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The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Developer / Publisher: Nintendo
19 November 2006
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess - cover art
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1,954 Ratings / 3 Reviews
#333 All-time
#9 for 2006
Link, a young man from a small farming village, finds Hyrule is being consumed by an otherworldly twilight. Guided by a strange pixie named Midna, he endeavors to return light to the land and confront the usurper king Zant.
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The worst 3D Zelda, but it's still pretty good.
I feel like everyone has one game in their favorite series that just doesn't click with them the same way the others do, and for me Twilight Princess is that game. Although still enjoyable throughout, Twilight Princess does little to set itself apart from other Zelda titles and instead attempts to refine the formula from past entries. And to the game's credit, it does this quite well. The previously established Zelda conventions of going into dungeons and getting new items are as polished as ever. It's outside this where the game falls short for me. The world lacks the typical weirdness and charm of other Zelda games, with a tone closer to more traditional fantasy. What the game does introduce to the series almost entirely fall flat, the new mechanics rarely feel fleshed out and well integrated. The most egregious of these is the Wolf, which I believe could be entirely cut from the game with nothing of value lost. Playing as the Wolf just always feels like you're waiting for the "fun part" to start again. Aside from this, the game feels more infatuated with retracing Ocarina of Time's steps rather than forging its own.
While it still has its memorable moments, Twilight Princess all too often feels like an imitation of a Zelda game rather than a true installment in the series.
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weston69 2022-10-24T02:52:38Z
2022-10-24T02:52:38Z
3.5
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Twilight Princess has always been on my mind as a zelda game that looked really good and that I wanted to play, but never really gave the time to. While waiting for Tears of the Kingdom I took the time, I had, to delve into Zelda games I had yet to play. TP was one of those.

TP starts slow. It paints a picture of a farmboy with relations to a small village. Perfectly painting the ordinary world. The story starts small and evolves into an epic.

After the criticism Nintendo received for WindWaker and its cartoonish style, they felt a need to make a more "mature" dark realistic zelda game. And they did. With its flaws.

Aside from the magical fairy tale like beginning and vibe of the ordinary world and the anticipation of a grand adventure, like most zelda games have. TP falls flat on its atmosphere. The game is dark. So dark it becomes a bit tacky. In contrast to its none mature story. People tend to call TP mature, for its themes. But I fail to recognize them. TP tells a simple story of an ordinary boy who grows out to be a hero. The villain (or villains) are flat and side characters arent very interesting either. Especially to its predessecor Majoras Mask. Which indulges more in actual mature subjects.
TP feels tacky and fake in its "dark" and "mature" themes.

The villains dont feel great either. Both Zant and Ganondorf have an amazing introduction. But after that, their presence arent felt at all, besides the twilight areas and the shattering of the mirror. Both Zant and Ganondorf have about 3 minutes screentime each before their boss fights.

The gameplay has a lot to be desired as well. Its VERY lineair. You are send from point a to b to a again, numerous amounts of times it becomes infuriating. A big portion of this game feels like chores, with no real logical explanation to why you have to do it, besides padding. Even the big hyrule field is very lineair. Paths are blocked off constantly so you can only traverse through it one way. Later on you can open up entries to for example hyrule castle. But these are more chores that dont add to the experience.

Dungeons are a mixed bag. On one hand you have the awesome Arbiter Grounds, which combines the forest Temple of OoT with a pinballmachine and a rollercoaster, with an under utilized item. And on the other you have the infuriating Temple of Time, which is both boring and the most lineair straight path dungeon I have seen in a zelda game. You go to the end of the dungeon to get the dungeon item and traverse the whole dungeon reversed guiding a hard to control statue.

The pre gameplay to the city in the sky is also a good example of the flaws of this game. You are send all across the map of hyrule to recover sky symbols. It feels very arbitrary and just an easy way to pad out the game. The boss Keys in general is also a good example of this. In the first dungeon the boss key is hidden in plain sight. While in the other dungeons the boss key is hidden in the most arbitrary off path places. In such a way that I always had to traverse the dungeon a second time to find the boss key. The twilight dungeon is the best example of this. The boss key. An item you HAVE to collect. Is hidden behind a random waterfall with no indication its behind it.

Most of my time with Twilight Princess was wondering why systems were designed this way. Why did Midna always interrupt any flow in gameplay. Why did I always have to backtrack every single time. Why did link have to transform every time I wanted to teleport into wolf link, where I had to manually transform back after being teleported. Why why why?

I may sound very negative in this review. That is because being a zelda game comes with its expectations. I expect an immersive world and story with in depth gameplay. And frankly, I didnt find it here. When I keep getting pulled out of the game because of annoying mechanics and design, I tend to not really care about the world or characters anymore. That being said this is not a bad game. Comparing this to any other game at that time its even a very good game. But comparing it to any other zelda game. Even 2d ones. It takes the lowest point in my zelda ranking.
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Diugo 2023-05-28T12:35:29Z
2023-05-28T12:35:29Z
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Zelda fans are evidently hard to please. Since the series debuted to overwhelming, groundbreaking laudation in the third dimension with Ocarina of Time on the N64, a contentious breed of Zelda fans were not satisfied with the subsequent entries. Majoras’s Mask was initially brushed off as a morsel of extra Zelda content on the N64, while The Wind Waker, the prodigal main entry to succeed Ocarina, shocked and appalled fans with its strikingly different setting and art direction. Meanwhile, the new top down Zelda titles that recalled the pixelated games of the franchises past like the twin Oracle titles and Minish Cap weren’t seen as contenders in carrying Ocarina’s mantle. While the following two 3D Zelda games were exemplary in their own rights and Nintendo’s gumption to deviate from Ocarina was admirable, Nintendo should’ve expected some blowback by alienating a large percentage of their consumers for the sake of artistic integrity. Nintendo decided to placate the deprived masses with one last hurrah on the Gamecube while simultaneously using the next 3D Zelda to usher in an exciting, revelatory era of the Nintendo Wii. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was the Ocarina of Time sequel much closer to that expo trailer that aroused everyone’s attention in the year 2000, and Zelda fans were again shaking with anticipation.

