More mysterious than the Lost Woods
Many games present concepts to us that are easy to accept as we play, but make little sense once the campaign is complete. And for a series like The Legend of Zelda, concrete answers are even tougher to find, mostly because many problems can be answered by simply saying, its magic. But were not going to settle for that anymore.
After playing Zelda games for more than 25 years, weve got more than a few burning questions about the series that need to be answered. Sure, the recently released Hyrule Historia book gave fans an unprecedented amount of explanation on the franchise (particularly the disputed timeline), but theres still so much we want to know. Such as
How do Gorons have children?
Not to get too weird here, but how do the rock-loving mountain dwellers reproduce? Most of Zeldas fantasy races have two clear genders, such as the elves and Zoras. Even the Gerudo--a race that only produces one male a generation--are implied to start families with Hylian males. But there are zero Goron females to be seen, but they clearly age and die, so where do new Gorons come from? Do they just explode out of a rock one day and then join the clan? Or is it sort of like dwarves in Lord of The Rings, where outsiders cant tell the difference between genders, but Gorons can?
Where do Pieces of Heart come from?
In the past the series has offered some explanation as to what creates a full Heart Container, but not much has been explained about their little brothers. Dozens of Heart Pieces have been hidden across Hyrule in virtually every Zelda game since Link to the Past, but no one talks about how they came to be. In fact, most NPCs that give them to Link seem to have no concept of the rarity and power of the item. Why havent they used the Heart Piece to extend their own life force? Do Heart Pieces only work on fated heroes? Are heroes like Link the only ones that can recognize and use the power within?
How did Link get his earring in the time jump of Ocarina of Time?
Ocarina of Time is famous for the dramatic shift in plot and tone when a young Link removes the Master Sword from its resting place. Link is then transported seven years into the future, where hes now grown up and Ganondorf has conquered Hyrule. But while well accept magical time teleportation, how did his clothes change in the trip? In particular, Link has a stylish new earring, implying that during his teleportation he, what, went to a local Hot Topic and got his ear pierced? Time travel often opens up a huge number of potential plot holes, but that earring stretches the believability of the situation almost too far.
Why doesn't Link talk to people?
This complaint could be lobbied at countless silent protagonists, but these days Links silence is one of the worst offenders. Its not so noticeable with most instances of dialogue because characters often reply to Link as if he did say something, but more recent games like Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword are pushing things too far. Many cutscenes show people speaking directly to Link, and he just nods his head like a goof and says nothing. He clearly understands language and can make wordless noise with his mouth, so why does he always act like hes mute? Is he just shy?
Are Gossip Stones alive?
Despite looking like your average painted rock, Gossip Stones possess many unique properties. Hitting them will usually elicit a small hint, shooting them with arrows might earn you some rupees, and blasting them with a bomb will start a launch sequence that rockets them off into the air. How did such curious things come to be? Are they some form of enchanted clock, or could they actually be alive? For one thing, its been shown in the past that Gossip Stones can listen to and understand conversations. Should we feel bad about damaging them? Or can they even feel pain?
What was on the GameCube island that was cut from Wind Waker?
Admittedly this is more trivia than an actual question, but this concept art in Hyrule Historia is really intriguing. At one point in time Wind Waker was going to include a GameCube-shaped island, but it was ultimately scrapped. What type of interesting, self-referential scenes were planned for that island? And is it too much to hope the island might be included in Wind Waker HD?
How does Link carry all that stuff?
Obvious one, here. Were sure Link is a healthy, strong young man--he could probably get the bronze in multiple Olympic events--but his stamina is off the charts. Often Link carries multiple swords, shields, bows, arrows, shirts, boots, musical instruments, and any number of fetch quest tchotchkes, all while running for miles on end. Maybe Elder Scrolls has ruined this aspect, but Link should be unable to walk, let alone run, without passing out 20 minutes into an adventure. Is all that stuff just made incredibly light by the fairies and other magical folks Link has watching over him?
Why are bottles so rare?
In our reality, glass and plastic bottles are everywhere. But in Hyrule, bottles seem to be some of the rarest items known to man. No matter what the timeline, Link can barely find four bottles per adventure. Looking at the many windows in Hyrule, its clear the Hylians know how to make glass, so how can something as mundane as a bottle be so rare? Couldnt Link just go to the local recycling center and just grab dozens of things? After cleaning them properly, he could carry so many fairies that he need never fear death again.
Are the Minish people always watching us?
This one has been creeping us out ever since we met the Picori people in the GBA classic The Minish Cap. The spritely race are certainly cute and friendly, and we enjoyed visiting their homes between the cracks in the walls and under blades of grass. However, what happens after that story is over? These tiny people are still all around us in Hyrule, hiding in every little corner, watching us hearing everything we say How many have we stepped on without even realizing it? Its enough to drive someone crazy.
Why do so many people in Termina look like Hylians when Majora's Mask isn't a dream?
