lantern or other open flame in Barnes' restored shop immediately triggers the ceiling sprinklers and a warning from Barnes.
  • Matchstick Weapon: During the segments where Link is trapped in wolf form and is unable to use his lantern, he can carry burning sticks in his mouth. These are useful for lighting torches and smoking out Twilit Bugs.
  • 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.
  • Merged Reality: This is Zant's and Ganondorf's ultimate goal; to combine the Light World and Twilight Realm into single "Dark World" for him to rule.
  • Meta Guy: Malo lampshades Link's Instant Expert skill at archery, among other things.
  • Metal Detector Puzzle: One of the keys in Snowpeak Ruins is buried in the snow and it simply cannot be dug up until Link finds the Compass.
  • 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).
  • Militaries Are Useless: The guards of Hyrule cower in fear over the sight of a wolf walking around in Castle Town. Some will even run away when you do your spin attack. Before that, a group of them ran away in fear from the prospect of escorting Telma, Ralis, and Ilia across Hyrule Field.
  • Mini-Boss: During the game's first Story Arc (the quest for the Fused Shadows), minibosses appear both in the dungeons and in the overworld.note  After the Master Sword is found and the quest for the Mirror of Twilight begins, only the dungeons have minibosses (the exception is a rematch against King Bulblin in the fortress leading to Arbiter's Grounds). In terms of music, the game gives many minibosses their own battle themes, a trend that was briefly seen in The Wind Waker (with Phantom Ganon playing a special theme, the other dungeon minibosses playing another theme and the sea minibosses playing yet another one) but is further developed here. Some minibosses do still adhere to one standard miniboss music, and two of them (Darknut and Aeralfos) are degraded to regular (yet still powerful) enemies later.
  • Mini-Dungeon: The Bulblins' fortress in Gerudo Desert, immediately preceding the Arbiter's Grounds. At the end of it, a Mini-Boss (King Bulblin) is fought.
  • Mole Monster: Moldorms are wormlike creatures that live in the sand of the Gerudo Desert and in quicksand pits in the Arbiter's Grounds, where they move around beneath the surface and periodically jump out to attack Link.
  • A Molten Date with Death: Lava in this game is confined to only the second dungeon, Goron Mines. While Link can fall on the lava but be A-okay afterwards, in stark contrast to other titles, falling on it will yield frighteningly realistic results, as Link will yell in pain and slowly sink into the molten liquid while trying to get out and holding out an arm. And don't even try to jump into the lava with the Zora Armor put on - it's an instant death. Contrast the previous and next 3D games, where Link merely roasts his rump and jumps in pain...
  • Money for Nothing: Zigzagged:
    • While several items and sidequests are expensive, there are 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.
    • Maintaining a full wallet is slightly easier at first but much more difficult later due to the increase in wallet sizes in the HD version. A third, absolutely massive walletnote  also makes getting it full somewhat difficult. However, if you manage to get it maxed out, your Magic Armor suddenly becomes way more effective — especially during the second run of the Cave of Ordeals. That said, by the time you get it, you'll have gotten most of the large Rupees from the main game. You either need to go out of your way to find large stashes, or grind through enemies and mini-games to fill it up.
  • Money Sink: The game has several money sinks. There is the sidequest where you donate 1000 rupees to repair a bridge and then 2000 rupees (can be reduced to 200 by completing a different sidequest) to open a shop. There is also an old man who you can give 30 or 50 rupees every time you talk to him. Donate 1000 in total and he'll reward you with an heart piece. And then there is the magic armor which costs almost 600 rupees and consumes rupees when you wear it, but makes you immune for damage.
  • Monochrome Past: The game has this effect in the Temple of Time entry hall, since Link can only access it by entering a gate that takes him back in time.
  • Monster and the Maiden: Midna (and Zelda, to a lesser extent) with Link. Midna is a Twili, a member of a race from the Realm of Twilight, who is proficient in Twili Shadow Magic and very much knows more than she lets on. Link spends quite a bit of time as a Hylian, but the dynamic is more apparent when Link is in his wolf form, as Midna rides around on his back, gives him orders, and generally corrals him around Hyrule to recover the Fused Shadows for her own ends. Following a near-death experience and a good helping of Character Development, it becomes much closer to a partnership between them, with a heaping dose of Ship Tease as well.
  • Mood Whiplash: After the foreboding buildup to, and menacing and gruesome fight with, the Twilit Bloat to restore light to Lake Hylia, and the subsequent Light Spirit scene with Lanayru quickly turning into a history lesson featuring extremely unsettling and/or creepy imagery (see the Nightmare Fuel section for more details), you walk back outside the spring to Lake Hylia and get one of the most peaceful songs in the game.
  • Morphic Resonance: Link retains his blue eyes and earrings in his wolf form.
  • Muggle in Mage Custody: An ordinary Farm Boy Link becomes a servant of the magical imp Midna. She treats him condescendingly at first, but warms up to him later on.
  • Multi-Mook Melee: The Cave of Ordeals is a 50-floor location that operates in the same way as its spiritual predecessor, the Savage Labyrinth from The Wind Waker: You enter a floor, defeat all enemies present, then descend to the following floor, defeat its enemies, and repeat. But it's completely optional and, in order to access every floor, the main items of all dungeons up to and including City in the Sky must be collected. Completing every ten floors will release fairies in one of the Spirit Springs in Hyrule, and completing all of them will net Link unlimited supplies of Great Fairy's Tears. To clear the 50th floor, Link has to fight three (four in later visits) Darknuts at once, which is the hardest challenge in the game. The Wii U remake adds in the Cave of Shadows, which works similarly, except that Link is forced to stay in wolf form.
  • Multi-Stage Battle: Against Zant. In every phase, he teleports himself alongside Link and Midna to a specific place where a boss or miniboss was fought beforehand.
  • Mundane Made Awesome:
    • When you first arrive at the Hidden Village, your goal is to slaughter the Bulblins 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 hook a fish.
    • The mansion 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.
  • Musical Nod: Quite a few, mostly from Ocarina of Time. (Exceptions will be noted.) In chronological order of first instance...
    • Link calls Epona by playing Epona's Song.
    • Zelda's Lullaby is, of course, the theme song that plays when Link and Midna meet Zelda for the first time. It is also the tune that Link howls to unlock the way to the Master Sword later on.
    • Possessed Zelda's battle theme open with a rearrangement of the riff that opened Ganondorf's battle theme in Ocarina of Time, and incorporates a Dark Reprise of Zelda's Lullaby.
    • The Hyrule Castle theme from A Link to the Past plays in the flashback scene where Zelda surrenders to Zant. It plays again at the end of the game when Link enters Hyrule Castle proper.
    • The howling stone on the path from Kakariko Village to Death Mountain plays the Song of Healing from Majora's Mask.
    • The howling stone at Zora's River plays the Requiem of Spirit.
    • Rutela's theme is the Seranade of Water.
    • The howling stone outside of the Sacred Grove plays the Prelude of Light.
    • The Skull Kid's theme is Saria's Song.
    • The music in the first two chambers of the Temple of Time is the original rendition of the Song of Time.
