A Wild Undertaking
Breath of the Wild, more so than any other Zelda game, features the most memorable cast of characters to ever grace a Nintendo console. With NPCs ranging from cross dressers to women beating Link within a single heart of his life (all for stepping on flowers), how can you be sure you’ve talked to everyone that matters?
This list has been on my mind for the last month and a half. Between other projects, I’d dive into Breath of the Wild’s post-calamity Hyrule for an hour or two, taking extensive notes on its residents. Where have I explored? Did I hit every major settlement? What side quest NPCs should I talk with next? It has been challenging and is likely incomplete. However, after 231 conversations, I felt comfortable posting a ranking of every single NPC Link can meet on his most recent adventure.
This list isn’t a joke, but as you can imagine, the differences between character 187 and 186 are marginal at best. As the article progresses, however, the tone becomes more serious. The top 100 Hyrule NPCs become more memorable; the top 50 NPCs demonstrate Breath of the Wild’s best; the top 10 is why you clicked the link.
The Worst Characters in Hyrule (231-101)
231) Senna — Hateno Village
“I’m the hardest working greeter there is.” Not even close. Talk to me after speaking with over 200 Breath NPCs.
230) Babi — Gerudo Town
A driven, Gerudo soldier. Says she would lay her life down for Riju. Oh? Where were you when I was in the Divine Beast, spinning sections and fighting the Thunderblight?
229) Nikki and Amira — Hateno Village
Gossipers in Hateno Village. They scream at you if you try and speak with them. Oh really? You aren’t even saying anything interesting. An actual child provided the same tips with far less yelling.
228) Bohrin — Southern Mine
It’s hard work mining all day, not that Bohrin would know. While everyone at the Goron Group Mining Company is hard at work, he’s catching some Zs in a corner.
227) Thadd — Hateno Village
Gatekeeper of Hateno Village. Laughs at any request for tours. Basically as big a tool as his name implies.
226) Leop — Hateno Village
Explains how inns work. Not the most helpful advice to anyone who’s played a video game before. Oh? I talk to the person behind the counter? You mean, exactly the same way I talked to you AND how I talked to other innkeepers as this isn’t even the first settlement I’ve encountered? Thanks bud, I owe you one.
225) Zuta — Lurelin Village
I was really excited for this one. Hey Mr. Hero! I have something cool to show you? Magical, mystical ruins, sounds cool huh? Follow me.
I proceeded to follow this kid for five minutes until he took a sharp U-Turn. Umm, hey? Wait, you’re still following me? I gotta go get dinner. Seeya! Nice.
224) Sefaro — Hateno Village
Likes: yelling at you to stay out of his way when he runs. Dislikes: you.
223) Tauma — Gerudo Town
Tauma is very high strung, so it makes sense that she’d be in line for a spa treatment. She is also very rude, so it makes sense no one wants to deal with her, leaving her in a perpetual, waiting room purgatory. A deserving fate for anyone so inconsiderate to the hero of Hyrule.
222) Spinch — Lakeside Stable
Not making this up: “Yee-haw! The name’s Spinch! The horse’s name is Spinch! They call us the Spinches!” Sure man, I guess that’s fine.
221) Bazz — Zora Domain
“I’ve simply been mad for so long, I don’t know what to do anymore.” Sounds familiar.
220) Padok — Highland Stables
Stableboy of Highland. Does nothing other than sell saddles. Get ready for a couple of these entries.
Stableboy of Lakeside. Does nothing but sells saddles. Convinced me nothing interesting ever happens at the Stables.
218) Traysi — Gerudo Town
Full of very important information. “The average Gerudo weighs as much as ten Hydromelons.” Finally, the canonical lore we’ve been waiting for.
217) Ardin — Gerudo Town
I lived with a guy named Arden once. This Ardin sells mushrooms, and is a women. Also, Ardyn is a character in Final Fantasy XV. Look at that, already more information than Traysi gave. Also I have an aunt named Tracy. Din have mercy on my soul. I’m running out of things to say and haven’t even broken the top 200.
216) Fronk — Zora Domain
The Divine Beast flooded the Zora Domain and Fronk’s wife is missing. So what does he—a Zora capable of swimming at great speeds—do? He’s just chilling, looking at pillars. Come on man, if your wife went “missing” as you say, put some effort into finding her. Ask Sidon. Don’t just whine. You’re going to be featured on Hyrule’s only true crime documentary.
215) Mei — Zora Domain
Fronk’s wife: Currently MIA
214) Fegran — Gerudo Town
Just a grateful Gerudo, thanking you for saving the desert.
213) Tasseren — Dueling Peaks Stable
Stableboy of Dueling Peaks. There are countless of these, but follow the main questline religiously and he’ll be your first. Can’t fault him for that.
212) Cleff — Zora Domain
Cleff does exactly what he needs to: he trades in the general store. No nonsense, no personality. Just Cleff.
211) Armes — Lurelin Village
Catch him by a fire to chat briefly on proper raft technique. He doesn’t make it any more enjoyable than it sounds.
210) Cloyne — Lurelin Village
Cloyne runs the lotto house in Lurelin. Drop some heavy rupees for a shot at a big payout. Or, hear me out, sell your ore for a bigger payout than gambling ever could give.
209) Drak — Goron City
Doesn’t like it when I play with the cannons, a task I swear I’m probably just doing because I’m the hero of Hyrule.
208) Essa — Gerudo Town
There’s a women in Hateno Village who sweeps gravel. Essa sweeps sand. Admittedly, it’s sand in a Sand Seal pit, probably filled with seal poop. But still, how clean can you expect a sand pit to be?
207) Kyra — Gerudo Town
An adventurous Vai who loves her town and the open fields of Hyrule in equal part.
206) Robsten — Kara Kara Bazaar
Another member of the legion of Hylian Voe attempting to gain entry into Gerudo Town. Solely exists as rejection fodder at the hands of the guards.
205) Mellie — Kakariko Village
Loves plums. Says they cause strength and prosperity. Oh? Then how come plums aren’t an actual, ingame item? Liars don’t rank high on my list.
204) Teebo — Hateno Village
One of the kids running around Hateno Village. When I tried to speak to him, all he said was “I’m sleepy. G’night…” Not a lot to go off of on this one.
203) Ivee — Hateno Village
She sweeps the ground in Hateno Village. She sweeps the ground, like, the gravel and dirt outside of her house. Why?
202) Blynne — Highland Stables
This one is a little frustrating. He’s a great horse rider (allegedly). Race the obstacle course under his best time and get some nice horse gear. I’m on board so far. The controls will make sure you embarrass yourself. Your horse will not listen. Riding in open fields, totally fine. Riding through narrow hallways at high speed? Nope.
201) Shaillu — Kara Kara Bazaar
She’ll sell you arrows, but try not to have redundant conversations with her. The poor Gerudo just wants to read her book.
200) Benja — Kara Kara Bazaar
Another Voe desperate to enter the forbidden city. Poor Benja likely doesn’t have the physique to slip around as Link does.
199) Nanna — Kakariko Village
Sits by the fire at the village entrance. She doesn’t do much, just some generic exposition about your Sheikah Slate.
198) Dunma — Zora Domain
Posted up guarding the Zora Domain. She presents herself as quite welcoming, but I did save her home. Grovel a little more next time, alright? You better believe Zelda and I are coming back in December, maybe learn some courtesy by The Champions’ Ballad.
197) Ollie — Kakariko Village
Timid inn clerk of Kakariko Village. Kinda stumbles around his lines like he’s nervous. Nervous of what? You only need to talk to me when I’m passing the time to dodge rainstorms.