Links Awakening was the franchises first trippy spin-off, and Majoras Mask followed its example carefully, particularly in its character designs. Both reused and redesigned character models from the games that preceded them, and it helped give them the dreamy quality of a world that was simultaneously familiar and foreign. In Links Awakening, that could be explained away by the fact it was a dream, but Majoras Mask, for as strange as it was, took place in the real world. So if the residents of Hyrule were to travel to Termina Field, theyd find dozens of doppelgangers all living somewhat similar lives. What wizardry could explain this?
Why does Link have purple hair in Link to the Past?
Traditionally Links hair is either depicted as light brown or blonde, the only in-game exception being Link to the Past. In that game Links hair is a perplexing purplish pink that seems very out of character for the simple Hero of Time. The coloring is even stranger when you see that Links hair is the normal color in all the official concept art and in the games direct sequel, Links Awakening. Theres probably a technical reason for this, but wed rather get a canonical explanation for Links hair care process.
Where do wild cuccos live?
No ones proud of it, but we can all admit to attacking a defenseless cucco--Zeldas version of chickens--at least once. And if you have, youll know that once youve hit a cucco enough times it summons a flurry of bloodthirsty cuccos that wont stop until you leave or are dead. But where are these chickens hiding in the meantime? And how can these nearly flightless birds appear so quickly? Is each cucco born with a magical summoning ability as its last line of defense?
Why are places of worship horrible death traps?
In real life, temples are normally quiet places of worship, tended to by peaceful religious folk. In the Zelda universe, it doesnt seem like anyone could worship in the Fire or Water Temples without dying horribly within two minutes. Meanwhile, the Forest and Swamp Temples are virtually unreachable without a hookshot or other special doohickey. Hows your average parishioner supposed to pay tribute to the killer gods that lay within if they cant even get to their temples?
Where is Zelda's mother?
Though he isnt always on screen, the King of Hyrule is a pretty constant force in the Legend of Zelda, but no matter what the timeline, we never get to see a Queen of Hyrule. Sometimes were at least given the implication that she died years before the start of a game, but more often shes never spoken of. Are we to assume that being queen is such an incredibly unlucky position that shes died over a dozen times, all when Zelda was very young?
How is Link so musically gifted?
When you pick up an instrument for the first time, we doubt youll even get it to play one note correctly, let alone seven in a row. But somehow almost every version of Link has an innate musical ability that comes out the second he touches an instrument. All he needs is a little color coded advice from a fairy and hes off and running, playing songs that teleport him all over the world. Were not sure how thats possible, but we hope he at least puts that musical skill to good use once hes done saving the world.
Whats a rupee worth compared to actual rupees?
Unlike Marios non-denominational coins, Zeldas rupees actually have several matching currencies in the real world, one of the most well known being Indias rupees. Represented by a coin instead of a gem, an Indian rupee is currently worth about two US pennies. Since you can buy 30 bombs for 100 rupees in Link to the Past, either bombs are incredibly cheap in Hyrule, or rupees are worth a lot more in that universe. What would that make the exchange rate? Like 10,000 to one?
How did Zoras evolve into Ritos?
The underwater-dwelling Zoras are some of the most beloved in the series, and youd expect that Wind Waker, a game that takes place on the open seas, would be full of them. Instead, the entire race has gone missing, and its later explained that they evolved into the bird-like Rito people. Evolution is all well and good, but it normally takes place over millennia, not a couple hundred years. Outside of magical intervention--something Wind Waker never hints at--how did an underwater race become a family of flyers so quickly?
Whats the deal with Tingle?
How can Moosh fly?
Magic is one thing, but even that stretches the logic of how a sleepy, chunky bear can fly. Moosh, one of Links animal friends from the Oracles games, looks like your standard, friendly grizzly, but he has two tiny wings on his back. Despite the rules of physics telling you otherwise, the ursine creature is able to fly, and can even carry Link around. Wings as small as his couldnt support him even if he flapped them as fast as a hummingbirds, yet he somehow gets around. Can he magically float and the wings are just for show?
How did Link not drown at the end of Awakening?
Weve covered that Link is the strong, silent type, but at some point he must need to eat food and drink fresh water. And that makes the apparently happy ending of Links Awakening a bit tragic. Link wakes up from his shipwreck to find himself adrift in the ocean. He may have finally left his somewhat-brief coma and its dreamlike world, but now hes stuck in the middle of the ocean. He seems to have lost all his supplies, so how does he survive, let alone find his way home? Perhaps him seeing those seagulls in the sky implies hes near land, but the ocean sure looks vast in the credits screen, so were more apt to believe its a hunger-induced hallucination.
The quest for answers
Do you have any questions that you want the Zelda series to finally answer? Or do you have theories to answer our questions? Let us know in the comments, but you better not try to explain it by saying, its magic.
For more, be sure to check out 20 things we've always wondered about the Mario universe and the Legend of Zelda memes.