The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD was announced in a Nintendo Direct on November 11, 2015. The enhanced remaster of the hugely successful original is mostly based on the GameCube version of Twilight Princess and developed by Australian developer Tantalus Media, who had already proved themselves capable with the Wii U versions of Mass Effect 3: Special Edition and Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Director's Cut under their Straight Right label.
Differences from Original Version
Important to note is the fact that this remaster is based on the GameCube original, not the Wii version which mirrored the entire game world and featured a right-handed Link to compensate for the intended setup where players hold the Wiimote in their right hand. Twilight Princess HD thus features the traditional left-handed Link and reflects the world of Hyrule oriented the original GameCube way. The right-handed world layout, reflecting the Wii version, can be accessed by playing in Hero Mode.
Most notably, the game comes with fully redrawn high-resolution textures, some of them completely new and slightly different looking from their originals. Some objects in the game have also received higher quality 3D models such as certain pillars or the exit door frame to Malo Mart in Castle Town. The strong bloom lighting from the original has been toned down in some areas, along with minor lighting changes and new graphical effects such as floor reflections, for example. However, a new dynamic lighting system as found in The Wind Waker HD was not implemented. The same upgrade to a native 1080p rendering resolution (while keeping the 30 frames per second refresh rate from the original) as found in The Wind Waker HD is in effect in this game, too.
User Interface & GamePad Support
Similar to The Wind Waker HD, the Wii U GamePad shows the inventory and allows for touch-manipulation such as assigning items via drag and drop along with quick access to some shortcuts. The HUD has also been adapted to resemble that of the previous console remaster with a cleaner style, smaller icons and +Control Pad shortcuts. Items can be equipped to four slots (X, Y, and R with ZL being saved for a specific yet to be revealed function) while the L button summons Midna. The touch-screen also features a dedicated shortcut icon that instantly triggers the wolf/Link transformation without having to summon and talk to Midna.
The Wii U GamePad's gyroscope can also again be (optionally) used for motion control-enhanced aiming of projectile weapons. When aiming projectiles, players can switch between first-person aiming and third-person aiming (like in the Wii version) in the settings menu. While it initially appeared that third-person aiming was exclusive to the mirrored Hero Mode, it turned out both view styles are available in both game modes.
New Item: Ghost Lantern
The Ghost Lantern is a new item available in this version of the game. It resembles the lantern that Poes carry around with them and it functions as a more convenient detection method for Poes which can be used by Link in human form. The lamp starts glowing if a Poe is detected in the area.
Tears of Light Collection
The number of Tears of Light that players have to collect to revive the Spirits of Light and dispel the twilight has been reduced from 16 down to 12. Additionally, the spawn animation has been sped up and the tears now appear closer to the player.
A harder difficulty is available again as well. Hero Mode can be activated right from the start, without having to finish the game first (like in Skyward Sword or A Link Between Worlds). Hero Mode has Link take twice the amount of damage from enemies and eliminates heart drops. Additionally, Hero Mode presents the game world in its mirrored form as it appeared in the Wii version of the original with Link even holding the sword in his right hand.
It can be further enhanced by tapping a Ganondorf amiibo to increase the damage intake from enemies to four times the usual amount. In fact, the Ganondorf amiibo effectively allows for three types of "Hero Mode" while only one of them is officially called that.
- Hero Mode: receive 2x damage + right-handed Link mirrored Wii-version layout + no health-replenishing heart drops.
- Hero Mode + Ganondorf amiibo: receive 4x damage + right-handed Link mirrored Wii-version layout + no health-replenishing heart drops.
- Normal Mode + Ganondorf amiibo: receive 2x damage + left-handed Link original layout + health-replenishing heart drops.
All Zelda-series amiibo are supported. The most involved features naturally comes with the Wolf Link amiibo which was specifically made for and released alongside this game.
This Wolf Link amiibo will grant players access to the Cave of Shadows, a new combat dungeon centered around Wolf Link which rewards those who master all of its 40 levels with the new Bottomless Wallet (given they do so while possessing a full Giant Wallet) which can store a maximum of 9999 rupees. The Cave of Shadows can be accessed from certain places across Hyrule and players can save their remaining heart count to the Wolf Link amiibo to try and beat their own record later but also use those stored hearts to replenish some life during the regular game.The Cave of Shadows is unlocked as players progress through the game with the first section becoming accessible upon completion of the first Tears of Light collection.
Additionally, the saved progress on the Wolf Link amiibo will let players skip the save file selection screen and jump directly to the associated game file from the title screen after scanning it in.
As a bonus, the Wolf Link amiibo will be compatible with The Legend of Zelda Wii U and the data stored on it from Twilight Princess HD can be imported to that game. Further details have not been announced.
Additional amiibo features:
- Link / Toon Link - Fully replenish arrows (can be used once per day)
- Zelda / Sheik - Fully replenish hearts (can be used once per day)
- Ganondorf - Receive 2x damage from enemies, can also be combined with Hero Mode for a maximum of 4x damage taken. Active until the player dies or restarts the game.
The game features 50 Miiverse Stamps hidden throughout Hyrule and the various dungeons, replacing some of the chests that previously only contained trivial amounts of rupees. Players can also post to Miiverse directly from within the game. The stamps include the full Hylian alphabet so players can write out messages in the game world's language.
- Certain animations have been speed up such as Link's sideways climbing animation.
- Rupee chests now remain open if the player encounters them with a full wallet.
- Mobility while swimming has been improved.
- Epona's handling has been improved.
- The Giant Wallet now holds a maximum of 2000 rupees instead of 1000.
- During the opening section, Link only has to catch one fish for the cat instead of two.
In North America, the game is only sold physically in a special edition bundled with the Wolf Link amiibo. Ordering at select retailers also nets customers a Twilight Princess HD Sound Selection CD in a cardboard sleeve.
In Japan and PAL regions, the game is also available without a bundle as a standalone release and the amiibo bundle option in those regions comes bundled with the Sound Selection CD in a standard plastic case for all copies. The Sound Selection CD features 20 tracks from the game and two orchestrated pieces from early trailers.
Twilight Princess HD Sound Selection CD track list:
- Title Theme
- The Legend of Zelda Orchestra Piece (Teaser Music)
- Ordon Village
- Midna’s Theme
- Hyrule Field Main Theme
- Light Spirit's Elegy
- Kakariko Village
- Death Mountain
- Rutela’s Theme
- Lake Hylia
- Boss Battle #3
- Midna’s Lament
- Sacred Grove
- Malo Mart
- Ilia’s Theme
- The Hidden Village
- Zelda’s Theme
- Final Battle #4
- Staff Credits Theme #1
- The Legend of Zelda Orchestra Piece (Teaser Music) #2