Tingle (character)

Tingle (Japanese: チンクル, Hepburn: Chinkuru, also romanized as Tincle and Chinkle in Japanese materials)[1][2] is a recurring character in The Legend of Zelda series. First appearing in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, he has since appeared in several installments of the series. He has gone on to be the star of video games for the Nintendo DS: Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland,[3] currently released in Japan and Europe, and the Japan-exclusive games Tingle's Balloon Fight DS, Irozuki Tincle no Koi no Balloon Trip, as well as the DSiWare application Dekisugi Tingle Pack.

Tingle series and The Legend of Zelda character
First gameThe Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (2000)
Created byTakaya Imamura
Designed byTakaya Imamura
Voiced by

Concept and creationEdit

Tingle was created by Takaya Imamura, a game designer at Nintendo EAD.[4] According to an interview with Kensuke Tanabe, producer of Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland, character designer Imamura created Tingle in a "very relaxed manner." He was also in charge of the character design of the games F-Zero and Star Fox.[5] In an interview with Electronic Gaming Monthly, director Eiji Aonuma stated that he had "found out some American people didn't like him very much" and ultimately decided not to include him in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess as a result.[6] In a later interview with Nintendo Dream, he stated that the character Purlo is his reference to Tingle in Twilight Princess. According to Aonuma, Purlo's appearance "is the result of wondering what a realistic Tingle would look like".[7]


Tingle, in his Wind Waker form is a short, pudgy 35-year-old, while Tingle, in his Majora's Mask form, is an averaged-sized, paunchy 35-year-old [8][9] man who is obsessed with "forest fairies"[9] and dresses up in a green costume, slightly resembling that of Link. He also wears tight red shorts and a necklace with a clock that is permanently stuck at four o'clock. Tingle is normally seen floating around on his red balloon drawing and selling maps for his father, who runs the Southern Swamp pictograph contest and sees Tingle as "a fool". He is also known for his catchphrase: "Tingle, Tingle! Kooloo-Limpah!" Chinkuru, Chinkuru! Kururinpa! (チンクル、チンクル! クルリンパー!). Tingle appears to have a fixation for Rupees and other similar collectibles, such as Force Gems in Four Swords Adventures and Kinstones in The Minish Cap. In Majora's Mask, Tingle can be found selling maps, and in The Wind Waker, he translates Triforce Maps for a high price, among other things. Tingle's fixation for Rupees is explained in the Nintendo DS game Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland, where it is stated that he needs Rupees to live. He is known to dress as a fairy.


Ankle is Tingle's younger brother and Knuckle's twin. In The Wind Waker, he is found turning the grinding wheel at Tingle Tower with David Jr.. The reason he does so much work is to support his brother, Knuckle. He also has a love of gardening. He also appears in Four Swords Adventures and later in The Minish Cap, where he fuses Kinstones behind Lon Lon Ranch. His outfit is faded purple.

Knuckle is Ankle's twin and the one who built Tingle Tower. In The Wind Waker, he is largely a side-quest character, requiring use of the Tingle Tuner to find. By doing so, Link can gain the Hand-Me-Down Tuner which provides additional options. He also appears in Four Swords Adventures and later in The Minish Cap, where he fuses Kinstones in Trilby Highlands. His outfit is light blue.

David Jr., although similar in appearance to Tingle and his brothers,[10] is from Windfall Island and is unrelated to Tingle. After getting shipwrecked on Tingle Island, he was forced by Tingle to work turning the wheel. Unenthusiastic about his role, he does it anyway, although he is prone to complaining. When reading his inscription in the Nintendo Gallery, it implies that his father was the one who made the ghost ship chart, but died immediately after doing so. He also appears in Four Swords Adventures and The Minish Cap, the latter of which sees him fusing Kinstones in Lake Hylia. His outfit is white.


