- "I had a dream... In the dream, dark storm clouds were billowing over the land of Hyrule... But suddenly, a ray of light shot out of the forest, parted the clouds and lit up the ground... The light turned into a figure holding a green and shining stone, followed by a fairy... I know this is a prophecy that someone would come from the forest... Yes, I thought you might be the one... Oh, I'm sorry! I got carried away with my story and didn't even properly introduce myself! I am Zelda, Princess of Hyrule."
- — Princess Zelda
Zelda, Princess of Hyrule, best known simply as Princess Zelda (ゼルダ姫 Zeruda-hime?, ) is the name for several female Hylians, usually members of the Royal Family of Hyrule, who often play an integral role in the series. Though each is the titular character of the Legend of Zelda series, the actual protagonist is each era's respective Link.
Just as there are multiple Links, there are multiple Zeldas throughout the series. Generally close in age to her respective Link, Zelda is most often portrayed as a child, but has been portrayed as a teenager or young adult on four occasions: in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.
Since most of the Zeldas that appear in the games are different incarnations, they each have slightly differing personalities. However, each Zelda is depicted as a kind and benevolent person.
As the holder of the Triforce of Wisdom, she is wise beyond her years and intelligent enough to rule her people. She always wishes to do what is right for others and is extremely self-sacrificing. Though not always capable of defending herself or others on her own, she does not quit and tries to aid allies when she needs their help. She is also forgiving towards former enemies even when they have harmed her in someway. She is however, extremely loyal towards the ones she cares for (such as Link) and does not tolerate them getting harmed.
Certain incarnations like the Zelda of Skyloft & Tetra, are shown to have a slightly playful personality and more casual attitude. However this is likely due to the fact that neither was raised to be royalty from birth (the Zelda of Skyloft was born a commoner and Tetra is the child of a pirate), unlike most incarnations of Princess Zelda. At least two incarnations are known to have tomboyish qualities, such as Tetra and the Zelda from Ocarina of Time.
Zelda is portrayed as a young girl or beautiful young woman, usually with blonde hair. In Twilight Princess, however (and therefore in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, as well as Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U, in which her appearance is based off of that of Twilight Princess), she is depicted as a brunette. She also has light brown hair in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (though she is depicted as being blonde in artwork), and auburn hair in The Adventure of Link. She often wears jewelry such as ornate earrings (which in some games feature a Triforce design), as well as a royal gown of white, pink, lavender, or another pale color (red in The Adventure of Link), usually bearing the Royal Family's crest.
Associated with the Goddess Nayru and the Triforce of Wisdom, Zelda possesses keen insight and good judgment—although this does not always avail her in eschewing capture. Most of Zelda's incarnations are additionally gifted with innate psychic or magical potencies, such as telepathy and precognition. Albeit her gamut of abilities has yet to be revealed, Zelda has demonstrated the ability to cast spells, engender or annul barriers and seals, and shoot a bow. The source of most of these natural mystical powers could be explained by the presence of the Light Force, a power that is passed down through the Royal Family of Hyrule for generations.
In The Wind Waker, Tetra (as Princess Zelda) briefly wields the Master Sword that had been dropped by Link, making her one of the few people besides Link to be shown wielding the Blade of Evil's Bane. Her ability to wield it proves that Tetra (despite being a pirate) possesses a heart untainted by evil, as it has often been stated that evil beings are incapable of touching and or wielding it. However as she wields it only briefly before returning it to Link, it is unknown if Tetra could wield it as effectively as the various incarnations of the Hero. Being a pirate, Tetra is implied to possess some sword fighting skills and carries a short dagger-like blade which she is shown wielding in promotional artwork. In the non-canon Hyrule Warriors series, she wields cutlasses (along with magically infused pistols) and is even capable of performing the Spin Attack.
In Twilight Princess, Zelda wields a rapier-like sword, though it is unknown if she authentically possesses any fencing skills as she is never shown actually attacking with it (Possessed Zelda does wield the sword, however since she was Ganondorf's puppet body, it was likely his fencing skills and not Zelda's). The non-canon Hyrule Warriors incarnation of Princess Zelda is shown to be a capable and graceful fencer who wields magical lightweight Rapiers that she can transform into a Bow of Light.
Zelda's alter egos appear to have specialized abilities of their own. In Skyward Sword, it is implied that Zelda and her subsequent incarnations' abilities may be due to her connection to the Goddess Hylia and are potentially divine in nature.
Like Link, several of Zelda's various incarnations are shown to be talented musicians. At least three of incarnations (two of them canon) are known to be harp-players (Ocarina of Time, Skyward Sword, and Hyrule Warriors). She also shows a talent for playing wind-based instruments such as an ocarina and a pan flute. She is also been shown to have a talent for singing as well.
The non-canon Zelda from Hyrule Warriors is also shown to be a talented conductor who can wield various Batons, including the legendary Wind Waker. Her ability to wield the Wind Waker is considerably better than Link's, as she can manipulate the wind to lift her off the ground as a form of levitation. In addition to her Batons and Rapiers, Zelda can also wield Dominion Rods that allow her to command and control Hammer Guardians and Owl Statues.
Though she is never actually shown using them in canon Zelda games, she can use the spells Nayru's Love, Farore's Wind, and Din's Fire in non-canon games such as Hyrule Warriors and the Super Smash Bros. series. Additionally Zelda is also a capable military commander in Hyrule Warriors and can manipulate light-based magic energy to create balls of light or a triangular field of light that causes light energy to erupt from the ground.
Zelda has appeared in nearly all Legend of Zelda games with varying degrees of significance. The only exception to date has been The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening and The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes. It should be noted however, that she is briefly referenced in Link's Awakening, but does not make an actual appearance. According to The Adventure of Link, all princesses in Hyrule have been called Zelda since the first Princess Zelda. This would however, according to the Hyrule Historia, only extend to the Zelda in the original game as the other incarnations of Zelda are chronologically from before the tragedy.
Zelda is kidnapped by Ganon, who imprisons her in his lair on Death Mountain. Before she was kidnapped, she shattered the Triforce of Wisdom into eight shards and scattered them throughout Hyrule to hide them from Ganon and prevent him from gaining its power. She then sent her nursemaid Impa in search of a hero that could reassemble the Triforce of Wisdom and be courageous and powerful enough to defeat Ganon and rescue her. Zelda is not actually seen in this game until after Ganon is defeated.
The sequel to The Legend of Zelda plays on the classic tale of Sleeping Beauty. The Zelda in this game is not the one from the first game, but rather her distant ancestor. The Zelda whereabouts of the Zelda from the first game are unknown. Long ago, the power of the Triforce had belonged to one man alone, a great King of Hyrule; however, before his death, he divided the artifact and concealed the part called the Triforce of Courage; the heir to the throne could inherit only the rest.
Before his death, the King had imparted a secret to his daughter, Princess Zelda; with the Magician later finding out about it. The Magician then reported it to the Prince, who was looking for the Triforce of Courage, it being the ony piece he did not possess. Thinking the secret to be the location for the Triforce Piece, the Prince ruthlessly asked about it to his sister.
The Princess responded by refusing to reveal it, even when her brother and the Magician threatened her. In his anger, the Magician put a powerful curse on the Princess, despite the objections of the new King. The exertions caused the Magician himself to drop dead after casting the spell, so he could not be induced to undo it. Devastated, the grieving brother had his sister locked in a tower of the North Castle, and decreed that every female born into the royal family would thereafter be named Zelda, in memory of the tragedy.
After several years had passed, with Zelda remaining the same because of the curse, Link, who had become sixteen, learned of this tragedy and went on a journey to reclaim the lost section of the Triforce to lift the curse. Once he has gained the full Triforce, he then goes back to the palace where Zelda resides in and disperses the curse. Now free from the curse, Zelda thanks Link and calls him a "real hero" for saving Hyrule. The curtains then fall as Link and Zelda appear to embrace.
As written in the Hyrule Historia, the Zelda in A Link to the Past, Link's Awakening, Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages is chronologically the first Zelda in the Fallen Hero Timeline.
Princess Zelda is one of the Seven Maidens descended from the sages who sealed Ganon away during the Imprisoning War. At the beginning of the game, she is imprisoned in the dungeon of Hyrule Castle by Agahnim, who plans on sacrificing her along with the other six maidens in order to break the seal between the Light and Dark World. This would free Agahnim's alter ego, Ganon, from the Dark World and allow him to wreak havoc on Hyrule. Zelda telepathically calls for help, contacting both Link's Uncle and Link in their house.
