Twilight Princess Dungeons: Palace of Twilight

Axle the BeastMarch 12th, 2013 by Axle the Beast

Okay, this one’s a bit weird for me to review. The Palace of Twilight is the second to last dungeon of Twilight Princess, and like the true final dungeon, it’s a bit shorter and less impressive than you’d think; both of the game’s final dungeons dial it down a bit and are on the shorter, more straightforward side. On paper this is a lame move and normally it would be something I’d criticize the dungeon for more than I do, but I think at least in this case I can’t really say the dungeon is bad because there is something it does pretty well at: Level design. But I’ll get to that in a bit.

First off, let’s discuss the dungeon’s themes. This is where I feel the dungeon is the most disappointing, but in a way it’s not exactly the fault of the dungeon on its own. The Twilight Realm is discussed throughout the game; it’s ultimately a major part of the story and discussed pretty frequently throughout the game, never more specifically than by Midna just before entering it:

Some call our realm a world of shadows, but that makes it sound unpleasant…

The twilight there holds a serene beauty… You have seen it yourself as the sun sets on this world.

Bathed in that light, all people were pure and gentle…

This quote, on top of the place’s frequent mentions throughout the game, give players a pretty hefty set of expectations about what to expect from the Twilight Realm. A realm of shadow, but of the serene and surreal beauty of twilight. But as it turns out, the actual Twilight Realm we see while journeying through the outdoor sections of the Palace of Twilight doesn’t really look particularly serene or beautiful. Perhaps that’s a matter of personal interpretation, but I honestly found the Twilight Realm to be a little plain and, when not, just a little eerie. I wouldn’t have described it as serene, beautiful, or even all that interesting. It was simply a mess of shifting black clouds and shining reddish light in an abyss over which floated a few nondescript rocks in the distance and, of course, the palace the player is set to explore.

So I think the Palace of Twilight, in terms of properly portraying the Twilight Realm in its outdoor areas, fails pretty significantly. But as I said, I don’t think that’s entirely the dungeon’s fault alone, and what I mean by that is… Well, think about it: Can you really expect a game to showcase and properly expand on an entire world and do its lore justice within one area, a gameplay-focused dungeon no less? I don’t think so. So, yeah, certainly the Palace of Twilight fails at portraying the Twilight Realm as a whole, but there’s no way it could have succeeded at doing that alone; there should have been more to this area than just the single dungeon. Perhaps an overworld area the size of Gerudo Desert or Snowpeak would have sufficed.

So how did the rest of the dungeon — the parts that purely depict the palace itself and not the broader Twilight Realm — fare?

Well, to be honest they’re mostly a series of relatively unimpressive dark rooms. They did go through some effort, though. The architecture of this dungeon is very distinct and honestly completely unlike any other dungeon in the game. Several elements of the dungeon, from the black openings in the ceiling, to the creepy red grates use as Clawshot targets, to the glowing patterns on the walls, come together to give it a fairly unsettling feel, which fits a dungeon set in the Twilight Realm. I would say that all of the right ideas were here, and were even put together in the right way. The dark colors mixed with bright and unsettling lights, the weird almost cyberspace-esque energy effects, the Twilight monsters and strange, surreal Zant-themed foes… everything was in place for this to be a perfect dungeon for its themes. But I can’t bring myself to congratulate the dungeon in the visual department; I just think a little something was missing. Like several dungeons in the game, I think the Palace of Twilight lacks flair, and fails to have the creative touch needed to make it utterly impressive and memorable.

In terms of its soundtrack… I dunno. It’s passable, I suppose. Its theme has two parts, the first being a lighter theme that plays in the outdoor sections, first in the courtyard and then on the balcony, while the other is a darker theme that plays in the interior sections that make up the rest of the dungeon. The former is a pretty fitting theme, and I might say it’s the only part of the outdoor sections that actually starts to fit Midna’s description of the Twilight Realm. That said, it’s not exactly creative or long, and it’s actually pretty repetitive. I guess that’s alright considering these sections are short, but I would have preferred them be longer and have a better tune. The latter part, which plays in the indoor sections, is actually an arrangement of the theme heard during the Twilight portions of the early game, where you played as Wolf Link. It’s got more sounds, most of which are heard at different points in the original Twilight theme but are heard more constantly here, along with the new semi-vocal effects heard in the outdoor theme as well. I’d say this song is pretty fitting overall and certainly helps to connect the area to the Twilight the player has already been through (the familiar enemies help too), but I also think its a little too familiar and not very fresh, and while that doesn’t make it bad, it does make it not stand out. That’s the key thing with both songs that play in the Palace of Twilight: They’re both passable, but neither stand out. On a more unusual note, I will say that the pseudo-vocal sounds are very reminiscent of the Ganon’s Tower theme from The Wind Waker, and while that helps contribute to the fairly powerful and unneeded sense of the familiar, on at least a subliminal level it might help those who’ve played that game and do not know that there’s one final dungeon after this one to think it is, indeed, the final dungeon. I dunno what that counts for, but it’s worth noting.