196) Mazli — Rito Village
Mazli drops some superficial trivia about the Ritos’ divine beast. What can I say that hasn’t been said about the 30 other generic guards I’ve met on this quest. At least he isn’t the worst Rito?
195) Nobiro — Kara Kara Bazaar
Random Hylian Voe out in the desert. He provides a good lead on a shrine quest in an obtuse way. It’s just unfortunate I found the shrine before him.
194) Joute — Hateno Village
The dude loves horses. Nothing wrong with being passionate… to a certain extent.
193) Pyle — Goron City
Pyle was the recent victim of downsizing. But unlike downsizing in the real world, his wasn’t due to a shift in the economy, rather a giant, ancient lizard raining fire-death from a nearby volcano. Tough times in Hyrule.
192) Kampo — Lakeside Stables
Kampo has eyes for the finer things in life. Beautiful waterfalls… okay, only the waterfalls.
191) Kima — Southern Mine
This Hylian is desperate for some Fire-Proof Lizards. I could give you some of mine, but I also couldn’t, and I like that answer a little more.
190) Yaido, Sumati and Pyra — Gerudo Town
Three gossips lounging in a bar. As rude as they are, they do slip out some important information if your sneak skill is at max, figuratively. But still, do you have to be so rude to the poor Hylian Vai looking for tips?
189) Gerudo Door Guards: Merina, Dorrah, Lashley, Laine — Gerudo Town
They all say more or less the same thing: Gerudo Town is Vai only and also check out this neat thing in the immediate area. At least, unlike every guard in the game, they do their job and kick Link out the second he tries to slip over Gerudo Town’s Assassin’s Creed-esque wall.
188) Smaude — Gerudo Town
Tired of Babi’s excessive training. Who can blame her? It is awfully hot in the desert.
187) Douma — Zora Domain
A Hylian in the Zora Domain, Douma hopes to grab a little sightseeing on her adventures across Hyrule. Don’t blame her, the music is nice here.
186) Narah — Hateno Village
She loves to run. She loves to talk. Go ahead, ask her anything.
185) Koyin — Hateno Village
Nihilistic. That would be fine, but she’s in the safest village (save for Lurelin). Count your blessings.
184) Marot — Zora Domain
Marot is the barker for Marot Mart, the Coral Reef (the general store), and Hammerhead (the workshop). Busy gal, keep up the good work.
183) Dorian — Kakariko Village
Guards Impa’s house. Technically gives some useful information about the surrounding area. But look alive, dude. You could have been a signpost. Instead, you’ve been granted LIFE. Enjoy yourself for a change and pump some excitement into your generic spiel.
182) Verla — Rito Village
Gave me props for saving the world. You’re welcome. Good work drumming up business for the town’s inn. I guess we’re both heroes in our own, special way huh?
181) Pritana and Nali — Gerudo Town
Just gossiping in Gerudo Square, wondering what in the world stopped the Divine Beast. Uhh, me? Whatever, at least you aren’t rude gossips like certain Gerudo NPCs.
180) Estan — Gerudo Town
Operates a meat stand in the middle of Gerudo Square. It’s funny, she claims the secret to defeating a Divine Beast is meat. I smell a conspiracy.
179) Numar — Lurelin Village
Despite his handsome, surfer-boy appearance, his advice was too little too late. Granted, if you’re looking for the inside scoop on Lover’s Pond, Numar is your man.
178) Phanna — Highland Stables
One of the stable-hands who helps you pimp your ride. Raise your horse with love and she will mod its mane.
177) Kotta, Barta and Leena — Gerudo Town
Three Gerudo soldiers getting yelled at by their superior officer after Barta almost died of dehydration in the middle of the desert. Granted, saving Barta requires a rather opaque questline, but so it goes.
176) Nebb — Hateno Village
Child of Nikki (Ranked 229), a Gossip. Hey kid, your mom sucks.
175) Cecili — Rito Village
The innkeeper of Rito Village’s Swallow’s Roost. Her Rito-down mattresses work wonders on tired adventurers.
174) Tottika — Zora Domain
Relatively plain, as far as Zora Guards go. Admittedly, he is awfully enthusiastic to be in the presence of a celebrity, which is nice. I bet Link appreciates gratitude on occasion, Skyward Sword Link certainly did. Oh you better believe this article just referenced Gratitude Crystals. I have to come up with something unique for all these entries.
173) Emri — Kara Kara Bazaar
An old Gerudo trying to pawn off her Hydromelons. She has a whole lot too. Cut her a break and buy a couple to safely traverse the desert.
172) Bayge — Gut Check Rock
This Goron runs Gut Check Rock, an unorthodox shrine quest. If done correctly, you easily cover the entry fee for a straightforward Spirit Orb, and make a profit.
171) Saula — Gerudo Town
Potentially the most redundant Vender in the entire game. In order to speak with her, you must be actively wearing the only product she sells. Oh, but the Gerudo Set comes in different colors. So, either rebuy every armor piece you’re wearing, or dye them wholesale for a fraction of the cost. That said, her stall seems very fitting for its location, making Gerudo Town’s central market feel lively. Maybe not every vendor in the game is for you. Ever think of that, Link?
170) Jules — Gerudo Town
She’s marvelling over the jewels sold in Gerudo Town. Jules sounds like jewels. What parents name their child after a pun?
169) Sudrey — Gerudo Desert
She’s the lone guard in the remote, Gerudo guard post. Unlike the Gerudo soldiers in town, she refuses to give up. Even post Divine Beast, she understands the dangers that lurk in the desert, gliding under the sands.
168) Tanko — Goron City
Runs the Goron Gusto Shop, one of the few locations in game to get Goron Spice. Not sure what to cook with it, but helpful to have a consistent vendor.
167) Hino — Dueling Peaks Stable
Hino loves the moon. Blood Moon, Full Moon? Doesn’t matter. He’s a scientist, passionate about our celestial buddy.
166) Volcon — Goron City
Ye Olde Goron Inn Barker. Unlike literally every other breathing, storefront sign-post, this one is named Volcon. You know, like volcano? Jule and he would get along nicely.
165) Domidak and Prissen — Dueling Peaks Stable
Novice treasure hunters. Looking for Meeka’s gear before it was cool, or the first DLC pack added extra Meeka chests.
164) Toma — Dueling Peaks Stable
You have good fashion, or so says Toma. Dueling Peaks residents have terrible fashion, again, says Toma. Can’t say I disagree though.
163) Bugut — Dueling Peaks Stable
Bugut roams the plains of Hyrule, pawning off stamina-refueling items. Looking to run far? Intercept him by Dueling Peaks.
162) Shay — Lakeside Stable
Rumor has it Dueling Peaks was a single mountain in days long passed. Shay seems old enough to have validated those claims.
161) Chessica — Lurelin Village
It took me a second to figure this name out. I gotta hand it to the localization team, they definitely got creative with some of these almost-normal names. Chessica, Ch-Jessica? She’s the Lurelin Village Innkeep. No special packages, just a fluffy bed. So it goes.
160) Bargoh — Goron City
“No matter how you slice it, I’m Bargoh of the Gorons.” Very true, brother.
159) Fugo — Goron City
Apprentice to Rohan, the blacksmith. That is the most RPG sentence I’ve written for The Punished Backlog and I wrote a twenty-five-hundred-word review of Persona 5.
158) Jengo — Southern Mine
Ask him who he is and he says “I’m Jengo.” That raises an unfortunate question. Canonically, so few NPCs actually tell Link their names. How, from a lore perspective, am I supposed to know who all these people are?
157) Kachoo — Kara Kara Bazaar
156) Rima — Gerudo Town
An old Gerudo laying under a canopy. She drops an interesting anecdote about Buliara and Riju’s relationship.
