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|The dark clouds of dusk cover this land... This drape of shadows is called...twilight. In this twilight, those who lived in the light...become as mere spirits...it is a place...where the dark ones and evil creatures dwell...|
|Twilight covered Hyrule like a shroud, and without light, the people became as spirits. Within the twilight, they live on, unaware that they have passed into spirit forms... All the people know now is fear... Fear of a nameless evil...|
|— Princess Zelda|
Light in Hyrule is sustained by the four great Spirits of Light, who act as guardians for their respective provinces. During the events of Twilight Princess, Zant, the Twilight King, steals the Light from the Light Spirits by creating a dark fog composed of light-absorbing shadow crystals similar in nature to the one encountered in the Palace of Twilight. The kingdom of Hyrule is slowly overtaken by Twilight as its light vanishes in each province.
Once overtaken by the Twilight, the inhabitants of the Light lose their physical bodies and turn into spirits, unaware of their current state. Also, the Shadow Beasts have the ability to change them into monsters.
Hyruleans normally cannot enter areas engulfed in twilight, unless a twilight creature draws them in. Once someone has entered the Twilight, it is often impossible to escape or recover. Only with the help of a member of the Twili race can a lost soul or anything trapped in the Twilight escape. In each province, the light of the Light Spirits needs to be recovered from the shadow insects in order for them to be revived. Once the Light Spirits regain their power, the Twilight is lifted and the inhabitants return to normal.
However, there are a select few that can survive in the Twilight without becoming a lost soul. Bearers of the Triforce can usually withstand the effects of the Twilight. Link, bearer of the Triforce of Courage, transforms into a wolf and Princess Zelda, bearing the Triforce of Wisdom, maintains her normal physical form.
Not all beings are turned into spirits however. The enemy creatures that Link encounters are turned into "shadow creatures" within the Twilight. Bulblins, along with Keese, Deku Babas and Kargaroks are just a few creatures that change under the influence of the Twilight.
The Bulblins that get caught within the Twilight change to twisted versions of themselves, with gray helmets and black/gray skin tones like the Twili have. It is possible they maintain some personality even in their shadow form. Though they are monsters, they have the ability to reason, communicate, invent, and so on, providing evidence that they have at least a sub-human intelligence. King Bulbin further proves this by speaking Hylian near the end of the game.
The perpetual twilight of the Twilight Realm is different in nature compared to the twilight produced by Zant. The latter exerts a corrupting influence over Hyrule, while the former is comparable to the twilight encountered naturally in Hyrule during sunset. The Twilight Realm itself is described as a beautiful world, and its inhabitants, albeit exposed in the twilight, as gentle, pure-hearted beings.
- According to the original Japanese text, Midna mentions that Link, being a Hyrulean, should avoid contact with the dark fog, possibly implying that the twilight of the realm is harmless.
- ↑ "This black fog is made up of shadow crystals created by Zant. They blot out light… He's responsible for stealing the light from the spirits and turning your world into twilight…" — Midna (Twilight Princess)
- ↑ "This black fog is the light-absorbing shadow crystals that Zant magically produced… It's responsible for stealing the light from the spirits and turning Hyrule into Twilight." — Midna (Twilight Princess -- Japanese version)
- ↑ "Remember that lady from the general store? Just one of those things attacked her, and a whole gang from town went to save her! And what happened? She was already gone, and there were TWO monsters waitin'!" — Barnes (Twilight Princess)
- ↑ "Just beyond that bridge, the land is covered in twilight. Last time, a shadow beast pulled you through the curtain of twilight... But if you want to go that way this time, you'll need the cooperation of someone FROM the twilight...like me!" — Midna (Twilight Princess)
- ↑ "Those transformed by twilight usually cannot recover their original forms... Unless... If you were to return Faron Woods where you were first transformed... If you were to revive the light spirit... There, by the power of the light spirit, you may find the means to regain your other state of being..." — Ordona (Twilight Princess)
- ↑ "[If Link tries to leave the twilight] That won't work! Give it up! Did you hear me? You can't return to the world of light that easily!" — Midna (Twilight Princess)
- ↑ "It's called a portal. You'd better remember that! And...in those woods we came through... Yes! It's got to be around there... I'll use my power to take you to the location of the open portal... Pick where you want to go. [...] See! I told you. We're here! You know, most people can't leave the twilight that easily. You'd better be grateful!" — Midna (Twilight Princess)
- ↑ "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." — Midna (Twilight Princess)
- ↑ "The Twilight Realm is a beautiful place, enveloped in the calm of a falling dusk. The inhabitants are gentle, pure-hearted creatures who make their homes within the realm's radiance." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books), pg. 114)
- ↑ "Link, be careful…" — Midna (Twilight Princess)
- ↑ "Link, be careful… People of the light cannot be inside this!" — Midna (Twilight Princess -- Japanese version)