Emotions run high in much of Twilight Princess, but the section of the game that has stuck with me the most is when Link finally locates and rescues Talo, Malo, Beth, and Colin in Kakariko Village. It’s a powerful sequence that demonstrates much of what I’ve come to love about Link’s character.

After reaching the village, the first thing I did was defeat a few Shadow Beasts that lurked near the entrance. Once they were taken care of I talked to the Light Spirit Eldin to get the story moving again. After that was done, I was free to explore the town.

Realm of Memories is a series where we reflect on our absolute favorite moments in The Legend of Zelda games. These could be the times we first fell in love with a game, were moved by the events of the story or actions of a character, felt triumphant when overcoming a tough boss or challenge, or we had an experience so unique that the adventure truly became our own. The Zelda series has touched our lives in many ways, and just as Hyrule has endless stories to share, so do our writers!

I didn’t get far into my exploration, however, as Midna’s rather forceful alert icon let me know there was something nearby she could help me climb. She led me up the exterior of a strange, round building and then down through a hole in its roof. Once inside, I used Wolf Link’s sense to see what was happening and was met with a very welcomed surprise.

Beth, Talo, Malo, and Colin were all there, along three new people: Barnes, Renado, and Luda. They were huddled together in the dark, hiding from the Shadow Beasts. These survivors had no means of escape and feared an attack would come at any moment. The situation was dire, and Barnes’ negative comments did not help the situation any, being enough to make poor Beth cry.

But Colin, a timid-yet-kindhearted person, stepped forth to reassure her and said what, to me, is probably the most important line of dialogue from any Zelda game: “Don’t cry, Beth! It’ll be OK! Link is coming to save us all!”

When you know it’s time to be a hero. 

A chill ran down my spine as Colin expressed his faith in Link. Some characters doubted, and others were confused, but Colin’s confidence changed the mood of the room. Heck, even the music changed. And all the while, Link was already there. Link had indeed come to save them all. I had come to save them all. I felt that.

My responsibility to save the kids became my primary concern. I made quick work of the bugs and returned to the spring to free Eldin and the entire providence from the Twilight Realm’s magic. Once the spirit was done expositing, Link started to walk back to the village. The camera panned as he turned to see that the round building’s doors were open with Colin and the others standing in the threshold. Minus the other kids knocking Colin to the ground, it was the reunion I wanted.

“Reunited, and it feels so good.”

I was happy, but my work wasn’t done. It was now time to ensure that the kids remained safe by continuing the adventure. My next step was to reach the heart of Death Mountain, which meant meeting the Gorons, fighting and losing to said Gorons, reuniting with Epona, returning to Ordon Village to obtain a way to beat the Gorons, and returning to Kakariko Village again. I didn’t think that last part was going to relevant, but then I watch a new cutscene load.

The Bulblins, who had abducted the kids in the first place, returned once more. They charged down the center of the town on their boars with the monstrous King Bulblin leading the way. Talo and Beth were standing directly in the monsters’ path. Talo got out of the way, but Beth froze in shock. Colin saw what was happening, and though he was scared, he knew he had to do something. Without any consideration for his own safety, Colin ran in and pushed Beth out of the way. He made a brave decision and took the hit for her.

He miraculously survived the boar’s charge but was knocked unconscious and taken as a hostage and prize by King Bulblin. The beast’s victory was cut short, however, by the sounds of galloping and a horse’s whinny. Link had returned, and he was furious. I was too.

“You have no idea how much trouble you are in.”

The big, bad coward lifted up his prisoner to mock me and then ran away. I gave chase and confronted him on the field near Eldin Bridge. He had tied Colin to a large pole (I don’t know when he had time for that), which was fastened to his boar. The king then summoned a number of his underlings and a truly epic battle commenced.

It. Is. On.

I let loose on King Bulblin and his troops, taking every chance to cut them down with my sword. Eventually, the king had enough and led me to the bridge for a Legend of Zelda-style game of chicken. He may have knocked me off the bridge once or twice (failures I will always blame on the controls), but I eventually got the best of him, and the beast plummeted to the depths of the canyon below. As he fell, I watched with satisfaction as Link and Epona rose up in triumph and delivered one of the greatest shots from any cutscene in any video game.

Let’s soak in this awesomeness one more time.

The next scene was from Colin’s perspective as he came to. The first thing he saw was Link, his role model and essentially big brother, watching over him. The two had a heart-to-silent-heart moment before Colin fell back to sleep. Renado, escorted by the children, carried the boy inside to take care of him. Link watched for a second to ensure Colin was okay, then turned his attention toward Death Mountain.

A hero’s work is never done. 

Honestly, I was awestruck. To me, this was a perfect example of what made Link so great. Link clearly wanted to stay with the kids, but he had a duty to fulfill. He needed to be everything Colin knew he was. He needed to continue being a hero.