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Wolf Link

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"O brave youth... In the land covered in twilight, where people roam as spirits, you were transformed into a blue-eyed beast... That was a sign... It was a sign that the powers of the chosen one rest within you... and that they are awakening."
Faron

Wolf Link is an alternate form of Link, which he transforms into in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. When Link enters an area shrouded in Twilight, he transforms from his normal Hylian form into a sacred beast. As a wolf, Link is unable to use items and has lower defenses, but gains enhanced senses and the ability to talk to animals. In this form, Midna can ride on his back to assist him in combat and open certain doors. Interestingly, Midna is visible in Wolf Link's shadow even when she is not riding on his back. When Link is in this form, he gains many of the characteristics and traits of a wolf such as biting his opponents, digging, growling and causing allergic reactions to others.

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

Appearances

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Upon entering Faron Woods shrouded in Twilight for the first time, Link is abruptly transformed into his wolf form. The strain of the transformation renders him unconscious, leading to his capture and imprisonment in Hyrule Castle. During his imprisonment, Link meets Midna, who helps him escape and after helping him get accustomed to his new form, leads him to a room within a tower located within the castle. There he meets Princess Zelda, who reveals that Hyrule had been invaded by the King of Twilight, Zant and Princess Zelda was forced to surrender to him, leading to Hyrule being consumed by Twilight. After leaving the castle, Midna requests his aid in locating the pieces of the Fused Shadow. However, in order to return to his Hylian form, Link must restore the Light Spirits, eliminating the Twilight from their respective regions.

Later in his quest, Link is hit by Zant's Shadow Crystal, and is turned into a wolf by its evil magic, which prevents the Light Spirits from restoring him. Link acquires the Master Sword, the blade of evil's bane, in order to break the curse, expelling the Shadow Crystal from his body. Using both the Shadow Crystal and Master Sword, Link can shift between his Hylian and wolf forms at will from this point on. However, Midna will tell him not to do this where other people could see them in order to prevent a panic. With his wolf form freely accessible, Link can use Twilight Portals at will and dig in various areas outside of the Twilight. Shadow Crystal Fog found in the Twilight Realm will also force Link into his wolf form, preventing him from turning back into a Hylian until he exits the fog.

Wolf Link is an essential form to knock down Dark Beast Ganon in order to expose his weak point.

Gameplay

Sense

Wolf Link honing his senses

Wolf Link can perform attacks with his teeth and claws, as well as lunge nimbly toward enemies, although these attacks are not as powerful as those he can perform in his Hylian form with a sword. However, with Midna's help, Wolf Link can perform a special attack, during which Midna projects a circle of dark energy around Link, who can move while the circle is active, albeit rather slowly. Any enemies caught within the radius of the circle at any point will be "targeted" and surrounded with a crackling orange energy. Link can then lunge with great speed at each targeted enemy, hitting one after another in rapid succession as well as damaging any other enemies in his path. This attack is strong enough to defeat many types of enemies in a single hit. This is useful for defeating a group of Shadow Beasts at the same time, preventing them from resurrecting each other. After defeating a group of Shadow Beasts, Wolf Link is able to utilize the Twilight Portals they leave behind in order to warp between areas.

Wolf Link can also learn various scents, using his enhanced senses to track the person or object to whom the scent belongs. While inside the Twilight, Link can use these senses to give him a clearer view of the surrounding area, but doing so impairs his long-distance vision. This also allows him to see in dark areas which would normally require a Lantern, a good way to save money spent on Lantern Oil. He is also able to dig and communicate with most benevolent animals.

In certain areas, Wolf Link can use his superior jumping ability to reach places he could not normally reach in his Hylian form, provided he has Midna's assistance in guiding him to a safe foothold. Unlike his Hylian form, Wolf Link is not slowed down when moving through deep snow. He can also run faster in Wolf Link form, as he runs on four legs inside of two. This allows him to cross large areas quickly as Wolf Link, in a manner similar to riding Epona. As a result, it serves as an alternative means of crossing large expanses of land where he is unable to ride Epona, such as Gerudo Desert, Snowpeak, and deeper parts of Faron Woods. However in other areas, Epona gives Link more options for engaging enemies, making the Wolf Link form best suited for travel in areas Epona cannot access. Also unlike Epona, Wolf Link cannot jump over fences, though he possesses the ability to climb.

Most human and Hylian characters in the game react with fear to Link's wolf form. Exceptions to this include Coro, Jovani, Ashei, Agitha, Iza and the Postman. Ones that have a connection to him, such as Zelda and the Light Spirits, easily recognize Link is not actually a wolf. Interestingly, Queen Rutela also seems to recognize that Link is actually a Hylian, during his first visit to Zora's Domain after thawing it out. Also, being in wolf form will not prevent the Postman from recognizing Link when delivering mail, and Link will immediately transform back to Hylian form after the Postman shouts his name. Even Epona is capable of deducing Wolf Link's true identity, whether she saw the transformation or not. Many other animals give hints that they know who Link really is.

In Twilight Princess HD, there is a special Mini-dungeon called the Cave of Shadows which can be unlocked with the Wolf Link Amiibo. The dungeon is unique as it can only be completed as Wolf Link. Completing the dungeon grants Link a new Wallet upgrade (if Link has already obtained the Giant's Wallet from Agitha, then he will receive the new Colossal Wallet which holds up to 9,999 Rupees).

