Almost a decade after its initial release on the GameCube, Nintendo has revitalized The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess with a remastered edition for the Wii U. While the original game may not feel particularly “modern,” Twilight Princess is still playable on the Wii U if you happen to have a Wii Remote and nunchuck. So, what sets this new version apart?
Enhanced Visuals (Obviously)
As suggested by its name, the Wii U version of Twilight Princess features a graphical upgrade to make it shine in 1080p. The remastered version boasts more intricate textures and improved lighting, with enhanced shadow animations. Digital Foundry pointed out that certain characters now sport entirely new assets, such as a revamped hairstyle for Link. Additionally, some areas have received additional basic assets like more trees. Check out this video for a side-by-side comparison of the three versions, which clearly shows the sharper visuals in the Wii U HD remake.
Aesthetic changes have been implemented as well. Fans of the Zelda series will be pleased to know that Twilight Princess HD is based on the GameCube version, with Link wielding his sword in his left hand. However, the mirrored world from the Wii version, designed for right-handed players, is also included. Nintendo has also made greater use of the “bloom” visual effect, visible around the edges of the screen during cutscenes, giving the game a more distinct look.
Wii U Controller & Miiverse Integration
As expected from Nintendo, the Wii U’s second screen serves to simplify gameplay. You can access your minimap on the controller’s screen and switch items on the fly without pausing the game. Alternatively, you have the option to play the game directly on the controller screen.
Nintendo has also added collectible Zelda-themed stamps to Miiverse, allowing players to decorate their notes with a touch of Zelda flair.
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Similar to the Ocarina of Time and Wind Waker HD remakes, Nintendo made several tweaks to the game, addressing common complaints from the original Twilight Princess and modernizing its pacing. For instance, switching between human and Wolf Link forms is now accomplished with a single button press, rather than needing to speak with Link’s companion, Midna. Given the frequent need to switch forms for both puzzles and combat, this change should save players a significant amount of time. Additionally, Link starts the game with a larger wallet.
Other fixes are specific to certain sections of the game. For example, a new item called the Ghost Lantern assists Link in finding hidden poe souls. While poe souls are collectibles throughout the game, they are introduced during a particularly frustrating mission. In the Wii U version, the number of Tears of Light required to switch between forms has been reduced from 16 to 12, as reported by GamesRadar.
For veteran players, Twilight Princess HD introduces a more challenging “Hero mode,” which can be activated at the start of a new game. Hero Mode takes place in the mirror-image version of Hyrule from the Wii version of Twilight Princess. In this mode, enemies deal double damage, and hearts are not replenished by defeating enemies.
New Dungeon: The Cave of Shadows
Apart from the various tweaks and enhancements, Twilight Princess HD offers an entirely new dungeon. If you possess the Wolf Link Amiibo, which comes with the retail version of the game, you can access the optional “Cave of Shadows.” This dungeon focuses on wave-based combat challenges for Wolf Link, rather than puzzle-solving. Successfully completing the dungeon rewards players with a new item.
Amiibo collectors can also utilize other Legend of Zelda figures to enhance or increase the challenge of Twilight Princess HD. The Zelda and Sheik Amiibo grant Link additional hearts, while the Link and Toon Link Amiibo provide him with extra arrows.
On the other hand, using the Ganondorf Amiibo inflicts double damage on Link and changes his hearts to a blue color. Combining the Ganondorf Amiibo with Hero Mode allows players to experience a more hardcore mode reminiscent of Dark Souls, where Link takes quadruple damage.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD will be available for the Wii U on March 4th. Players can purchase the disc-based version, including the Wolf Link Amiibo, for $60, or download it from the Wii U eShop for $50.