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Not to be confused with Twilit.

The Twili are a race of shadow beings who inhabit the Twilight Realm in Twilight Princess.[2] Although usually a peaceful tribe, the Twili are transformed into hideous creatures known as Shadow Beasts by a traitorous member of their kind, Zant, and used to invade Hyrule. Link is able to return several of them back to their normal forms when he encounters them in the Twilight Realm. He is even aided in his quest to stop Zant by Midna, a Twili and the princess of the Twilight Realm.


The Twili are descendants of a tribe of Hylian sorcerers from Hyrule,[1] who are referred to as Interlopers. Eons ago, the Interlopers were condemned to the Twilight Realm by the Golden Goddesses of Hyrule as punishment for their misgoverned attempt to use magic to claim the Triforce.[3][4] Their old magic became known as the Fused Shadow, an instrument of dark power.[5] However, during their failed attempt to conquer the Sacred Realm, their Fused Shadow was split into four pieces and scattered throughout the Twilight Realm and Hyrule. The tribe lived and evolved in the Twilight Realm for centuries in isolation, mere shadows of what they once were, as over time they became accustomed to their surroundings and came to accept their fate.[6] While some learned to love the beautiful peace that could only be found in Twilight, others felt that they were being oppressed by the people of the Light World.[7] The Twili lost their most powerful abilities but they still possess some magical power and teleportation is possible for the strongest Twili and Zant is born from darkness.[1]

Twili transformed by Zant's curse

The Twili's leadership structure was built around the Twili with the strongest magical abilities.[1] After centuries of rule, the Twilight Princess Midna became one of many rulers in a long line of royalty. It was around this time that a rebel force grew from within the Twilight, spearheaded by Zant. It is revealed that Zant believed that he was the heir apparent to the throne, but the position was passed over.[8] The royal family had made this decision as Zant's ambitions reminded them of why their ancestors, the interlopers, got sealed in the Twilight Realm in the first place.[9] Distraught, Zant ran outside the Palace of Twilight to vent his frustration. In the midst of Zant's exasperation, Ganon appeared to him and stated that he would lend him his power to take over the Twilight Realm and Hyrule.[10][11] In a fit of rage, Zant used this power to transform most of the inhabitants of the Twilight Realm into monsters and, as a form of humiliation, transformed Midna into an imp creature. Midna's only hope was to find the magic of her ancestors, the Fused Shadows, and use it against Zant to save the realm and her people.

The Twili are usually seen as enemies, but when Link goes to the Palace of Twilight, he reverts several of the Twili to their true forms.


The Twili have glowing markings on their skin, which is black and pale bluish-gray in color. This complexion may be due to lack of full light as the Twili transformed after they were ejected from the World of Light. They also have oval eyes that are normally red, yellow, or orange. They are usually quite thin and much taller than Hylians.

The Twili rarely speak, with most choosing to only communicate with their fellow Twili.[1] The distinct markings on their chests signify their clan.[1]



TMC Forest Minish Artwork Names in Other Regions TMC Jabber Nut Sprite
Language Name Meaning
Japan Japanese 影の一族 (Kage no Ichizoku) Shadow Clan
French-speaking countries French Twilit
Federal Republic of Germany German Schattenvolk Shadow People
Italian Republic Italian Stirpe dell'ombra
Persona dell'ombra
Shadow race
Shadow person



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Encyclopedia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 30
  2. Encyclopedia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 55
  3. "Among those living in the light, interlopers who excelled at magic appeared. Wielding powerful sorcery, they tried to establish dominion over the Sacred Realm." — Lanayru (Twilight Princess)
  4. "What do you think happened to the magic wielders who tried to rule the Sacred Realm? They were banished. They were chased across the sacred lands of Hyrule and driven into another realm by the goddesses." — Princess Midna (Twilight Princess)
  5. "Wielding powerful sorcery, they tried to establish dominion over the Sacred Realm. It was then that the goddesses ordered us three light spirits to intervene. We sealed away the great magic those individuals had mastered. You know this magic... It is the dark power you seek…the Fused Shadow." — Lanayru (Twilight Princess)
  6. "In the shadows we regressed, so much so that we soon knew neither anger nor hatred...nor even the faintest bloom of desire." — Zant (Twilight Princess)
  7. Hyrule Historia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 114
  8. "Because I believed I would be the next to rule our people! THAT is why! But would they acknowledge me as their king? No!" — Zant (Twilight Princess)
  9. "Traitors, ha! You want to know why none would call you king? It was your eyes, Zant. All saw it, a lust for power burning in your pupils... Did you think we'd forget our ancestors lost their king to such greed?" — Princess Midna (Twilight Princess)
  10. "It was then, in the thrall of hatred and despair, that I turned my eyes to the heavens...and found a god." — Zant (Twilight Princess)
  11. "I shall house my power in you... If there is anything you desire, then I shall desire it, too." — Ganon (Twilight Princess)
  12. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess/Unused Text, The Cutting Room Floor, retrieved April 7, 2022.