So how about its gameplay? Surely, if I criticize this unusual dungeon’s art design, I must also have problems with its gameplay and level design, right? Well… yes and no. I mean, it’s certainly no creative powerhouse in that department; the Palace of Twilight doesn’t really excel in creativity overall anyway. It does have a number of things you don’t find in other dungeons in the game, ranging from “kill all the enemies” puzzles centered around the elusive Zant Mask enemies, to puzzles designed around transporting a Sol — a sphere of light — through rooms while trying to keep it away from the alarming Zant’s Hand.

And I actually like those sections, they’re just not overly interesting. Particularly taking out the Wizzrobe-like Zant Masks in order to reveal chests — that’s just incredibly basic for a Zelda game. So the Palace of Twilight, again, succeeds at distinguishing itself from the rest of the areas in the game, but doesn’t really do anything that flashy or new, although escaping Zant’s Hand is certainly memorable.

However, I think that I actually enjoy the gameplay of the Palace of Twilight for one main reason: It’s driven purely by level design. This isn’t a dungeon where you’re supposed to gawk at the scenery; it’s mostly black walls. This isn’t a dungeon where you’re supposed to encounter progressive, mind-bending new gameplay ideas; all of the puzzles are familiar in their own ways. It’s also too easy, particularly for an end-game dungeon, and some more difficulty would have made it better. But what the dungeon does do is put you through a series of entertaining gameplay challenges without bogging you down with excess thematic elements or overly creative gameplay. Normally I enjoy those things, but sometimes I like to play a game or an area in a game that discards these, and rather than try to put the player through some entire overdone experience, just gives you a simple romp through a well-designed level. The Palace of Twilight is tight and pretty well-designed, and while it can get a bit boring as you do a lot of the same things, it’s always over quick enough, before things can get too old. This turns its shortness into a strength. In this way, the Palace of Twilight reminds me of most of the dungeons in Phantom Hourglass, as I’m sure I’ll get to whenever I review that game’s dungeons; all of the dungeons in Phantom Hourglass are driven by level design, and indeed, so is the rest of the game. That’s the case here in the Palace of Twilight, and I think that’s okay.

One thing I really do hate about the gameplay here, though, is the Dark Fog that forces you to turn into wolf form. This was an alright idea on paper that in practice just became annoying and exposed you to the menu lag of trying to change forms way too often. It didn’t need to be here and should have been replaced by a need for Wolf Link for some creative puzzles and gameplay sections, like perhaps utilizing his super jump thing to cross some gaps in this already vertical dungeon.

I’d say the dungeon’s single biggest fault is its difficulty. It’s way too easy, even more so than other dungeons in the game. Its puzzles are generally overly easy and simple — especially with the Zant Masks, as I’ve said — but its enemies are even more so. While it does have the sense to throw them at you in numbers, the fact is that every foe you face is one of the same foes you fought in the Twilight sections throughout the early game and got used to with a minimum of changes (the only significant one being Shadow Baba Serpents, and Baba Serpents are also basic enemies you got used to a long time ago). For an end-game dungeon, and especially one so pivotal to the story and supposedly the home of a major villain, this dungeon should have been a lot more challenging. More Zant-themed enemies that could have been like extensions of his will, as well as bigger and more frequent enemy swarms or just new and more challenging shadow monsters, would have all been welcome.

