You’ve probably seen that article title before. I suppose the biggest reason for that is because Zelda’s a game with a lot of freaking characters. Aside from that, it’s also a series that tends to prize its own ability to be hilarious and/or weird. (Yes I am speaking of the series like an entity and that isn’t hypocritical at all.) Because of these two things, the series ends up having loads of weird character all over the place with a variety of wacky and extreme personalities. Unfortunately, this also means that a lot of them are incredibly irritating.
Sometimes it’s because of how they act. Sometimes it’s because of what they do to the gameplay. Hell, sometimes it’s because of how they look, but one way or another people have constantly complained about the annoying characters and compiled lists of the worst ones. Well instead of just staying calm and not caring all that much, I’m just going to go right ahead and do that too. So here’s my top 16 most annoying Zelda characters.
#16 – Pierre the Wandering Scarecrow (Ocarina of Time)
I didn’t want to put Pierre any higher on the list because he can actually be pretty useful, but make no mistake: Pierre beat out a lot of other characters I’d been considering for the bottom spot on this list. This guy was one of two scarecrows in Ocarina of Time, and he’s the one that pops up in certain places when you play the Scarecrow’s Song to serve as a Hookshot target.
Now some of you might be wondering, “Pierre?!! Why him! He was so useful!”
Yeah, alright. I’ll admit he was very useful in getting to new areas, and that’s exactly why I didn’t put him higher on the list. However, he had a pretty significant problem in that sometimes he just doesn’t feel like doing anything.
Whether it’s a glitch or just poor game design, there many times where Navi will turn green, signifying a Scarecrow’s Song location, but Pierre won’t appear unless you happen to play it enough times, or happen to be standing in the exact right place, or GOD KNOWS WHY.
I’m just going to go ahead and say this: If you have a game mechanic that’s needed to find some secrets and you want people to find your game fun, maybe that mechanic shouldn’t have the pickiest possible detection and actually be, you know, easy to use.
Worse yet, there’s one spot on Death Mountain Trail where Navi will turn green but Pierre will never appear no matter how many times you play the song.
#15 – Nakura (Link’s Awakening)
Nakura is the name of a ghost character who appears in Link’s Awakening. After you complete the Angler’s Tunnel — the fourth dungeon of the game — Nakura will appear and promptly annoy the hell out of you.
“…the house… …take me… …the house… …at the bay…”
“…N-N-No!… …N-not there!”
SHUT UP NAKURA.
This little waste of time follows you around for no apparent reason and completely arbitrarily stops you from entering the fifth dungeon, Catfish’s Maw, until you take him to his house and then later his gravestone (the latter of which took me forever to locate). There is no good reason for this. It’s just some random task to stop you from progressing until you do something, but unlike most of said tasks throughout the series, it’s completely random and has nothing to do with anything.
The worst part is, if I’m remembering right, he keep saying that stupid line every time you go to a new screen, and since this is Link’s Awakening, the screen never scrolls ever, meaning you’re going to go through a lot of new screens.
#14 – Dampe and the Deku Butler (Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask)
These two are on the list because any character whose entire job is to run away from you deserves to be on here.
#13 – Gully & Piper (Skyward Sword)
I’ll be fair: There’s nothing actually wrong with Piper. She doesn’t have an irritating personality, she doesn’t have annoying lines, she doesn’t look stupid, and she doesn’t do… well, much of anything regarding the gameplay that I could complain about. Except that’s exactly what I’m complaining about.
Both these characters are completely and utterly useless, which is really weird because both of them are very distinct characters. You’d think they’d at least be involved in some other character’s personal plot, but nope. Neither of them ever serve any purpose whatsoever. This was especially frustrating for me, because I continuously visited Piper throughout the game — both during the day and during the night — expecting something. But nope. Not a thing.
Also, regarding Gully, just look at his face. That freakin’ face. Anything with that face belongs here.
#12 – Lake Scientist, Professor, and Dr. Borville (Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, and Twilight Princess)
The Lake Scientist’s entire purpose in Ocarina of Time is to sit in his laboratory, look freaky as hell, and tell you that you suck at swimming.