Link rescues Zelda and takes her into the Sanctuary, where she remains under the protection of the Loyal Sage for part of the game. After Link retrieves the Master Sword from the Lost Woods, Zelda is kidnapped by Agahnim's henchmen and sent to the Dark World in his final ritual, breaking the seal. She is not seen again until she is rescued by Link from Turtle Rock. Saving her and the other six maidens opens the entrance to Ganon's Tower, the final dungeon of the game. Zelda is last seen together with her revived father in the end credits sequence. It was later hinted in the Oracle games and A Link Between Worlds that this Zelda became intimate with Link later on.rumored to be a tomboy.
Zelda is the daughter of the King of Hyrule, and eventually the Seventh Sage and the holder of the Triforce of Wisdom. She is also the leader of the Sages. The heir to the Royal Family, Zelda is of the Hylian race with blonde hair and blue eyes. She begins the game as a young girl about 10-12 years old, who is gifted with psychic abilities. In a dream of symbolic importance, she senses Ganondorf's treachery and predicts Link's arrival before either occurs. When Link meets her for the first time in Hyrule Castle's courtyard, she sends him on a quest to collect the three Spiritual Stones and protect the Triforce from Ganondorf. When Ganondorf attacks Hyrule Castle, Zelda and her nursemaid, Impa, flee the castle on horseback. The Princess throws the Ocarina of Time into the moat in front of Hyrule Castle Town for Link to retrieve; as he touches it, Zelda appears before him in a vision and teaches him the "Song of Time", the final key to the Sacred Realm.
When Link awakens from his seven-year slumber in the Sacred Realm, he encounters Zelda, disguised as a young man of about Link's age named Sheik, who claims to be a survivor of the Sheikah Tribe. Thereafter, Sheik gives Link clues to the locations of the various temples, and teaches him special songs enabling him to warp to specific points near these temples. After the final temple guardian is conquered, Zelda risks her life by revealing her identity and disclosing her position as the Seventh Sage. She informs Link that both of them hold pieces of the Triforce and gives him the Light Arrows, but moments later is captured by Ganondorf and imprisoned in a pink crystal in his castle. Following Ganondorf's defeat, she is freed and assists Link in his escape from the collapsing fortress. She then helps Link defeat Ganon by holding him in place with her magic while Link delivers the final blow. She and the other sages then seal Ganon away without taking away his Triforce piece. After Hyrule is saved, Zelda uses the Ocarina of Time to send Link back to the past, allowing him to regain his lost seven years. This would however, turn out to be a mistake (like most of her other actions) as Link later lived a regretful life and became the Hero's Shade due Zelda's actions. He does however (as the Hero's Shade), help train his descendant (the Link in Twilight Princess) as well as move on after easing his regrets.
- "This song reminds me of us."
- — Princess Zelda
When Link retrieves the Ocarina of Time from the Skull Kid, he is overcome with memories about his departure from Hyrule. In a flashback, the young Princess Zelda from Ocarina of Time is seen saying her goodbyes to Link; she gives him the Ocarina of Time to help him on his journey, and teaches him the "Song of Time" again, which becomes vital to his quest. Zelda makes no further appearances.
This Zelda is stated to be the same Zelda from A Link to the Past as written in the Hyrule Historia. Impa tells Link she has been sent by Zelda to guard Din, the Oracle of Seasons, and Nayru, the Oracle of Ages, and to escort them back to Hyrule. Zelda herself only appears in the Linked Game by linking both counterparts. She is briefly captured, either by the Great Moblin or Vire depending on which counterpart is played, but Link rescues her. She then stays safely with Impa for a while. Towards the end of the story, she becomes upset at seeing the citizenry distraught over the evil powers pervading the land and speaks to them encouragingly to not give up hope. While she is out and about, Twinrova kidnaps her in a plan to revive Ganon, attempting to sacrifice her in order to light the Flame of Despair. Link saves her by defeating Twinrova, who sacrifice their own bodies instead of Zelda's. After Link defeats the mindless Ganon, Zelda kisses him on the cheek in gratitude. The seemingly surprised and genuinely flustered Link swoons while hearts float above the pair's heads, and Zelda looks away, blushing.
In the beginning of the game, Zelda goes to the Sanctuary of the Four Sword with her childhood friend, Link, to check on the seal containing the Wind Mage, Vaati. The seal has weakened, however, and Vaati emerges and kidnaps Zelda in order to make her his bride. The four Links eventually save Zelda and seal Vaati away again.
Near the beginning of The Wind Waker, Link saves a young pirate girl named Tetra after the Helmaroc King drops her into the nearby forest on Outset Island. After the bird kidnaps Link's sister Aryll, Tetra and her pirates bring Link to the Forsaken Fortress to rescue her. During the race for Nayru's Pearl, Link runs into Tetra at Windfall Island, where he steals the bombs from her pirate ship. Tetra allows Link until morning before she comes after him and Jabun. Link meets Tetra one last time, at the Forsaken Fortress, where she saves his sister and warns him of the Helmaroc King. She then attempts to save Link during his confrontation with Ganondorf. Her blows are easily deflected and Ganondorf strikes back, grabbing Tetra by the neck. Before he can do anything to her, his Triforce resonates, showing him that he has finally found Princess Zelda, with Tetra confused by Ganondorf's words.
At that moment, the Ritos Quill and Prince Komali fly through the open windows, grab Link and Tetra, and fly off. Link then takes Tetra to ancient Hyrule beneath the Great Sea, where the King, Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule, reveals that she is the last descendant of the Royal Family. She then receives the other half of the Triforce of Wisdom, revealing her true identity as Princess Zelda. She hides in Hyrule while Link embarks on another mission. Once Link completes this mission, Zelda is kidnapped by Ganondorf, who takes her to his tower. Link storms the castle, defeats Puppet Ganon, and faces off against Ganondorf in a final battle. Zelda aids Link during the battle by shooting Light Arrows at their foe. After defeating Ganondorf, Link and Zelda, once again in the form of Tetra, return to the Great Sea and embark on a new adventure together, searching for a land to call their own.
Worried about the seal on Vaati, Zelda goes with six other mystical maidens to check on the Sanctuary of the Four Sword, and Link accompanies her. Something goes horribly wrong, however, and a dark shadowy Link attacks them. Link is forced to draw the Four Sword to fight Shadow Link, and Vaati escapes. The girls are abducted, and the Links come to their rescue. Zelda helps them defeat Shadow Link, and after Vaati is dispatched, the five quickly flee the collapsing Tower of Winds. Finally, the Links face Ganon, who is behind the catastrophe, and Zelda helps them deliver the final blow.
At the story's start, she takes Link, whom she has been childhood friends with since they were infants, to the Picori Festival in Hyrule Town. During the ceremony following the Picori Festival Tournament, she is turned into stone by the winner, Vaati. Vaati is an evil mage searching for a legendary Light Force, and knowing Zelda has mystical powers of her own, he wants to keep her out of the way. Later, discovering that her power is, in fact, the Light Force, Vaati invades Hyrule Castle and abducts the petrified Princess, planning to sacrifice her and become a god. Link, after reforging the Four Sword, attacks the castle and faces off against Vaati. Upon defeating the evil mage, Link uses the power of the Four Sword to restore Zelda, who tells Link she had seen him on his adventure as if through a dream, to normal. Zelda then uses the power of the Magic Cap and Light Force to return Hyrule to its natural state. The overflowing power of life causes the Minish Cap to break apart. Ezlo then states that Zelda's kindness as well as the power of the Minish Cap (or Light Force, in the Japanese version of the game) created a miracle. With the time to part nearing, Zelda and Link see Ezlo off as he returns to the Minish World.
- "I am Zelda."
- — Zelda introducing herself to Wolf Link
As written in the Hyrule Historia, the Zelda in Twilight Princess is chronologically the second Zelda in the Child Timeline.
Zelda was the young matriarch of Hyrule until its invasion by Zant, the Twilight King, to whom she surrendered in order to prevent the death of her people. Subsequently, she is imprisoned inside a tower in Hyrule Castle, although unlike her people, she does not become a spirit under the influence of the Twilight (possibly due to her implied possession of the Triforce of Wisdom). It is here that she meets Link, transformed into a wolf by the Twilight's power, though their conversation is cut short due to the arrival of her guard.
When Link goes back to the castle, she expends all of her power, even losing her physical form, in order to save a dying Midna. She regains her body later only to become possessed by Ganondorf, but his influence is purged from her body by Midna with the power of the Fused Shadows. Ganondorf makes another attempt on Zelda's life soon after, but she is protected by the Light Spirits of Hyrule, who grant her the magical Light Arrows so she can assist Link in part of his final battle. With the battle won and Midna revived, Zelda and Link bid her goodbye at the Mirror of Twilight.
