268: Hey, Listen, I Like Navi

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I'm with you here, Navi was the magic at the basis of the narrative in the game. Without her, I think OoT would've only had half the heart that it did. And perhaps, her conversion to Tatl in Majora's Mask, and the total replacement by Midna in Twilight Princess (save for the fairy's function as a targeting crosshair), seem to have taken exactly that heart from those games. I would've loved some continuity (though I know that this is a sin against the franchise's traditions) for Navi to have been in more than just that game.

There was just something special in the spirit of Navi's encouragement to you when you faced Ganondorf in the initial battle. Sometimes, less is more. And what little help Navi did give was enough to cement her as a memorable companion for me.


I laughed so hard at "and I am bad at spaceships." - I can't even explain why but it still makes me giggle.

Every good thing you listed about Navi has been done in other Zelda games without her. You can z-target in Wind Waker, can't you? Along with none of that "Hey! Listen!" crap you have to put up in OOT. It's like if you argued Tingle was necessary to Wind Waker - of course he was, but did he have to be so annoying? No. He didn't. He could have been the Happy Mask Salesman and annoyed me less.



Wow, someone got up on the wrong side of the bed.


Yes, I liked her too.

Does anyone else notice that Link's eyebrows are actually covering his bangs a little? It just struck me as weird.

OT: I also didn't mind Navi. Her voice is annoying sometimes, and she has ridiculous capacity to not tell me what I need to know, instead blathering on about whatever was in the last cut scene. And you can't just skip the dialog boxes, which confused me because she'll repeat herself ad nauseum if asked. And sometimes even when not. And generally she promises more than she can give, not really "helping" to get through a dungeon so much as to go "Don't forget that X needs us to get/kill/fix Z, so hurry up and figure this shit out!" In other words, she's useless as often as she's indispensable. But for that specific reason, I ignore her almost completely in every play through, which is why I just don't mind her that much.

However, using her for the lock on system and shit was indeed brilliant and intuitive, so I'll concede that she is at least one of the better support characters over all.

You're saying that I should like Navi for treating me like a dumbass?

But, honestly, I had nothing against the Navi until I discovered the Internet "Hey, listen" is just a funny meme everyone can relate to.

Oh, but you're wrong about Slippy. Who else is going to scan the boss's life bar? No one.

I thought Navi was useful, but then they gave us Midna and it was like having a little well-characterized companion for all those lonely worlds instead of just our well-meaning-but-somewhat-distant mother.

Still, though, it's better to have one than go through a game world like that all alone as you do in all of the Metroid games; after a couple hours of Metroid Prime 3 I kept hoping a metroid would stick to me so I'd have someone to talk to.

Loved the article

Never quite understood the hate against navi...

Oh and tat'l was a jerk. i forget how many times i was referred to being stupid by her but she had character growth and at the end she wasn't so bad.

Never have found a reason to hate either of the characters

Navi is essential to playing Ocarina of Time. At least on your first play through. But when you've played through the game 50bajillion times and you already know everything and are playing the game non-stop, I can see her being annoying.

But I love Navi.

Tatl was the annoying one. Tatl always assumed you had played through Ocarina of Time or you were some seasoned fighter. "You don't know how to fight this thing? fine, here's what you gotta do..."

Navi on the other hand was always, "This is the enemy, here's how to kill it. now kick its ass."

And to all of the HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEY!!!!! LIIIIIIIIIIISTEEEEEEEEEN!!!! haters out there:
Navi will only say "Hey" on her own accord. She wont say "Listen" until you press ^c. SO her saying, "Hey! Listen!" is only 1/3 her fault and 2/3 yours.

Let's compare Navi to some other sidekicks. We already have duck hunt dog and Slippy the Toad who Should be Strangled.
Ashley (Resi 4) - A burden. Gets kidnapped by enemies if you turn your head away for a second. The best defense she has is to toss small pieces of furniture. Why did I need to save her when I could just get out alive?
Farah (Prince of Persia) - Sure she was essential to the plot, but this means that she's almost always in-your-face about it. And even though her bow helped sometimes, there were a lot of times when she missed and shot me instead.
Midna - Just here for comparison against Navi. Yes, she was a better and stronger character. However, as for her in-game practicality, she wasn't as helpful. Also, to call her advice, you always had to watch this little animation of her popping out of your shadow. When you asked for Navi, immediately a text box appears. Yes, it's only fractions of a second longer than Navi, and it was probably due to graphical limitation, but it adds up.

Now I want to hear an argument against Navi, and it can't consist entirely of "She sayz listen and it makes me RAGE!!!". Is that the only reason people dislike her?

