Zelda: A Compendium of Sheikah: Appearances
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- Please note that there may be some things missing from each of these sections and that they are not entirely finished or contain images for all things that need to be seen.
- The Sheikah and their Appearances and Relation to Hyrule
- THE APPEARANCES OF THE SHEIKAH THROUGHOUT THE AGES
- PRE-TIMELINE SPLIT
- SKYWARD SWORD
- The History of the Sheikah in Skyward Sword is brief and limited. The Sheikah are described as the Chosen Guardians of the Goddess Hylia, those closest to the Goddesses and Gods themselves. Only one Sheikah ever appears in the game, Impa. She has chosen to safeguard Zelda, as she is the incarnation of the Goddess Hylia. Her design as seen below offers a lot to talk about.
- We see that she is very lean, and this attributes itself throughout the game due to her nimble and dexterous abilities, mostly seen during the fight with Ghirahim at the Lanayru Temple of Time; however brief and underpowered she is compared to the Demon Lord. We see that a lot of blues and purple tones all over the outfit she is wearing. Among the outfit we also see a striking cape that covers the mouth, and a Sheikah Symbol, signifying that this symbol predates the events of Skyward Sword. We also see the Sheikah Symbol present on her forehead, with a lone tear drop below the left eye. As we will see with other Sheikah in the series, she also has white hair, red eyes, and a dark skin tone. Throughout the course of the game, Impa safely protects Zelda, even going so far as to safeguard her for 100 years, as they use a time-gate to the past, where Zelda ultimately seals herself away.
- OCARINA OF TIME
- The Sheikah are oddly not present within the two games in between Skyward Sword and Ocarina of Time, Minish Cap and Four Swords. There are however theories regarding a specific character within those two games that shall be covered in a later section.
- Ocarina of Time was first game in which to introduce the Sheikah as a race. Billed as the Shadow Folk from Kakariko Village, they are guardians and loyal followers of the Royal Family. Feared among the other races of Hyrule, especially Hylians as noted by NPC dialogue, due to their nature as Outcasts. As you infiltrate Hyrule Castle shortly after leaving the Kokiri Forest, you are greeted eventually by Impa, Zelda’s nursemaid and guardian. She teaches you Zelda’s Lullaby, a song once known as the Ballad of the Goddess, now in reverse. She also talks of Kakariko Village, once a home of the Sheikah, now open to the poor.
- The Sheikah are largely absent for the rest of the game until you before you reach adulthood, when Ganondorf has taken over Hyrule Castle and chased Impa and Zelda away. Soon after awakening once more in a new adult body, you are greeted by Sheik, a mysterious young ‘man’ that details a legend of the Sheikah. Sages must be awakened within five Temples; One in a Forest, One on a Mountain, One under a Lake, One within the House of the Dead, and One inside the Goddess of the Sand. You meet Sheik many times over your journey, teaching you the Warp Songs for each of the Temples through the use of the Goddess’s Harp, a Harp once used by Zelda in Skyward Sword.
- Much like Impa in Skyward Sword, both Impa and Sheik in Ocarina of Time, possess very unnatural skills compared to others in Hyrule. They are able to blindingly disappear without a trace, and Sheik the ability to conveniently muster up fire and a sandstorm to muster up the Hero of Time’s advance.
- As we see with Ocarina of Time Impa’s design, she too also has a blue tone to her outfit, much like Skyward Sword Impa. She seems to have a rather toned and muscular body, but otherwise ultimately lean as well. She bears the Sheikah Symbol on her sternum guard, the white hair, the red eyes, and a very differing tear drop (more along the lines of bottom eyelashes) in comparison to Skyward Sword Impa.
- As we see with Sheik, ‘he’ bears many similarities to both Skyward Sword and Ocarina of Time Impas. A very lean, yet muscular design, consisting of blue tones, red eyes, and the Sheikah Symbol; also possessing the mouth covering that Skyward Sword Impa had, albeit not in the form of a cape. A striking difference however, is the presence of blonde hair, not previously seen before in the Sheikah. We would later come to find out that Sheik was in fact Zelda, likely thought the ways of the Sheikah by her nursemaid Impa and began to pose as Sheik to escape Ganondorf’s vile clutches. At the end of Ocarina of Time, massive timeline splits are caused due to a timeline where the Hero of Time fails to defeated Ganondorf and the splitting of Adult and Child due to Princess Zelda’s actions.
- ADULT TIMELINE
- WIND WAKER
- This timeline exists after the events of Ocarina of Time, in which the Hero of Time successfully stopped and sealed Ganondorf with the help of the Seven Sages, one of which was the Sage of Shadow Impa. Not much history is detailed between the events of Ocarina of Time and Wind Waker. Only that Hyrule Castle would later be rebuilt; and Ganondorf breaking his seal on the Sacred Realm. King Daphnes of Hyrule (likely Princess Zelda’s son) leaving the fate of Hyrule to the Goddesses and Gods. They would inevitably deem that the citizens escape to the tops of mountains, as Hyrule is inevitably flooded. Where the Sheikah are during these events or the Sages are unknown.