It is possible that Link actually went to Hyrule Castle to meet Zelda again as hinted during the ending scene where Link left Ordon village and the Castle was shown again. This is also the only game where she appears as a brunette, instead of a blonde. Unlike other games, Zelda's interaction with Link was rather limited in this game.
According to Zelda's card in the official Twilight Princess trading card deck, she was going to become Queen of Hyrule. Zant's invasion came a few days before her scheduled coronation, thus preventing it from taking place. The game manual for the non-canonical Super Smash Bros. Brawl, which uses Zelda in her Twilight Princess form, does refer to her as the Queen of Hyrule—implying that once Link lifted the Twilight, the coronation took place as planned.
While Princess Zelda does not make a physical appearance in her normal look, she is seen as Tetra with her original name and appearance. Zelda is also shown with her classic princess appearance in the prologue. Somewhat to tease her, the pirates occasionally call Tetra "Princess Zelda", much to her annoyance.
As revealed in the storyline, Tetra and Link eventually founded New Hyrule and befriended the Lokomo guardian of the Tower of Spirits, Anjean. The Zelda of Spirit Tracks, the princess of New Hyrule, is the granddaughter of Tetra. This marks the first time a Zelda has been playable in a main series title.
When awarding Link with the title of Royal Engineer during his Graduation Ceremony, Zelda slips him a note, warning him of the suspicious Chancellor Cole and instructing Link to take a hidden path and meet her in secret. Zelda requests Link's aid in investigating the mystery of the vanishing Spirit Tracks, which entails Link helping her sneak out of the castle. She then presents Link with a change of clothing, the Recruit Uniform, which will help Link blend in with the similarly dressed guards as they escape the castle. Upon exiting the castle, Link and Zelda enlist the aid of Alfonzo, Link's Master Engineer and mentor, to take them towards the Tower of Spirits. However, the tracks begin to vanish out from underneath their train before they witness the tower's levels being separated and then are stopped in their tracks by Chancellor Cole and Byrne. Byrne easily defeats Link and Alfonzo while Cole uses his magic to force Zelda's spirit out of her body.
With only Link able to see her, Zelda helps him obtain a sword before the two make their way Tower of Spirits where Anjean tells them that Zelda's body contains a sacred power and that Cole took it in order to serve as a vessel for the Demon King, Malladus. Learning that she can inhabit Phantoms to aid Link, Zelda proceeds to help him restore the tracks and the Tower of Spirits to its former glory to keep Malladus trapped. However, Cole manages to release his master as he enters Zelda's body. Using a specially made Phantom, Zelda aids Link in defeating Cole and forcing Malladus out of her body. With Byrne holding Malladus off, Zelda manages to return to her body before she aids Link in destroying the Demon King when he resorts to entering Cole's body. Soon after, Zelda joins Link in saying their farewells to the Lokomo.
Unlike in earlier installments, Zelda does not bear the title of princess. She resides in Skyloft, where she attends the same boarding school as Link and rides a blue Loftwing. A childhood friend of Link and the object of affection of Link's rival Groose, Zelda has been confirmed to be Link's love interest throughout the game, as she shows to be very cheerful around him and rather nervous when alone with him, such as she bashfully asked him to fly around in the skies together, like a date. Link also reciprocates these feelings. Toward the beginning of the game, she is swept off of her Loftwing by a tornado caused by Ghirahim. Before she is captured, however, she is snatched up by Impa and undergoes a journey to be purified in the springs of the Skyview Temple and the Earth Temple. Zelda is eventually brought to the Temple of Time where she manages to give the Goddess's Harp to Link before she and Impa enter a Gate of Time to evade Ghirahim.
After Link finds a second Gate of Time and goes to the past, he meets up with Zelda there. It is then revealed that Zelda is the reincarnation of Hylia. She also confesses to manipulating Link's feelings for her (as Hylia) so that he could fulfill his destiny, a deed for which she is very remorseful. In order to maintain Demise's imprisonment, Zelda seals herself. While doing so, Zelda asks Link for him to wake her up when his mission is complete.
Once Link wishes for the destruction of Demise with the Triforce, Zelda is freed, and she happily reunites with the hero. Her reunion with Link, Groose, and the Old Woman is cut short however, when Ghirahim abducts her. He then takes Zelda through the remaining Gate of Time to resurrect Demise in the past, which he means to accomplish by performing a ritual on Zelda that will allow the Imprisoned to swallow her life force. Though Zelda's life force is taken by Demise, Link manages to defeat the Demon King which returns her soul to her body.
Soon after, Zelda is saddened to learn that Impa intends to remain in the past to safeguard the Master Sword, before learning that Impa aged into the Sealed Grounds' overseer in their timeline as the old lady once they return to the present. The Old Lady then welcomed them back before passing on. With Demise now defeated, Fi asks Link to put Master Sword back in its pedestal, which would mean their parting. While understanding Link's feelings and feeling sad herself, Zelda encourages Link to do, which he complies with. Their parting is not a sad one however, with said goodbye ending on a happy note. With the world safe, Zelda decides to live on the Surface while asking Link what he will do. Based on his reaction with a smile, and how both their Loftwings fly off in the distance, it is implied that Link has decided to live on the Surface with Zelda.
Zelda is the princess of Hyrule. In Link's dream, he sees Princess Zelda being snatched away by a pig-shaped creature. Later, Zelda meets up with Link and she is shocked to hear the news about the latest events. She fears that the evil of the past has re-awakened and sends Link to go to Kakariko Village to see Sahasrahla. Before he leaves she gives him a special charm. Yuga later turns Zelda into a portrait and takes her to Lorule. He then uses her portrait and those of the Seven Sages to revive Ganon. After Link rescues all the sages, Zelda grants Link the Light Arrows needed to defeat Yuga, now fused with Ganon. After the fight, Zelda tells Princess Hilda that she wished it did not have to be this way. She and Link then use Hyrule's Triforce to restore Lorule's Triforce.
Although information is only considered series canon if it comes from the games or instruction booklets (where there is conflict, the games themselves are the accepted source), or occasionally other Nintendo materials, there are a number of other officially licensed Zelda stories. Many of these explore the relationship with Link in greater depth than the actual games.
Princess Zelda was set to appear in the unreleased game Mystical Seed of Courage. In the game, she was to be the one responsible for managing the four seasons of Hyrule, in a role similar to Din's in Oracle of Seasons. She would be kidnapped by Ganon, which, along with the disappearance of the Rod of Seasons, would cause Hyrule's seasons to go out of control.
Zelda was featured in three games made by a third party for the Phillips CD-i system. In Link: The Faces of Evil (1993), she was kidnapped by Ganon and had to be rescued. In Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon (1993) and Zelda's Adventure (1994), Princess Zelda was the main protagonist, as the plot in both games involves Link's kidnapping. The games are generally criticized by fans, although they are noteworthy as the first time Zelda has been a playable character in any game.
According to the manual, Princess Zelda is Link's "sweetheart" who is kidnapped and imprisoned by Eight Dragons wreaking havoc on mankind. Link needs to gather eight pieces of the Triforce and slay all eight dragons in order to free her.
Because of the limitations of the LCD screen, there is no elaborate ending sequence. When the eighth dragon has been defeated, Princess Zelda walks out of her prison and right up to Link (just as she does in The Adventure of Link) as if to embrace him, but the animation ends just before they meet, leaving the end result up to the player's imagination.
Super Smash Bros. series
Zelda appears as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Melee (the 2001 sequel to Super Smash Bros), in her adult incarnation from Ocarina of Time. She debuted first as Sheik, and it was later revealed that this was one of the character's two forms. Zelda is one of the most diverse characters in the entire game as she is actually two characters in one, each with its own unique moves, attacks, and fighting style. At any time during play, she can change form to take advantage of the full range of her abilities. This unique gameplay mechanic made her one of the most anticipated characters during the game's pre-release hype.
Initially, the player assumes control as Zelda, although it is possible to start a round as Sheik by holding down the A button following selection of a stage until the round begins. Zelda is somewhat slow but is rather graceful and agile, and her special attacks, if they connect, are extremely powerful—boosted by magic, if the sparkles and flashes of light are any indication. Her aerial movements and dodging skill, as well as her attacks' high priority and strong impact, make her an ideal counter-defensive character. She is very much built for defensive attacking, but her moves leave her very open if timed incorrectly, and if attacked, her gracefulness can work against her. She has a light frame and is easily sent flying.