  • Musical Pastiche: The fourth and fifth Howling Stone songs are counter-melodies to the title themes from A Link to the Past and The Wind Waker, respectively, while the last one combines the melody of the Light Spirit theme with the harmony of the Hyrule Field theme.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: Ganondorf's final words are a promise to Link and Zelda that his death will not change anything, reassuring them that he will ensure that the history of light and shadow will be written in the blood of his enemies. All of this was conceivably working under the premise that one day he expected his Triforce of Power would revive him from the dead despite his defeat at Link's hand. Ganondorf's Triforce of Power symbol on his right hand then powers down and disappears from his hand entirely, thus ceasing his life for the rest of the game.
  • Mystical Cave: Unlike the other three Light Spirits, whose fountains can be found in outdoor areas, the Light Spirit Lanayru dwells in a cavern within Lake Hylia.
  • 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.
    • 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 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. If Link examines the photo, Hena will speculate that he may be her ancestor, then scratch her back in the exact same manner as he always did. 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.
    • An incredibly subtle one, but Ooccoo's name happens to be the the exact hexadecimal representation of the green color of Link's Kokiri Tunic in Ocarina (a common misconception is that it's the color of Link's tunic in the original game), which is 00CC00.
  • 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.
  • Near Victory Fanfare: Whenever Link starts whailing at a boss' weak point, the musical score briefly becomes an extremely triumphant arrangement of the game's main theme. This even works for Blizzeta, despite her not being attacked during a stunned moment: In her case, when she's close to being defeated, Variable Mix comes into play so her theme incorporates the upper-hand fanfare.
  • Nerf: Red Potions in most Zelda games would fully heal Link, but by this game the potions only restores a handful of hearts while Blue Potions became the max heal item (likely because of the removal of the magic meter, as having both potions would be redundant otherwise). Milk was also nerfed in this game by only restoring 3 hearts instead of 5.
  • New Skill as Reward: The Hero's Shade appears in the form of a golden wolf at various locations on the overworld, giving Link a description of a place where he can find a stone. When in wolf form, howling the melody produced by the stone leads Link to a dimension where the Shade teaches him a new sword technique.
  • New Weapon Target Range: Once you get the Spinner in the sixth dungeon, the door locks, and you need to use the spinner to navigate the grooves in the walls allowing you to reach the exit.
  • New World Tease: The passage to the Snow Province is unlocked as soon as you remove the Twilight from Zora's Domain, but an impenetrable blizzard prevents you from proceeding past the first screen until you complete a Chain of Deals assigned during the Mirror of Twilight quest arc.
  • Nice Day, Deadly Night: During the day, Hyrule Field has enemies that can be seen from a long way off. Come night, they're replaced by skeletal hellhounds who endlessly respawn near the player and attack in packs.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: At one point in an attempt to stop Link once and for all, Zant drives a shard imbued with his power into Link's forehead, locking him into wolf form. Soon after, Wolf Link and Midna happen upon the Master Sword, its power driving the shard out of Link's body and returning him to normal form. Midna then realizes the shard itself, now separate from Link, allows Link to morph in and out of wolf form at will by touching it, an ability which becomes integral to the downfall of Zant and his superior, Ganondorf. Thanks, Zant!
  • Night of the Living Mooks: In addition to bringing back classic undead enemies like Poes (which are now part of a Collection Sidequest) and Stalfos, the game introduces Undead Rats in Arbiter's Grounds, which can only be seen when Link is using his honed senses in wolf form. When the rats start cornering his body (as well as Midna's, much to her disgust), he can perform a spin attack to dispatch them.
  • 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 Bulk Discounts: Barnes from Kakariko Village sells his bombs by lots of 30, claiming you get a discount that way.
  • Nocturnal Mooks: Certain beasts only show up at night in Hyrule Field.
  • No Fair Cheating:
    • The store kept by a bird has this: you can just fill your lantern/bottle, but if you walk out, it yells at you and once you come back, it attacks you. Fortunately, you can stop him by putting even just one Rupee in the box (but then he calls you a cheapskate when you leave), and get on his good side again by putting in a rupee without buying anything.
    • Attempting to roll jump the ball over a close gap in the rollgoal game will make Hena accuse you of cheating and have to restart the stage.
  • No-Gear Level: The Twilight segments where Link becomes a wolf, rendering him unable to use weapons or items (the first time even involves you being captured and imprisoned). However, you can still fight about as well as you could in human form.
  • No Hero Discount: Chudley's Fine Goods and Fancy Trinkets Emporium. Only the rich members of Hyrule town can afford to shop there, which unfortunately doesn't include you — the minimum price for the goods sold there is higher than the amount Link can carry in his wallet. Only by completing a side quest later in the game will Malo take over the shop, and the prices will drop drastically.
  • 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.
  • Noob Cave: The first Lantern Cavern, located on the way to the Forest Temple. Followed by the sewers underneath the castle, though the latter has more dangerous enemies that are capable of damaging Wolf Link in the water, where he cannot fight back.
  • No One Could Survive That!: During a cutscene, it is shown that Ganondorf has a huge sword STABBED THROUGH HIS GUT. He goes on to kill a sage, making them panic, as they didn't know he had the Triforce of Power. They were expecting the sword to be fatal, but he survives through an almost literal Deus Ex Machina.
  • 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:
    • Welp, Stallord has just been decapitated, all that's left is to... oh wait, second phase.
    • 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 his beastly Ganon form. 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.
  • No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom: The Temple of Time has eight floors, being the tallest dungeon in the game (along with the City in the Sky, which has five floors and three basements, for a total of eight as well). However, it's the most linear dungeon due to the straightforward path between the entrance and the top area where the missing statue is. All Link has to do after reaching there is escort the statue back to the first floor with the help of the Dominion Rod, and the only detour he needs to make is in the sixth floor, when he has to reach and explore the lone room that houses the Boss Key.
  • Now, Where Was I Going Again?:
    • For ten rupees, the fortune teller Madame Fanadi will consult her Crystal Ball on one of two topics: Career (where to go next) or Love (heart piece locations).
    • Midna (who literally shadows you) is also happy to chime in with some snarkiness whenever you tap the "Z" (up on the + Control Pad for the Wii version) button.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: This is the backstory of the game. The Big Bad's representative invades Hyrule and slaughters anybody who gets in his way en route to Princess Zelda. When he finally reaches her, he gives her an ultimatum she can't possibly fight — surrender the kingdom or watch your people be massacred. She's already seen that her people can't stand up to the power he's brought with him, and drops her rapier in a gesture of submission.
  • 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.
  • Ominous Floating Castle: The Palace of Twilight floats alone in the void that is the Twilight Realm.
  • One-Hit Kill:
    • The Ending Blow, capable of instantly killing any enemy that lays knocked down on 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.
    • 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 of These Doors Is Not Like the Other: Link has to navigate the Sacred Grove by following the Skull Kid and keeping tabs on where his light can be spotted.
  • One-Time Dungeon: The sewers and rooftops of Hyrule Castle. You can only explore these sections at two different points during the game, namely when Link first enters the Twilight, and again after clearing Lakebed Temple.
  • One to Million to One:
    • The mini-boss Deathsword (who, as the name suggests, appears to be a lich wielding a large sword) of Arbiter's Grounds disintegrates into a massive swarm of scarabs after being defeated.
    • Armogohma, a truly spectacular and terrifying Giant Spider. After you beat her the first time, she disintegrates into an eye with legs and a swarm of smaller spiders, which you have to fight off while going for the eye.
  • One-Woman Wail: During nighttime, the Hyrule Field music changes to a slower and more melancholy version featuring a lone woman singing the theme.
