Warning: As we discuss characters and their backgrounds on this page, we may mention parts of the story you’re not yet familiar with if you’re playing Breath of the Wild. We’ve done our best to avoid major spoilers, but be cautious that smaller details about the game may be present.
The Breath of the Wild has graced the lives of Zelda fans across the world now for over two weeks, and in that short time we’ve all had the pleasure of being introduced to an incredibly stunning open world filled with monstrous beasts, elements of nature presented in both friendly and ferocious climates and terrains, and the important task to have our hero, Link, survive treacherous feats. From fighting his way through packs of enemies to watching him sit by a wok for long stretches of time, cooking food dishes so he can sustain life and stamina during his next outing, we’ve grown to love the realistic intricacies and challenges of the game.
There’s one aspect of the game in particular that many fans have come to truly cherish in all of Zelda lore, one that’s greatly proven to help the story itself develop and thrive: the characters who surround Link throughout his adventure. And no, we’re not talking about the familiar faces we’ve known for years. While we adore the likes of Zelda, the Great Fairy and Impa, there are new characters who’ve been introduced in Breath of the Wild who have helped us become immersed in the game’s flourishing world. The figures might not carry important, life-changing roles, but they add a sense of life and personality to this expansive journey that we’ve all undertaken.
The Nintendo Wire team has come together to share its favorite secondary characters in Breath of the Wild. As obscure as some might seem, keep in mind that they’ve impacted not only Link’s adventure, but our entire experience with Nintendo’s newest entry in the series. And that’s exactly why we want to pay homage to them.
Prince of the Zoras and everybody’s favorite fish-bro, Sidon is the physical (digital?) manifestation of positive encouragement. From the moment he enlists your help in dealing with the ills of Zora’s Domain, he espouses nothing but faith and optimism towards Link, emphatically reaffirming time and time again that he believes in you and your quest. He even assists you in one of the game’s battles, providing a helpful mode of transportation as you defend against ice blocks and fire off Shock Arrows at a massive beast.
And unlike other characters of the type, who can come across as a bit player-worshipping or flat, Sidon manages to convey the sense that he’s just a really genial guy, and willing to provide a beacon of hope in a world assaulted by fear and uncertainty. Add in his trademark pose — arm flexed, teeth flashing — and it’s easy to understand why he’s so beloved by the masses already… even if some are perhaps a bit too enamored with the fish-fella.
By Jaxson Tapp
Of all the races found in the world of The Legend of Zelda over the years, none had been more mysterious to me than the Gerudo. To me, they had always been a race of warrior women, all similar in attitude and persona. Meeting the various Gerudo characters in Breath of the Wild almost instantly wiped this notion from my mind. It seems every Gerudo woman in the game is given her own personality, setting her apart from the rest. There is no character this is more true of than Riju, the Chief of the Gerudo.
Riju is as far from a traditional Gerudo woman as it gets: she’s very short, she’s sensitive and insecure, and her bedroom is full of adorable stuffed Sand Seals. Riju is very young for a woman in a position of power among the Gerudo, but she carries it well. Internally, she worries that the other Gerudo think she’s incompetent or unworthy, but never lets it show in public. When alone with Link, she really lets her personality shine through; she’s playful, bubbly, and just downright pure. At the end of the day, Riju is adorable and precious, while remaining the competent leader of some of the fiercest warriors in Hyrule– and she has an important role in Link’s quest to save Hyrule from Calamity Ganon. I’m not completely done with Breath of the Wild yet, but this adorable little redhead has a huge lead in the race to be my favorite character in the game.
My first time stumbling upon the accordioned avian was in the midst of a harrowing hurricane as Ocarina of Time’s Song of Storms quietly bellowed in the distance. Often found performing historic series’ serenades, this melodic maestro travels the world in honor of his dearly departed mentor, sharing legends past to anyone with a willing ear. Of course, the spoony bard’s musical musings prove much more than mere fairy tales, guiding Link to hidden shrines and lost treasures in some of the franchise’s most puzzling riddles to date.
Suffice it to say, few moments captivated me as emotionally as the seductive siren call of Hyrule’s intrepid wandering minstrel. Beyond simple nostalgia, the folksy fowl mostly struck a chord thanks to an uncanny resemblance to my own departed squeezebox savvy grandfather, Otto Weidner. Both share a jovial disposition, devotion to their craft, and genuine love of music that swept me back to childhood days spent listening to Opi spin similar tunes of mythical legends and heroic feats within Germanic folklore. Kass, if nothing less, is a true testament to Nintendo’s uncanny ability to make even the most minor of support roles shine in a cast overflowing with memorable characters.