Zelda's B button attacks lend themselves to this defensive style of play as well. Din's Fire is a long range setup attack allowing the player to control a guided fire "mine," which explodes upon release. Nayru's Love is a crystal shield which not only reflects projectiles, but damages nearby enemies and pushes them away. Farore's Wind is Zelda's third jump, a teleport move which can be directed and has enormous range, but leaves her somewhat vulnerable. If Zelda invokes the teleport while physically touching an enemy character, that character will take damage, but this is very hard to pull off in practice. Fans may remember her three magic attacks as the same ones Link acquired in Ocarina of Time, albeit with quite different applications. Instead of a fourth attack, her final command is the transformation to Sheik.
As Sheik, the character is completely different. Sheik is not only extremely fast, but also easy to control, making her a very popular character both in casual circles and in the tournament scene. Her close range attacks are possibly the fastest and most easily chainable of any character, with her martial arts training allowing fluid and swift ninja-like attacks. Sheik is at her best when using her speed and high-momentum attacks for an evasion-based "hit-and-run" offense. Her needle throwing attack is extremely flexible, and can be used to start combos or keep the enemy at bay. Her chain whip, while situational, is an excellent way to sabotage an opponent's strategy by interrupting their movements. Her Deku Nut-concealed vanish move is shorter than Farore's Wind but leaves Sheik much less open to attack, and is easier to use as an attack as well.
The instruction booklet and in-game trophies refer to Sheik as a female; it is also interesting to note that Sheik's poses and general body form in Super Smash Bros. Melee are considerably more feminine than those in Ocarina of Time. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, Zelda and Sheik are voiced by Jun Mizusawa.
Although Zelda's design is now based off of her appearance in Twilight Princess, she retains her Sheik transformation. As Sheik, game director Masahiro Sakurai states that her updated character design is based on a potential design made in the early drafting stages of Twilight Princess. This version of Sheik now carries a small blade at the waist and sports longer hair in the back, tied in a similar style to her Princess Zelda form. Interestingly enough, Sheik's hair remains blonde, while Princess Zelda's updates to light brown per her Twilight Princess appearance. As Nintendo established via Sheik's trophy in Super Smash Bros. Melee that the Sheik disguise was a magical costume change, the magic could presumably explain the hair color as well.
The changes to Zelda's move set in this game were mostly balancing issues. Essentially, Zelda was powered up, with several of her moves being made more powerful and easier to execute. This can be seen in Din's Fire, which is substantially more powerful than in Super Smash Bros. Melee, and in several of Zelda's Smash Attacks, which literally "stop time" for a moment before sending the opposing character flying off the screen. She retains her massively powerful "Lightning Kick" from Super Smash Bros. Melee. Sheik's attacks, meanwhile, were made weaker but faster.
Zelda and Sheik both have the same Final Smash: the Light Arrow. The Light Arrow is a powerful attack that inflicts heavy damage in a straight line originating from Zelda or Sheik. When Zelda uses the attack, it sends anyone it hits in a more upward direction that Sheik's version.
Supposedly, the development team of Super Smash Bros. Brawl was originally going to create a Toon Zelda/Toon Sheik character as well, but the idea was abandoned.
In the game's story mode, "The Subspace Emissary", Zelda is watching a match between Mario and Kirby alongside Princess Peach. When the flying battleship Halberd appears over the stadium, both princesses join Mario and Kirby in fighting off the enemies that emerge from it. After the fight, Mario is blown out of the stadium, and Zelda and Peach are captured by Petey Piranha, one of Mario's enemies. Kirby fights Petey to rescue the princesses, but can only save one of them (the player can choose which one). The other princess is turned into a trophy by Wario, and Kirby escapes with the rescued princess as the entire stadium is pulled into Subspace by a Subspace Bomb.
The rescued princess journeys alongside Kirby until she is attacked and turned into a trophy by Bowser, who uses a swarm of Shadow Bugs to create a clone of the princess. If the princess is Zelda, the clone tries to attack Link and Yoshi, but is intercepted and destroyed by Mario and Kid Icarus hero Pit. Link notices the battle just in time to see what appears to be Zelda's trophy dissolve into nothing, and attacks Mario and Pit in a rage.
Zelda and Peach are taken onto the Halberd, but are rescued when Metal Gear protagonist Solid Snake infiltrates the ship and defeats another pair of clones. Snake insists that the princesses stay were they are, but Peach and Zelda (who dons her Sheik disguise for the first time in the game, but can transform back to Zelda during the level) instead make their way to the upper deck of the ship, which has come under attack by Star Fox protagonist Fox McCloud. When Peach gets trapped in the crossfire, Sheik teleports into the air and directly attacks Fox's Arwing, forcing him to eject. Peach stops them before they can fight hand-to-hand. As they are joined by Snake and the Pokémon Lucario, a group of Mr. Game & Watches are forcibly ejected by Meta-Knight, who had infiltrated the Halberd with Lucario to take his ship back. The Game & Watches merge into the boss Duon, which is defeated by the heroes. Duon turns back into a single Mr. Game & Watch, who is befriended by Peach. The various heroes subsequently unite to launch an attack on the Subspace Realm from which the attacks have been originating.
Zelda is featured on four stickers. Two of these are titled "Young Zelda," while the other two are simply titled "Zelda." The first two depict artwork of Zelda as a child from Ocarina of Time and The Minish Cap, and provide a +20 bonus to electric attacks and a +16 bonus to battering resistance, respectively. The latter can only be used by Link, Toon Link, Zelda, and Ganondorf. The two stickers titled "Zelda" depict artwork of Zelda from A Link to the Past and of her adult form from Ocarina of Time. The former grants a +27 bonus to magic attacks and, like all other stickers that grant bonuses to magic attacks, can only be used by Zelda and Peach. The latter grants a +18 bonus to flame resistance and can only be used by Link, Toon Link, Zelda, and Ganondorf.
Princess Zelda returns as a playable character in the fourth installment of Super Smash Bros. Zelda's appearance is once again based on her Twilight Princess design. She can no longer transform into Sheik, as she is her own character now. Her move set and Final Smash is largely the same as in Brawl. However her ability to transform is replaced by the Phantom Slash, where she summons a Phantom Knight straight from The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks to block enemy attacks and projectiles.
In the 3DS version Trophies for Princess Zelda and Ghost Zelda from Spirit Tracks, as well as Trophies for Young and Adult Zelda from Ocarina of Time 3D. In the Wii U version, there is a Trophy of Princess Zelda from The Wind Waker and Hooded Zelda from Twilight Princess.
Princess Zelda appears in the spinoff Hyrule Warriors as a playable character. She wields Rapiers that can transform into a Bow of Light, Batons that can manipulate wind & lightning, and Dominion Rods that allow her to control Owl Statue & Hammer Guardian Statue. Her appearances from Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess, and Skyward Sword will be alternate costumes available via downloadable content. Other downloadable content gives her recolors of her default look to resemble Hilda from A Link Between Worlds and her A Link to the Past incarnation artwork to unlock, a costume that makes her look like Ilia and the Dominion Rod is added as a weapon for her to use.
In the game, she is depicted as a strong graceful warrior, a talented magic user, and a capable military commander, leading the Hyrulean Forces into battle against the enemies of Hyrule such as Cia, Wizzro, Zant, Ghirahim, and even Ganondorf. She is supported by Impa who acts as her general and military advisor. She also possesses the Triforce of Wisdom, though eventually loses it Cia while disguised as Sheik though it is later returned to her by Cia to prevent the partially revived Ganondorf from obtaining the complete Triforce. However she loses it again to the fully revived Ganondorf, though she reclaims it after Ganon's defeat.
The story begins with Zelda awakening from a recurring nightmare, which she and Impa believe to be a sign of troubled times approaching. While visiting the training barracks of Hyrule Castle, she sees a particularly talented recruit that seems to be different from the others - however, her attention is quickly directed to a massive army of monsters approaching the castle. Zelda personally leads the defense of her castle, soon joined by Impa and Link, the recruit from earlier who had just been revealed as the reincarnation of the legendary hero by his possession of the Triforce of Courage. With the battle seemingly under control, Zelda returned to Hyrule Castle to coordinate her forces, only to be ambushed by Wizzro while her army was distracted by King Dodongo.
However, Zelda managed to evade Wizzro, disguising herself as Sheik and rejoining her army. She eventually revealed herself to her allies after defeating Wizzro (who had disguised himself as Zelda) in the Water Temple of an alternate dimension's Hyrule, resuming her open leadership of the Hyrulean forces against Cia - and later, Ganondorf.
