After Zant does… something… to Midna, the light spirit Lanayru emerges from the Lake Hylia spring and transports her and wolf Link to North Hyrule Field. Midna is draped over Link’s back, panting heavily. She is not doing well, and she begs him to hurry to Zelda. A song titled Midna’s Lament plays in the background while rain falls.
Link loops around and enters Castle Town from the east, and people immediately start screaming and cowering. I guess they can see wolf Link now? Since there’s no countdown until Midna dies, I run around scaring people just for the fun of it. When Link is in wolf form, he can talk to animals, so I also take this opportunity to talk to all the cats around town. Technically I could do this later, but I enjoy hearing them complain about the rain.
Telma had mentioned that there’s a secret passage into the castle that can be accessed from her bar, so when I’m done futzing around I have Link make his way over to her alleyway. She doesn’t recognize him (he is a giant wolf, after all), so she throws his ass out in the street like the BAMF she is and slams the door after him. Thankfully, her cat Louise knows the score and helps Link sneak back inside, over the rafters, and into the adjoining building, where a cursed man named Jovani opens a passage into the castle waterway after Link uses his wolf senses to defeat one of the ghosts that have been haunting him.
Link goes through the sewers, climbs a crumbling tower, crosses the castle roof, and enters the tower were Zelda is being held – except she’s not there. Midna loses her grip on Link and collapses from exhaustion, and that’s when Zelda appears. Using the Triforce of Wisdom, Zelda says that the magic keeping Link in his twilight form is not twilight magic but something much older and darker. But there is hope for him, she says:
Our world is one of balance… Just as there is light to drive away darkness, so, too, is there benevolence to banish evil.
What she means is that the Master Sword, which evil cannot touch, can expurgate the twilight, so Link should go find it.
To be honest, though, the world she’s describing doesn’t sound very “balanced.” When I think of “balance,” I would think that there would be both dark and light, and both good and evil. If everything is “light” and “benevolence,” then that’s all of one thing and none of the other. What it sounds like is that she’s equating “light” and “benevolence” with “order.” If entropy prevails, she seems to be saying, then there are means to restore some semblance of order. Because Midna is from the twilight, and the twilight is associated with “darkness,” it doesn’t stand to reason that darkness itself is inherently bad, just as Midna herself is not inherently bad.
Midna reaches the end of her endurance and asks Zelda to help Link. Zelda finally figures out who Midna is and what she’s trying to do – I thought they already knew each other, but I guess not? – and she takes pity on her, saying:
These dark times are the result of our deeds, yet it is you who have reaped the penalty.
THIS IS FORESHADOWING Y’ALL.
Midna is on the verge of death; and, to save her, Zelda transfers something to her, which may or may not be the Triforce of Wisdom. Zelda then fades away and disappears, but Midna is revived, saying:
Zelda… I’ve taken all you have to give…though I did not want it.
It’s not entirely clear what’s going on here. I dearly wish Link would to start asking more questions instead of simply doing what he’s told.
According to Zelda-who-is-possibly-already-dead, the “sacred power” is in Faron Province, so Midna warps us out of the castle, and then I have her warp us to Faron Woods, where Link rescues a hapless monkey from some creepy wooden puppets. She tells him that he resembles the “green-clad prince” (swoon) who had saved her earlier during the episode with the Forest Temple, and then she tells him that there’s a pretty forest clearing that can be accessed from a bit farther down the cliff. I don’t know how she expects him to get there, but thankfully he’s got Midna to help him make a series of seemingly impossible jumps.
When Link enters the Sacred Grove, he is confronted by the Skull Kid, who summons more creepy puppets while Link chases him around. Were it not for the puppets regenerating and knocking Link off ledges, this would be a fun sequence in a cool area, but the Skull Kid is an annoying little twerp and doesn’t make things easy.
After trouncing the Skull Kid and playing a weird fourth-wall breaking puzzle game with two stone statues that look like something straight out of Castle in the Sky (this game is all about the Ghibli references), Link is finally allowed to approach the Master Sword.
He draws it and it’s totally epic.
Link transforms back into a handsome young man, and Midna decides to keep the shadow crystal that was transplanted into him by Zant, affirming that it’s an embodiment of some other magic than that used by the Twili.
Midna also says something about finding the Mirror of Twilight, but I’m more concerned with being able to use the shadow crystal to switch back and forth into Link’s wolf form, which can only mean one thing…
( Header image from Zelda Wiki’s discussion page on the Master Sword )