A young stable boy called Link watches the sunset with his fellow villager Rusl, a swordsman. Rusl tells him that according to legend, sunset is the time of day when their world intersects with the fabled Twilight Realm. He also asks Link if he would be willing to bring a specially made sword and shield to the royal family of Hyrule in his stead; Link accepts.
In his hometown, Ordon Village, Link goes about his business, like playing with his little friends, and helping to herd goats with his horse Epona. He also receives a wooden sword from Rusl to practice with. Suddenly, a mischievous monkey from deep in the woods appears, and the children immediately go into pursuit. Link follows their trail into Faron Woods with Epona, receiving a lantern on the way from a shopkeeper to help him navigate the dark caves. He finds one of the kids and a monkey imprisoned by Bokoblins, hostile forest dwellers, in front of the old Forest Temple. He frees them and returns home, meeting Rusl on the way back, who suspects that the monkeys' strange behavior foreshadows some kind of upcoming event.
The next day, Link proceeds to Mayor Bo's house in order to collect the sword and shield that he is supposed to deliver to Hyrule Castle. However, Bo's daughter and Link's best friend Ilia notices that Epona has been hurt during fence-jump training. She furiously takes Epona to the nearby forest spring in order to heal her. Link follows, but the children will only grant him access in exchange for his wooden sword. When Ilia hears from the children how Epona got injured when Link saved one of them from the Bokoblins, she forgives him. But at that moment, the village is invaded by a group of Bokoblins riding on boars. Link is knocked unconscious, and Ilia is taken away by a huge, fat Bokoblin leader. The leader sounds his horn, and a strange portal appears in the sky.
Link wakes up, completely alone in the spring. In pursuit of the Bokoblins, he finds that the road to nearby Faron Woods has been closed off by a strange black wall. When he approaches it, markings appear over it, and suddenly a large hand pulls him inside. He finds himself in Faron Woods, but the forest has been transformed into a place of perpetual dusk. Link then starts to convulse, and changes into a wolf. The agonizing process renders him unconscious, and a glowing symbol of three triangles appears on one of his paws. A masked shadowy creature drags him away, not noticing how they are being observed by a small black impish creature wearing part of a helmet.
Link awakens inside a prison cell. The black imp introduces herself as Midna, and offers to free him if he does exactly as she tells him. Midna leads Link through a shadow creature-infested series of catacombs and aquaducts. Her magic allows Link to jump considerable lengths, and defeat multiple enemies at once. The area also contains Hylians; however, they only exist in a spirit form as long as they are in "the Twilight", and cannot see or hear Link. The catacombs finally lead to a tower, which ends up on the high rooftops of Hyrule Castle. In one of the tower chambers, they meet Princess Zelda, who has retained her Hylian form and seems to be entirely unaffected by the Twilight. Apparently, Midna knows Zelda and refers to her as 'Twilight Princess'. Zelda assumes that Link is the person that Midna was looking for, the one "blessed with the chosen power of the Gods". Zelda has a similar power, manifested by a Triforce on the back of her hand, like Link. She tells Link that Hyrule Castle was attacked by the king of the Twilight Realm and his Shadow Creatures. She was forced to surrender, causing Hyrule to be invaded by Twilight, and turned in a shadow world where its inhabitants could only exist as mere spirits. Although Midna is from the Twilight Realm as well, the Shadow Beasts are now hunting her. But before she can explain why, Zelda sends them on their way, as a guard is approaching.
Outside, Midna teleports Link back to Ordon which has not yet been invaded by the Twilight, so he can go and protect the village kids. For an undisclosed reason, he will remain in wolf form for the time being, and he has to promise to help Midna with her own quest. Midna (who exist in a shadow form in the Light World) says he can only enter the Twilight with the help of someone who comes from the Twilight Realm, and she will assist if Link secures a sword and a shield first. Ordon Village has been invaded by evil forest creatures, but as a wolf, Link can conveniently talk to other animals. A squirrel tells him that the forest creatures attacked and kidnapped all the children. The villagers are on high alert, and Link has great difficulty evading them, since they think he is one of the monsters. From conversations, he learns that Rusl was wounded while trying to defend the children. The other villagers are considering using the sword and shield that Link was supposed to present to the Royal Family in a search and rescue mission to find the children. Link secretly collects them, and returns to the woods.