When Twilight Princess was released, the game was met with positive reception all around, including that of the disgruntled faction of fans. Twilight Princess was praised for acting as a loyal follow up to the core essence and narrative arc of Ocarina. It was the antithesis of The Wind Waker in aesthetic and ethos, making that game null and void in the eyes of many now that a “worthy” delegate had appeared to represent The Legend of Zelda past the primitive 3D era. Ocarina fanboys could shut their traps now that Nintendo made a game to pacify them, and they remained content for years. After some time passed, however, the general public started to view Twilight Princess in a different light. Nowadays, Majora’s Mask and The Wind Waker are both commended for their initiative in taking Ocarina of Time’s gameplay and narrative and expanding on it creatively while Twilight Princess is often derided for not weaning itself off of Ocarina’s teat. Even during Twilight Princesses release, some of the detractors that were underwhelmed by Wind Waker still weren’t satisfied with Twilight Princess because it was too similar to Ocarina, and now they retroactively malign Ocarina for “ruining the franchise” because of the stagnating template it serves as. Jesus Tapdancing Christ, people. Would their complaints be quelled if Nintendo just ported an enhanced version of Ocarina for every new console? Actually, Master Quest did splendidly on the Gamecube now that I think about it, but Nintendo would be damned to let these vocal dissenters keep Zelda in a cyclical loop until the end of days. Admittedly, Twilight Princess is explicitly more like Ocarina than the previous two 3D Zelda games. However, Twilight Princess is not some cheap imitation with glossier graphics. Twilight Princess overtly expands on Ocarina’s setting, themes, and progression and almost surpasses its obvious inspiration. Almost.

We can assume that the developers attempted to make Ocarina of Time look as realistic as humanly possible with the primitive graphical capabilities of 3D technology. Two generations later, developers no longer needed to use things like pre rendered backgrounds to mask the unrefined polygonal textures of Nintendo’s first 3D system. The land of Hyrule in Twilight Princess upholds a cohesive graphical fidelity without using any awkward, albeit endearing, pre-rendered backgrounds as the bandages to patch the visual blemishes. What Twilight Princess chooses to display with generations of polygonal progress is a tad drab to say the least. Any team of developers that strive to craft a game with “realistic graphics” always seem to lack the hindsight that in time, the visuals will age as gracefully as a withered prune. This problem became prevalent in the sixth generation of gaming as the refurbished 3D graphics gave developers enough confidence to earnestly render proportional human bodies and facial features with its characters. Sadly, with the exception of Resident Evil 4, most games of the sixth generation that attempted to depict a sense of realism in its visuals now look shockingly crude. Alternately, games of this generation that adopted a more stylishly splendorous art direction, The Wind Waker as a prime example, could arguably contend with the graphics of games being released at the time I’m writing this. Every 3D game of the fifth generation looked primitive regardless of the developer’s artistic intentions, so it’s difficult to discern whether Ocarina and Majora’s Mask rough aesthetical charm is a fortuitous coincidence. Given the severe backlash The Wind Waker received because many felt that a cartoonish aesthetic wasn’t appropriate for a fantasy epic as opposed to Ocarina, we can infer that Twilight Princess is the logical evolution to Ocarina’s graphical tone. If this is the case, I fail to see the grandiosity of depleted colors, murky tints, and flat textures. Maybe I can blame Resident Evil 4 for popularizing realistic visuals that look victim to historic flooding, persisting for an entire generation. Still, I think it’s funny that The Wind Waker, a game that was derided for its visuals, looks far better than what Ocarina most likely would’ve looked like if it wasn’t on Nintendo’s first (competent) 3D console.

I suppose I should’ve made a disclaimer earlier that I have only played the Wii version of Twilight Princess, and it’s the version I’m basing this review off of. Both the Gamecube and Wii versions of Twilight Princess are equally as definitive because they were released on the same day. In some cases, however, the exact same game is made radically different between the two because of the controls. The Gamecube version plays it safe by copying from the control scheme of The Wind Waker, an advantage of being the second Zelda title on the same console. The Wii version did not have the same privilege as it was assigned the daunting task of proving the functionality of the console’s main motion-control-centric peripheral. Considering how fervid Zelda fans tend to be regarding the sanctity of the franchise's foundation, implementing motion controls for a mainline Zelda title at the Wii’s inception demonstrated some seriously brass, meteor-sized balls on Nintendo. It didn’t help that fellow Wii launch title Red Steel was doing its best to affirm people’s skepticisms that motion controls were an ill-conceived idea. Unlike Red Steel, Twilight Princess succeeded by keeping the motion controls simple. Link’s primary weapon of choice already somewhat resembles the Wiimote, and all the player has to do is swing it gingerly to execute a sword swipe. Attaching the nunchuck to the Wiimote provides full analog control, Z-targeting, and a few extra moves with the sword. It’s mandatory to use the nunchuck to play the game, but my intention in highlighting its capabilities is to showcase how simple and accessible Twilight Princesses control scheme is on the Wii despite how unorthodox and intimidating the Wii’s controller first seems. Swiping the sword while locking onto enemies usually resulted in Link doing that stab move multiple times instead of slashing vertically as he normally would, however. Fun fact: the Wii version’s map is mirrored as a roundabout way to to shift Link’s usual left-handed sword wielding to the right to accommodate western players who are typically right handed. A citation is needed as to how Nintendo came to this conclusion, for my ambidextrous American self probably could’ve handled it. Still, I suppose holding the Wiimote in one’s left hand to retain Link’s preferred placement would’ve been awkward.

