The star of this segment in the game is Telma, the owner and bartender of the appropriately named “Telma’s Bar” in Castle Town.
OH MY GOD TELMA.
I LOVE HER SO MUCH.
Oh, um. Sorry.
Once Link gets done fishing and riding the river rapids, he returns to Castle Town, where instead of heading over to Telma’s bar to check on the Zora prince he goes straight to Agitha’s Castle to sell some bugs.
Agitha is a strange young woman who wears Sweet Lolita clothing and purple butterfly wings. She also lives in a two-story house full of books and insect cages, and she’s loaded. Link has been collecting golden glowing insects throughout his adventure, and if he gives them to Agitha she will compensate him with cash. Link can then run deliver the money to some sort of sidewalk solicitor – a priest, maybe? – who will reward him with a heart piece once he gets 1,000 rupees. Since Link can only carry 300 rupees at a time, I end up going through the alley a few times, and every time I play with the stray dog futzing about in the street. I wish there were a minigame that involved playing with the dog. The dog is super cute.
Eventually Link makes his way to Telma’s bar, where he finds Ilia. She and Link make big starry eyes at each other, but it turns out she’s lost her memory. I’m not sure why this is necessary. First she doesn’t get a pony, and then she has to suffer debilitating mystery trauma. What a bum deal. I can’t help but wonder if the game’s writers are making her beautiful and broken in order to create some sort of artificial affect in which the player-protagonist is encouraged to equate a desire to protect her with romantic feelings. That’s kind of gross, but whatever.
The Hylian doctor can do nothing for Prince Ralis (that’s the Zora kid), and the Hylian soldiers are too chicken to transport him to someone who can help (this would be Renado), so Link is recruited to act as a bodyguard for a carriage Telma drives from Castle Town to Kakariko Village. This sequence, in which Link rides around shooting things, is a redux of his initial fight against King Bulblin, and it’s a lot of fun.
Once everyone makes it safely to Kakariko Village, there’s a lovely scene in which Telma explains that her bar is a safehouse for a small resistance movement. She tells Link that she wants to see him again soon. She gives him a cute little wink, which is adorable even though she’s a full head taller than him and could probably snap him like a twig.
I think it might be possible that Telma is a descendant of the Gerudo (the desert dwelling tribe from Ocarina of Time), even though her eyes are green instead of gold. Still, she’s got the same tall stature, red hair, and tan skin coloration. Despite the outsider status of the Gerudo, it’s cool that Telma is not some kind of outcast but fully integrated into Hylian society. She even feels so strongly about Hyrule that she’s become a key member of an underground group set on keeping it safe.
After she talks to Link, she goes off after Renado, because this game will allow a mature female character to be a total badass and still have a girlish crush on a hunky widower with a young daughter. You go girl, do your thing.
When she’s out of sight, Link is approached by the ghost of the Zora Queen Rutela, who thanks him for saving her son and leads him to the graveyard, telling him that Kakariko is sacred to the Zora. Apparently, all Zora nobility are buried there.
What? Kakariko on the complete other side of Hyrule from Zora’s Domain, though…
Perhaps because the water in the Zora’s Domain is so cold, the warm spring water of Kakariko might be seen as a natural resting place. Also, lava flows just as water flows, and the two together might be understood as twin generative forces that together create a type of natural balance as they shape and bestow life to the land. Or something?
Regardless, behind a stone carved with the crest of the Zora royal family is a small passage leading to an isolated spring. A tunnel under the water will take Link to the Zora’s Domain once he’s ready to proceed to the next temple, but his immediate objective is a set of bright blue Zora Armor that has been kept safe for him in the tomb of the deceased Zora king, who had spent his entire life developing the technology so that it might be of use to a future hero.
After Link recovers the Zora Armor from the king’s grave (gross), Midna tells him that they still need to find the last Fused Shadow. Even though they’ve lifted the twilight and rescued the kids from Ordon Village, she says, the same thing will keep happening unless they cut off the evil at its source.
( Header image from theblindheir on Tumblr )