Tingle. A name that often finds itself tangled in a spider web of slanderous opinions and oppressive observations. Very few opinions are ever supportive of the character behind the name. However, it is safe for me to say that the majority of these opinions are often regarded as negative. Tingle has frequently been named as a running joke in the video game community. He has been branded and tarnished with a galore of labels. Some ignorantly mark him as a "homosexual" (not that there's anything wrong with that), a "flake", a "man child", and others in a clear attempt at extremism, as a "pedophile".
Tingle is a very different character then what most people would have liked to seen or interact with in a video game. His lifestyle and questionable attire regularly stir up the opinions and emotions that reside deep within each of us. I don't want this article to take any root in as a moral lesson, but the straightforward truth in all of this is that most of the time it is very easy to base judgment on differences alone.
Admittedly, I did initially perceive Tingle in a very harsh light. The first time I met this character was in The Legend Of Zelda: Majora's Mask
. I thought as the majority did. I labeled him as many things. I ignorantly passed judgment on the differences that I, myself, could not feel secure enough to hold onto as my own. I was 15 at the time, and I was still quite immature. Only later would I shamefully look at my past and find admiration and respect for this very different and disparate character.
When regarding Tingle, you may ask where my admiration and respect for this character has stemmed from? To put it frankly, Tingle has balls. Not just regular balls, but balls of steel. The kind of balls that you would only hear AC/DC reference to. Tingle is a character that has been rejected by many because of his bold individual differences. Not once though, did I ever see a flicker of regret in that poor NPC's eyes.
Tingle is a constant in an intermittently mannered world. The green spandex, the red shorts, and that merry glow on his face, all help showcase society what he's all about. Tingle is a 35 year old man who finds his joy in life as an enthusiast of forest fairies and rupees. You can often find him floating around underneath his red balloon, drawing or selling maps for his father, and deciphering triforce maps for high prices. As simple and as odd as his lifestyle sounds, he is living his dream, and it seems as if he has no intentions to ever stop living that dream. Many will sneer, snicker, and attempt to persecute him for his apparent differences, but inside Tingle knows deep within that those differences make him who he really is. Unlike the stone throwers, Tingle is not afraid to be his true self.
Aside from being a very distinct, unique, and passionate man, Tingle is an entrepreneur and business genius. He may have been working for his father when the land of Termina was still in a rocky time, but by the time waters flooded Hyrule, Tingle was turning a pretty good profit for himself. As the only person to decipher triforce maps, Tingle had a monopoly on the market. High prices would soon follow. 398 Rupees per chart, and 201 Rupees for the IN-credible Chart, a chart that layed out where each triforce chart was. As Link, you had your hands full by the time you started and finished excavating and having Tingle decipher the triforce charts. Not only did you have to save the world of Hyrule from the dark lord Ganondorf, sail an entire ocean forward and back, but you had to juggle a full time rupee hunting job as well.
Throughout the game, Tingle also sold you potions, shields, and other assorted items VIA the tingle tuner. If one thing is certain, Tingle sure knows how to squeeze out financial business growth within every opportunity given to him. At the very core of his existence, Tingle is a merchant in fairy's clothes. His bold business ventures may not be entirely motivated by greed or the aspiration of wealth, but by need. As explained in Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland
, a result of a curse placed on him by Uncle Rupee, Tingle needs rupees to live. It may be easy to label him at first as a crook, but in all reality, he's just trying to survive.
Tingle may be a hero in the business world, but he is also one in the real world as well. In The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker
, Ankle and Knuckle, brothers of Tingle, and David Jr, who is not related were introduced. All of them were saved by Tingle after their ship was sucked into a cyclone.
This really says a lot more about the character then what was only apparent on the surface. Tingle is a man with a beautiful heart. A heart so big, that he would risk his own existence just to save a few other human beings. An act as great as this really speaks volumes in account to ones compassion and personality. If I was ever in a similar situation, I really wouldn't be able to tell you 100% that I'd do the same. Not only is Tingle a hero in reference to his courageous past act of saving his brothers and their one friend, but he is also one in regards to the human race.
Tingle exemplifies what it is to exactly live this life that we all are experiencing now. From the womb to the grave, we all try to find happiness somewhere in between. Tingle has found his, and is quite often persecuted for it. Behind his fairy inspired apparel beats the rhythm of millions. The rhythm that beats in all of us, the rhythm of life. The pursuit of happiness is what drives us to keep living and moving forward one day at a time, as we all grow closer to stepping over the borders of death. If there is only one thing we can all learn from Tingle, it is that we must all quit taking life so seriously and have fun while our hearts our still beating.