“Grumble, Grumble:” The Zelda Series’ Most Hateful Grumps
Posted on March 02 2015 by Rod Lloyd
In Zelda, it’s not hard to find many joyous and friendly people who would gladly help a hero in need. Sure there are a few bad eggs and monsters scattered about, but most of the series’ inhabitants are anything but grumpy. Well today we’re going to take a look at the few individuals that are grumpy, those that are filled with some degree of hate when meeting our green-clad hero. These noteworthy NPC’s aren’t villains, as they may not be malevolent, evil, or power-hungry, but they all express some degree of unjustified hatefulness and stick out in the generally welcoming Zelda world.
The Hungry Goriya (The Legend of Zelda)
The first grump on our list comes straight from the NES Legend of Zelda. Unlike his more active brethren who attack Link on the frontlines of battle, this particular Goriya broods angrily while hiding away in the game’s seventh dungeon. When players encounter this grouchy monster, they are greeted by a vague “grumble, grumble…” and learn that they cannot proceed with him blocking their path. Why is this guy grumbling so much? Is he complaining about disagreements with other Goriyas under his breath? That would explain his innate grumpiness, right? It’s hard to say exactly why he’s so upset and removed from his Goriya family, but one thing’s for sure: he’s not letting anyone by him while he’s in this heated state of mind.
It turns out the grumbles have a bit of a double meaning. While they can signify a subtle hatred of certain life circumstances, they also alert the player to the Goriya’s namesake hunger. If the player has enough foresight as to provide this guy with some food, the Goriya will leave and let Link pass. Because the Hungry Goriya can be so easily pacified with a slab of meat, his hatefulness is ultimately minimal. But as the first of many hateful characters to come in the Zelda series, the Hungry Goriya is worth a mention.
Hate rating: 1 out of 5
Every Single Dark World Tree (A Link to the Past)
One would think that A Link to the Past‘s Dark World would hold a multitude of grumps to look at. When in actuality, other than a few monsters and thieves, not many Dark World residents are all that hateful when conversing with Link. That is, unless those residents are made of wood and branches. The second one of these barked baddies catches the slightest glimpse of our hooded hero, it will huff and puff and twitch its face in frustration.
Link, being a stand-up guy, is obviously attempting to alleviate the tree’s distress with healthy discourse. But rather than give the boy an in, the tree will shout, “Quit bothering me! And watch where you’re going when you dash around!” This in itself is not totally hateful; the grumpy tree is understandably worried about Link’s tendency to lunge sword-first into innocent trees. Sure the “go away” is a bit harsh, but nothing in the wooden character’s words are inherently hateful. However, the actions that follow cement these Dark World trees as things truly full of hate. They push Link away with a gust from their mouths and then spit an active bomb at him. So, undeserved violence and attempted murder make a forest of these haters something significantly frightening. We’ll need a lot of meat to feed all these grumps.
Hate rating: 5 out of 5
Ingo (Ocarina of Time)
Many of you may remember this unhappy camper as the envy-driven worker at Lon Lon Ranch. When Link encounters this guy as a child, Ingo is already pretty vocal about how he, “should be in charge, not that lazy bum, Talon!” When Ganondorf rises to power in Link’s seven year absence, Ingo is given the keys to the ranch, kicking the previous owner Talon out in the cold. Oh wait, sorry; he has this to say:
“There are some people in Kakariko spreading rumors that I cheated Talon out of the ranch, but… Don’t be ridiculous! That guy Talon was weak! I, the hard-working Ingo, poured so much energy into this place! Listen, the great Ganondorf recognized my obvious talents and gave the ranch to me!”
Here we have a classic case of rampant jealousy and bitterness. Insulting his former boss aside, Ingo feels entitled to Lon Lon Ranch because of his hard work next to Talon’s apparent laziness. This is completely understandable, but does he have to be such a jerk about it? With Ingo’s pride out of hand, he frequently acts like sleazy car salesman and brusquely tells Link to “scram, ya little punk!”