In terms of bosses, the Palace of Twilight mainly pits us against Zant. The miniboss, Phantom Zant, is a clever play on the classic Phantom Ganon, and I say clever because they simply made him into a hologram, in keeping with the almost science-fiction look of the Twilight Realm. It’s not a big deal, but I dunno, I laugh every time at Phantom Zant. Something about it just gets me, and I love the concept. The fight itself is mostly a copy of the Wizzrobe miniboss from The Wind Waker, which may very well be my favorite Zelda miniboss; like the Zant Masks throughout the dungeon, Phantom Zant mimics a Wizzrobe by teleporting around. Instead of simply blasting you, however, it summons hordes of foes like that other miniboss did, pitting you against swarms of shadow creatures. This is a great idea that makes actually effective use of the recycled foes, and should have been followed by the rest of the dungeon more closely; perhaps Phantom Zant could have constantly appeared and sent swarms after you as you explored the Palace of Twilight? In terms of the fight, it’s entertaining, if still too easy; Phantom Zant should have teleported more and summoned faster so he was harder to hit, and should have summoned his swarms more frequently and sometimes on top of each other. Otherwise it’s excellent, and its neat in that it’s the only miniboss that reuses the Death Sword’s battle theme, and that’s good because it’s an epic yet slightly eerie theme that fits an end-game fight against a foe like Phantom Zant. It’s also fun to think that, perhaps, Zant is the one truly controlling the hologram. What if he controls the Zant Masks and Zant’s Hand directly, too? Fun to think about, anyway.

As for the fight against Zant himself… well, a lot of people criticize his change of heart and suddenly whiny and insane attitude, and certainly, I don’t think anyone’s going to argue that such an aspect of his character couldn’t have been handled far better. But at the same time… honestly, when it happened I just laughed out loud. And as a result of his overpowering weirdness, the entire fight against Zant kept me laughing. From the bizarre, virtually hip-hop remixes of previous battle themes that make up his fight theme as he swaps between familiar battlegrounds (and I think this song has excellent progression as it first seems typical and epic, then just gets weird, and finally intense before the final round), to his hilarious animations and sounds when hit or having his weakpoint exposed, the fight is just strange. It’s far too easy, and I think it could have benefited from its own scenery instead of recycled battlegrounds (perhaps he could have created weird Twilight-based reconstructions of them instead?), but like with the dungeon’s level design… I just find it fun. I enjoy the confrontation with Zant because it’s simply entertaining. It could have been better designed and definitely should have been for such an important character and such a late boss, just as his character development should have been handled better… but I still enjoy it a lot.

Ultimately, it’s pretty clear that they rushed the Palace of Twilight and just slapped it together out of existing or easily-implemented elements, and designed a mostly unimpressive set of scenery on top of it. The dungeon doesn’t impress or inspire, either thematically or in terms of gameplay, and it’s mostly filler; an area put into the game just to lengthen it rather than provide the player with a meaningful experience, which is a sad thing to see in the site of the climactic encounter against a villain you saw for most of the game. The multitudes of recycled enemies and Zant’s reused battlegrounds are the most obvious examples of them simply slapping the dungeon together. But I do still manage to enjoy it every time I play it because its gameplay-driven and while it’s not impressive or new, it’s at least entertaining in that area. Maybe it’s a bit mind-numbing, but it never lasts too long and it’s simple fun, and sometimes I’m okay with a plain gameplay experience like this. After all, the main reason I play video games is simply to play them.

So I think the Palace of Twilight isn’t special by any means, and certainly should have been bigger and better, but I still have fun with it; it’s not terrible, or even bad.

How about you guys? What did you think of the Palace of Twilight? Did it do the Twilight Realm justice? Was it impressive on its own? How about the battle against Zant? Tell me in the comments, and look forward to next week when I review the final dungeon of the game, Hyrule Castle!

Share this post


    This was a great dungeon and Zant was my favourite boss battle of the game! The second zant hand annoyed me soooo much. I would have done anything to have been able to kill it. The dungeon is easy but the dungeon seems so tranquil. The music was fitting and also surprisingly calming.

    • Midnafan

      I hated Zant’s hands too. They made me rage sooo many times. :(

  • Joshua Anderson

    Its also easy to not get the boss key and have no idea where to start looking, cause nothing directs you to its location!

  • Connor Hough

    This is my favorite TP dungeon! I love it! The atmosphere is so cool.

  • Anonymous

    This was the only TP dungeon that made me want to listen to GLaDOS in the background. It had the look and travel/puzzle feel.

    • JuicieJ

      Ha, wow, it really does. I never thought of that. If only it had the difficulty… :(

    • toonlinkuser

      I don’t think GlaDOS would fit at all. The portal world is sterile and white, but the Palace is dark and dirty.
      Bad dungeon anyway.

      • Anonymous

        Ok. Why are linked posts failing me now? This is the fourth one! And, I had 2 perfect pictures of a room in Portal 2 and a room in TP:PoT…

        Portal 2 has a darker, worn-down, somewhat overgrown look when compared to Portal 1. If you take out the plants and the holes in the roof/walls that allow natural light to filter in, those two pictures I mentioned would be ALMOST IDENTICAL in floor layout!