  • 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 with the Fused Shadow, and looks quite a lot like an Eldritch Abomination.
  • Opening the Sandbox: The game lets you out into Hyrule Field once you've freed Ordon and Faron Province from the Twilight curse and completed the first dungeon. However, true to form, the game doesn't truly open the sandbox until you drive back all the Twilight and later get the Master Sword.
  • Optional Stealth: To reach the Arbiter's Grounds, Link must pass through a Bulblin base, 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 non-anthropomorphic wolf while in the Twilight Realm.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: As soon as you reach the Hidden Village for the first time, the game puts you right into a Spaghetti Western (or a light-gun FPS, depending how you play it).
  • Out of the Inferno: The Final Boss gets one of these in the finale, only there it's more of an Out Of The Exploding Hyrule Castle.
  • Oxygen Meter: The game has a blue bar that appears whenever Link is sunken underwater with the Iron Boots. Once again, wearing the Zora Armor will allow him to swim for as long as he wants.
  • Painful Transformation:
    • Link's initial wolf transformation seems to be a dual homage to the transformation scenes in Majora's Mask and the transformation in An American Werewolf in London, but after that, no further cutscenes of that nature occur.
    • Midna's first transformation with the Fused Shadows has her being thrown around and screaming painfully.
  • 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 when out bug collecting.
  • Past Victim Showcase: Ganondorf holds up Midna's broken helmet to demonstrate that he just defeated her — just before shattering it.
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • 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 Temple of Time.
  • Perpetual Storm: A stormy rain begins when Midna is mortally injured. The storm won't stop until you take Midna to Zelda.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Zelda has her standard fancy dress with the gold trimmings, and Agitha wears a fancy dress with cute insect trimmings.
  • Pivotal Boss: Stallord, due to its size, attacks Link from the central spot of the battlefield and doesn't move from there. During the second phase, its head does move, as it's the only part of its body left.
  • Player Death Is Dramatic: Whenever Link is killed in the game, his breath will be suddenly cut off as the camera pans to his body collapsing to the ground and tragic music plays. Bonus points whenever he dies in wolf form, since Midna will appear over his body and sigh.
  • Plot Coupon: Four Fused Shadows, then the four fragments of the Mirror of Twilight. The Fused Shadows are initially collected so Midna can confront Zant; when that doesn't work (Zant even ends up taking them away from her), she and Link have to retrieve all fragments of the Mirror to repair it and access the Twilight Real, defeat Zant, and then use the Fused Shadows to destroy the barrier protecting Hyrule Castle.
  • Plot Detour: The game takes a swipe to the right and has the plot begin to focus on Ilia and her memory loss. Her memories must be restored to proceed and the only reward, outside of actually allowing to continue, is a Horse Call; an item that has become obsolete to the player several hours earlier.
  • Plot Tailored to the Party: Some items become nigh-useless once their plot function is fulfilled. The Dominion Rod, the Spinner and the Ball and Chain have no real functions once you get the last of the items and areas they unlock apart from getting some chests (the Ball and Chain can at least still function as a slow but powerful weapon in combat and it also destroys rocks, saving you on Bombs). The second Clawshot fares a little better, as it's used in the two dungeons following its home location... but those also happen to be the last in the game, and it's still not very used in the overworld (this is rectified in Skyward Sword).
  • Plot-Triggering Death: The game's events originated when Zant usurped the throne Midna was meant to inherit after the passing of the previous king of the Twilight Realm.
  • Plot Tunnel: Each time you enter the twilight, Midna delights in reminding you that you're stuck there until you find a portal you can use to leave. In the case of Lanayru Province, doing so involves a lengthy process of circumnavigating Hyrule Field, jumping down into Lake Hylia, using a bird to fly upriver, and then climbing to the tippity-top of Zora's Domain. And even when you do find a portal, you're still trapped as a wolf until you restore the light spirit of whichever province you entered, leaving little else that can be done in the meantime anyway.
  • Point of No Return: Happens once you enter the boss room in Hyrule Castle. Upon defeating the Dark Beast Ganon form, Midna teleports both you and Zelda back to Hyrule Field. You could try going elsewhere, except there are 2 problems here: Ganondorf defeated Midna, so you can no longer warp, and Ganondorf blocked the entrance ways to other locations via Twilight walls. Looks like you've got no choice but to defeat him.
  • Poison Mushroom: Purple Chus, which leave behind Purple Chu Jelly when killed. Other types of Chu Jelly are very useful, either restoring a good amount of health or as a Lantern Oil substitute, so Purple Jelly should have a good effect too, right? Wrong, they have a random effect: while they can heal a random amount of Hearts, they can also hurt you, even taking you down to a quarter of a Heart. The Nasty Soup, which can be gotten where you get the Lantern, has the same effect. The main purposes of Purple Chus are to make you fight a Chu without getting anything good out of it, or to have them in the same area as useful Chus, forcing you to kill the useful ones and grab their jelly before the purple ones absorb them and take away their useful qualities.
  • "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.
  • Power Crystal: The shadow crystal that Zant implanted into Link’s head gives Link the ability to transform into a wolf at will after obtaining the Master Sword.
  • 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.
  • Power Up Letdown:
    • The Spinner from the Arbiter's Grounds would be an awesome item if it retained its speed on the ground like it does on rails. Instead, it only carries Link a short distance before slowing to a crawl, and its attack has both low range and deals scratch damage. At least it's still somewhat useful throughout the game, but a huge letdown compared to how well it works during the boss battle of the Arbiter's Grounds.
    • The Dominion Rod is a contender for one of the most useless items in Zelda history. Its description makes it sound great, being a rod that can bring statues to life. In reality, all it basically lets you do outside the Temple of Time once Shad powers it back up again is move six obstacles — eight if you also take on the Cave of Ordeals in its entirety — throughout the entire rest of the game out of the way, and once that's done it has no more use at all.
    • The Horse Call. In theory, it would be great: a portable horse grass that you could use to call Epona anywhere in the game. Unfortunately, you don't get it until you're almost through the entire game and by then you can just use Midna to warp almost anywhere, with Link's wolf form being almost if not as fast as the horse to fill the gaps. Adding insult to injury is the fact that you actually receive the item earlier in the Hidden Village, but at that point it is called Ilia's Charm and can't be used until you show it to her again.
    • The powered up Master Sword obtained in lieu of a dungeon item from the Palace of Twilight is only marginally useful as it's able to one-punch Twilit Enemies (Which are non-threats as the unpowered sword can kill them in one or two hits already) and clearing out Shadow Crystal Fog (Like using the Lantern to clear poison fog). The power up doesn't work outside of the Palace of Shadow, which makes it nothing more than a form of dungeon key.
    • In addition to the weak dungeon items, the HD version also added Miiverse stamps. They're effectively emojis that can be used in your Miiverse posts, so within the game itself they are completely useless. They were placed in existing chests, replacing consumable items that would have been found in older versions, so it can be rather disappointing and even frustrating to work for a chest only to get a reward that doesn't help at all In-Universe — even considering money isn't worth much in the game, at least finding rupees was situationally useful and helped out in the early game. It's become even worse after Miiverse has been shut down, as the stamps now serve no purpose whatsoever.
  • Power Up Motif: A triumphant remix of Link's leitmotif plays when a boss is stunned and their weakness is exposed. Zant overrides this with his own crazy themes, however.
