Kensuke Tanabe wants to make Tingle popular in the West

AutumnJune 19th, 2013 by Autumn

Kensuke Tanabe was “thinking aloud” the other day, noticing that Tingle is really not that popular here in the west. We all know Tingle. He had his big debut in Majora’s Mask and since appeared in Oracle of Ages, The Wind Waker, Four Swords Adventures, and The Minish Cap; as well as staring in some games of his own that never became all that popular. Looking at his games, they almost seem like just fillers for the younger generations to play, it doesn’t define his character, it just furthers how odd he really is.

So how could Tingle redeem himself in the eyes of the player? Find out more after the jump!

A little background on Tingle: He’s a gross 35 year old man that wishes he was a fairy, he’s really flamboyant, and he has a cool catch phrase. “Kooloo-Limpah!” Oh, I’m sorry, those are his magic words. But how could Tingle be remade to capture the admiration of western Zelda gamers?

Tanabe said:

“There’s no definitive plan or anything. It’s just me off the top of my head. I know how hated the character of Tingle is in the U.S. I know that people cannot stand Tingle. But to me that challenge is: Could I take this character that is so reviled in the West and just [do] a complete turnaround and make him a beloved, fun character? The idea of that really just gets me going. I know we have made a Tingle game in the past, but maybe at some point down the road.

“It’s like love. It’s like romance: You meet someone and you’re like, ‘Oh god, I can’t stand that person.’ And then three weeks later, you’re madly in love — it’s that turn, that quick whip, that motivates [me] a little bit. If we we ever get a really successful Tingle game, maybe we will have like a big Tingle statue out there [points to Nintendo's E3 booth outside the room's walls].”

Maybe we’ll come to love Tingle one day. Personally I don’t think he’s that bad, I’ve always loved his character and how goofy he is, however creepy. Tell us what you think in the comments below!

Source: VentureBeat via NintendoLife

Categorized under: Interviews, Zelda Games
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  • Tehlul

    Tingles ok, but not enough to have his own game.

    • Julian Delarosa

      he has several

    • Triforce

      He had 3 of his own games:
      1. Tingle’s Rosey Rupeeland
      2. Tingle’s Balloon Fight
      3. Tingle’s Balloon Trip of Love

      All Nintendo DS games.

  • ghilesian

    He never really bothered me, but I think he’s the kind of character that people just love to hate, if you know what I mean, I don’t think that really needs to change

  • Sirkay

    Make him popular in the west? I’m sorry. Not in a million years.

    It just isn’t in our culture. Maybe in Japan’s culture, but not ours by a long shot.

  • Linkiscool

    Sorry, I do not think that there is a real way to make him popular in the west. Most people are a bit creeped out by his whole concept. The only way it could work would be if they made it so he is really a secret agent undercover and is actually the exact opposite of what he appears to be, THAT would be cool.

    • luke vincent

      It would be cool, but it would also take away tingles personality.

      • Makar

        Who cares, most people hate his personality or just laugh at it.

      • Linkiscool

        That would be the point XD. Most people in the west either do not find him very interesting or are disturbed by him. Therefore it would take a huge change to make him appealing. Personally I never found him particularly interesting, a little weird though. He was more popular in Japan because they enjoy characters like that, it is just a difference in culture.

  • Cade

    If they really are going to make minor characters their own games, why not midna or dark link. Tingle has like seriously FIVE games and all of them are terrible insults to Zelda. They cannot make the west like him.

    • Tingle kooloo-fuckin-limpah

      suck my dick faggot

      • balloonofwar4

        Well then. That escalated quickly.

        • Tingle kooloo-fuckin-limpah

          Yes. MY DICK

      • sweetbread

        Well I would sweetheart, but unfortunately you suffer from Tingles disease… your dick is just “OooSoo-Limpah!”