        Let me try printscreen and that picture button below…

        • toonlinkuser

          Although Portal 2 was darker then the first game, I don’t think the two are comparable. The Palace was a sad, dreary, gritty place. Even though aperture had dark graphics sometimes, it never felt scary because of the voice acting. Having GlaDOS call you fat while you are chased by a disembodies hand just wouldn’t work.

  • Jam9t3

    Dear Nintendo,

    I have really enjoyed your latest game, ‘Twilight Princess’ however, I have to point out that I found the boss battle with Zant to be extremely disturbing, It gave the impression that he was having a heart attack while his spine was dislocated, he then went over to the balcony and begged the giant face of fire for some paracetamol. This is enough to make a child cry, so I must point this out, however, keep the cut-scene with dark links and white eyes, because it was enough to make me ROFL. Have a nice day.

    Yours Truly
    LOZ FAN 929,898,483,754
    (aka TP player 474,387,575)

    • Linkfan99

      Dude, “latest game Twilight Princess”? Looks like you’re the one smoking the cannabis.

      • Jam9t3

        I wrote this to make it look as if it was written in the past, which fits how this article was written recently.

        • Linkfan99

          Oh, my bad. No offense, btw, just making a little joke :P

      • Midnafan

        apparently he’s been doing so for the last 3 games too. :/

    • Midnafan

      1: Zant’s whole thing was supposed to be disturbing. That was kind of the point, he was insane. 2: “the giant face of fire” was Ganondorf’s spirit (what he was reduced to in the Twilight) and that was a flashback 3: i know that all may be enough to make a child cry. but what child too young for TP knows about all the drugs you named off? 4: It’s a T for Teen game dude. 12 and younger shouldn’t really be playing it anyways. 5: They can’t go back and change a game that came out 6 years ago, and certainly can’t change the most pivotal cutscenes. 6: what the heck’s all that at the end and 7(that’s a nice number): You do realize you’re commenting on a fan website and no one from Nintendo is likely to ever see that right? :/

      • Jam9t3

        Whoa, calm down man, you’re taking this a little too seriously, It was a joke, I’m not that dumb as to write a letter to Nintendo in a fan website, I thought that was pretty clear, because the whole letter is ridiculous, which makes it a joke.

        • Jem

          Well I’m with Midnafan. Zant’s whole character design was supposed to be imposing, frightful, and give an aura of power. Then you realize he’s just a psycho, a really really pathetic creature, honestly. Looked at analytically (Because my ap lit classes have ruined me) it is a prime example of what greed results in; what falsely assumed power creates. Just my input :D

          • Jam9t3

            Yes I know all that, which is why I made a joke about it, seriously some people just don’t know what a joke is.

          • Midnafan

            you have to somewhat indicate it’s a joke for people to understand it’s a joke though. There are too many trolls these days, you gotta watch yourself so you’re not mistaken for one and cussed out at some point. :)

          • Midnafan

            I’m not even in AP lit yet and i look at almost every video game i play with an analytic mind. that’s why i really only play RPGs, and is probably the number one reason i like Zelda. There is soooooo much to analyze and appreciate in a video game. :P

        • Midnafan

          you’re one of those people that thinks they can convey sarcasm through text aren’t you? at least try to use emoticons. sorry about the overreacting though.

  • Zachary Morris

    I think that Zant’s character is crazy and funky like that on purpose to show the connection of the shadow tribe and dark tribe from Majora’s Mask. Zant dances around almost exactly the same way as Majora’s incarnation.

    I think the reason for warping around the different battle areas was, like you mentioned earlier, to make the player think that this was the final dungeon and bring the game in full circle. When I played the game the first time I thought that Zant was the final boss, so Ganon’s inclusion was a nice twist.

  • TheFrostDragon

    The Zant battle was one of my favorites in the game, particularly the last phase.

  • Ordona

    I find it difficult to remember the Palace of Twilight in any great depth because the only thing that stands out in my mind is the horror of Zant’s hands. They couldn’t even hurt you but wow they freak me out so much.
    Zant’s brilliant though. He’s properly insane and I love that. Maybe it wasn’t the right time for humour in the game but seeing him stomp around like a child is one of my favourite parts.

