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The 5 Best (and Worst) Zelda Sidekicks

Because sometimes a sharp sword just isn’t enough.



The Worst


5.) Linebeck (Phantom Hourglass)

The name’s Linebeck! I’m a real man of the sea. Impressive, huh?

The line for biggest jerk in the Zelda universe is a long one, but this guy somehow weaseled his way close to the front. Sure, it could be argued that his display of friendship and nobility in the end somehow makes up for an entire game’s worth of frustrating roadblocks and ineptitude, but tell that to Link when he has to face yet another attack from the jilted Jolene, while the cowardly treasure hunter at the root of the problem hides from any danger safely in a barrel. If only Linebeck had figured out a way for players to avoid replaying the Temple of the Ocean King so many times, he may have redeemed himself. Not so impressive after all.


4.) Tatl (Majora’s Mask)

“My name’s Tatl. So, uh, it’s nice to meet you or whatever. Now that we’ve got all that straightened out, can we stop messing around and get moving?!”

While her rudeness and impatience is appealing, it is the job of any fairy companion to provide not only assistance with things like locking onto enemies or targeting people for conversations, but also to lend Link the wisdom of their advice and point the hero in the right direction. By any standard of measure then, Tatl is a complete and absolute failure. Instead of sassing everybody, she could’ve warned them to turn off their console before it was too late. But because of her own selfishness, that never happens, and by insisting that Link help her reunite with her idiot fairy brother, Tatl facilitates the actual playing of Majora’s Mask, something for which I will never forgive her.


3.) Medli (Wind Waker)

“I wouldn’t ask if it wasn’t important! It’s just that…I’m not that good at flying yet…”

Medli’s status as one of the worst Zelda sidekicks has nothing to do with her personality; she’s a sweet, good-natured kid with some pluckiness that is a pleasure to interact with, at least in conversation. However, later on when Link must utilize her special skills to contend with the Earth Temple’s many traps, that endearing openness and honesty can’t make up for all the switching back and forth via the the Command Melody to readjust the position of her harp for the tenth time so that it finally reflects the light right. Medli’s constant and sincere flattery doesn’t lessen the frustration of every time she misses her landing spot mid-flight and bonks her head, stunning the young Rito into a momentary uncontrollable daze. Lacking the freedom to really explore that the far superior Makar possesses, Medli feels like she’s just tagging along more than helping; if Link wanted useless, he could’ve brought Niko.


2.) Princess Ruto (Ocarina of Time)

“You’re that worried about me? Then I will give you the honor of carrying me!”

Oh, thank you, your majesty. What a privelege for Link that he got the chance to get sucked into a giant fish whose innards are a maze and where everything wants to electrocute him, just to rescue some scaly elitist from her own naive stupidity so he can continue on with the more important tasks in Hyrule. Oh, and it’s such a treat that Ruto does absolutely NOTHING to help whatsoever, instead just serving to get in the way or become a burden whenever possible, sitting like a statuesque lump when she’s not running away or falling down sphincter holes. Sure, she eventually grows up into an adult with a less grating personality and joins her place among the stoic Jedi-like Sages, but the memory of hauling around that spoiled brat still lingers.


1.) Fi (Skyward Sword)

“Master, the batteries in your Wiimote are nearly depleted”

Thank you, Fi. Thanks for that. When she’s not repeating the same information for the thousandth time or just stating the incredibly obvious, Fi is making sure to destroy any immersion players may have been experiencing at the hands of Skyward Sword‘s otherwise fairly engrossing (for a Zelda game) story. While her robotic chitter-chatter gibberish could have been pleasant to the ears had the many words translated to text actually contained any useful information or humor, instead each tone signifying her appearance elicits a groan, with fear of another empty, yet lengthy, monologue on the way. Shall I go on? Fi’s ice-skating dances at the end of temples are boring and repetitive, her unblinking alien bug eyes are creepy and weird, and while the pattern on her legs is clearly meant to replicate the grip on the hilt of the Master Sword, it comes off like fishnet stockings, and I’m not sure what to think about that. Her relationship with Link is never earned, thus no Terminator 2-style thumbs up moment at the end, like the game’s producers must have hoped. Everything annoying stays such, for a whole adventure. Because of that, I’m sorry Fi, but you’re the worst of the Zelda sidekicks.


No Link is poor who has friends, but with friends like these, well, you get the idea. Agree? Disagree? Who would you have added/taken away from the list? Fire off in the comments below!

For more Zelda, check out our month-long Spotlight celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the franchise


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Patrick Murphy grew up in the hearty Midwest, where he spent many winter hours watching movies and playing video games while waiting for baseball season to start again. When not thinking of his next Nintendo post or writing screenplays to satisfy his film school training, he’s getting his cinema fix as the Editor of Sordid Cinema, Goomba Stomp's Film and TV section.