Throughout the Legend of Zelda series, there have been many shining stars that stick with fans for years. But some are more special than others, and typically, that is for a reason.
Zelda is a fantastic blend of traditional fantasy tropes and new, creative ideas within the genre, and its characters reflect that spectacularly. The most stand-out characters tend to be nuanced and complex, representing both the whimsy of Hyrule and the core values of the particular story they’re a part of. As a result, they tend to have some pretty incredible scenes – these are the most iconic for each main character in the biggest Zelda titles.
10 Daruk: Puppy Peril
The Goron Champion Daruk was famous for his strength, courage, and positive outlook, but even legends get scared sometimes. Ironically, his greatest fear was man’s best friend.
During the Champion’s Ballad, Link will see Daruk fearlessly rescue a hidden person from a Bokoblin attack – only to cower in complete terror when he realizes that the hidden person was actually a dog! Although frightening for him, it was quite a memorable moment for players to witness this big, strong hero literally shaking in his boots over a sweet little puppy dog.
9 Revali: Master Of Wind
Beloved for his bigheaded qualities, players remember Revali primarily for bragging about his talents, but they don’t get to see him perform said talents until the Champion’s Ballad.
During a flashback, they finally get to see why Revali was chosen as the Rito Champion: in a display of bravado, he masters his signature Gale right in front of Princess Zelda, after struggling to get it right. It’s a brilliant cutscene scored by a heroic ballad, which makes players want to root for Revali and give him the recognition he craves.
8 Urbosa: Little Bird
Aside from Link, nobody understood Zelda quite like Urbosa did. As her late mother’s best friend, she felt a special connection to Zelda, offering players a unique perspective on the princess that past games failed to deliver on.
In particular, Link’s sixth memory stands out, in which players see Urbosa tenderly watching over a sleeping Zelda. It’s a moment of peace and contemplation most video games don’t offer, let alone big titles like Zelda. Urbosa’s wisdom and inner strength really shine through here, solidifying her importance in Breath of the Wild’s overall story.
7 Mipha: Chosen Champion
Zora Princess Mipha quickly became one of the most popular characters in the Zelda franchise, due to her lovely character design and bittersweet affections towards Link. But she was more than just her feelings, as evidenced in a heartbreaking cutscene during Age of Calamity, where she consents to becoming the Zora Champion.
After her father approves this decision, he sorrowfully adds that it’s only on the condition that she returns safely. This is a harrowing moment for players to watch, knowing what happens to Mipha in the main game. But she bravely accepts and promises anyways, all while baby Sidon watches.
6 Sidon: A Royal Entrance
Arguably, Sidon was even more popular than his sister, with many iconic entrances and moments in Breath of the Wild. But his most iconic scene was when he joins his sister in the fight against Waterblight Ganon during Age of Calamity, loudly proclaiming that it shall not take her from him.
It’s a scene that is both incredibly heroic and tragic, knowing that this is a separate timeline and that the two siblings cannot truly be reunited. But it’s beautiful all the same, seeing them come together one last time, in a display of compassion, heroism, and, ultimately, resolution.
5 Impa: A Timely Goodbye
As one of the series’ staple characters, Impa has played a central role as Zelda’s eternal guardian and bodyguard. But one of her most prominent roles was during the events of Skyward Sword, in which she literally transcended time, space, and divinity to protect the princess.
Being that this was the first incarnation of the Sheikah warrior, her connection to Zelda was both new, and more meaningful. And since Zelda was on the run for the majority of the game with only Impa to protect her, their bond was especially strong. That only made her parting all the more emotional.
4 Midna: Reunited
Although she only appeared in one major game, Midna will forever be a fan favorite. Twilight Princess was an unconventional Zelda game in many ways, and Midna only added to this, being a sidekick with a strong will, clever comebacks, and a riveting, mysterious past.
But the Twilight Princess manga only adds more depth to her character, capitalizing on the strong bond she forges with Link. After being separated, they are finally reunited at the end of Chapter 42, a moment that sticks out to fans since Midna is uncharacteristically vulnerable and affectionate as she accepts Link’s embrace.
3 Ganondorf: Going Out In Style
Perhaps the biggest, most exciting twist in Twilight Princess was when it was revealed that Zant wasn’t the biggest baddie in the game, and that a new incarnation of Ganon was behind the Twilight invasion. Players finally get to challenge Ganon at the end, with four stages to a boss fight that is one of the most unforgettable in the series’ entirety.
But regardless of how players may personally feel about Ganon, they have to admit his death in Twilight Princess was undeniably cool. After being run through with the Master Sword, he dies standing tall, cape billowing in the wind as he continues to loom over the fields of Hyrule.
2 Zelda: Renaissance Woman
Princess Zelda is more than just a dainty damsel character. She’s consistently brave, nuanced, and more than capable of holding her own. This was most evident during one of the biggest twists in the entire franchise: at the end of Ocarina of Time, the enigmatic Sheik is revealed to be none other than Princess Zelda in disguise.
This continues to blow players away, as it is a masterfully executed reveal that breaks down conventions with a flourish. Sheik is muscular, poetic, and almost supernatural in cadence – for players to discover that she has been Zelda this entire time completely changes their view on the princess in a revolutionary way.
1 Link: Unshaken
As the series’ flagship protagonist, Link has had many shining moments throughout each game. But Breath of the Wild was special, both as a Zelda title and as a AAA game in general. That made its iteration of Link special, as well: alone in a broken and recovering world, he had to cope with the loss of his memory, a lack of support, and a momentous challenge looming afar in the form of Calamity Ganon.
Yet none of this deterred him. Although the final boss towered over him, Link bravely stared it down, his gaze unflinching and his sword shining. In that moment, players really understood why out of everyone else, Link was the hero chosen by the Master Sword.
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