Link returns to Ordona Province to find that Ordon Village has been plunged into twilight.
The ontological state of the twilight is not entirely clear. Judging from Midna’s comments, she is from the Twilight Realm and thinks the twilight is beautiful, but humans apparently cannot live in twilight without being transformed into spirits or monsters. When Link navigated Hyrule Castle under twilight, he perceived people as a ball of faint flame (a frequent visual representation of a dead or dying soul in Japanese art), and he had to use his special wolf senses to see these souls as people and hear what they were saying. It’s not entirely clear whether the twilight is a distinct state of being for people other than Link, or whether anyone other than Link is even capable of seeing how it affects the world.
What becomes clear in Ordon Village is that human beings can somehow perceive the monsters that inhabit the twilight. They can also perceive Link in his wolf form. Some of them will even attack him if he enters their line of sight.
If the local spirit of light is purified, the Twilight will disperse and Link will return to human form, but Midna tells him that he needs to find a sword a shield first. Since Link is going to attack the shadow monsters terrorizing the light spirit in his wolf form, I don’t know why he can’t just enter Ordon Village and ask for a sword and shield like a normal person after he’s done rescuing everyone, but whatever. It’s more fun to burgle people’s houses anyway.
Once Link has broken everyone’s furniture and stolen their stuff, he returns to the pool of water just outside his house and revives the light spirit Ordona, who is a giant glowing goat. The scene is quite gorgeous and reminds me more than a little of the Studio Ghibli film Princess Mononoke.
Ordona tells me that I have to purify the light essence of Faron, the light spirit of the woods, so Link heads over to that place to do that thing. After he collects sixteen tears of light, Link returns to the forest spring, where Faron appears as some sort of glowing lemur. Faron turns Link back into a human, telling him that he’s the hero of legend. Link is now wearing the green tunic of the hero, and he is totally okay with this for some reason.
Midna tells me that the Ordon Village children are still missing, and that maybe I can find them if I go to the Forest Temple. I decide to trust her, because I’m not trekking all the way back to the village, where people will more than likely ask me awkward questions about why I’m walking around with their stuff.
On the way to the Forest Temple, Link runs into the Hero’s Shade, a creepy decaying skeleton who teaches him how to jump on an enemy and impale it with his sword after he knocks them down. This ferocious move is not disturbing at all.
Link gets to use this new technique in the Forest Temple, which is infested with giant spiders twice his size. After banging them up a bit, he’ll jump on top of their underbellies and thrust his sword into their carapaces, hopefully before they curl their legs around him. This was nightmare fuel for me the first time I played this game. Like, literally. I had nightmares about spiders. Because of this game.
The other bizarrely creepy thing Link encounters here is a small creature that introduces herself as Ooccoo. Ooccoo is a two-foot tall featherless mammalian chicken with a bald human head and unblinking pink eyes with no pupils. Ooccoo functions as a game mechanic that will help Link warp in and out of the dungeon by detaching her head, which can sprout tiny insect wings and fly around. Moving on.
Link’s main objective here is to rescue a bunch of monkeys, who are all adorable. Thank god they’re adorable. Creepy monkeys would have been too much.
One of the monkeys helps Link fight the final boss. Once the monster is defeated, it leaves behind something that Midna calls a “fused shadow.” She won’t explain what it is, but she tells Link that she’s looking for them and that he might as well help her. Sure, okay, why not.
( Header image from the Zelda Wiki entry on Faron )