Poor Malon is left to suffer Ingo’s unrestrained grumpiness, as “he will treat the horses so badly” if she disobeys him. We can add animal cruelty to Ingo’s hate list. Only if Link can manage to win Epona in a race and singlehandedly save the ranch will Ingo repent of his pride and hatred. Sweet, sweet, innocent Malon will rejoice at Ingo’s transformation, as “he went back to being a normal, nice person!” But he was never a nice person, Malon. Never.
Hate rating: 4 out of 5
Greba (Skyward Sword)
This old Skyloftian woman is primarily seen partaking in two activities in Skyward Sword: doing laundry and complaining. The former somewhat contributes to the latter, as Greba is quick to exclaim that she is “drowning in dirty laundry here!” Excessive linen is something to worry about, but what more influences the woman’s complaints is her son, Gondo. As some may know, Gondo runs Skyloft’s Scrap Shop and, by the mere nature of his job, is understandably dirty when he returns home. Greba doesn’t like that. She explains to Link that “all that lug does is make one filthy mess after another” and swears that “he leaves a grease spot wherever he sits.”
Gondo is also constantly tinkering with his inherited Robot. Greba, for all intents and purposes, does not approve
of her son’s hobby, not knowing “what he intends to do with that scrap-heap reject.” Hating on her son’s cleanliness is one thing, but this bitter old lady hates her son’s passions as well. She then mocks and insults her son behind his back! Greba calls Gondo names like “my greasy-fingered son,” simply because the man is dedicated to something. She may say, “That greasy lug nut is fraying my wires!” but we know her overt grumpiness is repressing the dreams of a passionate young man. I’ll give her concern as a parent the benefit of the doubt, but this family may be in need of some therapy down the road.
Hate rating: 2 out of 5
Sharp (Majora’s Mask)
There are many layers to this troubled soul’s hate. When Link first encounters the ghost composer Sharp in Majora’s Mask, the Poe appears to be the most hateful of grumps. In fact, he is the closest character on this list to be a malevolent villain, with the most evil of intents. He threatens Link by saying, “join the ranks of the dead,” and attempts a torturous murder of the young boy. The meeting almost feels like a boss fight, but Link just can’t get a good hit in.
Instead, the player must travel to the Ikana Graveyard and rescue Sharp’s brother Flat. The other composer brother explains that Sharp “sold his soul to the devil and was the one who locked” his brother in a grave. These actions all seem to fit in with Sharp’s unbridled hate. However, when the Song of Storms is played for the angry spirit, he realizes his error and begs for forgiveness. Huh? Sharp then explains that he was cursed by “the masked one” and lost himself to anger. At this point, it’s hard to separate Sharp’s own hate with that impressed upon by the Skull Kid, and for that, I will be a little generous.
Hate Rating: 3 out of 5
The Doorman at Chudley’s Emporium (Twilight Princess)
When Link explores the sprawling Hyrule Castle Town of Twilight Princess, he may find himself at the storefront of Chudley’s Fine Goods and Fancy Trinkets Emporium. Beside this agreeably fancy retailer is a shoe-shiner that gives Link some pointers on presentable footwear. The friendly cobbler explains that “if someone’s checking you out, they’ll look at your shoes too… and secretly LAUGH at you.” I like to think that the “someone” he’s referring to is standing about ten feet away at the door of Chudley’s Emporium. The doorman at Chudley’s is vocal against “having a customer in the store with shoes as filthy as” Link’s. He explains that such dirty shoes will make the store’s “other clients uncomfortable,” but we all know he is actually hating on Link’s low-economic status. A true classist.
This is the kind of man — whose lack of courtesy causes him to insult Link’s attire to his face — is most certainly a person who will laugh at a poor hero from afar. Perhaps we’re judging this man too harshly though. Maybe he’s merely respecting the wishes of his employer. Well when Chudley’s Emporium is eventually rebranded as a Malo Mart, Chudley transforms himself into a cheerful dancing fool of a proprietor. The doorman however refuses to do a delightful jig, most likely because he is embarrassed to partake in such pedestrian practices. The man that refuses to conform to the lower classes is just not a good fit for a progressive owner like Malo, I suppose.
