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Despite link's status as a Legacy Character, this is the exact same Link from the previous game. After defeating Ganon, he stays in Hyrule to help rebuild. On his sixteenth birthday, a strange mark appears on the back of his hand; when he shows it to Impa, she takes him to a locked room in the North Castle, where the mark in question causes the door to open. This leads to the explanation of the original Princess Zelda and her centuries of sleep. Link is then tasked with returning six crystals to six palaces in order to acquire the Triforce of Courage, which will enable him to awaken her.
- Ambiguously Christian: He's the same Link from The Legend of Zelda, and thus still has the Christian imagery. His shield has a large Crucifix on it, he uses a cross to see invisible enemies, and learns a special swordsmanship technique from a knight in in a church. Even more, one of his "magic spells" is actually represented with an image of him praying.◊
- The Chosen One: He is destined to obtain the Triforce of Courage and save Princess Zelda, thanks to the mark on his hand.
- Dangerous 16th Birthday: The moment Link turned sixteen, he embarks on a quest to save Princess Zelda while Ganon's minions hunt Link down so that Ganon can be revived with Link's blood. Great way to start a sixteenth birthday, eh?
- Empowered Badass Normal: Compared to his abilities in the first game. Link now has access to magic spells in addition to his sword and shield, which are also magical. These spells allow him to do things like double his jump height, reduce damage taken, heal himself from injury, turn himself into a fairy, or blow up just about everything.
- Kid Hero: More like teenage hero, but still a youth.
- Magic Knight: Link can utilize sword techniques and magic spells.
- One-Man Army: More than any other canonical Link to date. This Link fights the remnants of Ganon's army and an utterly incredible amount of highly tough Mooks almost constantly until he defeats his own shadow at the end of the game. The only Link with a higher kill count would be the one from Hyrule Warriors, which is based on the gameplay of Dynasty Warriors.
- Only the Worthy May Pass: The birthmark on his hand means that he's the only one worthy of recovering the Triforce of Courage.
- Silent Protagonist: Actually one of the few games to break this rule. Upon finding a mirror, Link exclaims, "I found a mirror under the table."
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: The Fairy spell.
- When All You Have Is a Hammer...: Unlike other games, Link doesn't obtain much in the way of weaponry, using only magic and sword techniques through the game.
- Warrior Monk: Since he's the same exact person from the first game, he fits the Western variant of this trope.
The Princess that Link rescues in this game has been asleep for centuries. She had been cursed by the evil wizard who wanted the Triforce at her brother's command. By breaking the curse on the palaces and retrieving the Triforce of Courage, Link rescues her.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Well, they are Link and Zelda, after all...
- Lady of War: According to Yuu Mishouzaki's manga, she was the first person to have ever fought Ganon.
- King in the Mountain: Zelda's sleeping body is sealed inside a temple that only opens when the Chosen One approaches. She awakens once the hero brings back the complete Triforce.
- One Steve Limit: Averted; this is a different Princess Zelda than the Princess Zelda in the first game even though Link, Impa, and Ganon are the same characters. Although as something of a straight example, the Princess Zelda from the first game does not make an appearance anywhere in this game or in the manual.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Her dress has enough trimmings to be pimped out, but is otherwise simple.
- Princesses Prefer Pink: Her dress.
- Really 700 Years Old: There were other Princess Zeldas before her, but she's the one indirectly responsible for the law requiring every princess to be named Zelda, as explained by the backstory. Hyrule Historia reveals that the events that led to the original Zelda being cursed to eternal slumber happened between A Link to the Past and the first two NES games. While that statement implies that there could have been only one Zelda (the first NES game), it is also possible there were many other Zeldas over the course of time since it is not stated how much time had passed between A Link to the Past and the first Zelda game.
- Sealed Good in a Can: Was put into a deep sleep for centuries inside a temple.
- Smooch of Victory: It's implied she gives Link one in the ending.
- Spirit Advisor: Appears as one in both the Daisuke Shigoto manga and the Yuu Mishouzaki manga. In the former she simply appears as a spirit of her body, while in the latter, she often takes the form of a terrier to accompany Link and her descendant.
The King of Hyrule
The King of Hyrule
Centuries before the events of the original game, this ancestor of Princess Zelda was the ruler of Hyrule, and beloved by the people for being just and wise. In a radical departure from the Triforce mythos of the later games, the King held all three parts of the Triforce.note As he knew himself to be dying, he realized that his son should not inherit the entire Triforce. He therefore broke it apart, bequeathing only the Triforces of Wisdom and Power to his son, and concealing the Triforce of Courage in a hidden location until such time as a worthy hero would be born who could retrieve it. The secret of what he had done he disclosed only to his daughter, Princess Zelda.
