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In some installments from The Legend of Zelda series, there have been characters expressing messages or phrases that have transcended in one or another way beyond those games, becoming Iconic Quotes among fans of the franchise. There are various ways for this to happen, but the two most recognizable are:
- The phrase becomes recurring in future titles, and therefore is cited by different characters.
- For some reason, the phrase reaches a memetic status among fans of the series, and the game where it originates gains additional fame because of said phrase.
Below is a list of some of the most notable quotes in the series.
"It's dangerous to go alone! Take this"
In The Legend of Zelda, the very first item Link receives is a Sword, and is given by an Old Man who lives in a cave easily seen at the start point of the game. This quote has become popular among fans who played this and other 2D games, and has been parodied with some image shots from the Internet. For other quotes of the Old Man, see here. The advertising slogan for Tri Force Heroes also uses a portion of this quote, stating, "It's dangerous to go alone! So don't." In addition, the Sword's description in Breath of the Wild references this.
"It's a secret to everybody"
In The Legend of Zelda, a Moblin located in the northeastern extreme of Hyrule (inside what looks like a dungeon from the outside) will offer Link 100 Rupees, with the only condition that this gift is kept in secret. The phrase "It's a secret to everybody" has become commonplace in the series, with several different characters quoting it with mild variations. These characters include a suspicious man in A Link to the Past (when asking Link to not tell anyone that he opened a closed chest for him), Kafei in Majora's Mask (when asking Link to not tell anyone who or where he is), Yerbal in Skyward Sword (when he tells him about Farore's Flame), and the Thief Girl in A Link Between Worlds after rescuing her from Thieves' Hideout, among others.
This phrase comes from a Goriya that obstructs the access to later rooms in Level 7 in The Legend of Zelda, and doesn't let Link pass if he doesn't have food. Contrary to popular belief, it's not the sound his stomach is making; the Goriya is simply mumbling. This phrase is remembered by players who hadn't managed to get past this part of the game at the time, and is also referenced in Ocarina of Time by Mido, who reluctantly lets the young hero see the Great Deku Tree, saying at the end the same quote. Nintendo Power has also used the phrase to indicate what games on the Virtual Console aren't worth being downloaded.
"Dodongo Dislikes Smoke"
Also in The Legend of Zelda, there is an Old Man in Level 2 that tells Link "Dodongo Dislikes Smoke". The lack of clarity on this phrase has made it popular among the fans of the series, even though it's known nowadays that it refers to the Dodongos being vulnerable on the inside against Bombs. In Ocarina of Time, the boss King Dodongo from Dodongo's Cavern has the same weakness, making a reference to his The Legend of Zelda counterparts.
"I am Error"
In The Adventure of Link, there is a character in the Town of Ruto known as Error. When Link talks to him the first time, all he says is that his name is Error. For a long time, fans of the series wondered the meaning of his words. The name, along with that of another character, Bug, was likely intended as a joke about computer glitches, but the romanization of the other name as "Bagu" caused it to be lost in translation. It happens that, when one of the inhabitants of the Harbor Town of Mido is spoken to, he tells Link that Error may help him find the Island Palace, after which Error starts saying that there is a tunnel south of King's Tomb that leads to the palace; therefore, Error says his name so that Link can remember to talk to him again after visiting the town of Mido. The obscurity of the phrase "I AM ERROR" turned it into an Internet meme, and a well-known phrase among fans of the series.
This quote also appears in the game Super Paper Mario for the Nintendo Wii. In this game, before fighting the first boss, Fracktail, he says the words "I AM ERROR" along with various other computer error messages. One international division of Nintendo also acknowledges the popularity of this quote – on Nintendo of Europe's[verification needed] official websites, their 404 Error Message, which can be seen on Nintendo UK's website
In Ocarina of Time, Navi serves as Link's sidekick, being the first character in the series to fulfill this role, as well as the first canonical character to have a voiced dialogue. From time to time, Navi calls Link saying "Hey!", at which point an icon showing her name appears over the C item icons in the screen; when Up C is pressed, she says "Listen" (voiced) and then proceeds to give Link the proper information.
Although Navi is said to be a helpful character, especially in regards of indicating enemy (and boss) weaknesses and puzzle solving, most fans have expressed complaints in matter of the fairy's notable frequency to call Link while he is performing an action, to the point that media like GamesRadar, Cracked and Nintendo Power called her one of the most annoying female characters of all time. Since then, the "Hey! Listen!" term has become an insistent reason for fans and critics alike to refer negatively to the character.
