The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD is a Wii U enhanced remaster of the Nintendo GameCube and Wii game, Twilight Princess. It was officially announced via a Nintendo Direct webcast on November 12, 2015 and was released on March 4, 2016. It is the second remaster of a Zelda title on the Wii U following The Wind Waker HD. A bundle set containing the Wolf Link amiibo was also released.
The game features graphical upgrades from the original version and runs at a higher resolution. It also features some gameplay changes.
Changes and Additions
Twilight Princess HD features reworked graphics with primarily new textures, giving the game a cleaner and higher-definition look. As opposed to the 480p resolution of the GameCube and Wii versions, Twilight Princess HD uses the 1080p resolution that is standard on Wii U. This provides for six times the number of pixels, resulting in additional clarity, especially for faraway objects and precise aiming. Most textures in the game are touched up with added details, with notable examples including Link's hair, Zant's armor, and several background textures. Some textures have been changed entirely, including grass in Hyrule Field and a stone Triforce symbol in the Sacred Grove. These textures look less muddy and blurred than in the original. The game also sports brighter lighting and less intense bloom than the original releases.
Like The Wind Waker HD before it, Twilight Princess HD is not a complete graphical remake as most of its character models and geometry are left untouched in terms of polygon count.
Twilight Princess HD uses the world orientation of the GameCube version in normal mode, in which Link is left-handed, which had previously been reversed on the Wii version to better accommodate players. Similar to The Wind Waker HD, Twilight Princess HD uses the larger resolution to display a less-intrusive HUD during gameplay. Items can now be equipped to three slots — X, Y, and R, while the L Button calls Midna. The Right Stick can be used to move the camera freely. The mini-map has been shrunk and now features a translucent black background.
Like in The Wind Waker HD, the game makes use of certain features of the Wii U GamePad to streamline gameplay. The GamePad screen can display a separate map screen for dungeons, and can be used to instantly equip items without having to pause and bring up the inventory menu. It also enables the use of the GamePad's gyroscope to aim items such as the Gale Boomerang or the Bow. The GamePad screen can also be tapped to instantly transform between Link's human and wolf forms without having to talk to Midna, once the ability has been unlocked. The game also features off-TV play and is compatible with the Wii U Pro Controller.
Hero Mode is featured in the game, which is available from the start. Unlike The Wind Waker HD, normal and Hero modes cannot be switched between once a file has been created. Link receives twice as much damage during this mode, and the world orientation is also mirrored like the Wii version. Hearts are not dropped in this mode either, similar to the Hero Modes in Skyward Sword and The Wind Waker HD.
The game also supports the use of Miiverse and features 50 Miiverse Stamps scattered around Hyrule, including the game's Hylian alphabet, characters faces with different expressions, items such as Rupees, and objects such as Treasure Chests. These Stamps are found inside of dungeons as well as in fields, usually replacing Rupee chests, while others are received or bought, and must be found before they can be used.
Twilight Princess HD is compatible with the Wolf Link amiibo, along with the Super Smash Bros. series Zelda amiibo, including Link, Zelda, Ganondorf, Sheik, and Toon Link. All amiibo can be scanned once light returns to the Faron Province.
The Wolf Link amiibo unlocks a new optional dungeon called the Cave of Shadows, which can be accessed anytime from the collection screen. This Cave of Ordeals-styled dungeon features 40 floors which Link must clear as a wolf, as he cannot revert back to human form while in the dungeon. Each floor features enemies as well as obstacles to clear. If Link has the Giant Wallet when he clears the dungeon, he will receive the Colossal Wallet, allowing him to carry up to 9,999 Rupees. The Wolf Link amiibo can also save a "checkpoint" of the number of remaining Hearts Link has preserved upon completing a section of the cave, after which scanning it will restore Link's health to that amount while he is in the cave. The Wolf Link amiibo is also compatible with Breath of the Wild. Tapping it when using the amiibo Rune will spawn Wolf Link in the game to serve as a companion. The number of hearts remaining when completing the Cave of Shadows determines Wolf Link's total life energy, with a minimum of three hearts.
Scanning the Link or Toon Link amiibo will replenish all of Link's Arrows, while scanning the Zelda or Sheik amiibo will restore all Hearts. Scanning Ganondorf's amiibo allows Link to take twice as much damage, and will turn his red Heart gauge blue to signify the change. If used while in Hero Mode, Link takes four times the normal damage. Only one amiibo of each character can be scanned once per day. Scanning Ganondorf's amiibo a second time states that the damage has already been doubled.
- The isolated rock in Ordon Village with the cradle is now walled off.