Nintendo were obviously confident in the Wii’s controls because the Wii version of Twilight Princess continues The Wind Waker’s greater emphasis on combat just as the Gamecube version does. The Wind Waker advanced Link’s fighting prowess because the rudimentary basics of 3D combat were established in Ocarina, and now they could revel in the potential finesse of using a sword. Even with motion controls at the helm of Link’s kinetic abilities, Nintendo assured that they wouldn’t regress the series. Twilight Princess is the first 3D Zelda game where Link doesn’t possess a playable instrument in his inventory. The method in which Twilight Princess transfers the music mechanic is rather unconventional, as is the way it expands on Link’s abilities with the sword. Howling Stones are small, arcane-looking structures with hollow circles in the middle, found erected from the ground on hills and other elevated stretches of land. Approaching these as Wolf Link will cause him to howl a familiar little tune that reverberates across the sky, but only if the player can memorize the three notes variables along with how long they are sustained. Echoing the melodies of Hyrule’s past will transport Wolf Link to the heavens of Hyrule where a glowing, golden wolf joins Link as a chorus of howls and then requests that Link meet him somewhere on Hyrule’s map. Upon meeting the wolf, he’ll lunge at Link and transport him to an incorporeal realm where he reveals his true form as a skeletal warrior with hulking armor. Rumors speculate that this is the undead spirit form of Link from Ocarina and Majora’s Mask. Yet, I only remember the Wind Waker Link having a masterful dexterity with a sword. Either or, the adroit ghoul will teach Link one move with the sword per Howling Stone.

Some learnable skills like the Jump Strike and Helm Splitter are taken directly from Wind Waker, only now they no longer have to be an opportunistic rebuttal to a countering strike from an enemy. Actually, comparing how these skills were utilized in The Wind Waker, Twilight Princess manages to approach these skills even more tepidly than the previous game. The series pension for lenient damage intake still doesn’t foster the capabilities of Link’s newfound combat aptitude, and at least using these moves as counter attacks in The Wind Waker required more skill from the player. Link can still mow down armies of moblins with only one heart container depleted. The game never adds greater combat challenges because unlocking these moves are optional. Why wouldn’t the player want to execute flashy, gymnastic feats to defeat foes? Combat is still fluid and responsive even with motion controls, and I suppose I can be thankful for this with all things considered. It’s still disappointing considering there was nothing suppressive about the motion controls anyways, so they could’ve offered a meatier combat experience once again and didn’t.

Motion controls also translate well for many other tools in Link’s arsenal. The “mote” part of the Wii controller’s cutesy nickname connotes pointing it at the TV like a remote control. This peripheral function makes it perfect for aiming, which fits perfectly for the slingshot, bow and arrow, and clawshots. A conspicuous red target is shown on the screen when these weapons are equipped that helps the player guide their aim, with a yellow indicator present for clearer accuracy. The lantern from the top down games makes its 3D debut here, illuminating dark passageways and igniting candles with a finite oil source that can be refueled at certain cauldrons or for a small fee from a guy with an afro in the Faron Woods. The Iron Boots feature new magnetic properties, and Link doubles his clawshots akimbo style, latching onto a series of scaffoldings and moving around like Spiderman. If the extra additions to familiar items sounds like a tantalizing evolution, wait until you see the new items. Twilight Princess offers a varied array of new toys that stretch beyond the expectations of what is possible for Link to use on his quest. The Gale Boomerang is a blustering rendition of the regular ol’ boomerang that sucks in foes with its miniature cyclone grip and manipulates wind-power turbines connected to platforms and locked doors. The Hawkeye increases Link’s accuracy with the bow to the extent of sniper rifle, and flailing the barbarically large Ball and Chain around demolishes both enemies and weathered structures. The most outlandish of these new items is the Spinner, a top that Links rides on that carries him through a series of grids off the sides of walls. Needless to say, it’s a fan favorite item. 2006 marked a burgeoning future for the Zelda franchise, and these new items are the pinnacle of this. They are a blast to use, and the game gives them plenty of implementation.

