Warning: Spoilers ahead.

Since jumping into the third dimension with Ocarina of Time, the Zelda series has had a knack for populating its worlds with memorable characters. Some titles have stronger casts than others, but virtually every mainline 3D entry boasts at least one character who stands alongside my favorite gaming personalities. They’re the characters whose faces I immediately see whenever I think about their respective games. Whether it’s The Wind Waker’s Tetra, Groose from Skyward Sword, or my all-time favorite video game character, Midna, just about every Zelda game has its standouts.

With Breath of the Wild about a month and a half removed from its release, I’m curious as to which of its characters have made the greatest impact on you all. Admittedly, I can’t say that there’s any one NPC from Link’s latest adventure who left as much of an impression on me as, say, Ganondorf, Ghirahim, or Skyward Sword’s Zelda. However, even if Breath of the Wild doesn’t have one outright masterclass character, I’m tempted to say that it boasts a greater number of solidly endearing ones than any other game in the series.

The Champions are worthy spiritual successors to Ocarina of Time’s sages, thanks in no small part to the actors who brought them to life. The quality of the voice acting overall seems to have received mixed opinions, but I was thoroughly taken by the Champions’ performances. Sean Chiplock’s take on the Rito equivalent to Falco Lombardi made a lovable jerk out of Revali.

Meanwhile, Amelia Gotham as the shy Mipha was one of the highlights of the Zora arc — perhaps my favorite subplot of the game, given its refreshingly personal connection to Link himself. Joe Hernandez delivers the quintessential Goron with Daruk, who’s as tough as he is jolly. The dude’s like a buff Santa Clause or something, you know?

However, my favorite has got to be Elizabeth Maxwell’s turn as Urbosa. There’s a near-equal measure of playfulness, wisdom and fierceness to her performance that fulfills everything that I wanted out of the Gerudo people’s long-awaited return.

It’s just a shame that each of them receive relatively little screen time. Had Breath of the Wild involved Link actively working alongside his fellow Champions throughout the adventure, I think they could’ve reached Groose-tier status. As they are, though, the Champions are still memorable additions to the series’ collective cast. I mean, I’d pay a decent amount of change to play as them in Hyrule Warriors. That’s got to count for something, right?

Additionally, Zelda herself is one of the more compelling incarnations of the character. I have complicated feelings about the game’s memory system as a whole, but if it succeeded at one thing, then it was at showing different facets of Zelda. Some scenes show her outwardly burdened by her inability to awaken her sacred power, while others showcase her inquisitive side — her affinity for science and technology. Similarly to my thoughts on the Champions, I just wish that the game had allowed us to spend even more time with her — you know, to give those particularly dramatic memories more of an emotional gut punch.

Considering that Skyward Sword delivered three A+ characters in my book, Breath of the Wild feels like somewhat of a step down in that regard. Again, though, I’d argue that this latest entry offers a greater quantity of characters who, while not as impactful as some of the names I’ve dropped throughout this article, are still endearing in their own right.

Urbosa and Zelda edge out as my favorites of the bunch. Despite not being as active in the plot as I would’ve liked, they make use of seemingly every second of screen time they have.

Enough about my thoughts, though! Do you have a standout character or characters from Breath of the Wild? If so, who? Let us know in the comments below!

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  • Kaine Morrison

    Paya

    • Paya

      • Kaine Morrison

        That’s what I said!

        • That’s what I said!

          • Dylan

            that’s what the magic pichu said about papaya’s!!

            also maybe paya’s real boyfriend is @linkchu I knew it!

          • I get all the ladies

          • Dylan

            and Sidon! everyone get’s Sidon!

          • shakuvendell

            You’re a Pichu in a Link outfit. No sane person is going to be surprised by the fact that the ladies adore you.

  • Sentinel

    The Champions are criminally underused. I think they should have had more relevance to the story, given more chances to flesh out their characters.

    • They had huge relevance. Even in death you feel their presence. Why? Cause each of the towns they hail from talk in length about those they lost with fondness. They give more than enough back story and details to flesh out these characters, especially when you add in the scenes that Link is able to remember.

      They are the catalysts that lead up to the issues plaguing each village. They have statues dedicated to them, they have living descendants, they have people who love and miss them now that they are gone.

