It’s time to guide you through 20 things you never knew about Link’s fairy guide, Navi; these are some of the best Navi Zelda facts.
Navi was introduced in the 1998 classic The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time as a helper to players.
During the development of ‘Ocarina of Time’, Navi was created out of a necessity for a navigation and targeting system in the first 3D entry to the Zelda franchise.
And while her usefulness is often a point of contention, you can’t deny that she has become an absolute icon in the Zelda series. Love her or hate her, she’s unforgettable.
But she doesn’t really say much about herself in the game, does she?
It kind of makes you wonder what she’s all about. Where did she come from? And what happened to her after ‘Ocarina of Time’?
Well we’ve got twenty awesome Zelda Navi facts coming right up. “Hey!” “Listen!”
Table of Contents
1. Zelda’s Navi Was Originally Just A Triangle
Early in the research and development for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the Nintendo development team had played with the idea of an indicator of some sort to help you navigate 3D scenes.
The first idea was to use a triangle in reference to the iconic Triforce of the Zelda franchise.
It was later decided that a companion would give the game more personality and create a better connection with players.
2. Navi Was Supposed To Be A Fully Formed Fairy
Nintendo had planned to create a fairy character with much more detail, but the limitations of the new N64 console couldn’t quite handle something of that detail yet.
So a much simpler fairy design was eventually settled on.
It was this simple glowing orb with wings that would become a staple in the Zelda franchise.
3. A Familiar Voice
The Legend of Zelda’s Navi was voiced by Kaori Mizuhashi, who was fairly new to the voice acting scene back in 1998.
‘Ocarina of Time’ was not her first casting, but certainly one of her earliest appearances.
However, Kaori has quite a lot of credits to her name now; she even appeared in The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass as Ciela.
That’s right… the original voice-actor of Navi also played the role of another fairy companion in the Zelda franchise.
Kaori Mizuhashi is still an active voice-over performer, most notably appearing in Genshin Impact in 2022.
4. Navi Is An English Speaking Character
If you’ve played many Zelda game titles, you probably know that voice acting is not very common.
Characters in most Zelda games tend to speak in ooh, ahhs, grunts and scoffs; allowing on screen text to do most of the heavy lifting.
Surely this is to save on costs of lengthy vocal recording sessions.
But with her important role as a guide throughout your journey, Navi has the distinguished honor of having all of her attention grabbing phrases voice-acted.
Not only is Navi one of the few characters to have voice-acting throughout the Zelda series, but she also happens to speak English.
Yup, even in the Japanese version of the game, you will hear the iconic “Hey!” “Look!” “Listen!” in the English language.
5. Her Name Is Quite Literal
In the development of ‘Ocarina of Time’, director Yoshiaki Koizumi designed the z-targeting system that eventually became Link’s fairy guide known as “Navi”.
As you probably could deduce by now, her name comes from the word “navigation”.
And she was originally going to be called the “Fairy Navigation System”.
Her Japanese name is “ナビィ”, which is pronounced as “Nabii”.
6. Navi Was Supposed To Have A Crush On Link
Shigeru Miyamoto has said in the past that Navi originally had a crush on Link.
He also stated that she may be jealous of Princess Zelda for this reason.
Many fan theories also touch on this topic, suspecting she leaves at the end of ‘Ocarina of Time’ due to heartbreak.
7. Zelda’s Link And Navi Appeared In Manga
There was an ‘Ocarina of Time’ manga series by Akira Himekawa, and Navi also plays an important role in that story.
Zelda’s Navi and Link share a strong bond in the manga, but it doesn’t offer any definitive answers about a possible crush.
As a bonus tidbit, Akira Himekawa is the pen-name of a female art & writing duo who have never revealed their real names.
And they have also penned a ‘Twilight Princess’ manga.
8. Navi Originally Had More Abilities
During the development of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, it is reported that Navi had other abilities that were eventually cut from the final release.
One such function was that she would glow red whenever she detected danger nearby.
Supposedly, she could also carry items.
It’s unknown whether that means she could retrieve items in the distance for Link or if she would actually use items or weapons during game play.
Can you imagine that little ball of light flying around screaming “Hey! Look!” while wielding the Master Sword?
Now that’s kind of frightening.
9. Navi Fans Theorize Where She Went After Ocarina of Time
There are many fan theories regarding Navi’s whereabouts after the events of ‘Ocarina of Time’.
The easy guess would be that she returns to her home in the Kokiri Forest with the Great Deku Tree.
One of the crazier theories is that she is eventually corrupted by a Mirror Shard from ‘Twilight Princess’, turning her into the horrific spider beast Armogohma.
10. Were There Plans For A Navi-Based Trilogy?
The theory that makes the most sense is that The Legend of Zelda’s Navi was intended to make a return in a trilogy of games that never came to fruition.
She was introduced in ‘Ocarina of Time’ and was considered lost during the events of ‘Majora’s Mask’.
Were there a third title in that series of games we may have seen a reunion between Link and Navi.
But as we all know now, Navi never made a (major) return.