    • SuperNintendoNigga

      Ocarina of time: The other side of the sword. You play as shadow link or something like that

      • SuperNintendoNigga

        Wait no, Legend of zelda other side of the sword

  • skywardocarina1

    but i already love tingle he’s awesome (this is not meant to be taken sarcastically, it is absolutely true)

  • jakeford

    there is a reason tingle isn’t popular in the west…

  • JeredenDonnar

    becuase he is so Japanese, that’s why he’s not that popular in the west. Two different regional likes. The US is not like Japan.

  • heartlessclownoftime

    there was a guy who had a websight called scoot of whookos (may of spelled whookos wrong) a few years back this guy made his own personal anime for Zelda the tingle he made in the anime was awesome he still had the goofy attitude he has always had but he was a very good all around character in the anime if Nintendo could possably portray tingle the way scoot did i’m sure the west would love him a lot more

  • Julian Delarosa

    1 problem, how flamboyant he is. Unfortunately, a lot of western gamers are homophobic, why else do they use f*g a lot as an insult in online play

    • heartlessclownoftime

      that’s a little short sighted if you ask me just because someone uses the word fag a lot doesn’t mean they’re homophobic and a lot of gamers I know are in fact gay and they would destroy anyone who got in their crosshairs on any game

      • Julian Delarosa

        I’m saying that from personal experience, I’m all for gay rights and that (had the pink equals sign as my profile pic some time ago) but I also know that several people in the west are still against gays. this, being reflected in for one, the use of fag as an insult online constantly, and two religious people, extremists or otherwise, condemning gays to hell or just being blatantly disrespectful to them, just because they were born with a different sexual preference.

  • MiniJen

    I don’t think this could actually work in the US cause Nintendo did a pretty great job of making Tingle the ultimate annoying creeper in the Wind Waker alone. I mean seriously, he’s a fairy obsessed, picto box thief who enslaves his brothers (and one guy who isn’t even related to him) to keep his weird tower thing running and there’s also the fact that he charges exuberant prices to decipher Triforce charts… Come to thing of it… how does Tingle even know what Triforce charts are when most of the Great Sea’s inhabitants don’t even know what the Triforce is aside from manipulated references to “Triumph Forks”… Not to mention all those skulls within the deepest parts of the jail cell that he’s first encountered in… That’s… kinda unsettling… No… Try really unsettling… o.0

    • bluelink121

      and really what good are they doing by spinning that tower? He is enslaving them for entertainment!

    • Mauricio Guaura

      Plot twist: Tingle is one of Link’s descendants.

  • avalpsychicguy

    I like Tingle… except, not. I only like his Majora’s Mask incarnation. I think his Wind Waker appearance ruined him.

  • Triforce

    Tingle is cool. I have no problems with him but since I am a big Zelda fan. I had to play the 3 Tingle Spin-off games and there actually really good games.

  • 83onskates

    Two words why he is so hated: Wind Waker.

  • Eggplant

    I think anything’s possible. They made Groose loveable by the end of the game.

  • Sage of Sanity

    Ricky has a Western opinion, it seems. Maybe Tingle is hated so much because he’s too much like a CoD or Halo player – no life at age 35 and stuck in a fantasy that he is something that he is only pretending to be.

  • Andrew

    I loved tingles rosy rupee land. it was such a great game, although tingle can be seen as a faggot i still enjoyed the game

  • Roth

    Tingle was better when he was an honest, if strange, fellow with an odd hobby and a childish dream in Majora’s Mask; you can’t imagine him having a regular bloke as a dad the way he is now. Now he’s a self-important, overdramatic noise-maker who seems to belong to his very own species. How can you connect with a character like that?

    Legend of Link represented him very well from this standpoint, such that you felt like he’d be your best bud, in an embarrassing sort of way. If this Tingle returned, I think he could become much more popular over here. Right now people don’t like his image, and he’s frankly nothing but image. He’s no longer an innocently wayward human, he’s a know-it-all party mascot.

