Zelda Quotes
Screenshot by Destructoid

10 best quotes from The Legend of Zelda series, ranked

The problem with quotes found on the internet is they're often not true. - Tingle

As we approach the launch of yet another highly anticipated game from The Legend of Zelda franchise, it’s hard not to look back at all the games that have come before. Especially if you’ve been there since the very beginning with that golden NES cartridge. Nintendo has created so many great adventures across Hyrule over the past thirty years that it can be easy to find your brain overstuffed with memories of the green-clad kid with the sword and the pointy hat. It’s hard to pick exactly which moment from the franchise is the best, but it’s a bit easier to decide which of the many quotes from the series reigns supreme.

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That’s what we’re looking at with this listicle. Revisiting more than 30 years of Zelda history searching for the crème de la crème of quotes wasn’t easy, but it was a blast to find the lines that have truly stuck out over the years. With that, let’s get into the list with a character who really should have received his own game.

Screenshot by Destructoid

10. “We’ll call it… Grooseland” – Groose (Skyward Sword)

There has been a lot of debate over the years on whether or not The Legend of Zelda should be fully voiced. I get a lot of the points made by those who want to keep all the speech in these games nothing but a bunch of bleeps, bloops, and taps. But I counter those points with Groose, easily the best example of why Nintendo should go all-in on voicing the Zelda franchise. This loveable oaf is a goldmine of great one-liners, from braggin’ about his ‘do to when he steps up to keep watch over The Imprisoned. But it’s this line, from when Groose first reaches the surface world, that sticks out.

Part of the appeal of Skyward Sword is that it’s a prequel to the entire franchise, and many of the series staples are given their backstories here. So when Link and Groose reach the world that will eventually become Hyrule, you might expect a poignant moment when the surface world is given its proper name. Nope, instead, you get Grooseland.

9. “Do not think that this ends here… The history of light and shadow will be written in blood!” – Ganondorf (Twilight Princess)

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker got a lot of unwarranted flack for being too much of a “kiddie” game when it was released on GameCube. Following the misguided reception of that near-masterpiece, Nintendo made sure to make its successor, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, as dark as it can be. And Twilight Princess is one incredibly dark game, at least by Zelda standards. Everything about it, from the art direction to the solemn story at the center of it, is about as far as Nintendo could get from the sun-drenched shores of The Wind Waker. That darkness extends to the dialogue, including this absorbing final line from Ganondorf.

8. “Excuse me, Princess.” – Link (The Animated Series)

Link is a hero of very few words. Except in the ill-fated ’80s cartoon adaptation of the series, where he was a hero of far too many words. The show isn’t good even with the rosiest pair of rose-tinted sunglasses on, but it did give us “Excuse me, Princess,” a line used in the show so often that it’s likely the last thing history will remember from the series before a big black hole swallows the galaxy whole.

7. “Guess what? You got it for free. Are you proud of yourself?” – Uh…the game, I guess (Link’s Awakening)

Most people see Link as a hero, but in truth, he’s been a bad egg since the beginning. In The Legend of Zelda, he walked around setting fire to dry brush. In Zelda II: Link’s Adventure, he followed strange women into their houses for a little power-up, if you know what I mean. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past unleashed the miscreant on the pottery of Hyrule, and in 1993, he reached rock bottom when he discovered how easy it was to steal. While the action brands him a THIEF for the remainder of his dream, it’s the line you read after Link successfully shoplifts that really drills in just how rotten a thing you did.

6. “Sploosh” – Salvatore (The Wind Waker)

Anyone who’s worked in retail or customer service can relate to Salvatore. A failed-artist-turned-shopkeeper, he clearly had bigger plans for his life than running some Battleship rip-off on Windfall Island. The look on his face should tell you he doesn’t have much enthusiasm for his work, and his delivery of “Sploosh” each time you miss your shot has all the energy of a cashier who’s only kind of paying attention to the story the old man at the register is telling them. Arguably, there are more eloquent lines from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, but those lines are only said once, whereas you’ll hear “Sploosh” dozens of times as you try to figure out the Squid-Hunt minigame.

Hey! Listen!
Screenshot by Destructoid

5. “Hey! Listen!” – Navi (Ocarina of Time)

Sure, it’s the bane of existence for many ’90s kids, but would you rather I’d given this spot to Fi spouting a bunch of probabilities?

4. “I am Error” – Error (Adventure of Link)

It’s funny that for so many years, people considered the character’s name Error to be an error in translation. That’s what I thought for the longest time until Clyde Mandelin set me straight with his detailed explanation of how the character Bagu is actually the mistranslated one. Still, because it spent so many years as a popular mistranslation, along the lines of “All your base are belong to us,” it’s become a part of the Zelda lexicon.

3. “You’ve met with a terrible fate, haven’t you?” – Happy Mask Salesman (Majora’s Mask)

There is perhaps no line in the series (outside of #1 on this list) that better sets expectations for players than the first words uttered by the Happy Mask Salesman in The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. Something indeed terrible happened to Link just moments before this interaction as he was turned into a Deku Scrub by the Skull Kid in one of the most beautifully dark cinematic moments in series history. From that moment on, players knew this Zelda game would be unlike anything that came before it. But the more you think about it, the more you have to wonder what the Happy Mask Salesman is referring to. Is he talking about Link’s current state as a Deku Scrub or is the terrible fate he speaks of Link’s arrival in Termina? This is a quote with layers, which is why it so easily sticks with players.

2. “HYAA! SEIYAH! HUT! AH! SEI! HAAAA!” – Link (Various Games)

Outside of the realm of bad ’80s cartoons, this is about all Link has said across his various reincarnations. Sure, in The Wind Waker, he’ll say “Come On!” when he’s walking about with an NPC, but nobody doing a Link impression says “Come on.” They say “HYAA!” “YAH” “HUT” “HUT” “SEIYAH.” Truthfully, I considered this entire list nothing but the various grunts and screams Link shouts when swinging his sword, but I don’t have the energy to be that unfunny anymore.

The Legend of Zelda First Line
Screenshot by Destructoid

1. “It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this.” – Old Man (The Legend of Zelda)

“Call me Ishmael.” “124 was spiteful.” “Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy herself flowers.” Those are just a few of the opening lines from the greatest novels of all time, lines that have gone on to become arguably as popular as the books they lead off. Writing the first line of the story, something that’ll hook or intrigue the reader from the very first page is quite the difficult task. For every “Time is not a line but a dimension, like the dimensions of space,” you get several, “The weather beaten trail wound ahead into the dust racked climes of the baren land which dominates large portions of the Noregolian empire.

Nintendo could have easily missed the mark with the first words spoken in The Legend of Zelda. Video gaming was still in its early years, and most Nintendo games put story and dialogue on the back burner in favor of gameplay. But for The Legend of Zelda, it would have to give players more, more than just setting them on their way without any idea of what to expect. In seven words, Nintendo conveyed everything it needed to about the adventure at hand, and ultimately, the series at large.

At least in English. According to Legends of Localization – Book 1: The Legend of Zelda, the original text is nine words long, translating as “It’s dangerous to go alone. I’ll give you this.” Certainly more polite than we got, but the words “take this” do a better job of illustrating the severity of what players are about to face. Either way, it’s a masterful quote and deserved of its spot at the top of this list.

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CJ Andriessen
Editor-at-Large – CJ has been a contributor to Destructoid since 2015, originally writing satirical news pieces before transitioning into general news, features, and other coverage that was less likely to get this website sued.