Okay so he gives you a Heart Piece if you have the Golden Scale. That doesn’t make up for him doing nothing but tell you that you suck beforehand, and when you consider that you have to do tons of fishing in the stupid Fishing Pond to get the Golden Scale in the first place, it’s just not worth it. He also has some involvement in the Trading Sequence, but I don’t care because that thing is just a guessing game half the time.
He’s worse in Majora’s Mask — where he’s known as the Professor — because he’s at the center of everything wrong with that game. In that game, his entire job is to sit in his lab, look freaky as hell, tell you to painstakingly collect a ton of eggs, and then operate the universe’s most difficult tank to put anything inside. Seriously, the Scarecrow’s Song’s weirdly picky detection has nothing on the Professor’s fishtank, which refuses to accept eggs unless you stand in exactly the right spot, which by the way is different for each individual egg and makes absolutely no sense considering the entire top of the tank is made of bars where you should be able to dump the eggs anywhere.
Then of course his spiritual successor in Twilight Princess, Dr. Borville, is just a complete jerk who does nothing but piss you off and also might be a racist. Lovely.
#11 – Maggie’s Father (The Wind Waker)
On the complete opposite spectrum from Dampe and the Deku Butler, any character whose only job… Actually, he doesn’t have a job… Alright, any character who doesn’t have a job and the only thing he ever does is follow you for no reason also deserves a place on this list.
“But he has a reason! He wants you to save his daughter!”
No he doesn’t. He already asked me to do that. And I said yes. 20 TIMES.
There is absolutely no reason for this character to never actually remember that you are going to save his daughter. No matter how many times you tell him, he will never stop asking you to save her. And he never turns off. Not during any event in the game until he becomes filthy rich — I’ll get to that in a minute — meaning that when you’re pursuing a running NPC (maybe the Killer Bees should have been on this list), HE’S THERE. Making that worse is the fact that he’s always right there in the most frequently traveled spot on all of Windfall Island. You just have to run. Just like real hobos? Was Nintendo trying to do hobo humor here?
And of course when he gets rich, he turns into an arrogant jerk. Yeah a lot of the characters on this list are going to be jerks.
#10 – Chudley (Twilight Princess)
AND SAY HELLO TO JERK #3.
If Maggie’s Father was arrogant, then Chudley is just completely and utterly self-important. He’s the most pompous character in anything ever.
He is a shopkeeper in Hyrule Castle Town who runs Chudley’s Fine Goods and I DON’T CARE Emporium. More notably, he’s a shopkeeper you can’t buy a single thing from because everything is literally unpurchasable because it’s so expensive. Why? Because Chudley’s a jerk. You actually have to pay 10 rupees to have your shoes shined just to enter the store. The useless store. The one run by a shopkeeper who won’t sell you anything.
Later you have to pay a ridiculous 3000 rupees — although it’s only 1200 if you do the right thing — to buy up Chudley Pompous Shop, turning it into the friggin’ Malo Mart, the most annoying store, with the most annoying song, and Chudley’s stopped being a jerk just so he can become the most annoying shopkeeper ever. He moonwalks by the way.
Oh, and even if you do all that — with the supposed intention of bringing cheap prices to Hyrule Castle Town — you still have to pay 598 fricken’ rupees for the actual end prize of this stupid quest.
#9 – Jolene (Phantom Hourglass)
A general rule of thumb if you don’t want your character to be really annoying is to avoid a little thing called repetition. It happens to be Jolene’s favorite thing in the world.
Jolene is some pirate chick in Phantom Hourglass who has a history with Captain Lineback (one of Link’s main partners in the game), and I guess that history involves hating Linebeck’s guts because she repeatedly attacks you throughout the game. When Jolene’s icon appears on the sea chart, get the hell out of there because after the first time or two that you encounter her, you really just don’t ever want to see her again.
But you will.
You’ll be seeing Jolene over and over again, in fact. Maybe there’s some technique to avoiding her, but honestly I never got the hang of it, and as a result I had to fight her probably over two dozen times throughout the game, and it’s always the exact same fight; it never changes. You’re forced to fight her one last time at the end of the game before you’re allowed to finish the story, and guess what?
It’s exactly the same.
