The Lanaryu Providence is Hyrule’s largest region and is home to most some of the most memorable locations in Twilight Princess. One location, in particular, is quite small in relation to its home providence, but the mystery and intrigue surrounding it leave a massive impact. That place is the Hidden Village.

Before you even step foot inside the village, certain characters have made mention of the town and helped create an air of mystery about it. They also reveal how there is an enemy threat lurking within it. So, when Link finally enters the village, and we get to see that it is little more than an abandoned settlement consisting of dilapidated buildings in a western-style layout, it honestly couldn’t be more unexpected and exciting.

Tingle’s Maps is a series in which we explore the endless lands of Hyrule in search of our favorite places in The Legend of Zelda. We’ll explore everywhere: the beautiful landscapes that make us put down the controller in awe; the deadly terrain that threatens Link with the harshest of elements; the bustling towns that bring the game to life; and the abandoned grounds that evoke peace and sadness. As well as the grand locales, we’ll also discover all the secret caves and hidden crevices that lie between. Let’s adventure!

Why is this town deserted? Who was here? Why were they here to begin with? Top that off with the nearly two dozen Bulblins prowling around, and you’ve got the undivided attention and interest of anyone.

If the first glance didn’t immediately suck you in, what follows definitely will. As you learned from Darbus before entering the village, there are at least twenty beasts hiding in the town, and you must take them out before you can learn any of the Hidden Village’s secrets. A cutscene plays out, panning and jumping to different parts of the town, showing monsters and the house you are supposed to reach after they are destroyed.

As this happens, the music starts playing. You know the song I mean: “The Hidden Village” cements the fact that we get the chance to pretend Link is a hero in an American Western movie, and it’s amazing. (Note to staff: If anyone more musically inclined wants to do me a solid and write a Medli’s Melodies about this song, that’d be great.)

A counter shows up on the screen and tells us how many enemies need to be killed. They are everywhere in the town. In the main street, inside buildings, on top of buildings, and hiding around every corner, and how you want to deal with them is up to you. You can go the stealth route and take them out one by one, even sniping them with the Hero’s Bow and Hawkeye combo, or you can go berserker mode and immediately draw attention to yourself to flush them out. The end justifies the means, so as long as that counter hits 20 of 20, it’s all good.

Once you’ve defeated them, the door to the home at the very rear of the village will open, and an old woman will step out to figure out what all the screaming was and why it has stopped. You meet her, learn that her name is Impaz, she had helped Ilia escape, and that she is the last in a long line of people who served the royal family. By royal order, Impaz could not leave until certain duties were fulfilled. Luckily, Link ends up helping her accomplish this task later in the game, which is how he obtains the Ancient Sky Book.

Lastly, after we save Impaz and help Ilia restore her memories, we get the chance to play what is probably the most adorable quest in the game. Return to the village and you’ll find that cats have replaced all the Bulblins. If Link in his wolf form talks with a Cucco in the area, he’ll be prompted to play Cat Chat and must speak with every cat in town. That’s right, you scour the village looking for cats to talk to, just for the sake of letting them have some fun and not be lonely. Do that and you’ll be rewarded with a Piece of Heart. It’s one of the most rewarding challenges ever.

The Hidden Village. So much of what is fascinating about it is what we don’t know, what is satisfying is the terror we get to unleash on some beasts, and what is so fulfilling is the quality time spent with a batch of furry friends. Mysterious, intense and oddly adorable. It can pretty much serve as a representation of Twilight Princess as a whole.