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Fanfic / The Boy Without a Fairy

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How will the hardships of saving a kingdom sculpt and harden a peaceful ten-year-old child?

The Boy Without a Fairy (alternate link) is a completed novelization of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, written by TheLoneStar6 starting in May 2019 and ending in November 2021.

The story is a more realistic retelling of Ocarina of Time that details the detrimental psychological effects a child would have when burdened with saving the world and fighting dangerous monsters at such a young age.

This story has a sister series in Tales of Termina, a series of one-shots detailing Link's adventures in Termina after the events of The Boy Without a Fairy.

As of January 2022, the author has begun a sequel, another adaptation of Majora's Mask, called The Boy in the Mask, admitting that it will likely borrow heavily from Tales of Termina.


The Boy Without a Fairy contains examples of:

  • Adaptation Deviation:
    • Link gets the Fairy Slingshot and Deku Shield from Kokiri Village rather than inside the Great Deku Tree and the Kokiri Village Shop respectively, as the latter doesn't exist.
    • The Royal Family's Tomb:
      • Rather than the headstone being destroyed by a lightning bolt when Link plays Zelda's Lullaby in front of it, the headstone just moves aside instead.
      • Rather than being bought at a store, Link obtains his Hylian Shield from the Royal Family's Tomb, from what is implied to be the grave of the Link from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.
    • The Lon-Lon sidequest ends with Ingo getting banished from the ranch by Talon after trying to kill Link with a dagger after he wins their horserace.
    • The Skull Mask Skull Kid appears in Kakariko instead of the Lost Woods.
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    • Link chooses to give the Lens of Truth to Impa following Bongo-Bongo's defeat rather than continue to keep it.
    • Rather than having to fight one Gerudo for each carpenter, the carpenters are placed in one prison cell and Link needs to just fight one Gerudo in order to free them.
    • Spirit Temple chapter:
      • The Spirit Temple boss fight against Twinrova takes place in the same hallway where Link fights Nabooru instead of in a larger boss room.
      • Twinrova doesn't split into her separate parts upon dying as they float up into the beyond, instead, she just curses Link and leaves her corpse behind after dying.
    • The Great Fairy of Courage is mentioned by Zelda, but not by name, serving as The Ghost since Link and Navi don't visit her.
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • Link's origins and upbringing with the Kokiri are given much more focus. His inner thoughts are also explored often with most of the story being through his perspective and since he can actually talk in this story, there's much more dialogue and interaction between the characters.
      • In particular, Mido's exact enmity with Link is shown to have begun when he was roughhousing with a then six-year-old Link only to be humiliated when Link easily subdues him without trying and accidentally hurts him due to not understanding his own burgeoning Super Strength.
    • Navi briefly mentions visiting Hytopia, the main setting of The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes.
    • The Water Temple is implied to be a site of worship for for a dragon spirit, and at the beginning of "The Happy Mask Salesman", Farosh from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild makes an appearance since Link managed to defeat Morpha, and is implied to be the being the Zora worship, with Navi mentioning that its fellow dragons Dinraal and Naydra left Hyrule during the Civil War and haven't returned since.
    • Unlike in the original game, Link and Navi get to actually see where Bongo Bongo is sealed when they visit the Bottom of the Well.
    • Gerudo Desert chapter:
      • Sheik takes a more direct role during the chapter, helping break Link out of his cell and getting his items.
      • Link shield surfs on a Sand Seal on the way to the Spirit Temple alongside Sheik and ends up getting chased by a Molduga, creatures first introduced in Breath of the Wild.
    • When Zelda removes her Sheik disguise and tells Link about the Sacred Realm and being Triforce bearers, she also tells the story of the Spirit of the Hero that all Links share.
    • Rather than just ending with the last meeting between Link and Zelda, the story continues with a two-chapter epilogue going over what happened afterwards.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul:
    • Saria and Link have a relationship that's more akin to mother and child than friends like in the original game, with Fado being closer to an elder sister before she joins the other Kokiri in shunning Link.
    • Navi also happens to be a maternal substitute for him.
  • Adaptational Late Appearance:
    • The first time Link encounters a Peahat, an enemy unique to the Child timeline, is in Hyrule Field as an adult.
    • It takes until the Spirit Temple for Link to encounter Armos, which in the games are first encountered in Dodongo's Cavern.