The Legend of Zelda seriesEdit

Tingle made his debut in the Nintendo 64 game Majora's Mask. Throughout Link's adventure, Tingle helps Link navigate Termina by selling him maps of various areas. Tingle appears in Clock Town, Southern Swamp, Woodfall, Mountain Village, Milk Road, Great Bay, Ikana Valley, Stone Tower, and outside Zora Hall. His father operates the pictograph contest at the Woodfall Swamp, and is ashamed by his son's antics, although he admits that perhaps he spoiled him too much.

Tingle doesn't appear in Oracle of Seasons but does appear in Oracle of Ages, giving Link a chart that he needs to cross the sea. He also gives Link upgrades to the Seed Satchel, the first increasing its capacity to 50 of every seed and the second (available only in a linked game) to 99 of every seed.

Tingle's first appearance in The Wind Waker is in a small, dingy prison cell on Windfall Island. He was imprisoned for being mistaken for a troublemaker. When freed, Tingle gives Link the Tingle Tuner, a device that can be used if the player connects a Game Boy Advance to the GameCube via the Nintendo GameCube Game Boy Advance Cable. This allows a second player to control Tingle and assist Link by selling him potions, providing him with a shield, and allowing him to float and drop bombs. However, in the Wii U remake, Tingle gives Link the Tingle Bottle, which can be used to post on Miiverse, instead of the Tingle Tuner. Tingle also gives the player a crudely drawn map to Tingle Island, and can be found for the rest of the game on this island, near the top of Tingle Tower. According to the Tingle Tuner, Tingle is merely a native of a different island with a Tingle-centric legend, in parallel to the Link-centric legend of Outset Island. He deciphers the charts needed to haul the Triforce Shards from the ocean floor. He is also known for his extortionate prices; he demands 398 Rupees per chart, plus 201 Rupees for the IN-credible Chart that shows the location of the Triforce Charts and Triforce Shards from the charts that have been deciphered. This game also introduced his brothers, Ankle and Knuckle, who are twins, and David Jr., who is not related but was (supposedly) saved by Tingle after his ship was sucked into a cyclone.

Tingle appears in the GameCube game Four Swords Adventures. If a player leaves a good deal of Force Gems lying around for too long, Tingle will eventually float towards them on his balloon to steal them. The players must grab them before he does (although while playing multi-player, players are given the option of turning this off). There is also a trap in this game that causes Tingle to lead an army of lookalikes and steal the gems directly from the Links.

Tingle, Ankle, Knuckle, and David Jr. are able to fuse Kinstones with Link in the Game Boy Advance game The Minish Cap. Fusing Kinstones is an action that Link can do with many people, animals, and seemingly inanimate objects throughout the game, which influences the game world to give Link access to an item or new area. When all four have fused Kinstones with Link, a passage will open on the Castle Grounds that gives him the Magic Boomerang. Tingle, his brothers, and David Jr. can also tell Link how many Kinstone fusions remain. Once Link has done every Kinstone fusion, Tingle will award Link with the Tingle statue.

In Phantom Hourglass, Tingle makes a small appearance in Mercay Island's bar, as a poster on the wall. In Spirit Tracks, a small Tingle figurine is in Hyrule Castle Town's shop and Linebeck III's shop. In Skyward Sword, a Tingle doll can be seen in Zelda's room at the Knight Academy. Tingle appears as an additional playable character in Hyrule Warriors via the Majora's Mask DLC pack. In Breath of the Wild the main character Link is able to discover and wear a Tingle outfit made available via a DLC pack.

Tingle seriesEdit

Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy RupeelandEdit

Tingle's first starring role was in the spin-off title game known as Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland for the Nintendo DS. It tells the story of Tingle as a simple, 35-year-old man who ended up becoming a Tingle after meeting a character known as Uncle Rupee. The game explain why all of Tingle's incarnations have been so obsessed with Rupees, as well as why he wears his 'fairy suit'. The game was released in Japan in 2006 and one year later in Europe on September 14. Although the game scored high reviews in both Japan and Europe, it never saw a North American release. This was likely due to a poll on Nintendo's website asking if the game should be brought to America. The poll slightly swung against an American release due to the poor perception that Tingle had received in the region.