While passing the forest spring, Link is beckoned over to the spring by a voice. The voice then warns him that a Shadow Beast is approaching. Immediately, the area is closed off by an invisible fence, and a teleportation vortex appears overhead, releasing a Shadow Beast into the arena. However, the beast is no match against Link in his wolf form. The arena disappears, but the vortex remains, and suddenly, the spring starts to glow in a golden light. From the water, a golden goat-like entity appears; it introduces itself as Ordona, one of the four Light Spirits in Hyrule bound to a spring. Ordona explains that the power of Light has been stolen from the other three Light Spirits, which has caused the other parts of Hyrule to be invaded by the Twilight. Link has successfully prevented the Light in Ordon from being stolen, but should Hyrule fall, then soon the entire Light World will fall in the hands of the king of the Twilight Realm. Link must save Hyrule and revive the other Light Spirits, by recovering their lost light in the other areas. Ordona also mentions that reviving the Light Spirit of Faron may be the only way for Link to be transformed back into Hylian form. Link immediately proceeds to Faron Woods.
Midna helps Link with entering the Twilight at Faron Woods. They proceed to Faron spring, but on the way, Link is again trapped by three Shadow Beasts. Their defeat again leaves a vortex: these will become useful later for teleportation. At the spring, the captured Light Spirit gives Link a Vessel of Light that should be filled with the Tears of Light, and reveals the location of these tears, which take the form of dark insects. Link and Midna traverse the woods, defeating all kinds of dark creatures as well as the insects, and a dried-up lake filled with a strange purple fog. Link overhears one of the forest monkeys in front of the Forest Temple, saying that the scary monsters have shown up since the monkey leader went "funny in the head". It has also witnessed the Ordon kids being abducted through the forest by these monsters.
After the Vessel of Light has been filled, the Twilight immediately disappears, and Link finds himself back at Faron spring. The second Light Spirit appears, a large golden simian creature called Faron, and is the protector of Faron woods by order of the Gods. He explains that the fact that Link changed into a beast instead of a spirit while in the Twilight is proof that the power of the Chosen One has been awoken in him. Link notices that he is back in his familiar Hylian form, wearing the green tunic of the ancient hero, indicating that he is also the One chosen by the Gods. Faron urges Link to proceed to the Forest Temple, where a dark, forbidden power rests that was once locked away by the Light Spirits, but Link may need it to defeat the King of Shadows. Midna, who is also looking for this power, adds that the children may still be in the temple.
On his way to the temple, Link learns from the shopkeeper that his lantern can disperse the purple fog. As he plans to walk into the fog, the lantern is grabbed by a monkey, but the creature helps him by clearing a path for Link to follow, while he can defeat the monsters that attack them. Link proceeds to the Forest temple, but he finds that a golden wolf is blocking the entrance. Upon approaching it, the creature growls and leaps towards Link. Link loses consciousness, and awakens in a strange, misty, ethereal representation of Hyrule. The golden wolf immediately changes in a skeleton wearing elaborate armor. The ancient warrior tells Link that he will train him to become the Chosen Hero, and then proceeds to teach Link a sword technique that will enable him to quickly finish off enemies. The warrior explains that there are six more secret techniques he will teach the one who carries the blood of the hero in due time, the one whose spirit is that of the sublime beast.
Link again awakens, and enters the temple. He finds that Bokoblins have locked up the monkeys in cages, so he frees them all. Link also meets a strange bird-like creature, who calls herself Ooccoo. She claims to be looking for something inside the temple, and offers to accompany Link while there. Deep inside, Link encounters the monkey leader, a giant ape who is openly hostile, but Link finds out that the creature is possessed by a dark insect that is stuck on his head, and defeats it. With the help of all the monkeys, Link ventures deeper into the temple, and the ape leader aids him in defeating a giant carnivorous plant called Diababa, leaving a decorated object in its place. Midna says that it is what she was looking for: a Fused Shadow, the dark power that the Light Spirit was referring to. There are two more, and Midna promise to tell about them as soon as they are found. She creates a transportation vortex, and they leave.
