Link is undoubtedly a hero that we all admire. His many incarnations have selflessly faced danger to help others, earned the hearts and gratitude of many, and saved Hyrule more times than we can count. However… for every heroic deed this young boy performs, a series of questionable ones are sure to follow. We’ve seen — and even acted upon — our young hero as he smashes pots, damages personal property, and even partakes in a bout of theft. The generally forgiving citizens of Hyrule are quick to turn a blind eye to these immoral acts, but every so often, you’ll find a character that has no patience for Link’s nonsense.

5. Trill (Twilight Princess)

Trill is the unassuming proprietor of Trill’s Shop, which can be found deep within the Faron Woods. A small, but authoritative bird, Trill has been trained to watch over this humble potion shop by Coro, the man who gifts Link the lantern early in the game. Upon entering Trill’s Shop, Link can scoop up as much Lantern Oil and Red Potion as he needs; of course, he’ll also need to pay the due amount to Trill’s collection box. If Link is so bold as to not pay the amount owed to Trill, the feisty, purple bird will shout, “Stop… THIEF!” A lesser shopkeep would have let Link walk out of that shop without making a sound, but not this bird. No, Trill is quick to point out Link’s wrong, and he is quick to enact retribution.

If Link has the gall to return to the shop after committing such a heinous crime against this cute, little bird, Trill will lunge at him with a sizable helping of feathery justice. Trill’s pecks don’t actually cause damage, but they will make it hard for Link to steal any more valuable merchandise. Once Link is finally able to drop some rupees into Trill’s box, the bird will cease his attack, return to his post, and reiterate to Link, “Don’t steal anything!” The physical barrage of pecks will thus end, but Trill will still have a few passive-aggressive words upon the young hero’s exit. “Pay like you’re supposed to next time, you cheapskate,” he’ll say. From there, Trill will be pacified.

It may not compare to the other characters on this list, but Trill’s unquestionable regard for justice earns him a deserved spot on this list.

4. Castle Guard in the Window (Ocarina of Time)

Many of us remember the Super Mario easter egg found in Zelda’s Courtyard in Ocarina of Time. If Link is to look through a window on the right side of the courtyard, he will see nifty portraits of Mario, Luigi, and other Mushroom Kingdom residents. And what’s this? If our hero shoots this window with his slingshot, a bundle of rupees will fall to the ground. How grand! There’s no better reward for Deku Seed-based vandalism than some money for your pockets. Many fans remember this window, but not so many make mention of the window on the other side of the courtyard.

If Link is to repeat his slingshot antics with this window (which only reveals a few curtains and some potted plants), a Castle Guard will poke his head out and give the boy a piece of his mind. “Hey you! Don’t cause any trouble!” he will shout. And by all accounts, this guard’s admonishments are completely justified. Link should be scolded for attempting property damage within the castle walls. That’s the kind of trouble Link should be punished for, especially considering he gets away with such acts unchallenged so frequently.

But what’s not justified is what this guard does next. Where a stern warning would have sufficed, the castle sentry will then toss an unwarranted bomb out the window toward Link. I’m all for giving Link his due reprisal, but attempted murder of a young child is probably a bit overboard. Regardless, this Castle Guard obviously goes above and beyond in challenging Link’s immature nonsense, a trait not seen in others throughout Ocarina of Time.

3. Pumm (Skyward Sword)

Pumm is the mustachioed owner of the Lumpy Pumpkin, the excessively pumpkin-themed bar not too far away from Skyloft. His establishment is warm and inviting, which probably helps our hero Link to feel a little too at home when he first visits. Noticing the rupees and Heart Piece lying on the Lumpy Pumpkin’s chandelier (probably stored there by Pumm), Link immediately feels a sense of ownership, as he has done with many goodies in the past. Despite the warnings of Pumm’s daughter Kina and notes posted around the bar against “making the chandelier shake,” Link’s insatiable gluttony for treasure leads him to knock his thick head against the balcony.

And he unceremoniously sends Pumm’s “fancy, custom-ordered chandelier” crashing to the Lumpy Pumpkin’s floor.