After regaining her Triforce of Wisdom from Cia, Zelda decides to go to the Temple of the Sacred Sword in order to have Link retrieve the Master Sword in order to defeat the Dark Forces and Cia. Impa reminds Zelda that the sword is required to remain in its pedestal to keep the evil one's soul under seal, but Lana reveals that the temple's barrier should keep it contained without the sword. Link manages to obtain the Master Sword and the Hyrulean Forces then confront Cia at the Temple of Souls, however the partially revived Ganondorf appears and after Cia flees, targets Princess Zelda though fortunately he is defeated by Link wielding the Master Sword. Following Cia's defeat, Link does not return the Master Sword to its pedestal and as a result the barrier containing the final piece of Ganondorf's soul breaks, fully restoring the Demon King who revives Zant and Ghirahim to serve as generals in his army, in order to claim the complete Triforce. After Ganondorf obtains the complete Triforce, Zelda leads the remaining Hyrulean Forces into Gerudo Desert to take out Ganondorf's generals. They successfully defeat the pair and after learning from Impa that Ganondorf has taken Hyrule Castle and transformed it into his tower, Zelda leads the Hyrulean Forces to the final showdown with Ganondorf and his army.
Following Ganon's defeat, she assists Link in returning the Master Sword to its Sacred Pedestal to restore the seal on Ganon's Soul. When the darkness from Ganon's soul contained in the Pedestal leaks out to prevent Link from returning the sword, Zelda helps Link push the Sword into the pedestal, sealing away Ganon once again. The two then leave the Temple of the Sacred Sword together.
In addition to Hyrule Warriors incarnation of Zelda, Tetra appears as a playable character in Hyrule Warriors Legends (Tetra also appears in the original Hyrule Warriors via the download code that comes with Hyrule Warriors Legends). Tetra fights using Cutlass and magic-infused flintlock pistols, befitting her status as a swashbuckling pirate captain. During certain attacks, she also uses Light Arrows and can also combine the two pieces of the Triforce of Wisdom to produce a magic blast at the end of her Focus Spirit. Her use of Light Arrows and Triforce of Wisdom are based on her depiction from The Wind Waker.
Tetra has an unlockable Zelda recolor of her Standard Outfit part of the Master Wind Waker DLC, called Standard Outfit (Master Wind Waker).
In addition to both the Hyrule Warriors incarnation of Zelda and Tetra, Ghost Zelda who is designated as Toon Zelda appears as a playable character from the Phantom Hourglass & Spirit Tracks DLC. Toon Zelda fights by possessing a Phantom wielding Phantom Arms and magic.
New Nintendo 3DS Commercial
Zelda also appeared in a commercial for the New Nintendo 3DS. Interestingly, in the commercial, she is depicted wearing casual clothing.
- "Excuuuuuuuuse me, princess!"
- — Link
A set of Legend of Zelda cartoons aired on Fridays from 1989 to 1990 as a part of DiC's The Super Mario Bros. Super Show. The series loosely follows the NES Zelda games, mixing settings and characters from them with original creations. Zelda is depicted as a warrior princess who wears more comfortable and practical garb as opposed to her appearances in the games. In addition to running the kingdom part-time for her father, King Harkinian, she often accompanies Link on his adventures and is quite skilled in archery (interestingly archery is a skill that Zelda would later demonstrate in various video games).
In the Doppelganger episode, Zelda and Link battle an evil clone Zelda created by a mirror cursed by Ganon.
The series portrays an overt romantic relationship between the two protagonists. Link is always begging Zelda for a kiss; however, even when she agrees to indulge him, it never occurs. They are interrupted by monsters, or Spryte, or any number of unfortunate circumstances. It is directly revealed that Zelda loves Link in one episode, and there is no doubt of their romantic relationship in this series. Thirteen of these cartoons were produced before the cancellation of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show. Princess Zelda was voiced by Cynthia Preston in the cartoon.
A slightly altered version of this Princess Zelda appears in assorted episodes of Captain N: The Game Master.
Featuring characters and settings from the TV series, this fleetingly entertaining comic only ran for four issues. Although Zelda's feelings for Link are made quite clear, there is another element at play here: her duty to the Triforce, which must come before her own needs and desires. When Link is corrupted by the Triforce of Power in one story, this Zelda briefly possesses his Triforce of Courage, which will not reside with one who uses Power without Wisdom.
Stories from a number of Zelda games have been adapted into manga in Japan. These official publications greatly expand parts of their respective games' backstories. As of Autumn 2008, these manga are being re-released in English in the United States.
Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Wii U Edition
Princess Zelda's robes appears as an alternate outfit for Nina Williams in the Wii U Edition of Tekken Tag Tournament.
Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water
Princess Zelda's Standard Robes from the Hyrule Warriors series appear as an alternate outfit for Miu Hinasaki.
Sheik is Princess Zelda's Sheikah alter ego in Ocarina of Time. Wearing a blue, possibly armored suit with the red Sheikah eye in the center, and with voice muffled and face concealed, the character is essentially unrecognizable and appears relatively masculine. It is possible that Zelda utilizes her magical skills in altering her appearance. Sheik plays a lyre and teaches Link new songs to help him on his quest. When Link arrives at the Temple of Time near the end of the game, Sheik transforms back into Princess Zelda.
Although Sheik is intended to appear masculine, it is unclear whether Princess Zelda physically transforms herself into a male or simply dresses herself to look like one. When Link encounters Princess Ruto in the Water Temple, Ruto explains, "A young man named Sheik rescued me from under the ice". Later, when Link obtains the Water Medallion, Ruto asks, "If you see Sheik, please give him my thanks". Additionally, a Gossip Stone in the Hyrule Castle Grounds says, "They say that contrary to her elegant image, Princess Zelda of Hyrule Castle is, in fact, a tomboy!"
Sheik is a playable character in both Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Brawl as Zelda's transformation. In Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U Sheik is treated as a separate character and no longer acts as a transformation.
In the noncanonical Ocarina of Time manga, author Himekawa Akira depicts Zelda requesting her true identity be sealed. Impa then actually transforms Zelda into a male, adding some controversy as to the exact nature of Zelda's Sheik transformation. Sheik also depicted as Zelda's alter-ego and a playable character in Hyrule Warriors and Hyrule Warriors Legends
Regardless of debate, Nintendo has given their answer in an interview from Polygon published August 5, 2014. The quote from the article: "Nintendo's official line, quoted from Nintendo senior product marketing manager Bill Trinen, is this: 'The definitive answer is that Sheik is a woman — simply Zelda in a different outfit.'"
Tetra is Zelda's alter ego from The Wind Waker, an accomplished sailor and pirate captain. Orphaned at a young age, she commands the utmost respect of her pirate crew due to her leadership and her strength through hardship. Tetra can be impatient, mischievous, and rude at times, but possesses a big heart beneath her gruff exterior.
Tetra is skilled with a catapult (or so she assures Link), and it is reasonable to assume she knows how to use the bombs she has her pirate crew steal at one point. As a member of the Royal Family, she can use the Pirate's Charm to communicate with its holder and keep an eye on his doings within a certain range. Curiously, she is much more tan as Tetra than when she assumes her Princess Zelda form. At the end of The Wind Waker, she resumes her identity as Tetra and sets sail with Link in search of the land that will become the New Hyrule. This leads into the events of Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks.
As pointed out by others, Zelda has many appeals that attracts others. While not always a stable relationship from the start, she has gained many good friends and allies. Some of her friends deeply respect her as the princess of Hyrule and do not doubt her judgment. Her kindness is enough to even turn some of her enemies into allies.
People of Hyrule
Generally Princess Zelda is adored by her subjects and meeting her is considered an honor among them. However, this admiration can occasionally get out of hand as shown in Ocarina of Time, where one of the Twins attempted to sneak into Hyrule Castle Garden to see the young Princess Zelda, but got stuck in the drain hole on the side of the castle on the way and was found by the Hyrulean Royal Guards. This caused security tighten as a result, making it more difficult for the young Hero of Time to sneak into the castle to meet Zelda.
However the people of Hyrule generally care for her, as she cares deeply for her subjects and has faced the forces of evil many times to protect both her kingdom and subjects. Despite her royal status, Princess Zelda is often implied or shown to treat her people with kindness and respect regardless of their status.
In some games, it is implied that commoners rarely get a chance to meet or let alone catch a glimpse of Zelda, so people have been known to joke about the prospect of meeting her, as Rusl did to Link in Twilight Princess.
In other games, Zelda is more accessible to the common people such as in The Minish Cap and Spirit Tracks, often leaving the castle to mingle with the people of Castle Town. As a result, her absence becomes noticeable when her appearances in Castle Town cease as a result of the events in those games.
