Navi (The Legend of Zelda)
|The Legend of Zelda character|
Navi's appearance in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)
|First appearance||The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time|
|Voiced by||Kaori Mizuhashi|
Navi first appears in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. She is instructed by the Great Deku Tree in Kokiri Forest to assist Link in his quest to stop Ganondorf. All Kokiri have companion fairies, but because Link is actually a Hylian, he never received one until Navi joins him near the beginning of the events of the game.
In gameplay terms, Navi functions primarily as a guide that points out clues in the environment and helps the player learn the controls and advance in the game. Most of her hints are about how to progress in the story or defeat enemies. She can also be used to lock on enemies in the game, items and other characters. She is one of the few characters with any voice-acting in the series, and the only character from before The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild who (aside from Beedle) actually uses English words, such as "Hey", "Look", "Listen", "Watch out" and "Hello".
While Navi does not appear in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Link is implied to be searching for her as the game begins, having separated from her following the events of Ocarina of Time. Navi also appears in the spin-off title Hyrule Warriors. Having been pulled through the Gate of Souls from her own time period, she aids Impa and Sheik in their quest to stop Cia's army. This game's version of Link also gets a fairy named Proxi who acts very similar to Navi and says the same quotes as her.
The character drew a strongly negative response from many players, with Cracked editor Tim Lovett ranking Navi the eight on his list of "Most annoying video game characters (from otherwise great games)", describing her as "a naggy, clingy spouse". GamesRadar editor Mikel Reparaz ranked Navi as the most irritating female character, stating that she would have been bearable if she did not interrupt the game with "Hey!" and "Listen!" constantly. Fellow GamesRadar editor Tom Goulter listed her as the second most annoying sidekick ever, while in another article, GamesRadar ranked Navi second place in the list of "cutesy characters [they] want to beat the crap out of", citing similar reasons but describing her as a "tactless Tinkerbell". The web site also listed her "Hey! Listen!" quote as one of the 40 most repeated game quotes. GameDaily listed her as one of the characters they wanted to kill, but could not, describing her as irritating. In the book Game Writing: Narrative Skills for Videogames, author Chris Bateman described Navi as the "most famous, and most famously annoying, instance of an explicit funneling companion." In the book The Legend of Zelda and Philosophy, author Luke Cuddy describes Navi as the "most insipid" character next to the character Tingle, she is seen by the in-game characters as a necessary stage in a Kokiri's life.
In the character's defense, Brendan Main writing for The Escapist argues that while Navi is undeniably annoying, she is also indispensable in the game and extremely useful, citing her role in the Z-targeting system and her role as a gameplay prompt through physically changing colours near secrets and danger. He even goes as far as claiming, "I think Navi is the greatest partner ever to grace a videogame." IGN's Chris Reed also stressed on her utility and listed her as one of the "best video game wingmen ever", commenting that "She does everything a good sidekick should do: She tells you how to work the game's controls, reminds you what to do next when you forget, and gives you hints when you get stuck."
- Lovett, Tim (February 19, 2008). "The 15 Most Annoying Video Game Characters (From Otherwise Great Games)". Cracked. Archived from the original on October 19, 2012. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
- Mikel Reparaz (Jul 28, 2008). "The Top 7... Irritating female characters". GamesRadar. Archived from the original on 2011-06-16. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
- AJ Glasser & Brett Elston (Apr 21, 2008). "Top 7... Cutesy Characters We Want to Beat the Crap Out of". GamesRadar. Archived from the original on June 16, 2011. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
- Tyler Wilde (Jul 15, 2009). "The 40 most repeated game quotes". GamesRadar. Archived from the original on June 16, 2011. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
- Chris Buffa (May 4, 2009). "Gallery and Images". GameDaily. Archived from the original on May 8, 2009. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
- Game Writing: Narrative Skills for ... Archived from the original on 2014-01-08. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
- The Legend of Zelda and Philosophy. Archived from the original on 2014-01-08. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
- Brendan Main (Dec 28, 2010). "Hey, Listen, I Like Navi". The Escapist. Archived from the original on December 31, 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-29.
- Reed, Chris (2014-04-15). "The Best Video Game Wingmen Ever". IGN. Archived from the original on 2016-01-25. Retrieved 2014-05-19.