Aonuma: Tingle isn’t gay, character draws inspiration from Peter Pan


Easily ranking among the fan-favourite characters in The Legend of Zelda series, there’s still a lot of mystery surrounding the green-clad Tingle.

Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma has shared more insight behind the inspirations for the character, and, was also asked by Kotaku as to his sexual orientation, to which he responded: “He’s not gay. He’s just an odd person.”

Beyond this, Tingle was the result of thinking who would draw and sell maps of the surrounding area, a quirky inhabitant of Termina who would fly on balloons to sketch his surroundings.

“I guess the heart of the character there is a little bit of a gag kind of feeling to it,” Aonuma began in his explanation. “The way the design of the character started is that we needed to think about how the character—the player—would get access to maps in this game. Of course, you could go with a situation where, as soon as he sees an area, you just open up your map and it fills in for you, but we wanted to do something a little bit different.

“So, we thought, what if you had to buy maps? Then suddenly we needed a character that you would be buying maps from. We ultimately ended up with a character here that had a little bit of humour to him that [came from] thinking of…’What sort of person would sell a map?’ And, well, we decided it would be the kind of person who makes a map. And the way that he makes a map is by floating through the air so that he can see the contours of the land and draw them. But as soon as we got that far in the process, we realised anybody that would fly through the air making a map has got to be a really weird.”

He continued, “So when we made the character, we had this notion that one of the ways he might be a little bit weird is that he had this notion that he never wanted to grow up. And so I think, to that extent the clothes do fit this image of him. And the whole thing comes together as a very Peter Pan kind of visual. You know, if you think about it, it’s this guy in his 30s in a green suit and is flying and never wants to grow up, it all sort of comes together around that.”

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