155) Jiahto — Zora Domain
Drops a rather tedious quest that involves backtracking through a rather frustrating part of the game. After the difficult trek to the Zora Domain, I hated the idea of running around and searching for random carvings I likely missed. It’s an attempt at forced lore-building in a way that felt more busy-work than enjoyable. Can’t be too harsh on him though, he’s an old one, an old Zora who surprisingly doesn’t antagonize Link.
154) Tumbo — Zora Domain
Tumbo is one of the Zora kids which is inherently pretty neat. His mom runs the general store, but other than that—I mean—he runs in circles. That’s his thing. His name is Tumbo. He’s got a mom. He runs in circles. Oh god why did I decide to rank every single Breath NPC?
153) Rivan — Zora Domain
Old friend from pre-calamity days, 130-year-old friend specifically. He has fond memories of Link so I suppose he can’t be that bad.
152) Monari — Tarrey Town
A resident of Tarrey Town. She drops some causal knowledge on Kilton and one of the late game Great Fairies. That’s some helpful feedback.
151) Brokka — Kakariko Village
Really enjoys her gems for their high resale value. Pragmatic, I can get behind that.
150) Karin — Hateno Village
A Hateno Village child. He spies a mystery girl up in the Hateno Lab. Poor kid, claims no one ever listens to him with his grand conspiracies.
149) Azu — Hateno Village
A Hateno Village child. Tells you he’s playing spies. Weird that there were—at some point—spies in the Zelda universe. There’s plenty of ninjas, but spies? Spying on what? Weird.
148) Lasli — Kakariko Village
Stands outside Kakariko Village’s clothing store. She gets points for working at my more favorite clothing store, but not as many points as its vender, Claree.
147) Steen — Kakariko Village
Runs a special Swift Carrot shop and has a feud with the Pumpkin Guy. Claims Kakariko Village is known for carrots more so than pumpkins and I think I agree.
146) Ploka, Reeza, Bertri and Katta — Gerudo Town
Riju’s royal guards. They say things like “Hey” (translated from Gerudo). Not great guards though, they do nothing but look surprised when you run into their queen’s bedroom at 4 AM.
145) Meghyn and Nat — Hateno Region
Truffle hunters whose only role are to get ambushed. After real time event number 4 where they gets knocked out by bokoblins, you think they’d give up. Still, hearty truffles are definitely worth the hunt. I can respect their efforts.
144) Calyban — Gerudo Town
She loves Hydromelons. Unfortunately, they need to be cooked to activate their heat resistant properties. She’s wasting good melons! Rookie mistake. At least she picks up the shells if you follow her quest line. That’s more than Link can say.
143) Rensa — Dueling Peaks Stable
Rensa is the fastest horse wrangler in all the land. Besides me, of course. Granted, when I spoke to him, I had brought over an unregistered horse by accident and my “tame-time” come mission start was zero seconds. I win?
142) Shibo and Darton — Dueling Peaks Stable
The Dueling Stable twins. They tease you for being a solo unit, but give you preliminary horse facts. Eh, you win some you lose some.
141) Marta — Gerudo Town
One of the Gerudo army’s reluctant soldiers. If she never finishes repairing her spear, she never has to train. Not going to lie, I’ve definitely pulled similar excuses in the past.
140) Dantz — Hateno Village
Asks you to hunt deer. One of the better mini games for as simple as it is. Bonus points for not minding that I used bomb arrows.
139) Sophie — Hateno Village
Runs Ventest Clothing in Hateno Village. Nothing unique about her; the Soldier’s Set is really great armor when maxed out, though. Thanks for stocking it, I guess?
138) Rhodes — Hateno Village
Works the night shift guarding Hateno Village. You sass him, he sasses you back. It’s actually pretty endearing for a character most are likely to pass by.
137) Mija — Akkala Fairy Fountain
The Great Fairy who takes up residence just outside Tarrey Town. Her flower is blue, her hair is purple, her area is lousy with Armoranths. Stock up before you tackle the Trial of the Sword.
136) Seldon — Hateno Village
The enthusiastic tour guide of Hateno Village. Reminded me of the Cherrygrove man in Pokemon Gold/Silver. Definitely a good comparison to make, a nostalgic one at the very least.
135) Kiana — Lurelin Village
Doesn’t matter what time it is, what should she make for dinner? A conundrum she passes onto Link anytime he walks past.
134) Kinov — Lurelin Village
Ohhhhhh. No wonder Kiana always worries about dinner. Her little tyke is perpetually hungry. Poor Kiana, motherhood is tough. I would switch their ordering if it didn’t mess with the flow of these two statements. Mothers: As much an unsung hero in Hyrule as our society.
133) Manny — Hateno Village
The unsuccessful suitor of Prima. Poor guy is tasked with collecting an unreasonable amount of Restless Crickets. In Prima’s defense, it’s kinda his fault for being so indirect about asking her out.
132) Uma — Hateno Village
Actually provides some interesting lore-building exposition, explaining why Hateno is so peaceful post-calamity. I can definitely get behind any NPC that builds on the lore of the world.
131) Huck — Rito Village
The clothing barker of Rito Village’s premier apparel store. He’s got a surprising amount of dialogue for a glorified sign post, but it’s kinda cool the developers added so much post-beast chatter.
130) Cado — Kakariko Village
Gives the Cucco Quest. Much more frustrating than the obvious OoT mission it’s based on. Still, it’s a creative excuse to hunt around K. Village. In my playthrough, I found nine and he keeps bitching about his last, missing cucco. Honestly, cut your losses and get back to your wife.
129) Prima — Hateno Village
Innkeeper in Hateno Village. She has a very entertaining questline where she dodges potential suitors. Can’t say I blame her. Her request for Restless Crickets is a very practical one, as well. Good on her for (probably) practicing elixir skills.
128) Molli — Rito Village
This little bird sends you on a quest to find a legendary, pure-white bird her grandfather saw years ago. She dreams big of one day venturing out herself to confirm its existence. Maybe years down the road, she’ll go on some grand adventure to save Hyrule next.
127) Reagah — Zora Domain
This one’s interesting, a Goron spending a little vacation time in the Zora Domain. Now, Reagah isn’t the most interesting Goron traveller, but credit where credit’s due for breaking out and trying something new.
126) Tulin — The Flight Range
Teba and Saki’s son. He idolizes his dad, he idolizes Link. Show him some of your skills with a bow and you’ll be handsomely rewarded.
125) Kabetta — Gut Check Rock
The big, tough Goron who may be a little too big and tough to pass Gut Check Rock. Even the mighty fall.
124) Liana — Gerudo Town
One of, likely, the superiors in the Gerudo army. Her troop didn’t do much to save the city, but in her defense, her soldiers seem more interested in lounging than training.
123) Lorn — Gerudo Town
She runs a fruit stand. Stock up on the Hearty Durians while you can. Five of those and you basically max out your hearts.
122) Teake — Gerudo Town
The Gerudo general. She eagerly awaits Ganon’s demise to enlist you asap into her forces. Maybe the revelation of your true identity (and gender) will play out in the upcoming DLC as it—allegedly—occurs after the main campaign’s end.
121) Kohm and Frelly — Gerudo Town
Rent sand seals. Very passionate about their work and save you some cash/frustration on stealth gear. All of Link’s dialogue options for Frelly are delightfully awful Sand Seal puns. Clearly the Nintendo localization team had more fun with these NPCs than I am, slowly cataloging every single one of them.
120) Cima — Lakeside Stable
Oh boy, Lakeside Stable has a lightning problem. Talk to Cima and she’ll give you the inside scoop.
119) Sagessa — Dueling Peaks Stable
The queen of Elixirs. Need some tips on how those tricky recipes work? I know I did when I first started. Chat Sagessa up for some beginner tricks.
