Artwork of Wolf Link and Midna
|First appearance||Twilight Princess (2006)|
|Appears in||Twilight Princess|
|Alternate form of||Link|
Children of Ordon
- "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.
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.
Upon entering an area 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 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.
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.
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).
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).
Wolf Link appears as a Trophy in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and is part of the Twilight Princess Trophy Box.
Super Mario MakerA costume for Wolf Link appears in Super Mario Maker. It is obtained via the Wolf Link Amiibo.
Triforce of Courage
During Link's first transformation, his Triforce mark glows briefly, possibly implying that he is in possession of the Triforce of Courage, and that its power may be the reason he is transformed into a wolf, rather than a spirit, as do most beings exposed to Twilight. This would also explain how Princess Zelda existed in the Twilight World, as she carries 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 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.
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). Given the Hero's Shade is stated to be the Spirit of the Hero of Time, his possession of the Golden Wolf form also fits this theory due to him being the former bearer of the Triforce of Courage and previous incarnation of Link. It is possible that the Hero of Time gained his Wolf form at some point following the events of Majora's Mask and/or gained access to the form simply due to him being a previous bearer of the Triforce of Courage.
Another possibility is that as the god's chosen Hero, Wolf Link is a divine transformation bestowed on Link by the Gods to protect him from the effects of Twilight and other harmful magic like the Shadow Crystal. Similarly the Hero's Shade being the spirit of the Hero of Time, may have been blessed with his Golden Wolf form, however unlike his successor in Twilight Princess, never had need of the form in his lifetime and instead uses it to guide his descendant.
Another possibility is that the Wolf Link form is a mutation brought on by exposure to the Twilight and Twilight magic (with the Shadow Crystal and Shadow Crystal Fog possibly being a fusion of Twilight and Ganondorf's dark magic). This mutation could either be due to Link's status as the Hero, his possession of the Triforce of Courage, or a unique bloodline trait possessed by the Knights of Hyrule (which could explain the Golden Wolf from possessed by the Hero's Shade).