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The Legend of Zelda character
Midna, as depicted in Twilight Princess
First game The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2006)
Created by Shigeru Miyamoto
Designed by Yusuke Nakano
Voiced by Akiko Kōmoto

Midna (Japanese: ミドナ, Hepburn: Midona) is one of the main protagonists in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, a 2006 video game in Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda series. She is a member of the Twili, a fictional race of magic-wielders, who joins forces with Link to prevent the kingdom of Hyrule from being enveloped by a corrupted parallel dimension known as the Twilight Realm. While Midna appears as an imp-like creature in the majority of Twilight Princess, her actual form is humanoid. She was designed by Yusuke Nakano and voiced by Akiko Kōmoto. Midna's first appearance was in a trailer for Twilight Princess shown at the 2005 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3); at the time, her gender was unknown, leaving some journalists confused about it.

Midna was generally well received by critics and gamers alike. Her role in Twilight Princess has been compared to that of Navi, a character who accompanies Link in the 1998 game The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Midna makes minor appearances in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, and returns as a playable character in Hyrule Warriors.

Concept and design[edit]

The concept of Midna came from another game Nintendo was working on before Twilight Princess, which was eventually abandoned.[1] Eventually re-purposed for Twilight Princess, Midna was illustrated by Yusuke Nakano[2] and voiced by Akiko Kōmoto.[3] In describing the character, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess director Eiji Aonuma called her "tsundere", which means a character who starts the story as snobbish and brash, but who becomes gentler and kinder over time, a character archetype both he and Shigeru Miyamoto, co-creator of The Legend of Zelda series, are fond of.[4] When asked by Game Informer editor Billy Berghammer if Midna would make a follow-up appearance to her role in Twilight Princess, Aonuma found it unlikely that she would return due to the game's ending, but added that if there were enough demand, the developers may consider it.[4]

Midna's original form is a turqoise skinned woman with body markings on her limbs, orange hair, and red eyes. She also wears a South Asian-like attire composing of black gagra choli with a trailing black veil. However, after being cursed by Zant, Midna became a diminutive "imp".[5] Other than her lack of clothing, save a Fused Shadow fragment (powerful magical relics of her race) as a mask, Midna bears elements of her original form. While in her imp form, Midna frequently speaks in sinister and sarcastic ways, often acting uninterested in the events of Hyrule and/or Link's plight unless they suit her needs. Her bright orange hair is her main method of physical control while she is in imp form and will often use it to deal physical damage or control Link while he is in his wolf form. Her on-screen dialogue is often accompanied by a babble of pseudo-speech, which was produced by scrambling English phrases sampled by Kōmoto.[6]


Midna's game of origin, Twilight Princess, reveals her backstory as being the next in line to rule the Twilight Realm, making her the eponymous "Twilight Princess". However, a power-obsessed Twili man named Zant usurps the throne from Midna using powers granted to him by Ganon to turn their people into monsters. Stripped of her power and turned into a diminutive imp-like creature, a vengeful Midna finds a fragment of the Fused Shadow prior to witnessing on Link's capture and transformation into a wolf by Zant's Shadow Beasts. Seeing use in him, Midna rescues Link to coerce him into helping her find the other Fused Shadow fragments to regain her birthright.[7][8] Overtime, Midna becomes less insensitive and sassy toward Link. After obtaining the last Fused Shadow, Zant catches the two of them off-guard and seizes the Fused Shadows; exposes Midna to the Light Spirit Lanayru, causing her to fall ill; and curses Link to remain in wolf form. They seek the Master Sword to reverse this.[9][10] Princess Zelda uses her abilities to heal Midna, though causing Zelda to disappear. After obtaining the Master Sword, they begin their search for the Twilight Mirror.[10] Upon discovery of the mirror, they find that Zant has broken it and scattered its pieces. After the mirror's restoration, Midna and Link finally travel to the Twilight Realm, where they defeat Zant.[11] The two of them travel to Hyrule Castle to defeat Ganondorf, the source of Zant's power. After defeating Ganon's Bestial form, Midna uses the power of the Fused Shadows to attempt to finish off Ganondorf, but is found to have been unsuccessful when Ganondorf approaches Link, crushing the fragment of the Fused Shadow that Midna wore on her face as a mask. After Ganondorf is defeated and Hyrule Castle is destroyed, Midna is revived and restored to her original humanoid form. At the end of the game, she returns to the Twilight Realm and shatters the Mirror of Twilight, an act that only the true ruler of the Twilight can do, preventing Light and Twilight from mixing, and preventing a potential repeat of Zant's actions by someone else.