118) Sebasto — Lurelin Village
One of Lurelin’s many fisherman. Monsters invaded his favorite spot! What’s a poor fisherman to do? Higher a mercenary to murder them ruthlessly? Sure, why not. See you next Blood Moon.
117) Mimo — Eventide Island
Just as Selmie teaches shield surfing, Mimo waits on Eventide Island providing gliding challenges for you. Eventide Island is one of Breath of the Wild’s finer moments, but none of that has anything to do with Mimo. Sorry man, but gliding is no where near as fun as shield surfing and Eventide Island is a long way to fast travel for an obstacle course.
116) Danda — Gerudo Town
Arrow vendor in Gerudo Square. Buy her out of stock and she treats you to some probing dialogue. However, she isn’t as keen as certain other Gerudos who successfully identify Link’s Voe status, so I need to dock some points.
115) Koko — Kakariko Village
A young Kakariko Village girl who just wants to do right by her mother with some solid cooking. Plus, she gets wildly excited at the sight of goat butter. It’s always good to enjoy the simple things in life.
114) Deltan — Gerudo Town
Drunkenly slumped over ranting against the voes who spite her. Gotta give Nintendo props for realism on this one.
113) Cotera — Kakariko Village
Points for being a Great Fairy, and likely the first you’d find. While she’s far from my favorite, convenience and necessity definitely give her an edge.
112) Karson — Hateno Village
Bolson’s right hand man. Often found lounging by the cookpot. At the very least, he’s enthusiastic. Bonus points for memorizing all of Bolson’s strange catchphrases.
111) Trissa — Kakariko Village
Runs a general store in Kakariko Village. She sells monster guts and always has more in stock. Where does she get them? Maybe she should be the one marching into Hyrule Castle.
110) Laissa — Rito Village
Playfully teases Link’s singing skills as he struggles to deliver the first half of an ancient song. The quest line incidentally parallels Final Fantasy VI’s iconic opera house scene, an allusion of note.
109) Jogo — Rito Village
Poor hylian, on his honeymoon and already worrying about divorce. Seriously dude, it took like three baked apples to get her to fawn over me. Stop moping and go save your marriage!
108) Amali — Rito Village
Amali is Kass’ husband, and the mother of all five songbirds. Poor thing, left alone to fend for her kids while Kass is partying it up across Hyrule. Good on her for always staying positive though.
107) Juney — Rito Village
I bet her father warned her about marrying Jogo. Now here she is, sitting in Rito Village wishing, for once, her husband would give her a baked apple.
106) Maike — Kara Kara Bazaar
True to her location’s name, Kara Kara Bazaar acts as an introductory hub to the biggest mercantile city in the game. Maike is one of the first venders you meet on this path, offering atypical goods compared to the other vendors you meet in major settlements. No arrows, just monster parts.
105) Kayden — Zora Domain
Kodah’s… something? Maybe significant other? Look’s like there’s some juicy gossip between the two of them. Other than a vague little tease, Kayden acts as the innkeeper of the Seabed Inn. It’s a fine establishment, I suppose. They’ve got blissful waterbeds if you’re into that sort of thing.
104) Moggs — Tarrey Town
Husband of Monari. He moved to Tarrey Town just so his dogs could get fresh air. I see nothing wrong with that.
103) Heehl — Gut Check Rock
A totally amped-up, adrenalin junky sitting outside of Gut Check Rock. Talk to him on the ground level for some serious Hulk-O-Mania vibes, brother!
102) Greyson — Tarrey Town
Pelison’s big, Goron brother. He’s the one who mines Pelison’s ore. Funny, it looks like he usually just sits in the corner and remarks about Hudson’s wedding.
101) Modar — Tangar Canyon Course
Just under the Tabantha Great Bridge lies a single mini golf course, if you’re brave enough to jump head first into the gorge. Here, Modar lets you play for a small fee. The mini golf mechanic makes an appearance in a couple of shrines, but here shots matter. Hit under par and get a reward, don’t and don’t. Modar delivers one of the more interesting rune adaptations, save for the wonderful work Breath of the Wild’s speedrunning community has discovered.
Forgettable Characters, but Getting Closer (100-51)
100) The Prince Sidon Fan Club: Tula, Laruta, and Tona — Zora Domain
Far less intimidating than Prince Sidon’s IRL fan club. No judgements here, but it’s probably for the best Nintendo kept this fan club within Breath of the Wild‘s E10 Rating.
99) Kaysa — Tabantha Fairy Fountain
Tabantha’s Great Fairy. While this Great Fairy is nothing abnormal from most the others, her fountain heavily encourages the player to venture up one of the game’s trickier towers. Like everything in the game, there is no “right” answer for unlocking her presence, but the “two birds one stone” approach adds a layer of complication to an otherwise mundane fairy.
98) Rotana — Gerudo Town
Shares Link’s passion for shrine quests. Does not share Link’s timeliness for completing them.
97) Tera — Gerudo Great Skeleton
The best Great Fairy of the bunch. She takes residence in the middle of a sand-storm, under a giant leviathan skeleton. For location alone—though her hairstyle definitely rocks—Tera is the best of the bunch, even if running to her fountain in the sand can be a pain.
96) Cara — Gerudo Town
Though she doesn’t head up the quest to save the jewelry store, she does technically run the shop. Maybe she was too busy balancing the books to run around and find flint.
95) Frita — Gerudo Town
Similar to Guy, Frita is a Rito women who flew from her home to Gerudo Town. For obvious reasons, she was the only one allowed to actually enter. She doesn’t eat beef and complains at the lack of bird in Gerudo diets, kinda a weird statement coming from a bird.
94) Mubs — Lurelin Village
On the surface, Mubs is an average, boat-based merchant. However, she does sell Electric Arrows in bulk, an item that’s harder to purchase than it should be.
93) Garini — Palmorae Ruins
In very Indiana Jones fashion, Garini studies the ancient runes resting just outside Lurelin. Help him out with a little photography to pursue this shrine quest.
92) Perosa — Highland Stables
Help her out and she’ll drop some interesting, horse-related trivia on the area. That said, the two leads she gives direct you to two, wild side quests. Hear her out.
91) Furosa — Gerudo Town
I gave her ice, she gave me money. Seems pretty COOL. She also runs The Noble Canteen, a legitimate bar. How many Nintendo games feature a legitimate bar?
90) Anche — Northern Ice House
She’s chilling in the Northern Ice House. Get it? Terribly impractical business strategy though, only transfers ice the one time it melts instead of waiting until the desert freezes over? She needs to change her sleep schedule if she wants the ice business to grow.
89) Fyson — Tarrey Town
Though he eventually moves to Tarry Town, Fyson is the reason I disliked the Rito Campaign as much as I did. Whereas other villages suffered very tangible threats due to their divine beasts, the Rito’s just kinda complain that theirs is present. Fyson, being one of the first villagers you meet, supplements this whiny motif, complaining his mom won’t let him open his own store. Jeez mom, he like doesn’t even want to work for you. Just let him do his own thing, gods. At least he has a really good bargain on arrows.
88) Kaneli — Rito Village
Owls are supposed to be wise. This ruler, however, is the only one to stubbornly refuse to acknowledge Link for who he is despite waving around the Master Sword and liberating Revali’s spirit.
87) Mimos — Ebon Mountain
Poor Mimos, just looking for love in all the wrong places. You find him standing in the cold at the wrong heart-shaped spring, broken-hearted. If only he checked a map before taking the long trek to the top of this mountain.
86) Worton — Hateno Village
A worldly traveller pounding pints outside Hateno Village’s inn. An interesting, yet redundant conversation. Shame he couldn’t make it into Gerudo Town. There’s a bar there he would have loved.
