By Celeste Roberts
May 7, 2019
During his adventures, Link encounters numerous residents of Hyrule, Termina, The Great Sea, Koholint, and other lands. Just as Link sometimes has a sidekick to aid him in his quest, some characters function as a pair--for better or worse! Coupled non-playable characters are not always romantically involved, but they share such a strong rapport that players cannot imagine greeting them separately. Occasionally Link also will meet trios or groups of multiple people who either aid him in his journey or create more headaches and obstacles to his goals.
Lovers, friends, family, or business partners, here are my some of my favorite duos and groups in The Legend of Zelda series (in no particular order).
Dancing Couple/Honey and Darling (Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask)
In Ocarina of Time, the child version of Link wanders through Hyrule Castle Town, taking in the joyful music, hustle and bustle of market stalls with demanding customers, and Hylians chatting and playing. Near the center of the town fountain is a couple dancing in a circle, apparently oblivious to everything and everyone around them.
If Link interacts with them, he will hear their love-sick adulations for each other: "Ohh... You are...so handsome... Just like the King of Hyrule... Hee hee..." and “Ohh... You are...more beautiful... than Princess Zelda... Hee hee..."
Fast forward to seven years in the future, and the couple, like the other Hyrule Castle Town residents, has vanished. Where have they gone? Were they killed during Ganondorf’s takeover? No, the couple just seems to have wanted more privacy after they escaped; curious sleuths will discover them behind the windmill in Kakariko Village, spinning in their reverie like years before. However, their preference for privacy is evident whenever Link tries to engage with them: "Heh.... What an annoying person, interrupting us like this... Don't you agree, my love?" and "Hee hee... Violating our personal space! He must have something better to do... Don't you agree, darling?"
Well, they are hidden from plain view on purpose, after all…
In Majora’s Mask, the couple owns a game shop and are now named Honey (woman) and Darling (man). Whether these are their actual names or adopted nicknames due to their sickening public displays of affection is unknown. The games change each day: Bombchu Gallery on the First Day, Bomb Basket on the Second Day, and Target Shooting on the Third/Final Day. Link is given a time limit to strike every target before Honey and Darling finish dancing to the music. Amusingly, the player can hit the couple, disrupting the dancing and buying more time to complete the game.
Although these lovebirds are minor characters, they amuse me every time I see them. They remind of the movie/TV show trope of the lovesick teenagers who cannot bear to be apart, even at school. I think I may have laughed out loud when I discovered them hiding behind the windmill, still spinning like mad-folk despite the doom hovering over Hyrule. “Love never fails,” though, right?
Anju (Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask) & Kafei (Majora’s Mask)
Anju made her first appearance in The Legend of Zelda series in Ocarina of Time but as the nameless “Cucco Lady” in Kakariko Village. Although her role is small in this game, we learn about an interesting and somewhat heartbreaking family dynamic if we complete the Biggoron’s scavenger hunt/fetch quest as Adult Link: her mother is the village potion maker, her father is the Master Craftsman, and her brother is the troubled young man who sits beneath the tree near the entrance to Kakariko Village. Seeing the Cucco Lady juggling her Cuccos during the ending credits is both endearing and perplexing; I thought she was allergic to her favorite fowl?
In Majora’s Mask, she is one half of the longest and most involved side quest in the game. Daytime soap operas have nothing on her story: Anju is one of the innkeepers at the family-owned and operated Stock Pot Inn; the fiancée of the mayor’s missing son, Kafei; and best friend of Cremia, the slightly envious ranch hand at Romani Ranch who also has feelings for Kafei. When Link meets Anju, he learns that Kafei has been missing for about a month, leaving Anju worried that he does not wish to marry her. Adding more stress to the bride-to-be is Anju’s own mother, who tells her daughter he may have eloped with Cremia. We learn that Tortus, Anju’s father, apparently abandoned his own family before he passed away, which explains his widow’s resentment towards Kafei.
Do you have enough popcorn for this story?
Link discovers Kafei hiding at the Laundry Pool and learns that Skull Kid, influenced by the evil possessing Majora’s Mask, turned Kafei back into a child. However, the reason Kafei is hiding from his fiancée is because Sakon the burglar stole his wedding ceremony mask while the cursed man was traveling to see the Great Fairy in North Clock Town. If the cost of engagement and weddings rings is any indication of the monetary value of wedding masks, then I can understand why Kafei would prefer to find his stolen item!