      They are used to drive the plot forward and even serve as a goal for Link. To free them from their spiritual imprisonment and ease their regrets and give them to fulfill their purpose from the past.

  • Ixbran

    The best Disney Prince in existence: Sidon
    https://youtu.be/oSuLmq8LX-Y

    • Dylan

      and best boyfriend to link :p

    • Majerah

      Haha I watched this now my husband is humming it :p

      • Dylan

        “whoa!” 😉

  • richa

    Sidon!
    Maybe also zelda if you would see her outside cutscenes.

  • There’s a lot that I love, Paya is probably my fave though. It’s funny seeing her little crush on Link progress. Best girl.

    Mind you, you also got Sidon with all his bravado and pep and kind of swarmy but likable.

    Then you have Kass, and I love his tunes and many a fond memory deciphering his clues.

    Urbosa would be the other one that I really digged her character.

    Bolson and Hudson were always a treat to see.

    Purah and everything that went wrong with her “get young” plan.

    • Oscar Yasser Garcia Juallek

      Paya is kind of one dimensional. Well, many characters are. But dammit if it isn’t funny to think about half of Kakariko with a sh*t eating grin from hearing her ask for “medicine”

  • Dylan

    I love them all. dman it joe hernadenz IS a Goron!

  • Anonymous

    The Champions are all standouts, woefully underutilized. Sidon is the only modern day character that measures up imo.

    I actually liked Rhoam too. Torn between his duties as a King and a father, he ultimately failed at both, making for arguably the game’s most tragic figure. When he implores you to save Zelda, it carries a hefty amount of weight.

    • Dylan

      Zelda herself is pretty damn good as well.

  • Christian Beach

    Urbosa. <3

    • Dylan

      give her a slight middle eastern or Indian accent then it would be perfect.

  • Coqui421

    Urbosa because abs

  • Majerah

    Kass 🙂 I love how he grew, his stories were wonderful. Also Urbosa.

    • Kaine Morrison

      I think there may be an issue with my copy of the game…
      His songs were the same.

      • Sean Michael-Patrick Thompson

        In a couple places he sings the same song detailing the great calamity from 10000 years prior, but in most of the places you find him he gives you a song that reveals a hint at a shrine or some other hidden treasure. It’s when he appears in unexpected places that he has something interesting to say.

  • Theodore Homdrom

    I love Zelda, Urbosa, and Riju. But the standout to me was Teba. I wish he’d had more scenes, that the Rito as a whole had more of a story. His voice acting was incredible. The first scene where you meet him, there’s such an undercurrent of pain and loss, he really comes across as a warrior who’s failed to protect his people and it tears him apart. He blew me away in such a short time that he got in the game.

    • Sean Michael-Patrick Thompson

      Not to mention that the Rito who got more screen time and was treated as being more important was a more douchey version of Falco from Starfox.

      • Theodore Homdrom

        Yeah, Revali’s acting is so on-point, but his character sucks XD

  • “Groose-tier status” is probably the best status of all time.

    • Ainz-Ool-Gown

      When Groose was let loose on the ground. Innovation followed.

  • Tots

    Zelda is the only character worth talking about tbh. Maybe purah/impa/robbie

  • Mayor of Kekitopia.

    I think all the main characters had their moments to be fair.
    The strange thing is that Zelda in this game sounds exactly like my old girlfriend only more wooden and unnatural. Didn’t look anything like though!

  • UnknownHylian

    I would have to say Purah.

    • shakuvendell

      And here I thought I was alone!

      • UnknownHylian

        Me too. I found her character so amusing.

  • Tri

    For me it’s gotta be Urbosa. She’s so classy and beautiful. I love all the Gerudo, really. I really wish I could have spent more time getting to know them all!

    • Dylan

      so your part gerudo!! 😛

    • Nos Rin aka CTCO

      abs for daaaays. I could really fall for her.

      • Tri

        I’d date her. I’d date any Gerudo woman for that matter. I love them all. Alas they are fictional. haha

        • Great_Scott

          But daaaaaaamn, they’re tall!

          • Tri

            All the better to be scooped up and carried around! I would love nothing more than for a Gerudo woman to lovingly carry me around like a lil baby.