During the events of Hyrule Warriors, Midna is attacked by the sorceress Cia during her battle with Zant's forces and is banished from the Twilight Realm when Cia allies with Zant. While antagonistic at first, Midna allies herself with Lana and Agitha to help Link and Zelda defeat Cia and restore order, and later to defeat the revived Ganondorf. She is also playable in her true Twili form as part of the Twilight Princess DLC pack. In Hyrule Warriors Legends, Midna is briefly restored to her true form by a mysterious crystal and uses her restored power to aid Princess Zelda with help from Linkle, but she is forced to destroy the crystal afterwards and returns to her imp form.

Midna makes minor appearances in Super Smash Bros. Brawl in the form of multiple collectible stickers and trophies.[12][13] A song from Twilight Princess, "Midna's Lament", is featured as a song in Brawl as well.[14] She also appears in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U as an assist trophy.[15]


Midna was first revealed in the E3 2005 trailer of Twilight Princess, which also first showed the Twilight Realm and Link's wolf transformation. At this point, her gender was unknown, causing some confusion among journalists.[16][17] IGN editor Matt Casamassina commented that the "colorful character" clashed with the then-black and white world of the Twilight Realm, though he was excited to see how the wolf-and-rider mechanics would work.[16]

Midna has received mostly positive reception from both the video game press and the public for her role in Twilight Princess. Game Informer editor Andrew Reiner stated that she, along with Link's wolf transformation, had incredible effects on Twilight Princess' gameplay.[18] Fellow Game Informer editor Billy Berghammer stated that he loved Midna, describing her as a cool character due to how she messed with Link throughout the game.[4] 1UP.com editor Jeremy Parish stated that the supporting characters of Twilight Princess make up for Link's laconic nature, Midna more so than others. He described her as being acerbic and thoughtful, as well as an intricate character who moves the plot forward for her own means.[19] While America's Intelligence Wire editor Dave Arey described her as intriguing, he felt that she could have been more so if Nintendo had developed her further.[20] GamesRadar listed her as one of the 25 best new characters of the decade, stating that before Midna, the only characters they could relate to were Link, Princess Zelda, and Ganon.[21] RPGamer editor Matthew Rickert stated that he found nothing intriguing or likable about her, complaining about how much more plot time she receives in spite of this, arguing that she offers little help to Link and that it felt like she had replaced Zelda in Twilight Princess.[22]

She has also been praised for her overall role in the series and as a Nintendo character. She ranked at fifth place on the top ten best female video game characters by members of Official Nintendo Magazine's forum. The ONM staff added that she was well loved by Nintendo fans, and her back story made it difficult to dislike her.[23] G4TV editor Michael Leffler called her a wonderful addition to the series, adding that she balances Link out.[24] Nintendo Power, in discussing the ending to Twilight Princess, describes the relationship between Link and Midna as one of the most compelling in The Legend of Zelda history.[25] IGN editor Lucas M. Thomas refers to her as essentially the second playable character in Twilight Princess.[26]

Midna has been compared to several characters in fiction, most often to fellow The Legend of Zelda series character Navi. The Register editor Tyler Stewart made such a comparison, calling Midna annoying.[27] Nintendo World Report editor Jonathan Metts compared Midna to Navi as well, calling them analogues to each other but differed in saying that he did not find her annoying in the least. He added that unlike Navi, she had an actual personality and an ambiguous sense of morality.[28] A preview of Twilight Princess in magazine GameAxis Unwired also compared Midna to Navi, though criticizing her inability to identify enemies' names and weaknesses like Navi could.[29] Shack News editor David Craddock compared Midna to The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask partner Tatl, a character physically similar to Navi, calling her "very sarcastic" and "very amusing." Because of this, he found her to be much more interesting than Navi.[30] In the book "The meaning of video games: gaming and textual studies", author Steven Edward Jones discusses multiple non-playable characters that assist the playable character throughout the game, including Midna. He compared Midna to another wolf-riding assistant named Issun from the action game Ōkami, adding that they both seem to be based on Navi. He went further to suggest that these kinds of characters could be based on Tinker Bell from Peter Pan.[31]

Before the release of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Midna's inclusion as a playable character was a popular suggestion amongst fans. In an article detailing the top ten most-wanted characters for Brawl, IGN editors Phil Pirrello and Richard George ranked Midna third, citing her controlling personality and shadow-based powers, which they say would add some much-needed unconventional gameplay to the Super Smash Bros. series.[32] Midna was also featured in two of IGN's Smash It Up editorials; first as the Reader's Choice and later amongst other dual characters. Both of these were written by Lucas M. Thomas, who also praised the character for her potential as a quality Super Smash Bros. fighter.[26][33] In response to their top ten most-wanted characters list, a group of Midna fans began sending many emails to IGN, causing members of the IGN Stars staff to create an article mentioning their forum as well as their cause to have Midna appear in more video games.[34]


