The Legend of Zelda: Twin Swords (ゼルダの伝説：ツインソード Zeruda no densetsu: Tsuin Sōdo) is an action-adventure game developed by Nintendo and co-developed by Aozora for the Wii U console. It is the 18th installment in the Legend of Zelda series.
The story focuses on the series protagonist Link and a new character named Sai, who both set out in similar quests to prevent Hyrule from being taken over by Ganondorf, King of the Gerudo tribe, and stop him from obtaining the Triforce, a sacred relic that grants the wishes of its holder. To be able to prevent this, Link and Sai were both given a part of the Triforce's power and gets assistance by a mysterious ghost named Luna who helps them on their quests by splitting herself into two as they go on their seperate quests. The game takes place approximately 100 years from Twilight Princess in an slightly alternate timeline where the Temple of Time actually had two swords and one was hiden away.
Unlike other Legend of Zelda games, Twin Swords is the only Zelda game to have two playable characters and online multiplayer, but it still plays similar to the other Zelda games and has similar aspects as well. The two characters each have their own set of items but with a few items being the same (example: bow, bomb, etc). The player will be able to play songs to control the elements or call a horse using a flute known as the Nature Flute, which both the characters have.
Twin Swords is an action-adventure game focusing on exploration and item collection. It uses the basic control scheme introduced in Ocarina of Time, including buttons whose functions change depending on game context, and L-targeting, a system which allows the player to keep Link or Sai's view focused on an enemy or important object. Link and Sai can walk, run, and attack, and will automatically jump when running off of or reaching for a ledge. Link uses a sword and shield in combat while Sai uses dual swords giving her more attack power but lower defense, they both are complemented with secondary weapons and items, including a bow and arrow, boomerang, bombs, and the Hookshot. L-targeting allows Link and Sai to lock on to an enemy and automatically defend themselves. During L-Targeting, projectile-based weapons can be fired at a target without the need for manual aiming.
The context-sensitive button mechanic allows one button to serve a variety of functions, such as talking, opening doors, and pushing, pulling, and throwing objects. The on-screen display shows what action, if any, the context-sensitive button will trigger, determined by the situation. For example, if Link is holding a rock, the context-sensitive button will cause Link to throw the rock if he is moving or targeting an object or enemy, or place the rock on the ground if he is standing still.
The gameplay between Link and Sai are slightly different. Like in the other Legend of Zelda games, Link uses a sword and shield for combat, but Sai uses dual swords which can inflict more damage to an opponent but she cannot defend against powerful attacks without being knocked back due to her lower defense. Unlike Link, Sai is faster and more powerful when attacking and she could change the placement of her primary and secondary swords slightly changing the defensive manuvuers and attack power, as Link is slower and cannot defeat the enemy as quickly but could stand more damage and defend strong attacks. The character played must be chosen at the beginning of the game.
The game features thirteen dungeons—large, contained areas where Link and Sai battle enemies, collects items, and solves puzzles. Link and Sai navigate these dungeons and fights a boss at the end in order to obtain an item or otherwise advance the plot. The dungeons are connected by a large overworld, across which Link and Sai can travel on foot, ride on their horses, Epona (Link) or Erina (Sai), or teleport using the Nature Flute to teleport at one of the specified points to another one.
The online co-op gameplay is the same as the offline single-player gameplay except with two players. The first player is the host of the game and has the game connected with the offline story. The first player is also allowed to decide to just roam around the overworld and other unlocked dungeons. The second player must play as the other character and help the first player on what he or she is currently doing.
The artificial intelligence (AI) of enemies in Twin Swords are like the ones in Twilight Princess. Enemies react to defeated companions and to arrows or slingshot pellets that pass by but the AI cannot detect the player if the player is hiding from the enemy before they notice.
Unlike most Zelda games, there is more voice acting in the game. Link and Sai are given voices to talk with in cutscenes and sometimes when attacking or getting injured, but they remain silent when talking to someone not in a cutscene.
The story does not change depending on whether Link or Sai is chosen, but the views of the story are.
In the beginning story, Link is a young adult who works in a ranch with his grandfather in Rolan Village. One day, the village was attacked by monsters and Link chased them into a lake where they disappeared without a trace. When Link came back to the village, it was burning and Link tried to save his grandfather but couldn't save him in time. When the flame ended, only Link, a few of the villagers, Epona, and Erina were left. The next day, the mayor told him that there was nothing left of value of the village so he told everyone to leave and head towards Kakariko village for refuge but lets Link decide what he wants to do and then Link goes to the lake where the monsters disappeared and meets Sai, one of the villagers and someone else who chased the monsters. At the lake they met a ghost named Luna and decides that they're the ones who must save Hyrule and tell them both to go to Hyrule Castle.
At Hyrule Castle Town, they met a mysterious cloaked girl who Luna told them to meet and they were then found and kicked out of the town when knights appeared and told them that it was Princess Zelda. Once Zelda was brought back to the castle, Ganondorf revealed himself after killing the king and imprisoned the entire castle, not allowing anyone to enter or escape. After noticing something was wrong, Luna told Link and Sai to go to Kakariko village where the could prepare themselves for the quests Luna was going to give them.