It’s doesn’t even matter that she was smoking hot in the manga.
I thought she was really hot in this, okay?!
#8 – Goron Elder (Majora’s Mask)
The Goron Elder in Majora’s Mask is another character like Pierre who, at first glance, seems like a totally normal character who doesn’t belong on this list. I mean, he looks a little freaky, but I’m not exactly picking guys just because they look weird; I would have to include a whole lot of other characters if that were my only criteria.
No, see, the Goron Elder is one of those rare “special” characters who will either be normal and not in any way problematic, or literally force you to reset the game. And the only thing deciding which is how long you take in Snowhead.
I’ve never agreed with the complaints about the time limit in Majora’s Mask… except with this part of the game. It sucks here.
The Goron Elder stupidly went out wandering into a fricken’ blizzard, and you have to find him so you can shut his son up. Unfortunately, the usual thing that happens when you wander out into a blizzard… happened. As a result, the Goron Elder is frozen. But where? Where indeed.
The Goron Elder is hidden inside one of many gigantic snowballs that can only be opened up with a Goron punch or a Bomb blast. Once you open it up… oh jeez, he’s frozen. Get some Hot Spring Water to thaw him out. Except it has a time limit on it before it cools off. Also he moves every day. You know, despite being frozen. Okay, so just find where he is and bring the water as fast as you can… oh dangit it’s the next day now.
See when I first did this, I didn’t use a walkthrough. I doubt I’m the only one. Therefore it was not a simple matter. No, I had to stumble around trying to find this guy until I was literally out of time, had to play the Song of Time, and reset the entire run through Snowhead. Woo!
#7 – Honey and Darling (Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask)
No. No one wants to watch you hug, make out, and talk about how much you love each other. Not in public. No. Just stop it.
Honey and Darling were mildly annoying in Ocarina of Time. They just sat there in Hyrule Castle Town Market, doing the most unsettling twirling animation (because, of course, they are a single 3D model) and uttering even more unsettling “sweet” nothings to each other. (Nevermind that the adult male guy said his girl is more beautiful than Princess Zelda, who was… a little girl at the time.) They’re totally useless NPCs, though to be fair that actually describes most of the characters in the Market.
Then when they appear in the future portion of Ocarina of Time… they’re jerks.
Yeah two of us here are annoying people, that’s for sure.
They reappear — for some reason — in Majora’s Mask, except now they’re freaking minigame owners, and their set of sounds has expanded. Yeah now they make porn noises. I can think of no other words to accurately describe them. Oh, and they also explicitly say that they’re trying to show off.
#6 – The entire Watarara race (Ocarina of Time manga)
If you’ve read the Ocarina of Time manga, you know about these guys. They’re a race of bird people completely made up (I.E., shoehorned into) the manga. They obviously do not appear in the game, and they’re obviously not canonical. You might think it’s cheating to bring up a character that’s not actually from the games, but I have a really good reason.
It’s thanks to these guys most of all that I have to deal with people arguing that the manga are canonical. Spoiler: They’re not. They seriously conflict with significant details from the games. But now, thanks to the Watarara, I have to occasionally deal with someone who thinks that the Ocarina of Time manga is canonical because obviously the Watarara are related to the Loftwings. At the very least they must be related to the Rito.
And it’s not like I’m blaming the people who think the Watarara must connect with the Loftwings or Rito. This would never have been an issue if not for them being put into the manga in the first place. More than anything I just blame the Watarara.
Beyond that, they’re really rammed into the story for no apparent reason. They’re not a part of the plot, they serve no actual purpose; The Watarara only appear during a sidestory added in that has very little to do with the main manga. They’re just a random race that had to be made up for some reason. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t even think they look like they belong in Zelda. They look out of place, adorable or not.
#5 – Fishmen (The Wind Waker)
One day during the development of The Wind Waker, someone said, “You know what? We should make it so the map doesn’t reveal itself when you explore new areas. No, you actually have to talk to a fish with a stupid face that appears around every island. Also you have to give him items.”
