Dark Link

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Not to be confused with Shadow Link, the recurring enemy and boss from Four Swords Adventures and A Link Between Worlds
Dark Link
Dark Link.png
TitleLink's Shadow
Game(s)The Adventure of Link
Ocarina of Time
Oracle of Ages
A Link to the Past & Four Swords
Twilight Princess
Spirit Tracks
Other MediaSuper Smash Bros. Melee
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Hyrule Warriors
Dungeon(s)Great Palace
Water Temple
Black Tower
Palace of the Four Sword
Take 'Em All On!
Weakness(es)Sword
Megaton Hammer
Din's Fire
Broken Giant's Knife
Voice Actor(s)Nobuyuki Hiyama (OoT)
Akira Sasanuma (TP)
Theme Music
File:AOL Dark Link.ogg Triforce piece.png

Dark Link is a dark reflection of Link.[1] He is one of the most enigmatic enemy characters in the The Legend of Zelda universe, usually appearing with no backstory and no dialogue, although it is implied on numerous occasions to be merely constructs of shadow magic. Dark Link is more than just a mere battle against a monster for Link, but a battle against himself, as the young hero has to face his own strength turned against him.[2] Due to this, Dark Link is often the ultimate challenge, and is faced as final boss on one occasion and as the final boss of optional challenges such as the Palace of the Four Sword and Take 'Em All On!.

Contents

Attributes of the Dark Links

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As the doppelgänger of Link, in all of his appearances, Dark Link bears resemblance to Link in whichever game he appears in and wears the same style clothing as Link: a tunic and a long, floppy cap, with the exception of his entire outfit being black or dark gray instead of green. Moreover, his hair is usually either a shadow black or a dark gray. Dark Link tends to be left-handed, like Link, but in some appearances (particularly when multiple copies of him appear), he has been shown to favor either hand.

Another notable feature aside from the color scheme of his clothes is Dark Link's red eyes, which are usually the only prominent feature against his dark visage.

Soundtracks/Themes

During his many appearances , Dark Link has had different soundtracks played to commemorate the moment of his presence. The names of the soundtracks/themes are as follows:[citation needed]

Appearances

The Adventure of Link

Link's Shadow in The Adventure of Link

In his first appearance in the series, Dark Link is known as Link's Shadow and appears as the final boss after Link defeats Thunderbird in the Great Palace.[3] He serves as the final test before Link can obtain the Triforce of Courage and wake Princess Zelda. Link's Shadow is the most difficult opponent to appear during Link's second quest to save Hyrule.

The strategy for Link's Shadow is to attack him where his guard is down. Another strategy that many mistake for a glitch is to duck in the very left corner of the arena and repeatedly stab when he gets close.

Dark Link's appearances in Event Matches during Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Brawl are largely based upon this battle. This battle also formed the basis of the Streetpass Battle Mode of A Link Between Worlds, marking the first time that music from The Adventure of Link returned to use in another Zelda game.

Ocarina of Time

Link confronts Dark Link in the Water Temple

In Ocarina of Time, Dark Link appears as a mini-boss in the Water Temple, where he materializes from Link's reflection in the water to confront his good counterpart. Dark Link reacts to most of Link's movements and attacks, usually defending himself in the process.[4] Dark Link has the same amount of health as Link; the number of Heart Containers the hero has equals the number of hits with the Master Sword it takes to defeat his doppelganger. When hit, Dark Link will fall through the floor and spring back up afterwards. At the beginning of the battle, Dark Link is nearly transparent, but will gradually become opaque as the battle progresses. When he is fully opaque, he will become more aggressive and actively attack Link instead of simply reacting to his moves.

There are a variety of strategies to defeating Dark Link. Link can use either Megaton Hammer, the Deku Nuts, or the Biggoron Sword, or by using his sword and while L/Z targeting him do a horizontal slash on the opposite side of his shield, which gives Link an instant hit. Stocking up on magic potions and using Din's Fire is another option that makes the fight against Dark Link very easy. Din's Fire is one of the best options in both the passive and aggressive part of the battle, as it will cause damage every time, provided that Dark Link is in range. If Link performs a sword thrust, Dark Link will simply hop on to the blade of the sword before attacking (if aggressive). Once Dark Link is defeated, Link is able to continue on to a room containing the Longshot.[5]

Dark Link shares Link's voice, but it is heavily distorted, giving it a demonic feel.

