The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess ( Zeruda no Densetsu Towairaito Purinsesu) is an action-adventure game developed by Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development, and published by Nintendo for the GameCube and Wii video game consoles. It is the thirteenth installment in The Legend of Zelda series. Originally planned for release in November 2005, Twilight Princess was delayed by Nintendo to allow its developers to refine the game and add more content and to port it to the Wii. The Wii version was released alongside the Wii console on November 19, 2006, in North America, and in December 2006 in Japan, Europe, and Australia. This made Twilight Princess the first Zelda game released at the launch of a Nintendo console. The GameCube version was released in December 2006, and was the last Nintendo-published game for the console.
The story focuses on series protagonist Link, who tries to prevent Hyrule from being engulfed by a corrupted parallel dimension known as the Twilight Realm. To do so, he takes the forms of both a human and a wolf, and is assisted by a mysterious creature named Midna. The game takes place approximately 100 years after Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask.
Twilight Princess is the first game in The Legend of Zelda series to receive a T (Teen) rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), which cited fantasy violence and animated blood as reasons for the more mature rating. Twilight Princess is considered by many critics to be the greatest Zelda game ever made, and won many Game of the Year awards.
Twilight Princess is an action-adventure game focusing on exploration and item collection. It uses the basic control scheme introduced in Ocarina of Time, including buttons whose functions change depending on game context, and L-targeting (Z-targeting on the Wii), a system which allows the player to keep Link’s view focused on an enemy or important object. Link can walk, run, and attack, and will automatically jump when running off of or reaching for a ledge. Link uses a sword and shield in combat complemented with secondary weapons and items, including a bow and arrow, boomerang, bombs, and the Clawshot (similar to a recurring item in the series, the Hookshot). L-targeting allows Link to lock on to an enemy and automatically defend himself. During L-Targeting, projectile-based weapons can be fired at a target without the need for manual aiming.
The context-sensitive button mechanic allows one button to serve a variety of functions, such as talking, opening doors, and pushing, pulling, and throwing objects. The on-screen display shows what action, if any, the context-sensitive button will trigger, determined by the situation. For example, if Link is holding a rock, the context-sensitive button will cause Link to throw the rock if he is moving or targeting an object or enemy, or place the rock on the ground if he is standing still.
The GameCube and Wii versions feature several minor differences in their controls. The Wii version of the game makes use of the motion sensors and built-in speaker of the Wii Remote. The speaker emits the sounds of a bowstring when shooting an arrow, Midna’s laugh when she gives advice to Link, and the series’ trademark “chime” when discovering secrets. The player controls Link’s sword by swinging the Wii Remote. Other attacks are triggered using similar gestures with the Nunchuk. Unique to the GameCube version is the ability for the player to control the camera freely, without entering a special “lookaround” mode required by the Wii; however, in the GameCube version, only two of Link’s secondary weapons can be equipped at a time.
The game features nine dungeons—large, contained areas where Link battles enemies, collects items, and solves puzzles. Link navigates these dungeons and fights a boss at the end in order to obtain an item or otherwise advance the plot. The dungeons are connected by a large overworld, across which Link can travel on foot, on his horse Epona, or by teleporting to one of several specified points.
When Link enters the Twilight Realm, the void which corrupts parts of Hyrule, he transforms into a wolf.He is eventually able to transform between his human and wolf forms at will. As a wolf, Link moves more quickly, attacks by biting, and digs holes to create new passages and uncover buried items. He also carries Midna, a small imp-like creature who gives hints, uses an energy field to attack enemies, helps Link jump long distances, and eventually allows Link to “warp” to any of several preset locations throughout the overworld. As a wolf, Link has improved senses and can follow scent trails.Using Link’s wolf senses, players can see wandering spirits and hunt for ghosts named Poes.
The artificial intelligence (AI) of enemies in Twilight Princess is more advanced than that of enemies in The Wind Waker. Enemies react to defeated companions and to arrows or slingshot pellets that pass by. The AI can also detect Link from a longer distance than in previous games.
There is very little voice acting in the game. Link remains silent in conversation, but grunts when attacking or injured, and gasps when surprised. His emotions and responses are largely indicated visually by nods and facial expressions.[ Midna speaks in a pseudo-language during some of her dialogue.
We could easily write a 10-page review of Twilight Princess, exploring every nook and cranny, detailing every character, every boss, and every last temple, but we don’t want to spoil the adventure that awaits you. We realize that the last thing our viewers want with this review is to stumble upon major spoilers, so we’ve done our best to keep significant story developments and weapon and item upgrades from our critique. That being true, we will be referencing some common themes, characters, previously shown items, temples and more as examples to back up our opinions.
When the game opens to a sweeping view of Link as he rides Epona across a vast landscape, you can’t help conjuring memories of Ocarina’s epic beginnings. And at least for the first half of the adventure, Twilight Princess does indeed feel very much like Ocarina of Time for a new generation of players. Not only does Link start his quest from a small village on the outskirts of Hyrule proper, but he eventually makes his way to cities and temples that have all been seen before – in less detail, of course – almost a decade ago. Were these familiarities representative of the adventure as a whole, the title might find itself with an identity problem. A good identity problem, mind you – even a full-blown remake of Ocarina would be destined for greatness – but an identity problem nevertheless. Thankfully, though, the game also sharply divides the old from the new by way of an engrossing storyline that travels Nintendo’s beloved hero into an alternate realm known simply as the Twilight. It is from this beautiful bloom-filled, particle-drowned Hyrulian wasteland that some very different changes are introduced to the old gameplay formula.
For starters, Link changes into a wolf and takes on brand new beast abilities. Via some uncharacteristically well-choreographed cut-scenes, the aspiring warrior transforms into the four-legged animal and eventually meets Zelda, who has been imprisoned in the Twilight. He’s also introduced to Midna, a pivotal character to the storyline and quest to follow. This is a dark world and it’s complemented by a decidedly dark premise. There are no beheadings or, for that matter, even genuine gore, but compared to the always colorful, cartoony affair that was Wind Waker, this stuff may as well be Resident Evil. In one particularly compelling cinematic halfway through the game, the storyline even ponders what might happen if Link himself turned to evil. Nintendo has utilized motion-capturing for characters and the added fluidity is immediately noticeable, but that’s hardly the primary reason why these sequences are so welcomed. Rather, the tale has matured and advanced well beyond the templated save-the-princess routine and into something that holds interest not simply to support some well-rounded gameplay mechanics, but as an attraction of its own. As you play, you will generally want to know who Midna is and what here motivation to help Link might be, just as you’ll be itching to discover what the true power of the Twilight King.
|The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess|
|Series||The Legend of Zelda|
November 19, 2006
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