The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess

The Wii box art for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, my first review at over 100 pages!

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is a game that was published by Nintendo and released in 2006 for the Wii and Nintendo GameCube, making it the thirteenth installment in the Legend of Zelda series. The game takes place 100 years after the events of Ocarina of Time, following the story of a new Link, a young man living in the Ordon Village. All was peaceful until one day, when twilit monsters (Shadow Beasts, in this case) attacked the village and took its children. Link gave chase, but ended up being changed to a wolf against his will by one of the beasts. He was imprisoned, but escaped with the help of Midna, a young Shadow Imp. He helps her collect Fused Shadows in exchange for freeing the children, and also collects Tears of Light to loosen the tyrant Zant's hold on Hyrule. However, after these have been collected, they are taken by Zant and Link must find the Master Sword to return to human form (as he was turned to a wolf). Eventually, Link learns that the mastermind behind this evil scheme was the Gerudo leader Ganondorf, who had escaped death by virtue of the Triforce of Power and returned to strike all light from the world, the eternal ruler. It is up to Link from then on to restore light to Hyrule and control to the Twilight Realm.

I was planning to do this game for the wiki's 100th page, but I missed the boat, and so decided to do it for my first page after we'd reached 100 pages. Now, you may be wondering why I saved this one for a very special occasion, and that's because this was the first Zelda game I ever played in my life. It remains my favorite deep down, and it's the reason why I'm such a major fan of the series. It's for this reason that I want to make sure I review this as well as possible.

Interestingly, for the longest time, I didn't own this game. My friend Frank (who is older than me) played Zelda games as a kid and decided to rent this title for us to play, as I'd had my Wii for relatively little time and were looking for something entertaining. He and I mainly played through it together, and it was one of the most incredible periods of time in my life. We actually never finished it, and I plan to do that someday, because I still have the save data.

Ironically, it is from this game where one of my most terrified moments comes. It was later on in the game, and we were nearing the end of the Ice World. I had already completely beaten the Gerudo Dungeon by myself, so I was insanely confident that I could handle the Twilit Beast. I was ready to fight, but the sweet lady who became the boss was overcome by the corruption of the twilight mirror shard, and her demonized form turned and looked me right in the face. It had piercing, blood red eyes, scraggly fur all over its face, and fangs six inches long, at least. I handed off the controller immediately to Frank, and I ended up being practically unable to sleep by myself for months on end.

This game is so incredible, however, that despite the piercing fear that struck me because of that creature, it may be my favorite Zelda game of all time, because it was a big inspiration for my life as a whole and a big step for me into the gaming world.

My favorite part about this game is probably the combat techniques (and the smooth gameplay), because this is one of the first games in the series that allows you to learn ancestral battle techniques that not only help you immensely later on, but also look fantastic. Seeing Link perform these moves in the face of intimidating enemies and smiting them without hesitation was what made him one of my greatest heroes and a role model whose characteristics I aspire to today.

My favorite of these moves is probably the Back Slash, that allows you to sidestep, roll, and then perform a spinning slash from behind. There are probably about 10 more moves like that, and they're all equally epic, to the point where I would always take over casual fights in the game for the fun of it!  Anyhow, in short, this game is cool in a big way because of the way Link means serious business toward the baddies, and that accentuates what a hero he is.

Another great aspect about this game is the item selection. It brings back the old favorites, like the Clawshot and Bombs, but in this one, you can actually apply bombs to the Hero's Bow to make awesomely destructive Bomb Arrows, which show even the toughest the bad guys who's really in charge. My favorite unique item is probably the Gale Boomerang, because I like boomerangs, I love wind, and the Gale Boomerang has a huge variety of uses, everything from puzzle solving to combat against small enemies.

But you know, I'm beating around the bush. The best part of this game: the graphics. This may very well be the most gorgeous game I've ever seen, and yes, I'm counting Super Mario Galaxy. The Faron Woods look incredible and realistic, like you would just want to go there and take a long walk. Gerudo Desert looks like a real desert, and it is positively stunning-looking at night. The Temple of Time is one of the best-designed dungeons I've seen in any video game; the light effects are just incredible. The Sacred Grove is just like the Lost Woods, but better and more serene-feeling. Zora's Domain...don't even get me started; when you're underwater in that place, you just begin to forget where you are; it's so peaceful, I could spend hours there just wandering around. Another place that looks awesome is Death Mountain; it looks like a cross between the Death Mountain from Ocarina of Time and the planet Mustafar from Star Wars on the inside. Finally, the Cooca land in the Sky is one of the coolest Sky worlds I've ever seen, not just because of the levels but because of the clouds, the wind, everything. Needless to say, every dungeon in the game looks phenomenally incredible; you'll go back to them over and over just to be there.

The only problem I could possibly have with this game is the intermediate darkness of it all. The Wiiviewer accurately put it that Twilight Princess was Nintendo's attempt to "go dark," and they did a pretty good job (Twilit Icicle, I can't get you out of my heeeaaadd!). Anyway, I have found that this game isn't for little kids by any measure, not in its entirety. So, I'd definitely say follow the ESRB of 13+ on this one, because it's fitting for this game.

Otherwise, this is one of the greatest games I've ever played, and after having played roughly 100 or more, that is saying something. If you have a Wii, then regardless of whether or not you have even so much as heard of The Legend of Zelda, you must get this game, because it is essential to your collection. I just hope I can go back and finish what I started one day...

(By the way, congrats to everybody and the wiki itself on topping 100 pages!!)