  • Precision-Guided Boomerang: Like in The Wind Waker, the Gale Boomerang can hit up to five targets at the same time. However, it also has eolic properties, thanks to the blessing of the Fairy of Winds.
  • 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.
  • Pre-Final Boss: Ganondorf first uses Zelda's possessed body to fight Link before directly confronting him immediately after.
  • Prehensile Hair: Midna can shape her ponytail into a hand 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, whose lack of queenship is not addressed.
  • Prison Episode: The prison Link is trapped into after turning into a wolf, located in Hyrule Castle. With the help of Midna, he eventually escapes.
  • Proactive Boss:
    • The City in the Sky is guarded by a giant wyvern, who at one point smashes through a stone bridge leading further inside (fortunately, there are alternate methods of crossing involving hookshots and helicopter plants). The actual battle takes place on the highest rooftop of the city.
    • While the Skull Kid periodically sends puppet fighters after you, he also inverts the trope by opening up other sections of the dungeon when he goes through them.
  • Prolonged Prologue: You spend the first few hours learning your controls as Link and Wolf Link. You don't have any idea of what's going on until the end of the segment, and you're not free to explore the overworld until after the first major dungeon. Even then, the amount of places you can explore is limited since most of the world is still covered in Twilight, which isn't fully dealt with until after the third dungeon.
  • Prolonged Video Game Sequel: Twilight Princess has the same amount of dungeons as Ocarina of Time (nine), but the main quest is overall longer due to the exploration of the Twilight segments, the horse track battles, bigger landscapes, the dungeons themselves being longer and more maze-like, and other factors. In fact, prior to the game's release, Nintendo had advertised it by highlighting the longer campaign as one of the two major selling points, along with the Darker and Edgier story.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Zant keeps a calm facade at first, but acts like this when it's broken by your arrival at the Palace of Twilight.
  • Punny Name: The inn in Karakiko Village, located in Eldin Province, is named "Elde Inn".

    Q-T 
  • Quad Damage: The Fairy Tears and Rare Chu Jelly double Link's attack power, but only for a few seconds.
  • Quicksand Sucks: The Arbiter's Grounds has quicksand, including the instant-death type, as a frequent and dangerous obstacle. While some areas can be crossed while sinking slowly, wearing the metal boots is instant death.
  • Racing Minigame: After completing the Snowpeak Ruins, Yeto and Yeta will offer to race you down the mountain you boarded down to get there the first time, with the mansion being the finish line.
  • Railing Kill:
    • There can be several of these during the Old West style shootout at the ghost town.
    • Before you get the bow, Archer Bulblins can be struck with the Slingshot to make them fall off ledges.
  • 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 his Dark Beast Ganon form. Then he comes back as some sort of energy spirit, only to face Midna empowered by the Fused Shadows — and apparently survives, 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.
  • Real-Time Weapon Change: The HD remaster on Wii U allows you to change object with the Gamepad without interrupting the game.
  • 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, an overworld Mini-Boss. You have four encounters with the hulking brute throughout the game. The first two are horseback battles, while the last two are on foot. After he is beaten the final time, he decides that he admires anyone tough enough to defeat him so consistently, and he simply hands you a key and walks off.
  • Recurring Element: Link shares many story beats with the Link from Ocarina and Majora's Mask, at times bordering on Generation Xerox or Internal Homage on the part of the creators. He physically meets that Link as The Hero's Shade.
    • Link starts in a tree house in a wooded area south of Castle Town.
    • The first three dungeons are Forest, Fire, and Water themed.
      • In the pre-Forest up to Fire dungeon setpieces, there's a character named Colin who fulfills Young Link's arc in Ocarina. He is bullied and ostracized by the other kids, but finds his courage and eventually takes up the sword and shield. Also in the Forest Dungeon, Link has to rescue monkeys as in Majora's Mask.
      • The Fire Dungeon sees Link stopping to open closed rooms with Gorons in them. In a bit of a reversal, instead of the Gorons being in prison, they are instead holding keys to let Link challenge the boss they sealed within.
      • After being abducted, the girl that's good with horses (Romani in MM, Ilia here) loses her memories. She also gives Link a means to summon Epona from anywhere (Romani teaching him Epona's Song and Ilia telling him about the horseshoe grass and later giving him a charm he can use anywhere, both of which automatically play Epona's Song).
      • The pre-water dungeon setpieces include a dried-up Lake Hylia, and Zora's Domain frozen over. Unlike in Ocarina, you actually get to thaw the Zoras out this time.
    • After completing the water dungeon, Link has an encounter with the main villain (Ganondorf/Zant) that sets off a series of events where Zelda goes missing for the rest of the plot (being chased into hiding by Ganon/disappearing after giving her power to Midna), a dark entity takes up the cause of directing Link where to go (Sheik/the revived Midna), and Link retrieves the Master Sword in preparation for the next series of dungeons. And though it's unknown at what point she would've appeared, Sheik was fully redesigned for this game as well, which went to good use in the Super Smash Bros. series.
    • The next series of dungeons include desert, ice, light, wind, and darkness for themes.
      • The desert dungeon is located in the Gerudo Desert. The Arbiter's Grounds may even literally be the Spirit Temple, renovated and repurposed after the 100-year Time Skip, seeing as there are statues of the familiar sand goddess.
      • While Ocarina had the Forest and Water Temples in the second arc, their Medallion designs are left over from scrapped potential Wind and Ice Temples, which are included in Twilight Princess. Also, though the light dungeon seems to replace the Ocarina second arc's fire dungeon, both share the characteristic of being very tall, with the treasure item being in the highest floor and the boss room being down on the first.
    • Ganondorf takes over Hyrule Castle, and positions himself at the very top for the final battle. In a reversal, the battle starts with Ganon and ends with human Ganondorf rather than the other way around in Ocarina.
    • Zelda summons the Light Arrows, though, as in Wind Waker, she uses them herself.
    • There are other minor similarities, such as the encounter with a Skull Kid in the Lost Woods, protecting a wagon from being attacked by bandits, or the complete Fused Shadow bearing a resemblance to Majora's Mask itself.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: The Shadow 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.
  • Reduced-Downtime Features: From this game onward, the games have been moving away from the traditional Mana Meter. This is best exemplified by The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds which tied all previously resource-consuming items (wands, bow, bombs) to a regenerating "stamina meter", eliminating the need to leave a dungeon to replenish/farm items.
  • Reduced to Dust: After defeating Beast Ganon, Midna teleports Link and Zelda away before transforming into some kind of demonic glowing octopus-thing again with the Fused Shadow. We then cut to Link and Zelda in the field, watching explosions rocking the castle. Then Ganondorf shows up on horseback, holding the Fused Shadow that Midna had been using as a hat the whole game.... and it is crumbled in his fist. Cue the second phase of the boss battle.
  • 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.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Unlike most versions of Link, this one doesn't need metal arm bracers 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.
  • Rescue Romance: The initial reason you start your adventure is to go rescue the mayor's daughter who pretty clearly likes Link already. Link does meet Zelda and Midna, but he has almost no interaction with Zelda at all, nor do either he or Midna ever show explicit romantic feelings for each other.
  • 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 and show up at Hyrule Castle to clear away some enemies.