Twilight Princess also introduces the matter of controlling Wolf Link, Link’s dimensional counterpart similar to his bunny form in the Dark World of A Link to the Past. Unlike the docile rabbit representing Link’s purity of heart, Twilight Princess sees Link transform into a carnivorous creature that coincides with this game’s prophetic notion that a mangy beast would aid in saving the land from evil’s grasp. The player will become efficiently acquainted with Wolf Link early in the game through consistent use and after a certain point in the game, the ability to organically switch between Link’s two forms is unlocked. Naturally, Wolf Link possesses certain qualities that human Link does not, which includes remembering smells and following a scent trail and talking to animals. Link’s partner is only corporeal while Link is a wolf which allows her to direct Link onto a series of high reaches and perform an attack that targets multiple foes while locked to a spatial radius. Swiping the Wiimote like a sword swing will cause Wolf Link to leap at an enemy, and pressing the A button will execute a larger leap that also adds Wolf Link lunging his teeth into an enemy for extra damage. It’s not as natural a translation as the Wiimote to the sword, but it still functions properly. Wolf Link was marketed as Twilight Princesses central gimmick, something unseen in the franchise used as an eye-catching hook to differentiate between this game and the older ones. However, those of us who remember Majora’s Mask beg to differ on Wolf Link’s supposed ingenuity. Wolf Link functions the same as any of the transformation masks in Majora’s Mask, a means to diversify the gameplay engaged through circumstantial moments. Wolf Link is satisfactory because he doesn’t become the focal point of the game, a reasonable trade off for mixing new forms of gameplay with the old.

Last time we saw the land of Hyrule in its traditional form, it was a vacuous field of nothing but grass with only slight peaks of hilly elevation. It was nothing but a monotonous, bland valley between the districts that fall under the same jurisdiction. Surprisingly, I often see the same criticisms for Hyrule Field in Twilight Princess, even though the developers have mended this problem sufficiently. Hyrule Field is not intended to be congested with creatures or off-road attractions, for a hub should still act as a median point that separates all of the notable areas of interest. Besides simply increasing the size of Hyrule Field, the addition of trees, bridges, rivers, varied terrain, and consistent enemy placements on the map makes Hyrule Field mirror the similarities of the rolling, commodious badlands seen in the real world. Another change that aids Hyrule Field feeling more natural is that the nucleus of Hyrule has been shifted to Castle Town, the metropolitan capital of Hyrule that mirrors the marketplace from Ocarina, only busier with more expansive urbanity. If Castle Town is a more adequate nucleus due to its epicenter nature, then Hyrule Field functions well as its metaphorical outer wall.

All of the branching districts of Hyrule we’re familiar from games prior are far more realized than they were in Ocarina, and this isn’t because of the graphical enhancements. Kakariko Village is a dusty wasteland that actually looks like it resides below a volcano, and the trek up Death Mountain to the Goron’s civilization feels substantially more harrowing. Lake Hylia is a behemoth basin situated so deep in the sunken crevices of Hyrule that Link must plunge into it from atop a bridge, and the only means of returning from it is via being shot out of a comically-sized cannon. The Sacred Grove near the Faron Woods is even more mysterious than the Lost Woods, and Gerudo Desert is particularly arid in its atmosphere and layout. These landmark Hyrule destinations are now incredibly fleshed out and detailed thanks to years of progress in gaming hardware. My only slight grievance pertaining to neo-Hyrule is with poor Epona. Riding around Hyrule’s hub on Link’s trusty steed was a lifesaver in Ocarina, but her time in Twilight Princess is entirely situational in the early game. At the half-way point, Link’s partner grants him the ability to mitigate travel with a warp option and as much as I adore Epona, warping around pretty much any location on the map is too convenient. Link can’t even summon Epona unless he finds a blade of grass to blow her song into that is only found in certain spots, and the horse whistle item that gives him full access isn’t given to him until very late in the game. Uh…thanks? I hate to say it, but the ol’ gal would be more useful at a glue factory.

With all of the enhancements Twilight Princess implements in mind, it should be a no brainer that it excels over Ocarina of Time. Unfortunately, Twilight Princess exudes other undesirable traitsTwilight Princess mostly falters in its attempt to outshine Ocarina because its initiative to broaden Ocarina’s properties tends to bloat the narrative. Every new Zelda adventure begins with our hero Link in his humble place of origin before his existence is elevated by prophetic circumstances. Link is not a preadolescent boy in Twilight Princess, but a young man in his late teenage years similar to the age he was in his adult form in Ocarina. He also lives among other human beings as a country bumpkin in the rustic southern district of Ordon instead of fraternizing with the stunted Kokiri elves that reside in the shadiest parts of the forest. I guess the reveal that Link is a Hylian instead of a Kokiri is the Zelda equivalent of revealing Samus as a woman: it’s a revelation that is effective only once. Because Link is an adult throughout the entirety of this iteration, he is tied to more labor-intensive obligations unlike his child predecessors who sat around idly twiddling their thumbs until opportunity struck. The unfortunate aspect of Link’s farm-centric adulthood is that it has to be subjected to the player. The player spends the first hour or so of Twilight Princess performing Link’s chores and other mundane tasks such as herding some stubborn goats into a pen, retrieving a bassinet that fell into a river, and returning a cat to its owner by catching the cat a fish that it covets. Fishing in Twilight Princess is reasonably more functional than it was in Ocarina, but the game still makes the mistake of emulating the tedious wait of catching a fish similarly to real life. Grab a beer or another frosty beverage, because it’s going to be a while. I understand that the impetus of this prologue is to highlight the juxtaposition between Link’s humdrum lifestyle and the epic scope of the hero’s journey he will partake in for the duration of the game. Still, Ocarina and Wind Waker already accomplished this without an elongated slog of boring tedium. It’s an off putting way of introducing the game that excruciatingly drags on for far too long.