Link re-materializes at Faron Spring. The Light Spirit Faron urges him to go east to Eldin Spring to stop the Twilight from spreading there; he will also find the children there. With no Epona in sight, Link has no other choice than to go on foot. Link traverses the enormous central Hyrule Field, which connects the separate areas of Hyrule, and sees several far off places, Hyrule Castle among them, still covered in Twilight. In the Twilight, Link finds his wooden sword and as a wolf, he can easily follow the children's scent, which leads them to a bridge over Kakariko Gorge which misses a large section; no doubt the work of shadow creatures. With the transportation vortexes, Link and Midna find the missing bridge section back at Faron Woods, and transport it back in place, following the rest of the trail to Kakariko Village, a small group of houses on the foot of Death Mountain. There, Link finds Eldin Spring, and Eldin the Light Spirit gives him a Vessel to collect the light in; he also warns him that the darkness is now hunting him. Several dark insects are in the house next to the spring, so Link enters, and to his delight, he finds the children safely inside, together with two villagers. Only Ilia is missing. They cannot see or hear him, but Link learns a lot from their conversations:
Apparently, the village was attacked by Shadow Beasts. People trying to fight back were turned into Shadow Beasts themselves, so the survivors barricaded themselves inside, hoping the monsters wouldn't come in. Barnes, the local bomb manufacturer, suggests hiding inside the building's cellar, but unfortunately, it has been infested by dark insects. The children are very scared, but Link's friend Colin is convinced that Link will come to save them. Link enters the cellar, and exits via an old cemetery, making his way through the village and killing all the insects. Several of them are in Barnes' bombs storehouse, which unfortunately catches fire and explodes. Link then follows the Death Mountain trail, towards the home of the rock-dwelling Goron tribe who live on Death Mountain. Making his way to the summit, he finds the rest of the insects, and the light returns to the area. Link finds himself back at Eldin Spring in Hylian form. Eldin tells Link to go to the sacred grounds of the Gorons, which have been defiled by dark power. Link has a happy reunion with the children from Ordon Village. Renado, the shaman of Kakariko Village, tells Link that he found and saved the children after they were abandoned by the dark beasts. But before the invasion of the beasts, there was a sudden inexplicable deterioration in the relationship with the Gorons. Renado urges Link to take the children back to their own village, but the kids persuade Link to try and help restore the relationship with the Gorons first.
Link proceeds to the Death Mountain trail, but finds a Goron guard there who will not allow humans through by order of the Goron elders. Renado tells him that Gorons will only respect display of power, and knows of one person who once had the strength to earn the Gorons' trust and respect: none other than Link's fellow Ordonian, Mayor Bo. Renado will remain to take care of the children if Link assures their parents that they are safe for the time being. Just as Link gets on his way, Epona storms into the village in total panic, two Bokoblins clinging on to her. She kicks them off, and Link manages to subdue her. Together they ride to Ordon Village, where the villagers are happy to see Link and hear of their children's safety. Mayor Bo is slightly disappointed that Link has no news on his daughter Ilia, but since Renado is an old friend, he is more than willing to help out with the current problem. He reveals that he won the Gorons' trust in a contest of sumo wrestling. He teaches Link the basics, but the secret to defeating a much heavier Goron in combat (which he must promise never to reveal) is in a pair of heavy iron boots that he gives to Link. Link and Epona return to Kakariko Village.
Link arrives just in time to witness a gang of Boboklins invading the town on the backs of wild boars. Just as their leader is about to run over Link's friend Beth, Colin gallantly intervenes, pushing her out of the way. The leader grabs Colin, and Link follows him onto Hyrule field, where a fierce battle on horseback is fought between Link and a horde of Bokoblin riders. Link manages to fight them off, ending up on Eldin Bridge with him and the leader in a game of jousting; however, Link is able to land a blow that throws the fiend into the abyss. Link returns with Colin, who says he was inspired by Link's bravery when he saved Beth. He is left in Renado's good care, as Link proceeds to Death Mountain. With his new iron boots, he is able to pass by any hostile Goron, and ascend the mountain, which is having a violent eruption, whereby a huge and hot piece of volcanic rock impacts on the trail. As Link enters a cave on top of the mountain, a hostile group of Gorons is stopped by Gor Coron, one of their elders. He is impressed by Link's determination, but denies him access to their sacred mines, which are off-limits to outsiders... unless Link can beat him in a contest of power. With the boots and his newly acquired wrestling skills, Link wins the wrestling match. Gor Coron tells Link that some days ago, the mountain started to erupt suddenly, so the four elders and their patriarch Darbus went into the mines to investigate the cause. When Darbus touched the secret treasure that was entrusted to them by the spirits, he turned into a huge monster, leaving the rest with no other choice than to lock him in. Assured that Link was guided by the Light Spirits, Cor Goron asks him to go in and help Darbus.
