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Tingle Artwork - Four Swords Adventures

Series The Legend of Zelda series
First game The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
Created by Eiji Aonuma
Voiced by Hironori Miyata, Kazuyuki Kurashima
Quotes • Gallery

Tingle is a short man of 35 who seems to be obsessed with "forest fairies," even though he appears to be Hylian, and so dresses up in green costumes slightly resembling that of which the main character, Link, wears. He is about a foot smaller than Link in his Wind Waker incarnation, and so can be judged as less than three feet tall. He wears tight red shorts and a necklace with a clock that is permanently stuck at 4 o'clock. Tingle is normally seen floating around on his red balloon, drawing and selling maps for his father, who sees him as a fool. He is also known for his catchphrase "Tingle-Tingle, Kooloo-LIMPAH."

Tingle has a fixation for rupees (and other similar collectibles, such as Force Gems from The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures and Kinstones from The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap). In The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask and The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, Tingle sold maps and translated Triforce maps for a price (a high price in The Wind Waker).

This is explained in Tingle's Nintendo DS title, Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland, where it is stated that Tingle needs rupees in order to survive.

Zelda appearances

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

Tingle Artwork - Majora's Mask

Tingle as he appears in Majora's Mask

Tingle was first introduced in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask in 2000. In this game, Tingle was first seen dancing around in the north part of Clock Town. He saw that Link had on green clothes and a green hat. He also saw that Link had a fairy. Tingle became excited, telling Link that he was the very reincarnation of a fairy. Though he was 35 years old and his father tells him to act his own age, Tingle doesn't see the point strictly because of his imaginary beliefs. Tingle also introduces his magic phrase "Tingle-Tingle Kooloo-Limpah" in this game, telling Link not to steal his magic.

Tingle was seen in every main area in the land of Termina. He sold maps of Clock Town, the Southern Swamp, the Snow Mountain, the Great Bay, and even Ikana Valley. Tingle also sold the map of Milk Road that is just southeast of Clock Town. Link would always find him floating in his red balloon drawing up maps. In order to do business with him, he had to shoot the balloon down either with a Deku bubble or an arrow so that Tingle can fall in front of him to have a face-to-face negotiation.

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

Tingle Artwork - The Wind Waker

Tingle as he appears in The Wind Waker

Tingle later appears on The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. In this game, Tingle was locked away in a cell in Windfall Island because of his immature and unusual behavior. When Link freed him, Tingle saw that Link had on green clothes and a green hat. Tingle believed that Link was just like him - a reincarnation of a fairy. For saving him and for being a "fairy", Tingle gives Link a map to his island on Tingle Island, and he also gives Link the Tingle Tuner, so that if Link wants to contact Tingle anywhere in the Great Sea, he can. Tingle also provides Link with the IN-Credible Chart, which located all eight of the Triforce charts hidden throughout the Great Sea. But in order to decipher these Triforce charts, Link had to pay nearly 400 rupees for each Triforce chart he found. Why Tingle needed this much money is unknown, but nonetheless, Tingle was a crucial element in Link's returning to the lost kingdom under the sea in order to save Princess Zelda from Ganondorf.

It was also discovered that Tingle had three brothers in this game. Two of them, Ankle and Knuckle, are Tingle's true blood brothers. They are younger than Tingle and are twins. Ankle wears purple and is normally seen in Tingle Island. Knuckle, who wears blue, seems more of a traveler.

David Jr., seventeen years old, is the third of the three brothers. Genetically, he's not related to the Tingle brothers at all. He was originally an explorer from Windfall Island who searched for the Ghost Ship, but was later found washed up on Tingle Island. Ever since then, he reluctantly works at the tower along with Ankle.

Other Zelda appearances

Despite his unorthodox and bizarre nature, Tingle has become quite popular in the Zelda series, and as a result, he makes many more appearances in games.

Before The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker was released, Tingle makes an appearance in The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages as a rather minor character. He appears during the present time, making charts. He gives Link a chart to help him cross the rapid sea waters before going to the Tokay Island. Tingle also helps in increasing Link's Seed Satchel.

He also makes an appearance in The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap. Tingle, along with his brothers, are all wanting to fuse Kinstones with Link. When Link finds all four of the brothers, Tingle gives Link the Tingle trophy. Tingle hopes to become a fairy by fusing Kinstones.

Tingle train

Leaked concept art from Spirit Tracks.

Tingle takes on a more major role in The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures. Tingle has an unnatural desire to collect Force Gems. Throughout the game, if the four Links come across a huge Force Gem, Tingle will come in his red balloon to try and get it, so it's like a race to collect the Force Gem. If Tingle does get a hold of the gem, the Links can pop his red balloon and Tingle will drop it.

