Princess Zelda

From Academic Kids

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Princess Zelda (Japanese ゼルダ姫 Zeruda-hime) is a fictional character in the Legend of Zelda series of video games named after Zelda Fitzgerald. She is a member of Hyrule's Royal Family and plays an integral role in the Legend of Hyrule. Though she is the titular character, the player normally takes control of the hero, Link. Usually, Zelda is in some way kidnapped or imprisoned by Ganon, also known as Ganondorf. In some games she appears as one of the sages, or wise men (and women). In later games she has been shown to be some kind of prophet.

She has appeared as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Melee, a game for the Nintendo GameCube released on December 2, 2001. In the game, Zelda uses magic to fight her enemies; she is powerful when attacking but has trouble evading or surviving when being attacked. But at the push of a button she also can transform into her Sheik alter ego, using speed, agility, needles, a chain, and high-momentum physical attacks.

Zelda also starred in two games made by a third party for the CD-i system, Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon and Zelda's Adventure. The games are generally criticized by fans, although it is noteworthy as the first time Zelda has been a playable character in any game.

Zelda's name is probably associated with delta, shaped triangularly like the Triforce. The Dhimotiki (modern Greek) word for δελτα (delta) is dhelda (pronounced IPA /šel.da/), which is typically transliterated to katakana as ゼルダ zeruda.


Incarnations of Zelda

Much like Link, Zelda has taken on more than one incarnation throughout the series. Most of the time, she is portrayed as a child, but she has been an adult three times, in Ocarina of Time, The Adventure of Link, and Twilight Princess.

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

An ancient princess named Zelda was put into a sleeping spell by an evil wizard working for her brother, the prince. The prince tried to stop the wizard, but Zelda fell into a deep sleep. The prince ordered that every female born into the royal family would be named Zelda, in memory of the event.

Ocarina of Time

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The adult Princess Zelda in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Zelda is the daughter of the King of Hyrule, the Seventh Sage, and the holder of the Triforce of Wisdom. The true heir to the royal family, she is of the Hylian race with blonde hair and blue eyes. She begins the game as a young girl of around 10 blessed with psychic abilities. Due to a dream of symbolic importance, she sensed Ganondorf's treachery and predicts Link's arrival before either occur. When Link meets her for the first time in Hyrule Castle Courtyard, she sends him on a quest to collect the three Spiritual Stones and protect the Triforce from Ganondorf. When Ganondorf attacks Hyrule Castle, Zelda and her nurse maid Impa, a Sheikah, ride away from the castle. The princess threw the Ocarina of Time into the moat that was in front of the castle village, then Link dove down into the water and retrived the ocarina. When Link returns seven years later, he encounters Zelda disguised as Sheik, a survivor of the Sheikah tribe. It is Zelda who gives Link clues as to the locations of the various temples and teaches him the warp songs. After the final temple seal is dispersed, Sheik risks her life for Link and reveals herself as Zelda, the Seventh Sage, and informs Link that both she and he hold pieces of the Triforce. She then gives Link the Light Arrows but moments later is captured by Ganondorf and imprisoned in a pink crystal in his tower, formerly Hyrule Castle. After Ganondorf's defeat, she is freed and assists Link in his escape from the collapsing fortress. She also helps Link defeat Ganon by holding him in place with her magic while Link delivers the final blow. After Hyrule is saved, Zelda uses the Ocarina of Time to send Link back to the past due to the loss of his childhood and the loss of Hyrule's people.

The Wind Waker

There is a pirate girl named Tetra who leads her band of pirates across the great sea in search of a great legendary treasure hidden beneath the sea. She was orphaned at a young age and because she coped with so much she commands a lot of respect among her pirate crew. She later finds from the King of Red Lions (actually Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule, the ancient King of Hyrule that was sealed underneath the sea along with his doomed kingdom) that she is actually princess Zelda (a descendant of the one from Ocarina of Time). During the final battle she helps to slow down Ganondorf with light arrows that she borrows from the Hero of Winds, the first time Zelda plays an active role in a battle (in The Ocarina of Time, she only plays the cinematical role of using her magic to hold Ganon down while Link deals the final blow).

The Minish Cap

Princess Zelda is the daughter of King Daltus. She and Link were good friends due to the fact that Link's grandfather was the King's blacksmith. One day when Zelda and Link went to the Hyrule Festivals in honour of the Picori, Zelda was turned into stone by Vaati. Link was then sent on a mission to save her and Hyrule.

Zelda's alter ego

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Princess Zelda as Sheik

Sheik is Princess Zelda's alter ego in Ocarina of Time. Zelda passes herself off as a male Sheikah, known as Sheik (who derived his name from the name of the Sheikah tribe). She keeps her voice muffled and her face concealed, and wears a tight-fitting blue suit with the red Sheikah eye in the center. She plays the harp and teaches Link new songs to help him on his quest. When Link arrives at the Temple of Time, Sheik reveals her true identity by using the Triforce of Wisdom, unveilling that she is really Princess Zelda. It is assumed that she uses her magical skills (as a Sage) to change her skin tone, hair length, and eye color, as well as her body build and shape; although the body shape could be armor as well. As to Sheik's gender, the revelation at the end of Ocarina of Time reveals Sheik was Zelda all along. Sheik was a female who passed herself off as a male, which raises issues of Gender Identity in the Zelda series, something unusual for a Nintendo title. Also, according to the figurines/ trophies and the instruction booklet for Super Smash Bros. Melee, Sheik is a female. As shown by her tendancy to disappear using Smoke Bombs, as well as her overall motif in Super Smash Brothers Melee; Sheik movements and design are very ninja- or Kunoichi-like. This guise of Zelda has proven to be very popular amongst the series' fans, and many highly anticipate any kind of new appearance by Zelda's ninja-like form in future installments of the series.

