The Temple of Time section of Twilight Princess is the only instance of enforced backtracking in the game, and it’s kind of annoying, but at least it’s short?
At Telma’s Bar, Link is informed that Rusl has gone down to Faron Woods to investigate the source of an ancient power, so he has Midna warp him over.
Rusl tells Link that various ruins from an ancient civilization dot the land, and that this civilization built a temple nearby to contain a power that will surely prove useful in the resistance against Zant. That sounds like a shitty idea – doesn’t he know that reviving the forbidden power of a decimated civilization is never a good idea? – but Rusl has a sparkly golden Cucco that Link can ride to the sacred grove, and I’m not about to say no to that.
Link eventually arrives back at the pedestal from which he drew the Master Sword. For some reason, jamming the Master Sword back in its slot causes a stone door to appear in the ruins below. In the present, the door is freestanding and doesn’t lead to anything; but, if Link pushes it open, he can walk into the Temple of Time from Ocarina of Time.
If Link then places the Master Sword into the pedestal he finds there, magical blue stairs appear, leading into a stained glass window that vanishes into the entrance of the next dungeon.
Okay, so I have some questions. If this is the same Temple of Time from Ocarina of Time, what is it doing in the woods? The Death Mountain and Lake Hylia of Twilight Princess are still in the same location relative to Hyrule Castle as they were in Ocarina of Time, so… Was the temple rebuilt or otherwise relocated? It would make sense to hide the power it houses – not only the Master Sword, but the gateway to the Sacred Realm – but how would this work? Is the magic not location-specific? Or was this perhaps the original site of the Temple of Time, with the structure in Ocarina of Time being a replica?
And what’s up with the tower-like structure of the dungeon? Is it supposed to be connected to the Tower of the Gods from The Wind Waker?
Or who cares, actually. Onward to adventure!
The chicken lady Ooccoo meets Link at the entrance, saying that the power in the dungeon will help her and her son return home to the sky. I can only assume that the “power” she and Rusl are referring to is the dungeon’s treasure, the Dominion Rod, which sounds impressive but actually doesn’t do much more than control special statures.
Link’s job is to make his way to the top of the tower, recover the Dominion Rod, and use it to bring a statue back down to the entryway, where it will help him open a door. Climbing up is difficult, as there are various barriers and traps, but coming back down is slightly more enjoyable, as the statue can smash its way through just about everything.
The temple is crawling with large tarantulas called gohma and baby gohma larva, which appear in the dozens and swarm all over everything. The dungeon boss is a giant gohma called Armogohma, which is essentially Shelob and will probably give me nightmares in the near future. What is it with the Zelda games and spiders?
After Link has defeated the creature, Midna remarks on how creepy and gross the Armogohma was (I KNOW RIGHT) and says that the Mirror of Twilight doubtlessly contains a great evil. Even if she and Link use it, she continues, they’ll probably have to turn around and destroy it.
This is foreshadowing for Midna becoming a giant tentacle monster when she uses the mirror. Yes, she becomes a giant tentacle monster. It is awesome – or it will be, when we get there.
Ooccoo greets Link when he exits the Temple of Time back into the present. She tells him that the Rod of Dominion’s magic hasn’t survived the time travel, and that she’s going to look for “the statues that respond to the rod.” This makes very little sense. How does magic even work?
The game doesn’t provide Link with any clues concerning what to do at this point, so he warps back to Castle Town, where he’s hailed by the postman, who gives him a letter from Renado, asking him to return to Kakariko Village. Okay, will do.
( Header image from the Prima Games guide to the Temple of Time )