By Colin Almeida
You don’t have to look so sad! We actually find it to be quite livable! I mean, is perpetual twilight really all that bad? – Midna
The Legend of Zelda! An incredibly huge series that stretches as far back as the rise of video games with the Nintendo Entertainment System, one with so many games, recreations, worlds, and versions that its universe is filled to the brim with possibilities. And, despite its insane timeline, the series hasn’t lost any steam since its birth in 1986. And Nintendo knows it.
But why am I going on about this series? Because recently on March 4, 2016, Nintendo released an HD remake of my second favorite Zelda title of all time, Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, and with the rebirth of this game came my 3-day marathon of completing everything in it, and the chance to see one of my favorite characters from the series once more: that mischievous Twili known as Midna.
As the World of Light known as Hyrule falls to the invading forces of the Twilight Realm and its king, Zant, a young boy named Link witnesses the kidnapping of several children from his home village. Unarmed and with no experience, he foolishly chases after the kidnappers to a black wall covering what was once a forest he knew very well. Suddenly, a black hand emerges from the wall, grabs him and drags him into a world of twilight. He awakes to find himself in a twilight-coated forest and in the grips of a black beast. A light shines from his hand, blinding the beast and transforming Link into a wolf, rendering him unconscious. As the beast drags him away, a figure watches from the trees. When Link awakes, he finds his new form has been chained within a cell, and the only visitor he has is the figure who watched him be taken, Midna.
Link is bent on finding the children and saving his land, but it’s clear he will need Midna’s help to do it. And for some reason, she’s willing to give it.
Right off the bat when you meet this character, you can tell she’s a snarky, independent, and manipulative creature that has a goal in mind. She keeps up this attitude as you play, occasionally commenting on things you see and do as you continue your journey.
(after Wolf Link sets a house on fire) What did you do? Sorry, but as romantic as this is, I’m not going to stay here with you, I’m getting out! – Midna
She’s clever, mischievous, and keeps her motives to herself throughout the beginning of the game. But as you continue to help her in her mission to overthrow Zant, she begins to change. She starts to show a more caring side towards Link, opening up more about who she is and requesting things more than demanding them. You begin to learn more about how she defies Zant as a leader, and how she feels toward her people. But not only that, the more she sees the world of light, the more people she sees Link interact with, the more she begins to care about Link’s world instead of just her own. She begins to grow and mature throughout the journey, understanding that all life is important, not just the Twili of her realm. But the biggest cause for her to change is when Zelda, princess of Hyrule, gives her spirit up to save Midna’s life.
Zelda…I’ve taken all you had to give, though I did not want it. –Midna.
From that point forward, she realizes that despite the invasion, despite everything, there were still inhabitants of the Light like Link and Zelda who are willing to show kindness to her. And she takes this lesson to heart and really begins to open up to Link. It’s truly an amazing transformation.
Some call our realm a world of shadows, but that makes it sound so unpleasant… The twilight there holds a serene beauty… You have seen it yourself as the sun sets on this world. Bathed in that light, all the people were pure and gentle… But things changed once that foul power pervaded the world… – Midna
She tells the story of how Zant, with an unknown evil power under his command, usurped the Twilight throne and took over. How he cast down and cursed the former ruler, herself, and began corrupting her people.
She continues to change for the better as the journey continues, showing more kindness to Link and the inhabitants of the world of Light.
There. We finally got the second piece of the mirror. But still, I feel bad for the way we treated that poor girl. This world… ALL worlds can be cruel. –Midna
Eventually, it is revealed that Ganondorf, the main villain throughout most of the series, is behind Zant’s newfound power. And after defeating Zant, Link and Midna travel to Hyrule castle, which Ganondorf has claimed as his own, to find a soulless Zelda and Ganondorf sitting on the throne of Hyrule. There, Link and Ganondorf battle with everything they have. And after two rounds of an insane fight, Midna decides to take things into her own hands, teleporting Link and a revived Zelda out of the castle. She then fights Ganondorf herself, the battle destroying Hyrule castle. From the rubble, Ganondorf emerges victorious, holding Midna’s mask in his hand, before crushing it into rubble. With a fight on horses and a final duel, Link defeats Ganondorf, ending his life.
Link gazes onto the horizon to find Midna, alive and well, rising from the ashes. With the curse removed, her true form is revealed, and Link can only stare with his mouth agape.
What? Say something! Am I so beautiful you’ve no words left? –Midna
Despite everything, she’s still Midna. And with one final farewell, she says goodbye to Link and the world of Light forever, destroying the one connection that her world and his have to make sure nothing like this ever happens again.
Midna’s story is one of maturing and growing as person, as well as the journey to understand those outside your own world. A journey that can be taken to heart and understood by many. But the amazing part is, throughout it all, she never lost sight of herself. When all was said and done, she was still as snarky and as teasing as she was in the beginning of the game, all the while showing true growth as a character. It is a story I value greatly, and part of the reason I love this game as much as I do.