    • The first time Link and Navi encounter Beamos is at the beginning of Ganon's Castle, rather than in Dodongo's Cavern.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • In the game, Navi primarily acted as an Exposition Fairy that reminded Link of his objectives and gave him hints on an enemy's weakness. In The Boy Without a Fairy, she is much more involved in combat than her game-counterpart; she has the ability to unleash a flash of light to blind foes, is willing to ram her entire body into foes as a distraction to take the attention off Link, and can come up with complex strategies on the fly. Her combat role is especially prominent early on in the story when Link is completely inexperienced in fighting and has to heavily rely on Navi's support just to stay alive.
    • As there's no Sun's Song to paralyze them, Redeads and Gibdos are twice as dangerous and are noted to feel no apparent pain, with Link only managing to stop them if he manages to stab them in a vital area like the neck.
    • Link and Navi choose to run from a Peahat rather than engage it, with Navi telling Link that they're so dangerous he has no chance of defeating it.
    • Iron Knuckles are even more dangerous than they are in the games, with Link only managing to kill one in the child timeline by blowing it up with bombs.
    • The Dinoflos in the Spirit Temple have the fire-breathing abilities first seen in their Majora's Mask incarnations.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: The guards in the Gerudo Fortress are much more competent than in canon, removing Link's weapons from him and separating him from Navi instead of just throwing him down a pit, preventing him from escaping without help from Sheik.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Ingo goes from just being willing to trap Link on Lon-Lon Ranch rather than give him Epona, to attempting to murder him upon losing the race.
  • Adapted Out:
    • The Kokiri Village Shop does not exist since the Kokiri in this fanfic have no concept of money, with it being replaced by the home of Uldo, a hoarding Kokiri.
    • Link does not obtain the Sun's Song in the Royal Family's Tomb, but the Hylian Shield from Skyward Sword. The fight with Flat and Sharp gets averted by Link managing to calm the ghosts down with Zelda's Lullaby.
    • The Biggoron Sword quest does not appear.
    • Rather than obtaining the Goron and Zora Tunics, Link's tunic is given enchantments that allow him to resist extreme heat and breathe underwater.
    • Link sticks with the Hookshot instead of obtaining the Longshot.
    • The talk with Sheik at Lake Hylia after Link defeats Morpha is excised.
    • Link doesn't fight the Dead Hand for a second time in the Shadow Temple, and he doesn't get the Hover Boots.
    • Instead of being led by a ghost to flags in order to travel through the Haunted Wasteland, Link and Sheik shield surf on Sand Seals.
    • Instead of getting the Mirror Shield in the Spirit Temple, the Silver Gauntlets are given its ability to absorb energy.
    • The "removing the barrier portion" of Ganon's Castle is excised in favor of Link fighting his way up the tower, and Link doesn't get the Golden Gauntlets.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: While originally accepting of the unknowingly Hylian Link, the Kokiri, except for Saria, gradually began to shun Link due to his abnormally (For a Kokiri) slow aging and lack of a Guardian Fairy, which they viewed as a bad omen, leading to Link living a very lonely childhood and developing poor social skills as a result.
  • Ambiguous Situation: It's left somewhat unclear as to why Navi leaves Link at the end of the story, but it's strongly suggested but not outright confirmed by her behavior beforehand that she was mortally wounded by Ganondorf's Malice, was barely holding on long enough to tell Link she loved him, and left without explanation to spare Link the sight of her dying.
  • Big Damn Heroes: When Ingo brandishes a dagger at Link while he's unarmed following losing Epona to him, Talon shows up just in time to punch him in the face.
  • Bigger on the Inside: Jabu-Jabu's Belly is noted to be far larger than it ought to be, which Link and Navi figure is a result of Ganondorf's magic warping the area.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Despite looking like Hylian children, Kokiri emerge from trees as babies, are nourished by the Great Deku Tree until they get paired with a Guardian Fairy between a few weeks to up to three months afterwards, and are considered fully grown at 10 months.
  • Blinded by the Light: Navi has the ability to release a harsh flash of light which can temporarily disorientate and blind foes; she uses this ability multiple times to save Link from dangerous situations.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Doesn't skimp out on the gorier details, such as decomposed corpses and the King Dodongo throwing up its own organs after swallowing bombs.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Apart from Nabooru being stuck in Iron Knuckle armor, it's strongly implied that the same may have been the case for the Iron Knuckle Link fights as a child, though he and Nazi leave after killing it rather than confirming one way or another.
  • Breather Episode:
    • After his traumatic venture at Death Mountain, Chapter 14 features Link taking a break from his adventures to go visit Malon at Navi's behest and with Zelda's blessing. Once there, he gets the chance to act like a normal ten-year-old and spends the entire day playing with Malon and learning Epona's Song.
    • Apart from the beginning where Link gets knocked out by Bongo Bongo, Chapter 29 consists of Link and Navi selling Masks around Karkariko Village.