  • wanderingAlien

    Yes, the dungeon was enjoyable, but too short and easy for a final dungeon. But what disappointed me most was the Twilght Realm section. It wasn’t even necessary IMO. Zant could simply have covered a place in Hyrule again with twilight and put the palace there.
    I really wished for a section at least half Hyrule’s side where we could do sidequests to help the Twili or interact with them in required events. Or tackle one or two main dungeons.

  • Westar

    I think a fitting word for the Zant battle is “intresting” because of his change in nature, it catches your attention on him more that if he just was as “bad villain” as you would have expected. Also, I fail to see any more than a centence about the Zant hand, which I think is a great and fun idea, escaping the same rooms backwards, hunted by this intimidating “creature”. I just think they would have made it into a fight in the last rooms before you escape with the sols. They would also have made the whole twillight bigger at least in the background, it can’t be any fun to rule just your own house/castle… (I also think the Ook-based fight theme is just hilarious!) The Zant battle itself is just wonderful, it’s the funniest boss in the whole TP because of its many stages. But I would have seen a bit of remix of the backgrounds, as you mentioned though…

  • erikingvoldsen

    Short? This dungeon was nearly a full 60 minutes. The typical dungeon in this game was 50 minutes. This is was actually one of the longer ones (My source for this is just counting the minutes on the ZD TP Video guide).

    I have to disagree about appearances. I found the dungeon, particularly the inside, to be eye candy. Albeit not as breathtaking as City in the Sky, but definitely one of the most amazing looking dungeons in the series. I don’t know exactly what is meant by “flair” but that makes me think of the term “flashy” which just seems…wrong. Why would this dungeon be flashy and bright? It’s one of the last dungeons, currently being used as the fortress of darkness.

    While I found the combat easy in this dungeon, I also found its puzzles to be the hardest among 3D games. Not so much in figuring out, but moreso in executing. Like trying to get away from the Zant Hand. No other 3D title has a dungeon with puzzles that still challenge me like that after initially doing them.

    • JuicieJ

      “Flair” means… well, visual fair. Impressive scenery. Something dungeons in Zelda are typically great at… except for the GameCube games. (I know I criticize these games a lot, but that’s one thing that was significantly lacking in quality as compared to previous and future titles).

  • Lupine Hero

    This is my personal favorite dungeon in the game, with my favorite boss as well. (Zant is also my favorite Zelda villain.) And though I can’t argue with the lack of difficulty, it’s still really fun, just like the rest of the game. And Phantom Zant is also my favorite miniboss in the game. Seriously, even if it isn’t really that dangerous, a huge swarm of shadow keese is rather intimidating. Plus, one can get a lot of entertainment by using various methods to defeat him, such as weaker swords, wolf form (which can actually be easier), and even the spinner! Yes, you can kill him with the SPINNER!!! (though it takes quite a while…)
    NOTE: “personal favorite” is not necessarily equivalent to “best in my opinion.” I am perfectly willing to admit that this dungeon, and in fact the game itself, is not the best. The dungeon (and the game) is simply the one I enjoy playing the most.

  • w826

    I hate this dungeon, its my hate to timed things, the reason why I didnt complete Twilight princess, after all those years……

    • Midnafan

      took me 3 years to beat, but that’s cause i kept starting over for no reason at all. i ended up memorizing the first half of the ZD guide for it, and long spoiled the ending via YouTube. Finally completed it a little over a year ago with all but a poe and the last level of the Cave of Ordeals, and haven’t touched it since. :)

  • HylianHero

    The dungeon could have been better designed, but I loved the boss battle against Zant. Definitely my favorite boss of Twilight Princess.

  • Greenhill Deku

    This dungeon was a bit different, but it was meant to be that way. I felt like Zant was a little crazy, but I liked the level switching idea. The dungeon itself got a little boring to me with the same dark atmosphere and textures and the easy puzzles/ enemies. I thought that the dungeon could have been a bit more difficult for a 2nd to last dungeon… 6/10… Zant Boss 8/10.

  • Someone

    Too bad that there is only one sentence about the Zant Hands, which I found an amazing idea and most memorable of the dungeon.
    I remember myself screaming a lot when those hands chased me, it’s just frightening and I really wanted to complete every movement without the soll as fast as possible. It’s one of the few moments in a Zelda game were I really ran around in panic at some points.
    I also liked the Palace of Twilight, it was enjoyable, which is why I don’t mind the flaws particularly.

