Even though Nintendo named The Legend of Zelda after Princess Zelda, most people pay more attention to Link. We rarely have the opportunity to play as Zelda, so we concentrate on Link’s abilities. However, Zelda is often more capable than Link. Whether she’s casting destructive spells on the battlefield, manipulating characters with clever words, or inspiring us with her charm, Zelda surpasses Link in multiple ways.
Because of her powerful abilities and personality, we’d love to play as Zelda more often. She’s only starred in Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon and Zelda’s Adventure, two terrible spin-offs developed respectively by Animation Magic and Viridis Corporation instead of Nintendo. We can play as Zelda in Spirit Tracks and Hyrule Warriors and unrelated games like Super Smash Bros., but we want to experience an entire Zelda game in her shoes. Nintendo showed us in Breath of the Wild how wonderfully Zelda can develop over the course of a single game. We’d love if Nintendo put her development in the spotlight—particularly since Link rarely develops because of his silent, unchanging personality.
Link may possess unique abilities and weapons, but Zelda has her own set of powerful, entertaining abilities. She uses a unique array of weapons—and we’re sure she could master Link’s weapons if given the opportunity. Link may be strong, but Zelda’s equally—if not more—powerful. Here are 15 of the many things Zelda can do that Link can’t.
15. She Can Lead Armies
Despite her label as “Princess” Zelda, Zelda occasionally reigns as the queen of Hyrule. Zelda handles the responsibility without a sweat: she always protects and cares for her people. She even leads soldiers into battle in Twilight Princess and Hyrule Warriors.
Even when she isn’t queen, Zelda inspires others with kind but firm leadership. She earns the obedience and respect from her crew in Wind Waker, and she convinces Link to fight alongside her at the game’s end.
While Link usually fights alone, Zelda leads her friends and followers to victory. Sometimes she leads armies; sometimes she instructs Link, so they alone protect Hyrule. Link always resorts to brute force, but Zelda knows when to attack and when to wait.
14. Patience Of A Saint
Over the many years we’ve played Zelda, we’ve learned that Link isn’t patient. Whether you’re completing the main storyline or running around completing ridiculous sidequests, you probably spend little time standing around in Zelda games.
Zelda, on the other hand, uses times to her advantage. Like Ganondorf, she waits for the opportune moment before striking. She helps from the shadows in Ocarina of Time, protects her people in Twilight Princess, and waits in an underwater castle in Wind Waker. With disguises and strategic patience, Zelda rightfully inherits the Triforce of Wisdom. Link possesses courage, but he also seems to act out of stupidity and a short attention span.
While Zelda waits years to defeat her enemies, Link only waits that long when the Master Sword forces him into a seven-year slumber.
13. Possess Ghosts
Zelda guides Link throughout Spirit Tracks as a spirit. She normally can’t interact with the physical world, but that changes in the Tower of Spirits. When you encounter living sets of armor known as Phantoms, you can stun them with your sword. Zelda may then enter the Phantoms’ armor and control them. As a massive suit of armor with a sword, Zelda protects Link better than he can protect himself.
Link controls lifeless statues in Twilight Princess (using a piece of advanced technology), but Zelda possesses other beings! Powerful magic spawns the Phantoms, but Zelda’s magic is even stronger. Spin-off games like Super Smash Bros. and Hyrule Warriors include “Phantom Zelda,” so watch out—her Phantom blade packs quite a punch.
12. Be A Ninja
Despite being born in times of peace, Zelda knows how to fight. She fights without hesitation, demonstrating a natural talent with bows and magic.
In Ocarina of Time, Zelda learns how to fight from Impa, her Sheikah bodyguard. After Ganondorf conquers Hyrule, Zelda disappears with Impa and hones her skills. In addition to her usual techniques, Zelda learns how to be a deadly ninja. Dressed as a Sheikah, she guides Link and battles enemies as an agile, stealthy ninja capable of disappearing in an instant. She particularly shows off her skills in the Super Smash Bros. games, where Sheik is one of the best fighters in the franchise. Zelda can take down armies in any form, but she’s particularly deadly as Sheik.
