The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom brings back more than a few friendly faces. The sequel pretty much picks up directly after the events of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and reintroduces plenty of minor and major characters from the first game. Whereas some characters, like the dashing Prince Sidon, are easy to remember, the game also brings back a good batch of lesser-known individuals. It can be a lot to keep track of them all — especially if you haven’t played the first game in a while — so we wrote a refresher. Here’s where Breath of the Wild’s story left off for each of these Zelda characters.
What happens to Link and Zelda in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
The world of Breath of the Wild has a cyclical history wherein Ganon has arisen multiple times and the princess and her chosen hero, along with the Divine Beasts, have arisen each time as well to defeat the evil. Because of this, there is a sort of prehistory and legend important to the setup of the story that unfolds in the game.
Roughly 10,000 years before the events of Breath of the Wild, the people of Hyrule lived in an advanced society that had little to fear. In order to combat the eventual rise of Calamity Ganon once again, the civilization built the Guardians and the four Divine Beasts, weapons of ancient technology that could fight Ganon. The legend says that with the combined powers of the princess, a hero wielding a blade that seals away evil, and the four Divine Beasts, the people of Hyrule 10,000 years prior were able to defeat Ganon.
One hundred years before the events of Breath of the Wild, Zelda and the Sheikah, members of the centuries-spanning culture that was once responsible for the ancient technology now found around Hyrule, attempted to prep for the arrival of Ganon once again in the same way their ancestors did — by preparing the Divine Beasts and Guardians. However, despite their efforts, Zelda and others underestimated Ganon’s power and lost the fight. Immediately following this defeat, Zelda stayed in Hyrule Castle to stave off Ganon’s full power, and two members of the Sheikah, Purah and Robbie, took Link back to the Shrine of Resurrection, where he slumbered for 100 years.
Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo
At the very beginning of Breath of the Wild, Link wakes up, but he’s lost his memory and has no recollection of what happened 100 years ago. However, after some guidance from the Sheikah Impa and the spirit of Hyrule’s last king, Rhoam Bosphoramus, Link goes on a journey to tame the four war machines known as the Divine Beasts. One by one, Link journeys to the four corners of Hyrule to reconnect with the spirits of the warriors known as Champions from 100 years prior; he recruits them and the Divine Beasts that they pilot for the fight against Ganon. As Link journeys throughout Hyrule, he slowly regains the memories he lost while in his 100-year slumber. At that point, he is able to go and recover the divine blade known as the Master Sword, which is intact and usable if he is strong enough to wield its power.
At the end of the game, Link, along with help from the pilots of the four Divine Beasts, successfully defeats Ganon and rescues Zelda. The story of Breath of the Wild, and the story of Link and Zelda in this upcoming game, is the ancient legend repeated. There is no official postgame or new game plus section of Breath of the Wild where we get additional information about what actually happens next. After you complete the story, the game will load up back at the point just before Link fights Ganon. All we know, heading into Tears of the Kingdom, is that both Zelda and Link were alive and well at the end of Breath of the Wild. It’s a rather cheery ending — or so it seems.
What happened to the four champions in Breath of the Wild: Revali, Urbosa, Daruk, and Mipha
Long story short, all four champions died in the events 100 years prior to the story of Breath of the Wild. They and Zelda underestimated Ganon’s power, and the four warriors sacrificed their lives in the fight. However, they continued to play an active role in Breath of the Wild. All four reappear in spirit form, and Link learns of their stories as he recovers his lost memories. Eventually, they succeed in their original missions — even in death — as their spirits pilot each Divine Beast and defeat Ganon. Their legacies live on in the warriors who follow them, like Prince Sidon, Teba, Yunobo, and Makeela Riju.
Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo
Just like Link, Zelda, and Ganondorf, Impa is a recurring character in the Legend of Zelda series who appears in several games in different forms. In the lore, Impa is a woman from the Sheikah clan, a group that has served Hyrule’s royal line since the creation of Hyrule. In Breath of the Wild, we meet Impa very early on in the main quest in Kakariko Village. She is old — over 100 years old — and recounts the history of the land to Link. At that point, Link still has amnesia, so Impa fills him in on what has happened during his slumber. She tasks Link with taming the Divine Beasts and aiding Zelda in a final confrontation with Ganon. At the end of the game, she remains safe and sound in her home.
