This guest article was written by SG fan Kenith. If you want to ask him any questions then you can find him on his twitter: @KenithTG
The Legend of Zelda‘s playable cast in Super Smash Bros. all represent a significant part of the franchise’s history. Link, Zelda, and Ganondorf are the main recurring hero, princess, and villain respectively. Young Link represents the child form of Link that makes up the better half of the series, and Toon Link continues this theme while also representing a long line of ‘Toon’-styled games starting with The Wind Waker. Finally, Sheik is Zelda’s alter ego and plays a pivotal role in Ocarina of Time, the series’ most iconic and influential installment.
However, there is another character in the series that I believe has the credentials to join the All-Star cast of Smash – and that character is Midna, Link’s imp companion from Twilight Princess. Despite only appearing once, her design and dynamic character set her apart enough to elevate her to being one of Zelda‘s most iconic characters. Her popularity has hardly waned since her debut, making her a prime candidate for Smash.
Of course, Midna isn’t known for fighting on her own. Enter Wolf Link, Link’s feral Twilight counterpart from Twilight Princess. In their game of origin, Midna and Wolf Link are an inseparable duo, and that doesn’t change in Smash.
Who are Wolf Link and Midna?
In the Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, when Link’s hometown is threatened by strange monsters, he is plunged into a world of darkness known as the Twilight Realm. In this world, he is transformed from a human into a great, blue-eyed wolf. He then encounters a mysterious imp named Midna, who helps him on his quest in exchange for his own help in finding mysterious objects known as Fused Shadows to save her own world. To this end they work as a duo, Link fighting as a beast and Midna riding on his back, occasionally assisting him with her magic, hunting down the Fused Shadows and purging the veil of Twilight from Hyrule. While initially selfish, over the course of their adventure, Midna begins to genuinely care about Link, and they develop a common goal of saving both Hyrule and the Twilight Realm from the Usurper King of Shadows, Zant. Eventually, it is revealed that Midna is the Twilight Princess and that Zant is being controlled by Ganondorf. With the defeat of Ganondorf and Zant, peace is restored to both worlds, and Midna regains her true form, returning to the Twilight Realm and destroying the link between the two worlds in the process.
Importance to Nintendo?
While not seen as a particularly revolutionary game, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is one of the most successful installments of the series, partially due to launching on both the Wii as a launch title and as one of the final Gamecube games. Midna herself quickly became one of the most popular characters in the series due to her role as a partner character with a strong personality, design, and dynamic character development. She stood out from the previous partner characters in the series and has been compared favorably to the fairy Navi, who was considered an annoyance in Ocarina of Time. The impact of Midna was strong enough to create a dedicated group of fans that urged Nintendo to include her in more games in spite of the absolute ending of Twilight Princess. While she has yet to return in any canon Zelda game, the results of this dedication can be seen in Hyrule Warriors, where she was one of the very first characters to be revealed, alongside Princess Zelda at E3 2014. Wolf Link also has a significant fan following in spite of his gameplay in Twilight Princess being criticized. Midna and Wolf Link’s popularity have been sustained through various appearances in games such as Hyrule Warriors, Super Smash Bros. for, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and even Animal Crossing: New Leaf. They have both received various merchandise, including their very own amiibo, which was the first in the Zelda amiibo line.
How will they play?
Wolf Link and Midna’s palettes are pulled from various sources – the first four alts. use Midna’s alternate colors from Hyrule Warriors as inspiration (red, gold, purple and green Midna) with Wolf Link getting colors based on enemies in the game (Stalhound, Wolfos & Lord Bulbo) while the green Midna gets a Hylian Link themed Wolf Link color. Another has a White Wolfos theme with Wolf Link being lightly colored and Midna’s helmet looking like ice, while the next one is based on the Shadow Beasts in Twilight Princess. Her final alt. uses Midna’s colors from when she was made ill by being exposed to a light spirit’s light and the Hero’s Shade’s wolf colors for Wolf Link.
- Can they crawl: Yes
- Can they wall jump: Yes
- How many jumps do they have: 2
- Is there any exclusive abilities they have*: No
- Weight Class: B
- Height Class: B
- Speed Class: A
- Are they mirrored when they face left: No
Taking inspiration from both Twilight Princess and Hyrule Warriors for their moveset, Wolf Link and Midna are a fighter duo that use their wide variety of unique attacks and tricks, as well as their quick speed, to confuse the enemy and then strike in the confusion. They work as a team and both contribute something different to the battle – Wolf Link serves as the duo’s locomotion and has nimble, safe attacks with his claws, fangs, and blade-like tail. Midna, meanwhile, uses her magic to enhance Wolf Link’s physical attacks, create portals, and attack herself using her ponytail which can turn into a giant fist, which she can slap, crush, or throw enemies with.
