- "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.
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.
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).
Wolf Link as it appears in Twilight Princess with the shackle and chain around his left foreleg, can be summoned in the game as a partner character for Link, by using the amiibo Rune with the Wolf Link amiibo. As he acts as Link's companion, Wolf Link is treated as a separate character in Breath of the Wild. Wolf Link will have three Heart Containers unless a higher number had been saved to the amiibo in the Cave of Shadows from Twilight Princess. He will disappear when all hearts are lost, but can recover hearts by hunting or eating foods given to him. According to a Loading Screen Tip, Wolf Link comes from another plane of existence and with the exception of Link he cannot be seen by people of Hyrule. Monsters and animals can also see and sense Wolf Link. He also disappears briefly when Link is reading something (like a sign or book) or when talking to other characters.
Link can feed Wolf Link with ingredients such as Raw Meat but not with dishes, except Roasted or Frozen dishes lying on the ground when injured. Link can command Wolf Link to "stay" in one spot and not to follow him, as long as Link does not wonder off too far from him. Link can ask him to "come" or call him from afar by whistling like for horses. Wolf Link will not enter towns or dwellings like the Woodcutter's House. If Link spends a certain time in these areas, Wolf Link will disappear and Link will receive a message that Wolf Link has returned to his world, but he can be later summoned back again.
Wolf Link is unaffected by heat, cold, or hot areas of Death Mountain, however he will take damage from lightning strikes or bomb explosions. Wolf Link is capable to kill animals, including wild wolves, except wild horses, small animals or bugs, as well as weak monsters such as ChuChus, Keese, and red-skinned Bokoblins. However he is unable to kill more powerful enemies such as Moblins, Lizalfos, Lynels, or mini-bosses. However he can help Link in combat by distracting enemies dealing with crowds or weaker enemies.
Shadow Beasts resembling Wolf Link appear frequently throughout Midna's Shackle moveset. Twili Midna can also summon a 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).
- "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
Wolf Link appears as a Trophy in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
- "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
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.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf (Welcome Amiibo Update)
Scanning a Link, Zelda or Wolf Link amiibo will cause Wolf Link, as a villager with the Smug personality, to move in; this is one of the few occasions in which Link actually speaks in an official Nintendo game. His camper has many Zelda-themed furniture items.
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.
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.
This may also explain Ganondorf's transformation into a flaming head when he was trapped in the Twilight Realm. Presumably, Ganondorf's Triforce of Power protected him from the Twilight Realm in the same manner that Link's Triforce of Courage protected him and Zelda's Triforce of Wisdom allowed her to retain her normal hylian form. Interestingly, Ganondorf's Twilight induced form appears as a flaming head which coincides with the Goddess of Power's association with fire. Similarly Link transformed into a Wolf which are wild creatures of the forest, which coincides with the Goddess of Courage's association with the forest and nature (both represented by Link's wolf form). Zelda retains her original Hylian form coincides with the Goddess of Wisdom's association with law and order which both represented by Zelda who is the reigning the Princess of Hyrule. Zelda retaining her Hylian form may also be a reference to wisdom itself as she retains the form of a sentient being (a Hylian). Additionally it is possible that the Triforce of Wisdom protects the user from transforming at all when exposed to certain environments, as it is implied that Zelda gave Midna the Triforce of Wisdom to heal her from the potentially fatal effects of being exposed to the light of the Light World and is what made Midna immune to the light afterwards, presumably by allowing her to exist in the world of light. However unlike Zelda, it was unable to restore her original Twili form, due to the curse Zant put on her, which was only removed when both Zant and his master Ganondorf died, so she remained in her Twili form. Presumably Midna resistance to light provided by the Triforce of Wisdom was retained after the Triforce of Wisdom was returned to Zelda, as she never showed any signs of being harmfully effected by it after she was healed. Thus the Triforce of Wisdom allowed Zelda to retain her Hylian form in Twilight, while it allowed Midna to exist in the light world which would normally be fatal to a Twili.
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.
Spirit of the Hero of Twilight
As Wolf Link is said to come from another plane of existence and cannot be seen by anyone in Hyrule in Breath of the Wild other than Link, suggests the possibility that like the Golden Wolf/Hero's Shade, Wolf Link in Breath of the Wild may be the spirit of the Hero of Twilight and the other plane of existence may be Ghostly Ether. Presumably Wolf Link is summoned to the living world to aid Link via the amiibo Rune which is possible as the Sheikah may have been responsible for the creation of the Howling Stones (due to the resembles to Gossip Stones and stone's Sheikah eye symbol) and as shown by the Shadow Temple the Sheikah are associated with life after death such as ghosts and the undead, thus the ability to summon a spirit from the afterlife with their advanced technology would make sense as would spiritual communication via the Howling Stones in Twilight Princess. It is also possible that Wolf Link may be watching over his successor much like how the Hero's Shade aided the Hero of Twilight, though as the current Link is already an accomplished Royal Knight of Hyrule and the Hero of Twilight legendary hero remembered by the people of Hyrule as shown by being mentioned in the description of "The Master Trials" DLC Armor Midna's Helmet (which a historically significant relic) and if Wolf Link is summoned from Ghostly Ether (as the Hero's Shade took on the form of a Golden Wolf while in Hyrule's plane of existence) he may not be able to or has no need to transform into a Shade form like the Hero's Shade did in Twilight Princess as he did so to train the Hero of Twilight. Additionally his inability to be seen by anyone other than Link resembles the Golden Wolf whom Wolf Link's companion Midna never mentions or comments on indicating she may not be able to see the Golden Wolf due to him coming from Ghostly Ether a plane of existence outside of Hyrule and the Twilight Realm. Additionally, Wolf Link is not effected by either heat, cold, or volcanic temperatures. While Wolf Link's fur coat can explain his resistance to cold, it would likely be a detriment to him in the volcanic temperatures of Death Mountain and dry heat of Gerudo Desert (however Wolf Link is known to have little problem with the desert heat in Twilight Princess though this may simply be due to the lack of climate based hazards in Twilight Princess). However if he were a spiritual being with a physical form, his ability to survive in desert heat and volcanic temperatures could be attributed to his nature as a spirit. Of course even a spirit with a physical body could be harmed by physical force (Poes and Ghini for example can be harmed physically despite being ghosts) or energy such as lightning and Remote Bombs (which are energy based explosives). Of course as Wolf Link is said to be a divine beast and a hero chosen by the gods, it is possible that Wolf Link's resistance is divine in nature or an aspect of his Wolf form (which protects him from being effected by the Twilight of the Twilight Realm and magic so it could conceivably protect him from other environmental hazards such as heat).