Link enters the mines, which is a big industrial area filled with Goron mining equipment. It is also overrun by monsters. Link meets Ooccoo again, and at certain points, he meets the other three Goron elders, Gor Amoto, Gor Ebizo and Gor Liggs, who provide him with pieces of a key that he needs to enter the lair where Darbus is locked up. Gor Ebizo also informs Link that one of the weapons of the Hero of Old is still in the mines under the Gorons' protection. Link proceeds to the room where the weapon rests, only to find a huge armored Goron blocking the way. However, Link defeats him, showing he is worthy of the weapon: the Hero's Bow, which he can take as long as he will use it to save Darbus. Link finally finds a huge lair, where a giant flaming creature called Fyrus breaks from its chains and starts to chase after him. With the help of his bow, Link is able to bring the creature to the floor, and destroy an evil-looking crystal on its forehead. A black evil leaves the body of Fyrus, who changes back into Darbus, and the black evil reshapes into the second Fused Shadow. Midna is happy, and as a reward for his efforts, she tells Link that the King of Darkness is called Zant: he is the evil force casting the shadow over Hyrule. However, he is an usurper and Midna has nothing but disdain for his false kingship. She also thinks little of Zelda, who she considers spoiled by luxury, although she would never wish harm on her. Darbus awakens, but remembers nothing of his ordeal. Midna transports Link outside, to search for the third Fused Shadow.
Link re-materializes at Eldin Spring, where the Light Spirit tells him to go past the plain and Eldin Bridge, to the land of the spirit Lanayru; he will find the one he seeks there. Renado and the children come outside, and Colin says he is fine again, so Link should not worry about him anymore. He should go and save Ilia. After buying a bag of bombs and a Hylian shield, Link goes over the great Eldin Bridge, but a piece of it immediately disappears into a Twilight vortex. With no turning back, Link proceeds to the nearest black wall and enters the Twilight. In wolf form, he quickly finds Ilia's purse, and follows her scent towards Castle Town, the crowded city that gives access to the main gate of Hyrule Castle. By listening in on several spirits, Link learns that the water fountain in the town square has stopped flowing, indicating problems at its source, Lake Hylia; also, a Zora child was found collapsed on the path outside the town, and brought to Telma's bar.
Link proceeds to the bar, and finds Ilia's spirit there, caring for the Zora boy with Telma the barlady. Unfortunately, the boy is unconscious, and Telma has called for the town's doctor in the hope that he can treat him. Telma wonders if the boy's sudden appearance is connected to the water crisis. Link listens in on a couple of Hyrule soldiers in the bar; apparently, there are complaints that the spirit spring at Lake Hylia is unreachable, and the soldiers have been ordered to investigate the lake. Link and Midna leave Castle Town to go to the spirit spring at Lake Hylia. On the way, Link tries to cross The Great Bridge over the lake, but he is ambushed by dark creatures, who have drenched the bridge with flammable liquid and now set fire to both ends. With the fires closing in on him, Link has no choice but to jump off the bridge into the lake below.
The lake is almost completely dried up, but Link fortunately lands in a small pool that has remained. The entrance to the spirit spring is up on the lake's shore, out of reach with the water gone. There are a few Zoras nearby, speculating that the lake dried up because no more water is flowing from their home in the mountains, Zora's Domain. Midna manages to subdue a large dark bird, which they use to traverse the large cave that normally feeds water into the lake. On the other side, Link proceeds on foot through the dry river bed towards Zora's Domain. The reason of the drought becomes obvious quickly: Zora's Domain is completely frozen over. They make their way to the throne room, where all Zoras are frozen inside the pool below. With Midna's help, Link teleports the large volcanic rock that nearly hit him at Death mountain over to the Zora throne room, and it works: the ice melts, and water flows from the Domain again. As the thawed out Zoras are slowly recovering from their ordeal, Link and Midna are thanked by the spirit of Rutela, queen of the Zoras, for restoring Hyrule's water source. She tells them that the dark ones raided the Domain and executed her as a message to her people. Before that, she had sent her son Ralis to Hyrule Castle to get help, but he was wounded. She requests that Link help her son, in exchange for which she will give him the ability to breath underwater.