In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Tingle does not make an appearance. However, there is a character who's design is said to be how Tingle would look if he was a real person. He is referred to as Purlo, and he runs the STARS game in the Hyrule Castle Market area. He's tall and apparently handsome, and his clothing resembles Tingle in many ways. But he's greedy and unfriendly, as opposed to Tingle's happy nature. But like Tingle, he loves rupees. Eiji Aonuma states that this is how Tingle would look if he was a more realistic character.

Tingle also makes a cameo appearance in the Milk Bar in The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass on a poster, and similarly appears as a statue in Linebeck's shop in The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks. On 2ch, a supposed Nintendo employee took various pictures inside of Nintendo, and revealed that the developers of Spirit Tracks were considering adding a train in the shape of Tingle (concept art to the right).

Appearances outside of Zelda

Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland

Tingle Artwork - Rosy Rupeeland

Tingle as he appears in Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland

Tingle became so popular to the Zelda franchise that he stars in his own title for the first time. In Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland, Tingle is promised to live in a paradise, as promised from a creature known as Uncle Rupee. But in order to go to the paradise, he has to become a Tingle and collect rupees. The rupees were to be taken to Western Pool, which is where a tower is said to be. In this game, Tingle is cursed. Rupees are his life. Without rupees, he could die. In the game, he is also provided with a sidekick, and possible love interest, Pinkle. Uncle Rupee proves later to be the main antagonist of the game, and the rupees were used to give himself more power. Tingle had to stop him or else others could possibly suffer the same curse that Tingle was suffering. Upon defeating him, Tingle uses the money he collected to finally live in the paradise he was initially promised.

Tingle's Balloon Fight is also another title that stars Tingle. The game, in actuality, is an updated version of the NES classic, Balloon Fight. It was released only in Japan.

Super Smash Bros. series

Tingle Artwork - Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Tingle as an Assist Trophy in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

Tingle's very first outside-Zelda appearance was in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Tingle was found in the Great Bay stage on top of the observatory. The stage was based off of the Great Bay in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. As the characters fought, the top of Tingle's red balloon served as another platform, but upon attacking the balloon, it will pop and Tingle will fall to the stage and start dancing around as he normally does. He will eventually blow the balloon and hover in the air as he did initially. You can also get a Tingle trophy in the Gallery in Super Smash Bros. Melee. This is the The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask rendition of Tingle.

Tingle also appeared in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Because Tingle has made more appearances in his toon, cel-shaded design, this is the rendition of Tingle that was used in Brawl. Tingle serves as an Assist Trophy. He also has a trophy and a sticker.

The following are Tingle's trophy descriptions in the Super Smash Bros. series:

Super Smash Bros. Melee

"Tingle is a mysterious middle-aged man who thinks he's "the very reincarnation of a fairy." His bizarre behavior and unique speech are just little pieces of his vibrant personality. Tingle travels by way of a small hot-air balloon, making maps of the lands below him. Pop his balloon, and Tingle will fall to earth to sell his maps."

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

"A strange little man easily spotted by his trademark green bodysuit, bright nose, and pointy beard. Tingle has frequently appeared around Hyrule and always lets those he meets know that he's a fairy and selling homemade maps. In a recent adventure, Tingle escapes a sad and dreary life to embark on a magical adventure in the delightful, dreamlike paradise of Rupeeland."

Super Smash Bros. for 3DS

"Single. 35 years old. Dressed head-to-toe in green. In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, this wannabe fairy gets locked up for being a "troublemaker". And he's one in this game, too! His magic incantation "Kooloo-limpah!", causes all sorts of madness that'll really shake up your battle."

Tingle's popularity

Tingle DS

A store employee celebrating the release of the first Tingle game.

Tingle is one of Nintendo's most criticized characters. Critics claim that the side quests in The Wind Waker were quite tedious, and there were other critical remarks about him, saying he shouldn't make any more appearances in Zelda games. In fact, when Twilight Princess was under development, IGN was hoping that Tingle would not be included as a character in the game. But despite what critics say, Tingle has made an exceptional impact on the Zelda franchise as a whole. He's loved by some, but poses as a nuisance to others. But either way, it is without a doubt that Tingle was the first Zelda character to get his own spin-off game without Link or Zelda appearing in it. With that, Tingle is a widely recognizable character to many fans of the series. Even if he is never seen in the Zelda franchise again (which many fans doubt), Tingle will more than likely be seen again in future games. Regardless of his recent departure from Zelda games, he nevertheless regularly makes cameo appearances (as was the case in Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks) and is often hinted at (such as in Twilight Princess with Purlo).

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