85) Misa — Rito Village
Misa runs the Slippery Falcon, a general store that sounds fresh out of Game of Thrones. The ingredients here are actually top-notch, especially if you are baking any monster-related cakes for certain children.
84) Nekk — Rito Village
Nekk runs the Brazen Beak, the only location that gives you cold resistant armor worth any Great Fairy Investment. As a person though, he sells, he buys. Not much more going on there.
83) Harth — Rito Village
Not a lot to say aside from repairing the Great Eagle Bow, a weapon that deserves a place in your arsenal late into the game. Great hair for a Rito too.
82) Hunnie — Tarrey Town
Ruli’s sick daughter. Give her some atypical medicine, however, and she makes a quick bounce back to health.
81) Kapson — Tarrey Town
The Zora priest who weds Hudson and Rhondson. Always very friendly and welcoming when Link requests a Tarrey Town bed.
80) Torfeau — Zora Domain
Unlike the other Zora Guards, Torfeau seems interested in bettering herself to eventually take down a Hinox. To be fair, I could drop one of my Great Flame Blades and she could kill one real fast. I’ve already got my Kilton badge so trust me when I say down a couple of Mighty Bananas and take a few swings. Piece of cake.
79) Tula — Zora Domain
As with many Zoras, Tula remembers Mipha fondly and thanks you profusely for your role in releasing her spirit. You’re welcome.
78) Jerrin — Akkala Ancient Tech Lab
Robbie’s current wife. Good on her for sticking by him even though he shows blatant affection for his arrow-producing robot.
77) Laflat — Zora Domain
Definitely an NPC to hit up. She gives the Zora Grieves for snapping a picture of an enemy you’ll likely face sooner or later. Unlike some later armor sets, you can’t buy these in multiple locations. Plus, the pants go nicely with the tunic Mipha hand-crafted with love. Might as well pick them up if you’re in the area.
76) Guy — Kara Kara Bazaar
What a champ! I took an instant liking to him though I only bumped into him for research purposes.. His name is Guy; he flew to Kara Kara Bazaar from his home in Rito Village; and he gives you money! Catch him straight chillin over by the bazaar’s pond.
75) Ripp — Kara Kara Bazaar
A fitting name for a Gerudo Guard. She’s one of the roaming guards you’ll see along Gerudo Desert’s main road. Say hey to her in the Gerudo attire and she’ll toss you over a nice compliment. Aww, thanks. I wasn’t really sold on the dye I chose but if you like it, maybe I’ll keep the purple a little longer.
74) Isha — Gerudo Town
She runs one of Hyrule’s priciest shops. Buy the Voe/Vai of your dreams a beautiful pair of opal earrings.
73) Spera — Gerudo Town
Spera sells stuff! Nothing too crazy or fitting under a particular theme. However, for the avid chefs out there, she has staple ingredients in bulk. I guess her theme is “Helpful.”
72) Olu — Gerudo Town
Olu is the only Inn Barker who actually does a good job. She outlines the inn’s spa package which, while relatively mundane, is the most true-to-life speech a real world advertiser may deliver. Keep up the good work, Olu.
71) Axyl — Southern Mines
A little Goron kid, rolling around the Southern Mine “helping” the others work. Still, I can’t get over how much cuter the Goron child character models got since the N64 days.
70) Shabonne — Sand Seal Rally
She runs the Gerudo Sand Seal races just outside the city. Killer set of aviators which, yes, she does wear at night.
69) Tray — Goron City
Tray gives massages at the Goron City inn with his (most likely) brother. “Volume On” for full effect.
68) Dorill — Southern Mine
Head of the Goron Group Mining Company, an organization tasked with mining as much rock they can before Ganon’s Blood Moon resets all overworld assets. Sorry guys, best of luck I suppose.
67) Yunobo — Goron City
The Goron contact for Link’s Divine Beast mission. He’s easily the most durable champion, yet he cowers and quakes at the slightest sign of trouble. He does nothing but act as a cannonball on legs. He is the worst of the four by a whole lot. Riju: Compelling backstory. Sidon: Ever supportive and great smile. Teba: Stoic father fighting for his town’s liberation. Yunobo: Likes to get detected by guardians, has a shield of invincibility and still hides from any sort of confrontation. He’s maybe of Daruk’s genealogy as he has his medallion, but show some courage.
66) Aji — Goron City
Runs the Protean Palace, a Goron City grill. He acknowledges two things, Gorons only eat rocks and the ground anywhere in this area is hot enough to cook your food, making the grill completely obsolete. I respect your honesty, though it may cost you your business.
65) Ledo — Zora Domain
A workshop apprentice. Ledo helps tremendously, exchanging Luminous Stones for Diamonds relatively early on in the adventure. The Champions’ Weapons are fantastic when you begin. Having an easy pool of Diamonds for reconstruction is incredibly helpful.
64) Ramella — Goron City
A Gerudo in Goron City. While that sounds like a great name for a romcom, it also means she climbed Death Mountain in heels. I barely climbed it in flame-resistant armor. Amazing. She’ll also buy gems in bulk at a significant markup. Save your Topaz and check in sometime.
63) Rozel — Lurelin Village
Acting as the Mayoral figure, Rozel is old and wise. He gives advice and a quest or two. Take his boat out for a spin for some good old fashioned, Wind Waker-esque treasure hunting.
62) Bladon — Goron City
Bladon does calisthenics in his house. Anything to keep in shape I suppose. Also, his younger brother is on the hunt for a legendary hero as told by Bladon’s “dad’s cousin’s neighbor’s uncle.” Once the conversation is over, the grind is on once more in his home gym.
61) Rogardo — Goron City
What a name. He runs Ripped and Shredded (again, awesome naming), the town’s armor shop. His armor may cost a pretty penny, but you best believe it’s easier than constantly fighting an elixir-clock.
60) Pokki — Gerudo Town
“You know what really is me? Drinking.” A Vai after my own heart.
59) Pelison — Tarrey Town
The adorable little Goron who just wants to make his big bro proud. Gotta give this kid props though, who else in Hyrule actually sells diamonds?
58) Bludo — Goron City
Probably an allusion to the notorious Popeye villain. He runs Goron City and has a bad back. For someone living on an active volcano, he looks like he conditions his beard twice daily. “It’s another scorcher today,” a fact he states to start and end all conversations.
57) Kodah — Zora Domain
Perks of the Zora Domain, these fish are old. Kodah and Link go way back. Kodah gives you a cute little history about your misadventures in the Zora Domain pre-calamity (and your nickname). As you may have picked up by now, I’m a sucker for lore-building NPCs and, in Kodah, we’ve got one.
56) Rohan — Goron City
Rebuilds the Boulder Breaker (Daruk’s legendary weapon), a service I needed at the time of writing this list apparently. This area and Divine Beast was the last I did. As the last, I was too overleveled to put the Boulder Breaker to much use. But for a 60 damage heavy weapon that could conceivably be acquired early in the game, I can imagine this NPC is quite helpful to many. Note: He will brandish the flaming piece of metal he’s smelting if you run up to him really fast in the Tingle Set.
55) Hagie — Tarrey Town
Hagie drops a quest straight out of The Hunger Games, watching a young adult fight Guardians to the death for sport. Weaving in and out of deceased Guardians in a field of perpetual fog makes this quest an action-packed sequence.
54) Keye — Zora Domain
Keye is an enigma I don’t feel like dedicating the energy to solving. After all, Link has a lot of conversations on his plate right now. It looks like Keye has a problem, a problem not for a Hylian. Doesn’t matter if you’re wearing the Zora Set, or the two Kilton masks I tried, something’s up and she isn’t sharing. Truthfully, I’m a little surprised to run into a bump after the absurd amount of hours I had already sank into Breath of the Wild. Keep on fighting Keye. I’ll be back for you.