  • Ret-Canon: Ganondorf uses two of his non-canon Super Smash Bros. Melee moves in the game: he uses a choke variation of Warlock Punch to kill the Sage of Water (which became the basis for Flame Choke, another one of his Smash moves), and uses a move similar to his forward smash as part of a sword combo during the final battle. And the Sword Duel with him involves him using the Thrust Kick he uses as his Forward-Tilt.
  • Reviving Enemy:
    • The Shadow Beasts Link regularly fights do not revive by themselves, but if Link is facing more than one, the last monster will emit a paralyzing shriek that revives its fallen comrades if Link cannot defeat them simultaneously.
    • Stalfos need to be finished off by blowing up their bodies with bombs to stop them from reanimating (this is usually only needed to clear rooms that don't open doors or spawn chests until all the enemies within are defeated, since the games make use of Respawning Enemies).
  • Rewarding Vandalism:
    • The game lampshades the tendency for players to smash jars to find what's inside by having one shopkeeper note that some people like to smash jars. If you bump into the walls to try to get the jars on her shelf to fall, she'll kick you out and won't let you back in until you apologize.
    • There is also an old man who will berate you if you smash a pumpkin near him.
    • The game has a minor tweak on the Die, Chair, Die! pattern: a few barrels, usually located around goblins, are marked with a big white X and apparently contain gunpowder (they explode when disturbed, which causes damage if you're standing too close).
    • Part of the final stretch of battles in the game has the boss running around smashing pillars in the room that also leave behind power-ups.
  • Ring Menu: The items menu is ring-shaped and can become relatively crowded as the player acquires more items. The items take up less space as they are added, which keeps the ultimate number of items a secret.
  • Ring Out: There's a sumo minigame in which you have to push your Goron opponent out of bounds to win.
  • Ring-Out Boss: Dangoro in the Goron Mines requires you to throw him off the side three times.
  • Roaming Enemy: Argorok, the seventh boss, is seen several times before actually being fought in City in the Sky: first when he flies through and destroys a bridge, after which he can be seen flying around the dungeon's highest tower (which is where he's fought).
  • Roaring Rapids: The rafting minigame in Zora's River, where you need to shoot targets and steer your boat (one or the other), losing points as you slam into things.
  • Rocket Jump: You can do a bomb jump by dropping a bomb and powering up one of your jumping techniques. If you time it just right, you can reach various ledges you weren't meant to walk on. Most of the time falling out of bounds though as the ground isn't completely solid up there.
  • Rod And Reel Repurposed: You can use a fishing rod to distract a boss in the middle of the fight (he stares stupefied at the lure). This is likely a nod to the fact that in two previous games, an inventory item was usable against bosses to deflect their attack.
  • Rule of Three:
    • The Boss Key in Goron Mines is divided into three fragments, each guarded by a Goron guardian. Assembling all three fragments is the only way to open the boss room.
    • 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, which he puts in Yeto's soup.
    • 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.
  • The Sacred Darkness: This theme is further explored in this game, with events such as the Blade of Evil's Bane being blessed by the gods of the Dark World plus the realization that the Twilight Realm is not evil, only corrupted by Zant's and Ganondorf's machinations.
  • Same Content, Different Rating: Despite being rated T, the game is only marginally more violent than its spiritual predecessor, Ocarina of Time, and there are very few depictions 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.
  • Same Plot Sequel: The game serves as one to Ocarina of Time, which was a deliberate return to form after the initially-divisive reception of the more experimental previous games. Link is raised in the forest of southern Hyrule, where he is friends mainly with children. After meeting an Exposition Fairy, he embarks on his journey and obtains three Plot Coupons from dungeons: one in the forest, one in Death Mountain (passing through Kakariko Village and befriending the Goron chief along the way), and one in Zora's Domain (helping the Zora royalty along the way). He also has to navigate the Skull Kid-populated Lost Woods by following the sound of Saria's Song in order to find the Sacred Grove. After Princess Zelda disappears due to the Big Bad's actions, Link acquires the Master Sword from a temple and now has to acquire more Plot Coupons from even more dungeons, including one in Gerudo Desert. Finally, he goes to Hyrule Castle and ascends the tower to face Ganondorf, who assumes the demon Beast Ganon form during one phase of the battle. The Exposition Fairy leaves, Zelda and Link say goodbye, and Link returns to his old life (before soon embarking on a new journey).
  • Sampling:
    • A self-sampling variation. Zant's battle music samples the music of whichever boss he's imitating in his multi-stage fight.
    • Beast Ganon's theme, which samples a Russian Orthodox chant called "A Mercy of Peace". Specifically, this part. The pitch of the sample is often played around with as well.
  • Sand Is Water: The fourth dungeon, Arbiter's Grounds, not only features sinking sand but has sand whirlpools that act as sinkholes.
  • Sand Worm: The game sizes down its Moldorms to a more reasonable size and populates the Gerudo Desert and the quicksand pits in the Arbiter's Ground with them. They leap out of the sand like fishes to attack Link, and must be pulled out with the Clawshot to be defeated.
  • 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! ♥♥♥
  • Scary Stinging Swarm: Link can knock down beehives to get larvae to use as fishing bait, but doing this (or even just coming close to them) will anger the bees (named hornets in-game) and send them out to attack 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 almost 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 electromagnets on cranes.
  • 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, and yes, the house blows up. You will die if you're dumb enough to not GTFO before the explosion.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Mirror of Twilight. The 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 (as opposed to destroying it completely) is not something you want to do.
  • Second Hour Superpower: The game introduces Link's wolf transformation right after the player has finished the tutorial missions, but the ability to transform is only unlocked after the first three dungeons.
  • Secret Underground Passage: After completing Lakebed Temple Link uses a series of secret passages leading from Hyrule Castle Town into Hyrule Castle itself.
  • See the Invisible: When in wolf form, Link can use his senses to find invisible objects, including trails of scents used to find plot-related people. It's also the only way to defeat Poes, who are otherwise intangible.
  • Selective Magnetism: There are large sections of magnetic wall and ceiling Link can stick to with the iron boots. This is only when he's wearing them, not when they're packed away, which he can easily do with a quick hop even when currently stuck to a surface. Keep in mind that Link runs around with a large metal shield on his back. Though the shield could be a non-ferromagnetic metal (and probably is, since The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword suggests it's Made of Indestructium), the same is not likely to true of the vast arsenal he keeps tucked away behind the shield.
  • Sequential Boss:
    • The game does this for every boss except the second, in some cases even tricking you (and Link) into thinking the battle is over. In the majority of cases, the first phase is about merely weakening th boss's defenses with the item you found in the dungeon, while in the second phase you use that item in conjunction with the sword to incapacitate the boss and deal actual damage.
    • Played for laughs with Armogohma, whose second form is merely its eyeball on a tiny spider body, which runs away from you and dies very easily (all while a sillier version of the first phase's boss music plays).
    • Zant himself is a Final-Exam Boss with minor variations (namely, that he mimicks the behavior of some bosses and minibosses, and that he warps Link into a previous location at the start of a new phase).
    • Ganondorf's battle consists of a fight with Puppet Zelda, then Beast Ganon, then Ganondorf on a horse, and finally Ganondorf himself in a Sword Fight. And all of this takes place in direct succession of one-another.
  • Shapeshifter Guilt Trip: Midna briefly transforms into the likenesses of the recently kidnapped Colin and Ilia in order to remind Link that he has a personal motivation to fight back against Zant and the Twilight. Oddly, this is the only time she displays shapeshifting powers.
