Zelda 30th Anniversary | Top 5 Companions

By Az Elias 22.04.2016 4

Beginning with Ocarina of Time, Link has seen many a sidekick grace his side, helping him on his quests to defeat evil, offering advice to bring down foes, and even taking a much more active role in later entries in the series, sometimes being controlled directly. From fairies, to spirits, to talking boats, there has been a multitude of different beings and personalities to journey with the hero, often providing laughter, sadness and even annoyance in their times together. We highlight five of the best companions in another celebratory Zelda 30th anniversary feature.

Tatl - Majora's Mask

Ocarina of Time began the companion trend, and that was cemented once its sequel, Majora's Mask, introduced Tatl, the fairy counterpart to Navi, Link's sidekick in his previous quest. After she and her brother, Tael, befriended a lonely Skull Kid, the group ventured into the Lost Woods, where the imp's overly troublesome character got the better of him, attacking and robbing Link, who happened to be searching for his old friend Navi in the forest. Following Link's chasing of the Skull Kid and fairies, and subsequently being transformed into a Deku Scrub, Tatl stalls the hero, only to end up dawdling too long and being separated from her brother and Skull Kid. With both Link and Tatl in need of each other's help, the two reluctantly band together to form a partnership that grows into one of great respect, strength and friendship.

Tatl tells it like it is and is generally a rather rude customer, often being much more direct than Link's previous fairy companion. Amusingly, she barely gives hints on how to defeat familiar enemies that Link had encountered before in Ocarina of Time, but is still useful when it matters most against new foes. By the end of the game, and after reuniting with her brother and restoring Skull Kid to his former self, it is clear that Tatl regrets her harsh actions towards Link in the beginning, and harbours eternal gratitude to the young man that helped bring her family, friends and the world to safety. Let's not forget about her bell jingle, too - a sound that is much kinder to the ears than Navi's excessive catchphrases…
- Az

Zelda - Spirit Tracks

Our titular princess has come a long way from getting kidnapped or eternally slumbering; helping Link escape Ganon's crumbling castle in Ocarina of Time, taking part in the final boss fight of The Wind Waker, and paying a high price to let Midna and Link co-exist in both realms in Twilight Princess. Things come to a head, however, in Spirit Tracks, where Zelda becomes Link's companion throughout the game.

Sure, she's not quite herself - Zelda is turned into a ghost who can inhabit certain statues to help Link fight and solve puzzles - but it's a big step in a new direction for the series. For better or worse, Spirit Tracks tried new things, and in the end, it was at least enough to make the phantom statues Zelda possesses part of her moveset in the latest Super Smash Bros. games.
- David

Ezlo - The Minish Cap

Nothing could be more annoying than a squawking bird perched on top of your head, but thankfully for Link in The Minish Cap, his trusty companion nestled comfortably in the form of his iconic green cap. Ezlo is a wise and handy mage, but following his apprentice, Vaati, stealing the special cap that Ezlo was working on and using it to become an almighty powerful sorcerer, the no-good Vaati turned Ezlo into the bird-cap hybrid the game is named for, and abandoned in the human world, where Link rescues the poor Minish from being attacked by Octoroks.

A kind soul with all sorts of knowledge under his belt, Ezlo and Link team up to defeat Vaati and restore the sacred Picori Blade to its former glory. Not without a cheeky and humorous side, Ezlo brings a lot of joy to Link's adventure, and has the unique ability of being able to shrink Link down to size to enter the tiny Minish world, allowing access to tight spaces and to speak to the other Picori, as they are known. Supposedly detailing the origins of Link's famous cap with this story, the idea seemed to become quashed once Skyward Sword came around, taking place before the events of this game…
- Az

The King of Red Lions - The Wind Waker

Picture Link's long-running companion Epona, only as a talking red boat with a dry sense of humour, and you have the King of Red Lions. In the world of The Wind Waker, which happens to be a vast archipelago, an explorer is only as good as his boat. Link's happens to be a small, lifeboat-sized vessel, but the help of magic and an array of items make it one of the most formidable crafts on the ocean.

The King of Red Lions is also sentient, offering Link guidance, advice, and the occasional bout of wit and humour. This boat holds some secrets of his own, and has a major role to play in Link's adventure, but is also handy for taking in some open-ended sailing across The Wind Waker's beautifully crafted overworld.
- David

Midna - Twilight Princess

While most of Link's companions have been stalwart allies ready to help him at a moment's notice, Twilight Princess introduced Midna, an impish, sarcastic creature who has her own goals, and sees Link as a means to her own ends. As the events of the game unfold, the two have no choice but to work together to separate the realms of Light and Twilight.

While initially abrasive and taunting, Midna forms a bond with Link unseen in any of his other companions. Strong-willed and secretly caring, Midna is the first non-Zelda princess to take a titular role in the series, an honour her character earns in full, and her selfless farewell at the end of Twilight Princess solidifies her as one of Link's best companions.
- David

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Comments

Midna and The King of Red Lions are definitely my favourite. They're interesting, have great designs and I love their personalities. My least favourite would be the sword lady from Skyward Sword... Dull, too much hand-holding and unmemorable. I can't even remember her name.

Haha, yeah, Fi. It's hard to feel much for a doll that looks and sounds like she has no soul. Not to mention the design choices in the game contribute to her annoyance.

I think these five were all pretty great partners. Linebeck was also in with a shout.

I forgot about Linebeck, but yeah, he's was fantastic. One of the stand-out parts of Phantom Hourglass for me.

I agree with this! Linebeck was better than Zelda in my opinion though. So glad Fi wasn't on here.

I play games... sometimes.

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