Tingle's Balloon FightEdit

Tingle's Balloon Fight DS (チンクルの バルーンファイトDS, Chinkuru no Barūn Faito DS) is a Nintendo DS arcade style platformer published and developed by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS handheld video game console, which is solely available to Platinum Club Nintendo members. The game itself is based not only on The Legend of Zelda, but on Balloon Fight as well, making this the third entry in the latter franchise (following the first title and Balloon Kid).

Tingle's Balloon Fight uses the same game design as Balloon Fight. The game has three modes: Balloon Fight (single player), local wireless Balloon Fighting Spirit (2–4 players), and Balloon Trip (single-player). Performing various accomplishments throughout the game (winning multiplayer matches, achievements in scoring, and other as yet unknown methods) unlocks artwork in a gallery of Tingle portraits, available on the Options screen of the game. The game was released exclusively to members of Club Nintendo in Japan.[11]

Irozuki Tingle no Koi no Balloon TripEdit

An issue of the Japanese magazine Famitsu published in June 2009 contained a teaser advertisement depicting a tiny picture of Tingle along with a line of text saying Yōsei? (ようせい?, lit. "Fairy?").[12] On June 12, 2009, Nintendo opened a teaser website, hinting at an upcoming Nintendo DS game starring Tingle.[13][14] Later, a DSiWare title named Dekisugi Tingle Pack (lit. "Too Much Tingle Pack") was released in Japan on June 24, which is a collection of Tingle themed applications. Another issue of Famitsu published in late June revealed a Nintendo DS game titled Irodzuki Tincle no Koi no Balloon Trip (lit. "Ripening Tingle's Balloon Trip of Love"), which is a sequel to Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland.[15] It was released in Japan on August 6, 2009.[16]

Dekisugi Tingle PackEdit

Dekisugi Tingle Pack (lit. "Too Much Tingle Pack") is a DSiWare application that includes several different minigames, including a fortune-teller, calculator, timer, coin-flipper and dancing game. It was released on June 24, 2009 as a promotional application for Irozuki Tingle no Koi no Balloon Trip.

Other rolesEdit

Tingle appears in Super Smash Bros. Melee as part of the Termina Bay stage, as well as an Assist Trophy in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. In those games, he threw out a large amount of items that could quickly be grabbed by all of the fighters. However, he would sometimes just float away, not doing anything. He also appears as a trophy in those games, the former based on Majora's Mask and the latter two based on The Wind Waker.

Tingle also appears in Super Mario Maker as one of the unlockable "Mystery Mushroom" outfits.

Impact and receptionEdit

Outside of Japan, Tingle received an overwhelmingly negative reception. The editors at IGN did not like Tingle, in part because his role in The Wind Waker was an integral part of "tedious fetch quests". They titled the article "IGNcube's 2004 "Die, Tingle, Die! Die!" Campaign."[17] When development for Twilight Princess began, IGN hoped that game directors Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma would not include the character, saying "we're not going to stand for him in another Zelda game".[17] Tingle ranked sixth on GameDaily's top 10 ugliest game characters list, stating that his face looks out of place.[18] GamesRadar described him as "Zelda's Jar Jar".[19] Nintendo Power listed Tingle as one of the three weirdos, describing him as both a great cartographer as well as a "fully grown man in a green elf costume who rides a balloon and says, 'Tingle! Tingle! Kooloo-Limpah!'".[20] Fan distaste for Tingle led to his exclusion from Twilight Princess.[6] PALGN editor Matt Keller stated that Tingle was widely considered the weakest part of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.[21] IGN, among others, ranked him number 1 of the top 20 weirdest Zelda characters.[22]