Pumm is livid; the poor, accosted pub owner demands that Link work “for free until [he pays] off every single rupee that chandelier cost.” From there, Link must perform a variety of chores for Pumm, such as delivering soup, storing pumpkins, and taking part in the worst music mini-game the Zelda series has ever seen. The work is grueling, but when Link is finished, he is well disciplined for his wrongdoing, and he has even built a good amount of character.

Pumm may not be the first person to make Link pay for his nonsense, but he may be one of the only to help him grow as civilized member of society.

2. Mila’s Father (The Wind Waker)

Before Link successfully infiltrates Forsaken Fortress for the second time, the father of kidnapped maiden Mila is the richest man on Windfall Island. This affluent gentleman owns and operates the so-called “House of Wealth,” a beautifully ornate mansion full of shiny vases that any young hero would love to smash without a second thought. It truly is a shame that Mila’s father takes more pride in his expensive pots than just about any other resident of the Great Sea.

Yes, if Link decides to do what he normally does with a bounty of pots, Mila’s father will not be so forgiving. “Do you think you can just break someone’s vases and leave without paying for them?” he’ll ask. Wow, Link has never heard that question before. “I must chortle at your naïveté! Ho ho!” Just look at the way he said that sentence; it’s almost as if he’s talking to someone other than Link.

As it turns out, the now-shattered vases were actually “extremely high-class bone-china vases that run a minimum of 10 rupees each.” If you ask me, I’d say Mila’s father is low-balling that price because he knows a poor, unthinking boy like Link is incapable of comprehending their true value. Whatever the case, Link is expected to provide “compensation” for every defenseless vase he destroyed before he can leave. And if he doesn’t have the adequate funds, Mila’s father will say, “I can’t BELIEVE you’d go breaking people’s vases when you so clearly lack the money to pay for them! Such rudeness!” This occurrence marks the first time Link — or the player — has heard any such words regarding the senseless breaking of pots. So, despite eventually losing his fortune and being made to live on the street, Mila’s father has proven himself a significant figure in the series by challenging Link so.

1. Town Tool Shopkeeper (Link’s Awakening)

Town Tool Shopkeeper, the number one spot on our list, is the hand-rubbing, smile-giving owner of the Mabe Village Tool Shop on Koholint Island. Offering useful equipment for any young boy on an adventure, this shopkeep is definitely a valuable resource for those on the right side of the law. If Link wants success in waking the Wind Fish and saving the day, he’d be smart to take advantage of the goodies within this Tool Shop. And with the utmost generosity, the shopkeeper is always happy to oblige.

So, in what ways does this shopkeeper separate himself from the others on this list? Well, like with Trill, Link can stealthily walk out of the shop with items while the vendor’s back is turned. Our hero will have a few more arrows or a fancy shovel, but he remains unaware of the horrors that await him when he again steps foot in that shop. Town Tool Shopkeeper — with only a brief mention of paying “the ultimate price” — will unmercifully blast Link with enough magical lightening to rival a Sith Lord. Link is lucky that he’s the protagonist in a video game, as he’d be deader than a Gibdo if not for his unique regenerative properties.

To add insult to injury, after Link successfully respawns, he will find that every resident of Koholint no longer refers to him by his player-given name, but by “THIEF.” Yep, it looks like while Link was enjoying the peace between respawns, Town Tool Shopkeeper has been spreading the word that our hero is a dirty, reprehensible criminal. So, with a special combination of town-wide influence and actual murder, the Town Tool Shopkeeper establishes himself as someone who will simply not stand for Link’s nonsense. Link’s wrongdoings — his blatant disregard for others — lead Town Tool Shopkeeper to take justice into his own hands, to punish Link’s crimes through a just execution. There exists no better way to challenge Link’s tomfoolery, and there perhaps never will.

There you have it: the characters that have outright challenged Link’s nonsense in the most spectacular ways. Which of these characters is your favorite? Is there a character we didn’t mention on this list? Let us know in the comments!

Tagged With: