Twilight Princess HD is less than 24 hours away from its release; with that, I should probably announce the winner of our latest contest, lest this article be even more overdue.
Thanks a million to everyone who participated. Seriously, looking at and reading through each of these took me back to when I joined this community in 2008. Hit the jump to check out all of the entries!
Twilight Princess has always held a special place in my heart. I am 22 years old in about a month and some change, so I was born right before stuff really got rolling with Nintendo and the Zelda franchise going into the N64 era. I was young at the time so to me, everything was so magical watching my brother play such fantastic titles. The story. The lore. The art. Just the game(s) as a whole tickled my imagination for years.
I played and beat both Majora’s Mask and Ocarina of Time, but it was really kind of a diluted experience, as I already knew what awaited me the entire way through. As I grew older and actually able to take in every game, including Wind Waker, in a much better and thorough perspective, the Zelda experience only grew more and more special to me.
Twilight Princess came into being pretty much at the peak of my Zelda obsession, being that the graphics and everything were a super enhanced version of the 2 games that really made Zelda super popular in Majora’s Mask and Ocarina of Time.
The title screen with the wolf howling at Hyrule Castle was a perfect intro that instantly grabbed my attention and set me up for one of my favorite video game experiences ever.
A lot of people complain about the first 20 minutes or so of the game, being that there is a lot of tutorial and gameplay explanation and little character or plot progression. Being 12 at the time, it didn’t even really bother me whatsoever. It was something new. Something that I HAD to delve deeper into because I was pretty much at the point of no return.
Zelda games to me in general just feel like something Nintendo does every once in a while to just spoil us as fans, cause they KNOW it is what everyone loves. It is what everyone can’t wait for. They can release all the Mario and Pokemon games they want and all the other yearly series….maybe even a Metroid here and there….but Zelda….It’s Nintendo’s bread and butter. Something they put all their effort into to please any and every fan they possibly can.
That said, out of all the Zelda games, it does have one of, if not the best stories in the series. Certainly in the top two, and I bet you can probably guess its challenger for that spot. The character development I feel is one thing they really nailed in the game, especially with Midna.
Going from a selfish child looking for any means necessary to seek out revenge against Zant, to a matured young woman who finally embraced her role as a selfless princess ready to rule her people. You felt like Midna really had a bond with Link that transcended that of an ally. Of a friend. It almost seemed to me romantic at times, which is what I couldn’t get enough of. It’s like, you want so bad for them to be together and THAT is what made the ending, albeit sad and frustrating, special.
The bond the player is able to make with Midna through Link was the experience Miyamoto and his crew set out to do and they NAILED it. They really took the companion role to a whole new level that honestly hasn’t been matched since, be it on handheld or home console.
Want Midna Back is really a reflection of a success by Twilight Princess’ creators by getting a character so ingrained in someone’s heart and emotions that it makes you mad at the game’s outcome despite how much you loved it! Midna’s departure is something that not WMB alone was super frustrated and sorrowful for, it is a global phenomenon that the entire Zelda community has since hoped for a sequel or proper disclosure. Maybe even a game all her own.
I remember when I saw the ending I really was in tears. Big tears. It was heart wrenching to say the LEAST. It bothered me for the longest time. Like, I was emotionally distraught for months because of something that happened in a VIDEO GAME. A videogame of all things. Like mentioned earlier, it’s a clear indication of the Zelda team’s ability to create masterful compositions such as Twilight Princess and have things such as WMB still around and kicking today. I went on a Midna craze afterwards. I was looking for fan-art and everything. Fiction. I needed more. The game was not spoiled for me beforehand, so the feelings still present from the ending was even more impactful.
Believe it or not, one of the first things I typed in on the internet search bar relative to my desire for her to come back in a game was “want Midna back.” Eventually the website that I’m now writing to almost a decade later ends up being right in the mix of things in my life again, just as it was years ago for a long time.