  • jxbermudez27

    only one reason why people hate tingle all i have to say is this wind waker nuff said

  • PichuPro73

    I love tingle BRING HIM TO THE WEST :3

  • The Sign Writer

    he was good in majora’s mask, albeit his outfit still puts me off to this day in every game. he was kinda weird, and a little annoying in wind waker if you didn’t enjoy how much fun you can have going to shark island and other great enemy spawning caves and had fun hacking and slashing continuously for lots of rupees

  • Mseevers95

    If anything Groose needs a game before Tingle.

    • SuperNintendoNigga

      Legend of groose and the master hair style

  • Robbyis23

    I have always thought that tingle was super weird and creepy, dont try to use him unless your going to completely reinvent him, or at least make him less obnoxious

  • Blackbaldrik

    In my opinion, Tingle should have just stayed a Majora’s Mask character.
    He fit very well in that universe, and I kind of liked him in that game, he was useful and had a background. But he’s just out of place anywhere else, he’s just there for no real reason.

    • Igos Du Ikana


  • Me

    Tingle is awesomre. I know he got a little annoying from Wind Waker, but I still like him. He is perfect in Tingle DS, and that is an awesome game.

    I think a lot of people think he is gay and their homophobic sense makes them to hate him. He is not gay, he likes women!

    • LonLonRancher

      I feel like I would be homophobic if i took him wanting to be a “fairy” as an issue of homosexuality. Really though, he’s a 35 year old very delusional who wants to either be a small annoying Navi type of fairy, or a giant terrifying Great Fairy…and that is something I feel fine judging him about.

      Also the slavery, rupee extortion, and general lack of concern over the fate of the world in Wind Waker didn’t help.

      • Me

        I quite enjoyed collecting rupees for him, but I understand the hate.

        And I don’t see him as gay, I just see him as a delusional and obsessed man-boy. They just jumped the shark with him in WW and the other games.

  • Eli Grimes

    I always thought of tingle as a comic releif character. they could make him more of an action hero or whatever, but I like him just the way he is.

  • The Logic Breather

    He’s creepy and mysterious because like a lot of side characters in the Zelda universe he is extremely underdeveloped and the games don’t explain very much about him at all and leaves us, the players, to use our imaginations to wonder why the hell does this older gentleman with horrid makeup want to be a fairy and lives off of Wind Waker Link’s pockets. Maybe it’s not unusual in Japan to just so happen to find a beggar wanting to be a fairy, but here in the U.S. that’s not very comforting information to know right off of the bat. ((((He does travel the Zelda universe with 3 brothers so maybe they’re a 4 man circus for their “job” and perhaps even comic relief, but who are also a traveling pawn shop who can sell us older or even brand new items/accessories from other Zelda games? This way his character is a little less mysterious and he has an in-game purpose. That would be a better approach I would think.))))
    My point is that he needs to have a purpose and his purpose needs to have reason. He has purpose in MM, MC, and WW, however there is no explanation as to why he is doing all of the things he does. In my opinion they should drop the “I want to be a fairy” charade and come up with a better character motivation like the one I suggested.

  • BlackRaven6695

    Well, I guess the first step is to identify why Americans hate him. He lives on his ‘fairy tower’ where he has enslaved his brothers (and one other random dude) and forces Link to pay him over 3,000 Rupees just to save the world. Er, yeah, you’ll have your work cut out making him popular.

    • Sage of Sanity

      Only in one game. In other games, he is 35 years old, pretends to be a fairy, and the only fun thing about him is shooting him out of the sky over and over again.

      In Minish Cap, he’s even more at the sidelines. All he ever really does is fuse kinstones so you can get the magical boomerang.

  • Kravik

    There is also a Tingle doll, in Spirit Tracks I think.. Either that or in Phantom Hourglass..

    • David Jr

      Yes and, at least in ST, one of the shopkeepers looks just like tingle without his green suit, lol.

      • Nick Holmes

        You mean the treasure teller? That was Phantom Hourglass, unless there was another in Spirit Tracks.

  • Mouthwash

    I like tingle, hes a great character. He is the silly guy floating with his balloon in even the worst of places. His strange back story thorughout the games is great too, i think he is wierd and creepy but that just adds to his character.

