The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Wii
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Released on 08/12/2006
In the Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, player-character Link is a young man raised as a wrangler in a small, rural village. Ordered by the mayor to attend the Hyrule Summit, he sets off, oblivious to the dark fate that has descended upon Princess Zelda's kingdom. When he enters the Twilight Realm that has covered Hyrule, he transforms into a wolf and is captured. A mysterious figure named Midna helps him break free. With the aid of her magic, they set off to free the land from the Twilight.
Twilight Princess players join Link, Zelda, Midna and many other Zelda characters old and new, exploring the vast land of Hyrule and uncovering the mystery behind its plunge into darkness. As they go, Twilight Princess players enlist the aid of friendly folk, solve puzzles and battle through dangerous dungeons. In the Twilight Realm, they’ll have to use Link's wolf abilities and Midna’s magic to bring light to the land.
Besides Link's trusty sword and shield, Twilight Princess players use Link's bow and arrows, fight while on horseback and use a wealth of other Zelda items, both new and old. Twilight Princess players can use the Wii Remote as a fishing pole, aim with the Wiimote, or spin the Nunchuk controller to execute a spin attack.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Features:
- Wolf it down: When Link travels to the Twilight Realm, he transforms into a wolf and must scour the land with the help of a mysterious girl named Midna.
- Motion-sensing control! Using the power and unique control of the Wii console, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess features incredibly precise aiming control using the Wii Remote and the Nunchuk controller for a variety of game activities, including fishing, aiming arrows, and special sword attacks.
- Ride into battle: Twilight Princess's amazing horseback combat system sees players battling hordes of foes on Epona, and jousting with bosses that must be seen to be believed!
- Classic Zelda puzzling: Many puzzles stand between Link and the fulfillment of his quest, so Twilight Princess players must sharpen their wits as they hunt for weapons and items.
GameCube's twilight title burns brightly on the horizon...
For the first time in the Zelda series, Hylian hero Link finds himself stuck in an allegory. You see, while the name Twilight Princess marks yet another promising passage in the tale of the Triforce, it's subtitle that's also remarkably representative of the current console climate. For so long Nintendo's big Christmas hope, news that Link's latest wouldn't be making store shelves before the new year disappointed many, but confirmed what gaming critics had long suspected. The next instalment in the Zelda saga now looks certain to be the sweetest of swansongs for GameCube, and potentially the best in the series to date.
Visually, it's undoubtedly the most iconic. If the N64 titles presented Zelda's natural progression into three dimensions, then Twilight Princess is an organic evolution on that form. Gone is Wind Waker's poster paint waterscape and rainbow-bright realm; the cel shading, wide eyes and stumpy features that defined its aesthetic and caused such controversy replaced by a more immediately mature approach that echoes the darker narrative values of Majora's Mask. For many, this will be the realistic next-gen Zelda they always wanted.
The epic adventure begins in the newest Link's home, Toaru Village. This Link is something of a cowboy, and instantly looks the part with his patchwork clothes and ruffled sandy brown hair. The village itself is warm and inviting, its bright blue sky, clumpy green grass, towering trees and thatch roof buildings lending a feeling familiar to anyone with previous Zelda experience. Villagers are more angular than Link himself and less detailed, but exude a charm that wasn't present in many of Wind Waker's comparatively flat characters, while the environment's draw distance is almost awe inspiring. It's a wonderful arena for the game's humble beginnings.
Be it riding Epona, herding cattle or playing falconer, interacting with animals will be prevalent.
Toaru village also lays out the template for one of the game's foremost themes. Be it riding Epona (or, this time round, whatever you choose to name her) herding cattle or playing falconer, interacting with the gameworld's animals will be a prevalent feature of Twilight Princess. In one instance, whistling down a plucked piece of dried grass gains the attention of a bird which glides through the sky to perch on Link's arm. Making use of this mechanic means a simple act of launching the bird in a specific direction; in this case, at a nearby tree to topple a bothersome beehive and reap a rupee reward.
