Twilight

Link’s Best Companions Don’t Just Give Him Hints

Link works with a variety of companions throughout the Zelda franchise, but what is it that makes some better – and more beloved - than others?

The Legend of Zelda games have given Link a variety of companions over the years, but some hold more favor with players than others. While not every companion is one that players enjoy having during Link’s journey, they do provide help in some manner. Whether they teach the player game mechanics or fill in bits of the game’s lore, Link’s companions can prove useful in multiple ways.

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[Warning: This Article contains spoilers for Zelda: Wind Waker and Twilight Princess.]

Companions have different roles throughout the Zelda franchise, and not every game includes a companion for Link. Some are memorable for being annoying, such as Navi and Fi, but others like Midna hold a special place in some players’ hearts. A lot of focus is on the question of who will be the villain in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, but there’s a chance that Link will have a companion on his journey, and Nintendo might want to keep a few things in mind when designing it.

Zelda Companions Midna & King Of Red Lions Show Why Characters Should Impact Link’s Story

Midna riding on Wolf Link's back in Twilight Princess.

Midna from Twilight Princess and the King of Red Lions from Wind Waker tend to have a stronger impact on players as Link’s companions when compared to their counterparts in other games. It isn’t unusual for Link to form a bond with his companions over the course of the game, but Midna and the King of Red Lions are characters that players bond with due to their personality, only finding out their true identities at the end of their respective games. They not only help Link with his journey, but receive help from him in return since their goals align enough to form a mutually beneficial partnership.

A close up of Wind Waker's King Daphnes Hohansen, who is looking sternly past the camera. His text box reads,

The King of Red Lions was once King of Hyrule in Zelda: Wind Waker, and he allows Link to explore the seas along with giving him advice to guide him, making him the center of a crucial game mechanic. Similarly, Midna in Zelda: Twilight Princess is an important part of fighting while Link is in his wolf form. They both prove that companions can – and perhaps should – do more in Zelda games than offer advice to Link, and that they can be made into the center of game mechanics which can feel more impactful than limiting companions to giving hints to Link.

Companions aren’t a needed element for Zelda games, but Nintendo can use them to include new game mechanics and add depth to the story. Making Link’s companion in Zelda: Twilight Princess be Midna gave the story’s ending a bittersweet feeling that might not have been possible with a more generic character because she helped Link for the sake of her realm, so the stakes were higher for her than other companions. Ultimately, Link’s best companions are those who contribute more than hints in The Legend of Zelda games.

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