The Fishmen in The Wind Waker fill out sections of your sea chart and give you information when you feed them bait, which you can only carry so much of and have to buy from Beedle. Worse yet, if you don’t map out most of the islands by doing this, not only will you have more trouble knowing where you are and where you need to go, but it’s going to be borderline impossible to finish the infamous Triforce quest, because you can’t compare your Triforce Charts with the sea chart to find where the Triforce Shards are.
Maybe I’m complaining more about the mechanic than the character, since I have no problem with the Fishmen on their own, but I think that if a character’s entire point is centered around a terrible gameplay idea, then the character is also terrible; The Fishmen are terrible.
#4 – Kaepora Gaebora (Ocarina of Time)
Yeah I think you were waiting for this. The last few characters on this list will probably look a lot more familiar, because I suppose these guys are commonly considered annoying for a reason.
Kaepora Gaebora, more commonly known as “ARGH, NO, THE OWL” is a character in Ocarina of Time (well, and Majora’s Mask, but I have no beef with him there) who appears at certain points to give you advice on where to go and what to do. Nevermind that you already have Navi for this purpose, or numerous other characters — like Saria and Zelda — giving you tips as well. No, that’s clearly not enough, therefore owl. The only useful thing he actually does is fly you down Death Mountain from the summit, or fly you to Hyrule Castle from Lake Hylia. Of course that becomes pretty obsolete later on when you have the warp songs.
Most cases of speaking to the owl don’t allow you to skip his text. He also talks at length, so you’re often just clicking the “next” button, hoping that you can speed through it… except don’t do that because he’s going to prompt you if you want to hear it ALL OVER AGAIN. Say no. Every time.
Making matters worse, the owl insists on showing up every single time you revisit one of his locations until you meet whatever criteria that decides he won’t show up there anymore (usually complete the thing he’s giving you hints about). And there isn’t any way to just walk past him and not talk to him. No, he forces you to talk to him.
Sadly, there’s one more element to this. He’s Rauru. Like seriously. Rauru, the Sage of Light.
I’ve actually argued against this theory for a long time, actually usually winning the arguments because he’s clearly not Rauru. Kaepora Gaebora doesn’t believe you can time travel, and is stated to be the reincarnation of an ancient sage. The sage part implies Rauru, except Rauru isn’t dead and therefore cannot reincarnate.
Except, oh, look:
Okay. So… Alright fine, I give up.
#3 – Fi (Skyward Sword)
Good ol’ Fi. She’ll never let you down a day in her life. Arguably she’s the most useful partner character from any Zelda game, always having tons of information at her disposal, and more detailed than any previous partner. And I actually do really like her as a character.
Too bad she’s incredibly irritating.
Remember how earlier I said one of the things you want to avoid in order to prevent your character from being annoying is repetition? Well that’s here with Fi too, but there’s another one I want to add: Compulsory. If you are forced to do something, then maybe you… shouldn’t be?
Virtually every single one of Fi’s navigational tips about the areas and dungeons is completely forced down your throat. I understand if maybe they were trying to make her a constant partner and character who was adventuring with you — and this was probably their intention to some degree — but I really don’t care. If they wanted to do that, why not give her more interesting dialogue? Actually, why not just have her say anything except the solutions to obvious puzzles?
If you’ve played Skyward Sword you’re probably very familiar with a certain BREEEEN BREEEEN noise. Oh yeah, I bet you’re having nightmare flashbacks right now.
Whenever you get a new major item. Whenever you get a new dowsing target. Whenever you’re low on battery power. Whenever you’re low on hearts. BREEEEN. BREEEEN.
Yes, Fi, jeez Fi. I KNOW.
Why would they do this with the dowsing, of all things? Isn’t it supposed to be an optional tool for if you want an easier time? LOLNOPE, Nintendo ain’t going to let that stand. No you’re going to have to listen to that sound — BREEEEN BREEEEN — until you give in and at least select the target once.
And of course it’s the worst when you’re low on battery power or hearts, because there’s already well-established means of letting you know that. There’s a low battery warning repeatedly popping up when you’re down to one bar, and what about the infamous low-on-hearts beep? That used to sound like:
Boop. Boop. Boop. (Or “Beeeep. Beeeep. Beeeep.” in its more annoying incarnations.)