Like the smartest ideas of previous Zelda titles, the new interaction dynamic looks to really come into its own in the game's dungeons. The forest temple for example features a set of progressively trickier puzzles with the objective of freeing a set of hapless monkey prisoners. The first is fairly simple; rolling repeatedly into a stone pillar eventually topples the caged monkey sat atop it, who then joins your party. Enough free monkeys gives access to previously inaccessible areas of the Temple by way of trapeze artist-like agility; a first monkey hangs from an overhead rope and throws his primate pals further down the line, then each passes Link to the next monkey in turn, helping the hero clear gaps of unjumpable distance.
Of course, the most intriguing animal aspect is Link's much talked about transformation into a Werewolf. And, typically for Nintendo, it's also the one aspect shrowded in mystery. We do know that the story of Twilight Princess sees Hyrule being covered in a dark cloud, and that entering this Twilight Realm is what causes Link's much-speculated mutation. Most curious however is Link's miniature magical companion Midna who rides atop his wolf form to solve puzzles in the Twilight Realm. Is this mysterious figure somehow associated with Princess Zelda? It seems a popular theory, but until the game's release ebbs closer we won't know for sure.
What we do know is to expect some traditional Zelda action, with a noticeably Lord of the Rings inspired setting. The game's cinematic ambition is huge, going out of its way to offer gobsmacking set pieces that are a real treat to play through.
Twilight Princess is clearly the best looking, darkest and most cinematic Zelda title yet.
Two bosses have been unveiled so far, both with multiple phases and some extraordinary attention to detail. The first battle sees Link atop Epona, pursuing a Wild Boar rider as his henchmen give chase to slow our hero down. It moves between a vast, shadowy, lightning-drenched plain easily comparable to Ocarina's Hyrule field in size, and a perilous stone bridge where a deadly game of chicken takes place. The second boss ends the Forest Temple area: a huge, hulking monstrosity of vegetation with two piranha plant mouths and a towering central eye which requires ingenious use of one of the game's new weapons, the Gale Boomerang, to defeat.
This second boss battle is especially promising, as we'd wager that Twilight Princess will live or die on how Links armoury hangs together. By comparison to previous Zelda's, Wind Waker's weapon quota was light and the uses of many implements underdeveloped, which in turn affected the duration and depth of the adventure. The Gale Boomerang proved an innovative and enjoyable spin on a traditional Zelda weapon, and a few more tools of its ilk at Link's disposal could really open the game up to some vast possibilities.
As it stands, even months from release, Twilight Princess is clearly the best looking, darkest and most cinematic Zelda title yet. Its controls, design and sound distinctly resonate the series' sensibilities, and the gameworld itself is a captivating centre stage for an alluring tale of unmistakable charm. Though further details are veiled in promises, shadow and whispers, we've seen enough to affirm our faith in the series. It may well be the GameCube's final curtain call, but a parting gift the calibre of Twilight Princess should be every bit as anticipated as the series itself is celebrated.
Preview by: Mark Scott
Preview Published: 22.12.05
Mark plays with his Elf...
Link's got a lot on his shoulders. Striking green tunic aside, he's defending the hopes of Nintendo fans by starring in the Wii's first proper adventure, while his latest outing, Twilight Princess, also needs to satisfy those who ignored the cartoony Wind Waker. At the same time, it will beget comparisons to seminal N64 Zelda Ocarina of Time - arguably the best game ever made. No pressure.
But Link is a natural born hero, and doesn't have to try too hard. That's something you, the player will be doing instead; waving the Wii remote about to make him slash his sword, aiming arrows and such with the pointer function, guiding him with the Nunchuk and shaking it to produce his famous spin attack.
Of course, "standard" pad control is the order of the day with the near-identical GameCube version (the other main difference being that the gameworld is completely mirrored from the Wii version, with left being right and vice versa!).
Wii-mote slicing action
The Wii-mote control isn't exactly motion-mimicking; however you swing, Link will invariably produce generic movements - though slicing your sword whilst running is welcome, and the Z-Trigger lock-on is as accomplished as ever. Thankfully the controls never make it tiring to play, and the lack of a controllable camera is never really missed. You won't have to try to hard to love Twilight Princess.
Likewise, Twilight Princess never feels like it's trying to reinvent the series. Sure, the gameworld's size far exceeds previous Zeldas, and the overall adventure weighs in between 35 and a monstrous 60 hours, but it also stays true to Zelda conventions. This is the most well-polished, puzzle-packed, dungeon-led magnum opus we've ever seen - and it always feels fresh and formidably epic, despite so much comforting familiarity.
The most well-polished, puzzle-packed, dungeon-led magnum opus we've ever seen.
Where Twilight Princess does take strides forward is in its story. Link is still a blank, dialogue-less canvas, but his silent interactions with Hyrule's inhabitants are buoyed by some exceptionally strong characterisation. The residents of his home, Ordon Village, are instantly endearing. His bonds with Llia, Colin and co (plus the Postman, who's just brilliant. 'Onward to mail!' ahem), as well as your own affection for them, only solidify as the game progresses.
Demeanour masks importance
No one character, however, stands out like Midna. Link's new pint-sized shadow companion gives hints, helps solve puzzles, and can be called upon throughout. Playfully malevolent and misleadingly miniscule, her demeanour nonetheless masks her importance to the overall plot, which sees the two striving to save Hyrule from invasion by the evil Twilight Realm, and she really comes into her own in the final third of the story, proving to be one of the best things to happen to the series in years.
Midna's also essential to using Twilight Princess's new hook; Link's wolf form. Wolf Link replaces the previous time travel and weather manipulation aspects, while also presenting the game's most moving plot aspects. When in the Twilight Realm, Link can see and hear his friends, but not talk to or interact with them, making for a more melancholy tale than previous titles.
Twilight Princess has clearly been a labour of love for Nintendo.
Even when you earn the ability to switch between forms at will the twin shadow/light world aspect is rarely used as divisively as Ocarina's time travelling, but when it does come into play, it usually mixes human and canine capabilities. You'll shift to four legs to follow a scent trail, scale otherwise insurmountable heights (with Midna's help), or dig your way into secreted areas, only to return to bipedal movement when you get where you're going. Handily, it controls largely the same as human Link, and so never strays from that authentic Zelda feel.
That same feel is embedded into the game's aesthetic qualities. It's a Tolkien-esque look with a distinct Zelda essence, and at times can look every bit as majestic in art style and direction as the 360's most impressive visual feats. Some muddy textures let it down slightly, and the synthesized soundtrack would have sounded much better as a full orchestral score, but the production values here are otherwise through the roof. Twilight Princess has clearly been a labour of love for Nintendo.
As it will be for all Zelda fans. Its flaws are slight; there's a slow start, one particularly frustrating learning spike early on, and it's not especially difficult, but there's just so much to see and do that it's hard not to get swallowed whole by its sheer ambition. With devious puzzles, jaw-dropping bosses, collectables galore, many a minigame, fantastic fishing, some genuinely ingenious new inventory items, and Link's ever-present steed Epona to steer across the Hylian plains, fans can feel satisfied this won't crumble under the weight of lofty expectations.
Indeed, Twilight Princess's defining drawback is also its biggest strength; it feels like a remixed Zelda Greatest Hits release. It's not at all original, but positively resonates a quality only found in works from the magic mind of Shigeru Myamoto. Fronting a modern masterpiece, a timeless classic, and the game to justify purchasing a Wii, Link shoulders his burden admirably.
