In many ways The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was exactly the game many of us fans had asked for after the bright and cartoony entry in the series that was The Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker. It had more realistic graphics, the dual-world mechanic from A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time, and it was dark. Holy cow was this game dark! The game starts with you village being raided, its children kidnapped, and the entire realm of Hyrule being plunged into darkness! We’ve seen the kingdom brought to ruin before (see: Ocarina of Time), but that was just a hypothetical future. On top of that we have a freaky villain who is himself possessed by Ganon and objects that corrupt any citizen of the light that comes into contact with it. (Scary! — \/ )
The theme above can be found in the midst of one of the game’s darkest moments, just after Link and Midna learn the dark secrets behind the corrupt and forbidden magic of the Fused Shadow. They are given a taste of the power Zant wields. He knocks out the Water Guardian, reverts Link to wolf form, discards the Fused Shadows as though they were inconsequential, and finally curses Midna to die a slow, painful death by exposing her to the light of an angry Water Guardian. At this point in the game, Zant’s power appears absolutely insurmountable and our closest ally may not live to see another day.
This piece is the sound of engulfing malice, of a darkness so deep that not even brightest light’s most valiant efforts could ever hope to escape it. It’s the smothering feeling of despondency, the rank taste of defeat, and the blinking out of the last flicker of hope. As this plays we see the cautionary tale we were just told come to life. Zant is the very image of one who has been consumed by power, no longer feeling mercy, no longer beholden to any ties of decency, compassion, or even the responsibility of the ruling mantle he has usurped. Zant is a blight upon the world, of both Light and Twilight, a blight into whose hands Link and Midna have now fallen. What hope could there possibly be for anyone who falls into the hands of such an enemy?
When you listen to this tune, what do you hear? Is it despondency? Perhaps something more sinister? For those who haven’t played the game, what kind of scene does this theme bring to mind?
Since it’s Halloween tomorrow and we’re already talking about the creepiest scenes in just about any zelda game, here’s the scene that immediately precedes this confrontation. The creepiest part starts at 2:33, but the whole scene in general is pretty darn unsettling. Check it out if you dare! 🙂