This part will take you through getting to the Gerudo Desert to reach the Arbiter's Grounds.

Hyrule Castle Town

Link decides that he's going to help Midna track down the Mirror of Twilight which is her last link to Zant. The first thing we want to do, however, is get over to where we will find our next hidden skill to learn, so select the Warp command to transport to Hyrule Castle Town. From this point on, Link can actively warp to whatever Midna-warp spots were created, and can transform between his Hylian form and his wolf form whenever he desires. However, using the Midna-warp requires Link to transform into a wolf, and he will stay in wolf form after the warp ends until the player selects him to transform to his Hylian form (indicated as "transform into human").

Shad Telma Auru Rusl Ashei
The members of Telma's resistance group: Shad, Telma, Auru, Rusl, and Ashei

Now that we're on the eastern gate to the city, let's enter and head for the south entrance. But as we enter, we will meet the mailman on our way in, who will give us a message from Telma, which will tell us to meet her friends at her bar. (Interestingly, if the mailman approaches you when you're a wolf, you'll automatically be changed back into Hylian form. A rather strange power he has over Midna's in those circumstances!) We might as well do what the letter says and head over to Telma's bar to meet them. The first of the three people is Shad, who sits on the left side of the table, a man who is more formidable at book reading than at the sword. The second is a woman warrior named Ashei, who stands behind the table, telling you about what she's heard of a place called Snowpeak. The third is a man in a helmet that won't say much at first, but speak to him again and he will remove the helmet briefly to reveal that he is Link's old friend from Ordon Village, Rusl, who has left Uli in the village to join the cause in fighting for Hyrule. The thing you want to do here is look at the map on the table. It will close in on a red spot marked out on Lake Hylia, where Shad says we will meet a man named Auru.

Once you're done getting to know the folks in Telma's little circle, head out through the south entrance of Hyrule Castle Town. To the right of the big set of stairs you'll find the glowing golden wolf, who will take you back to the white misty place where the Hero's Shade will teach you another hidden skill once you've shown that you've mastered the Back Slice. This new hidden skill is the Helm Splitter, which combines the Shield Attack with a sudden jump strike to get behind your opponent and hit him when he least expects it. (Like the Back Slice, this hidden skill is also similar to the parry attack found in the alternate-timeline game The Wind Waker.) As usual you'll have many tries to do this correctly.

Lake Hylia

With our hidden skill learned, let's warp over to Lake Hylia. You'll see the spot where you will find Auru appear on the map, so travel along the rock ledges to the right to reach that spot. You'll see a Howling Stone on one of the ledges, so stop by it, transform into a wolf, and listen to the musical pattern it plays so you can copy it and howl it to the glowing golden wolf in the moonlit place. You'll then see the golden wolf icon appear in a place east of Lake Hylia that we have yet to set foot on.

Auru is located on top of a tower we need to climb up so we can talk to him. He will tell us about a prison in the Gerudo Desert where criminals were sent to and then sentenced to the underworld with a "cursed mirror" located in that prison. He suspects that the evil that has spread over Hyrule is linked to that prison, which has now fallen to ruin. The desert is unreachable by any roads, but if we can talk to his friend Fyer, he may send us there another way. Auru will then give us a memo to show Fyer, saying that he once saved Fyer's life and now he can't refuse any favor Auru asks of him. Once you get Auru's Memo, take it down to Fyer and show it to him. He will now give you a cannon shot into the nearby Gerudo Desert free of charge, though he will charge us the next time we use him for air travel. Get inside Fyer's cannon contraption, and he will wind it up and shoot you over the mountains. Wheeeeee...

Gerudo Desert

Gerudo Desert (Twilight Princess)
The Gerudo Desert

After Link enters the sprawling desert he sees before him, Midna tells him that the dark interlopers that Lanayru the light spirit was talking about were the ones who were banished into the Twilight Realm, and in time became the people known as the Twili -- of which she says with some anger in her voice that she was a descendant. It was a peaceful place until Zant took control of it and turned all of the Twili into shadow beasts, banishing Midna from there so she could no longer return without his power. However, the goddesses left a link between her world and the light world by creating the Mirror of Twilight that was passed to the protectors of Hyrule. She needs Link's help to find the mirror so she can return to the Twilight Realm.