Link and Midna follow the restored river all the way back to the restored Lake Hylia, and receive a Vessel of Light from the lake spirit in which to collect Tears of Light. They roam the Lanayru area in search of the tears, finally collecting the last one from a monstrously big dark insect. With all Twilight dispelled, a restored Link returns to the spring, where the Light Spirit Lanayru, a huge snake-like entity, tells him that the last Fused Shadow part is waiting inside the Lakebed Temple on the bottom of Lake Hylia. The spirit shows Link a disturbing vision of the history of the Shadows (involving himself and Ilia), starting with the creation of Hyrule and the Triforce in the Sacred Realm by the three Goddesses. However, after many years of peace, people started to wage violent wars in search of the Realm and the Triforce. A group of magical people called the Dark Interlopers invented a powerful dark magic object in an attempt to rule over the Realm, but the Goddesses intervened by sending the Light Spirits to Hyrule. They sealed away the dark magic, which can rule over people who are unable to wield it. This magical item is known as the Fused Shadow.
With the help of a man called Fyer, who owns a huge cannon on a float in the lake, Link is shot out to the bridge above, and makes his way to Telma's bar, where the town doctor informs Telma that a Zora child is beyond his expertise. Link sees Ilia, but she clearly doesn't recognize him. Telma suggests taking the child to the shaman of Kakariko Village who knows how to treat Zoras. A group of soldiers offers to escort them, but when they hear of the dangerous creatures infesting Hyrule Field, they flee in panic. However, Link stays, and agrees to the task. Telma is aware that Link knows Ilia, but she has amnesia and cannot be helped for now, so he should help her in saving the Zora boy first. With Eldin Bridge taken out, the only way to Kakariko is the Hylian Bridge, but the big Bokoblin leader is patrolling it. Ilia asks for Link's name, and the name seems somewhat familiar to her. While Telma and Ilia move the Zora boy over Hyrule field with a horse and carriage, Link keeps the evil Bokoblins at bay, and has a second battle with their leader on the bridge, which he wins with his bow this time.
They safely deliver the boy to Renado who treats him and saves his life. He says that the boy kept asking about his mother, but Link's pained expression says it all. Renado assures Link that Ilia's memory will come back with time and effort. Telma tells Link to come to her bar some time, because it is a meeting place for a group of her friends who have Hyrule's safety at heart. There is also a hidden passageway from the bar to the castle. As Telma goes off to flirt with Renado (unsuccessfully), Link is visited by the spirit of Queen Rutela again. He follows her to Kakariko cemetery, where she thanks him for helping her son, and reveals the grave of her late husband, King Zora. It contains special Zora armor he had made for the Chosen Hero. Her final request is for Link to relay her love to her son Ralis, and tell him to be a brave king for his people.
With the use of his new Zora armor, Link can indeed swim and breath underwater like a Zora. He enters the Lakebed Temple on the bottom of Lake Hylia, which consists of a large system of pools and gears that are moved by activating waterfalls and waterslides. Link manages to defeat Morpheel, a large aquatic eel, and obtains the final Shadow part. With the completed Shadow, Midna says that she can prove that Zant's power is false. They warp back to the spirit spring, but to their surprise, Zant is waiting for them there. Lanayru tries to defend them, but Zant easily subdues the Light Spirit, and returns the Twilight back to the spring, causing Link to transform into a wolf again. He also immobilizes Midna, taking the Fused Shadow and scoffing at its ancient power. He calls Midna a traitor and proclaims himself the true King of the Twilight by the grace of his god. Link attempts to attack Zant, but he gets infected with a dark splinter. Zant reminds Midna that Link is one of the light dwellers that oppressed their people; he offers her a final chance to help him conquer the entire Light realm. When she refuses, Zant exposes her to the pure light of the Light World that is toxic to her, but Lanayru intervenes, and transports Link and Midna out of the spring to Hyrule Field. He urges Link to take the severely weakened Midna to Princess Zelda, who also holds the key to transform him back to Hylian form.