Starting slowly with the prologue at least gives the player the benefit of the doubt that once it’s over, the rest of the game’s momentum will rocket into the stratosphere without fizzing out and plummeting. Unfortunately, they’d be wrong. The prologue is emblematic of Twilight Princess’s pacing issues. While none of the pacing upsets in Twilight Princess delve as deep into being mind-numbing like the prologue, hefty exposition is often inserted in between dungeons. Any Zelda veteran will express that the dungeons are the piece de resistance of The Legend of Zelda, and any Zelda game that meanders from the dungeons for lengthy periods has to compensate with something substantial like in Majora’s Mask. It also helped that the side content in Majora’s Mask can be approached with an illusion of freedom that comes with the three day cycle. Twilight Princess, on the other hand, forces the player through long swathes of restricted linearity supported by the narrative, especially in the earlier sections of the game.

Link’s call to adventure is relatively exciting at first as the backwoods rube gets an opportunity to deliver a package to Castle Town, the big apple of Hyrule where Zelda resides. His golden ticket is granted to him a bit unceremoniously with a knock on the head by a band of Moblins that ransack Link’s village and kidnap every child resident. He attempts to save the children when he awakens from his stupor but as he furthers closer into a mystifying light their captors have entered, he alarmingly transforms into a wolf and gets captured himself. Inside the cell his captors have tossed him, a peculiarly curvy imp named Midna rescues Link from the lonesome prison in exchange for his servitude. The imp rides around on Link like a toddler does the family dog through the sewers and across the rooftops of a castle until they reach Zelda’s chamber. The series titular princess is seen leaning over a window in her quarters, veiled in a cloak to either protect her from the outside elements and or to conceal her identity. Light and dark have converged over Hyrule and have blanketed the land in an otherworldly mystical…well, twilight. The culprit is a being named Zant who has usurped Zelda’s throne and reduced Hyrule’s denizens to ephemeral spirits that wisp in the glow of twilight. With Midna’s guidance, Link must return the favor to Zant and restore Hyrule to its regal, prosperous self.

The restoration process of Hyrule is what the content between dungeons is mostly comprised of early in the game. Link and Midna seek out the Tears of Light, globules composed of both light and liquid found within the insides of Shadow Insects scattered around the Twilight Realm. After collecting sixteen tears per district in the luminescent grapevine called the Vessel of Light, the district’s respective light spirit will use the completed set to reinvigorate that district to its original earthly state. Because the Twilight Realm encapsulates the district before its reformation, the player is meant to complete this task as Wolf Link without the ability to revert back to his human self until the process is done. The Shadow Insects also can only be detected via the keener sense of a canine, so human Link would be hopelessly clueless anyways. Still, these sections of Twilight Princess feel awfully restrictive. As stated before, Wolf Link’s effectiveness as an alternate form of Link is in diversifying the gameplay, not supplementing it. Human Link develops and adapts like in any other Zelda game while Wolf Link’s base attributes are never upgraded or expanded upon. Sure, Wolf Link is utilized throughout the game and his instinctual talents are always an asset. In saying this, the nature of Wolf Link is still a curse, and a prevalent facet of this curse is feeling less capable as a quadrupedal animal rather than a human being with flexible limbs and opposable thumbs. Once the player descends into the pernicious air of the Twilight Realm, there is no escape until the mission is complete, meaning that there is no chance to abscond from the confined path the game places for the player. The freedom of exploration that Zelda fostered in its early days has stifled exponentially.

One aspect of these sections that I do enjoy is the atmosphere of the Twilight Realm. It suspends Hyrule in a state of still purgatory, ethereally depicting Hyrule as if it’s a dream. Matter flows upward like rain fall in reverse, and the outside light that permeates through the conductive color prisms creates a tint of sepia tone to add to the realm’s mystical nature. The spirits of human beings seen in this state are not the spectral remnants of the deceased, but their greenish, feathery forms that lack a mortal substratum look as if they could disseminate into the ether of the Twilight Realm at any given moment. Perhaps the spirits are willfully wispy as a means of protection, hiding away from the grizzly Shadow Beasts and aerial Shadow Kargaroks that patrol the Twilight Realm’s haunting grounds. The Twilight Realm is controlled chaos in that anything tangible in reality seems to hold no substance or dominion. The stillness and dearth of organic substance evokes a potent melancholy, fitting for the land’s common quest of collecting tears. Some claim the Twilight Realm gives credence to giving Twilight Princess the title as the darkest Zelda game, but I still have to object using Majora’s Mask as an example. The intended aura of gloominess conveyed through the Twilight Realm is effective, but it falters compared to the creepy subtleties from Majora’s Mask that get under my skin. It’s like comparing The Crow to the works of the Marquis de Sade, and the more disturbing content of the latter is likely to stick with you rather than the portentous former.