The first place we want to go to is a mesa in the southeast corner of the desert. As we travel across the burning sands, little creatures called Moldorms will swim through the sand and then jump out to attack us. Just avoid them by shifting side to side as you run. Once you reach the mesa, aim the Clawshot onto a tree to pull yourself up to a ledge, then aim at one of the floating creatures called Peahats so you can ride one a level higher up. You'll get into an enclosed-space battle with some shadow beings, which you can fight off either as a wolf or as a Hylian. You're probably better off doing it as a wolf so you can dispatch all three of them with a single Midna-charge. This will create a Midna-warp spot so you can return to the desert whenever you want and skip going to Fyer. At the top of the mesa is a long stone object that looks like part of the Bridge of Eldin that was removed earlier. Go near it and have Midna warp it over to the Bridge of Eldin so that we can repair the bridge, opening up another road we can use to get back to Kakariko Village. (This will also open up an entrance to a place called the Cave of Ordeals, which is this game's version of The Wind Waker's Savage Labyrinth.) Then warp back to Gerudo Mesa (which was where we've been) and continue north from there.

To the northeast there is an encampment of Bulblins, with some Bulblin archers on the towers and some on the ground near their animals. As we get closer to the encampment, a Bulblin on the tower will spot us coming and then send out two boar riders to shoot arrows at us. Use your arrows to pick off the boar riders as they draw closer, then take out the two archers on the towers. We can now ride on the boars the same way we rode on Epona, but pressing the A button will cause the boar to go berserk and dash in a straight line, crashing through whatever gates happen to be in its way. The gate we want to go through is one to the north, so guide the boar toward that gate and let her go hog wild! The boar will crash near some ledges we need to climb, causing Link to be thrown off. Climb up the ledges and then head to the passageway to your right. You'll see the glowing golden wolf that will take you to the white misty place where the Hero's Shade will show you the next hidden skill after you've shown him you mastered the Helm Splitter. This new hidden skill is the Mortal Draw, a quick-with-your-guns kind of move where Link has to chance pulling out his sword at a split second to strike at his enemy without targeting him. Again you'll have many tries to do this correctly.

Getting to Arbiter's Grounds

Arbiter's Grounds
The entrance to Arbiter's Grounds

From where you found the golden wolf, continue north and take the fork that goes to the left to enter the area of the Bulblin stronghold. An archer will spot us coming from a tower and start firing arrows in our direction. Aim for the archer with your arrows to take him out before you get too close. Proceed toward the gate and head to the right, taking out the Bulblin that's in your path. Stop when you get near the end and hide behind a wall separating you from some tents, then aim an arrow at a Bulblin archer on a tower to the north. Go north to the tents and take down the single Bulblin roaming around there. As you proceed north from that area, a Bulblin archer on another tower will spot you and start firing arrows. Get ready to fight off a horde of Bulblins as you continue north and to the west to go down a ramp leading south, then continue on westward and then north until you come across another series of tents with a charred animal on a spit. When we slay the Bulblin near the charred animal, we will get a small key. Take it to the gate that you passed by on your way over here to open a stable.

When you enter the stable, the gate will lock up behind you, and you'll see King Bulblin emerge from the darkness, wielding a very big battle axe that will knock you back if you get within its reach. Fortunately, King Bulblin moves around slowly, so do a Back Slice roll to get behind him to give him some good sword strikes. He will catch on and then knock you back with his big axe. Do another Back Slice roll to strike him from behind again, and he will fall down before picking himself up and leaving the stable, locking the door behind him. Then the entire stable will start to catch on fire, which means we must get out of here before we burn up with the stable! Get on the only boar that's in the stable, aim for the gate that you went through earlier to get in there, then let her dash through that gate and some others in her way.

You'll now appear outside the entrance to the Arbiter's Grounds. Go up the stairs to the right side of the porch where you'll see a lantern floating in the air. Change into a wolf and then go into sense mode to see that it is a Poe. Attack it and rip out the Poe Soul when it's down. Then change back into Hylian form and go through the door to enter.

NEXT: Going through the Arbiter's Grounds

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