The end of our game lies in this border realm between Hyrule and Limbo. Many people have spilled out from Limbo, though there’s no sign of Link. The castle-goers are alive again, including the King and Queen. Yet everyone is weak and pale, as though Limbo is drinking life from them. Navi is too afraid to venture inside Limbo itself. Before Navi or the King can say anything, Zelda is off to finish this.
The powerless Ganon accompanies her as the guide, because nobody knows this place as well as he does. The only way to sever the ties to Limbo, he claims, is to bring something as powerful as the Triforce into the heart of this place. He explains that he was infested with Limbo’s energies and it corrupted him, though when Zelda turns her back he still looks like a schemer.
With the Master Sword weakened, we’re back to sneaking and relying on the bow. Instead of real landscapes, we’re roaming in abstract monochrome mountains with bits of color denoting enemies, and even these landscapes seem to be alive. We’re attacked by Zanath, now corrupted by Limbo energy. Ganon gradually absorbs some himself to cast offensive magic in support of Zelda. The further we go, the wilder the versions of Zanath manifest. We get brief glimpses of a ghostly Link, ala the Shadow Link fight. It’s as though he’s guiding us.
We journey to the Final Temple, which lies beneath a pit where, if this were our world, Castle Hyrule would stand. Here the ghostly Link appears more frequently, showing us hints on how to progress. Here, also, an octopus-like Zanath bars every possible way, and Zelda and Ganon must find alternate paths down. This is our big dungeon-long boss battle, until driving the Master Sword into Zanath causes him to wither. Ganon winds up tackling the weakened Zanath, trying to steal all the energy he’s absorbed, to get his power back.
|You remember this guy, right?|
Zelda takes the opportunity to pass to the end of the dungeon where she can set all this to rest. There is an altar, not unlike the one we found the Master Sword upon, but with three triangular imprints. Link is also here, in the flesh and unconscious, hands reaching to the altar. She lays the Triforce to rest here, using its power to close the gap. The world trembles, and Zelda has to carry Link to safety before the portal to home closes. When the world trembles, she tosses Link through the narrowing portal. It’s as though she’s going to perish when Link’s arm comes through and pulls her to safety. So I guess he always saves the princess, at least a little bit.
The two watch from Castle Hyrule as the portal closes. Ganon and Zanath chase along behind them, though they don’t make it. Ganon glares at Zelda through the vanishing space, swearing he’ll be back.
If Nintendo would let me, I’d have Link get his first speaking role here since he’s not the main character, asking what the heck happened. I’d be almost as happy, though, if Zelda and Link shared a mute exchange. Regardless, Zelda helps him to his feet and we watch them exit the damaged castle. They descend the steps in the gilded light of sunset, a reminder of The Golden Realm. They’ve arrived outside just in time for nightfall. The sky’s black, but there are stars in that blackness. Roll the credits over the stars.