In Castle Town, a band of street cats direct Link to Louise, Telma's cat, who points out the secret passageway inside the bar leading to the castle. While sneaking through the bar, Link overhears a group of bar patrons praising his past actions. The passageway to the castle leads through the castle's old waterways, and ends up at the aquaducts and castle rooftops to Zelda's chamber, where they find the princess. Unconcerned with her own fate, Midna urges Zelda to break Link's spell so he can save Hyrule; however, Zelda senses that Link is now cursed by a specifically evil power, which can only be broken by the blade of evil's bane, the Master Sword, found in the Sacred Grove in Faron Woods. Midna is prepared to be left behind, and asks Zelda to tell Link where to find something called the Mirror of Twilight. This question makes Zelda realize who Midna is and what she has sacrificed. Transferring her last power of the Triforce granted by the Gods, she heals Midna but fades away in the air herself. Now impervious to the effects of the Light World, Midna teleports Link outside to Hyrule Field. As soon as they arrive, a magical barrier forms around the castle, making any return impossible.
In Faron Woods, they see one of the monkeys being cornered by a group of wooden stick men. Link defeats them, and the monkey points Link to an area hidden behind the Forest Temple. Link enters the deep forest, and comes across the Skull Kid, a leprechaun-type forest dweller who sends his stick men on to him. Link keeps following the Skull Kid through the woods while defeating all the stick men, until they arrive at some ancient ruins. The door to the Sacred Grove opens, and they find the Master Sword in its pedestal. Coming nearer, the sword expels a burst of magic that drives Zant's evil splinter from Link, who turns back into his Hylian form. He grabs the sword, which accepts him as its master. Midna decides to keep the splinter, which will enable her to transform Link into a wolf or warp whenever he needs it. She also asks him to come and search for the Mirror of Twilight, their only remaining link to Zant.
Having received a message from Telma to come to her bar, she introduces Link to her friends: one is revealed to be his Ordonian neighbor Rusl, who has visited his kids in Kakariko Village and knows all about Link's adventures; there is a girl called Ashei who lives with her father on the Snowpeak Mountain where she investigates strange phenomena; and finally, a scholar called Shad, who studies the history of Hyrule from notes passed on by his father. Telma directs Link to a man called Auru, who is currently checking out a disturbance at Lake Hylia. Auru tells him that the nearby Gerudo Desert holds an ancient prison, the Arbiter's Ground, where the worst criminals of Hyrule were sentenced to banishment to the underworld via a cursed mirror. He is convinced that much of the evil currently plaguing Hyrule comes from that place, but unfortunately, the passageway to the desert is no longer accessible. He asks Link to investigate and gives him a memo for Fyer to use his cannon to shoot Link into the desert.
After arriving in the vast desert, Midna tells Link that the Dark Interlopers who made the Fused Shadows were chased away and banished to another realm which was the opposite of Hyrule: a dark world known as the Twilight Realm, where they could only exist as mere shadows. Midna admits that these 'Twili' are her ancestors. It was a peaceful place until Zant somehow gained a great evil power, and took control of the realm, turning the Twili into Shadow Beasts. Without Zant's power, Midna cannot return home, but the Goddesses left one link between the two realms: the Mirror of Twilight, which they will need to cross over to the Twilight Realm. The desert holds the missing piece to the Bridge of Eldin, Which Link teleports it back in place. In the area around Arbiter's Ground, Link has another encounter with the fat Bokoblin leader, but he fights him off and proceeds to the prison.
Link traverses the large prison which is haunted by undead creatures and ghosts of former prisoners. He comes up to a huge skeleton, where Zant appears, showing respect for Link's perseverance, but insisting that this is the last time they meet. He thrusts his sword into the skeleton's skull, which reanimates the creature. Link defeats it and gains access to the prison's courtyard, where they find the mirror. However, to Midna's desperation, it has been broken and only one shard of it remains. Five white spirits appear; they are the Sages who have guarded the Mirror of Twilight for ages at the command of the goddesses. They warn that it was a dark magic living in the Twilight that has broken the Mirror, an evil entity called Ganondorf. He was the ruthless leader of a gang of thieves who invaded Hyrule long ago, in an attempt to rule over the Sacred Realm. However, his overconfidence became his undoing, as he was eventually caught and sentenced to death. In a flashback, it shows Ganondorf being executed by sword impalement at Arbiter's Ground by six Sages; however, since he too was inexplicably blessed with the chosen power of the Gods (manifested by a glowing Triforce on his hand), he survived the execution, and killed one of the Sages. The rest had no other choice than to activate the Mirror, and banish him to the Twilight Realm. The remaining Sages fear that his hatred turned into pure malice that has been passed on to Zant. However, since Zant is not the true leader of the Twili, he could not destroy the Mirror, only fragment it. The three other pieces were cursed and scattered over Hyrule: one piece is hidden in a snowy mountain, one in an ancient grove, and one in the heavens.