Oracle of Ages

A Dark Link summoned by Veran

During the second phase of the final battle, Veran creates four clones of Dark Link that mimic Link's movement in reverse and act as dangerous obstacles. Unlike other appearances of Dark Link, these clones do not attack, and are useful in recovering health, as they are easily destroyed and drop one Heart each. They are similar in behavior to Arm-Mimics and Mask-Mimics.

A Link to the Past

Dark Links.gif

In the Game Boy Advance port, after completing both A Link to the Past and the multiplayer Four Swords game, the Palace of the Four Sword is unlocked. The Dungeon Master is four Dark Links, each with a unique tunic, corresponding to the colors of the Links that hold the Four Sword. Reaching the final room of the dungeon causes the four different colored Four Swords to rise into the air, and following this the Dark Links will drop from above. Each Dark Link has slightly different abilities, but they all aggressively attack with sword swipes and do not open their defenses often. They are quite agile, able to leap backwards out of the way of Link's attacks. They are fought one at a time, and they get progressively difficult. The green Dark Link uses the Pegasus Boots to suddenly dash at Link; the red Dark Link uses the Hurricane Spin and the Pegasus Boots. The blue Dark Link also uses Pegasus Boots and the Hurricane Spin, and he can leap into the air to perform a Down Thrust (this is also similar to Link's use of the Quake Medallion). The purple Dark Link is the final Dark Link, and utilizes the Pegasus Boots, Hurricane Spin, Down Thrust, and the Sword Beam. Defeating each Dark Link will break the curse on the Four Sword and return it to normal.

Twilight Princess

Dark Link makes a cameo appearance during a cut-scene in Twilight Princess that tells the tale of how the Twili race was banished to the Twilight Realm. Portraying the powerful Dark Interlopers who sought to control the Sacred Realm, three clones of Dark Link manage to destroy Link (portraying a common citizen) before they are banished to the Twilight Realm by the Light Spirits.

Spirit Tracks

Dark Link ST.png

Dark Link appears as the final challenge of the Take 'Em All On! mini-game in Castle Town. In this appearance, he attacks using a blade as dark as himself, that subsequently leaves a fitting black trail, and he can also place bombs and shoot arrows. He can also perform a jump attack like Link, only his is higher and much slower. Dark Link also mimics Link's sword attacks when he himself is not attacking, so Link must block his attacks and then counterattack. The music played when fighting him is the same as the track used when Link chased the Ghost Ship during the final boss's second phase in Phantom Hourglass. Conversely to his appearance in Ocarina of Time, he slowly fades from a pure black to a translucent gray as he takes damage, and once defeated, he falls over on his back and disappears, his eyes eerily left open during the whole animation. The room he is fought in is the only one which contains Hearts, despite Joynas's earlier warning that there is no way to recover health in the challenge rooms.[6]

Other Appearances

Non-Canon Information hide

The Legend of Zelda comic

Link's Shadow as the king of Calatia

In the Legend of Zelda comic published by Valiant Comics, Link's Shadow is featured in the "Coming Home" story of the fifth issue. Referred to simply as the Shadow and described by himself as a servant of Ganon, he has the ability not only to mimic Link, but any other person. While Link is away in Hyrule, the Shadow, disguised as Queen Seline and accompanied by Thunderbird, attacks the monarch of Calatia and defeats her using her own magical powers. He then locks her away in the tower of the Calatia Palace, taking over her kingdom and making her people suffer under his rule.[7] When an unsuspecting Link returns to Calatia to visit his parents, he is violently greeted by his father, claiming that Link is not his son and ordering him to leave and never come back.[8] Confused, Link begins to travel around Calatia but receives the same mistreatment with everyone else in town,[9] and so he decides to see Queen Seline to figure out what has happened.[10] When Link goes inside the palace's throne room, he finds that the Shadow and Thunderbird have made the queen their prisoner and taken her place instead.[11][12]