However, many fans have stood up for Tingle, as well his respective game series. Criticism of the character primarily comes from Western gamers, but in Japan, Tingle has garnered a cult following, which resulted in the development of several spin-off games featuring Tingle as their star. In a 2013 interview with VentureBeat, Kensuke Tanabe had expressed interest in making another Tingle game, having stated: "I know that people cannot stand Tingle. But to me that challenge is: Could I take this character that is so reviled in the West and just [do] a complete turnaround and make him a beloved, fun character? The idea of that really just gets me going. I know we have made a Tingle game in the past, but maybe at some point down the road." He later joked that "it's like romance: You meet someone and you're like, 'Oh god, I can't stand that person.' And then three weeks later, you're madly in love – it's that turn, that quick whip, that motivates [me] a little bit.”[23]


  1. ^ "Nintendo's official "Welcome to Tincle's House" site". Retrieved 2008-02-25.
  2. ^ "Nintendo's official Four Swords Adventures Website". Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  3. ^ "Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland microsite". Nintendo of Europe. Retrieved 2007-10-05.
  4. ^ 『いろづきチンクルの恋のバルーントリップ』開発スタッフインタビュー 2時限目 キャラクターのお話 [Ripening Tingle's Balloon Trip of Love development staff interview, second part: Character talk] (in Japanese). Nintendo Online Magazine. August 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-31.
  5. ^ "Interview: Tingle (DS)". Nintendo of Europe. 2007-09-06. Archived from the original on 2012-09-04. Retrieved 2009-06-04.
  6. ^ a b Electronic Gaming Monthly, June 2005, Ziff-Davis
  7. ^ ニンドリドットコム~青沼英二さんロングインタビュー~ [Nindori.com ~Eiji Aonuma long interview~] (in Japanese). Nintendo Dream. Archived from the original on 2007-02-02. Retrieved 2009-09-14.
  8. ^ Tingle: "Alas, though I am already age 35, no fairy has come to me yet..." Nintendo (2007-10-05). The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. Nintendo.
  9. ^ a b Tingle Figurine: "It's been several years since Tingle first became enchanted with deciphering maps in the hopes it would help him find fairies, and he's lost many things during that time. He's raising funds to begin his search for fairies, hoping to embark sometime in his thirties, while the lust of life is still upon him. At the age of 35, the pressure's on!" Nintendo (2007-10-05). The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. Nintendo.
  10. ^ Chris Carle (2007). "We delve into obscurity on the videogame side of things and emerge with Zelda's Tingle lookalike". OCD: David Jr. Retrieved September 27, 2007.
  11. ^ Anoop Gantayat (2007-04-19). "Tingle's Balloon Fight Impressions". IGN. Retrieved 2008-03-20.
  12. ^ "Tingle Returns to DS". IGN. 2009-06-10. Retrieved 2009-06-15.
  13. ^ "Nintendo Continues Tingle Tease". IGN. 2009-06-12. Retrieved 2009-06-15.
  14. ^ "Tingle teaser website". Nintendo Co., Ltd. Retrieved 2009-06-15.
  15. ^ "Tingle Gets Two on DS". IGN. 2009-06-24. Retrieved 2009-06-24.
  16. ^ "Nintendo DS Software" (in Japanese). Nintendo. Retrieved 2009-09-05.
  17. ^ a b "IGNcube's 2004 "Die, Tingle, Die! Die!" Campaign". IGN. 2004-06-09. Retrieved 2007-11-30.
  18. ^ "Top 10 Ugliest Game Characters - Page 5". GameDaily. Retrieved 2009-08-07.
  19. ^ Joe McNeilly (March 25, 2010). "5 reasons to hate Zelda". GamesRadar. Archived from the original on June 15, 2011. Retrieved 2010-04-14.
  20. ^ Nintendo Power 250th issue!. South San Francisco, California: Future US. 2010. p. 46.
  21. ^ "Freshly Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland Review". PALGN. 2007-10-07. Archived from the original on 2012-07-15. Retrieved 2009-05-27.
  22. ^ Drake, Audrey (2011-01-24). "Top 20 Weirdest Zelda Characters". IGN.
  23. ^ Valdes, Giancarlo (2013-06-17). "Nintendo producer imagines what Metroid and Tingle could look like on Wii U". VentureBeat. Retrieved 2015-01-15.