  • TrueMasterSwordWielder

    I don’t really think a Tingle based game would sell that well in the West. Why? Well, just… LOOK AT HIM! Do you really think that would be an appealing mascot for any game? He looks like someone you’d see at a gay parade! Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Tingle (or homosexuality), I just know that not everyone likes Tingle and making a game focused on just him would turn some Zelda fans away.

    • Bland

      Yup. Unfortunately everyone in the west only cares about appearances.
      Which is why America is filled with obese idiots.

      • bluelink121

        That doesnt make any sense.

        • swornbrother1

          He meant for it to show how hypocritical Americans are.

  • Devin Henricksen

    Tingle is the JarJar Binks of the Zelda universe. No more please.

    • ShadowReaperX

      What? If Tingle is Zelda’s Jar Jar Binks, why does everyone hate him? I actually really like both of them (except in 4S where he steals your stuff) and I would love more about him!

      • Devin Henricksen

        Every one Hates Jar Jar Binks save for the younger crowd. I simply meant it s an Either total hate or love type situation. I personally don’t care for either.

  • Melles

    It’s quite easy, actually, a friend of mine came up with a solution we think would work pretty well. He’s creepy because he’s a middle aged man. Make him a little kid. He’d lose his facial hair and shrink down a bit, but volia! He’s now a goofy little kid who wants to go on adventures with fairies. That’s a huge improvement. You can even keep the disapproving father schtick intact.

  • Tim Ray

    just keep tingle to the cartoon like zelda games he dose well there

  • someone


  • fart

    We’d be fine without Tingle.

  • Malon

    ooh Tingle i love en hate you so much

  • Linebyline

    Want to make Tingle not hated? Here’s what *not* to do:
    1. Don’t give him yet another starring role in a spinoff. It’s the *Zelda* series. It’s not about Tingle.
    2. Don’t make him a total creep. Make him odd, sure, as in MM. But don’t make him evil. Tingle is so easy to hate–being a thief, kidnapper, and extortionist–and yet we’re supposed to find him endearing? And that’s supposedly a Japanese cultural thing? Remind me never to go to Japan, ever.
    3. If you’re going to put him at the center of a gameplay element, don’t make it annoying and frustrating (Four Swords Adventures) or tedious and boring *and* annoying and frustrating (The Wind Waker).

    • Pipo

      4. Or just get rid of him, we can’t hate someone who isn’t there.

  • Jibbiloo

    The thing about Tingle that makes the West (particularly America– I think most of Europe doesn’t care much either way) hate Tingle is that he has a strong base in Japanese humor.
    Japanese humor loves the extremely weird and surreal, with hints a schadenfreude at times. A middle-aged man acting like a child, chasing delusions of becoming a fairy at the expense (and extortion) of others around him? Pretty funny to the Japanese. Here? Well, most people seem to sympathize with those who are brought down by him (and indeed, it is sometimes themselves while playing as Link) which really just culminates in a desire to punch the little jerk in the face for being such a burden.
    While I hardly represent everyone, I must admit while in Majora’s Mask I’d sometimes make jabs at Tingle’s character, it was more out of just a playful amusement of his “funny loser” status. In Wind Waker, it was just a frustrated groan at the realization I hadn’t upgraded my wallet earlier and couldn’t at all afford his absurd costs.

  • Matteo Neviani

    Let the player kill him. We would love that.

    • Linebyline

      Knowing the Zelda series? This would just spawn a giant, bloodthirsty swarm of vengeful Tingles.


  • Adam

    Well it’s damn simple really, if he’s surposed be a adult who thinks he’s a fairy, then how about him trying to do fairy stuff…and not the creepy slaving, forcing players to do something for him stuff. It never made sense for him even do those things anyway. It made him just appear like a creepy culculating pedo criminal, not the manchild he was intended to be.

    Simply play up the innocence, make him funnyier, more delusional and any chaos he causes has to be merely accidental on his part. It would also help if his fairy shenanigans bites him in the ass a bit more often, that way the audence may pity him abit more.