In Twilight Princess, following Zelda's surrender to Zant and due to the general ineffectiveness of the Hyrulean Soldiers, Telma formed a Resistance group dedicated to restoring the Kingdom of Hyrule to its glorious self. The Resistance includes Zelda's former tutor, Auru. Another member of the group, Ashei, is also revealed to be the daughter of a former Knight who had served the Royal Family in the past. Loyal to both Zelda and the Kingdom, the Resistance members all aid Link (and by extension Midna) in freeing Hyrule. During Link's battles through Hyrule Castle, most of the members (minus Telma and Louise) arrive to assist the hero in fighting Ganondorf's minions, allowing him and Midna to reach the castle throne room.
As they are sworn to defend the Kingdom and serve the Royal Family of Hyrule, the Hyrulean Soldiers are loyal protectors to Zelda and her family, along with other groups sworn to serve the royal court such as the Knights of Hyrule and the Sheikah. However, the Hyrulean Soldiers are often depicted as ineffective against the forces of evil that threaten Hyrule, and sometimes have fallen prey to their evil influence. Ironically, they often serve as obstacles preventing Link from meeting Zelda, though mainly due to their ignorance of his status as the legendary hero.
Despite the general ineffectiveness in Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess, the Hyrulean Soldiers are depicted as willing to serve and defend their Princess, even in the face of death. In fact, one soldier is implied to have died from wounds he received during Ganondorf's attack on Hyrule Castle, though he managed to instruct the young Hero of Time into heading towards the Temple of Time before succumbing to his wounds. In Twilight Princess, the Hyrulean Soldiers are depicted as valiantly defending the Hyrule Castle throne room and Zelda from the Shadow Beasts lead by Zant, though they prove to be no match for the Shadow Beasts. It is also shown that despite their role and willingness to die defending, Zelda generally cares for their well-being as she does for the rest of her people. This is demonstrated by her decision to surrender Hyrule to Zant rather than see them needlessly slaughtered by Zant's minions.
The relationship Zelda has with Link is close, possibly her closest. A popular theory among fans is that of a romantic relationship between some of the Zelda and Link characters in the Zelda series. Although never explicitly confirmed in a video game title, this theory is based on hints given in the games, interviews with the game creators, and content of the animated series, comics, and manga (although the last three are generally considered non-canonical).
One hint of a romance between Zelda and Link is given at the end of The Adventure of Link, when the awakened Princess apparently kisses Link under the falling curtain.
Some cutscenes in Ocarina of Time featuring the two together have been interpreted as signs of an attraction. While Link and Zelda are escaping Ganon's Castle, Zelda will additionally show her concern for Link by shouting out whenever he is hurt. Moreover, in the game's final scene, Zelda and Link are floating in the sky together, sharing a decidedly sentimental (if not necessarily romantic) moment where Zelda apologies for involving Link in the events of the game and seems saddened by the situation. She also stated that she will not forget the time she spent with him in the Child Timeline as shown in Majora's Mask through Link's memory.
In addition, if the Oracle games are played as sequels to each other, the ultimate ending sequence shows Zelda lightly kissing Link on the cheek. Link swoons while hearts float above the pair's heads, and Zelda looks away, blushing. In The Wind Waker, when Zelda is asked to stay in hiding in Hyrule Castle while Link restores power to the Master Sword, she waves goodbye to Link, asking him to be careful.
Despite having little interaction with Link in Twilight Princess, Zelda worked flawlessly with him in their horseback battle against Ganondorf, managing to overwhelm the Demon King with their excellent teamwork. It is also thinkable that Link later went to meet her once the events of the story was over, as somewhat hinted in the end credits.
Spirit Tracks features several moments that can be interpreted romantically. Early in the game during the Graduation Ceremony, Zelda walks into the room in front of Link, who is bowing down respectfully. Link then looks up and gasps, blushing at her in amazement. He is then scolded by Chancellor Cole for raising his head without permission. Later, when Zelda's spirit is separated from her body following the first encounter with Chancellor Cole and Byrne, Link is the only one who can see her besides the Lokomos, demonstrating a clear and strong bond between himself and the Princess. After Zelda and Link defeat Byrne in the Tower of Spirits, Byrne, disbelieving, comments that he was beaten by two humans. Zelda, while still possessing a Phantom, says that when she and Link combine their strength, no one can defeat them. Link turns to her, surprised. The background turns white and Zelda's Lullaby plays as they both laugh and high-five, gazing at each other all the while. Toward the end of the game, before the final battle against Malladus, Zelda is reunited with her body, and is no longer able to levitate. Link runs underneath her to catch her as she falls, and she lands on top of him and knocks them both to the ground as well as knock Link out for a few seconds. Upon awakening, Zelda, overjoyed to have her body back, embraces Link, causing him to blush. Finally, after Malladus is defeated, Zelda and Link watch Anjean and Byrne's spirits ascend to the heavens. The camera then lowers to show Zelda and Link holding hands while Zelda's Lullaby plays in the background. After the credits, a short cut-scene shows Zelda gazing at a picture of Link on the Spirit Train with her flying beside him, which she keeps on her desk. She may also wave at Link depending on his answer to a question Zelda asked him during the events of the story.
Skyward Sword has several noticeable romantic moments between Link and Zelda. Early in the game, Zelda wants Link to be the first to see her outfit for the Wing Ceremony. She worries over him and she does not want him to fail at becoming a knight. When Link's Crimson Loftwing is hidden by Groose, Zelda assists Link in finding his Loftwing. After Link wins the Wing Ceremony, Zelda jumps off the ledge and Link catches her almost as if she was expecting him to. She then congratulates him on winning. Afterwards, Zelda mentions that she is very happy to be atop the Statue of the Goddess with him. She also gets extremely close to him and almost implies that the two are to kiss, before she pushes him off the statue. Afterward, Zelda bashfully asks Link to go out flying which they do. She then tells Link how amazing the day was, and that she would remember it forever. At the Temple of Hylia, when Zelda states she must seal herself to keep Demise in place, she sheds tears of sadness and states before all this, she was happy just being with Link on Skyloft, demonstrating a deep level of feelings for Link. Link desperately tries to stop her and when she is sealed, Link lowers his head in sadness, showing his deep feelings for her. Much later in the game, when Link releases Zelda from her sealed state, Link runs up and catches her from falling. They both hug and walk out smiling at each other, holding hands, before Ghirahim ruins the tender moment. During the ending, Zelda asks what Link will do now. Link sweetly smiles at her while their Loftwings fly off toward the sky, implying that he chose to stay on the Surface to live with Zelda.
A Link Between Worlds features some gossip told to Link by the Rumor Guy. He tells Link that one of the castle staff had seen Zelda sneaking off every night. When she followed her, she saw Zelda staring at the painting in Hyrule Castle depicting the Link and Zelda from A Link to the Past cuddling with each other, implying they became more intimate with each other. This also hints the Zelda in A Link Between Worlds wants to have a similar relationship with the Link of her time.
The game creators also seem to be fond of the idea of romance between the characters.
Another less popular theory among fans is that Link and Zelda are related by blood, either as siblings or more distantly. Even though rumors to this effect started with the infamous "Save the Princess... Zelda is your... ... ..." line from A Link to the Past (later reported as a mistranslation), the theory generally revolves around the Link and Zelda from Ocarina of Time.
A possible indication of a blood relation between the two in Ocarina of Time is their physical resemblance: they both have blonde hair, blue eyes, and similar facial features. They also have similarly shaped heads. Graphics limitations could be responsible for some of this similarity, however. Certain dialogue could also be perceived as implying a blood relation: the ghost Sharp comments that Link reminds him of Zelda, and that Link "may have some connection with the Royal Family". Link's connection to the Royal Family is highlighted throughout the game, with Link often playing Zelda's Lullaby to verify it. The fact that Impa agrees to teach a strange boy a song only Royal Family members are allowed to know could also be interpreted as a hint at Link's blood relation to Hyrule's Royal Family. Additionally, Zelda seems to recognize Link's name upon their first meeting. This could be attributed to her prophetic abilities, although the boy in her dreams seemed to be a largely abstract figure, with no defining traits aside from the presence of a guardian Fairy and a Spiritual Stone. This line of dialogue has often been regarded as a sign that the two have met before, although this could only have occurred when Link was a baby per the Deku Tree Sprout's account of Link's coming to Kokiri Forest. It is also worth noting that while the King of Hyrule is clearly identified as Zelda's father, no mention is made of a Queen. Meanwhile, Link's mother is stated to have died shortly after reaching the forest, but no information is given concerning his father. Given these facts, it is possible that Zelda and Link share the same parents, making them siblings.