Having made her first-ever appearance in Breath of the Wild, Purah continues to play a central role in the story of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. She is one of three Sheikah remaining who experienced the Great Calamity 100 years prior to the events of Breath of the Wild. Purah is Impa’s older sister and arguably the most important researcher you’ll meet during Link’s adventures. She is the one who took Link to the Shrine of Resurrection and also is responsible for discovering additional Runes for the Sheikah Slate, the special tablet Link uses throughout Breath of the Wild.
Even though Purah is older than Impa, she doesn’t look it — at least, not in Breath of the Wild. In the original game, she mentions that she did experiments on herself that allowed her to look super young, like the age of a child. However, when we see her in Tears of the Kingdom, it appears that she has aged a bit and now looks like she’s the same age as Zelda and Link.
Purah runs the Hateno Ancient Tech Lab, where she continues to reside up until the end of the first game. Unlike her little sister, Purah is an energetic type who likes to forge ahead. At the end of Breath of the Wild, you can find her working away in her lab in Hateno, where she’ll complain about the lack of funding due to the dire state of Hyrule and the royal family.
In the sequel, Purah continues her research, as she remains a preeminent scholar of ancient technology. Her newer projects consist of Zonai research, and she initiates a larger investigation into the gloom outbreaks that plague Hyrule in Tears of the Kingdom.
Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon
Robbie is the third member of the Sheikah who survived the Great Calamity that took place 100 years before the events of Breath of the Wild. A colleague of Purah’s, he runs the Akkala Ancient Tech Lab in the northeastern lands. He serves as the lead Guardian researcher and provides Link with important gear to fight those pesky machines. In Breath of the Wild, Link helps him restore the energy source to his lab and restores a machine named Cherry, which can exchange ancient Guardian parts for useful items. Like Purah and Impa, Robbie remains safe in his home up until the end of the game. He continues to support Link and Zelda in Tears of the Kingdom, moving from his own lab to the Hateno Ancient Tech Lab, where he helps Purah develop the Purah Pad.
Impa’s granddaughter, Paya, takes over as the chief of the Sheikah in Tears of the Kingdom after her grandmother retires. Paya is part of the younger generation of the Sheikah and one of the easier characters to miss in Breath of the Wild. If you do see her, she’s likely pacing around Kakariko Village or scrubbing the floors of her grandmother’s home. At night, you can find her sitting at her table, where she journals and prays to the deities. At the end of the game, she continues to live in Kakariko Village and perhaps harbors a secret crush on Link.
Master Kohga is the beer-bellied leader of the Yiga Clan in Breath of the Wild. In that game, the Yiga Clan exists in opposition to the Sheikah, and its members relentlessly hunt Link down throughout his journey. Link fights Master Kohga as a boss fight after successfully infiltrating the Yiga Clan hideout in the Gerudo Highlands. Master Kohga’s story has a somewhat ambiguous ending; when you finish fighting him, he uses a mysterious power that summons a giant metal ball to defeat Link. However, it backfires and rolls back onto him, sending him falling into a pit. As he falls, Master Kohga tells Link that the Yiga Clan will hunt him to the end of Hyrule… and that’s the last we see of him. If you try jumping down into the pit after the fight, Link will black out and respawn back on the edge of the pit again.
[Ed. note: The rest of this article contains minor spoilers for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.]
Master Kohga actually reappears in Tears of the Kingdom. You can bump into him while exploring the underground area known as the Depths, where he challenges Link to a battle. He’s upset that Link has gained the power to auto-build machines, whereas the Yiga Clan members must toil away to make their mechanisms. After you beat Master Kohga, he escapes again and scampers off to another location where supposedly a useful technology awaits him.
Josha marks a new addition to the circle of elite Sheikah researchers and doesn’t appear in Breath of the Wild. She’s young but has already established herself as an authority in her field by researching the Depths. Link first meets her at Lookout Landing, where she works alongside Purah. Although she’s eager to work with such a renowned mind in Purah, she also chafes at being belittled by the other researchers. An avid cave explorer, Josha also later helps Link with the investigation into Zelda’s disappearance.