Thankfully once the player accomplishes bringing gleaming hope to Hyrule, they are treated to the greatest line up of dungeons seen across the entire series. Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: Link must conquer three dungeons in the former half of the game with elemental themes coinciding with the various races around Hyrule. The first three dungeons here even follow the direct course from Ocarina as the order is a forestry tree dungeon first, molten Goron dungeon second, and watery Zora dungeon as the last one. Even though we’ve seen this trajectory countless times at this point, it does mean that Twilight Princess is bereft of fresh ideas. These dungeons are more complex and varied than the Ocarina counterparts they draw comparisons from. The Forest Temple (no relation to the one from Ocarina) involves rescuing a group of caged monkeys that aid Link by creating a makeshift monkey rope that gets longer for each monkey Link saves, helping him over the dungeon’s spacious gaps. Goron Mines is a more linear dungeon, but magnetizing the iron boots, a series staples of Zelda items, and trekking through the mines while defying gravity is too cool. Lakebed Temple is a culmination of the centered design of the Water Temple and the water flow mechanics of the Great Bay Temple. The dungeons in the latter half of the game when Link must collect pieces of the Mirror of Twilight also exhibit this level of quality. The crypt-like Arbiter’s Grounds is traversed through by sniffing out the locations of four cheeky Poes that have stolen the flame source from the main door that leads to the dungeon’s boss, and this offers the best employment of Wolf Link’s abilities in the game. The esoteric and pristine Temple of Time uses straightaway backtracking well with retrieving a statue with the dominion rod from the far end of the temple that is intended to sit parallel to its twin at the colossal door near the entrance to unlock it. City in the Sky is a breathtaking marvel situated in the clouds that would make Hayao Miyazaki proud, even if its residents are those obscene Ooccoo creatures that look like you’d want to put them out of their misery. My favorite dungeon that Twilight Princess has to offer is the arctic Snowpeak Ruins because of how unconventional the trek is through it. The yeti that resides here is making a soup for his sick wife and is missing a few essential ingredients for the most delectable pumpkin broth. They direct towards the piece of the Mirror of Twilight they hold, but Link’s mission keeps getting sidetracked with every pointed direction inadvertently leading to more of the soup’s missing ingredients. This dungeon is downright silly, and it’s refreshing for this dismal game.

The selection of bosses in Twilight Princess are also outstanding. Similar to the dungeons they reside in, each boss guarantees that Link will use the item he received in some capacity, which is what cements their excellency. Gohma, the phobia triggering giant spider, has made numerous appearances across the series, and using a combination of the bow and arrow with crushing it’s thorax with the might of a gigantic, Dominion Rod-influenced stone hammer. Morpheel from the Lakebed Temple reminds me of Morpha from Ocarina of Time in that Link yanks it’s vulnerable, fleshy core with the hook/clawshot, with a dozen tentacles added so the player can’t camp for their opportunity like with the Morpha fight. Morpheel’s second phase reminds me more of Shadow of the Colossus, as Link clawshots onto Morpheel’s weak spot and stabs his sword into it as the hideous beast swims around the aquarium arena. Argorok is a steel plated dragon who terrorizes the timid Ooccoos in their sanctuary, and Link must face him at his eye level to end his reign over the sky through ascending the ground via hooking onto Peahats during a wicked storm. Everyone’s favorite fight, myself included, is the reanimated dragon skeleton Stallord, whose strengths as a boss relate to the player’s use of the Spinner item. These are arguably the most electrifying bouts in a game that is filled with them, and their effectiveness as fun bosses lie in the scale of their mass and the wide breadth of their arenas. Conquering these foes may not be too challenging, but the immense scope brought about by all of its elements makes them truly epic.

While the dungeons and bosses in Twilight Princess are exceptional, the game doesn’t give them as much precedence to make way for a more character-centric narrative, the core of the game’s wider stretches of exposition. The player grieves through the insufferably unstimulating portions of the game to familiarize themselves with Twilight Princesses rich roster of characters. Link’s time in Ordon Village in the sluggish introduction helps the player get acquainted with his fellow farm folk. Ordon Village consists of a few adult characters that lead a resistance militia, namely a guy who commands a falcon. More importantly than the adults are the children of Ordona who have a more substantial narrative precedence. The gang of rugrats are a breakfast club of personalities: the brash and excitable Malo and his stoic, chubby little brother Malo, the bratty, vain Beth, and the sensitive Colin. All of the children admire Link to some extent, but Colin kisses the ground Link walks on. Instead of being annoyingly sycophantic, Colin transcribes his hero worship to motivate him to emulate Link’s feats of heroism. He gets this opportunity when greasy, grotesque Moblin army general King Bulbin returns to Kakariko Village in an attempt to recapture the children. Colin pushes Beth out of the stampeding Moblin warthogs and gets captured as a result. After Link saves Colin, he sheds his meek demeanor as he’s met his goal to become a valiant hero. I believe this moment was intended to be poignant, but Colin’s arc is fulfilled far too early in the game before the narrative relegates these kids to Kakariko for the occasional visit or side quest. An even more shoehorned effort to make the side characters applicable to the narrative is with Ilia, the only other teenager from Ordon besides Link. Some romantic chemistry between her and Link is implied before she is captured, and the process of restoring her memory after her kidnapping leaves her as an amnesiac is a task that spans longer than rescuing the kids. Still, the eventual resolution to this quest flounders because it seems secondary to the big picture. I would’ve allowed an overt romantic dynamic between Link and Ilia here, for it’s the only way the character would’ve worked. Link certainly has never had this dynamic with Zelda, even with the hero arc implications.