In several games, Zelda has a nursemaid named Impa, a faithful servant who is heavily hinted to be largely responsible for raising her and cultivating her abilities. In The Legend of Zelda, Impa is her most trusted servant, the one whom she entrusts with the task of finding a hero to defeat Ganon. In The Adventure of Link, it is Impa who brings Link to the North Castle and recounts the story of the ancient curse on the sleeping Zelda.
The Impa from Ocarina of Time is a survivor of the mysterious Sheikah race. She protects and cares for Zelda, teaching Zelda and Link the ancestral melody known informally as Zelda's Lullaby, and fleeing the castle with Zelda when Ganondorf threatens the Princess in his attempt to enter the Sacred Realm. Impa then teaches Zelda the ways of the Sheikah, allowing her to hide in plain sight for seven years while she awaits Link's return. Impa is eventually revealed to be the Sage of Shadow, who must guard the Shadow Temple. Zelda also showed her care for Impa even in her disguise as she seemed troubled at the possibility of Impa being in danger.
In the Oracle games, Impa is an agent operating in Zelda's employ, sent to the lands of Holodrum and Labrynna to bring the Oracles to safety in Hyrule.
In Skyward Sword, Impa protects Zelda from Ghirahim, following orders from the goddess Hylia. They have gotten close to the point where they had a tearful reunion and farewell after stopping Demise's reign in their proper timeline.
While not too much was revealed, Impa from A Link Between Worlds is apparently Zelda's nursemaid.
In Hyrule Warriors & Hyrule Warriors Legends, Impa is Zelda's faithful servant/protector, general, and advisor. General Impa possesses a samurai-like devotion to Zelda, similar to her Ocarina of Time and Skyward Sword incarnations. When Zelda goes missing, Impa is determined to find Zelda and enlists the help of the inexperienced Hero Link to find her. Ironically, Impa is suspicious and distrustful of the mysterious Sheik, mostly due to Sheik claim that she is a Sheikah survivor and member of Impa's tribe. Impa fails to realize Sheik's true identity, until it is revealed following Fake Zelda's defeat. However she knows Zelda character well enough to realize the Princess Zelda causing trouble in the Era of the Hero of Time was nothing more than a fake. She is shown to be visibly relieved when she learns that Princess Zelda had been fighting alongside her and the Hyrulean Forces while disguised as Sheik, despite her deception. After reuniting with the Princess, Impa returns to her role as Zelda's advisor and defender. Though she respects Zelda's judgment, Impa is shown to voice her opinion about the potential consequences, such as when she warned Zelda of the dangers of having Link remove the Master Sword from its pedestal in the Temple of the Sacred Sword in order to defeat Cia. Impa's fears are later realized when the final seal on Ganondorf's soul breaks, though continues to serve Zelda even after Ganondorf obtains the complete Triforce.
Several incarnations of Zelda have ties to the Sheikah through both her connection to the various incarnations of Impa and Zelda's Sheikah alter-ego, Sheik. Interestingly enough, though not a true Sheikah (as Sheik is an alter-ego), Zelda's robes in Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess feature the Sheikah Symbol. In the Oracle series, her robes feature an alternate version of the Sheikah Symbol with the "eye" part of the symbol replaced by a Triforce symbol. in Ocarina of Time, Zelda (in her guise as Sheik) is shown to be knowledgeable of various Sheikah legends, which were presumably told to her by Impa, either during her childhood and/or while they were hiding from Ganondorf. It is also implied that Impa trained Zelda in the secret arts of Sheikah in order to allow her to pass herself off as Sheik and better protect herself from Ganondorf and his minions.
The Sheikah are known to have served Hylia in the past and likely began serving the Royal Family of Hyrule due to them being descendants of Hylia's reincarnation, the Spirit Maiden Zelda from Skyward Sword.
Not much is known about Zelda's family; they are rarely mentioned or seen in-game. The king and the prince who were related to Zelda in The Adventure of Link are never even named—their actions merely provide an explanation for Zelda and the Triforce's conditions. It does seem though, that the King deeply trusted his daughter, as hinted in the prologue. It is also stated that Zelda's brother, despite his actions, did care for his sister and was devastated when he realized what his actions caused to her. The next time any known interaction between Zelda and a member of her family is mentioned is in Ocarina of Time; where the King of Hyrule (who is also Zelda's father) appears as an unseen character. The only thing that is even hinted about their relationship in that game though, is that the King did not seem to take all his daughter's words seriously, which caused his downfall in the Adult Timeline and Fallen Hero Timeline.
In The Wind Waker, Zelda's (or more precisely Tetra's) relations consist of a deceased mother who previously led her band of pirates, and an ancient ancestor who often takes the form of a talking boat. The pirates of Tetra's crew deeply respect their captain and act as a surrogate family for her. It was also confirmed in Spirit Tracks that Tetra is the grandmother of Zelda in the Japanese script. She was the one who taught Zelda about the Lokomos. It is also hinted in the Fallen Hero Timeline that the Seven Sages in Ocarina of Time are the ancestors of the maidens and sages in A Link Between Worlds. Another significant relationship shown is with King Daltus, father of Zelda in The Minish Cap. When Zelda is turned to stone, he is desperate to find a way to save her. The quest to do so requires Link to communicate with the spirit of another royal ancestor, King Gustaf.
The Seven Maidens respect her as the princess of Hyrule and were worried for her safety. They urged Link to save Zelda from the evil threatening Hyrule and the people. they also combined their powers with Zelda to assist Link in his battle with their enemies.
Rather similar to the Seven Maidens in terms to their relationship with Zelda, the Seven Sages from Ocarina of Time seem to see her as their leader. Zelda as Sheik urged Link to save them to the point of sometimes getting directly involved. It is unknown whether they knew her true identity as Zelda especially due to Ruto's claim about her. It is unknown what the Seven Sages from A Link Between Worlds think of Zelda as they did not interact with her.
Though Princess Zelda has not shown much interaction between herself and the Zora race itself, she is implied to have a good relationship with the Zora Royal Family in both Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess. In Ocarina of Time, Zelda (in her guise as Sheik) rescues Princess Ruto from the ice sheet that Ganondorf used to imprison the Zoras. In Twilight Princess, Queen Rutela sent her son Prince Ralis to warn Zelda and Hyrule of Zant's invasion and refused to surrender to Zant, resulting in her execution for her defiance. Even in death, Rutela provided assistance to Link in order to free the Kingdom of Hyrule, her people, and by extension Zelda, from Zant and his master Ganondorf's evil reign of terror.
Because they had a good relationship with Tetra, they also quickly warmed up to her granddaughter Zelda when she asked for their help. They could also for some unexplained reason, see her even in her spirit form. They have stated Zelda's resemblance to Tetra whom they thought was an intelligent person. Even Byrne was moved by Zelda's words as he sacrificed himself to save New Hyrule despite his earlier intentions. Both Link and Zelda in turn were relieved to hear that Byrne was not truly dead. The Lokomos asked the duo to watch the land in there place, showing that they trust their Hylian allies.
Initially quite hostile and condescending towards Zelda, their relationship was not stable at first. This was to the point where she referred to Zelda as "Twilight Princess", presumably as a way to mock her and the state Hyrule was in. This changed though, when Zelda seemingly sacrificed herself to save Midna's life. This caused Midna to became more respectful and caring towards others.
Towards their battle with Ganon, Midna was the one who completely freed Zelda from Ganon's influence. She then sends Link and Zelda away to safety while sacrificing herself to attack Ganon, showing that she has come to genuinely care for them. After the battle was over with Ganon's defeat, Midna was revived which reassured Link and Zelda. Towards their parting moment, Midna stated to Zelda that "your words are kind, and your heart is true" as she destroyed the Twilight Mirror.
It was shown that Fi respects Zelda much like how she respects Link. She also cared for Zelda's safety like Link did as shown throughout the adventure. When shown talking to Zelda, Fi initially called her "Hylia, Your Grace" before asking whether she preferred being called Zelda. This was followed with Fi stating that she was pleased to know Zelda is in safe hands. Fi's respect for Zelda is likely the due to Zelda being the reincarnation of her creator, the goddess Hylia.
When the time came for Link to put the Master Sword back in its pedestal, which was said to put Fi in a "eternal slumber" in the process, Zelda (who was seemingly saddened) encouraged Link to do so, presumably so Fi can have peace.
Shigeru Miyamoto has stated that Zelda's name was inspired by Zelda Fitzgerald. The name Zelda is generally believed to be Germanic in origin, meaning "gray fighting maid" or "woman warrior" and derived from the Old German Griselda ("dark battle"). Another possible origin is the Old English word selde ("companion"). Additionally, it is a Yiddish name meaning "happiness" or "luck".