This ability is obvious to any true Zelda fan. Nintendo designed Link as a voiceless protagonist. He makes some sounds (particularly yells and grunts), and he even says “hello” and “come on” in Wind Waker. However, these are used more as sound effects than words: Nintendo designed Link without a voice, so players imagine what he’s thinking and saying.
Zelda, on the other hand, speaks every time you encounter her. She makes up for Link’s silence by conveying plot and emotion. She contributes to Breath of the Wild with an amazing vocal performance, and she benefits every one of her games with great dialogue and personality. Zelda’s speech complements Link’s silence: Zelda provides emotion and wisdom, and Link wordlessly demonstrates his courage.
10. Use Her Own Magic
Link acquires magic; Zelda is born with magic. When Link wields magic, he requires particular items and magical upgrades. Zelda requires no assistance from gods, items, or Great Fairies like Link.
Zelda’s abilities vary from game to game. In addition to her recurring powers (like possessing Phantoms), Zelda demonstrates unique powers—particularly at the end of Ocarina of Time, where she opens sealed doors and shoots a beam of light at Ganondorf. In Super Smash Bros., Zelda distinguishes herself through her magic. She casts fireballs, teleports, and creates magical daggers made of blue light.
9. Supply Infinite Light Arrows
One reason Ganondorf (Ocarina of Time) and Puppet Ganon (Wind Waker) are so difficult is Light Arrows. In these battles, you need to use the Light Arrows strategically—because if you miss too many times, you won’t get another chance. Your Light Arrows depend on your Magic Bar. Wind Waker continuously provides items that refill the Magic Bar, but reckless players suffer defeat in Ocarina of Time when they lose their Magic.
Because of her innate magic, Zelda can use infinite Light Arrows. Unlike Link, she doesn’t need Magic Jars to keep shooting at Ganondorf in Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. Link only shoots infinite Light Arrows in Breath of the Wild because Zelda gives him the Light Arrows. Zelda’s magic is unlimited—and she can occasionally share that power with Link.
8. Embody A Goddess
In Skyward Sword, Nintendo introduced the goddess Hylia. Hylia protected the world from Demise and his demons—but she couldn’t protect Hyrule forever. She sacrificed the rest of her power by transferring her soul into a mortal: Princess Zelda. Zelda embodies the goddess and her memories. We don’t know if Zelda also possesses Hylia’s powers or if Zelda’s magic comes from the Triforce; regardless, Zelda only seems to inherit the Triforce because she also inherits Hylia’s soul. Hylia protects the Triforce and determines its owners: she ensures Link acquires the Triforce in Skyward Sword, and only Link and Zelda receive the Triforces of Courage and Wisdom from that point on.
Hylia may have ruined the mystery of the Triforce, but she also gave Zelda a unique ability. In addition to her other abilities and traits, Zelda handles Hylia’s memories and responsibilities without hesitation.
7. Express Herself
Link rarely expresses himself, particularly in his early games. His facial expression never changes until Wind Waker, when he expresses fear, anger, and happiness. Nintendo, fortunately, maintained this mechanic in later games (although they removed it in Breath of the Wild).
We appreciate Link whether he shows emotions or not, but we absolutely love Zelda’s array of emotions. She switches from cold seriousness and tears to humor and heartwarming kindness. Zelda’s emotions turn her into a more developed, believable character. We can project our own emotions onto Link because of his emotionless, speechless personality, yet we relate more easily to Zelda. We understand her motivations and her view toward the world. Whether she’s leading soldiers into battle or comforting Link, we know Zelda genuinely cares for Hyrule because she expresses her feelings.
6. Communicate Telepathically
We never see Link speak, but we know he occasionally communicates with other characters. Zelda offers you some dialogue options; characters react appropriately to these dialogue options, and sometimes they respond as if Link has spoken (particularly whenever they ask for Link’s name).
