Way Back When
Few games in The Legend of Zelda franchise have been quite as popular as the Nintendo 64’s Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, cementing the series as a somber fantasy full of mystical characters, dark and dangerous dungeons, and… Well, plenty of walking. So it wasn’t surprising that there was a vocal minority of gamers who were displeased with 2003’s vibrant and colorful sea-faring entry Wind Waker. And though many eventually warmed up to its cel-shaded graphics and slightly more simplistic gameplay, there was a yearning for a return to what fans had come to expect from the games.
Those prayers were soon answered with the 2006 release of Twilight Princess, bringing with it a much darker and more mysterious iteration of Hyrule than ever before and providing players with a significantly more mature narrative and more realistic visual style. It also introduced fan-favorite character, Midna, an intriguing imp-like creature that follows main character Link through the majority of his quest to keep the kingdom from being overtaken by a corrupted parallel dimension.
The most defining feature of Twilight Princess was easily its new gameplay features. Most notably, Link could now turn into a wolf during many segments of the game that took place in the Twilight Realm – and eventually at will – which allowed him to dig holes, attack with vicious bites, and move much more quickly. This mechanic came into play frequently in puzzle-solving similarly to all of the expected fun and useful items Link found on his adventures while also playing an important part in the overall story of the game.
Twilight Princess was the first entry in the franchise to release simultaneously across two generations, launching both on the GameCube and the Wii. However, because Link is canonically left-handed and most people are right-handed, the Wii version was a mirrored copy of the GameCube title to account for the use of motion controls, making for a very confusing play for anyone switching between the two for any reason. Years later, the release of Twilight Princess HD would finally release on the Wii U with the non-mirrored layout as the game was initially intended.
Twilight Princess was praised for its expansion of Hyrule, dark and ominous tone, and creative use of its gameplay mechanics. It went on to sell almost 9 million copies, making it the best-selling Zelda title until 2018’s release of Breath of the Wild. To this day, debates rage on about which 3D Zelda game is the best, but regardless of where your take falls, there’s no denying that Twilight Princess is a worthy successor to the titles that preceded it and well-deserving of a modern playthrough.
Where You Can Play It Now
While you can certainly find a Wii copy of Twilight Princess and play it on your Wii U, your absolute best bet is to snag the Twilight Princess HD remaster Nintendo released for the system in 2016 thanks to its updated visuals and quality of life changes, though. However, even though they drastically reduce the more tedium of certain parts of the game, do be aware that the changes alter the game enough that it could understandably turn off a handful of purists.
Here’s the modern platforms on which you can access The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess:
- Wii U
After you wrap up Twilight Princess, it’s a great time to check out the Wind Waker HD remaster on Wii U, too. While it’s a bit more of a divisive entry in the series, it’s nevertheless an incredibly enjoyable adventure.