Posted on February 22 2015 by Stephen Christopher
If you love the Legend of Zelda series, then you know who Tingle is. The middle-aged man whose vehicle of choice is a balloon attached to his back. Tingle first appeared in Majora’s Mask on the N64 and appeared in quite a few Zelda games proceeding that; specifically Oracle of Ages, The Wind Waker, Four Swords Adventures, The Minish Cap, and he is part of the Majora’s Mask DLC of Hyrule Warriors. Tingle also makes minor appearances in Phantom Hourglass as a poster on the wall of Mercay Island’s bar, in Spirit Tracks as statues in both Hyrule Castle Town’s shop and Linebeck III’s shop, and in Skyward Sword as a doll in Zelda’s room at the Knight Academy. Kotaku recently had an interview with Eiji Aonuma on how Tingle ever came to be. Check out what Nintendo’s top Zelda creator said, after the jump!
Kotaku asked Eiji exactly how a character like Tingle was ever created. Eiji replied with:
“I guess the heart of the character there is a little bit of a gag kind of feeling to it. The way the design of the character started is that we needed to think about how the character—the player—would get access to maps in this game. Of course, you could go with a situation where, as soon as he sees an area, you just open up your map and it fills in for you, but we wanted to do something a little bit different. So, we thought, what if you had to buy maps? Then suddenly we needed a character that you would be buying maps from. We ultimately ended up with a character here that had a little bit of humor to him that [came from] thinking of…’What sort of person would sell a map?’ And, well, we decided it would be the kind of person who makes a map. And the way that he makes a map is by floating through the air so that he can see the contours of the land and draw them. But as soon as we got that far in the process, we realized anybody that would fly through the air making a map has got to be a really weird person. So at that point we decided, okay, we’ll go with this and make him a really weird guy.”
To further accentuate the oddity of Tingle, take a look at what he says when you shoot his balloon in Majora’s Mask:
Kotaku also asked Eiji where the idea of dressing Tingle up as a fairy came from and here’s what he said about that:
“So when we made the character, we had this notion that one of the ways he might be a little bit weird is that he had this notion that he never wanted to grow up. And so I think, to that extent the clothes do fit this image of him. And the whole thing comes together as a very Peter Pan kind of visual. You know, if you think about it, it’s this guy in his 30s in a green suit and is flying and never wants to grow up, it all sort of comes together around that.”
Kotaku also asked a question about Tingle that a lot of fans of the series, myself included, have been wondering the answer to; is Tingle gay? Eiji replied to that with:
“He’s not gay. He’s just an odd person.”
To the Zelda fans, the whole character of Tingle was really a hit or miss. A lot of people hate him and a lot of people like him. IGN’s GameCube site actually launched a campaign in 2004 named “Die, Tingle, Die! Die!”
Personally, I find Tingle to be an odd character, indeed, but I don’t mind having him around… except for in Wind Waker with his outrageously priced Triumph Fork Chart deciphering. What’s your opinion on Tingle? Would you like to see him in more games? What do you think about what Eiji had to say? Let us know in the comments below!