Over the course of three days, Link assists Anju and Kafei by delivering tokens of their affection and letters alerting the other of their safety and unconditional love, eventually helping Kafei to retrieve his stolen Sun Mask and reunite with Anju at the Stock Pot Inn. I am always amused whenever Tatl remarks, “They’re lovers, but they look just like a mother and child.”
Besides the Tarrey Town side quest’s wedding, I believe Anju and Kafei’s ceremony shown during the ending credits of Majora’s Mask is the only other wedding shown in the Zelda series. The amount of time and effort required to complete the lovers’ mission make the celebratory ending that much sweeter. My only wish is that we could have seen adult Kafei rather than witnessed the wedding through his eyes, albeit a unique perspective for the game.
Killer Bees (The Wind Waker)
Child gangs pop up in a few Zelda titles, but perhaps the most amusing is the Killer Bees. Consisting of four truant boys (Ivan, Jin, Jan, and Jun-Roberto), the lads spend their days wandering around Outset Island like the big shots (they think) they are.
When Link first meets the kids, they follow him around and talk a pretty tough game; Ivan, the proclaimed leader, even tells him, “This town is our turf--the turf of the world-famous Killer Bees! Don’t mess with us!”
School teacher Mrs. Marie asks Link to please round up the naughty boys and tell them about the importance of attending school to learn about joy (did I miss out on this type of school growing up? I just had homework, tests, and frizzy hair). The boys then send Link on a hide-and-seek side quest. Catching them all earns Link the gang’s respect and a Heart Piece, and Mrs. Marie hands over 50 Rupees for the trouble. The boys tell Link that Mrs. Marie’s birthday is soon and that she loves Joy Pendants; however, because, they “ain’t no teacher’s pets,” it looks like Link’s gotta be the suck up!
Since I lack an entourage or admiring fans in real life, I am tickled to see Link surrounded by the boys whenever he enters their section of Windfall Island; I nearly expect them to beg for an autograph anytime I interact with them. I always wonder where the parents or guardians of such misfit kids could be. The island isn’t that large, and not many people inhabit it. Are they orphans? Do their families live elsewhere? Am I reading too much into the family ties of a video game?
Also, can I sign up for this school that teaches joy (or are self-help books sufficient)?
The Champions (Breath of the Wild)
A Zora princess, a Goron warrior, a Rito archer, and a Gerudo chieftain. Four different races but one shared goal: under Princess Zelda’s guidance and with Link’s assistance, they would pilot their respective Divine Beast to thwart Calamity Ganon during his inevitable return.
Alas, sometimes evil powers are stronger than good; Calamity Ganon possessed each Divine Beast with a blight in his likeness, ultimately killing the four heroes. However, the Champions enjoy their reckoning when Link releases their spirits upon defeating the blights, allowing his fallen comrades the chance to assist him once again in ridding Hyrule of evil.
One of my favorite features of Breath of the Wild is the collection of videos that allow us a glimpse into Link’s life before tragedy left him in an unfamiliar Hyrule a century later. Each Champion reacts to and treats Link differently: Mipha holds deep feelings for the hero, Daruk shows him brotherly love, Revali harbors resentment and jealousy, and Urbosa treats him with motherly deference. I sometimes wonder whether someone could have recovered the bodies of the deceased Champions and brought them to the Shrine of Resurrection with Link, but then I realize no sane person would dare to go near the possessed Divine Beasts.
Link travels across Hyrule or other lands and encounters each race in its unique location (mountains, forests, deserts, oceans, etc.), but this game in the series brings elite representatives together to form Hyrule’s hope. While we sometimes see random characters of the different races traveling in areas outside of their homelands, I don’t recall ever seeing a team of members of those races assembled together in such a fashion. Usually such a group is comprised of one race, like The Resistance in Twilight Princess, so I appreciate and respect a display of union and peace. We witness extraordinary strength and an unbreakable kinship, perhaps a sign that working together despite our differences and personal failings can lead us to incredible feats.
These are but a few of the duos and groups in the Zelda series, and each set enhances the gaming experience immensely. Let me know your favorite teams!