  • Call-Forward: In the same chapter in which the Happy Mask Salesman makes his first appearance, Link ends up teaching a certain Skull Kid Saria's Song.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: When Link asks Ganondorf why he's done so many evil things, the latter simply responds that he did it all for power.
  • Childhood Friends: Link and Saria as in canon with Saria being the only one among the Kokiri to stay friends with Link despite his lack of a fairy. Although in this adaptation, their bond is more akin to a mother and a son rather than friends due to Saria raising Link ever since he was an infant.
  • Clueless Chick Magnet: Link ends up attracting quite a fair share of admirers through his journey, both in his child and adult form, but remains oblivious to their attraction, even taking a villager's offer to hop in bed with him as an innocent request to share beds for warmth. Justified, as he is still a child mentally in his adult form, not helped by the fact he was raised by the child-like Kokiri who don't express much in the way of romance aside from Mido's one-sided crush on Saria.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: As a result of his upbringing, it's noted that Link doesn't have a particular issue with the concept of looting the dead as all the Kokiri do it to bodies they come across in the Lost Woods, though he doesn't partake in it personally.
  • Death by Adaptation: While in the original game it's ambiguous as to whether or not the Sages actually die at the hands of the bosses of the temples, here they do explicitly die to ascend to Sagehood.
  • Defiant to the End: Twinrova continues clawing at Link even after he's mortally wounded her until she finally gives up the ghost and dies.
  • Determinator: Link, as usual. Despite his fears, age, and lack of confidence, he still pushes himself to the limit and gets through life-threatening trials and battles that would have ended most adults.
  • Doorstopper: Over 440,000 words.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Bongo-Bongo is an Ancient Evil that according to the author is even older than Demise, is so large that the form Link and Navi fight in the Shadow Temple is likened to a mere appendage by Impa, and is so powerful that defeating it merely weakened it enough that Impa could seal it and its fellow horrors away again instead of killing it for good. And according to the author, it's not even the worst thing lurking inside the temple.
  • Eldritch Location: The Shadow Temple, unlike every other dungeon faced up to that point, is freaky on its own rather than having anything to do with Ganondorf's magic, being home to all manner of evil spirits, takes heavy influence from Dante's Inferno in the form of its numerous hell rooms, and is implied to be alive to some degree.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Impa says that Ganondorf was basically playing with fire by unsealing Bongo-Bongo, as it was merely gathering strength inside the Shadow Temple before unleashing itself and the other horrors within on Hyrule, a result that would be so terrible that Ganondorf's reign would seem like the lesser evil.
  • The Fair Folk: While not malicious, the Great Fairy of Death Mountain's amused and apathetic reaction to a young Link's life-threatening injuries give her a rather unsettling aura. Averted with the other fairies in the story who haven't shown such behaviour.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Gerudo dislike fairies and try to bottle them on sight.
  • Feathered Fiend: One type of monster seen in the Shadow Temple is some sort of bird monster that Navi cannot identify.
  • Harmful to Minors: Link gets slashed, bitten, and burnt throughout the story as he fights increasingly dangerous monsters. He's also only ten, in mind if not necessarily in body.
  • He Is All Grown Up: Link ends up being quite the looker in his adult form and attracts some positive attention from other adults, much to Navi's discomfort, as he's still mentally a child.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Link defeats a Dinoflos by absorbing its fire attack with the Silver Gauntlets before burning it to death with its own reflected attack.
  • I Should Have Been Better: Link's reaction when the Great Deku Tree dies, despite the Tree telling him he was doomed from the start, which Navi repeatedly tries to remind him of. This feeling only gets worse as his journey progresses and all of the sages die in the Temples, preventing Link from ever seeing himself as a hero.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Zelda is revealed at the end of the story to be in love with Link, but doesn't pursue it due a combination of recognizing that as royalty and a commoner they can't be together, and being well aware that he's mutually in love with Malon.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Link kills Twinrova by stabbing her through the chest after Navi distracts her.
  • Instant Expert: Just like in the game, Link instantly knows how to effectively wield a sword and shield despite having no prior experience in any form of combat. Justified as the Spirit of the Hero is implied to be the cause, and by the Gerudo Desert chapter Link gets suspicious about the fact that he can pick up on using all sorts of items quickly with barely anything in the way of training.
  • It Can Think: Dead Hand is capable of recognizing the magical properties of the Ocarina of Time, and attacks Link to prevent him from playing it and warping out of the room he's trapped in.