Link returns to his allies and is sent to Zora's Domain. There is a small pass that leads to the Snowpeak Mountain from there, where he finds Ashei. Apparently, the mountain area is much colder since Zora's Domain froze over, and now the Zoras have reported that a huge snow monster has frequently been seen in their domain. Due to heavy snowfall, Ashei cannot go any further, and she asks for Link's help. Link inquires with the Zoras, and they clarify that the snow monster comes to their domain to catch Reekfish; apparently, prince Ralis was a master in catching these rare fish. Link finds the young prince at his father's grave, having heard about Link's great deeds from his mother in his dreams, so Ralis is happy to help. He gives Link a special fishhook and instructions on where to find these fish, and decides to return to his people.
Link gets back to Zora's Domain, catches a fish and learns its scent in wolf form. Being a wolf not only allows him to follow the trail of the snowbeast's fish, but also protects him from the deep cold and snow. Link proceeds over Snowpeak Mountain and finally finds the huge snowbeast next to a long slope. Fortunately, the snowbeast is friendly and is reasonably intelligent. It is called Yeto, and after hearing of the Mirror shard, it tells Link that he found it, and invites him over to his house for a bowl of fish soup. Link skates all the way to Yeto's house, a dilapidated and frozen mansion called Snowpeak Ruins. There he meets Yeto's wife Yeta. She says she got sick since Yeto brought the Mirror shard back, and it attracts all sorts of bad monsters, so they locked it inside their bedroom. She points Link repeatedly to the supposed locations of the bedroom key, but in her forgetfulness, she sends him to places that contain ingredients for Yeto's fish soup. Link finally finds the key, and Yeta (feeling better after having Yeto's soup) shows him the Mirror shard. However, when she stares into it, its evil changes her into a monster that attacks Link with icy projectiles. Link fights her off, and the evil leaves her again. After leaving her in Yeto's care again, Link returns to Telma's bar.
Telma directs Link to Rusl who is currently in Faron Woods. Rusl mentions a temple hidden deep in the woods that guards a sacred power. It was supposedly built by the ancestors of the Hylians, and that sacred power would be helpful in protecting Hyrule. This matches the description of the Sacred Grove where Link found the Master Sword. After another play with the Skull Kid and his minions, Link enters the temple ruins from the other side, and activates an ancient door with his Master Sword. Link walks through it, and he magically goes through time to end up in a completely restored and pristine Temple of Time (from Zeruda no densetsu: Toki no okarina (1998)). His sword activates a stairway leading up to a door. Before he can walk it, the strange Ooccoo creature already rushes through it. Link enters, and she tells him that this is the place she has been looking for, where the ancient technology of her people sleeps that will allow her to go home. Link takes Ooccoo along and finds himself deep in the Temple of Time, noticing a large door guarded by one large statue, with its counterpart missing. The objective is clearly to locate the other statue and get it back in its place.
After locating this statue on the top floor, Link defeats a huge, heavily armored knight, and it gives him access to the Dominion Rod, a staff that enables him to bring the giant statue to life. He guides it all the way back to the ground floor, and this opens the door to the lair of an enormous spider called Armogohma. With the help of the Dominion Rod and several huge statues, Link defeats it and obtains the third part of the Mirror. Midna says that the power of the Mirror is so evil that they may need to destroy it at the end. Link leaves the temple to return to his own time. Ooccoo identifies the Dominion Rod as the technology she needed to return to her home in the sky, but outside its own time, its magic has become exhausted, and she sadly cannot remember the spell to recharge it again. She leaves to find statues that respond to the rod before Link and Midna can question her about the rod.