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Breath of the Wild Wolf Link Link & Wolf Link (amiibo companion)

Wolf Link in Breath of the Wild

Via the amiibo Rune, Wolf Link will appear in the game as a partner character for Link if the Wolf Link amiibo is used. As he acts as Link's partner, Wolf Link is treated a separate character in Breath of the Wild.

Interestingly, Wolf Link retains the shackle and chain around his left foreleg from Twilight Princess.

Spoiler warning: Spoilers end here.

Non-Canon Appearances

Non-canon warning: This article or section contains non-canonical information that is not considered to be an official part of the Legend of Zelda series and should not be considered part of the overall storyline.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

"Link's alternate form in the Twilight Realm. In this form, he cannot use weapons such as swords or shields, but he can attack with a ferocious wolf bite. He also has a number of unqiue skills inherent to his beast form, such as a keen sense of smell, the ability to dig, and a loud wolf howl."
— Trophy Description
Super Smash Bros. Brawl Trophies Wolf Link (Render)

Wolf Link appears as a Trophy in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

"Hey, who let a wolf in here? This is the spot for a trophy of Link! The wolf does look cool, though... Oh, oops! That wolf is Link, from Twilight Princess, after he steps into Twilight. It's actually a pretty handy transformation. Maybe the Master Sword can help him transform at will..."
— Trophy Description
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U Wolf Link & Midna (Twilight Princess) Wolf Link (Trophy)

Wolf Link appears as a Trophy in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and is part of the Twilight Princess Trophy Box.

Hyrule Warriors/Legends

Midna Shackle (Hyrule Warriors)

Shadow Beasts resembling Wolf Link appear frequently throughout Midna's Shackle moveset. Twili Midna can slso summon larger version (which she briefly uses as riding mount) along with two normal size ones during one of her combos as part of her Mirror moveset. A single one also appears during Twili Midna's victory animation. Although they appear similar and even use several of Wolf Link's attacks from Twilight Princess, it can be assumed these wolves are a manifestation of Midna's power and have nothing to do with Link himself.

Statues of Wolf Link appear in the Temple of Souls stage along with statues of Link and Young Link. The Wolf Link amiibo can be used to receive Level 3 versions of Midna's Shackle provided that both Midna and her Level 3 weapon have been unlocked. If Midna hasn't been unlocked, the player will receive random gifts (weapons, Materials, or Rupees). If Midna has been unlocked, but her Level 3 hasn't, then the player will receive the highest weapon level she has currently unlocked (Level 1 or Level 2).

Super Mario Maker

Wolf-Link-Super-Mario-Maker-ds1-670x377-constrain

Wolf link in super Mario maker.

A costume for Wolf Link appears in Super Mario Maker. It is obtained via the Wolf Link Amiibo.

Non-canon warning: Non-canonical information ends here.

Theory

Theory warning: This section contains theoretical information based on the research of one or several other users. It has not been officially verified by Nintendo and its factual accuracy is disputed.

Mark of a Hero (Twilight Princess)

A Triforce mark on Wolf Link's paw

Triforce of Courage

During Link's first transformation, his Triforce mark glows briefly, implying that he is in possession of the Triforce of Courage, and that its power may be the reason why he transformed into a wolf, rather than a spirit, as do most beings exposed to Twilight. This could also explain how Princess Zelda existed in the Twilight World, as she is also hinted to be carrying the Triforce of Wisdom. If this is the case, it is unknown why Link became a wolf instead of keeping his regular Hylian form. It is equally questionable why he would even turn into a wolf in the first place, although it should be noted that the Hero's Shade (who is the Hero of Time and Link's ancestor) also has a wolf form, which could mean it is actually hereditary in nature. It is alternatively possible that Zelda's ability to retain her Hylian form is a unique aspect of the Triforce of Wisdom or she is just more experienced at using its power.

Triforce Transformations

Another possibility is that each Triforce piece has the ability to transform its user and/or grant them the power to take on a different form (as Ganondorf transforms into Ganon via the Triforce of Power, Zelda transforms into Sheik with the Triforce of Wisdom which is also used to transform Tetra into Princess Zelda) to suit their needs at the time. It is likely that the users can retain their transformations even if they lose their respective piece of the Triforce (as shown with Tetra when Ganondorf took the Triforce of Wisdom). Some transformations could require certain conditions to trigger, such as resurrection from death (which may have caused Ganondorf's original transformation into Ganon), intentional transformations (in Sheik's case), or involuntary transformations brought on by dark magic or substances (possibly in Wolf Link's case). This theory can be extended to the Hero's Shade as well, considering his former role as wielder of the Triforce of Courage.

Divine Beast

Twilight Princess Hero's Shade Golden Wolf (Render)

The Hero of Time's Golden Wolf form from Twilight Princess

Another possibility is that as the Golden Goddesses' chosen Hero, Wolf Link is a divine transformation bestowed on Link by them to protect him from the effects of Twilight and other harmful magic like the Shadow Crystal. Similarly the Hero's Shade may have been blessed with his Golden Wolf form by the divine entities as well, since he was also chosen by them to be the Hero of Time. Evidence supporting this is Faron's assertion that Link's Wolf Link form is a sign that he is the Hero Chosen by the Gods.

Theory warning: Theories end here.

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