  • Shapeshifting Heals Wounds: Subverted: After Ganondorf transforms into the monstrous boar Ganon, the scar on his humanoid body's chest is not only still visible but even bigger (running along the boar's entire underbelly), serving as the Weak Point for Link to tear into once Ganon has been knocked prone.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Midna. "Am I so beautiful that you've no words left?"
  • Shield Bash: Link can learn it as one of the Hidden Skill techniques, and involves slamming your shield into an opponent, stunning them. It can later be used in combination with another devastating move, the Helm Splitter, that allows you to jump up over your opponent and cleave their skull in half.
  • Shield-Bearing Mook: The game has Lizalfos and Aeralfos, who must be stunned or shields destroyed in order to kill them, and Darknuts, who are defeated via superior swordsmanship or by taking out their outer armor with bomb arrows.
  • Shifting Sand Land: The game has the Gerudo Desert (luckily, no quicksand or mazes here) followed by the Arbiter's Grounds, a sand-filled Temple of Doom with many quicksand pits that must be waded through, other times crossed with the magnetic Spinner. Switches or objects are sometimes buried in the sand as well, requiring you to dig them out in wolf form.
  • 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 it to him 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 Bullet: This can happen when firing at a Bulblin/Bokoblin archer; two arrows colliding head-on will knock each other out of the air.
  • 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 drown his sorrows at the bar.
  • Shoplift and Die: There is a parrot who attacks Link if he doesn't pay for his wares in a tiny box. However, since it doesn't do much damage (and you can down a red potion before leaving the stall), the bird isn't very persuasive. And it certainly doesn't help that Link can underpay (to the tune of a single Rupee) and the bird will only respond to this by calling him a cheapskate, sans divebombing. Of course, if you want, you can pay a little extra in the box (or pay anything without buying), prompting the parrot to call Link a "generous young man".
  • Shout-Out:
  • Show, Don't Tell: In-universe: Sure, Lanayru 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 him, 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 male and female golden snails note that 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.
  • Silly Simian: Monkeys feature heavily in an early part of the game, namely within Faron Woods and the residing Forest Temple, and show up later. One Mini-Boss is even a baboon (acting under pest control), who then helps Link during the battle against the first boss, Diababa.
  • Simple Score of Sadness: "Midna's Lament" plays when Midna is mortally wounded. It's a sad remix of the main theme.
  • A Sinister Clue: Interestingly, though Ganondorf is already a villain to begin with, the game's Wii version and Hero Mode in the Wii U version have him, traditionally right-handed, turned left-handed. This is because of the control scheme of the Wii, and since the deadline of the game was getting close, the developers couldn't simply make Link right-handed and leave the rest of the version intact, so they decided to simply mirror it, thus turning most characters left-handed, including Ganondorf.
  • Sinister Scythe: The Poes attack with Scythes, giving the already ghostly enemies more of a Grim Reaper vibe.
  • Sizable Snowflakes: Big, sparkly snowflakes hover in the Snowpeak Ruins bedroom when Blizzeta, the boss, freezes it over.
  • 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.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Snowpeak, which also features water so cold that it freezes Link and makes him respawn with lost health (and if he's wearing the Zora Armor, which is vulnerable to ice, it kills him instantly). However, the two Yetis you meet are peaceful allies who cook you food and race you down the mountain on snowboards made of ice.
  • Slow-Motion Drop: There's an early Flash Back where Princess Zelda, having just heard Zant's "surrender or die" ultimatum, drops her sword in slow motion, signifying her capitulation.
  • 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 just 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:
    • To get the Hawkeye, a useful item that is 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. Without the Hawkeye. 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.
    • To access the last dungeon, you need to shoot yourself into the sky with a cannon. Sure enough, you land in a small pool of water, but at least then you wouldn't be travelling that fast since you slow down when you came up. The real problem is, to get back on earth, you need to use another cannon that shoots you up even higher, with Lake Hylia being the Soft Water.
  • Soul Jar: Ganondorf and Zant are each other's soul jars. After Ganondorf "houses [his] power" in Zant, you can't kill one without killing the other. Zant's neck snaps by itself as soon as Ganondorf dies.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The standard Battle Theme Music of the game interrupts the Midna's Lament theme during the sequence after the third dungeon when enemies appear, jarring with the desperate mood of the moment.
  • 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 Attack:
    • The final Hidden Skill is a stronger version of the Spin Attack, known as the Great Spin. It requires Link to be at full health to perform it.
    • Zant has this among his arsenal of random attacks. If the spin goes for too long, he'll remain dizzy, giving Link a good chance to attack him with his sword.
  • 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, no responsibilities, 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.
  • 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 for 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 could probably be called The Legend of Midna without any real issues. Zelda is in it for 15 minutes tops, and she sure isn't the one 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.
  • Stalactite Spite: In Snowpeak Ruins, there are stalactites that not only ambush you, but also turn into Chilfos on landing.
  • 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.
  • Stationary Boss:
    • Diababa is stationary (but has a very long reach), due to being a plant rooted to its spot.
    • Morpheel is stationary in its first phase, because most of its body its half-buried in the lakebottom mud, before deciding to get up and actually fight.
  • Stealth-Based Mission:
    • In both Old Kakariko and the Arbiter's Grounds bulblin camp, since there's virtually no penalties for being spotted (aside from getting shot at and rushed), they tend to play out more as a western shoot-out and The War Sequence, respectively. Also, nighttime makes it harder for them to see you.
    • Two moments that involve Wolf Link: In both, you're stuck in wolf form and you have to get past a bar filled with people via tightropes and catwalks without falling or breaking/knocking down the many, many pots up there. Failure means being kicked out of the bar and you have to start all over again. There's also Ordon, again as Wolf Link, where if Rusl sees you he attacks you with a torch (though he doesn't move fast due to his injury).
  • 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. They cannot be attacked unless you're a wolf and using your senses, but they can attack you no matter what you're doing.
    • Ghost Rats aren't visible normally, their presence only revealed when Midna starts twitching and brushing herself off and Link (in either form) starts walking slowly. Using wolf 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". The Iron Boots let you walk right through it.
  • Step One: Escape: While the first part of the game serves as an extended tutorial for Link in his human form, the first thing he needs to do once he wakes up in a cell as a wolf is to dig his way out (also serving to get the player to learn how wolf senses and digging work). Escaping the castle teaches the other mechanics of wolf form, such as tightropes, jumping, and combat.
  • 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.
  • Sumo Wrestling: Death Mountain has a sumo wrestling mini-game. It's a sport of honor for the Gorons of the era; Link has to best the acting leader, Gor Coron, to be allowed into the second dungeon. Bo, the mayor of Ordon Village, teaches him the sport in advance (and gives him a pair of Iron Boots to put him on even footing with the rock-men).
  • Super Senses: As a wolf, Link gains heightened senses that allow him to follow scent trails, find objects underground, and see in the dark. They also enable him to see the physical forms of spirits and ghosts.
  • 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.
  • Swarm of Rats: The game has invisible ghostly rat swarms in the Arbiter's Grounds. The only indication that they're on you is that you suddenly start moving slowly (and in wolf form, Midna gets all jittery). Use the wolf's senses and you'll suddenly see that you're covered in the things, though fortunately a good Spin Attack will clear them away.