11. Majora’s Mask Begins With A Search For Navi
In the beginning sequence of The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, the sequel to ‘Ocarina of Time’, we see Link in search of Navi.
The on screen text reads “…he embarked on a journey. A secret and personal journey… A journey in search of a beloved and invaluable friend… A friend with whom he parted ways when he finally fulfilled his heroic destiny”.
We even hear her iconic twinkle as the text fades to black and Link is shown searching the woods.
Though he never finds Navi, this second journey clearly began as a search for her.
During the events of ‘Majora’s Mask’, Link is guided by another fairy named Tatl whom he often mistakes for his long lost friend.
12. A Crazier Navi Theory
There’s one more interesting fan theory about Navi: she could possibly be Link’s mother.
In the opening scenes of ‘Ocarina of Time’, she speaks of the Great Deku Tree giving life to everything in the forest, including “us Kokiri”, suggesting that she is also a Kokiri.
Navi is the only fairy companion in the village who speaks to their familiar, so we could suspect that she’s different to the other fairies.
After you complete the Forest Temple, a deku sprout tells a story about a mother’s death and her child being left to the Great Deku tree.
So you could even deduce that Navi could be the spirit of Link’s mother, resurrected by the Great Deku Tree.
It’s a crazy theory, but it has some merit. Fun to imagine the possibilities.
13. Here’s More Navi Speaking In Japanese Promos
Navi makes an appearance in much of the Japanese promotional material, and she is fully voice-acted (presumably by Kaori Mizuhashi).
She acts as our guide through the Japanese game guide, this time speaking Japanese.
It’s quite fascinating to see Navi saying much more than the usual “Hey!”.
It’s also interesting to see Navi explaining her own role in the game.
Turn on the English closed captioning for a full translation!
14. Was Navi Link’s First Companion?
While Navi is considered Link’s first companion in the Zelda series, I’d argue that.
She is certainly his first dedicated guide who will follow him throughout the entire game.
But companions were not new to the Zelda franchise.
The most iconic companion that comes to mind is Marin from ‘Link’s Awakening’.
She joins Link through a portion of that classic story.
It’s actually quite a technical achievement to have a character follow you on the Game Boy console, so this is something that deserves some recognition.
And I always thought of Marin as Link’s true love interest in the franchise.
Shoutout to Marin!
15. Navi Appeared In Hyrule Warriors
During one sequence in Hyrule Warriors, Navi makes an appearance to speak with Impa and Sheik.
In the North American release, her name “Navi” is actually used as she speaks.
But in the Japanese and European versions of Hyrule Warriors, Navi is referred to only as a “fairy”.
Her iconic “Hey! Listen!” catchphase is used, so there’s no doubts it’s Navi.
16. Zelda’s Navi Appeared In Gravity Falls
Navi makes a brief cameo in the cartoon Gravity Falls, where she is squished like a mosquito before speaking her iconic catchphrase: “Hey! Look! Listen!”
They clearly intended to play up her annoying factor.
Is she really that bad?!
17. Is Navi The Most Annoying Video Game Character?
As we saw in the Gravity Falls cameo, Navi is often thought of as quite annoying.
Personally, I don’t think she’s that bad. I like her.
But many players remark on how obnoxious her repetitive catchphrase “HEY!” can be.
She is often included on lists of most annoying video game companions, typically scoring the top (or bottom?) spot.
18. Shigeru Miyamoto Wasn’t A Fan Of Navi
Even Nintendo’s own Shigeru Miyamoto said that he wasn’t really a fan of Navi.
During an interview for Famitsu magazine back in April 1999, Miyamoto was quoted in saying:
“The truth is I wanted to remove the entire system, but that would have been even more unfriendly to players. You can think of Navi as being there for players who stop playing for a month or so, who then pick the game back up and want to remember what they were supposed to do.”
19. Is Navi More Annoying On The 3DS?
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D was released on the Nintendo 3DS console in 2011.
The remake featured improved graphics and stereoscopic 3d for the handheld console.
But Navi also got some updates…
Now, she will advise you to take a break from the game, or repeatedly recommend you watch a hint movie included in the release.
Obviously, this didn’t help her case. Maybe the devs over at Nintendo decided to lean into the annoying thing.
20. Navi in Breath of the Wild
Navi has not had any major roles in Zelda titles after ‘Ocarina of Time’; only a few small cameos.
But fans of Navi have been eager to see where she will appear next in the Zelda timeline, if ever.
With The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild being so massive and packed full of secrets to discover, fans have searched far and wide for Navi easter eggs.
One youtuber fooled a lot of hopefuls on April 1st, 2017 with his how-to guide on finding Navi in the game.
Navi does not actually appear in ‘Breath of the Wild’, but Nabi Lake was named after her.
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Anthony has been a video game lover ever since he can remember. He became a fulltime nomad in 2018, living throughout most of Asia. He focused his passion in retro gaming and began creating a game for the Game Boy Color while living in Nara, Japan during the 2020 pandemic. He is now in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where he spends most of his time gaming, going on long walks and meeting as many stray dogs as possible.