    • Zdunce

      Oh my god. The first timeiplayed tp I got up to the second Zane’s hand and FREAKED OUT!!! I never got past them until I played it again on my second run through. I love the whole ” GET THE BALL AWAY FROM HIM” aspect and it was my favorite part of any Zelda dungeon beside the ever panicky silent realms in ss (which technically aren’t dungeons..)

      • Midnafan

        Stupid silent realms! i wouldn’t be able to beat those if i didn’t have my sister pointing out all the stuff i didn’t notice while i’m having a heart attack cause i somehow manage to step in waking water right when i don’t need to. :’(

        • rjhewgyrfu (aka ruifgyqforug)

          lool. Watch a speedrun. Whenever I’m having a hard time with something, I watch a speedrun. It helps because it points out the fastest and most effective tactic (of course, you don’t have to go as fast as that, but it’s the tactic that counts). It just helps.

          • Midnafan

            like i said, i’m practically magnified to waking water and watchers even if i chose the right route, i still end up caught right when i don’t need to. perfect example: Farore’s silent realm: grab last tear, turn around right into watcher. i got caught trying to climb up the ledge that led to the exit. :’(

    • Midnafan

      I ran around in a panic the entire game, most particularly in all 4 parts of the fight with Ganondorf. but that’s just me. :D

    • TheMaverickk

      How did you guys handle the Wall Master from Ocarina of TIme. I found those to be far creepier, or “Ahh” worthy, lol. I remember my first encounter with them and I didn’t see it coming and sure enough was grabbed. It was a clever twist on the original hands coming out of the walls from the original.

      I felt Zant’s Hand’s was cool, but it wasn’t scary, it moved slow enough, and it was easy to stun. Not to mention he doesn’t want to grab you. Just the orb.

      On the topic of hands though…. Wall Masters need to be brought back into the Legend of Zelda…. and I don’t mean Ceiling Masters or Floor Masters either. Those aren’t the same.

      I mean honest to goodness if you stand near a wall you might get grabbed with out any warning by a hand morphing out of it. That would be creepy.

  • Cameron

    Am I the only one who liked Zant’s sudden change of attitude? To me, it really proved that he isn’t this fierce and powerful king, that underneath he is just an immature creature who wanted power, and now that he has it, he is acting like he is something to be feared, though he really isn’t.

    • Midnafan

      That is a really good point. :) I guess a lot of people (including me) just didn’t like how sudden and drastic the change was. It made sense for Zant to go crazy, and while the way he did it was certainly disturbing on the most basic level, it just didn’t fit. My money says a better voice for him would’ve made all the difference.

      • Dark Void

        I think the battle with Zant was amusing and really fits his insanity and change of attitude. Zant’s voice would be awsome if it was like Mother Towsen’s from Star Wars Clone Wars.

        • Midnafan

          Though equally ridiculous (mostly because, again, of the voice) i do agree Zant’s battle perfectly fit his breakdown. Seriously though, if they had just not given him that stupid voice, i think things would have been totally different.

  • ryguy

    Gone are the days when the last dungeon is the biggest and hardest. I miss that.

    • toonlinkuser

      Hyrule Castle was the last dungeon. It was great.

  • adrienne michelle

    I liked it aesthetically _ the darkness and eerie looking neon colors, and thought it was pretty sweet in the fact that you *create* the stairs n platforms (movement mechanisms?),but I thought the twilight realm itself fell far short of the mark.

    • Midnafan

      i thought that stuff was really cool too. kinda hurt my eyes though. :/

  • Midnafan

    The entire end of TP really feels sped up and slapped together. It probably could have been really good if it was all more developed, but then the game would be closer to the length of SS, if not longer. I really hated Zant’s change too. he was such an epic and serious character, and the change, while fitting and really disturbing when you think about, was too sudden, drastic, and downright weird (hated his voice big time). it completely belittled Zant as a character, especially the flashback on Ganondorf. Zant’s insanity should’ve been more progressive. they at least did that by progressively revealing more and more of what was hidden under all that robe and mask, but the craziness should’ve gone with it. I also think Zant’s ultimate death scene could have been better given it’s a teen game. i mean they already got themselves into that area, why not of gone all out? of course this is Nintendo and it didn’t really take that much to get a T rating. -_- P.s. I’m finally free! Stupid Grapes of Wrath…

    • Joshua Anderson

      Yeah, the latter 3-4 dungeons and everything in-between (which wasn’t much), felt like they flew by. he best part of twilight princess is really up through the arbiters grounds. After that the amount of content drops off drastically. My favorite dungeon, however is actually the one following arbiters grounds(Snowpeak Temple)

      • Midnafan

        i really liked the beginning of the game. i guess i liked the simplicity in the very beginning (and the goats. ma :P ), the adventure of exploring new areas ( that continued through the rest of the game luckily, but its was the most massive in the first half) as well as the air of mystery,especially around Midna. By Arbiter’s Grounds, everything gets real serious and your goals are narrowed down to pretty much one instead of the initial several. Guess all that’s why I kept starting over and took 3 years to beat the game. :P

  • Mseevers95

    review the Master Quest Dungeons next

    • JuicieJ

      He’s gonna review The Wind Waker’s dungeons next because of The Wind Waker HD. (Really, he is.)

