Horses are recurring Creatures in The Legend of Zelda series. In nearly every game where Horses are present, they serve as a mode of faster transportation, allowing Link to travel from one point to another in less time.
Few notable Horses have appeared in the series, the most notable of which being Epona, Link's Horse companion who appears in several The Legend of Zelda games following her debut in Ocarina of Time. Ganondorf's Steed is another notable Horse, which Ganondorf can be seen riding in several cinematic cutscenes.
- 1 Characteristics
- 2 Other Appearances
- 3 Trivia
- 4 Nomenclature
- 5 Gallery
- 6 References
Ocarina of Time
Horses in the games first appeared in Ocarina of Time. Lon Lon Ranch keeps several Horses, which are raised as riding and jumping Horses. By day, the Horses are left outside to graze and gallop around the corral. At night the Horses are kept in the Stable with the Cows, where they are watched over by Ingo in Talon's stead. The majority of Lon Lon Ranch's Horses resemble Kiger Mustangs. The ranch also keeps a unique Horse named Epona, who Malon is especially fond of. This wild Horse at first runs away from Link, but is quickly tamed and befriended when Malon teaches him "Epona's Song".
Ocarina of Time also introduces horseback riding to the series, which allows Link to travel at faster speed and even jump over fences. Link can speed up the Horse he is riding by whipping it for up to six boosts, which appear on-screen as carrots to indicate the Horse's stamina. Link can also use the Fairy Bow to shoot Arrows while riding, which functions as his only weapon while on horseback. Horseback riding becomes available only when Link is an adult, and is mainly achieved by riding Epona once he obtains her.
When Link awakens seven years into the future, he learns that Ingo was granted Lon Lon Ranch by Ganondorf and is now abusing the Horses. Ingo lets visitors ride the Horses at the corral for a minute for a fee of Rupees. Initially Ingo will provide a different Horse for Link to ride, however Link can tame and ride Epona by playing "Epona's Song". Link can also challenge Ingo to a Horse race around the corral for a bet of Rupees. If Link beats him the first time, Ingo will demand a rematch and bets Epona on the race's outcome. If he is defeated the second time, Ingo keeps his promise by letting Link keep the Horse, but traps the both of them in by locking the gates. Link and Epona manage to escape by jumping over the ranch's walls. Afterwards, Link can ride Epona anytime in Hyrule Field by playing "Epona's Song" to call her.
While Epona is mainly used as a faster method of travel, she is notably required to hunt for the Big Poes in Hyrule Field, as well as participate in the Horseback Archery Range at the Gerudo Fortress. The host of the mini-game also owns a Horse, but will only let Link play if he brings his own.
Princess Zelda and Impa ride a white Horse while escaping from Hyrule Castle as Ganondorf gives chase. Ganondorf also owns his own Steed, which is seen during his introduction by the Great Deku Tree, and when Ganondorf chases after Zelda and Impa. This Horse is said to be a solid black Gerudo stallion. Phantom Ganon also rides a fake Horse that greatly resembles Ganondorf's Steed.
In Majora's Mask, Link rides a young Epona while searching for his missing friend, Navi. His Horse is soon captured and stolen by the Skull Kid after a confrontation, prompting a chase through the woods that ultimately leads Link to Termina. Link eventually finds Epona at Romani Ranch, and relearns "Epona's Song" from Romani. Majora's Mask features identical horseback riding to Ocarina of Time. Epona is even necessary to enter the Great Bay and Ikana Canyon due to the fences blocking the roads to these regions.
The Gorman Brothers own a pair of masked, dappled Horses they use to race Link at the Gorman Track, as well as to terrorize Cremia when she delivers Milk to Clock Town. During the escort mission, Link is given the task of defending her wagon by shooting Arrows at the pursuing Gorman Brothers to keep them and their Horses at bay.
Oracle of Seasons
In the openings of both Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons, Link can be seen riding an unnamed Horse. Link rides this Horse to Hyrule Castle, where he finds the three pieces of the Triforce that teleport him to either Labrynna or Holodrum. The Horse is only seen during the openings and is not seen again afterwards.