Hate Rating: 1 out of 5
Bomb-Master Cannon (Wind Waker)
Where does a young man go when he wants to buy bombs on the Great Sea? Well considering the unfortunate supply limitations, the infamous Bomb-Master Cannon holds the bomb monopoly. What does a good salesman do when he has a monopoly? He jacks those prices up! This is common practice for a business owner, but Cannon takes his prices to a whole new level. Where other bomb shops will sell explosives for fewer than 30 rupees, Cannon’s stock is priced in the thousands. This situation is exploitive, unfair, and seedy; Cannon then makes a huge stink out of Link’s inability to meet these unrealistic costs. He tells the honest hero, “Do you expect me to sell my fine bombs to some boy who has no money?! HAH! I’m done with you! Beat it! Scram!”
While the snooty owners in Chudley’s Emporium will subtly mock Link’s small wallet sarcastically, Bomb-Master Cannon will outright deride Link’s supposed-poverty in Wind Waker. He will say, “Look! Can’t you read! Do these look like something you can afford?! Huh?!” or, “Listen to me, boy! You’re out of your mind! You CAN’T pay for these! So scram!” These are not kind words; in fact, they’re downright hateful. Cannon is lucky the pirates set him straight half way through the game, or else his awful behavior would not be forgiven. A more gracious rating will be given to the reluctantly reformed bomb man.
Hate Rating: 3 out of 5
Gorman Brothers (Majora’s Mask)
Like their Ocarina of Time counterpart Ingo, the Gorman Brothers are terrible, terrible people. They don’t even have the luxury to be reformed through Link’s kindness like Ingo was. Let’s take a look at their crimes. These grumpy brothers apparently run some kind of horse track and training center, but they are never seen to be doing anything other than skulk around like a couple of creepers. Unless they’re attempting to con Link in a horse race, they are pushing him to leave with such words as “now beat it! Scram!” Then if the boy beats these two jokers in a race, they’ll gift him a shady hooded mask, but only if he agrees to not “tell anyone where [he] got this!” They’re obviously hiding something.
As many of you already know, the Gorman Brothers’ main business is robbin
g poor souls (like Cremia) on the road in the middle of the night. Now that explains the weird masks! These criminals will then sell their spoils in whatever way best benefits them, such as selling watered-down Chateau Romani. These may be the scummiest examples of a hateful grump; they do deplorable things with no remorse. I considered their Troupe-leading brother for this list, but at least he was empathetic if the player spent enough time with him. These two are never sympathetic and they never repent. Enjoy your meat, you heathens!
Hate Rating: 5 out of 5
The Blacksmith’s Wife in Lorule (A Link Between Worlds)
When Link first enters Lorule, he quickly learns how harsh and unforgiving this strange kingdom can be. Nothing makes this fact more apparent than the words of the first Lorulian he meets: the Blacksmith’s wife. Even before our hero comes to full consciousness in the new land, he hears a voice question his competence. It says, “How does this kid expect to survive two seconds in Lorule if he’s-.” He’s what? Weak? Unfocused? Stupid? There are so many possibilities, but none of them are complimentary. Once awake, Link — who just survived a life-threatening experience — is quickly kicked out of the Blacksmith’s house. The woman bluntly says, “You can see yourself to the door. Go on now. Scoot!” Thanks for the help, I guess.
One would think the Blacksmith’s wife of A Link Between Worlds is at least somewhat redeemable considering she did save Link’s life. Well, she seems to regret doing so almost immediately. She questions her motives, saying she “shoulda just left [Link] there passed out in the middle of the road…” She did a good deed and she absolutely hates it. I understand why she wants Link out of the house so bad; she wants to forget the genuinely virtuous act she committed. If Link returns — and reminds the woman of her morality — she snaps, “Whaddya want this time?! Here I am. Taking all this time just to help folks out… Since when did I get so… nice?!” When indeed, Lady? If this kind of behavior is nice to you, I hope to never see your idea of mean. I suppose a single good deed every once in a while, especially when it matters, is enough to lower your hate rating though.
Hate Rating: 3 out of 5
Mido (Ocarina of Time)
Here we have the standard childhood bully, the grump that hates you for no justifiable reason. Mido calls Link names like “Mr. No Fairy!” and teases him incessantly. The self-proclaimed Kokiri boss constantly huffs around the forest, saying things like, “get lost! …Harumph!” Well… maybe I will! Even when Link proves himself by acquiring a sword and shield, Mido lashes back saying, “…even with all that stuff, a wimp is still a wimp, huh?” A quick conversation with other Kokiri will show that “mean old Mido” is not appreciated by very many people. He even gives out a “Grumble… Grumble…” which echoes the Hungry Goriya, Zelda‘s first hateful grump. Every player of Ocarina of Time couldn’t stand this guy’s sass.