Wolf Link stands out from the other group fighters of Smash Bros. – Rosalina and Luma, Ice Climbers, Duck Hunt – in how these unique attacks work in tandem – Whenever Wolf Link attacks, Midna can add an additional attack when the button is held. Midna’s hair attacks are more powerful than Wolf Link’s but require a much bigger commitment as they are slower and have more starting and ending lag. Learning to use these varied attacks is key, as they allow the player to keep the enemy guessing and also to really pile on the damage when they finally mess up.
Being a shadowy imp and a wolf, they are quite a nimble duo, with a fast running speed and a fast air speed, as well as a very strong recovery. They’re also a heavy fighter thanks to the combined weight of the two characters. However, Wolf Link has a short reach and is not particularly powerful, while Midna is powerful but also very slow, making characters who can maintain their distance a serious issue.
Note: Any attacks where Midna can add an extra attack by holding the attack button is marked with (Hold).
Wolf Link is warped in from above, then Midna drops onto his back as they look at each other.
|Idle||Midna sits on Wolf Link’s back while they both look forward. Midna will occasionally look around without moving.|
Midna repositions herself to look behind, then stands up and looks around with a hand over her brow before sitting back down. Wolf Link paws at the ground.
Midna crosses her arms and nods proudly. Wolf Link continues looking forward.
Wolf Link crouches down while Midna lays completely flat on his back.
|Walking||Wolf Link runs forward while Midna holds onto his back.|
Wolf Link breaks into a sprint, which startles Midna causing her to lean down and tightly grip his fur.
|Jump/Second Jump||Wolf Link leaps with his front paws ahead while Midna firmly holds his fur.|
|Falling||Wolf Link extends his front paws down while Midna grips his fur tightly, both bracing each other for when they hit the ground.|
|Damage||Wolf Link flinches, turning his head down, as Midna leans over as if to avoid being hit.|
|Sleep||Wolf Link falls asleep curled up while Midna lays her head down on her crossed arms. When waking, Midna wakes up first and then wakes Wolf Link.|
|Broken Shield / Dizzy||Midna holds her head with one hand while Wolf Link stands wobbly with his head hung low.|
– Neutrals –
Wolf Link does two lunging bites.
|F-Tilt||Wolf Link steps forward and sweeps with his tail, which Midna punctuates with a slap from her hair hand. (Hold)|
|U-Tilt||Wolf Link swipes his tail through the air, then Midna swats at the air twice with her hair hand. (Hold)|
|D-Tilt||Wolf Link does a fast, low, spinning sweep with his tail, which is followed by Midna slamming her hair fist on the ground. (Hold)|
|Dash attack||Wolf Link does a quick leaping lunge forward.|
|Edge attack||Midna slaps with her hair hand while Wolf Link quickly recovers onto the stage.|
|Floor attack||Midna sweeps all around with hair hand to cover Wolf Link recovering to his feet.|
– Smash attacks –
Wolf Link does a fierce shoulder bash before Midna winds up and releases a giant punch with her hair fist.
|Up Smash||Wolf Link jumps up and bites at the air, while Midna swipes her hair claw through the air as he returns to the ground.|
Wolf Link does a Spin Attack while Midna sweeps along the ground with her hair fist, hitting both sides.
– Aerials –
|N-air||Midna extends her hair while Wolf Link rolls forward many times, hitting in a full circle around them. (Hold)|
Wolf Link does a spiraling lunge attack, then Midna uses the momentum to swing her head and her hair fist forward for a downward swing attack. (Hold)
|B-air||Wolf Link kicks with both of his back legs with his claws out, while Midna follows up with a backhanded slap from her hair hand. (Hold)|
|U-air||Wolf Link does a backflip in the air while swiping with his tail, and Midna does a rising backhanded swipe as he rises back up. (Hold)|
|D-air||Wolf Link does a pouncing motion, soaring down in a lunge, which is followed by Midna violently punching downwards, spiking enemies. (Hold)|
– Grabs –
|Grab||Midna extends her hair-hand and grabs the enemy, lifting them into the air.|
|Pummel||Midna crushes the enemy with her hand.|
|F-Throw||Wolf Link jumps as Midna slams the enemy into the ground before her.|
Midna spins the enemy around once before tossing them behind her. Identical to her purpose as an Assist Trophy.
Midna spins the enemy around over her head three times before releasing them.
Midna slams the enemy back and forth against the ground four times, with the final slam launching them up.