Among all of Twilight Princesses characters, the one that holds the greatest importance exists in a role that makes this fact astounding. When discussing the partner characters that aid Link on his adventure, most of them aren’t even worth the breath one would exert with this practice. They are not characters, but tools with vocal chords like a GPS or the Siri feature on a smartphone. The only reason why I discussed Navi in detail for Ocarina was due to her irritable infamy more than any substantial role she had in the story besides interrupting Link’s slumber at the beginning. Midna functions the same way as the other partner characters in the series past. She’s useful in the field with a select few aspects, she nags Link about his primary goal, she can be used for quick travel, and none of the information she gives is remotely useful when the player asks when they are uncertain of how to approach an obstacle or what their course of action is. Yet, she greatly transcends the wooden, strained role as Link’s assistant because for the first time ever, the partner trope is as fully fleshed out as any other character, if not more so. Midna is the most expressive character the series has seen so far, and I’m not exclusively alluding to her toothy smirks and snarls. Midna supersedes Tetra in sass, making snarky comments to Link constantly to jokingly undermine his mighty hero role as she’s an immortal being from another dimension who sees him as an adorable meatbag. As the game progresses, Midna begins to shed her contempt for Link as he proves his worth to her and the human world by proxy, an illuminating character development that strengthens Link’s relationship with her. Midna’s passion to reclaim her rightful throne and save her people from the grubby, traitorous hands of Zant makes her exude a palpable fervor that I didn’t know was possible for Zelda characters. Unlike the slight concern I expressed for the children of Odon, moments where Midna was in peril had me on the edge of my seat. Wolf Link carrying Midna’s motionless, pale body after she’s attacked by Zant made me charge urgently through Hyrule Field without even stopping to attack the enemies along the way. During the final battle with Ganondorf in his most intimidatingly evil iteration yet, Midna uses her full power to destroy him only for Ganondorf to come out unscathed holding Midna’s fused shadow headpiece as a hunting trophy. Plunging my sword into the wicked swine as a finishing blow and watching him writhe in agony felt so satisfying to avenge Midna. Ultimately, she resurfaced as her true androgynous self and took the breath away from all of us, especially Link whose stunned expression warrants one last ribbing from Midna, and it’s such a fantastic moment. The game explicitly refers to Midna as the titular “Twilight Princess” just in case we’d confuse the subtitle for Zelda. Even if they didn’t remove all doubt, Midna out charismas the series namesake to the point where Zelda becomes practically irrelevant. Zelda who? Who cares?

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess marks a grandstanding evolution in the history of the franchise without even considering the implementation of motion controls in the Wii version. Ocarina of Time was a mechanical source that bled into the fabric of Majora’s Mask and Wind Waker, and perhaps those game’s subtle pinches of Ocarina’s salt didn’t taste acerbic enough for most Zelda fans, as their clear places as Ocarina’s successors went over their heads. Twilight Princess, on the other hand, uses the properties of Ocarina as subtle as a group of kids stacked on each other posing as an adult to sneak into an R-rated movie. The overall product of Twilight Princess is exactly what fans wanted from the 3D Zelda title that would surpass Ocarina as the rightful heir to its throne, and this notion was unequivocally felt when it was released. I’m certainly glad that Majora’s Mask and The Wind Waker are treated with more respect nowadays after their initial upset, but why does their newfound appreciation have to be at Twilight Princesses expense? Twilight Princess was the grandest Zelda game of its time, almost as if it was in production since Ocarina of Time was released. Twilight Princess extrapolates on everything Ocarina presents and proverbially fills in the sizable cracks with caulk that compounds the narrative, gameplay, characters, and world design. Twilight Princess excels in the facets of Ocarina that I enjoyed like the dungeons and bosses and exceeds them spectacularly. Unfortunately, some of the fillings overflowed and made a mess of the game’s pacing, and it’s jarring enough to knock it down a few pegs. Twilight Princess should have surely triumphed over Ocarina of Time, but I can’t help but doubt this claim the more I ponder it. Still, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, without comparing it to its predecessors, deserves all of its initial praise it received, and I’m one Zelda fan who isn’t going to change my mind with this sentiment.
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Erockthestrange 2017-07-21T18:48:06Z
2017-07-21T18:48:06Z
9.0
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Dos jogos 3D da série que seguem a sua estrutura tradicional, Twilight Princess é o mais equilibrado e com o melhor conjunto de dungeons. Todo o conteúdo, principal ou opcional, é bem realizado.

Alvos de muita crítica, achei Hyrule Field muito bem interconectada e gostosa de explorar, recheada o suficiente de coisa pra fazer, e com visuais únicos e encantadores.

A narrativa é outro ponto alto. Confere um senso de grandiosidade bem-vindo à aventura e dá à série uma de suas melhores personagens: Midna.

Não substitui Breath of The Wild como meu jogo favorito da série, mas quando eu procurar por uma experiência mais “padrão” de Zelda 3D, será para este jogo que eu vou voltar.
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gabrielctps 2022-07-03T01:38:31Z
2022-07-03T01:38:31Z
5.0
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After a relatively boring initial 3 hours - with snippets of bland minigame-esque tutorials and slow dialogue accompanying leashed-up gameplay, Twilight Princess soon unveiled an oppressive dark fantasy atmosphere and a collection of high-quality dungeons. First and foremost - this is probably their most story-driven effort yet, soaked in long cutscenes and Ico-esque bloom effects while occasionally devoted to theatrics. Therefore it's not surprising that this proceeds in a similar fashion to modern JRPGs: Sharing a slow & multifaceted story build, lengthy personal subplots, massive scale, etc. A distant relative in terms of structure rather than systems (i.e Zelda II), but ironically - their attempt at establishing new characters beyond recurring motifs falls flat. Compared to its predecessors - though, it merely continued down the path of its 3D brethren, not only in being Ocarina of Time's ambitious quasi-remake, but also by absorbing a few elements from Majora's Mask (transformations, eerie aesthetics) and Wind Waker (leisurely pace, combo strings) along the way. Their pre-dungeon progression is at its most straightforward here, a mixed blessing thanks to its new wolf form's awkward combat and linear collect-a-thon objectives, that at least gains more relevance in the second half.