53) Cluster of children: Kalani, Makure, Pearle, and Dalia — Gerudo Town
These four Gerudo girls can be found near the cookpots in Gerudo Town. They gossip about how sweet love can actually be because, in their words, berries are pretty sweet. How much sweeter do you need?
52) Cottla — Kakariko Village
A Kakariko Village Child. She likes to race AND eat dinner. Can definitely get behind that. Also plays a couple of games with you if you have the time. Look at that wealth of potential gameplay!
51) Claree — Kakariko Village
Kakariko Village Clothes Vender. Runs her own Claree Collection which she HIGHLY recommends because she PICKS all the clothes herself and CAPITALIZES her words with ENTHUSIasm.
Breath of the Wild’s Finest (Top 50)
50) Greta — Gerudo Town
Greta runs the Gerudo Secret Club, the only place within the city you are free to act as the Voe Link is. Even if you wear the full Gerudo Set, Greta gives you a wink and says your secret identity is safe with her. What a team player.
49) Muava — Gerudo Town
Right out the gate she greets you with “Hey there, Mr. Cute Voe.” First of all, thank you, I needed that compliment. Also, not even subtle with your secret. Granted, she does reside in Gerudo Town’s most reclusive alleyway, so I guess your secret remains.
48) Cherry — Akkala Ancient Tech Lab
Though not the strangest vender in Hyrule, this anicent machine chruns out some very unique, Guardian gear. An absolute must for anyone looking to collect ever armor set, or simply explore Hyrule Field without fear of getting overpowered.
47) Dento — Zora Domain
Starting off, Mipha’s Spear was my favorite weapon, partially due to the fact that Mipha is my favorite Champion. Dento rebuilds Mipha’s Spear as often as you need. As with all the Champions’ Weapon repairmen, Dento ranks high.
46) Sayge — Hateno Village
Hyrule’s resident dye master. Runs one of the more interesting and unique stores in the game. Always got a good pun, something I will always get behind. I guess you could say I a-dye-re (adore) a good pun. Nope. Nope not that one. That was bad.
45) Romah — Gerudo Town
She offers more than just a bed. Her spa package adds additional stamina to your wheel, a very unusual perk in the game. Plus, she makes no secret to openly hate one of her more demanding customers, letting you cut in line the second you ask.
44) Symin — Hateo Village
Purah’s assistant. Helps you take pictures for the Shiekah Slate. Who cares if I only used that mechanic to take shirtless selfies whenever the Blood Moon rolled around?
43) Offrak — Goron City
This young Goron tries to scam you out of your hard-earned rupees by selling you the incredibly helpful Fireproof Elixir at a reasonable cost. At 60 Rupees, he’s not a con artist, just a small businessman. Joke’s on you, now I can terrorize the city in my Tingle Set without fear of lighting on fire.
42) Rola — Kakariko Village
She’s fantastic. Dissatisfied with her husband’s thick-headedness, she swoons—very suggestively—over any man who can notch an arrow.
41) Selmie — Hebra Mountains
The pro-shield surfer. She has her own oasis in the Hebra Mountains, her own theme song, and her own business. Shield Surfing is endless fun in BotW, can’t hurt to drop 20 rupees on a lesson or two.
40) Ruli — Tarrey Town
For an average NPC, she has some heavy concerns. Her daughter is deathly sick which is surprisingly real for a fantasy game. If you hunt down a tricky recipe, with tricky ingredients, her story does take a happy turn. At least she gets some relief.
39) Robbie — Akkala Ancient Tech Lab
The zany, old scientist who lives up in Akkala Ancient Tech Lab. He loves his wife and machine in equal parts. No mention of his son. Though.
38) The Granter of Boon — Hateno Village
Definitely one of the stranger elements of Breath of the Wild. While the Granter of Boons operates as a rather commonplace element of massive RPGs, Nintendo approached it in a most, un-Nintendo way. One part satanist idol, one part re-spec vendor. Friendlier than it looks.
37) Konora — Gerudo Town
The Divine Beast prevented Konora from returning home. In this time, she doesn’t even remember where she lives. Doesn’t stop her from lounging in the bar and pounding beers. What a champ, nothing fazes her.
36) Moza — Shrine: Ishto Soh
Moza cooks worse than Link stepping out of the Restoration Chamber for the very first time. Her food is worse than dubious. She’s enthusiastically horrendous, and definitely worth a chat if you bump into her in the trash fields she resides. Do not touch her cookpot.
35) The Voe and You Class: Pasha, Dina — Gerudo Town
Deep in Gerudo town, Link is able to sit in on a dating class designed to shape youthful Gerudo Vai into marriage prospects. The class I witnessed focused on caring for injured Voe. Maybe search for a healthcare professional, treat them with any nearby herbs, or take them away from their families back to your house for a slow, deliberate recovery. Or maybe all of them but the last one.
34) Grante — Tarrey Town
One of the most helpful venders in the game. Grante sells complete armor sets for all the specialty gear only found in shrines. Can’t find the last piece of the Rubber Set? Grant(e) has you covered. What’s more, he sells the best shield in the game, provided you’ve already dug it out of Hyrule Castle.
33) Tali — Sand Seal Rally
Apparently the fastest Sand Seal racer in all the land. She has a killer fro and some killer shades. Usurp the throne and gain access to one of the deserts shrines (and a very charming cutscene).
32) Dalia — Gerudo Town
A small Gerudo with a dream. She starts a deceptively successful wildberry farm in a corner of Gerudo Town. She doesn’t make empty promises like a lot of the kids/adults Link runs into. She made a plan and delivered results.
31) Padda and Patricia — Gerudo Town
This comedic duo is due south-east of the main chamber (the bottom-most point of Gerudo Town). Patricia is Queen Riju’s prize Sand Seal. Padda is her translator. Drop some fruit and Patricia will deliver a sage-like roar, of which Padda desifers. One catch, every bit of advice comes complete with an awful Sand Seal pun which Padda reluctantly incorporates, apologizing profusely for its tacky nature.
30) Saki — Rito Village
Teba’s wife. It’s really interesting to see the other side of adventuring, a perspective Zelda games haven’t depicted since Toon Link’s worried grandmother in The Wind Waker. She worries for her husband and her son more than the village, one of the more grounded value sets Link encounters. That atypical characterization ranks high compared to the clones of guards and needy quest-givers.
29) Ralera — Hateno Village
Though she grew up in Lurelin village, she married Rhodes and moved to Hateno Village. She often laments her home and the people she left behind. Hers is one of the sadder stories Breath of the Wild completely glosses over. Her friends ask about her too, provided you ever make it to Lurelin.
28) Trello — Zora Domain
I personally like Trello. He holds a justifiable hatred for Link’s inability to prevent the calamity 100 years ago. The Zoras lost a beloved figurehead in Mipha. While every race lost someone special, this loss is especially fresh in their enduring minds. Breath of the Wild is a sad game at its core, characters like Trello remind us why, even if his methods are a little abrasive.
27) Muzu — Zora Domain
Effectively the same character as Trello: formerly angry elder who softens with the revelation of Mipha’s heart. Besides stressing how important she was to so many people, Mipha’s more than platonic love for Link is revealed, indirectly, through Muzu’s actions. Sidenote: the manta-head is a creative twist to the classic Zora character model.
26) The Lovers: Wabbin and Perda — Tuft Mountains
If Zelda and Link still can’t awkwardly confess their feelings by the end of Breath of the Wild (which Kass basically confirmed don’t @me), I’m glad at least one set of lovers finds romance though Link’s help. It’s a charming exchange that takes all of five minutes, but a memorable side quest even if there’s little tangible payout.
