by Celeste Roberts
What if the fiends in The Legend of Zelda joined Link in vanquishing evil?
The Legend of Zelda fans love discussing which of Link’s companions are their favorites. Hyrule Gamer created a video listing his top 5, Another Zelda Podcast discusses Link’s sidekicks, and myriad websites and video essays share the creators’ opinions on which secondary characters enhance the adventure. While I could argue why Ezlo from The Minish Cap is the best partner for Link—he’s got style, sass, and intelligence—the idea of an enemy character accompanying Link in his quests made me wonder which foes would be ideal allies, especially if they could fight alongside the hero.
While Tatl in Majora’s Mask is introduced as a mischievous cohort to the possessed Skull Kid, she functions like Navi in Ocarina of Time rather than an intimidating fighter. Imagine having an Octorok on your side as you travel across bodies of water; its rock projectiles could keep other enemies at bay. What if a Moblin joined you in the final battle with Ganon? Its javelin could injure the evil warlock as you plan Link’s next move.
I researched various enemies featured in the Zelda series and settled on a few I would love by my side.
I would wager Lynels would be most players’ top choice. In Breath of the Wild, the centaur-like beasts have an impressive description: "These fearsome monsters have lived in Hyrule since ancient times. They possess intense intelligence, resilience, and strength, making them amongst the most dangerous monsters in all the land. This is compounded by the fact that they have a natural resistance to all elements. You would be wise to challenge a Lynel only if you're very well prepared” (Zeldapedia).
Sometimes I purposely seek Lynels if I am in the mood to test my battle prowess, but I am not above racing through the plains they patrol if I simply want to reach my destination without carnage along the way. With health ranging from 2,000 to 7,500 HP, these enemies require more time to defeat than most commonplace baddies, and they wield powerful weapons like swords, bows with arrows, and spears.
I do love Epona and the other horses that allow me to live out my equestrian dreams, but I would swap these regular stallions and mares for a Lynel as my transportation and my fellow fighter. I don’t think even Ganondorf would stand much of a chance against this stubborn steed; depending on the type, a Lynel could fire off lightning arrows, rush into Ganondorf and swipe at him with an ax, or strike him with a club-like Crusher. Hm… now I want to play as a Lynel rather than with a Lynel!
Magic wielders and mages abound in RPGs, so why shouldn’t Link have the option of keeping one nearby? Wizzrobes have had many incarnations in the Zelda series, and their mastery of the elements makes them a little more difficult than other foes (and, to be honest, more annoying, especially whenever they become invisible). Stronger versions of these wizard-like enemies roam Hyrule in Breath of the Wild: Blizzrobes, who create devastating ice storms; Meteo Wizzrobes, who command fiery boulders to fall from the sky; and Thunder Wizzrobes, who unleash severe thunderstorms.
One of my favorite of the Champions’ attacks to use is Urbosa’s Fury, which can inflict some serious pain on multiple enemies in a wide radius. With a Wizzrobe by Link’s side, he could concentrate on certain enemies while his magical partner could use the most fearsome natural occurrences to destroy obstacles (and use its irksome vanishing tactic to avoid damage).
The ability to swap out Wizzrobes would be helpful, too, since Blizzrobes are subdued by fire and Meteo Wizzrobes by ice, meaning certain types would be better suited to certain terrains.
“Bombs away!” If I had the option to pair Link with a Kargarok, I’d arm the winged powerhouse with explosives and shout this every time it drops a bomb onto an enemy. Such a tactic would also be useful for clearing boulders and walls obstructing paths.
Having an aerial assistant would prove beneficial for exploration, too. Imagine a quest where Link has to find items far out of his reach due to mountains or trees. A Kargarok could effortlessly take to the skies and survey these areas, much like seagulls in The Wind Waker (but with the ability to thwart enemies). As a bit of dark comedic relief, players would be able to pick up enemies and drop them from dangerous heights, easily defeating them so Link could continue on his adventure. I also believe a side quest where a Kargarok must transport Princess Zelda or another non-playable character à la Kaepora Gaebora in Ocarina of Time could be both challenging and fun.
If Link needs to set sail or explore the deep blue sea, he’s going to need a formidable companion. Most of the water-based enemies are easy to defeat, minus some of the Bosses, so a terrifying shark would be the perfect aquatic sidekick. Gyorgs are prevalent in The Wind Waker and pack mighty punches against Link and the King of Red Lions, so imagine swimming in the depths of the ocean with one (or a school) of them in tow.
How about a twist on “jumping the shark”? Link could use a Gyorg as a surfboard and ride high waves while taking down Octoroks and other water-based nuisances. I can picture some enjoyable mini games in which Link and his Gyorg must go through hoops while surfing or race against Hylians (who would be using measly wooden boards).
Who is your favorite companion in the Zelda series? Would you like to take on evil with a befriended enemy? If so, which would you pick?
Let me know on Twitter!