  • Kick the Dog: Koume and Kotake reveal that they've been watching Link and Navi for quite some time, proceed to mock him over all the deaths he's failed to prevent, and threaten to burn Lon-Lon Ranch to the ground once they've killed him. This is all right after they kill Nabooru in front of him.
  • Kid Hero: Viciously deconstructed, this story heavily explores and emphasizes the negative psychological effects the pressure and dangers of saving the world would have on someone as young as Link.
  • Kiddie Kid: Sometimes Link can act even younger than his apparent age of 10, which is implied to be the result of his lack of socialization.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Most of the eternally youthful Kokiri began to actively shun Link as he gets older and fails to gain a guardian fairy. While this mostly consisted of ignoring him, Mido once pulled a cruel prank by convincing a healing fairy to pretend to be Link's long-awaited Guardian Fairy, which left him humiliated and traumatized once the truth came out, and he was mocked by the other Kokiri for it except for Saria who was appalled by their cruelty.
  • Killed Offscreen:
    • The Sages are mostly killed offscreen by the bosses of the Temples, with the author mentioning in a chapter comment that Saria in particular got impaled on the end of Phantom Ganon's trident, which is alluded to as an illusion Link sees during his meeting with Dark Link.
      • Nabooru averts this by getting killed onscreen by Twinrova.
    • Link learns from Fugo in the Fire Temple that Rohan was among the Gorons who got fed to Volvagia.
  • Magic Enhancement: After the Great Fairy of Death Mountain heals Link, she enchants his tunic to become practically indestructible.
  • Mama Bear: Despite her minuscule size, Navi never hesitates to assist Link during combat and defends him in any way she can at the peril of her own life, from blinding enemies with flashes of light to slamming her entire body into the eyes of their foes to divert their attention from Link. As the story progresses, she also grows exceedingly more annoyed at how others are expecting Link to endanger his own life to solve their problems despite his young age, even verbally lashing out at times like when Darunia requests that Link slay the King Dodongo to lift the curse in Death Mountain.
  • Manchild: After growing up, Link is mentally still a ten year old, which is played for drama as Navi is forced to intervene whenever people think of doing sexual things with someone who is a child in a young adult's body.
  • Mercy Kill: Link mercy kills a Wolfos after he grievously injures it in self-defense during his first time going back to the Lost Woods.
  • Momma's Boy: Link very clearly looks up to Saria to the point he practically gushes about her whenever he has to describe her, thinking that she's an amazing person and unknowingly seeing her as a mother. He slowly develops a similar outlook to Navi.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • When Fado tells Link about where the Kokiri Sword is hidden, she describes it as "a secret to everybody".
    • Link spaces out in boredom during his first meeting with Kaepora Gaebora, only to startle back to attention when he asks if he should repeat what he just said. A clear reference to his original appearance in the game where his long-winded speeches led to most players getting bored and skipping through the dialogue.
    • Link eats a rock that was included with the supplies Darunia had given to him with no trouble or disgust, much to Navi's shock, a reference to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild where Daruk's diary mentioned how Link had no problem eating rocks like a fellow Goron.
    • The Gerudo Link has to fight in order to free the carpenters is named Aveil.
    • Most of the dialogue from Zelda and Link's last conversation before he leaves to search for Navi is copied from a flashback that appeared in the Tales of Termina story The First Cycle. Similarly, their earlier conversation about why he hides himself away comes from a flashback in the story In The Castle'',
  • Never Learned to Read: Normally, fairies teach their Kokiri how to read, so Link is illiterate and requires Navi to read signs for him.
  • No Name Given: We don't learn Link's mother's name because she dies of her wounds before she's able to answer the Great Deku Tree's question.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: When Link and Navi sleep in an abandoned house on Hyrule Field during one of their first nights seven years into the future while making their way over to Kokiri Forest, something Link can only guess is insectoid tries breaking in while Navi is still sleeping, but we never see what it actually is because it doesn't manage to get inside the house.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: After years of waiting and being ostracized from the Kokiri, Link is relieved when Navi shows up claiming to be his Guardian Fairy, not knowing that she's only playing the part as a Guardian Fairy under instructions from the Great Deku Tree to aid him in saving Hyrule. As a result, Link's adoration and thankfulness for Navi's long-awaited presence cause her some guilt as she can't tell him the truth and has to put up with the lie.
  • The Older Immortal: Saria is the oldest of the eternally youthful Kokiri at almost a millennium, with Mido being a close second.
  • Open Secret: While the Kokiri Sword is supposed to be a secret, everyone apart from Link at first knows that Mido has it hidden in a crate.