Four Swords Adventures
In Four Swords Adventures, the Links get to ride a pack of Horses in The Field stage. After safely escorting Malon to Lon Lon Ranch, Talon lets the Links borrow his Horses to ride the rest of the way in gratitude. These Horses are summoned by picking up a Carrot, which instantly has the Links ride the Horses. While riding the Horses, the Links turn invincible to all enemy attacks for a period of time. They are able to jump over fences and trample grass and enemies while riding. The Links can continue riding if they pick up Carrots along the way.
Horses are also featured in the Tingle's Tower mini-game Bucking Broncos.
The Minish Cap
- Main article: Epona
In The Minish Cap, only one Horse is present; Epona. She is owned by Talon and Malon of Lon Lon Ranch. After Link helps them find the Spare Key to their farm house, Malon brings Epona to Hyrule Town to sell Lon Lon Milk by cart.
Twilight Princess reintroduces horseback riding in a similar vein to Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask. Link's Horse is Epona, whom he uses to herd the Ordon Goats at the Ordon Ranch. Horseback riding has similar controls to the aforementioned games, as Link is able to kick Epona to speed her up for up to six speed boosts, which are indicated on-screen as spurs to display Epona's stamina. Link can also fight enemies while on horseback using his Sword, as well as the Hero's Bow to snipe enemies. Link can call Epona anywhere in Hyrule Field by either finding and whistling into Horse Grass, or by using the Horse Call once he obtains it.
When Telma plans to escort Ilia and Ralis to Kakariko Village with Link's help, she drives a Horse to pull their wagon. Link is given the responsibility of riding with them on Epona and clearing a safe path, by defeating the enemies along the way and making sure that the wagon does not catch on fire.
Ganondorf's Steed returns in this game, which can first be seen during his introduction. Ganondorf rides this Horse during the second phase of the final boss battle, where Link must ride after him on Epona while Princess Zelda aims her Bow at him. Phantom Riders, riding ghostly Horses, also chase after Link during this battle and attempt to knock him off.
Breath of the Wild
Hyrule Compendium Entry
Several Horses appear in Breath of the Wild. Link is able to ride Horses by sneaking up to them and jumping on their backs. Alternatively, Link may also land on a Horse's back from above. Once Link jumps onto a wild Horse's back, it will jump around wildly and attempt to knock Link off. Link must soothe the Horse until it accepts his control. Link's Stamina is drained while hanging onto the Horse and soothing it. It can vary for each Horse how long it takes to tame them, depending on their stats. After capturing, Horses can be brought to a Stable to registered for a fee of 20 Rupees to be able to board them for future use. Horses are also named once they are registered at a Stable. After registration, a Horse will have a Saddle and a Bridle. Link can take any registered Horse out from any Stable in Hyrule. Registered Horses also respond when Link Whistles, running to Link if he is still in range.
When ridden, Horses will automatically avoid obstacles and follow paths. A Horse's affection for Link has a rating from 0 to 100 and can quickly reach its maximum if Link often soothes the Horse. With maximum affection, Link can dress his Horse at certain Stables with a variety of Saddles and Bridles that he has collected. Link's registered Horses can die in battle, but can be resurrected at Malanya Spring in Faron. Here Link will meet the Horse God, Malanya, who will revive any of Link's deceased Horses as long as they had maximum affection for Link. Horses also have random stats when caught, varying in speed, stamina and strength. A Horse's stamina stat determines how many boosts it has. When damaged, Horses partially lose their ability to boost, as shown by red flashing over the boost icon. Unlike in previous Zelda games, Link can mount his Horse from any angle.
Horses can damage enemies if they run through them. Link can jump off a Horse to initiate the slow motion Bow and Arrow aiming effect. Bokoblins are also able to ride Horses, which they can use to attack Link. Should Link knock a Bokoblin off their horse, he will be able to take it for himself without having to soothe it. Stalhorses can also be found and seen ridden by Stalkoblins, which Link can also ride but cannot register at a Stable. Stalhorses will vanish when the sun rises at 5:00 AM. Link must take a picture of a Stalhorse and show it to Juannelle for the "Stalhorse: Pictured!" Side Quest. Several Side Quests require Link to capture and transport Horses. Link must capture and ride any Horse through the Gerudo Canyon to a Hylian named Zyle for the "Good-Sized Horse" Side Quest. Link must also capture and ride a Horse back to Dueling Peaks Stable before time runs out in the Hyrule Horse-Taming Competition for the "Wild Horses" Side Quest, given by Rensa.