- "IT'S DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE! TAKE THIS." — Old Man (The Legend of Zelda)
- "A sword once wielded by a hero in an ancient age. When grasped, a strange sense of nostalgia washes over you. Take it when going alone would otherwise be dangerous." — Inventory (Breath of the Wild)
- "IT'S A SECRET TO EVERYBODY." — Moblin (The Legend of Zelda)
- "I heard that you know I used to be a thief, right? Well, I'll open a chest for you. Will you keep it secret from everyone else? Would you please promise?" — Average Middle-Aged Man (A Link to the Past)
- "Keep what we just talked about a secret from everyone." — Kafei (Majora's Mask)
- "All right, I'll tell you. But remember--it's a secret to everybody." — Yerbal (Skyward Sword)
- "GRUMBLE,GRUMBLE..." — Red Goriya (The Legend of Zelda)
- "One idea I had was that maybe “grumble” was his stomach grumbling… But nope, the Japanese text is exactly the same. He’s literally grumbling/muttering to himself. I found that surprising, I always thought this was a messed-up translation." — Clyde Mandelin, Legends of Localization, Book 1: The Legend of Zelda, .
- "Shoot! How did you get to be the favorite of Saria and the Great Deku Tree? Huh?! Grumble...grumble..." — Mido (Ocarina of Time)
- "DODONGO DISLIKES SMOKE." — Old Man (The Legend of Zelda)
- "I AM ERROR" — Error (The Adventure of Link)
- "ASK ERROR OF RUTO ABOUT THE PALACE" — Hylian (The Adventure of Link)
- "404 – I AM ERROR
That page is missing. Perhaps it's south of King's Tomb..." — 404 – I AM ERROR | Nintendo, nintendo.co.uk, retrieved 13:10, 28 January 2016 (UTC).
- "My boy, peace is what ALL warriors strive for." — King Harkinian (The Faces of Evil)
- "Excuuuse me, princess. If I'd known you were coming, I'dve asked the Moblins to sweep up before I zapped them" — Link (The Legend of Zelda TV Series, Episode 1 )
- "Aw, come on, Princess. I was just kidding. Well, excuuuse me, Princess!" — Link (The Legend of Zelda TV Series, Episode 6 )
- "I'm Navi the fairy! The Great Deku Tree asked me to be your partner from now on! Nice to meet you!" — Navi (Ocarina of Time 3D)
- "Navi the fairy... Thou must aid Link... And Link...When Navi speaks, use (^) to listen well to her words of wisdom..." — Great Deku Tree (Ocarina of Time)
- "Before long, however, it became HEY! clear that she intended to be with LISTEN! us throughout the remainder of the game. And that might not have been so bad, except for her constant HEY! yammering. She also had a bad habit of interrupting our LISTEN! exploration by repeating the HEY! same all-text suggestions over and HEY! over, or floating above some HEY! object of interest that we either were LISTEN! already done with, or weren't ready to be interested LISTEN! in yet. But her unsolicited advice, interruptions and demands for attention would all have been tolerable if she hadn't insisted on driving us insane by repeatedly yelping the same two LISTEN! HEY! HEY! HEY! LISTEN! HEY! LISTEN! LISTEN! LISTEN! LISTEN! HEY! HEY! HEY! LISTEN! HEY! LISTEN! LISTEN! HEY! LISTEN! HEY! HEY! HEY! LISTEN! HEY! LISTEN! LISTEN! LISTEN! LISTEN! HEY! LISTEN! HEY! LISTEN! LISTEN! HEY! HEY! HEY! HEY! HEY! HEY! HEY! HEY! HEY! HEY! HEY! LISTEN! HEY! HEY! LISTEN! HEY! LISTEN! LISTEN! LISTEN! LISTEN! HEY! LISTEN! HEY! LISTEN! words. WHAT!?" — The Top 7… Irritating female characters, GamesRadar.com.
- "Anyone who has ever played this game should remember constantly hearing a tiny little voice saying: "Hey!...Hey!...Listen!...Hey!...Watch out!...Hey!..." SHUT [...] UP! I'm trying to have an adventure here." — The 15 Most Annoying Video Game Characters (From Otherwise Great Games), Cracked.com.
- "While Navi does sometimes give useful hints, more often then not she interrupts the game to repeatedly suggest that you take a break from playing. . . ." (Nintendo Power issue #268 (Nintendo Power) pg. 82)