- Motion-sensing control works intuitively without proving tiring
- Ingeniously designed and stunning to behold
- A Zelda Greatest Hits: Polished, refined and more epic than ever
- Not especially difficult as adventure games go
- Slow start, with one particuarly annoying learning spike
- A Zelda Greatest Hits: Not highly original, feels very familiar
Review by: Mark Scott
Version Tested: Wii
Review Published: 18.01.07
Following the recent celebrations of Super Mario's 25th Anniversary, another Nintendo series has reached a similar milestone. With the original Legend of Zelda going on sale in Japan on 21st February 1986, the franchise is officially 25 today.
Sales of Zelda games topped 60 million last year, and while it hasn't been quite as commercially successful as the Mario and Pokon titles, the series remains one of Nintendo's biggest hits.
Though Nintendo hasn't announced plans for a compilation similar to this year's Super Mario All-Stars 25th Anniversary Edition, it does have two Zelda games planned for release this year. First with us should be The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, a remake of the N64 classic for Nintendo's newest portable. Ocarina of Time remains the most critically-acclaimed game of all time, and the new version benefits from reworked puzzles and controls as well as revamped visuals to make the most of the 3D effect.
Later this year, we'll also see The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword for the Wii, which utilises the Wii MotionPlus add-on for 1:1 sword controls as well as introducing a new Impressionistic art style. Most excitingly, creator Eiji Aonuma has promised a number of major changes to the Zelda formula. Tinkering with tradition has historically brought about some of the franchise's most memorable moments - from the inventive 3-day structure of Majora's Mask to the initially divisive cel-shaded visuals of Wind Waker - so we're happy to learn that we're in for a fresh take on this much-loved series.
We'll bring you release date news for both games as soon as we get it.
Mario may have had a brand new game announced at GDC, but Zelda wasn't left out of Nintendo president Satoru Iwata's keynote speech. In fact, there was plenty of news to go around.
First up, Iwata revealed that the 3DS remake of Zelda: Ocarina of Time will be hitting shelves in June. That's soon! Fantastic stuff.
Secondly, he showed a new trailer for the new Wii adventure The Skyward Sword, which is expected by the end of the year. Making use of the Wii's Motionplus peripheral for added precision, the new trailer showed lots of combat, but also puzzle sections where Link has to manipulate 3D objects to open doors, and a tight-rope walking set-piece where the player must keep the remote level to stop Link from falling. The game looks incredible, too.
Finally, Iwata teased "something" related to Zelda to mark the series' 25th anniversary, which is this year. He wouldn't say what the plan is, but admitted that Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto is working on a treat for Zelda fans everywhere. What could it be?
In the latest Iwata Asks, Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto talks about why he's been so eager to update N64 games like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Star Fox 64 for the company's new 3DS handheld.
"One major reason is that at the time of their release, both games ran at the limit in terms of polygon counts and frame rates," Miyamoto said in the latest Iwata Asks (thanks to Andriasang for the translation and Eurogamer for the spot). The update has given his team the perfect opportunity to deliver the games as they were always intended to be - with the added bonus of 3D visuals.
Miyamoto went on to add that gamers who played the games first at school would now be in their mid-twenties, and that "the time was right for a remake."
We personally can't wait to get the chance to charge across Hyrule Field again when Ocarina of Time hits the 3DS in June. Star Fox 3DS is due out later this year, while the console itself hits shelves on 25th March - that's really, really soon!
Nintendo is one of the most secretive developers around: the Japanese videogame legend makes some of the best games in the business, but it rarely lets us in on how it works. Now, though, Nintendo spilled the beans on how the famous targeting system for Zelda: Ocarina of Time came about.
These days, plenty of action games allow you to pull a trigger to lock onto an enemy, but Zelda N64 outing was the first to come up with the idea and it was inspired, according to the game general director, Toru Osawa, by a trip to a theme park.
Speaking to Nintendo head honcho on the latest Iwata Asks, Osawa remembers: "We thought if we went [to the theme park], we might get some ideas. We got our boss's approval, and Koizumi-san, Ikeda-san and I went. It sure was a hot summer! We ducked into a playhouse to cool off. They were doing a ninja show. A number of ninja were surrounding the main samurai and one lashed out with a kusarigama (sickle-and-chain). The lead samurai caught it with his left arm, the chain stretched tight, and the ninja moved in a circle around him."