Once Queen Seline explains to Link what has happened, the Shadow takes his two prisoners and sentences them to death for committing treason against their own king.[13] The queen then halts him and demands her right of a life trial since it is Calatian Law that anyone sentenced to death has the right to trial by combat to prove their innocence.[14] Thunderbird questions Link's Shadow if it is wise to let the restless citizens witness such an event,[15] but still the Shadow accepts Seline's challenge to thus crush the people's spirits by defeating their queen again.[16] In accordance with the ancient laws, Seline chooses Link to fight in her place,[17] and Link agrees.[18]

The Shadow tries to persuade Link to leave by disguising himself as Princess Zelda and appearing to him as a projection urging him to return to Hyrule, claiming it is under attack.[19] However, when Link refuses,[20] Link's Shadow decides to ask Ganon for help in defeating Link.[21] Ganon explains to the Shadow that he will be able to easily defeat his good counterpart since tomorrow is the Day of the Triforce,[22] which is when, once each decade, the three Triforce pieces disappear for reasons unknown from dawn to dusk.[23] During the battle, after a short struggle, Link's Shadow easily bests the young hero, but just as the Shadow is about to deliver the final blow,[24] a swift move by the real Link causes for the both of them to dangle from the edge of the arena, getting ready to fall into the fire pit below. Link angrily explains that he had to let Zelda face her doom alone just so that he could put an end to his evil counterpart's tyranny,[25] but just then the fake Link explains that Zelda lives and it was all a trick.[26] Suddenly realizing the true nature of the enemy he is facing to be the Shadow he fought at the end of the Great Palace.[27] With the Shadow's sword gone and Link's sword point at his back, Link threatens to kill his counterpart unless he orders the Daira guards to drop their weapons, upon which Link's Shadow obediently commands.[28]

Super Smash Bros. Melee

Dark Link vs. Mr. Game & Watch, Mewtwo and Falco in Super Smash Bros. Melee

Dark Link, as he appears in The Adventure of Link and Ocarina of Time appears in the Event-match "Link's Adventure", where he must be defeated with Link on the Hyrule Temple stage. However, as this is a simple color-swap of Link, this can be applied to any character through the Debug menu only accessible through Action Replay or the name-entry glitch.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Dark Link, as an alternate costume for Link, in Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Link is able to take on the appearance of Dark Link as an alternate costume in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. This version mostly resembles the one featured in the Twilight Princess cutscene.

Melee's version of Dark Link (which in turn is based of Dark Link from The Adventure of Link and Ocarina of Time, with a completely black appearance) reappears in the event match "Dark Link Duel" on the Bridge of Eldin stage. Unlike the alternate costume, the Dark Link in this event is completely black, as opposed to Link's alternate costume, which is mostly gray and black with red eyes. As in Melee, Link is the only option to fight against Dark Link. However, unlike Melee, this battle is fought as a Stamina match, making him more like a traditional Legend of Zelda enemy. A similar event, known as Battle of the Dark Sides, is featured for two players, in which Dark Link is fought by Link and Samus together, but is similarly accompanied by Dark Samus, an entity that, like Dark Link, is completely black, instead of resembling the canon Metroid character of the same name.

Ocarina of Time manga

In the Ocarina of Time manga, Link meets up with his shadowed doppelganger at Kakariko Village. From Beneath the Well, Dark Link emerges, ready to defeat the original Link. The original Link managed to defeat his dark self by learning that the shadow monster is only as good as Link was then. So to defeat him, Link had to become better than he was before. Slicing Dark Link in half, the dark hero was not yet done. Dark Link then returned riding on a Dark Epona. Link countered and defeated Dark Link once again with the use of his own Epona. This Dark Link replaced Bongo Bongo as boss, most likely because the Shadow Temple didn't appear in the manga.

Hyrule Warriors

Dark Link is set to appear in the upcoming Hyrule Warriors.

