The Secondary Characters

Posted By at 3:30 PM on Wednesday February 6, 2013


The text and design sketches on this page (with the exception of the Jabun sketch from Hyrule Historia) are taken from pages 22 to 24 of the Zelda Box guidebook, released in Japan in 2002. The sketches are preserved for posterity in a gallery of official Wind Waker art maintained by History of Hyrule.

The Developers Discuss the Pirates

Aonuma: As for the pirates, Niko and Gonzo were designed pretty early on. Gonzo is Tetra’s close confidante. His role is to speak for Tetra when her disposition doesn’t allow her to share her feelings.

Niko, meanwhile, is like Link’s point of contact when he encounters the pirate crew. A big guy like Gonzo would have seemed out of place, towering over Link and having a conversation, so I figured that we needed someone smaller. It was decided right from the beginning that Niko would be the type to boast and swagger in his interactions with Link, despite being the lowest ranked guy on the ship.

Nudge, well… he’s one of the effeminate characters that are said to frequently appear in Zelda… [Laughs] I didn’t intend to make him effeminate, but Takano, he… [Laughs]

Takano: When I saw the illustrations done by the designer, I really liked the pointy locks of hair on the sides of his head. [Laughs] From there, I got it in my head that it would be funny for him to have a delicate manner of speaking, despite his rough appearance. That’s why I decided to make him effeminate.

Aonuma: As for the pirates’ names, Gonzo has a stern countenance, so I wanted to give him a grim name to match, like the Japanese name Gonzou. The others were mostly named according to sound, as well. We asked ourselves whether the names sounded right for the characters. The reason all the names are composed of 2 or 3 kana is because it makes them easier to say. It was hard to come up with variations on two-kana names, but I think they fit the smaller characters best.

Haruhana: On the design front, Gonzo, Senza, and Nudge are all the same height, as are Zuko, Niko, and Mako. The only difference between them is their clothes and faces. Because they’re pirates, we had to come up with a number of characters, but we couldn’t put a lot of time into creating them. That’s why we chose to make them the same size. But, looking at them, you don’t really get the impression that they’re the same height, do you?

Aonuma: I’d have loved to have given the pirates a more active role, but we just couldn’t allocate anymore time to them during the story. It’s too bad we couldn’t give them more of a chance.

The Developers Discuss Aryll

Aonuma: The reason behind Aryll’s name is that there’s a girl named Marin in Link’s Awakening, and a girl named Malon in Ocarina of Time. It was just an expansion on the idea of having a similarly named character. At first we were calling her Maril, but we eventually toned it down to what it is today.

We got a lot of people, both from Japan and overseas, asking us why Link suddenly had a sibling, since he’d never had one in other games of the series. The thing is, we actually didn’t think it was much of a surprise. [Laughs] After all, the story of The Wind Waker is focused on a regular boy, not a hero. It’s not so strange for a normal boy to have a little sister, is it? People make a big deal about her being the first sister to appear in the series, but that just makes me wonder if everything we create has to carry some deeper meaning. [Laughs]

The Developers Discuss the Spirits

Aonuma: These three spirits are acquainted with the former land of Hyrule, and all are modeled after characters that appeared in Ocarina of Time. Valoo is based on Volvagia, Jabun on Jabu-Jabu, and the Deku Tree appears as himself.

Their designs have all been updated, as the hardware has improved. Unlike in Ocarina of Time where his rigidity made talking look difficult, the Deku Tree, in particular, speaks quite a bit in The Wind Waker. As such, his design was changed to accommodate that fact and his appearance became what it is today.

The reason these three spirits familiar to Hyrule have appeared above the ocean is that they are hoping to resurrect Hyrule Kingdom. The Deku Tree, for example, is using the Korok tribe to carry his seeds to the four corners of the world. In this way, he will cultivate a forest above the ocean, extending the reach of the land and creating a new continent for Hyrule. That means the three spirits aren’t actually very happy to see the hero. This is because his appearance also signifies the resurrection of Ganondorf. When the King of Red Lions appears before them carrying Link, they are instead disappointed, thinking “So, the same tragedy will occur again…” They blame themselves, thinking “If we’d only done a little more, we could have prevented Ganon’s resurrection.”


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5 Responses

  1. regnad kcin says:

    So what’s the deal with Jabun? I feel like the designers were rushed to get this thing out, and an unfinished temple was just hastily removed so that we’re left with this unsatisfying easy third orb.

    Any word on this?

  2. […] Tetra, including some of the hidden backstory of Tetra’s mother. Today, we’re going to learn about some of the more minor characters – specifically, the three Spirits who watch over the Great Sea: the Deku Tree, Valoo, and […]

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