Wolves were first introduced in Twilight Princess through Link's Wolf Link transformation which occurs when he is exposed to Twilight. Shortly after his transformation, Wolf Link is captured and thrown into the dungeon of Hyrule Castle where he is saved by the Twili imp Midna and meets Princess Zelda who explains of the Twilight King Zant's invasion of Hyrule which forced her to surrender to save her people and caused Hyrule to become covered in Twilight. With the aid of Wolf Link returns to Ordon Village, but is mistaken for a monster due to his beastly appearance. Midna helps him obtain a sword and shield and he is restored to his original hylian form after collecting all of Tears of Light and restoring Light to Faron Provence. While on his way to the Forest Temple, Link is attacked by a Golden Wolf and transported to the world of Ghostly Ether which reveals itself to be an ancient deceased warrior known as the Hero's Shade, whom is actually the spirit of the legendary Hero of Time. The Shade teaches Link his first Hidden Skill and tells him to seek out howling stones. Throughout his adventure, Link makes used of both his Wolf and Hylian forms, eventually managing to obtain the Master Sword which frees him of the effects of the Shadow Crystal that had trapped him in wolf form after his and Midna's disastrous encounter with Zant. While traveling the mountains of Snowpeak, Link encounters the wolf-like White Wolfos though it is unknown if they are wolves native to Snowpeak or just wolf-like creatures that inhabit it. The Yeti Yeto is not surprised by Wolf Link's appearance and chooses not to eat him as he already caught a Reekfish for his Soup. After Link defeats Blizzeta, it is implied by both Yeto and Yeta that they occasionally eat wolves native to Snowpeak but it is unknown if they are referring to the White Wolfos or animals. Besides Wolf Link, the Golden Wolf, and White Wolfos, no other Wolves appear in Twilight Princess though it is implied by several characters that they exist in Hyrule. Through Wolf Link it is shown that Wolves have keen senses that allow them to sense spirits and seen digging patches in the ground. Wolf Link can attack using his teeth and tail, as well as has a powerful jumping ability which he can use to travel up to out of the way areas with the aid of Midna. It is unknown if all of these abilities applies to all Wolves, as Wolf Link is referred to as a divine beast and thus his and the Hero of Time's Golden Wolf forms may be a divine protection of sorts.
Unlike Twilight Princess, Wolves appear as wild animals that can be found in certain areas of Hyrule. They can be hunted for meat and several different breeds can be recorded in the Hyrule Compendium. However they are one of the few wild animal species in the game capable of attacking Link though they will sometimes flee from him. If a pack of them are hunting Link, he can kill a member or two of the pack which will usually cause the others to flee. Like most hostile wild animals, Link cannot target wild wolves making combating them somewhat trickier. Wolves communicate by howling which they use to alert the rest of their pack, though can also alert Link to their presence. Wolves tend to circle around Link before slowing down to prepare lunging bite attack that can damage Link. Generally, Arrows are the best way to dispatch them, though spears and other melee weapons also work. Unlit Arrows and Shock Arrows do not effect the meat they drop, while Fire Arrows and Bomb Arrows can roast the meat they drop, while Ice Arrows will freeze the meat they drop if the Ice Arrow kills them. Ancient Arrows will obliterate wolves completely preventing Link from obtaining their meat.
There are three breeds of wolf, the "Maraudo Wolf", "Wasteland Coyote", and "Cold-Footed Wolf". Wolf Link appears as a companion for Link who can be unlocked by using the amiibo Rune and the Wolf Link amiibo. Wolf Link can attack enemies or wild animals, and assist Link in battle. Link can also feed him to restore his partner's hearts. Wolf Link is hostile to wild wolves and will hunt and kill them like he does with other wild animals. Interestingly, Wolf Link will also eat the raw meats dropped by wolves if he is injured which technically counts as cannibalism (however it should be noted that as an incarnation of Link, Wolf Link is originally a Hylian and thus explains why Wolf Link would be willing to resort to eating wolf meat much like his current incarnation can). According to a loading screen tip, Wolf Link comes from another plane of existence and with the exception of animals, monsters, Yiga Clan, Guardians, and Link himself cannot be seen by others.
Like in Twilight Princess, Wolves themselves are viewed as dangerous animals especially by travelers who carry weapons such as Traveler's Spears to fend off wolves and other beasts. However they are not as dangerous as bears and monsters. All three species of wolf drop high grade Raw Prime Meat and Raw Gourmet Meat, though Cold-Footed Wolves tend to drop Raw Gourmet Meat more frequently than Maraudo Wolves and Wasteland Coyotes.
- "These wolves are not only carnivorous but can also be downright fierce. They're highly aggressive and aren't afraid to attack people. They hunt in groups and surround their prey as a means of bringing it down. That said, if one of their own is injured, the rest are wise enough to run away. They communicate via howls, so if you're wandering the forest and her their call, you had best take care."
- — Hyrule Compendium
- "This contentious beast is native to the Gerudo region. It makes its home in the desert, so it doesn't have a problem with hot, arid climates. They do hunt other beasts and small animals but more often turn their sights on people. They're a threat to anyone traveling through the desert."
- — Hyrule Compendium
- "This breed of maraudo wolf lives in snowy, mountainous areas, such as the Hebra Mountains. They travel in packs similar to their maraudo relatives but are considerably tougher thanks to having adapted to their harsh environment. They're made even more dangerous by their white fur, which provides a natural camouflage in the snow."
- — Hyrule Compendium
In both Hyrule Warriors and Hyrule Warriors Legends, Midna can summon special Wolf-like Shadow Beasts based on Wolf Link. Midna can ride them in both her Imp and Twili forms (though in the case of Twili her wolves only appear during one of her combos and during her victory cutscene).
Relationship with Wolfos
It is unclear as to whether wolves and Wolfos are related or different species. A possibility is that Wolfos may be either a monster species of wolf, or wolves transformed into monsters by dark magic. Another possibility is that Wolfos may be spectral or demonic wolves. The White Wolfos in Twilight Princess have a ghostly appearance and may actually be the spirits of "Cold-Footed Wolves" similar to how Keatons are said to be the ghost of Foxes. This may be a reference to the japanese yōkai Ōkami, the powerful wolf spirit that either takes a person's life or protects it.