Theories

Theory Warning hide

Tale of the Twili

In Twilight Princess, the Light Spirit Lanayru tells Link a story warning him about the corrupting power of the "Fused Shadows", as well as giving their origins.[29][30] As part of the visual aid, Link and his childhood friend Ilia represent corruptible humans, while the corrupt sorcerers who would become the Twili are represented by three copies of Link with colorless clothing, black skin, and glowing, red eyes. These Dark Links are merely a representation of evil.

Trivia

  • It has been noted that Dark Link is akin to Link in The Legend of Zelda as Peter Pan's shadow was to Peter Pan in the production, Peter Pan. Both characters struggle with their shadows, both defeating them in order to move on with their quests, and both shadows have similar moves and actions used to try to outwit their true form. The fact that Peter Pan and Link both have similar attire only emphasizes such a connection.[31] Despite these similarities, however, there has been no confirmation of a connection between the two by Nintendo, and any perceived connection is merely fan speculation.
  • In his battle in The Adventure of Link, he dodges or blocks most of the attacks that Link attempts but is vulnerable when he jumps. This flaw can be taken advantage of by simply standing in a corner and repeatedly swinging Link's sword toward Link's Shadow. Link's Shadow will attempt to jump at Link and keep running into the attacks, making a rather difficult battle seem less difficult. However, this does not work in the original Disk System version, as the A.I. was simplified when the game was transferred to cartridge format.
  • In his appearance in Ocarina of Time, Dark Link appears next to a dead, blackened tree. This may serve as a contrast to the living green trees that surrounded Link in his youth, and to emphasize the light/dark scenario.
  • In A Link to the Past, the GBA-exclusive Dark Links have the same sword and shield that Link has on at the moment, but they always do the same amount of damage. If Link does not have any shield, his dark counterparts will have the Fighter's Shield.
  • In Ocarina of Time 3D, Dark Link is detailed and textured, granting him an appearance similar to the Dark Interlopers visual aides. When defeated, he now makes the sound effect that Link normally makes when knocked to the ground.
  • When the player begins crossing the room in the Water Temple containing Dark Link, Link has the usual shadow of his feet on the ground. When he passes the dead tree, however, his shadow disappears and Dark Link materializes.
  • Dark Link from Ocarina of Time truly is an evil duplicate of Link, right down to his idle animations. Stunning Dark Link with Deku Nuts in a specific way will cause him to mirror Link's every move. This can have a comical effect; for example, if Link is down to a fraction of a heart and leans over panting, Dark Link will also act fatigued. Dark Link also imitates Link's idle animations, such as checking his sword and tunic.

Gallery

Video Gallery


Adventure of Link

Ocarina of Time

Super Smash Bros. Melee

A Link to the Past

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Spirit Tracks

Spirit Tracks (Battle Music)