- The heat wave graphic effect in the lava areas in Goron Mines is removed.
- Picture frames of Breath of the Wild screenshots appear as an easter egg inside Chudley's Fine Goods and Fancy Trinkets Emporium.
- Rupees are no longer returned to their Treasure Chests if Link's Wallet is full.
- Rupees no longer show a text box with their value after being picked up once, even after the game has been closed and reopened.
- The Wallet sizes are different: the default wallet now fits 500 Rupees, the Big Wallet 1,000 Rupees, and the Giant Wallet 2,000 Rupees, as opposed to 300, 600, and 1,000 Rupees respectively.
- Only 12 Tears of Light have to be collected in each Province, as opposed to the original 16.
- A new item, the Ghost Lantern, lights up when a Poe is nearby even during the day. This item is received from Jovani after collecting 20 Poe Souls.
- The map now shows the location of Horse Grasses, minigames, Side Quests, and the last location where the game was saved.
- The number of Poes defeated and remaining in each area is now also tracked on the map screen.
- Green Chu Jelly now has a text when scooped and a description in the items menu.
- Link must catch a fish for Sera's cat only once during the beginning of the game as opposed to twice.
- Link no longer hits his Sword against walls; instead, it simply goes through them, making combat more manageable in close quarters.
- Link's slashing animations now have trails.
- The controls and handling for swimming and riding Epona have been altered.
- Swimming and climbing animations are sped up.
- Various dialogues have been modified to fix typos and errors.
- Damage dealt by falling into lava is reduced from two Hearts to only one.
- Darkhammer's tail is now armored; however, this does not affect the battle against it.
- A trailer for the game no longer plays when the title screen is left idle. The title sequence simply loops back to the start.
- A new credits sequence for the HD version staff now plays at the end of the original credits. It features the orchestra piece previously used during the teaser trailer of the original version of the game.
- Midna now has a reflection, whereas she did not in the original game.
During a meeting with director Eiji Aonuma, he stated that the reason behind the Wii U remake was to improve the picture quality. He also stated that the Wii Remote controls were removed in favor of the Wii U GamePad, as it focuses in the maps, which play a big role in the game.
As Aonuma and his team were busy working in the new Zelda (known as "Zelda Wii U" at the time), they contacted Tantalus Media to create Twilight Princess HD as they had a great reputation for making HD remakes.
A limited edition bundle was also be released, including the game and the Wolf Link amiibo. In Europe and Japan, a Sound Selection CD was included in the bundle. In North America, the Sound Selection CD was a pre-order bonus exclusive to GameStop retailers. Pre-ordering the game in Amazon Japan also included a set of 20 postcards.
- Main article: Speedrun Records
|Any%||gymnast86||3h 15m 49s||May 30, 2020|
|Any% (Some Restricted Glitches)||Jacquaid||5h 17m 59s||Septemer 16, 2019|
|100%||Jacquaid||7h 59m 10s||May 11, 2020|
|100% (Some Restricted Glitches)||—||—||—|
|100% (No Amiibo Requirement)||D3lighted||7h 59m 10s||May 11, 2020|
|100% (No Amiibo Requirement, Some Restricted Glitches)||—||—||—|
|All Dungeons||gymnast86||4h 2m 29s||August 10, 2020|
|Obtain the Master Sword (Some Restricted Glitches)||Jacquaid||2h 32m 46s||September 19, 2020|
|Start at the Master Sword (Some Restricted Glitches)||—||—||—|
|All Mirror Shards||Jacquaid||3h 46m 36s||July 13, 2018|
|All Miiverse Stamp||Jacquaid||7h 36m 36s||April 2, 2019|
- Encyclopedia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 7
- "March will be a blockbuster month for The Legend of Zelda fans thanks to a trio of new releases in Australia and New Zealand, beginning with The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD for Wii U on March 5 and followed by the release of the New Nintendo 3DS XL Hyrule Edition system and Hyrule Warriors: Legends for Nintendo 3DS family systems on March 24." — THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: TWILIGHT PRINCESS HD, HYRULE WARRIORS: LEGENDS, AND NEW NINTENDO 3DS XL HYRULE EDITION PROVIDE A TRIFORCE OF RELEASES TO START 2016, Nintendo Australia & New Zealand, published January 22, 2016, retrieved January 22, 2016.
- Encyclopedia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 10
- Encyclopedia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 274
- Nintendo Direct 11.12.2015, Youtube, published November 12, 2015, retrieved November 12, 2015.