– Specials / Custom Moves –
|Neutral Special: Dark Force Field||
Midna lifts her hair hand into the air as Wolf Link slowly moves forward. A dark energy field is created around them which locks onto anyone who enters its radius, and its reach expands to a certain point. When released, Wolf Link will instantly lunge into everyone caught starting with the closest. A great move for hitting many enemies at once, but beware – Wolf Link will attack enemies regardless of their position, leading to some unfortunate potential self-destructs.
|Neutral Special 2: Windy Force Field||Midna lifts her hair hand and creates a force field around herself and Wolf Link. When the button is released everyone caught in the radius of the field will be pushed out of it by a wind effect. Good for creating distance between you and your foe, but beware of its long ending lag.|
|Neutral Special 3: Shocking Force Field||Midna lifts her hair hand and creates a force field around herself and Wolf Link for as long as the button is held. When released, everyone inside the field will be stunned for a few moments, leaving them open to attack. The area of effect is much smaller than the other two versions of this move.|
|Side Special: Wolf Lunge||Wolf Link lunges forward with a red glow. If he makes contact with an enemy, he’ll latch on and begin them biting them as rapidly as the player can press the Special button. After a short time, he’ll kick them away as Midna hits the enemy with her hair fist. Leaves the duo wide open if it misses. He can deal more damage the higher the target’s percent is. (Hold)|
|Side Special 2: Wolf Paralyzer||Wolf Link lunges through the air, going through and stunning enemies he makes contact with. Has a very slow startup and can be blocked, but has much less ending lag. Enemies stay stunned for longer the higher their damage is.|
|Side Special 3: Wolf Finisher||Wolf Link lunges through the air and latches onto enemies, but instead of biting, holds them so Midna can hit them. Her attack deals more damage and knockback, which makes it good for dealing the finishing blow, but leaves them even more open to attack if it misses.|
|Up Special: Claw Catapult||Midna clutches Wolf Link in her hair hand, reels back, and tosses him like a pitcher at an upwards angle slightly determined by the player. Anyone who hits the rapidly-spinning Wolf Link will get repeatedly damaged and he can add an additional biting attack for more damage. Midna then teleports onto his back. (Hold)|
|Up Special 2: Meteor Catapult||Midna tosses Wolf Link at an angle in her hair hand. Doesn’t go as far the others but does fire damage and spikes anything it hits, and you won’t flinch while being launched from it. (Hold)|
|Up Special 3: Strongarm Catapult||Midna tosses Wolf Link at an angle in her hair hand. He is launched farther than before but he can’t attack at the end of his trip and doesn’t deal damage to enemies, making him vulnerable.|
|Down Special: Warp Attack||
Midna creates a portal beneath herself and one that travels in front of her along the ground as long as the button is held. When it’s released, Wolf Link crawls into the ground portal and emerges in the moving one, and will unleash a quick spin attack when the button is pressed and held again. Not very strong, but good to knock enemies away. (Hold)
|Down Special 2: Warp Trap||Midna creates a portal that travels along the ground slowly as long as the button is held. When it’s released, it will burst, launching anyone who is stepping upon it. Low power and knockback makes this better served for defending against aggressive attackers instead of dealing damage.|
|Down Special 3: Warp Away||Midna creates a portal on the ground that moves quickly. When the button is released Wolf Link will dive into it and emerge without attacking. Good for getting away, but longer ending lag makes it dangerous if you end up too close to enemies.|
|Final Smash: Fused Shadows||
Midna creates a massive portal that draws all near it into a dark dimension. A cutscene will play where Wolf Link will rapidly dash back and forth while attacking the victims. Then Wolf Link will stop and howl as Midna, transformed into a spider-like monster from the Fused Shadow, drops down from the sky and stabs the enemy with a giant spear. The cutscene ends and the enemies are launched away.
– Misc. –
Wolf Link sits down and howls a short song before spinning around and returning to normal.
Wolf Link goes into an angry stance and growls, while Midna puts her hand over her mouth and laughs.
Wolf Link starts digging at the ground before Midna pats his back, causing him to focus.
Midna repeatedly teleports away from Wolf Link who attempts to jump at her, then she finally jumps onto his back and they strike a pose similar to their official artwork from Twilight Princess. (This is the victory animation they use in Team Battles)
|Victory animation 2||Midna flies around Wolf Link before landing by his side with one hand against his side as they both look towards the screen.|
|Victory animation 3||Wolf Link and Midna leap several times from the background into the foreground, then Wolf Link dramatically howls, while Midna holds onto his back with one hand.|
|Loss animation||Wolf Link looks forward while Midna lays on his back, facing away from the camera with her hands behind her head.|
Kirby’s hat for Wolf Link and Midna would be Midna’s Fused Shadow “Helmet” and her hair. Kirby has to do both the AoE and the lunges though.
Wolf Link and Midna’s victory theme is the fanfare for acquiring a Hidden Skill in Twilight Princess.
This concludes my look into how Wolf Link and Midna could play if they ever got into Super Smash Bros. They’re probably not the most obvious newcomer for The Legend of Zelda on account of not being a staple of the series, but that’s part of what makes them stand out. They’re a one-hit wonder from a classic game that would bring something very unique to the roster – in more ways than one.
This is a character that I, personally, have wanted to see join the battle since their introduction, so I hope that this piece will do them justice and maybe get at least one reader interested in them.
Thanks for reading.