After destroying the evil lurking deep within the Forest Temple…
Which was a giant plant, by the way. How is a plant evil? It was totally just hanging out and minding its own business. It’s not like anyone in Ordon Village actually went anywhere near the Forest Temple. Not even the monkeys entered the temple. That plant wasn’t hurting anyone. I guess it had the thing Midna was looking for, but did Link really have to kill it? Jeez, man.
…Faron the glowing goat tells Link that he needs to travel to Eldin Province to help the light spirit there. Midna adds that the missing children still haven’t been found. So off we go.
And now we get to go to Hyrule Field! Yay!!! Hyrule Field!
I don’t actually spend much time there. Instead, I proceed right to the next objective. There will be plenty of time for sidequests later, but I would prefer to do them on a horse.
What’s interesting about the map of Hyrule in Twilight Princess is that it’s very similar to the map in Ocarina of Time. The major difference is that east and west are switched, as if the Hyrule of Twilight Princess were a mirror image of the Hyrule of Ocarina of Time.
According to Hyrule Historia, the Zelda timeline splits after Ocarina of Time. Twilight Princess occurs in the “child timeline,” which is the most direct offshoot of the original timeline. After Link successfully defeats Ganondorf as an adult, Zelda sends him back to the past. Working together, he and Zelda see to it that Ganondorf is executed before he ever enters the Sacred Realm and claims the Triforce, and then Link sets off alone on a journey that is interrupted by the events in Majora’s Mask.
It’s been theorized that the Hero’s Shade in Twilight Princess is the Link from Ocarina of Time. Why would that Link, who by all rights had saved Hyrule from Ganondorf twice, become a decaying skeleton who willingly lives within the twilight? If everything that happened in Majora’s Mask was nothing more than a dream experienced by Link after he hit his head when he fell off his horse, then the nature of these dreams would suggest that Link was severely traumatized by the journey he undertook as the Hero of Time.
It may also be that, by travelling back and forth between timelines, Link also caused major ruptures in the space-time continuum of Hyrule itself; so that, when he came back, everything had flipped.
Or? It could just be that the Gamecube version of Twilight Princess is the “true” Hyrule, while the Wii version is just a port in which everything was flipped to correspond with Link being right handed, since nine out of ten players using the Wiimote-based sword controls would be right handed.
IN ANY CASE Link encounters Hyrule’s iconic red-capped postman on his way to Eldin Province. The postman, who is as charmingly neurotic as ever, tells him that there is a black wall cutting off the mountain pass into Kakariko Village. So normal people can see the twilight, then. Good to know.
After a light jog through Kakariko Gorge, which is briefly interrupted by Midna grabbing a wooden bridge from somewhere in Ordona and transporting it through the twilight in order to render a gaping crevasse passable, Link arrives in Kakariko Village, where the kids from Ordon Village are cowering in a house with the village elder Renado, his no-nonsense daughter Luda, and the cowardly bomb shop owner Barnes.
Link runs around their house to recover several of the Tears of Light that will help the local light spirit Eldin recover, but no one seems to notice him, despite the fact that he’s setting things on fire and moving the furniture. Can people trapped in the twilight actually see Link in his wolf form, or do they simply sense a vague yet menacing presence? It’s difficult to tell.
After jumping around on people’s roofs, breaking people’s windows, stealing the rupees from people’s treasure chests, and setting more things on fire, Link finds all the Tears of Light and returns to the spring in the foothills of the village, where he is greeted by Eldin, who takes the form of an owl. The twilight is lifted, and the Ordon Village kids emerge from their house convinced that Link has saved them.
Renado asks Link to take the children back home but tells him that he needs to arrange for transportation, since it’s too far for them to walk. It’s too far for Link to walk as well, but thankfully Epona shows up at just the right moment, bless her. Renado assures Link that this particular fetch quest will not be conducted in vain, since the Ordon Village elder can help Link figure out a way of communicating with the Gorons, who have become xenophobic of late and aren’t letting anyone on their mountain.
It’s interesting to note that Renado appears to not be racially/ethnically Hylian, despite wearing clothing embroidered with the Hylian royal emblem. He appears to be some sort of shaman – are they trying to make him seem Native American? Regardless, he seems to be the only adult who has remained in Kakariko, presumably to protect the children who were unable to flee (and Barnes). An alternate explanation is that he stayed behind to protect the Sky Cannon (which the player is not supposed to know about yet) and endangered Luda and the other children’s lives by not fleeing with them. Either way, he and his daughter are adorable, so I’m looking forward to learning more about them as the game progresses.
( Header image from the Twilight Princess Character Profile page on Zelda Source )