          • Great_Scott

            That sounds ridiculous… and at the same time, it does in fact sound rather pleasant.

  • Kaine Morrison

    Magda is pretty cool.

  • Sean Michael-Patrick Thompson

    I think the biggest character in the game is Kass. Between all the shrine quests and side quests he sets up, he shows more personality than any other secondary character, and I haven’t counted, but I think he has close to as many lines as Zelda, which significantly beats out any other character.
    In addition, Kass’s story ties in with the main story in an incredible way that nobody else’s does. The stories and songs that pass from his master through him to Link, for whom they were originally intended deliver a powerful story, and (without any direct spoilers) after you’ve completed all his quests, he reveals some very interesting information on the goings on between Link and the royal family from 100 years prior which really tie the rest of the story together. To me, Kass completed the story by filling in blanks that would otherwise have been left up to the player to infer, and his impact on the story is arguably the most important of any character, second only to Zelda.

  • Dylan

    Link, this link is pretty interesting, in universe explication why he never talks, etc.

    • Nos Rin aka CTCO

      they give a reason why he never talks? I though it was a suggestion that you talk for him or so he doesn’t have a voice different from your own?

      • Oscar Yasser Garcia Juallek

        Not this time, there IS indeed an in-game reason as to why he’s so silent

        • Diego Duarte

          Care to tell us? I’ve beaten the game but haven’t looked around much in Hyrule Castle.

          • Oscar Yasser Garcia Juallek

            It’s on Zelda’s Diary, namely the fifth entry.
            SPOILER ALERT(an extract of said entry):
            “When I finally got around to asking why he’s so quiet all the time, I could tell it was difficult for him to say. But he did. With so much at stake, and so many eyes upon him, he feels it necessary to stay strong and to silently bear any burden. A feeling I know all too well… For him, it has caused him to stop outwardly expressing his thoughts and feelings. I always believed him to be simply a gifted person who had never faced a day of hardship.”
            So basically…he has canonical anxiety issues in this game.

      • Bacon Informer

        look around hyrule castle

      • Dylan

        nope, he just can’t expression outward expressions, he can talk, and even Princess Zelda quotes this incarnation. He just has so much pressure that his coping skills are all inward and he’s just stoic and shy. its in zelda’s diary.

        • Great_Scott

          Yeah, that was a cool find, the king also has a hidden journal. it’s in the library, bottom floor, hidden behind a bookshelf at the far end of the room.

          • Dylan

            cool

  • Kasparius

    Kass, by far. He reminds me of the Onion Knight and Solaire from Dark Souls. You never know when you will run into him and it’s always a welcome sight (& sound). Also his story resolution once you solved all his riddles is my favorite side story in the whole game. I also think his design is fabulous and I would throw Rupees at Nintendo if they release a Kass Amiibo.

  • Zithis

    Personally BoTW is kinda meh on the character front in my opinion,i’d say i liked Sidon, Riju, Kilton, Kass and kinda Urbosa, but even then they are what I liked of this group and aside from maybe Kass, you spend like no time at all with any of them. I don’t even remember the sidekick characters of the rito and goron sections and as for the other champions, while I think Mipha is really cute, her personality did not level much of an impact, Revali everytime he was on screen I was just sitting there thinking ” I should play some star fox” cause all I saw with him was Falco, and Daruk felt a little to much like Darunia, now bad persay but not very stand out either. most everyone else in the game was a face in the crowd really.

    I’m personally not counting Zelda cause while she is great in this game, she has been great in other games and unlike other characters mentioned she has been around since the beginning, she did not need to make an impression on us cause we know Zelda already, we are not going to forget her regardless. Meanwhile the new characters need to show us who they are, what their personality is, have interesting designs, or they will be lost in the sea of characters the series has. I’m not saying the development of Zelda’s character isn’t appreciated, cause it is, I’m glad she got some love, I’m just saying that in terms of stand out characters from any given game, I’d rather leave Zelda, Link and Ganon out of it cause its not really fair comparing the main characters we have years and years of connection with to the new ones trying to get our attention

  • Great_Scott

    Honestly, I’ll say Hestu. Something about him is just so bizzar and well, awesome, I love his reaction when you talk to him naked.