25) Ashai — Gerudo Town
Runs a dating seminar (Voe and You) underneath Gerudo’s palace. For any young gamers out there looking for love, solid 10/10 life lessons. Take notes. In addition, go to her house at night and learn a recipe or two. Her job is never done.
24) Hudson — Tarrey Town
Tarrey Town is one of the more interesting venues in the game. Aside from having high level gear for sale constantly, you build it up before your very eyes by recruiting individuals from every race in the game. Ultimately, you create a new utopia, perched upon a scenic plateau. All of this is Hudson’s brain-child. Without him, you would be fast travelling all over the place to get your arrow fill. Bonus points for acting as Grante’s hub, one of the best vendors in the game.
23) King Dorephan — Zora Domain
Father of Sidon and Mipha, therefore ruler of the Zora Domain. Dorephan has tough shoes to fill as there have been many great Zora kings and queens in past Zelda games. Dorephan’s major credit, unfortunately, never makes an explicit appearance. Carvings scattered across the Domain reveal a great battle he had alongside Link, killing the Lynel that patrols a nearby waterfall. That’s awesome. It’s unfortunate, though, this is all backstory as opposed to in-game events. Maybe he’ll see more play in the upcoming DLC.
22) Bolson — Hateno Village
Founder of Hyrule’s premier construction agency. Super weird hiring restrictions, but he did do a good job on my house. Sure, it’s no Wind Waker Oasis, but considering almost everything in Beath of the Wild is completely decimated, it’s hard to complain about something so trivial.
21) Rhondson — Tarrey Town
My heart goes out to Rhondson. When you first meet her, she’s looking for her place in the world, having mastered sowing in hopes of finding a Voe. While she does find a fine one, she’s slapped with the Bolson Construction Company’s bizarre naming requirements on the altar, letting her husband’s boss effectively name her future kids when it’s far too late for her to object this union. At least she finally owns her own store with a husband that treats her right.
20) Buliara — Gerudo Town
The queen’s right-hand Gerudo. She’s the regional contact for rebuilding the Champion’s Arms. Otherwise, she acts as the stoic voice of reason, consulting young Riju as she tries to rule in her mother’s stead. Certain NPCs explain the true depth of Riju and her relationship. It’s quite touching.
19) Purah — Hateno Village
The tragic scientist whose quest for eternal beauty led her to reverse-age back to childhood. Fun tip: stand on the table before you talk to her. You’re welcome. Aside from that, farm some Guardians for very helpful Rune upgrades.
18) Loone — Shrine: Shoqa Tatone
On the south coast, you witness a fantastic love story between a girl and her orb. Loone loves the ancient a little too much. Show her some pictures of a couple guardians, and you witness one of the stranger NPC interactions in Hyrule.
17) Impa — Kakariko Village
This iteration was a really creative take on a classic character. As the first fresh-face you (likely) meet on your journey, she gives context, Link’s Breath of the Wild tunic, and the most rewarding side-quest in the game.
16) Vilia — Kara Kara Bazaar
Vilia is the cross-dressing Hylian who breaks you into Gerudo Valley. To properly earn Vilia’s trust, never bite on the obvious cross-dressing references. Complement Vilia’s gorgeous complexion, flirt around. It’s certainly a first for Zelda, but a welcomed first.
15) Paya — Kakariko Village
Impa’s bashful attendant. Some of the best Breath of the Wild memes came from stripping at her face. For an NPC who doesn’t do a lot, she absolutely excels at adding charm to the game. There are no rules to playing Breath of the Wild (aside from completing the Great Plateau. That’s actually—currently—unskippable). Approach Paya in a variety of ways for a variety of responses.
14) The Songbirds: Kheel, Cree, Genli, Kotts, Notts — Rito Village
Kass’ five, musical children. They host one of the more creative shrine quests in the game. Instead of gliding from Point A to Point B, you orchestrate a live performance with a simple call-and-response mechanic. Help them sing at the Warbler’s Nest and eventually reunite them with their father. When all the pieces fall together, you get a wonderful supplement to this game’s Dragon Roost Island cover.
13) Pikango — Various
Oh Pikango, Hyrule’s resident painter. Gives really great info on memory locations AND has less artistic talent than myself. Still, he remains unfazed in his pursuit of beauty. Keep up the good work Pikango. But on a serious note, he helps the player find the game’s memories—basically the only way to experience Zelda’s character. Through him, the game reaches intense, emotional highs.
12) Teba — Rito Village
Rito Village’s Divine Beast aid. He’s a stoic father that sacrifices his own well being for the good of the village, an interesting personality when compared to the Rito Champion Revali (an arrogant warrior who never gives Link a break). While he isn’t the most interesting Divine Beast Aid, he is far from the worst. Catch him training his son at the flight range if you’re looking for an archery challenge.
11) Daruk — Vah Rudania
The lowest-ranked Champion on the list, Daruk felt like a cheap re-skin of his Ocarina of Time counterpart. He’s strong, passionate, and very brotherly towards Link from what we see in his cutscenes. But, as far as the Champions go, he contributes the least toward the overall plot and it seems Goron City has all but forgotten his legacy.
The Very Best in Breath of the Wild (Top 10)
10) King Rhoam Bosphoramus — Great Plains
When you first meet the Old Man sitting by his fire, he (mechanically) shows off why Breath of the Wild is unlike any other Zelda game in the series—save for the original. While it’s a nice call back to the days of “It’s dangerous to go alone,” King Rhoam soon evolves into something far more. As Zelda’s deceased father, he confronts his failings through Link, saying (paraphrasing), “How can I ask you to do something I could not? Protect my daughter?”
This seems like a big change from the cold, disapproving father we see in the pre-calamity memories. Though through his hidden journal and big-picture thinking, it becomes clear his disapproval stems from a deep concern for more than just Zelda’s inability to tap into her gift, rather for her general safety. This gives his conversation with Link far more weight than the initial pass.
9) Bozai — Gerudo Town
Link encounters some interesting NPCs on his hunt to enter Gerudo Town. The cross-dressing mechanic simultaneously acts as an ingenious solution to Gerudo Town’s no-voe rule and perfectly demonstrates Breath of the Wild’s charming side.
Bozai, hands down, has the best exchange in the game. Approach him in any garb you want and he shoos Link away (he’s trying to score some babes by showing off his sweet, sand-treader kicks). Wear the Gerudo Set and Link no-nonsense demands the boots. Who knew the hero of time could be so rude? As he is now a pretty Hylian lady, Bozai bends over backwards to ask you out and Link’s responses are perfect, every step of the way. Breath of the Wild thrives on its charm. This exchange is one of the most charming of the bunch.
8) Kilton — Various
How many times must I reiterate, Breath of the Wild’s charm lies in how weird it can get. This monster-vendor may be all Breath’s weirdness tied up in a neat, poorly stitched package. Poor Kilton loves his monsters. He loves them enough to ask Link to mercilessly hunt them down and exchange currency for their limbs.
The items range from unique armor sets to completely worthless weapons, all sold from his hot air balloon. His character model, animations, and dialogue are drenched in unique quirks. From the moment you’re first tasked with snapping a picture of this bizarre vendor, you will never forget his name or influence on this wacky world.
7) Urbosa — Vah Neboris
Ranking the Champions was tricky. I do take some issue that they exist almost exclusively in flashbacks, a literal world away from any post-calamity influence, but that wouldn’t be 100% true. In two cases, the champions of old live in the locations they represent, Urbosa being the first.