- All There in the Manual: Most of the King's backstory and his actions are found there. He never appears in the game nor is he mentioned.
- The Beast Master: Created, or handpicked the monsters in the Palaces to guard the Triforce of Courage. The manual even states they are stronger then Ganon's remnant forces.
- Big Good: Ushered Hyrule into a golden age and was seen as a very benevolent king by many. He is one of the few characters in the series with enough power, wisdom, and courage to control the Triforce.
- Creepy Good: Not the King himseff, but He uses scary monsters to guard his treasure.
- Expy: Has one in King Harkinian, from the animated adaptation, whose look was clearly inspired by this official art.
- No Name Given: Not even Hyrule Historia, the franchise's official history book, gives a name.
- Number Two: A Dwarfish Wizard guards the Triforce of Courage, and seems to create Dark Link out of Link's Shadow, so its implied he was guarding the Triforce Of Courage in the King's absence.
- Only the Worthy May Pass: He assigned Monsters as Guardians for the Triforce Of Courage to prevent evil forces from attaining it, and to make sure only a worthy hero could earn it.
- Posthumous Character: He's long gone before the first game even started.
- Requisite Royal Regalia: As shown here in official art.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Took active action to prevent the Triforce from falling into the wrong hands.
- Summon Magic: The manual describes him as creating monsters to act as guardians.
The Prince of Hyrule
The Prince of Hyrule
When his father died, the Prince was enraged that he could not inherit the entire Triforce. An evil wizard counseled him that Zelda knew where the Triforce of Courage was hidden. When she would not tell him, the wizard threatened to curse her, and made good on his promise.
- Adaptation Expansion: He is the Big Bad of Ran Maru's manga adaptation, primarily appearing in the guise of the Magician. This same manga also makes him into Ganon's alter-ego, serving as a prototype of sorts for Ganondorf.
- All There in the Manual: He never appears in the game and he's currently the page image. Justified, since he's been dead for at least a hundred years by the time the game takes place.
- Ambiguous Allegiance: Although artwork depicts him in a less-than-positive light, the text itself only says that he immediately asked Zelda about the Triforce as soon as he learned that she knew anything, nothing more. It was the wizard's idea to threaten her, and when that happened, the prince actively tried to *stop* him.
- Ambition Is Evil: Wanted the Triforce for himself so he could rule Hyrule and grew desperate enough to resort to evil methods to find it.
- Composite Character: In Ran Maru's adaptation, it is revealed that the Prince and the Magician were one in the same in the actual history. The Magician-Prince is also a vessel for Ganon.
- I Will Punish Your Friend for Your Failure: This seems to be whats happening in the artwork pictured above, with the Prince whipping a servant while Zelda begs him to stop. The accompanying text mentions the Prince attempting to get Zelda to reveal the location of the Triforce Of Courage.
- My God, What Have I Done?: After the wizard curses Zelda into eternal slumber, he repents and decrees that every princess must be named Zelda in honor of his sister.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Well, he wasn't really much of a good guy, anyway. However, you know that magician he hired to extract the secret of the Triforce from Zelda? Well, that magician, according to the Hyrule Historia, was quite possibly an alter-ego of Ganon, or at the very least one of Ganon's minions, meaning the prince was most likely directly responsible for the events that happened in the first Zelda game.
- No Name Given: Like the King, the Prince has no name recorded.
- Posthumous Character: Probably dead long before this game.
- Royal Brat: Wanted to rule Hyrule himself instead of Zelda.
- Whip It Good: As shown in this piece of official art when he threatened Zelda.
- Would Hit a Girl: The official art shows him striking Zelda's attendant with a whip, while his sister tries to stop him.
GuardiansA group of monsters selected by the King to guard the Palaces that Link must enter. They are; Horsehead, Helmethead, Rebonack, Carrock, Gooma, and Barba.
- Adapted Out: Inverted with Gooma, who has no equivalent in the Japanese version of the game and was created to replace a second Helmethead.
- Carry a Big Stick: Horsehead wields a mace.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Carrock can only fire laser bolts. By standing in the corner and using the Reflect Spell, Link can defeat the wizard without receiving a scratch in return.
- Dragons Are Demonic: Barba, a villainous dragon.
- Epic Flail: Gooma's weapon of choice.
- Flunky Boss: After Helmethead's two helmets are knocked off, they become animate and fire laser bolts at Link.