In Skyward Sword that sounds more like: Boop. Boop. BREEEEN. Boop. Boop. BREEEEN.
#2 – Midna (Twilight Princess)
Like with Fi, I actually still really like Midna. But also like with Fi, Midna is a character who, while cool, has so many things that grate on your nerves.
Before I played Twilight Princess I heard all over the place about how cool a character Midna was. Needless to say my expectations were pretty high after hearing about how she was supposed to be so cool and funny. When I actually met her in the game, all I got was… her.
Don’t get me wrong, she definitely is a cool and funny character that I grew to like. But that’s the key word: Grew. She didn’t actually begin to be likeable until immediately after defeating Morpheel, when she actually thanks you and seems to feel guilty about how she acted before. Oh yeah, let’s cover how she acted before.
Prior to defeating Morpheel, Midna is the nastiest, rudest, cruelest character I’ve ever seen in any Zelda game. Completely trumping Linebeck from Phantom Hourglass, she’s selfish in the brutal extreme, blatantly ordering you to do things for her, and through the way the plot unfolds you are literally forced to work for her. This would be the only time in the Zelda series where you play the role of someone’s personal slave.
Among Midna’s various taunts, criticisms and comments is one moment that really stands out to me. It’s on Hyrule Castle’s rooftop near the beginning of the game when she talks to you about your motivation to save your friends, in which she grins her stupid little grin and turns into the kids and Ilia from Ordon Village, showing expressions of terror, to mock Link and get him to do what she wants.
Some could say that Tatl from Majora’s Mask has a bad attitude like Midna, but Tatl was a character with heart who rarely insulted you directly and when she did, it was obviously fallacious. Tatl had a good sense of right and wrong, wanted to help people too, and certainly didn’t use people who were suffering as a tool to manipulate their loved ones.
She too would give you unsolicited puzzle solutions when you didn’t want them, even stating the obvious worse than Fi ever did (she once told me how to solve a puzzle after I had figured it out; this was in the Goron Mines). Arguably, actually, she was completely and utterly useless as a helper unless you count Warping and Wolf Form, but if you’re counting those powers as part of her character, then you’d have to give Fi the Skyward Strike too, which I doubt anyone would consider a good idea.
Of course, as I said, she grows way the hell up when people actually show her kindness, and also, at the end of the game she- Whoa, seriously?!
…I forgive you Midna.
Oh hey, notice how most of the annoying female characters are really hot?
#1 – All of the shopkeepers in Skyward Sword
Are you familiar with the phrase “death by inches”? If not, then you haven’t played Skyward Sword. Or you’re just really good at the game and avoided all the shops.
Skyward Sword’s shopkeepers have been given realistic dialogue, for the most part. This means that they’re hilarious and cleverly written. You know, the first time you talk to them. See, they never actually say anything different. Ever. No matter how many times you talk to them throughout the game and regardless of what’s going on, when you do business from them they will always say the same exact things (unless of course you’re doing a special quest, but that has nothing to do with doing business with them).
And since they’re merchants in a pseudo-medieval world, “realistic dialogue” basically means “really pissed if you don’t buy anything”, meaning every single time you want to check how much something costs, or see which item it is, or find out if you have enough Treasures or Bugs, OR ACCIDENTALLY CLICK ON IT, not only do you have to go through their standard dialogue, but you also get yelled at.
I really want to stress how long menu navigation takes here. Especially buying potions. In order for me to fully stock up on potions at the end of the game — which includes buying about 5 new potions and then upgrading each twice — I need to sit through about 5-8 minutes of the same exact text and animations I’ve been seeing the entire game. The menu navigation for the guys you sell stuff to is just as bad, especially if you want to sell a large amount of the item but not ALL of it.
Then there’s all the noise. The stupid sounds they’re always making. Repetition, repetition, REPETITION. Especially that freaking baby. (The potion shopping really sucks in this game.)
While my selections for this list — and more so who is absent from it — may surprise you, I assure you that every single character here was chosen because they annoy me more than any other character in the Zelda series. This is my honest list of the characters who annoyed me the most.
Man, never before have I written an article and just gotten so annoyed while doing so. I need to go play some Zelda games… You know, the good parts.