Twilight Princess remake amplifies quest

HD Re-master rekindles desire to rid Hyrule of dark forces

By Cody Casares, Photo Editor

Ten years after its initial release for the GameCube in 2006, “Twilight Princess HD,” continues to provide a level of fulfillment that only the Zelda series could.

Whether you’re bounding across the land of Hyrule on horseback or navigating one of the nine masterfully crafted dungeons on your quest to rescue the princess, the game produces an adventure of legendary proportions — especially in high definition.

Nintendo has re-mastered this critically acclaimed installment in an effort to provide a new look to its hardcore fans while appealing to a new generation of Zelda fans.

“Twilight Princess” adds detailed textures to background landscapes and characters to create a layer of depth that was absent from the original release due to technological limitations of the Gamecube.

While this overhaul brings new life to particular areas of the game, it also creates a longing for more in other areas.

Despite running on the Wii U hardware, certain in-game environments lack lighting detail.

Unnatural shadows created by the game’s graphic engine show when compared to the areas that are given more attention in the re-mastering process.

While the graphics in “The Wind Waker HD” remake, released in 2013, have a much simpler cartoon style, it is unfortunate that the same attention to detail is not given to the “Twilight Princess.”

Another aspect of the game that has been added to the HD remake is the addition of “hero mode,” which adds a challenging aspect for those Zelda veterans looking for a new experience in a familiar story.

Players find themselves paired with Midna, Link’s sassy and mysterious sidekick, who dislikes Link but agrees to help him if he agrees to follow her unconditionally.

Midna guides Link through the Twilight Realm where he is transformed into a wolf and is tasked with restoring the Light Spirits that were stolen by the King of the Twilight in order to save Hyrule from his wretched grip.

While the graphic overhaul is nothing to drool over, the game continues to wow its fans with masterfully crafted dungeons and puzzles that are arguably the best in the series of more than 15 games dating back to 1987.

The fact “Twilight Princess HD,” continues to inspire people to replay Link’s adventure is a testament to the impact it has had with fans of the series. The dungeons and the puzzles in the “Twilight Princess” are the main attraction of the game without question.

The mysteries of the varying puzzles in the game are based on simple problem-solving questions like “How do I get up to that platform?” or “How do I turn this fan or open this door?” While the questions seem rudimentary, the execution isn’t always simple and creates a challenging task to overcome.

But the gratifying sense of accomplishment as you peck away at the game, puzzle by puzzle, keeps the player immersed.

While the dungeons are the frontrunner of the game, the tools, weapons and skills used to assist players along the way sadly become useless once they complete that specific dungeon.

It’s a bummer that tools like the “Ball and Chain” or the “Slingshot” don’t see much use once they use them initially. 

Also, the outlying areas of Hyrule, surrounding the dungeons, feel empty and void of life. The only encounters are with small bands of enemies sprinkled here and there.

Players who seek an open-world experience will be disappointed with exploration outside the main quest line.

But the beauty of “Twilight Princess HD” is how simple it truly is. Players don’t have access to a mission checklist or even a detailed map with item locations.

The game leaves players to their own devices, intuition and forces to explore the world or problem-solve — an aspect that is lost in many modern day adventure series style games.

There’s no one to hold a player’s hand. While the game leaves objectives up to the players to figure out, the addition of re-mastered controls and item organization using the Wii U GamePad significantly streamlines the previously clunky system. Although the occasional awkward ladder climb does still occur.

“The Legend of Zelda” series has won many hearts over since its creation, topping Meta Critics Best Games of All-Time list, and the re-release of “Twilight Princess” is no different. Even with its little quirks, it’s still a sensational game for fans of all ages to enjoy.