  • 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 also qualifies, since Midna won't let you back into the Twilight-covered Faron Woods until you acquire it and a shield.
  • Sword Plant: Link briefly puts the Master Sword back to its pedestal in order to gain entrance to the Temple of Time. During battle, enemies who lay knocked down in the floor can be finished instantly this way, by using the Ending Blow skill. This technique is also necessary to kill Ganondorf in the last battle.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: In the sumo mini-game, Grab beats Slap, Slap beats Evade, and Evade beats Grab.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss:
    • It's not the boss' fault, but if Ook didn't conveniently show up to provide Link with Bomblings, Diababa would be unbeatable.
    • If Stallord's head would bother to fly above the arena's highest Spinner tracks, Link would be unable to reach him.
    • If Blizzeta remained in the air during the second phase of her fight, she would remain out of reach of Link's Ball and Chain, and could just crush him with ice blocks.
  • Take It to the Bridge: The Bridge of Eldin is where Link engages in a mounted duel with King Bulblin. Their second battle takes place in the Great Bridge of Hylia.
  • Talking Animal: While in wolf form, you can talk to almost any animal; your horse Epona in particular says barely anything aside from that she "hates Link's wolf form and wishes he'd turn back soon".
  • 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.
  • Theme-and-Variations Soundtrack: The game does this with its main overworld theme, and to some extent its dungeon and boss themes.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Link gets one of these whenever he gets in the position to actually hurt the boss.
  • These Questions Three...: Getting one of the Pieces of Heart requires solving three ice-physics block puzzles in a row.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: With the exception of the bow, all dungeon items have minimal combat use at best, and they have very little use in the overworld (with Hyrule Field usually offering only one or two places to use each tool), but they're still crucial to tackle the dungeons where they're found. Even the Boomerang and Clawshot, two items that were previously useful for stunning enemies, have their stunning functions removed in this game, leading to this.
  • Threesome Subtext: The game has it between Link, Zelda and Midna. Unlike in most games, there isn't much of an emotional connection between Link and Zelda, but in the game's finale they both stand united out of their mutual strong feelings toward Midna.
  • Threshold Guardians: Midna serves as this in her first appearances, and the statues in the Sacred Grove are a more literal version.
  • Thriving Ghost Town: There are several Thriving Ghost Town locations as well as several not-so-thriving towns which are nearly deserted. Castle Town, however, includes many random passersby who will ignore you. You can interact with them... if watching them scream, cower, and brandish weapons at Link's wolf form counts as interaction.
  • 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 the Bomblings he carries 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.
  • Tide Level: The Lakebed Temple's main mechanic is redirecting the flow of water to different areas of the temple to power waterwheels and other mechanisms to progress.
  • 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 Bullbos. 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.
  • Tongue Trauma: The Deku Toad miniboss' Weak Point is located on the tip of its tongue, and can be hit with sword, arrows, bombs, arrows with bombs...
  • Too Awesome to Use: You are rewarded with a bottle of Fairy Tears for collecting 20 Poe Souls. These not only refill Link's health completely, but they increase his attack power temporarily as well (unfortunately, only for 10 seconds at best). However, in order to get more than just the one, you have to take Link on a quest through the "Cave of Ordeals". But again, they are refillable and free afterward, and beating the entire Cave lets you refill on Fairy Tears in 5 different areas in Hyrule. Rare Chu Jelly does the same thing, but good luck getting them in a crush of ChuChu or finding where they spawn.
  • Touch the Intangible: Several ghostly enemies are normally invisible and intangible, and can only be seen and attacked while Link is in his wolf form.
  • 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 guards the crystal and retains the final say on whether or not she'll allow the player to do so (such as if other people are nearby). In the original game, you have to speak to Midna to change form, but the HD remaster allows you to tap a button instead to make the mechanic more efficient.
  • 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.
  • Troll Bridge: Link must joust a King Bublin on The Eldin Bridge, and later again in the Great Bridge of Hylia, on horseback.
  • Tron Lines: The Twili people and their magic 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.
  • Troperiffic: The game was made to play the tropes of the series to the letter, since they knew that they were going to change things up for the next game.
  • Tsundere:
    • Plumm the bird 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.

    U-Z 
  • Uncommon Time: "Talo's Rescue" is in 7/4 but with one bar of 3/4 before the song repeats.
  • Undead Fossils: Stallord, Twilit Fossil, is the fossilized skeleton of a giant draconic beast reanimated by Zant's magic in an attempt to kill Link.
  • Under the Sea: Lake Hylia, in which swimming is made possible by way of the Zora Armor (to freely swim underwater and do so with unlimited oxygen) and the Iron Boots. Beneath it is the Lakebed Temple, in which Link has to transport water from one room to another by rotating the large staircase present in the central hall. The boss is Morpheel, which is located at the absolute bottom of the dungeon (and all of Hyrule in the game).
  • Undying Loyalty: Epona is Link’s loyal stead and will come to his aid when he needs her. Early on when Ilia takes Epona to the spring to heal her injuries, Epona chose Link over Ilia much to the latter’s disappointment. If Link were to summon her in his wolf form, she will come running to his location and will still recognize him. She even urges him to return to his real form so that she can ride him again.
  • Unending End Card: The game ends with a shot of the Goddesses' statues seen in Zelda's throne. There's no way to resume gameplay or manually return to the title screen.
  • 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.
    • At one point you run into a snow drift that blocks your way while following a scent. There's nowhere to climb over it and none of your items seem to help. Just dash into it and the snow collapses.
  • Unfinished Business: The Hero's Shade, the ghost of a past hero who was unable to pass on because of his regret of not teaching his skills to a worthy successor. As with the previous example, Link can heal his soul, this time by learning his teachings. For extra Irony, the Hero's Shade is revealed in Hyrule Historia to be the Hero of Time, the same Link who healed all those souls in Majora's Mask.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Zant. He's very strong 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.
  • Unstable Equilibrium: A minigame has you try to collect colored items worth different amount of points while flying. The kicker is that for each consecutive item of the same color you collect, its point value doubles, to a maximum of ten times. In short, every consecutive item you collect until you hit the cap is worth more than all the previous ones combined. You can win quite easily if you miss several red items, but if you collect a single other item during the middle part of the game you're screwed.
  • 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 burned 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: Green Chu Jelly in the Wii and HD versions, which can only be obtained if a Blue and Yellow Chu combine, which can only happen in the Cave of Ordeals. It was most likely left in by mistake from when the game had a magic meter, and not only has no effect, but doesn't even have a description in the original version. The Wii U HD version adds text stating it has no effect.
  • Variable-Length Chain: In the Wii edition, in one region of the Arbiter's Grounds, a chain which you pull out of the wall visibly grows as needed: you can see links popping into existence on the wall end of the chain. It's presumably a level layout error rather than really this trope, though.
  • 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.
  • Varying Tactics Boss: King Bulblin is fought four times:
    • The first battle takes place on a plain, riding after him on his boar as he summons Moblins to his aid. Then the battle shifts to a narrow bridge where both charge at each other (he's defeated by hitting him until he falls off).
    • The second battle also takes place on a bridge, but this time he's learned from the last bout and has two huge shields covering his arms. Fortunately, by this point you've acquired the Hero's Bow, and so you need to shoot him between the shields.