- Many centuries would pass between the events of the flood and Wind Waker, seemingly without a Sheikah in sight. While many Sheikah Symbols and devices do appear in this game and it’s successors Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks, these will be covered in a later section, as they are not the race themselves.
- CHILD TIMELINE
- TWILIGHT PRINCESS
- The Hero of Time was sent back at the events of Ocarina of Time, which created the Child Timeline. During these events he would travel to a land called Termina and ultimately back to Hyrule. While Sheikah Symbols also appear in Majora’s Mask, they will be covered later.
- It is believed that the nursemaid Impa from Ocarina of Time in this timeline continues to serve Princess Zelda and that seemingly no problems arise between Ganondorf’s execution in this timeline and Twilight Princess. Impa not having to be awakened as a Sage in this timeline either.
- Many centuries pass between Majora’s Mask and Twilight Princess, with nothing ultimately detailed under than a seeming shift to the north in terms of most settlements and towns.Only one Sheikah ultimately appears in Twilight Princess, Impaz, an old lady in the Hidden Village. While the term Sheikah is never actually stated in the game, she lives within a village translated from Hylian as Old Kakarico (likely an error). She does however have red eyes, though her garments are far from the typical norm of the Sheikah in terms of color and tone outside of the belt she possesses and part of the collar, as seen below.
- She explains that her name came from the Founder of the Village. As we learned in Ocarina of Time, Impa originally opened Kakariko Village to the poor, founding it for a vast number of Hylians, and not Sheikah alone. Impaz oddly enough also states that she is the last of her tribe, a curious wording that will come up in future sections. After Twilight Princess Link shows Impaz the Dominion Rod, she details a Legend of her Tribe; a Messenger of the Heavens communicated with the Sky Chickens, the Oocca through the use of the Dominion Rod, and that an Ancient Sky Book was guarded to be given to said Messenger.
- Many comments by Impaz suggest that her tribe, likely the Sheikah, has declined through several wars and monster invasion, giving rise to their lack of presence throughout the ages. Other Sheikah or potentially Sheikah related Symbols and Theories will be detailed later as Twilight Princess possesses quite a lot of them despite the lack of ever using the term Sheikah.
- DOWNFALL TIMELINE
- ORACLE OF AGES AND ORACLE OF SEASONS
- This timeline stems from a branch where the Hero of Time never succeeded in stopping Ganondorf, due to whatever circumstances. The Seven Sages do manage to seal Ganondorf on their own, which includes the Sage of Shadow, Impa from Ocarina of Time.
- The Sheikah are not present during the events of A Link to the Past, beyond their symbols and possible theories that are present, also covered later. Their first appearance is in Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons (both games can switch around depending on personal chronology). You learn that Princess Zelda from A Link to the Past has traveled with her handmaiden, Impa to the lands of Holodrum and Labrynna, two continents outside of the Hyrule Kingdom’s control. While the game never calls her a Sheikah, her artwork shows that she too also has red eyes, much like the Sheikah before her as seen below.
- She does however lack the dark toned skin, as did Impaz, and the typical blue and purple tone garments of previous Sheikah. She does retain a very similar role to past Impas in her role of guarding Zelda, one of the incarnations of Hylia throughout the ages. Oracles Impa largely remains unimportant throughout the events other than detailing the Mark of the Triforce on the back of the soon to be Hero of the Essences of Time and Nature’s hand. There will also be other theories and Symbols present in a future section.
- ADVENTURE OF LINK
- While the term Sheikah is never actively said until the release of Ocarina of Time, Zelda I’s handmaiden is named Impa. Confirmed in Hyrule Historia (if I recall) to be a Sheikah. She like other Sheikah, do not bear the color tones of her previous counterparts, or the red eyes, but it is confirmed that she is indeed a Sheikah.
- UNKNOWN PLACEMENT
- Breath of the Wild
- While not much is known of their role or history within the newest Zelda entry, nor even its placement within the timelines, the Sheikah do make their most heavy appearance to date. This is the first game with canonical male Sheikah (though Princess Ruto of Ocarina of Time hints that there is nothing odd about Princess Zelda posing as a male Sheikah). Like previous games, they serve the Goddess Hylia and Princess Zelda by default. They are shriveled Monks, that only survive to wait on the new Hero, Breath of the Wild Link.The Old Man met along the way describes them as ‘An Advanced Civilization’ that has saved Hyrule many times, but have ultimately disappeared, only the Monks remaining in the Shrines that bear their name, only to disappear once Link collects their Spirit Orb.
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