The fact that each ninja attacked one at a time, giving the samurai the chance to defeat them, was all the inspiration the Nintendo team needed to revolutionise 3D gaming controls. It an amazing story and if you want to see how it turned out, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D is out right now for the 3DS.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princes… (22/12/2005)
GameCube's twilight title burns brightly on the horizon...
For the first time in the Zelda series, Hylian hero Link finds himself stuck in an allegory. You see, while …The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princes… (18/01/2007)
Mark plays with his Elf...
Link's got a lot on his shoulders. Striking green tunic aside, he's defending the hopes of Nintendo fans by starring in the Wii's first prop…
With the original Legend of Zelda going on sale in Japan on 21st February 1986, the franchise is officially 25 today.…
Mario may have had a brand new game announced at GDC, but Zelda wasn't left out of Nintendo president Satoru Iwata's keynote speech. In fact, there was plenty of news to go around.…
In the latest Iwata Asks, Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto talks about why he's been so eager to update N64 games like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Star Fox 64 for the company's new 3DS handhel…
Nintendo is one of the most secretive developers around: the Japanese videogame legend makes some of the best games in the business, but it rarely lets us in on how it works. Now, though, Nintendo spi…The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess User ReviewsTop review2 years agoThe Legend of Zelda: Twilight PrincessAbsolute staple for any wii owner, there should be some kind law stating that you need to own this game if you have a wii. it keeps you constantly engaged and interested with a brilliant storyline and challenging puzzles, and has loads to do even after the main storyline which in itself will keep you going for ages (even if your a serious gamer!). \tthis is something that does the old zelda games veeery proud!2 years agoThe Legend of Zelda: Twilight PrincessDifficult in the 'typical' Zelda fashion. The new layout etc took me a while to get used to as I've been playing Zelda forever and am more used to the flat style, but once I got over that I so got into it! Hours and Hours of game play. I'm about 40 hours in and still nowhere in the game. Extremely good value for money, great things to keep you entertained and fun sub quests to explore when you feel like a break from the mental challenge that Zelda is. Also new things to keep old fans entertained too.I can't recommend Zelda enough generally, but this first Wii version is amazing! Rent it or buy it NOW!3 years agoThe Legend of Zelda: Twilight PrincessLOVE LOVE LOVE THIS GAME! It's by far the best game on the wii... I wish nintendo would hurry up and make something even greater then this... Once you start playing you are hooked! The graphics are brilliant and the storyline is always awesome... It's challenging and you always want to know what's next. I played the ocarina of time on the nintendo 64 and thought nothing could be better but this is off the chart... it's a must have.3 years agoThe Legend of Zelda: Twilight PrincessLove zelda games and this one adds to my list of all time favourites! Packed full of fun sub missions not to mention the fantastic gameplay including some of our all time favourite zelda melodies! :) Definatly a game to get!3 years agoThe Legend of Zelda: Twilight PrincessAmazing game. The look and feel of the game brings you back to the world from 'Ocarina of Time', yet at the same time it's a different world with a totally new exiting story that just keeps you going, as does the gameplay. All the gameplay including the mini quests make 'Twilight' certainly bigger than 'Ocarina', which was for its time already so huge and stays a fantastic experience to this date.'The familiarity to 'Ocarine' for me is definately a bonus, though I knowfor some fans it was a bit of a let-down, as they wanted a complete new Zelda game which was completely original. But you can't say that the game is unorginial. Even with the familiarity to 'Ocarina' it's still highly orginal in story and certainly gameplay as in my opinion someething that make every new Zelda games the best in every aspect you can think of. For Gamecube graphics the game still looks amazing on the Wii, so you can guess that I'm excited to see an actual Zelda game with Wii graphics.Configuring your price alert
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