With so many games in the Legend of Zelda series, it’s no surprise there are some rather colorful characters. What makes Zelda stand apart from other video games is the sheer amount of weirdos. Perhaps there is something in the water that makes the citizens so strange. Here’s my favorite weird characters from the Legend of Zelda.
Players first met Salvatore in Wind Waker. He runs the mini-games Barrel Shoot and Sinking Ships. What makes him so weird is the flipping between enthusiasm and boredom. Salvatore will act out scenes from the mini-games while wearing a costume, and make sound effects. When you talk to him, he couldn’t care less if Link wants to play the game or not. If Link receives a prize, he’s rather bored with awarding it. In the Phantom Hourglass, Salvatore runs the Cannon Game. He still has the same “whatever” attitude. The location of the game is so far out of the way, it seems impossible that anyone but Link could access it.
In the Adventures of Link, there is a man in the town of Ruto. The only thing he says to you at first is “I am Error.” This confused the life at of me when I was young. I never thought his name was actually Error, but I couldn’t figure out why he would say that over and over. As it turns out, Error isn’t a bad video game translation, that’s his real name. Later in the game, Link is told to ask Error about the palace. While Error isn’t technically a weird character, the confusion over his name is legendary.
In Twilight Princess, Malo is the rude little brother of Talo. What makes him weird is his baby like appearance. Even though he looks like a toddler, he acts like a shrewd business man. First, he runs a shop in Kakariko Village and then one in Hyrule Castle Town. Malo will goad Link into making purchases and to quit wasting his time. He certainly doesn’t act like the other children in the game.
The Old Man
The Old Man from the original Zelda is a strange guy. First, he gives Link the sword. There’s nothing too off about that except that he’s a random guy giving out swords in a cave. As the game progresses, he gets weirder. He shows up in the dungeons to give Link advice about the boss. How did he mange to get into the dangerous dungeons? Another thing that makes him weird is the poor translation in the game. Often his “advice” is vague and hard to understand.
A recurring Zelda character, Guru-Guru is an organ grinder. In Ocarina of Time, he is found in the windmill. What makes him weird is he teaches adult Link the Song of Storms, which he learned from a young boy with an ocarina. It turns into a paradox, as Link couldn’t have taught Guru-Guru the song as a child before learning it as an adult from the same person. Besides that, Guru-Guru is just an oddball. His speech is sort of sing-song and he’s obsessed to the point of rage over the windmill and music. In Majora’s Mask, Link meets him by the laundry pool. If you listen to his sad story about being in a animal troupe that had a dog for its leader, he give Link the Bremen Mask.
Old Man Ho Ho
In the Wind Waker, Old Man Ho Ho looks at the ocean through his telescope and exclaims “Ho Ho!” Then he mumbles to himself about what he sees, giving Link clues to what’s out there. He’s a bit on the strange side because he’s on so many different islands scattered across the ocean and he doesn’t seem to have a boat. Even though he’s very enthusiastic about what he sees, he never tries to get closer to check it out. Weirder still, in the Phantom Hourglass, there’s a whole tribe of Ho-Hos, staring at the sea through their telescopes.
Hand in the toilet
Simply called ??? in Majora’s Mask and Oracle of Ages is a hand that comes out of a toilet asking for paper. This is weird on many levels. In Majora’s Mask it doesn’t look like a normal hand of a townperson. It’s green and looks like it almost has claws. Another thing is why is it in the toilet? In either game, you need to give it paper in order to get a reward. In Majora’s Mask, Link gets a heart piece. In Oracle of Ages, it gives you a stink bag. If you drop other things in the toilet, ??? will comment on them. Drop a scent seed and it says “Ewwww.” Right back at you, weird hand in the toilet.
These fairies from Majora’s Mask are actually quite scary. They burst out of a pool of water and shriek. If this wasn’t done through a cut scene, I would have made Link turn around and run. These fairies are enormous, half naked, and crazy. If you return stray fairies Link gets upgrades and even a weird fairy mask. Every time I have to go into one of the Great Fairy caves, I cringe at the over the top screaming.
Happy Mask Salesman
Another example of characters taking their interests in the extreme is the Happy Mask Salesman. In Ocarina of Time, we first met the mild mannered mask salesman in Hyrule Castle Town. His demeanor will quickly change if you return to his shop without the right amount of rupees after Link sells one of his mask. He turns into an enraged lunatic that kicks Link out of the shop. However, when you walk back in, everything’s fine again like it never happened. In Majora’s Mask, the Happy Mask Salesman plays a much larger role in the game. Therefore, he is much weirder. His mood swings are greater. At one point, he violently shakes Link. He also seems to make objects like an organ appear out of thin air. He even knows all about Link and what he’s done in Hyrule.
No weird Zelda character list would be complete without Tingle. If you look in the dictionary, Tingle’s picture might be next to the word weird. He first appears in Majora’s Mask as a 35 year old man dressed in a too tight green suit that resembles Link’s. He’s obsessed with what he calls forest fairies and wants to be like them. Tingle’s dad runs the Pictograph Contest and expresses his disappointment in his son to Link. Tingle floats around by using a red balloon that is stored in his backpack. In Wind Waker, Tingle is more selfish. After breaking him out of jail, he gives Link a map to Tingle Island that’s drawn in crayon. At the island, Tingle lazes about while his brothers make the tower spin. He also charges Link hundreds of rupees to make sea charts readable.
Those are just 10 truly weird Legend of Zelda characters. There are many other like Agitha the bug lover in Twilight Princess or the dancing Elvis looking guy, Tott, in Wind Waker. The universe of Zelda is never dull and with every new game, there are new weirdos to meet.