Talking about her past self, the acted as a maternal role model for Zelda, offering insight on the character that even Zelda didn’t understand about herself. She explains her motivations, fears, desires. While many would say it’s cheap exposition, I call it effective for the limited screen time pre-calamity gets. That isn’t to say Urbosa exists solely to promote Zelda, she has character as well. When every Champion-centric flashback airs during the main questline, each character shows off their power and a glimpse of characterization. In Urbosa’s, we are treated (and I mean that genuinely) to a heartwarming night scene, overlooking the desertscape, as Zelda sleeps peacefully in her arms—a moment of intense vulnerability. It’s so picture-esque and grand in scope, every other Champion flashback feels like an afterthought in comparison.
She also plays an interesting role in post-calamity Hyrule as well. While Riju possesses the Thunderhelm, the Gerudo’s view Urbosa as a spiritual leader, often pleading to her for help in upcoming trials. It’s interesting to get such a removed, deity depiction from a character we see so intimately just 100 years previous.
6) Mipha — Vah Ruta
Mipha’s Grace is named well. This Champion is the personification of poise and excellence. Her character displays an innocent, pure love for Link in all her cutscenes, eventually culminating in a Zora Tunic which (according to dialogue) is the romantic equivalent of betrothal—undying dedication. But of the four Champions, Mipha’s impact is felt the strongest.
This is due to two parts, there are many surviving Zora’s from pre-calamity Hyrule, and their inherently religious culture elevated her to a god-like status. Almost every line from the Zora Domain’s inhabitants mentions her in some regard or another. Not a sole talks about Daruk and there’s barely a passing remark on Revali. While Urbosa has a following in Gerudo Town, you apologize to Mipha’s father, fight alongside her brother, and get scalded by those who loved her (both platonically and otherwise).
While she might come across to some as a generic “damsel in distress,” her undeniable influence over the Zora Domain proves her worth. Don’t believe me, half of Prince Sidon’s lines are delivered at the foot of his sister’s statue.
5) Riju — Gerudo Town
The young queen of the Gerudos. Her mother passed away shortly before Link’s awakening. (Like, from the resurrection chamber, not the year 1993). In addition to acting as Link’s Divine Beast contact and shredding the dunes with Link as he approaches the massive camel, she has some serious depth if you speak with her in her bed-chambers or read her journal (two admittedly scandalous behaviors).
She seeks only the approval of her people and to do justice to her late mother. She’s riddled with insecurities and doubts, yet slowly wins over the confidence of her people. A true role model for young gamers everywhere. Her only shortcoming is how underutilized she is. For such an interesting character, it’s a shame she’s limited to her brief Divine Beast mission.
4) Revali — Vah Medoh
Mipha is my favorite Champion, but Revali is undeniably more interesting. His snarky, perfectionist attitude is restrained enough that he delivers some of the best lines in the game without seeming too overbearing (his closing Divine Beast chatter is a testament to comedic timing).
Underlying his tough plumage is a place of respect and admiration for Link, even if his pride often masks this. Though we don’t see as much of his influence over Rito Village as compared to Mipha and Urbosa, he steals the show in every pre-calamity memory he opens his beak. Brash, cocky, charming. It’s an archetype we seldom see in Zelda games, but if more characters pull it off as well as Revali, I would welcome it.
3) Prince Sidon — Zora Domain
What’s there to say that hasn’t already been said? Aside from helping Link atone for Mipha’s defeat, Sidon has a killer theme song and always flashes Link a supportive smile. What’s more, his never-wavering optimism helps Link tackle one of the earliest Divine Beasts (speaking geographically).
He never knew his sister, just her legacy. Despite that, we see him mourning, emotionally, at her statue in his idle animation. Getting to the Zora Domain during a torrential downpour was hard, especially as it negates Breath Link’s newfound ability to climb. But even after waves of thunder-powered enemies, Sidon’s persistent encouragement made the journey bearable. Thank you, buddy. Now, go sign some photos for your in-game fan club.
2) Kass — Rito Village
My biggest gripe with Breath of the Wild is the music. While I’ll defend that statement in a later article, Kass redeems Breath of the Wild’s lack of inspired music well. Aside from providing a great Dragon Roost Island cover, Breath’s Main Theme cover, and a Lon Lon Ranch cover, he’s a friendly face you see in some of the map’s more desolate locations, providing challenging riddles that deliver interesting shrine quests. At no other point in this list did I mention one of Breath’s biggest draws. Kass supplements the game’s many delightful hours of puzzles with some overworld, musically-delivered riddles.
On top of all that, he has an interesting insight about the true nature of Zelda and Link’s friendship provided you see his questline to completion, provided you complete all his sidequests. In terms of lore building NPCs, have we ever seen visual confirmation that “Zelda only had eyes for her hero?” That’s amazing! Especially after the direction Skyward Sword took the two. Capping everything off, he’s one of the best designed characters in the game. His intimidating build begs the question, “why isn’t he rushing headfirst into Hyrule Castle with me?” I suppose I’ll let it slide if he covers Song of Storms in the upcoming Champion’s Ballad. Actually, make that literally every Zelda song ever.
1) Zelda — Hyrule Castle
This was a very hard choice. Breath takes a very interesting narrative stance. Anyone who plays knows the freedom it allows. Freedom to tackle dungeon order; freedom to collect every scattered memory; freedom to ignore the game entirely and rush to the final boss (a task that takes roughly 40 minutes). To combat the open approach to collectibles and objectives, the game is split in two parts: the past, and the player agency.
The past is a movie, told in sequential pieces and completely scripted, traditional. In these moments, Zelda very well may be the best character Nintendo has ever made. She’s truly alive, has growth, failures, and genuine motivation. I think her voice acting conveys all of this effectively (an unpopular opinion if every comment section is to be believed).
There are genuine moments of charm and beauty in her lines. Replay the infamous Silent Princess cutscene if you have doubts (eat the frog, Link!). Again, I felt real sadness when Zelda learns of the guardians and her ultimate failings. I felt her feelings on Link actively change, even if theirs was a pretty standard character arc.
But the past is the past. Run around Hyrule, where is she? Post-calamity Hyrule is largely absent of her presence. Once you step off the great plateau, the character all but disappears from this exciting new world. For that reason, Kass almost took this top spot. Any writer knows the mantra “show don’t tell.” We experience characters like Kass and Riju firsthand. Grow alongside them, fight alongside them.
Everything good about Zelda is contained in Easter eggs, thoroughly hid across Hyrule’s great expanses. In the end though, Zelda undeniable does “being a character” better than (almost) any other Nintendo character to date. In a list ranking the best characters, shouldn’t the best be number 1?
How’d I do? 231 character’s is a whole lot and, statistically, it’s almost impossible our favorites matched up perfectly. Let us know in the comments how you would order your top ten (or 50/100/231). Also, Hyrule is pretty big. My “Path of the Hero” says I hit just about every corner of the game, but let me know what NPCs I may have missed.
I love this game, but still feel the need to address Breath of the Wild’s serious problems. I wrote a very similar article on the problems with Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Eevee. Despite my fears, it’s absolutely one of my most anticipated games. I have a similar love hate relationship with another Nintendo RPG. Guess what? Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has problems also!
For another Zelda list, check out piece on the best Zelda dungeons ranked exclusively on small keys. What, you still want more Zelda? You can listen to us gloat about Beedle in our list of the best video game merchants. Oh but the list train isn’t done yet. Don’t want to spoil too much, but Koji Kondo gets more than a little shout out in our list of the best video game soundtracks.
Keep up with The Punished Backlog for more features like I just described. We focus on atypical pieces: personal experiences and the ilk. Their often fun looks at a different side of gaming than the standard top 10 lists, though we definitely have those too. If you like what you see or have something to pitch, please reach out. We’re all fanboys (and fangals) at heart here.
If you have something you’d like to chat about, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m more than happy to workshop prospective pieces. Otherwise, hit us up below.