A village needs saving in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight...

A village needs saving in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD. Credit: Nintendo

PLOT It takes an elven hero to save a village.

RATING T for Teen

DETAILS Wii U; $59.99

BOTTOM LINE Forest gumption.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD is a high-definition remaster of the original GameCube and Wii version of the game that embraces the idea of companionship from the beginning. The elven hero Link is an orphan living in a hollowed-out tree just outside a small forest village. Link helps the villagers herd goats, scavenges for rupees to buy a slingshot to fight insect infestation and learns to fish to feed a neighbor’s cat. The game, and Link’s heroic journey, are framed by these menial tasks — simple, repetitive labors of collective living.

Link’s struggle to accept the rite of working for the betterment of another is accompanied by a pulp metaphor about transformation — losing oneself for another. He magically discovers the ability to transform into a wolf after stumbling on an alternate dimension called the Twilight Realm.

Trouble in the Twilight Realm has ripped through the Hyrule, incapacitating the land’s three guardian spirits and leaving Princess Zelda locked in an amber-encased tower surrounded by globular shadow monsters marked with glowing red and turquoise glyphs. Riding on Link’s back is a yellow-eyed imp named Midna, an outcast from the Twilight Realm. Midna needs Link’s help to reassemble a Twilight tripartite artifact that was used to corrupt Hyrule’s spirit guardians.

Like previous Zelda games, Twilight Princess takes the form of an open world, but trying to put this freedom into practice is often pointless. The game is never difficult. Its puzzles and combat sequences feel like being handed a Rubik’s cube two twists away from being solved. It’s an approach to design that makes every act seem both revolutionary and easily attainable, like a toddler discovering he can stand for the first time or realizing it is the motion of his own hand that causes his rattle to make its peppered bust of sound.

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