It is noteworthy that Zelda's name can be associated with the fourth letter of the Greek alphabet, delta, which is shaped triangularly like the Triforce: the Dhimotiki (modern Greek) word for δέλτα (delta) is dhelda (pronounced IPA /ðel.da/), which is typically transliterated to katakana as zeruda.
- ^ From an interview with Eiji Aonuma, the director of Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess:
- Interviewer: We have received several emails in which our readers ask: Will Zelda and Link ever be involved (romantically)? [laughs] I'm sorry, but we had to ask.
- Eiji Aonuma: [laughs] Good question. Well, as you already know, we are now dealing with a teenage Link, and as you know, teenagers are very emotional beings, so there are definitely possibilities of seeing Link showing his feelings towards the princess. But honestly, we don't know what the future holds.
- ^ From an interview with Shigeru Miyamoto, conducted by Famimaga 64:
- Interviewer: Does Link have a girlfriend?
- Miyamoto: If it was Princess Zelda, it would be great. However, this time Navi [the fairy] is jealous of Zelda. So within the story, Navi feels something for Link.
- ^ Sharp: GYAAAAH! I'M DEAD AGAIN! What? You again? Somehow, you remind me of...Princess Zelda...Hmm... Since you may have some connection with the Royal Family, I will tell you a little more of our tale.
- ^ Impa: The song I just taught you has mysterious power. Only Royal Family members are allowed to learn this song. Remember, it will help you to prove your connection with the Royal Family.
- ^ Zelda: What's your name? Link: ...Link... Zelda: Strange, it sounds... familiar.
- ^ http://www.thinkbabynames.com/meaning/0/Griselda
- ^ http://www.babynamewizard.com/namipedia/girl/zelda
|Ganon · Link · Old Man · Princess Zelda|
—Full list of characters
|Aquamentus · Dodongo · Manhandla · Gleeok · Digdogger · Gohma · Gannon|
|Lake Hylia · Lost Hills · Lost Woods · Death Mountain · Graveyard · Spectacle Rock|
—Full list of locations
|Level 1 · Level 2 · Level 3 · Level 4 · Level 5 · Level 6 · Level 7 · Level 8 · Level 9|
|Level 1 · Level 2 · Level 3 · Level 4 · Level 5 · Level 6 · Level 7 · Level 8 · Level 9|
|2nd Potion · Arrow · Blue Candle · Blue Ring · Bomb · Book of Magic · Boomerang · Bow · Food · Letter · Life Potion · Magical Boomerang · Magical Key · Magical Rod · Power Bracelet · Raft · Recorder · Red Candle · Red Ring · Silver Arrow · Stepladder|
|Wooden Sword · White Sword · Magical Sword · Small Shield · Magical Shield|
|Triforce of Wisdom|
|Fairy · Gerudo · Hylian|
|Dark Link · Ganon · Link · Princess Zelda|
—Full list of characters
|Horsehead · Helmethead · Rebonack · Carock · Gooma · Barba · Thunderbird · Dark Link|
|North Castle · Mountain Town of Darunia · Kasuto · Harbor Town of Mido · Hidden Town of Kasuto · Town of Nabooru · Town of Rauru · Town of Ruto · Water Town of Saria|
—Full list of locations
|Parapa Palace · Midoro Palace · Island Palace · Maze Island Palace · Ocean Palace · Hidden Palace · Great Palace|
|P Bag · 1-up Doll · Magical Sword · Magical Shield · Candle · Flute · Handy Glove · Hammer · Raft · Boots · Magical Key · Cross|
|Fairy Spell · Fire Spell · Jump Spell · Life Spell · Reflect Spell · Shield Spell · Spell Spell · Thunder Spell|
|Trophy · Water of Life · Kidnapped Child · Six Crystals · Triforce of Courage|
|Fairy · Hylian|
|Link (x4) · Princess Zelda · Vaati|
—Full list of characters
|Deguchitato · Derazoru · Gouen · Vaati|
|Chambers of Insight · Sea of Trees · Talus Cave · Death Mountain · Vaati's Palace · Hero's Trial · Realm of Memories|
—Full list of locations
|Bomb · Boomerang · Bow · Bow-Wow · Four Sword · Shield|
|Armor Seed · Fairy · Gnat Hat · Heart · Heart Container · Magnetic Glove · Pegasus Boots · Razor Seed · Roc's Cape · Rupee · Pegasus Seed · Small Key|
|Golden Key · Hero's Key · Medal of Courage · Silver Key|
|Link (x4) · Princess Zelda · Six Maidens · Vaati|
—Full list of characters
|Phantom Ganon · Helmaroc King · Stone Arrghus · Jalhalla · Dagtail · Frostare · Big Dodongo · Vaati · Ganon|
| Whereabouts of the Wind · Eastern Hyrule · Death Mountain · Near the Fields · The Dark World · The Desert of Doubt · Frozen Hyrule · Realm of the Heavens|
—Full list of locations
|Bomb · Bombos Medallion · Boomerang · Bow · Fire Rod · Four Sword · Lantern · Magic Hammer · Quake Medallion · Shield · Slingshot|
|Blue Bracelet · Carrot · Force Gem · Force Fairy · Heart · Heart Container · Moon Pearl · Pegasus Boots · Power Bracelet · Roc's Feather · Shovel · Small Key|
|Knight Mark · Letter · Magic Book · Royal Jewels · Vaati Barrier|
|Gerudo · Goron · Hylian · Zuna|
| Ezlo · King Daltus · Link · Princess Zelda · Smith · Vaati|
—Full list of characters
|Big Green ChuChu · Gleerok · Mazaal · Big Octorok · Gyorg Pair · Vaati Reborn · Vaati Transfigured · Vaati's Wrath|
| Castor Wilds · Cloud Tops · Eastern Hills · Hyrule Town · Lake Hylia · Lon Lon Ranch · Minish Woods · Mount Crenel · Mt. Crenel's Base · North Hyrule Field · Royal Valley · South Hyrule Field · Trilby Highlands · Veil Falls · Western Wood · Wind Ruins|
|Deepwood Shrine · Cave of Flames · Fortress of Winds · Temple of Droplets · Royal Crypt · Palace of Winds · Dark Hyrule Castle|
|Smith's Sword · White Sword · Four Sword · Small Shield · Mirror Shield · Bombs · Boomerang · Bow · Cane of Pacci · Gust Jar|
|Bottle · Flame Lantern · Flippers · Grip Ring · Mole Mitts · Ocarina of Wind · Power Bracelets · Roc's Cape|
|Elements · Kinstones · Tiger Scrolls|
|Deku · Fairy · Goron · Human · Hylian · Minish · Wind Tribe|
|Bellum · Ciela · Linebeck · Link · Ocean King · Oshus · Tetra|
—Full list of characters
|Blaaz · Cyclok · Crayk · Diabolical Cubus Sisters · Dongorongo · Gleeok · Eox · Bellum · Ghost Ship · Bellumbeck|
|Bannan Island · Cannon Island · Goron Island · Harrow Island · Isle of Ember · Isle of Frost · Isle of Gust · Isle of Ruins · Isle of the Dead · Mercay Island · Molida Island · Zauz's Island|
—Full list of locations
|Temple of Fire · Temple of Wind · Temple of Courage · Ghost Ship · Goron Temple · Temple of Ice · Mutoh's Temple · Temple of the Ocean King|
|Oshus's Sword · Wooden Shield · Boomerang · Bombs · Bow · Bombchus · Grappling Hook · Hammer · Phantom Sword · Shovel · Fishing Rod|
|Leaf · Neri · Ciela · Pure Metals · Phantom Hourglass · Spirit Gem|
|Anouki · Deity · Fairy · Gerudo · Goron · Human · Hylian · Yook|
|Anjean · Byrne · Chancellor Cole · Link · Malladus · Princess Zelda|
—Full list of characters
|Stagnox · Fraaz · Phytops · Cragma · Byrne · Skeldritch · Demon Train · Chancellor Cole · Malladus|
| Fire Realm · Forest Realm · Ocean Realm · Sand Realm · Snow Realm|
—Full list of locations
|Forest Temple · Snow Temple · Ocean Temple · Fire Temple · Sand Temple · Tower of Spirits|
|Lokomo Sword · Rail Map · Recruit's Sword · Recruit Uniform · Spirit Flute · Spirit Tracks · Spirit Train · Stamp Book · Tears of Light|
|Boomerang · Whip · Whirlwind · Bow · Sand Wand · Bow of Light|
|Anouki · Demon · Goron · Hylian · Lokomo|