A few special, one of a kind varieties of Horses can also be obtained. Epona can be obtained with the first scan of the Super Smash Bros. series Link amiibo or the Twilight Princess Link amiibo with the amiibo Rune. Epona has high yet balanced stats of 4 in speed, stamina and strength. The White Horse, a royal Horse that is said to be the descendant of Princess Zelda's Horse 100 years ago, can be found near Sanidin Park Ruins. Link must find and capture this legendary Horse for "The Royal White Stallion" Side Quest, given by Toffa at Outskirt Stable. The White Horse has a stamina of 5, the highest possible stamina. The Giant Horse, a massive black Horse with a red mane, can be found in the Taobab Grassland. Link must find and capture this Horse for the "Hunt for the Giant Horse" Side Quest, given by Straia at the Mounted Archery Camp. The Giant Horse has zero stamina and therefore cannot boost, but it has a strength of 5, the highest possible strength. The Lord of the Mountain, also known as Satori, is a horse-like spirit that can be found on Satori Mountain when it glows green at night. The Lord of the Mountain cannot be registered at a Stable, but it has very high speed and unlimited Stamina. Normal Horses with the highest speed, stamina and strength can be found in Upland Lindor.
- Although actual Horses do not appear in The Adventure of Link, a boss called Mazura has the head of a Horse. Rebonack also rides a hovering, iron Horse during the first phase of its boss battle.
- While Horses do not physically appear in The Wind Waker, a couple of Horses are depicted in the game's prologue intro. One Horse is depicted being ridden by the Hero of Time; this Horse is implied to be Epona.
- During development for Breath of the Wild, the developers took special care in designing the behavior of Horses for the game, specifically enabling them to dodge Trees in their path. This is because real-world horses don't run into trees very often.
|Names in Other Regions|
- "I smell salt in the air, so the ocean must be near. But with this wall in the way, we can't go any farther. If only you had a horse, we could jump this wall in one--oops! Sorry." — Tatl (Majora's Mask 3D)
- "Horse" — Hyrule Compendium (Breath of the Wild)
- "There are some people in Kakariko spreading rumors that I cheated Talon out of the ranch, but... Don't be ridiculous! That guy Talon was weak! I, the hard-working Ingo, poured so much energy into this place! I don't want any strangers like you saying anything bad about me! Listen. The great Ganondorf recognized my obvious talents and gave the ranch to me!" — Ingo (Ocarina of Time)
- "If I disobey Mr. Ingo, he will treat the horses so badly... So... There's nothing I can do..." — Malon (Ocarina of Time)
- "They say that the horse Ganondorf rides is a solid black Gerudo stallion." — Gossip Stone (Ocarina of Time)
- "I'd love to give you a token of my gratitude! Hmmm... let's see... I've got it! If you're going to continue your trip, you should go on horseback! Those castle guards are sure to be headed this way, and there are more ahead, too. You'll be much safer riding my swift horses, I'm sure!" — Talon (Four Swords Adventures)
- "Our farm's right next door. We've lots of carrots around, so take some with you. Those horses love carrots! They'll come running if you've got some handy." — Talon (Four Swords Adventures)
- Gladley Gaming, [Zelda Breath of the Wild] Where to find the BEST HORSES, YouTube (Video), published March 18, 2017, retrieved April 28, 2017.
- "Just as Charles is disappearing into the woods, his horse turns into a giant, winged lizard!" (The Shadow Prince (Mammoth), pg. 28)
- "Shigeru Miyamoto: This is a densely-wooded area.
Eiji Aonuma: Yet I'm hardly touching the control stick.
Shigeru Miyamoto: You're not touching it?
Eiji Aonuma: Yeah, and I won't hit any trees. Real horses don't run into trees very often." — Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma, Wii U - The Legend of Zelda - Gameplay First Look from The Game Awards, YouTube (Video).