  • Midnafan

    This discussion reminds me of my little bunny Zant, and his name fits so well. He’s orange, and i think he got dropped on his head when he was little cause he’s a little derpy. Plus he likes to pull Zant’s whole twisting around thing by flipping his head over and standing on his tip toes to smell something. He also likes to play dead (not fun with a rabbit in the middle of summer). I feel so bad for the little guy right now, cause he’s all skinny and depressed. :(

  • Princess Niki

    I hate the part with Zant’s hand. The stressful sounding music that plays when it gets to close makes it even worse.

  • hyourinmaru

    like axle, i always enjoy the palace of twilight and zants sudden mental breakdown. which makes sense when you consider his pshycological makeup. plus like he said his breakdown made the battles pretty entertaining. personally though what i liked about this area is neither aesthetics or gameplay, its when midna basically murders zant right in front of link. it was soooo unexpected (seriously dude, stabbed him through the chest with her hair hand….thing, and ripped him apart) i couldn’t utter a single word.

  • Marcos Grabauskas

    Well, for starters I did like the outside part of the Twilight Realm. I liked the colors, and that song is just perfect, it feels comforting and numbing at the same time. But I wanted it to feel like a real place, not just these 2 “houses” and the palace behind them, maybe more like a twilight version of the castle (but not exactly a dark copy). The insides weren’t great, I liked those bright colors in contrast with the dark background, but it was just too simple, it was lacking something. Zant’s Hand was just bad. Part because it bored me part because it unsettled me (which actually makes it good). The interior of the palace had better puzzles, but still it wasn’t as great as THE Palace should have been.

    As for Zant… Well, he’s my favorite of all the bosses of all Zelda games, thinking strictly of the battle. It was really entertaining, a fun battle overall. The song was really great, I loved all those different and crazy parts. The changing background was also nice. Besides just being cool, it also showed that all those wicked places were really like that because he transformed them. And it was really fun, him being that wacky character, with crazy sounds and crazy moves. A little strange, because he was supposed to be the big bad guy and not this insane little guy, but really fun after all. And Midna finishing him off was also a great touch.

    So that was Twilight Realm for me. A lacking, rushed dungeon that still had some good parts, with my favorite boss making up for it.

  • Zero Wat

    I loved the sky in the outdoor areas, and I loved the almost holographic lines running on the walls. The enemies were unimpressive, other than the Zant’s Hand sequences, but I did really like the Phantom Zant miniboss, and I actually did like the Zant boss fight, especially just HOW insane he gets, it really made me feel like this guy wanted to DESTROY everyhing, but I do like the idea of twight versoins of the battlegrounds.

  • IMFWeirdo

    I loved the Twilight Realm’s design! It was like this strange spunky sci-fi..can’t quite put it in words. It reminds me of TRON: Legacy, only cooler. So, I disagree with Axle’s disappointment, it did feel serene and beautiful and eerie, although maybe too much to the gloomy side. Although I agree that I expected it to be bigger, being a whole world in itself…but I guess the devs didn’t have enough time to construct a whole new overworld. I loved hologram Zant too; it fit the spunky eerie sci-fi theme perfectly. And Zant going crazy wasn’t ridiculous to me at all; it made him 200% more interesting as a villain!

  • Name

    The Zant fight managed to top Goht for my favourite boss fight in the series. I loved it that much. However, it felt that they put all their effort into that fight, and rushed the actual dungeon through, thinking that the boss fight would be able to compensate. While it is a good fight, it can’t quite gloss over the Palace’s flaws.

  • Leynard

    I thought the point was that for Midna and the twilight people, they think that their realm is beautiful but hylians and we who are humans/day people don’t think so?

  • miriel gonzalez

    axle is a little girly boy

  • zombie_eat_flesh

    What if, in the Zant fight, they had your previous battle with that miniboss or boss shown in the sci-fi Twilight-esque form?