    • The third battle takes place on foot in a Moblin stable with Bulblin wielding a giant axe, announcing his presence by smashing it into a giant boar so you can't escape. After beating him, the stable catches fire, and you need to ride the boar to break out.
    • The final battle is in Hyrule Castle and is a standard sword fight. Upon losing, he reveals that he can talk, gives you a key, and names the trope for "I Fight for the Strongest Side!".
  • 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."
    • The yetis do this with "uh."
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Hyrule Castle is visited twice during the game's first half, but it can only be explored in full once the diamond-shaped barrier protecting it is destroyed by Midna with the help of the Fused Shadows. The Castle, barrier and all, is visible almost anywhere in the overworld. Bits of the final battle take place outside the castle as well.
  • Victorious Chorus: The Item Get! theme plays has a chorus backing it up.
  • 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.
  • 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. You can also do this during regular gameplay, by sheathing your sword after landing a killing blow on an enemy.
  • Victorious Chorus: The game added a choir to the iconic Item Get! theme, heard when Link gets a major item.
  • 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.
    • When Faron Province is wreathed in Twilight, Link can take some merchandise from Trill's Shop without having to pay anything or even being called out for stealing.
  • Viewers Are Goldfish: It seems like Nintendo thought players would be incapable of remembering the values of the different colored rupees, since every time you turn the game on, the first time you pick up any given color of rupee except green, the game will act like it's your first one of that color ever and tell you the value of it. However, it's actually the game that has the memory of a goldfish. There was a bit of code accidentally left out of the game that caused the flags for the rupee messages to not save when the game did, so when you turn the game off, it "forgets" that it ever told you what the rupees were worth, and does so again. It's possible to hack your save file to add the missing code and fix the problem, and it's fixed in the Wii U Updated Re-release as well.
  • Villain-Possessed Bystander: Happens twice in the story. Fire boss Fyrus, who is actually Goron Patriarch Darbus; and ice boss Blizzeta, who is a calmed yeti woman named Yeta. Both keep helping you after their defeat.
  • 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.
  • Visible Odor: While Wolf Link's senses are activated, he can also "see" smells as clouds, allowing him to follow the trace of their sources. Link can only do the process with one scent at a time, however, so he has to discard the previous smell when he has to follow a new one.
  • Volcanic Veins: The boss of the Goron Mines, Fyrus, has lava stripes on top of his body.
  • Wall Crawl:
    • Link can climb on walls covered in ivy, and everywhere (walls, ceilings, a madly bouncing platform floating in lava...) magnetic with the Iron Boots.
    • For an enemy example, the Dodongo is able to do this, thanks to it essentially being a giant fire-breathing gecko. They tend to be the ones to get in your way while navigating the aforementioned magnetic areas.
  • Warp Whistle: A set of portals positioned throughout the world serve as handy rapid-transit. Midna can carry Link through them, but only in his wolf form. Each one appears along with an Inescapable Ambush of shadow creatures.
  • The War Sequence:
    • The prelude to the Arbiter's Grounds dungeon is a one-man assault against an army occupying fortified positions. There's also a horseback fight against an infinite number of boar-riding moblins and finally you go sniper-style to take out the moblin home base.
    • Another time, you have to kill all the mooks in the hidden village before you can advance.
  • Waterfront Boss Battle: The Twilight Bloat is fought in Lake Hylia, where it alternates between flying and rapidly swimming in the water while trying to ram into the floating raft on which Wolf Link is standing, and can only be attacked in the moment where it rises above the raft.
  • Waterlogged Warzone: The battle against the Deku Toad is in a huge cavern with a thin layer of water, allowing its tadpoles to swim towards you.
  • 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.
  • Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: Link always makes a face at Midna and even growls at her as a wolf. It crosses into Vitriolic Best Buds later in the game.
  • Wham Line:
    • When Midna calls Zant out for abusing their tribe's magic in the cutscene after the Lakebed Temple, he reveals that his power is NOT their ancestor's magic.
      Zant: How dare you?! Are you implying my power is... our old magic? Now THAT is a joke! This is power is granted to me by my god! It is the magic of the King of Twilight, and you WILL respect it!
    • Later, after completing the Arbiter's Grounds, the Sages offer another one, revealing exactly who this god is.
      Sages: His name is...Ganondorf.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: Telma has some fascination with Link's eyes, as she lets Ilia know.
    Telma: This swordsman of ours has great eyes, honey. They're proud and wild... like a feral beast.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Outside of Barnes' story about the fate of the shopkeeper, it's never made clear what happened to the other residents of Kakariko Village, and none of the the three surviving residents seem particularly concerned.
  • What the Hell, Player?:
    • The fishing hole girl will get mad at you if you go around rolling into things in her hut. If you do it enough times, she'll kick you out of the building, and the next time you go back in, she'll make you apologize.
    • And the shop bird who you can steal from (fill a bottle with health potion/lantern oil and walk out without putting any rupees in the moneybox). He calls you a thief and attacks you if you try to return (though you can quiet him by putting money in). Also if you put less than 10 rupees in, he remarks "That's a little on the skimpy side..." and as you leave, says to "pay like you're supposed to next time, cheapskate."
    • Though this situation can actually be avoided, and the trope subverted, if you visit after leaving a dungeon with Ooccoo. You're free to visit the store and fill up your lantern and bottles and then use Ooccoo Jr. to teleport back. The bird won't even question it when you come back later.
    • Destroying pumpkins in Ordon village prompts one townsperson to scold you "Hey! Don't waste food!"
  • "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.
  • White Wolves Are Special: The Hero's Shade, who tutors you in Difficult But Awesome sword moves, takes the form of a gold-and-white (but mostly gold) wolf while in Hyrule.
  • 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), a Spaghetti Western style escort mission, and the Hidden Village resembles a Spaghetti Western ghost town (again, complete with the appropriate music), and a shoot-out in the Hidden Village (with Spaghetti Western inspired camera angles) using bow-wielding Bulblins the in place of bandits with guns.
  • Wind Is Green: The Forest Temple features several wind elements, which might be a consequence of this very trope. The Gale Boomerang, found in this dungeon, shows luminous green leaves within the produced tornado when it's being used.
  • Wolfpack Boss: The last gauntlet in the Cave of Ordeals is a trio (quartet in later visits) of Darknuts who know nothing of Mook Chivalry; one Darknut is challenging, so fighting three of them at once is bar none the toughest fight in the game.
  • 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).
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: The game has you gather three MacGuffins that will help defeat the Big Bad, only for said Big Bad to teleport in behind you right after getting the last piece and stealing them all.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: It takes the instruction of an ancient hero's spirit to teach Link how to nudge his shield into enemies.
  • Young Entrepreneur: Malo, one of the Ordonian 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.
  • 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 Hidden Skills from the Hero's Shade to use them, even if you know the timing and button inputs from previous runs.
  • Zero-Effort Boss: Armogohma's a pretty easy boss to begin with in the Temple of Time, with her only offense being a laser that does not-too-great damage and spawning a bunch of weak spiders. Then, when you finally kill her, you have to face her terrifying second form... her eye falling out and turning into a little spider that dies in one hit from a sword. It's mostly worth it for the look on Link's face.

 
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Alternative Title(s): Twilight Princess, The Legend Of Zelda Twilight Princess HD

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Ook's Taunt

After impeding Link's progress, Ook decides to gloat by spanking his big red backside.

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Main / BareBottomedMonkey

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