- Zelda Twilight Princess HD WiiU VS Gamecube/Wii Version Graphics Comparison, Youtube, published November 12, 2015, retrieved November 12, 2015.
- "Hero Mode (indeed called this in the west), can be accessed right at the start of the game. Link will take twice the amount of damage, and there are no health-replenishing hearts. As previously mentioned, the world is mirrored." — Brian, Zelda: Twilight Princess HD details recap – Hero Mode available at the start and more, Nintendo Everything, published February 4, 2016, retrieved February 4, 2016.
- Brian, Zelda: Twilight Princess HD supports Miiverse stamps, Nintendo Everything, published January 20, 2016, retrieved January 20, 2016.
- "Another element now officially confirmed is the implementation of Miiverse stamps. There are 50 in total that consist of Hyrule alphabets and the emotional faces of Link and others." — Brian, Zelda: Twilight Princess HD – GamePad usage, mirrored mode with extra damage, more, Nintendo Everything, published February 4, 2016, retrieved February 4, 2016.
- "Amiibo functionality is unlocked after completing the first Tears of Light quest to remove the Twilight from Faron Woods[...]" (Twilight Princess HD Official Game Guide (Prima Games) pg. 429)
- Nintendo, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD – Adventuring with amiibo, YouTube, published January 21, 2016, retrieved February 25, 2016.
- Brian, More on amiibo support in Zelda: Twilight Princess HD, Nintendo Everything, published January 20, 2016, retrieved January 20, 2016.
- Brian, Famitsu sheds light on Zelda: Twilight Princess HD's amiibo features, Nintendo Everything, published January 19, 2016, retrieved January 20, 2016.
- Brian, Zelda: Twilight Princess HD details recap - Hero Mode available at the start and more, Nintendo Everything, published February 4, 2016, retrieved February 4, 2016.
- GameXplain, amiibo Tour in Zelda: Twilight Princess HD (Quick-Start, Health Restore, & More!), Youtube, published February 21, 2016.
- GameXplain, Zelda Wii U Secret in Twilight Princess HD (Easter Egg), YouTube, published February 25, 2016, retrieved February 25, 2016.
- "According to pops with the beard, the Rupees taken won't be returned to treasure chests even if your wallet is full. ...with this, you should be able to more easily understand how far you have progressed..." — Brian, Zelda: Twilight Princess HD tweet (2/28/16), Nintendo Everything, published February 28, 2016, retrieved February 28, 2016.
- "You got the Ghost Lantern! This mysterious lantern will light up when there are ghosts nearby." — N/A (Twilight Princess HD)
- "You put green Chu Jelly in your bottle! It doesn't look all that tasty..." — N/A (Twilight Princess HD)
- "Jelly from a green Chu.
*Set it to [Y], [X] or [R] and drink it, though it doesn't look like it will do much..." — Collection (Twilight Princess HD)
- "In a short article which also contains a few comments from Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma, the magazine reveals that Epona handles better and Link has increased mobility while swimming." — Brian, Zelda: Twilight Princess HD – improvements for Epona and swimming, chests remain open, Nintendo Everything, published January 31, 2016, retrieved January 31, 2016.
- "A weak spirit is no match for the might of the Gorons!" — Goron (Twilight Princess)
- "A human's strength is nothing compared to a Goron's!" — Goron (Twilight Princess HD)
- "The GamePad was certainly important for improving the controls and realising some new functions that weren't available in the original versions of the game, but, to be honest, the main reason we wanted to make a Wii U version was the picture quality!" —Eiji Aonuma (Twilight Princess HD Miiting)
- "When the picture quality improves and you can see far into the distance, it makes the game seem all the more real, don't you think? And solving puzzles becomes even more fun. That's why we've always wanted to make a remastered version of Twilight Princess with better picture quality." —Eiji Aonuma (Twilight Princess HD Miiting)
- "[...] the map plays a very important role in this game. For these reasons, rather than phrase what we did in a negative way by saying that we removed the Wii Remote controls, I'd prefer to say that we focused on creating a great gameplay experience by making the most of everything that the Wii U GamePad has to offer." —Eiji Aonuma (Twilight Princess HD Miiting)
- "As you know, we've got our hands a bit full with making a new Zelda game at the moment, so even though we wanted to make Twilight Princess HD, we didn't think we could. That's when I found out that there was an overseas developer with a great reputation for making HD remasters." —Eiji Aonuma (Twilight Princess HD Miiting)
- "GameStop Exclusive Sound Selection CD!" — The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD with amiibo, GameStop, retrieved January 20, 2016.
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD SPECIAL EDITION, Amazon Japan, retrieved February 28, 2016.