  • Linkisawesome

    I am terrified of Zant hands!

  • hunter zarkos

    i liked it when zant freaked out.not beacause it was funny or entertaing.i liked it beacause his change of heart and how he acted almost scared me. i thought he would be stren and evil like ganondorf, just another serious villan,it was a nice change of pace. although they could have shown him snap a little bit throughout the story i found it alot more fun him spazzing than if he was just like a ganondorf

    • Zzen

      I think of him like skull kid wearing Majora’s mask he tries to be the ultimate villan but he’s really just spaz.

      • TheMaverickk

        Except that Skull Kid actually was never playing the role of villain.

        He wasn’t using the mask in order to be evil and destroy the world, his intentions were actually relatively light hearted… he was pulling pranks.

        Turning Kafei into a kid, that was a prank. Standing on top of the Clock Tower and shaking his booty at Link as he looks through a telescope…. a prank.

        He just wanted to use the power of the mask to prank people and mess with the order of things. Majora though on the other hand twisted that desire into something more sinister during those three days mind you as the pranks become more and more dark and twisted. In the end Majora’s own will for destruction over powers Skull Kids more childish desire to prank and cause mischief.

        • Zzen

          True you’ve bested me at phsyco analyzing zelda charecters I feel defeated thats never happened

  • Amber Evans

    Zant’s hand was the freakiest, scariest part of the whole entire game for me. I remember having to stop the game for awhile, when I played it the first time, to calm myself because it freaked me out so much.

  • zerofox21898

    At first I hated Zants boss fight, but looking back, Zant is now one of my favorite boss fights, despite how easy he was. I don’t know why, but I liked how he was all calm and cool untill the very end when everything started to fall apart. Then he goes berserk and loses his sanity. It just seems so opposite of the character he normally was. I found it creepy and twisted.

  • TheMaverickk

    The only other dungeon in Twilight Princess that can match City in the Sky in regards to some poor design choices. The only advantage this dungeon has over CIty in the Sky is that it’s slightly less tedious and overall a shorter dungeon.

    Still as clever and cool as it was securing the Sol Orbs in the dungeons left and right wings, the fact that they play out largely exactly the same is something I’m very critical of. It’s not as if one of the wings is more challenging then the other, either. With more obstacles or challenging path to take. So in the end what is a cool and solid experience becomes less special when you are made to do it over twice.

    Not to mention neither wing of the dungeon is particularly hard to begin with. Enemies could’ve been placed in such a way that the simple task of delivering the orbs would prove a challenge, but for the most part enemy placement is pretty sloppy. Not helping is the weak nature of the enemies (featuring the few Twilight forms of weak enemies). Basically the collecting the sold orbs could’ve been more thought out to make it more of a challenge while using the simple elements of the dungeon.

    The later half of the dungeon actually is guilty of tedious game play akin to City in the Sky, although slightly less annoying. Jumping from one floating platform to the next and slowly riding your way up. It’s not terrible but it really was just drawing out the dungeon a little to make it seem longer then it is. Again extremely easy to figure out, and not much of a puzzle if at all.

    The battle with Zant is probably the highlight of the dungeon, and for the most part I felt the battle itself was actually really well done. It was a clever way of working in your entire boss experience. That said it doesn’t change the fact that Zant as a villain was terribly handled after the mid way point of the game, as humorous a character as he turns out to be.

    Meh…. that’s really what this dungeon is.

  • Hoff123

    Damn hands…

  • nello

    I thought this dungeon was scary! that evil hand had me so freaking scared. then again, im scared of any weird colorful creature. like those evil clams?? no me gusta. just no O.O

  • npatoray24

    i never really understood all the hate the zant battle got, i mean i enjoyed it

  • Pingback: Twilight Princess Dungeons: Hyrule Castle

  • Pingback: Why Are Final Dungeons So Often Short?

  • Pingback: Zelda | Twilight Princess Dungeons: Hyrule Castle | Zelda

  • Pingback: Zelda | Why Are Final Dungeons So Often Short? | Zelda

  • Jeffers

    I don’t think it’s a bad thing that this dungeon didn’t really introduce any new, huge, innovative puzzles, etc. and wasn’t that difficult; it’s more focused on story. Also, personally I liked how in this dungeon Zant reveals his truly childish nature, it gives his character more depth and shows why he was never fit for ruling the Twili.

  • Pingback: Offsite Post Roundup – The Great Darkness - Axle the Beast