  • Parental Neglect: While loving them greatly, the Great Deku Tree isn't a very attentive parent towards the Kokiri and rarely interacts with them as he's focused on warding away threats to the Lost Woods. The Kokiri don't seem to mind this, but Link feels resentful of how little he was involved in his upbringing.
  • Parental Substitute:
    • Link admits to seeing Saria as this, as she was the one who was the most involved in raising him and was the only one to stay with him when the rest of the Kokiri shunned him for his lack of a fairy as he got older. In the first chapter Saria is implied to have been the closest thing to a parent that the other Kokiri had as well apart from the Great Deku Tree, as she raised them as babies as well. However, she doesn't quite realize it because as a Kokiri she's never had a non-animal mother to compare herself to.
    • As the story progresses, he begins to see Navi as a mother figure too, much to her guilt.
  • Please Put Some Clothes On: Navi is extremely embarrassed during her and Link's first meeting with a Great Fairy, finding her lack of clothing and problematic posing very inappropriate for someone Link's age.
  • Promotion to Parent: The Great Deku Tree is very hands-off when it comes to raising his children, leaving the child-like Kokiri to raise an infant Link by themselves.
  • Punched Across the Room: Using the tremendous power of the Silver Gauntlets, Link throws his first real punch in the story and breaks Ganondorf's nose, along with sending him crashing into a wall.
  • Puppy Love: Link unknowingly develops a crush on Malon before the time-skip, much to Navi's amusement. The two share a kiss during the epilogue, just before he leaves to search for Navi.
  • Quizzical Tilt: Link tilts his head in confusion at the Great Fairy of Death Mountain's... problematic posing.
  • Really 700 Years Old: The Kokiri are eternally youthful, with many of them being centuries old and still looking like children. Even Fado, the youngest until Link's arrival, is about 88 during the first chapter, roughly 98 during the first part of the story, and around 105 by the time Link returns to Kokiri Forest seven years later.
  • Related in the Adaptation: In this version, Ingo is Malon's uncle, instead of just Lon-Lon Ranch's farmhand.
  • Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: Zelda and the other Sages keep their memories of what happened in the Adult timeline, including their deaths in the case of the latter, but compared to Link and Navi their memories are more akin to an extremely vivid dream.
  • Robbing the Dead: The Kokiri have a habit of obtaining items off the bodies of those who die in the Lost Woods.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: Unbeknownst to Link and Navi, Fado and Mido do recognize him seven years later.
  • Shout-Out: Two of the Gorons Link meets are named Rohan and Fugo.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Unlike in the game where Link comes off as mostly fine, over the course of the story it's clear that the horrors he's being subjected to are having a major effect on his mental state.
    • After sleeping for seven years, Link's attempt at walking ends with him nearly falling over, due to his newly-adult body having a different center of gravity.
  • These Hands Have Killed: Link is horrified when he's forced to kill two Gohma Larvae in self-defense. He experiences this again when Mercy Killing a Wolfos in the Lost Woods.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: Link and Navi are forced to flee Kokiri Village in the aftermath of the Great Deku Tree's death due to Mido blaming him for it and forming the other Kokiri minus Saria into a lynch mob.
  • Trauma Conga Line: This entire story might as well be one giant trauma conga line for poor Link. But he gets it especially bad in Chapter 23, "The Truth", being told of his true origins and the deception of the Great Deku Tree and Navi, permanently altering the loving relationship between him and the latter. What makes this especially bad is that it happens mere minutes after Link finds out about Saria's death.
  • Tsundere: Ruto, as in canon. Although Navi is able to figure out that her haughty behaviour is just a mask to hide how terrified she is about being stuck in Jabu-Jabu's belly.
  • You Cannot Grasp the True Form: When Link decides to use the Lens of Truth to peer into the door where Bongo-Bongo is sealed following his and Navi's battle with Dead Hand, the being's true form proves to be beyond Link's comprehension:
    "The boy had indeed seen the truth. Not just beyond the door, but the true nature of Bongo Bongo. It wasn't just horrific imagery, not merely an ocean of fangs and eyes and claws. Not something so simple as a beast. It wasn't a phantom, a dragon, a water spirit, a parasite, or a once-extinct reptile. It was a force more than anything, a presence, a thing that doesn't belong in any way, shape, or form."

    "His eyes saw something he couldn't describe, or even fully comprehend. A visage that had made even the multi-armed beast he had just fought seem like a comfortable dream. But he couldn’t recall any of it save for the red eye. In an effort to save itself, his mind blocked everything else he saw and what it had tried, and failed, to understand."

The Boy in the Mask contains examples of:

  • Self-Plagiarism: The author has admitted that the story will borrow heavily from Tales of Termina:
    • The first two chapters (and presumably the next three, which are set to cover the first three-day cycle) are almost word-for-word copied from the story The First Cycle, with a few original paragraphs here and there.