    Aside from Hestu, I didn’t really see any individual characters that stood out in the game as truly awesome. Though I will say that I think I like this Zelda more than any that have come before. I’m not sure why, but I get a Daenerys Targaryen “Game of Thrones, Mother of Dragons” vibe from her character design.

    I did however like lots of little character interactions from the game though, heck the whole game is filled with colorful characters, I particularly liked the members of the Yiga clan, all the comments they make before revealing themselves are hysterical. I hope they somehow patch in new interactions with that clan because that would be the bee’s knees. :P, I also found that crazy flower lady outside one of the shrines to be particularly…. interesting, and the guy paroling the bridges who tries to talk you down from jumping was an amazing detail, the rich guy who pays you to fight two guardians for his entertainment, and the guy that flirts with Link while Link is in woman’s clothing is funny as is Link’s “I’ll have none of that” attitude towards him.

  • Great_Scott

    Oh! I do have one! The little Korok who you have to sneak behind as he makes his way through the Lost Woods. That little guy is my favorite! I was laughing so hard at that little guy!

  • Ikewise

    Kass.
    Women want him, men want to play the accordion like him.

    • Ainz-Ool-Gown

      And people have already drawn nsfw of him.
      Such strange desires no?

    • Jukes DeLisle

      im a man and i want him

  • Ainz-Ool-Gown

    For a female character I would have to choose Paya. Not necessarily due to the fact she has a wonderful design, but she feels relate-able in the sense of “we all had a first crush”. through reading her diary it’s no surprise that Impa tells her she’s in love. Unless it does directly tell you that. My memory is hazy.
    But still. The heart beat getting rapid. Looking at the person’s lovely eyes. The way their hair just flows so nicely.

    As for male characters… I wanna pick Sidon because he reminds me so much of Kamina… But.
    Hudson.
    WHY?
    Hudson is the MAN men strive to be! Guy goes to a more remote region of Hyrule. Conquers the land! Builds a settlement! Gets friends! GETS THE GIRL! Lives a happy life. And that hair…The man could open up a fire arms business, and not worry about advertising! HUDSON’S HYLIAN FIREARMS!…
    I’ll get serious. I will align with Sidon. Yes because Kamina. Who doesn’t like Kamina? Don’t answer that…
    But the fact of the matter is he is so damn encouraging! And everyone should have someone like that in life. At your back no matter how hard the going gets. “You’re taking on Vah Ruta? I GOT YOUR BACK! We’ll take it on! TOGETHER!” And I’ll be damned if that wasn’t an epic moment in the game! Only rivaled by Riju, and the sand seal surfing. Not saying they’re the most epic, just out of the four events leading to the beasts.
    Sidon was spectacular. and I also feel he’d probably be a bit of a dork. (HA) Imagine him messing up his stoic facade.
    But alas… Grooseland. Groosinator. Groose. Can’t beat’em. Can’t be’em.
    THE PINNACLE OF ZELDA CHARACTERS!

  • Marandahir

    The champion s are great, but they don’t hold a candle to Prince SIDON!!!!

  • Sato

    All the champions had a great impact on me, but Mipha was hard… Seriously I felt a hole on my chest, deep inside I was fooling myself that everything would be okay. ( I don’t wanna spoil anything, so I won’t go into details.)
    But not having my/Link’s friends by my side was hard, I kinda immersed myself trough the game and every memories I restored felt like my own, and I missed my companions as if I was Link.
    I’m 25 years old, I lost my father when I was a child, he died right in front of me, I lost my brother when I was young, and last year a great friend of mine killed himself… I know what loss looks like, I’ve felt many times in my life.
    So not so many games can put me in that tornado of emotions that this game put me trough, sometimes I was sad, sometimes overjoyed, sometimes I just let myself see how wonderfoul that world was.
    I pray that many other companies can deliver a experience like that, the gaming community needs more games like this, more characters that can make a guy like me feel the way I felt in this game.

  • For the Champions, I really liked Revali, and I really liked his present day counterpart Hetsu or whatever his name was.

    I guess I liked Link, as it’s cool to have actual quotes from Link and how they tried to canonicalize him being silent, but I prefer he emote like in SS and other games, and I don’t like why they made him so silent. Link’s always my favorite characters in Zelda though.