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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
|Game(s)||The Adventure of Link|
Ocarina of Time
Oracle of Ages
A Link to the Past & Four Swords
|Other Media||Super Smash Bros. Melee|
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Palace of the Four Sword
Take 'Em All On!
Broken Giant's Knife
|Voice Actor(s)||Nobuyuki Hiyama (OoT)|
Akira Sasanuma (TP)
Dark Link is a dark reflection of Link. 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. 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!.
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.
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:
- The Adventure of Link: Dark Link
- Ocarina of Time: Middle Boss Battle
- Twilight Princess: The Dark Interlopers
- Spirit Tracks: Ghost Ship Bellum Battle
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. 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
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. 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.
Dark Link shares Link's voice, but it is heavily distorted, giving it a demonic feel.
Oracle of Ages
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
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.
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.
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.
- 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. 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, Link's Shadow 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 Famicom 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.
- Upon passing the dead tree, Link's shadow disappears before Dark Link materializes, suggesting that Dark Link is his shadow.
- Dark Link in Ocarina of Time can be made to imitate most of Link's animations. Stunning Dark Link with Deku Nuts in a specific way will cause him to mirror Link's every move. This can be used to 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 mimics Link's idle animations, such as checking his sword and tunic. If Link puts on the Iron Boots, Dark Link will start moving as if he were also wearing them.
- In the 3DS version, Dark Link will instead slide towards Link on one leg, frozen in a single frame of his running animation.
- In A Link to the Past, the GBA-exclusive Dark Links have the same sword and shield that Link currently has equipped, but they will always inflict 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 same sound effect that Link normally makes when knocked to the ground.
Adventure of Link
Ocarina of Time
Super Smash Bros. Melee
A Link to the Past
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Spirit Tracks (Battle Music)
Ocarina of Time 3D
- "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.
- "Dark Link
Conquer yourself!" — Navi (Ocarina of Time)
- "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)
- "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)
- "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)
- "However, you'll find nothing to restore your health inside. Nothing at all!" — Hostess (Spirit Tracks)
- "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)
- "You're no son of mine! Get out! Get out of here!...And never come back!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 1)
- "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)
- "I've got to see Queen Seline. Maybe she can tell me what's going on." (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 2)
- "Hey, you! What are you doing on the throne? Where's Queen Seline?" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 2)
- "She is my prisoner...just like you!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 2)
- "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. )
- "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)
- "Master... The people are restless! Is it wise to let them see this?" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 5)
- "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)
- "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)
- "What? I...uh...I mean...so be it." (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 5)
- "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)
- "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)
- "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)
- "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)
- "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)
- "Prepare to die, weakling!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 9)
- "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)
- "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)
- "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)
- "Guards! Surrender NOW!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 10)
- "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)
- "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)
- Peter Pan, by J.M. Barrie, Chapter 2: The Shadow
|Names in Other Regions|
|Dark Link||Link's Shadow (TAoL)|
|Japanese|| ダークリンク (Dark Link) (OoT)
シャドウリンク (Shadow Link) (ST)
| Link Tenebroso
Link oscuro (OoT3D)
|French||Ombre de Link|
Der schwarze Link (OoT)