Ocarina of Time 3D

See Also

References

  1. "Created by a wicked magical force (some say by Ganon himself), Dark Link is an evil shadow capable of duplicating Link's every move."Dark Link, Zelda Universe.
  2. "Dark Link
    Conquer yourself!
    " — Navi (Ocarina of Time)
  3. "Link’s Shadow: A black shadow whose shape is identical to Link. Once a traveler reaches the depths of the Great Palace, this creature oozes out of their shadow and attacks, serving as their final trial. Like Link, it fights using a sword and shield, jumping at will." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books), pg. 109)
  4. "You must time your attacks carefully to land a blow on this enemy, because it seems to anticipate your every action!" (Ocarina of Time manual, pg. 83)
  5. "After you defeat Dark Link, the bars on the northern door rise allowing you to access the room and claim the Longshot in the large chest there." (Ocarina of Time manual, pg. 83)
  6. "However, you'll find nothing to restore your health inside. Nothing at all!" — Hostess (Spirit Tracks)
  7. "I was set upon and defeated by someone who looked exactly like me AND had all my powers. Every magic spell I used--it threw back at me! Now this...thing, disguised as YOU, Link, has taken over the kingdom. My people are suffering under his evil rule!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 4)
  8. "You're no son of mine! Get out! Get out of here!...And never come back!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 1)
  9. "Hey, everyone! It's me--Link! Back from Hyrule! Is it something I said? IS it my breath?" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 2)
  10. "I've got to see Queen Seline. Maybe she can tell me what's going on." (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 2)
  11. "Hey, you! What are you doing on the throne? Where's Queen Seline?" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 2)
  12. "She is my prisoner...just like you!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 2)
  13. "My people! Now all will see what happens to those who defy the NEW king of Calatia! [...] Silence! I am the king! You have committed treason against me! There can be but ONE penalty! Executioner! Stand forth!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. )
  14. "Hold fast! I, Queen Seline, demand my right of LIFE TRIAL! By Calatian law, anyone sentenced to death has the right to trial by combat to prove their innocence!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 4, 5)
  15. "Master... The people are restless! Is it wise to let them see this?" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 5)
  16. "I beat her once already, and she's already been severely weakened by the chains! What better way to crush the people's spirits than to defeat their queen again...before their very eyes! When I am finished, NONE will defy me!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 5)
  17. "In accordance with the ancient laws...I choose this man to fight in my place, as my champion!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 5)
  18. "What? I...uh...I mean...so be it." (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 5)
  19. "I'm not here. This is a magical projection of my spirit! Only you can see or hear me! You must return to Hyrule tonight! Walk through this magical pathway and you'll be back in North Palace! I need you, Link! [...] Link, the north Palace is under attack by Ganon's armies!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 6)
  20. "But...how can I? My parents...my homeland are all depending on me! I can't leave them!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 6)
  21. "I have no choice. Let the call be sent out...to the Mountain of Death! Hear me..LORD GANON!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 7)
  22. "It is the Day of the Triforce! He will be without his Triforce of Courage! Link has grown soft...too dependent on its power! Without it--he is DOOMED! His own fear will destroy him!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 7)
  23. "Yes...it is the Day of the Triforce. Once each decade, for one day, from dawn to dusk, all three Triforces...Wisdom, Power, and Courage disappear. No one knows wither or wherefore...just that it is so." (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 8)
  24. "Prepare to die, weakling!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 9)
  25. "I let the woman I love face her doom alone just so I could be here to put an end to your tyranny--and I will, no matter what!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 10)
  26. "Wait! Listen to me! Zelda lives! It was a ruse! I posed as Zelda to trick you!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 10)
  27. "So...you're the Shadow! The one I met at the end of the Great Palace in my second adventure against Ganon! You know, you've made me REALLY angry...but I MIGHT let you live if you order your Daira guards to drop their weapons!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 10)
  28. "Guards! Surrender NOW!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 10)
  29. "Among those living in the light, interlopers who excelled at magic appeared. Wielding powerful sorcery, they tried to establish dominion over the Sacred Realm. It was then that the goddesses ordered us three light spirits to intervene. We sealed away the great magic those individuals had mastered. You know this magic...It is the dark power you seek...the Fused Shadow." — Lanayru (Twilight Princess)
  30. "What do you think happened to the magic wielders who tried to rule the Sacred Realm? They were banished. They were chased across the sacred lands of Hyrule and driven into another realm by the goddesses." — Midna (Twilight Princess)
  31. Peter Pan, by J.M. Barrie, Chapter 2: The Shadow


Forest minish.png Names in Other Regions Jabber Nut MC.gif
Language Name Meaning
Japanese Japan ダークリンク
リンクの影 (TAoL)
Dark Link
Link's Shadow
Spanish Spain Link Oscuro Dark Link
Latin America Link Tenebroso
Link oscuro (OoT3D)
Tenebrous Link
Dark Link
French French-speaking countries Link noir
Dark Link
Ombre de Link
Black Link
Dark Link
Link's Shadow
German Germany Schatten-Link
Der schwarze Link(OoT)
Shadow Link
The Black Link
Italian Italy Link Ombra Shadow Link
Chinese Mainland China (Simplified Chinese) 暗黑林克 Dark Link

Bosses in The Legend of Zelda series

The Legend of ZeldaThe Adventure of LinkA Link to the PastLink's AwakeningOcarina of TimeMajora's MaskOracle of AgesOracle of SeasonsFour SwordsThe Wind WakerFour Swords AdventuresThe Minish CapTwilight PrincessPhantom HourglassSpirit TracksSkyward SwordA Link Between Worlds