- Graceful Loser: Horsehead when first encountered in Daisuke Shigoto's manga. Later averted in the rematch in the Sea Sanctuary.
- Hellish Horse: Rebonack rides a steel-covered horse in battle.
- Tin Tyrant: Both Helmethead and Rebonack.
Later known as "Dark Link", "Shadow Link", and "Black Link", he is Link's Doppelgänger who appears as the surprise final boss created by a wizard to test Link.
- Adaptation Expansion: The Yuu Mishouzaki manga makes him into a form taken by Ganon until he is properly revived in the Great Temple. Even after Ganon transforms back into his true form, this form serves as the beast's core.
- The Blank: Probably due to the graphics, his in-game sprite is featureless.
- Composite Character: In the Yuu Mishouzaki manga, he is an incarnation of Ganon.
- Doppelgänger: To Link.
- Duel Boss: Fights Link one-on-one.
- Enemy Without: He is explicitly seen jumping out of Link.
- Evil Twin: Is Link's shadow and his enemy obviously.
- Fearful Symmetry: One of his favorite combat tactics.
- Final Boss: Shadow Link is the very final opponent encountered in Zelda II and the "Hero Defeated" timeline, being fought in the room with the Triforce behind the Thunder Bird's room.
- I Have Many Names: While he is officially called Link's Shadow, he's also been called Dark Link and Shadow Link. In the Yuu Mishouzaki manga, he's also called Ganon.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Nothing about Link's Shadow is ever mentioned or hinted, leaving many first-timers surprised when he popped out of Link. Some sources claim that this is Ganon's last-ditch attempt to resurrect, but it's hard to get any real information.
- Mirror Boss: Link's Shadow can use the sword and shield in the same way Link can.
- Paint It Black: One of his artworks actually has colors, just a lot darker than Link's, and another depicts him completely gray with gold eyes, but his in-game sprite is fully black.
- Prophet Eyes: In one of his artworks for this game.
- Purple Is the New Black: When the final boss fight starts, the entire back wall of the room takes on a purple hue while the ceiling, floor and Triforce pedestal all turn black.
- Supernatural Gold Eyes: In one of his artworks for this game.
- Unskilled, but Strong: He has decent speed, durability, and power, but lacks Link's sword techniques and magic spells.
A minor NPC who appears in the town of Ruto with seemingly no purpose besides his signature line, "I AM ERROR." He later serves an actual purpose by giving you instructions on how to get to the Island Palace.
- Chekhov's Gunman: The description above.
- Punny Name: He and his friend Bagu are named after programming errors and bugs. Taken Up to 11 in Daisuke Shigoto's manga, where he is shown debugging the game, and gets an error message.
- Welcome to Corneria: Only introduces himself over and over until you meet an NPC to asks you to meet with Error.
The evil overlord who Link defeated in the first Legend of Zelda, he doesn't physically appear in this game, but his remaining minions are still around and need Link's blood to revive their vanquished master.
- Adaptation Expansion: Both manga adaptations manage to show him revived, by some way or another.
- In the Ran Maru manga, he is revived when the Magician uses Zelda's blood after she had been killed in battle. This same manga reveals that the Magician has Ganon as his alter-ego, before running him through and obtaining the whole Triforce. He serves as the True Final Boss requiring Link to fight him outside of North Castle and trap him under a boulder.
- In the Yuu Mishouzaki manga, Ganon somehow survived the final battle from the previous manga, taking on the form of Dark Link. Dark Link is indeed fought, but after Zelda and Link return from returning the crystals to the temples. After Link defeats Dark Link, the demon king challenges him in the Great Temple, which here is a portal to Hell. Dark Link then transforms back into Ganon and proceeds to fight Link one last time, with the former being the core to the latter.
- Evil Laugh: Lets out a menacing "Ho! Ho! Ho!" when he is revived. In the Famicom version, it's a loud roar instead.
- Fascinating Eyebrow: Sports one as shown in the Game Over screen.
- Game-Over Man: "GAME OVER RETURN OF GANON". You will be seeing this screen a plenty.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Hyrule will fall under Ganon's rule once more if he is revived, which is why his minions are trying to bring him back to life.
- The Man Behind the Man: Not in the game's present events for obvious reasons, but the Hyrule Historia implies that he was involved in cursing the first Zelda into falling asleep by either using the magician as an alter ego or at the very least having the magician under his employ.
- Posthumous Character: Is dead by the time the game starts thanks to Link defeating him in the previous game, though he can come back to life should Link die.