Both Link and Zelda communicate with others—but only Zelda can communicate telepathically! This unique ability comes in handy throughout the franchise. Zelda telepathically contacts you in A Link to the Past to begin your adventure: she guides you to her prison cell so you may rescue her. When she and Link face death in Twilight Princess, she contacts the Spirits of Light. They rescue our heroes and reunite them with Epona, leading to an exciting horseback battle against Ganondorf.
5. Teach Music
The Hero’s Shade (Link’s ghost) technically teaches you wolf songs in Twilight Princess. However, these “songs” barely count as music, and Link only learns to teach them after hundreds of years. Zelda, on the other hand, is musically gifted from birth. She plays the Goddess Harp in both Ocarina of Time and Skyward Sword. She also plays the titular Ocarina of Time before giving it to Link. With both instruments, she teaches you nearly every song you can learn in Ocarina of Time.
Even though she doesn’t physically appear in Majora’s Mask, Zelda appears in a flashback, where she teaches Link the Song of Time. Link remembers her teaching him music, showing just how dependent he is on her guidance and musical expertise.
4. Predict The Future
Link glimpses the future in Ocarina of Time, but he doesn’t realize he’s seeing the future. Zelda dreams of the future and fully understands her dreams. In Ocarina of Time, she dreams of a dark storm over Hyrule and a light from a forest. The light turns into a figure with a fairy and a green stone. Anyone else would dismiss the dream, but Zelda recognizes it as a prophecy. When you and Navi meet her, she recognizes you from her dream and concludes you must have the Spiritual Stone of the Forest.
During her stasis in Minish Cap, Zelda also dreams of Link saving her and the world. Zelda’s clairvoyance gives her confidence that most damsel in distress lack. When she isn’t in distress, Zelda uses her visions to thwart her enemies and protect Hyrule.
3. Scold Evildoers
Zelda may be a caring ruler, but she knows when to act aggressively. Throughout Skyward Sword, Zelda balances gentle timidity with unyielding determination. She travels across Hyrule without a weapon, but we’re certain she could talk her way out of any situation. Groose acts as the antagonist of Skyward Sword’s prologue—an antagonist who Link can’t best. Zelda, on the other hand, deals with Groose swiftly. Combining harsh words with well-placed finger-pointing, Zelda intimidates Groose and his henchmen in seconds.
She also scolds Link and her pirate crew throughout Wind Waker, and her lectures always make sense. No wonder the pirates praise, respect, and occasionally fear her. Zelda scolds most often in Wind Waker—but she also makes witty jokes throughout the game.
2. Make Jokes
Zelda’s usually quite serious, but in Wind Waker she’s hilarious. She constantly switches from ruthless scolding to sassy insults, keeping us on our toes whenever we’re around her. Her sense of humor reflects her leadership: Zelda knows when to be serious and when to lighten the atmosphere with jokes and kindness. When all seems lost at the game’s end, Zelda steps in with a quick joke, a wink, and words of encouragement (after Ganondorf casts a sleeping spell on her, she awakes and says, “I’m sorry! I overslept!”).
Zelda’s humor makes her extremely relatable and loveable. We always admire her courage and wisdom, but we especially love how she applies those characteristics to jokes. Link occasionally makes us laugh in Wind Waker, but he’ll never be as funny as Zelda.
1. Disguise Herself (From Us)
Link occasionally disguises himself from other characters, particularly from the Gerudo. In Breath of the Wild, you disguise Link as a Gerudo in order to reach their leader (they don’t allow males into their territory). To infiltrate the Gerudo base in Majora’s Mask, you must either sneak past the guards or use the Stone Mask to disguise yourself as a rock (we still don’t know how Link pulls that off).
When Zelda disguises herself as Sheik, she tricks both Link and the players controlling him. We knew nothing about Sheik’s true identity when we first played Ocarina of Time. With a concealing outfit, short hair, and red eyes, Sheik hardly resembles Zelda. We probably wouldn’t fall for Link’s outfits, but Zelda tricks almost all players.