The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is one of the more divisive entries in Nintendo's long-running franchise. People either seem to love it or hate it for a laundry list of reasons involving its graphics, its pacing, and its close adherence to the gameplay formula pioneered by The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for the N64.
Some apparent news about the upcoming Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess remake for Wii U practically guarantees people will remain split about the game in its new incarnation, too. According to the Amazon France listing for the title, Twilight Princess HD has a new dungeon called the Twilight Cave -- but it seems you'll need the Wolf Link / Midna Amiibo to unlock it.
Hold on to your vitriol for a minute, though. As Eurogamer points out, we currently don't know if the Wolf Link Amiibo is the only way to access this mysterious dungeon. It may well wind up being an optional separate purchase via DLC. It may also be unlockable if you complete certain in-game tasks. We don't know yet.
The Wolf Link Amiibo will be available on March 4, same as Twilight Princess HD. It's part of a bundle that includes the game and the soundtrack, though in time we can probably expect to see the Amiibo sold separately (as was the case with Chibi-Robo: Zip Lash for the Nintendo 3DS).
The Amazon listing sparked a lot of angry comments, and it's not hard to understand why. The Zelda games live and die by their dungeons, and the very idea that one might be locked away behind a specific Amiibo is galling. It's been years since we've had a brand-new mainstream Zelda dungeon to spelunk through, and this mysterious Twilight Cave is probably all we're getting until the new Wii U Zelda game arrives later this year (hopefully).
Moreover, even though Nintendo is handling supply and demand far better these days, the word "Amiibo" still drudges up imagery of empty shelves and merciless scalpers. Will there be enough Wolf Link Amiibo to go around, or will we have to cough up $75 for a scummy re-seller if we want to play through the Twilight Cave?
Finally, peddling any kind of on-disc DLC is highly controversial. It doesn't matter if that content is as cool as a Zelda dungeon, or if you need to buy and tap an Amiibo instead of making a purchase via an in-game marketplace. It's still content that's present on the game's disc, but you're disallowed to play it until paying an additional fee.
All that said, it's also an interesting way for Nintendo to weave Amiibo into its games. The little plastic figurines are a huge hit as collectable items, but unlike the Skylanders that inspired them, their in-game implementation is spotty. Using a relevant Amiibo to access certain kinds of content is, in theory, a good way to smooth the very visible seam between Nintendo's toys and games.
But if that's Nintendo's goal, then it must tread carefully. Anyone who buys a toys-to-life game is familiar with the collecting aspect of the genre. You don't get into Disney Infinity unless you're down with the idea of buying plastic Mickeys, Simbas, and Donalds. By contrast, nobody buys a Legend of Zelda game because they intend to pair it with accessories. You buy a Zelda title to explore Hyrule and beat up monsters.
In the worst case scenario, the Twilight Cave winds up being exclusively unlockable via the Wolf Link Amiibo. A slightly better situation involves Twilight Cave being purchasable DLC for non-Amiibo owners. Ideally, Twilight Cave is unlockable in-game, and scanning the Wolf Link Amiibo merely provides a shortcut. We'll have to see.
Of course, accessing an exclusive dungeon for the price of an Amiibo is peanuts for those of us who bought a Game Boy Color and The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX just to get our hands on the Color Dungeon.