Given that the final Mirror shard is said to be in the heavens, Midna suspects that Ooccoo's home in the sky might also be where the shard is. Link is summoned to Renado, because Shad the historian is in his basement to research an old statue there; Shad believes it belonged to an ancient race called the Oocca, who existed before the Hylians and supposedly left to live in the skies, but not before leaving this statue and many more around Hyrule. The statue is covered in symbols called Sky Writing, which state that a "word" is needed to break its seal. But more importantly, Ilia has remembered something: she was saved from the Bokoblins by a person who mentioned the "rod of the heavens". Shad believes that this rod is connected to the seal of the statue, so restoring Ilia's memory may be key to solve this riddle as well. The Goron Elders have come over and argue that he best way to piece back the fragments of Ilia's recent past is to work backwards from where Link first found her.
In Castle Town, Telma remembers that Ilia was brought to her bar by the doctor. She gives Link the doctor's drinking tab, which will make him more cooperative. The doctor indeed thinks that Link has come to collect the sizable debt, and confesses that he kept a wooden statue from Ilia with the hope of selling it for money; unfortunately, the statue was stolen from his home. Link uses his wolf form to trace the scent of the statue back to the bar, where Telma's cat Louise confesses to have stolen it; unfortunately, the statue was taken away from her by a pack of skeletal dogs who roam at night outside the town. Link defeats these Stalhounds, obtaining the statue. Showing it to Ilia revives a memory or her being confined somewhere with another person, who freed her and gave her the statue. One of the Goron Elders recognizes the statue as belonging to a tribe that protected the royal family of Hyrule long ago. They lived in a hidden village north of the Bridge of Eldin; since the entrance to the village was blocked by a rockslide long ago, Darbus the Goron patriarch helps Link by clearing the path. Link enters the town, defeats all the Bokoblins in there, and meets up with Impaz, an elderly lady who is the last survivor of the ancient tribe. She tells him that she has sheltered Ilia for a while, and asks Link if he can return Ilia's necklace back to her.
Ilia immediately recognizes her old charm, and this restores her entire memory. She tells him the charm was meant as a gift to him, as it doubles as a horse-flute to call Epona with. She also remembers that Impaz was waiting for the one who carries the rod, as she has a gift for this person. Link returns and shows Impaz the rod; she tells him of a legend that the rod is carried by the messenger of the heavens, when the royal family needs to communicate with the Oocca. Impaz gives him a book written in Sky Writing that her tribe has guarded for this messenger. Link takes the book to Shad, who recites a word from the book to the statue in the basement, but nothing happens. He is disappointed, but determined to try the spell on the other statues spread around Hyrule. He marks their locations on Link's map, but as he leaves, Link notices that Shad's spell has revived the Dominion Rod with magic. Link travels around to all the statues and moves them with the rod; each hides a hidden Sky character on the ground that is added to the word in the book. After returning to the basement, Shad recites the full word, and the seal disappears from the statue. Shad again thinks that the spell was without effect, but Link can now move the statue. It gives passage to an underground cave containing a large canon that Shad identifies as the Sky Cannon from his father's notes. It can help them to reach the City in the Sky, but unfortunately, it is currently in a state of disrepair. Before he leaves, Shad advises Link to show it to a cannon expert.
Link lets Midna teleport the cannon to Laky Hylia, where Fyer, the local cannon expert, inspects it. Although he notes that it is useless because it lacks an ignition device, he offers to repair it. He fixes the cannon over the course of a few days, noting that it has very powerful innards, and could possibly reach the skies. As soon as Link enters the gun, Ooccoo and her son also rush to board it. The cannon suddenly springs to life, takes aim at the sky, and fires.
Link and Ooccoo find themselves splashing in a pool, part of a huge floating structure that is kept hovering in the sky through propellers. Ooccoo thanks him for bringing them back to the city of the Oocca, but before she can show him around, a huge armored dragon flies over. Ooccoo decides to come with Link to see if the other Oocca are save. Link navigates the huge City in the Sky, which is in a sad state due to the dragon regularly destroying parts of it. With help of the other Oocca, Link makes it to the highest point in the city, where the fire-breathing dragon is waiting. Again, Link is victorious, and claims the final part of the Mirror. Midna reminds him of the words of the Sages, that only the true leader of the Twili can completely destroy the Mirror: the fact that Zant could only break it into four shards is proof of his false leadership. They proceed to the Mirror Chamber to deal with Zant once and for all.
Throughout his journey, Link finds many "howl stones" that awaken the ancient warrior, who teaches him several fighting techniques. After the final session, the warrior admits that he was the ancient Hero of Time, but was not remembered as such and could not convey his skills to his successors. By training Link, his regrets are eased.