The Nintendo Direct E3 press conference this week brought with it a number of surprises, such as the Microsoft-owned Banjo-Kazooie coming to Smash Bros Ultimate and the reveal of The Witcher 3 Switch edition, but the biggest shock was undoubtedly the reveal of the newest Legend of Zelda game. It will apparently be a full Breath of the Wild sequel, but does the trailer show a link to Twilight Princess? Is there a Breath of the Wild 2 Twili connection?
Obviously we have only the short (just over a minute) long trailer to go with Breath of the Wild 2, with no obvious characters barring Link and Zelda themselves, but there are certainly a lot of hints towards the events of Twilight Princess, and the Twili people introduced in that game. But who are the Twili? How do they appear in the trailer? Is that corpse with the glowing eyes who we think it is, and who does that glowing hand belong to? And is Twilight Princess even canon with the Breath of the Wild timeline? Let’s have a look.
What are the Twili?
The Twili are a race introduced in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess on Wii/GameCube, and have only officially appeared in that game to date. They are a peaceful race, generally, who live in the Twilight Realm, a dark mirror-reality. They are the descendants of a race referred to as the Interlopers, who attempted to invade the Sacred Realm (home of the Zelda gods who created the Triforce). It’s been theorized, through various hints in the game, that these Interlopers could have been Gerudo, the desert people who Ganondorf is a member of, or even the Sheikah.
The two most important Twili characters are Midna, the titular Twilight Princess, and her brother Zant. Zant usurped Midna and became King of Twilight, with the assistance of Ganondorf, who had been banished to the Twilight Realm. At the end of Twilight Princess, following the defeat of Ganondorf and Zant, Midna seemingly sealed away the Twilight Realm from Hyrule forever.
How do Breath of the Wild 2 Twili feature in the trailer?
For starters, there is no specific appearance of a Twili, Midna, Zant, or any beings we can definitely say are members of the Twilight Realm in the Breath of the Wild 2 trailer. However, there are a number of hints towards their appearance, or at least towards Twilight Princess. For one, the twisted, reversed synth music is different to anything used in Breath of the Wild, and is most similar to the soundtrack from Twilight Princess.
The blue-green energy that appears throughout the trailer is particularly similar to the Twilight Realm and the magic that Zant, Midna use in Twilight Princess, with floating symbols (particularly noticeable at the start and end of the trailer) that appear to be the same that the Twili use. Of course, there could be another explanation…
How does Breath of the Wild connect with Twilight Princess?
As mentioned above, it has been theorized that the Twili’s ancestors, the Interlopers, are actually the Sheikah. The Sheikah are called “the Shadows of the Hylians,” they wield dark magic, have distinctive red eyes, and the Eye symbol of the Sheikah makes several appearances on Twili forms, including on Zant’s throne. The Sheikah play a big role in Breath of the Wild, as they created all the various challenges around the map, and Sheikah technology bears a strong resemblance to the magical Twili technology.
An important question, then, is whether Twilight Princess is even part of the same Zelda timeline as Breath of the Wild, given how messed up the timelines of that series are. However, Zelda herself makes reference to the events of Twilight Princess, mentioning how the Hero is “steeped in the glowing embers of twilight.” It would seem Breath of the Wild follows that game then, as well as Ocarina of Time and Skyward Sword, which Zelda also mentions.
Who does the glowing hand belong to?
At the center of the mystery in the Breath of the Wild 2 trailer is the body in the cavern, which appears to have a glowing hand gripping its chest tightly. The hand seems to get removed by Link, which is when the body appears to wake. The design of the hand appears close to the tattoos on Midna’s arm, although the claws make it appear more sinister. Could it be Zant, returning to take revenge on the master who spurned him? Then again, whoever did this to the body seemed to be doing good… maybe.
Is the body definitely Ganondorf? If so what happened to him?
Another important question. At first glance, it certainly seems to be Ganondorf, with a similar headdress to the jewel-studded one the Dark Lord usually wears, particularly the one in Breath of the Wild. The image of him in dying in the shadowy picture above certainly looks like Ganondorf, with robes similar to his appearance in Wind Waker, complete with his fang-like teeth.
If it is Ganondorf, we might be witnessing the start of the explanation about how the Dark Lord became the monstrous shadowy living disaster in Breath of the Wild called Calamity Ganon. Ganon’s appearance in the previous Legend of Zelda game was certainly wildly different from any other Zelda game. A delve into the events that turned Twilight Princess Ganondorf into Calamity Ganon would definitely be interesting, and well worth a game of its own.