Relationship with Link

The popular theory among some fans of a romantic relationship between some of the Link or Zelda characters in the series, although not yet definitely confirmed in the video game titles of the franchise, is based on hints given in the games, interviews with the game creators, and the cartoons and comics/manga.

One hint of a romance between the two is given at the end of The Adventure of Link, when the princess kisses Link under the falling curtain. Some cut-scenes in Ocarina of Time that feature both Link and Zelda have been interpreted as being signs of a beginning romance. For example, when Link must follow Zelda out of Ganondorf's crumbling castle before the final battle, magic heart-shaped artifacts that refill the player's life energy will come out of Zelda. Or in the ending scene where Link and Zelda are floating in the sky together and seem to be sharing a romantic moment. If the Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons items from the Oracle series games are combined, the ending sequence shows Zelda lightly kissing Link on the cheek with hearts floating above the pair's heads.

One argument against such a romance is the possibility that the different Links have blood ties. The multiple Link characters are presumably descendants of Link, the Hero of Time portrayed in Ocarina of Time, but this isn't proven. The different Zeldas probably descend from the Princess Zelda in that game because of their royalty. Although the Zeldas are most likely related, the Links are most likely just incarnations of the original Link, leaving room for a possible romance.

Outside of the videogame series, The Legend of Zelda animated series that aired during the late 1980's and early 1990's exemplifies a romantic relationship between the two protagonists. Link is always begging Zelda for a kiss; however, even when she agrees to indulge him, it never occurs. For example, in the episode "That Sinking Feeling," Zelda leaps on top of Link and is about to kiss him when they get attacked by monsters. Furthermore, it is revealed that Zelda loves Link in the episode "Missing Link." In the animated series, there was no doubt of their romantic relationship.

The comic books published by Valiant Comics and based on the first two games, and the Nintendo Power comic based on A Link to the Past, also detail a romantic relationship (although the latter is more subtle). The Valiant comics portray the same kiss-begging as the cartoon series in addition to Link and Zelda going on dates. The Nintendo Power comic makes the relationship tragic as opposed to comic, as Link and Zelda are separated by their respective duties to the Kingdom and Triforce.

The game creators also seem to imply there is a romance between the characters. Here is one question in an interview (GameCube Advanced ( with Eiji Aonuma, the director of Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, The Wind Waker and the upcoming Zelda game, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess:

Interviewer: We have received several emails in which our readers ask: Will Zelda and Link ever be involved [romantically]? [laughs] I'm sorry, but we had to ask.'
Eiji Aonuma: [laughs] Good question. Well, as you already know, we are now dealing with a teenage Link, and as you know, teenagers are very emotional beings, so there are definitely possibilities of seeing Link showing his feelings towards the princess. But honestly, we don't know what the future holds.

A question from an article (IGN ( with Shigeru Miyamoto, conducted by Famimaga 64:

Interviewer: Does Link have a girlfriend?
Miyamoto: If it was Princess Zelda, it would be great. However, this time Navie [the fairy] is jealous of Zelda. So within the story, Navie feels something for Link.

Zelda in Super Smash Brothers Melee

First shown to be in the guise of Sheik, it was later revelaed in the game's hype that Sheik was actually one of two forms. Zelda is one of the most varied characters in the entire game because she is actually two characters in one. As stated above, at the push of a button Zelda can transform into the ultra sleek Sheik, giving Zelda an entirely new set of moves and completely different motions and movements.

This rather innovative gameplay mechanic for the character made her one of the most anticipated new characters during the game's pre hype.

The character starts as Zelda, although it is possible to start a round as Sheik instead by holding the A button upon selection of a stage until it begins. In the form of Zelda, she is somewhat slow but is rather graceful and swift. Her aerial movements and dodging skill, as well as her high priority and powered moves, make her an ideal counter-defensive character. She is very much built for defensive attacking, but her moves leave her very open if timed incorrectly, and if attacked, her gracefulness can work against her. Her magical attacks are along the lines of setups as well. Din's Fire is a long range setup attack where the player can control a guided fire "mine," which explodes upon release. Nayru's Love is a sort of counter shield which not only reflects projectiles, but also damages nearby enemies and pushes them away. Farore's Wind is Zelda's third jump, a Teleport move which can be directed and has enormous range, but leaves her somewhat vulnerable. Fans may remember her three magic attacks as the same ones Link aquired in the Ocarina of Time game.

As Sheik, the character is completely different. Sheik is not only extremely fast, but also very easy to control (lack of control is often a problem with the faster characters). Her close range attacks are the fastest and most easily chainable of almost any of the characters. Her Martial Arts training allows her fluid and swift ninja-like attacks. Sheik is at her best when using her swiftness and high momentum attacks to play a hit and run evasive-based offense. Her needle throwing attack is extremely flexible, and can be used to start combos or keep the enemy at bay. Her chain whip, while situational, is an excellent way to sabotage an opponent's strategy by interrupting their movements. Her smoke bomb vanish is shorter than Zelda's but leaves Sheik much less open to attack.

Although it is argued that the Sheik form is generally more useful than the Zelda form, expert players agree that the character is at her absolute best by using both forms -- using Sheik for normal combat because of her excellent mobility and evasive tactics, and switching to Zelda during crucial moments where her high powered attacks and magic can give the character a major edge while Sheik's relentless attacks wear the opponent down any other time. Zelda is one of the most popular characters to use due to her high adaptability and style.


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