Zelda Races: Kikwi

The Kikwi are the first race you encounter in Skyward Sword, and in a lot of ways, they set the tone for the races throughout the game. They don’t seem particularly intelligent, they’re not graceful, and they look like a primitive version of indeterminate species from subsequent games.

This also lends them a sort of dignity by default, though, as they’re an ancient, probably extinct race, grandparents of countless important successors. Their willingness to help Link–after he does a few favors for them, of course–also makes them an important part of the game’s story, inseparable from its beautiful landscape. More than any other race in Skyward Sword, they seem to define, and are defined by, their region, but they have clear limitations, too.

They’re undeniably cute, of course, with hedgehog-like traits and a close visual association with the forest. Unfortunately, their role is mostly forgettable, acting mostly as item dispensers. The story could probably function without them. They’re somewhat lazy, maybe by choice, but probably due to physical limitations. With no means to defend themselves and limited mobility, they come across as helpless. They’re easily crippled in the wrong type of climate, and this might be their defining characteristic. Characters like the leader Bucha undergo no real development over the course of the game, but they are willing to help however they can in the first place, an honorable trait.

If the Kikwi ever show up with an increased role in future games (unlikely given their place in the timeline), perhaps their physiology or personality could be used to greater effect. As things stand, they’re simply part of the rich landscape, an essential pitstop at key points in the game, and a nice distraction from more serious or difficult elements of the environment.

What do you think of the Kikwi? Do you think their role is too limited, or is it perfect for the game? Share your thoughts below.