Old man on the Great Plateau
The first character Link encounters on his massive new quest (unless you count disembodied voices) is a mysterious, sagely old man. In one of the game’s most direct nods to the original Legend of Zelda, the amiable elder offers Link his first bit of direction in an imposing, wide open world.
Thankfully, the old man’s role in Breath of the Wild is far more interesting and practical than sword delivery man. Give a man a sword and he’ll adventure for a day; teach a man about his heroic role in a troubled world and offer him the tools he’ll need to fulfill it, and he’ll be ready to embark on the adventure of a lifetime.
This geriatric fellow is more than just a nostalgic cameo. He’s an anchor for Link’s entire quest, and his true identity makes him an integral part of Hyrule’s past and future.
By Logan Plant
Link is used to everyone helping him out on his quest with no questions asked, no matter what. When Link crossed paths with the Rito Champion Revali, that trend came to an end.
Before he came to his unfortunate end at the hands of Ganon, Revali was the best around, and he knew it, too. From the first three words we hear from Revali, it’s clear he’s from a different breed of Zelda characters.
“Impressive, I know.”
This kind of overconfidence and swagger is something that makes Revali incredibly likable, and it’s not something we generally see from a Zelda character. Revali believed he should have been the chosen hero, due to his superior flight and archery skills. He challenged the idea that the Master Sword chooses the true hero, and it’s not until Link avenges his death 100 years later that Revali finally accepts Link as a worthy hero. Revali brings an edge and attitude to the Zelda universe that has cemented him as my favorite character from the franchise.
By Tom Brown
Out of the many, many races the Legend of Zelda has introduced over the years, none quite captured my heart like the Koroks of Wind Waker. So color me surprised when I turned the corner while running up a hill only to be greeted by the biggest Korok we’ve ever seen — Hestu. With his big, bushy eyebrows, relatively tiny leaf mask and disheartened personality, he was an instant favorite.
He’s important throughout the game too, being who you go to when you want some extra inventory space. While his energetic dance can get annoying in quick succession, Hestu’s adorable writing more than makes up for it. Here’s hoping to even more Shalaka in the years to come.
By Jason Ganos
Oh, how I adore the lovable Sheikah Monks… These near-mummified men have been waiting for a very long time for Link to show up and solve their puzzles and want nothing more than to pass on the Spirit Orbs that have been entrusted to them from the Goddess Hylia– and to finally pass on to the next life.
Each of these puzzle masters have handcrafted a trial to test the strength, cleverness and patience of the chosen hero while they wait patiently in their meditation chambers for Link to succeed or fail. While each puzzle is generally challenging and rewarding to solve, there are some rogue Monks who have crafted puzzles that can only be described as infuriating. (I’m looking at you, motion-puzzle-creating Monks!) However, you can’t judge the whole group for the actions of a few bad apples, and as a whole, the Sheikah Monks make Breath of the Wild a more than enjoyable experience.
By Lauren Musni
When it comes to elements of stories within any type of creative media, including video games, I’ve always been drawn to niche characters who only (seemingly) impact the hero in trivial ways. I think that’s why Purah, the director of the Hateno Ancient Tech Lab, stood out to me so quickly when first diving into Breath of the Wild. She’s tiny in size, with her height only reaching that of a small child, her voice is adorably high-pitched, and her entire appearance is completely endearing.
Accompanied by a sweetly rhythmic, mechanical musical beat playing in the background of the lab, my first encounter with Purah greatly peaked my interest in her character. Sure, she helped me acquire necessary camera tools for Link’s adventure, but she also gave me insight to his previous life 100 years earlier, right along with her own, bittersweet history. Discovering that this tiny character standing on a chair in front of me wasn’t a child or young person at all, but was, in fact, a 120 year-old member of the Sheikah race with the appearance of a six year-old due to a failed experiment with an anti-aging rune was fascinating to me. It’s a beautiful combination of fantasy and science, all present in one little character.
Why the Purah love though? Honestly, it’s because I’m captivated by her story and I find her relatable. Always mistaken for someone who’s younger, I’m constantly struggling with appearing my age. The fact that friends and family have vocally associated Purah with me also makes her extra special in my eyes. Relating to a character, even a minor one, has created a personal bond between myself and the story within Breath of the Wild.Leave a Reply