Meet the Champions of Hyrule in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
If you’re reading this right now, we commend your willpower to resist marathoning all of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom hot off its release. Or maybe you’ve already finished, in which case you might be the one true Champion of Hyrule!
In your adventures through Breath of the Wild and its sequel, you’re bound to meet many heroes and villains, but none stand out so much as the Champions from the Goron, Gerudo, Rito, and Zora tribes scattered across the realm.
The original Champions were personally chosen by King Rhoam. They were protectors in the age before Calamity Ganon’s overthrow of the kingdom. Each was a strong and capable warrior chosen to pilot one of the four Divine Beasts to aid in the fight agains the villain and his corrupting Malice. While they tragically fell in battle against the Blight Ganons, echoes of their heroism are seen throughout Breath of the Wild as their spirits once again help Link in the fight. Their legacies can also be seen in their descendants, and further still in Tears of the Kingdom.
Let’s dive into a little Hyrule history and revisit each of these Champions. Their bravery and sacrifice leaves a deep impact on the riveting lore of the latest Zelda game installments.
Daruk – Goron Champion
Divine Beast: Vah Rudania
Weapon: Boulder Breaker
Grants: Daruk’s Protection
Hailing from the hardy and rocky Goron Tribe, champion Daruk is a loud and courageous fighter responsible for piloting the lizard-like Divine Beast Vah Rudania in the fight against Calamity Ganon. Despite his big stature, outside of battle he was known to be calm and kind, protecting his tribe and helping them to terraform their territory in Hyrule. His signature ability, Daruk’s Protection, forms a powerful barrier to deflect any damage to the user. The Goron warrior was defeated by Fireblight Ganon inside of the Divine Beast.
Daruk is succeeded by his grandson, Yunobo, who at first is a bit of a cowardly figure. Still, he inherits the power of Daruk’s Protection, and aids Link in the battle to subdue the possessed Vah Rudania. Yunobo has used his rocky Goron body as a living cannonball in combat, fired from cannons towards his enemies. He recognizes Link’s connection with Daruk and becomes an ally and eventual Champion through Breath of the Wild and beyond.
The name of Daruk’s Divine Beast, Rudania, is an anagram for the name Darunia. This is the name of the leader of the Gorons and the Sage of Fire in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
Urbosa – Gerudo Champion
Divine Beast: Vah Naboris
Weapon: Scimitar of the Seven, Daybreaker
Grants: Urbosa’s Fury
Urbosa is a muscular and statuesque champion from the Gerudo tribe, a powerful race of female thieves that live in the harsh and unforgiving Gerudo Desert. She is known to be graceful in her movements, wielding both a scimitar and a shield and being capable of manipulating lightning. Urbosa piloted the camel-like Vah Naboris in battle before being defeated by Thunderblight Ganon. Her technique, Urbosa’s Fury, creates a massive surge of electrical energy that damages nearby foes.
When Link reawakens 100 years after Calamity Ganon’s victory, he meets a descendant of Urbosa named Riju. She serves as the current Gerudo chief, but she is extremely young and inherited the title when her mother died. Someone even stole her Thunder Helm, a Gerudo heirloom imbued with Urbosa’s power. Despite this, Riju finds her strength and courage to lead after Vah Naboris is calmed and purged of its blight. She is seen slightly older and taking a more active combat role as one of the new Champions in Tears of the Kingdom promotional material.
The name of Urbosa’s Divine Beast, Naboris, is reminiscent of Nabooru. This is the name of the leader of the Gerudo and the Sage of Spirit in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
Mipha – Zora Champion
Divine Beast: Vah Ruta
Weapon: Lightscale Trident
Grants: Mipha’s Grace
Princess Mipha of the Zora was the oldest child of King Dorephan and sister to Prince Sidon. Of all the Champions, she was considered the kindest, though she was not to be underestimated — her ability to wield the Lightscale Trident was unmatched. Mipha had strong romantic feelings and a sense of duty towards Link, using her signature Mipha’s Grace ability to heal him whenever he would get injured in battle. She piloted the elephant-like Divine Beast Vah Ruta until being killed by Waterblight Ganon, leaving her soul trapped inside the giant machine.
Her brother Sidon eventually accompanies the reawakened Link in his efforts to purge the blight from Vah Ruta. He also helps to sway the thoughts of Muzu, the elderly Zora advisor who does not think Link is worthy of Mipha’s affections or the Zora Armor she once crafted for the hero. Sidon is charismatic and kind, but deeply misses his sister and gets emotional when the King says the former Champion would be proud of her brother. Headed into Tears of the Kingdom, Sidon becomes king of the aquatic Zora tribe and a second generation Champion.
The name of Mipha’s Divine Beast, Ruta, is reminiscent of Ruto. This is the name of the leader of the Zora and the Sage of Water in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
Revali – Rito Champion
Divine Beast: Vah Medoh
Weapon: Great Eagle Bow
Successor: Teba, Tulin
Grants: Revali’s Gale
Arrogant and a bit cynical, Revali hails from the avian Rito tribe in Hyrule. As the pilot of the eagle-like Vah Medoh, he refuses to be beaten and rarely admits defeat. Revali claims he wasn’t trying his hardest when he was killed by Windblight Ganon. However, beneath this rough exterior, the winged Champion is actually very insecure and even regretful about his failure to master his own signature move, Revali’s Gale. The move creates a massive updraft that aids in flight. Revali finds himself somewhat jealous of Link’s skill and the favor he receives from Zelda, but ultimately proves himself a dependable ally.
A Rito warrior named Teba, father of Tulin, trains the reawakened Link in his archery skills before they take on Vah Medoh. While he is injured in the fight, Teba’s aid ultimately allows Link to take out the beast’s cannons and free Vah Medoh from corruption. In Tears of the Kingdom, the young Tulin has grown a bit more. Practiced with a bow, he has also developed his own signature take on Revali’s move, calling it Tulin’s Tornado. It is possible he will grow into the Champion role for the Rito, given his skill and admiration of Revali.
The name of Revali’s Divine Beast, Medoh, is reminiscent of Medli. This is the name of Laruto’s successor (not to be confused with Ruto) and the Sage of Earth in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. Medli’s name in Japanese is closer to Medori, which shortened becomes Medo[h].
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