  1. ^ Corrigan, Hope. "Zelda's Midna Was Originally Designed for an Unreleased Nintendo Game". IGN. Retrieved 28 June 2017. 
  2. ^ Main Character Design/Illustration - Yusuke Nakano
  3. ^ Voice - Akiko Koumoto
  4. ^ a b c "GDC 07: Zelda's Link To The Past And Future - The Eiji Aonuma Interview". Game Informer. 2007-03-07. Archived from the original on 2009-01-16. Retrieved 2009-09-10. 
  5. ^ Game Arts; Sora Ltd. (2008-01-31). Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Wii. Nintendo. Scene: Trophy description. Midna was a princess in the Twilight Realm who was transformed into an imp by Zant 
  6. ^ Hillier, Brenna (July 30, 2014). "Midna speaks English, and other secrets of The Legend of Zelda". VG247. Archived from the original on August 2, 2014. Retrieved April 30, 2016. 
  7. ^ Nintendo EAD Group No. 3 (November 19, 2006). The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. GameCube/Wii. Nintendo. Midna: I was planning on helping you...if you were nice. 
  8. ^ Nintendo EAD Group No. 3 (November 19, 2006). The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. GameCube/Wii. Nintendo. Midna: I'll guide you to the sure footing, so target me with Z and follow me with A! 
  9. ^ Nintendo EAD Group No. 3 (November 19, 2006). The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. GameCube/Wii. Nintendo. Zant: So be it... I will return you to the light world you covet! 
  10. ^ a b Nintendo EAD Group No. 3 (November 19, 2006). The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. GameCube/Wii. Nintendo. Midna: This thing is the embodiment of the evil magic that Zant cast on you. It's definitely different from our tribe's shadow magic... [...] But on the other hand...if we kept it, you'd be able to transform into a beast anytime you wanted... 
  11. ^ Zant: As long as my master, Ganon, survives, he will resurrect me without cease!
  12. ^ "Sticker List". Smash Bros. DOJO!!. 2008-04-09. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  13. ^ "Trophy List". Smash Bros. DOJO!!. 2008-04-08. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  14. ^ "Full Song List With Secret Songs". Smash Bros. DOJO!!. 2008-04-03. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  15. ^ "Assist Trophies". Nintendo. 2014. Retrieved 2016-12-23. 
  16. ^ a b "The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Preview". IGN. 2005-05-17. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  17. ^ "Fierce competition for players' eyeballs and wallets at E3". The Triangle. 2005-05-27. Archived from the original on 2010-08-06. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  18. ^ "The Legend Continues". Game Informer. Archived from the original on 2009-06-09. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
  19. ^ "The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Review from 1UP.com". 1UP.com. 2006-11-16. Archived from the original on 2010-01-05. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  20. ^ Arey, Dave (2007-01-22). "Syracuse: Interactive features take classic game to next level" (Newspaper). The America's Live Wire. 
  21. ^ "The 25 best new characters of the decade". GamesRadar. 2009-12-29. Retrieved 2010-01-04. 
  22. ^ "RPGFan Reviews: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess". RPGFan. 2007-04-04. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
  23. ^ "Nintendo Features: Leading Ladies". Official Nintendo Magazine. 2009-09-12. Archived from the original on 2009-09-14. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  24. ^ "The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess for GameCube Reviews". G4TV. 2006-11-20. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  25. ^ Nintendo Power 250th issue!. South San Francisco, California: Future US. 2010. p. 46. 
  26. ^ a b "Smash It Up! Tag Teams". IGN. 2007-11-30. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  27. ^ "'Twilight Princess' reinvents classic legend". The Register. 2007-01-30. Archived from the original on August 7, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
  28. ^ "Wii Review: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess". Nintendo World Report. 2006-11-18. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  29. ^ GameAxis Unwired. Books.google.com. February 2007. Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  30. ^ "The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Impressions Continued.." Shack News. 2006-11-22. Archived from the original on 2007-01-27. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
  31. ^ The meaning of video games: gaming . Books.google.com. 2008. ISBN 9780415960557. Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  32. ^ "Smash Bros. Wish-List: All Nintendo Edition". IGN. 2008-02-08. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
  33. ^ "Smash It Up! Ladies' Night". IGN. 2007-09-07. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  34. ^ "Save Midna". IGN. 2008-07-08. Retrieved 2009-07-31.