A little investigating will reveal why Mido is such a grumpy boy. He frequently questions Link’s privilege, asking, “Shoot! How did you get to be the favorite of Saria and the Great Deku Tree? Huh?!” or “Why would he summon you and not the great Mido? …Sheesh!” These are the statements of a person who is very insecure about what he doesn’t have. He is envious of Link, who has the acceptance of the Great Deku Tree and the friendship of Saria. Because he is so insecure about himself and is constantly looking for attention, Mido tries to compensate by pointing out what Link doesn’t have. This explains insults like, “Without a fairy, you’re not even a real man!” He is a misguided kid who has a lot of growing up to do, and he eventually does. Seven years later, he will regret his bad attitude and say he’s “sorry for being mean,” especially to Link.
Hate Rating: 2 out of 5
The Mad Batter (A Link to the Past, Link’s Awakening)
The Mad Batter is a somewhat obscure character from A Link to the Past and Link’s Awakening. In both games, Link wakes this bat demon from a deep slumber with a sprinkle of Magic Powder. In retribution, the Mad Batter will say, “Now I will get my revenge on you. Get ready for it! …Err, is that okay with you, sir?” What? That last sentence didn’t quite fit there. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the Mad Batter’s gimmick; he constantly goes back and forth from a hateful grump to a polite supporter.
His “revenge” involves upgrading Link’s inventory, such as magic, arrows, and bombs. When he commits the dastardly assistance he says, “Heh heh heh! I laugh at your misfortune!” Yes, Mr. Batter. Having tons more stuff really is an unfortunate circumstance. He will then say, “Congratulations! Now, do your best, even though I’m sure it won’t be enough!” The self-contradictory speech may prove the Mad Batter to be insulting sometimes, but he’s just so dang likable. He’s a hateful grump, but only half of the time.
Hate Rating: 2.5 out of 5
The Man in Impa’s House (Ocarina of Time)
This man is a monster. From the first moment Link enters Impa’s home, this guy is firing on all hate cylinders. He’ll say things like, “Is visiting other people’s houses at this late hour your idea of fun? You must not have had a good upbringing.” That’s a very pleasant thing to say to a child. Please, continue. Even after seven years, this awful, awful man is still standing around in Impa’s house with the same grimace on his face. It’s as if his entire existence for all of time is to scold the actions of others and say things like, “Hey! Young man! A grown boy entering a person’s house without permission?! I want to talk to your parents!” Well, sir… My parents are dead and I am an orphan, but thanks for bringing that up.
This punk also likes to say the word “idiot.” He has four unique responses to Child Link’s masks, each starting with “You idiot!” My absolute favorite response is, “You idiot! I don’t know why I’m calling you that, but… you are one!” This guy doesn’t even know why he’s so terribly mean to people; he’s just acting on a deep, inherent urge to continually hurt those around him. The only marginally nice thing uttered by this grump is in regards to Kakariko’s chicken lady, who he tells Link to listen to. The entire idea for this article was inspired by this mysterious man. Who is he? Why is squatting in Impa’s house? What happened to him years ago that made him so hateful? We may never know.
Hate Rating: 5 out of 5
And there you have it: Zelda‘s most hateful grumps. If you feel I neglected any other hateful grumps, please share your thoughts in the comments. If you wish to keep the character hate train rolling, please go contribute to today’s Daily Debate on our most hated Zelda characters.
Rod Lloyd is the Editor-In-Chief at Zelda Dungeon, overseeing the news and feature content for the site. Rod is considered the veteran of the writing team, having started writing for Zelda Informer in 2014 as a Junior Editor. After ZD and ZI officially merged in 2017, he stepped into the Managing Editor role and has helped steer the ship ever since. He stepped up to lead the writing team as Editor-In-Chief in 2023.
You can reach Rod at: firstname.lastname@example.org