But their imagination is mostly reserved for the excellent dungeons, and in particular how they managed to squeeze more uses out of returning tools (boomerang, iron boots, hookshot, etc.), while new tools such as the spinner and the ball & chain went even further. Plenty of dungeons aspire beyond their elemental stereotypes to craft some truly memorable designs: The elliptical Forest temple, the winding and imposing Lakebed Temple, and the charming errand-running of Snowpeak Ruins compete with the all-time greats. These brainy gameplay passages compensate for all the tiresome non-gameplay-isms to an extent.

Very little shown throughout its 30-hour runtime was ever particularly new, but this still stands as the series' most refined, mature outing so far.
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Blah_Blee 2021-09-16T23:41:27Z
2021-09-16T23:41:27Z
6.5 /10
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Oocoo character design alone make this a five star, however since the start is slow I'm bringing the score down.
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headsoftyphon 2021-08-10T18:50:19Z
2021-08-10T18:50:19Z
4.0
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Raising_Heart The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess 2024-02-29T10:02:07Z
Gamecube • US
2024-02-29T10:02:07Z
3.5
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col10 The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess 2024-02-20T00:59:10Z
2024-02-20T00:59:10Z
4.5
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Monni_Nicola The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess 2024-02-19T15:30:40Z
2024-02-19T15:30:40Z
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hyperhaxorus The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess 2024-02-18T17:20:44Z
2024-02-18T17:20:44Z
71
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glassine The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess 2024-02-18T15:44:09Z
2024-02-18T15:44:09Z
3.5
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blacefalon The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess 2024-02-18T15:15:12Z
2024-02-18T15:15:12Z
1
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79m The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess 2024-02-17T05:40:04Z
2024-02-17T05:40:04Z
1
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bedworms The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess 2024-02-17T05:25:29Z
2024-02-17T05:25:29Z
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Pancakeman The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess 2024-02-15T12:42:37Z
2024-02-15T12:42:37Z
5.0
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NiceResume The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess 2024-02-12T09:08:24Z
2024-02-12T09:08:24Z
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dannymason_1 The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess 2024-02-10T22:19:19Z
2024-02-10T22:19:19Z
4.0
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Joe_Kloos The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess 2024-02-10T21:10:19Z
2024-02-10T21:10:19Z
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ESRB: T
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Also known as
  • ゼルダの伝説 トワイライトプリンセス
  • 塞尔达传说 黄昏公主
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  • SunlitSonata 2023-07-18 13:19:40.367399+00
    Aside from the needlessness of Wolf Link as a gimmick and the incredibly slow opening/drawn out manner in which the City in the Sky is gotten to, I think Twilight Princess stands as the most refined version of the classic Zelda formula in 3D and the openness of BotW/TotK make its comparatively restrained scope fairly cozy.

    Puzzles and storytelling are still better in Majora, and the game is too easy without Hero Mode/Ganondorf Amiibo, but I think Twilight Princess’s dungeon quantity, quality and spectacle is as a whole the best in the 3D series. It’s got great music, cool atmosphere and Midna is easily the best companion character in terms of having an actual arc.
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  • MisTurHappy 2023-08-09 01:49:36.652947+00
    Hot take: Midna's still the best companion in the series, but she suffers from Tetra syndrome where once you cross the halfway point she loses all personality. It's less obvious in this one since she doesn't physically transform or get bleached, but the second she warms up to Link all her sass, attitude and character are sucked away. I was halfway through City in the Sky when I realized she hadn't cracked wise or said anything snarky for hours.
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  • marten91 2023-09-02 17:18:15.926429+00
    The first 1/3 of the game is awful and yeah it picks up eventually , but those early game moments like the one when game forces you to collect some white, shiny berries (I don't remember what that was exactly) as a wolf left a bad taste in my mouth. Dungeons are mostly good, but there are only two good boss fights and that includes the final boss.
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  • Gayvyn 2023-09-05 01:46:28.398364+00
    Game has grown on me a ton recently, altho i still prefer wind waker ocarina
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    • Gayvyn 2023-09-05 11:56:08.661965+00
      Wind waker and* ocarina
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  • basicallyodd23 2023-09-07 04:14:51.88027+00
    God, Link is such a twunk here.
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    • dzhakh 2023-09-16 19:43:15.490395+00
      we deserve a hot rugged mid 20's link at some point
    • sosa_ 2023-12-18 03:21:42.21556+00
      we deserve a hot rugged mid 20's link at some point [2]
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  • renegadexavier06 2023-11-15 09:06:39.59933+00
    The Legend of Zelda but, like, with Linkin Park ethos-

    I'm just saying words.
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    • finemotorsmiff 2024-01-27 04:31:46.032813+00
      More of a Deftones ethos 😈
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  • figurehead 2024-01-19 19:53:53.022685+00
    i could have had a whole game just playing as a majestic wolf. love the dark and light worlds in any game. despite that the game is so tedious that i was really just putting up with it until i could change between wolf and link whenever i wanted. however by the time i finally got the ability it was anticlimactic and i was just tired of the game. i stopped playing and never went back.
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  • MuffinsFan666 2024-01-29 11:28:25.037999+00
    I really want to replay this but every time I think about all the tedious stuff in between the cool stuff the feeling goes.
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