Thank God for Zelda. Thank God for Twilight Princess.
– Jonathan Hughes
This is a slightly meta interpretation, to be honest. The reason behind it is that Twilight Princess was a huge inspiration for me in terms of digital art. Most of my dA gallery is full of drawings of Midna, as well as Link and Zelda’s TP incarnations. If it weren’t for playing Twilight Princess and loving Midna’s character as much as I did, I don’t think I would have drawn as much as I did, and I don’t think I would have attempted digital art, either. If I hadn’t drawn Midna so much, I wouldn’t have pushed myself to improve my art, and I wouldn’t be going to University to study Game Art in September to chase a career in Game Concept Design. In short, Twilight Princess served a pivotal part in my life that’s helping me pursue the career of my dreams.
– Liz “LightWorldMidna” Clarke
And lastly, the winning entry in the contest — congratulations, Eric “Silvs” Silva!
I’ve been a gamer all my life. From the early Atari days until now. I’m certain I’ll be playing video games my whole life. I’ve been drawn in and invested in many games over the ages. Most being fantasy adventure games such as Final Fantasy and Zelda. Never in those early years would I have ever known that the widely acclaimed Zelda franchise would eventually have the power to change me forever.
It was a day in spring 2007. I was preparing to graduate from high school. As a graduation present I received a Nintendo Wii and a brand new copy of a game I would leave un-opened for nearly two months. I was more absorbed in playing Wii Sports all that time. But even when I was throwing bowling balls in Wii Bowling and punching in Boxing, that sealed game remained beside the TV set the whole time. It almost just begged to be un-wrapped and played.
I could not avoid this new, sealed game I let sit collecting dust for weeks forever. So finally, nearly two months later, I unwrapped the plastic and popped the game disc in my Wii. In that moment I had no idea when I would soon leave the Wii menu screen and enter Twilight Princess, my life would never be the same again. So at last it was time for me to embark on a new adventure through Hyrule. I picked up my Wii remote and nun-chuck and prepared to embark on a trip I would not come back from the same.
I have always thoroughly enjoyed the gameplay of Twilight Princess. In the beginning learning the Wii remote controls took some getting used to. At the time the most recent Zelda game I had played was Four Swords Adventures on Gamecube. But learning the controls on the Wii did not take long. I almost knew right away Twilight Princess was going to be an amazing game. From the graphics to music and the storyline and gameplay, I knew this would be a memorable adventure from beginning to end.
Everything in my world changed on May 17, 2007. Who I was as a person before that day was gone. Even now I do not look back at how I was before. For as long as I live I’ll always fondly remember that day I met Midna. I had not even yet gone to see Zelda in the beginning when I already knew she was not going to be an ordinary partner. She was so much more. She was special.
When I beat Twilight Princess a few months later I had already decided this was the best Zelda game I’d ever played. Never had I loved a game in the Zelda series so much. Most of all I thank this game for helping me find two amazing online groups. Because by the time I completed the game, I loved Midna more than any game character I’d ever seen or played as in my entire life. My love for her led me to search for any people who have the same feelings I do for her. She is a wonderful character and I keep hoping she’ll continue to be featured in more future games. I think Nintendo has finally realized just what they have created.
I was coming home late one day from a video shoot I had worked on. On the ride home I pulled out my phone and logged into Facebook. It was then I saw news that nearly made me break into tears. They were making Twilight Princess HD! It was such incredible news to read. For the past few months I’ve grown more and more eager for this game as the release date gets closer. Not only can I re-experience the game again, but this time I can in HD! How freakin’ awesome. Oh and of course it’ll be nice to see Midna again.
So what more can I say about Twilight Princess? Fantastic game. I’ll always love it. Thanks Nintendo for re-releasing it again in HD. You make me so glad to be a Zelda fan.
Again, thanks a ton for participating, guys! I’ll try to throw a similar contest for Hyrule Warriors Legends, though with — hopefully — with more than a ten-day heads up.