No. You're wrong, and you're a bad person who should feel bad for writing this article.

The ultimate point of playing a game, beyond anything and everything else, is to have fun. Having that little bastard of a fairy screaming in your ear for hours on end is not fun. Therefore, she is an example of bad game design, and everyone should hate her.

I like Navi, so much so I found a .wav file of her HEY! LISTEN! and set it as my text message ring tone. Drives my gamer friends absolutely crazy, especially when I get a lot of messages right in a row.

She never got on my nerves but I found her useless, she always told me the obvious such as.

During the water temple before shadow link appeared I went to the other side of the room and saw bars blocking the door and then she told me "Their are bars blocking the doors." Really? thats all you have to say? >.>

THANK YOU. I thought I was the only one who liked Navi.

I enjoyed reading this.

And I liked Navi. At least I liked her far more than the Water Temple... But maybe not as much as I liked Sheik.

Odd... For some reason my last post never came in. Test, test.

Oh, there it is. Okay, ignore this one. This post never existed. Forget it ever happened.

Dammit, stop reading!

Hey i never thought Navi was annoying because she gave advise. I always appreciate anything thats helpful. It was the constant "heeeeeeeeeeyyy liiiiiistnen" that made oh so easy to want to stangle her. Also look at Tatl form Majora's mask. The dialogue was replaced with a simple chime and she was endlessly more likable than Navi despite the snarky attitude.

I prefer Tatl, she does everything Navi does, but shuts the fuck up in the process.


Now I want to hear an argument against Navi, and it can't consist entirely of "She sayz listen and it makes me RAGE!!!". Is that the only reason people dislike her?

Well I hate her because when I play LoZ:OoT too much, the 'Hey, Listen' gets stuck in my head, and because I can imagine sound, it stops me from sleeping, because it repeats in my head.

This is how insanity is created, kids.

I think Navi has the Hots for Dark link.

An interesting perspective to have on her usefulness in the game. :) I think I'll have more appreciation then ever before.

Interesting piece. Personally I quite liked Navi as a design element and as an optional hint system, what always bothered me was when she intruded with the gameplay. You ought to have been given the option early on to determine how frequently she offers hints, and to turn any gameplay disrupting auto-hints off completely.

She did flesh out the story though. Interesting that Square-Enix opted for a similar fairy sidekick system in Dragon Quest IX to make up for the absence of talking player characters. Looks like Sandy/Stella was even more hated in Japan than Navi is in English speaking countries. Didn't see a problem with her myself, though she probably fits the localisation better than she did the original.

Navi as your conscience. Come on Brendan, you're a doctoral student, please try and avoid thesis which are so obviously bullocks. Navi is not your conscience, because you can never go against Navi. Navi can never tell you to do something that you can choose to act against: your only option is to obey her. Navi never tells you to save Princess Zelda while it is also an option to rape and murder her. Navi never tells you to save a village while you are also able to burn it to the ground. Navi never tells you to open a chest while you're also able to pawn it off to some peasant as a mystery box worth a billion rupees.

Navi is not anyone's conscience, she is the dictator of the game - commanding on high with absolute authority. She is the one who defines what reality is, not the moral compass that explains how reality should be. There are no normative notions, only imperial impetus.


tbh i never really got irritated by her, id quite like my own personal fairy companion, and if it helps me lock on while im throwing rocks or something at people then WIN

I don't get it: Even the article that defends Navi exaggerates her speech as being shrill, annoying, and drawn out. "Hey!" and "Listen!" are said as quickly as anyone would say them, just like her "Hello!" and "Watch out!" She isn't constantly bouncing into Link's head shouting "Heeeeeeeeeeeeeey! Leeeeeeeeeeesten! Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeey!"

I don't know how it became a meme to hate her. I guess because "Hey! Listen!" is catchy. You know who you all should be hating though? Kaepora Gae-fuckin-bora. That stupid thing would bring your journey to a screeching halt much more often than Navi, and the text was arranged in a way that, if you are repeatedly tapping A in a rush to move on to the next ten-minute long paragraph you're expecting in the next box, you just might accidentally select the option that you want to hear his stupid speech again. Oh, but since you don't HEAR the text slowly crawl by when he wastes your time by saying "HOO HOOOOT HOOOOT HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" I guess that isn't as annoying as the brief sound file that occasionally shows up when an option appears for a potentially new player to get a hint that is actually helpful.

Seems like a long rant, right? Now imagine that, instead of having the option to scroll past this, an internet popup interrupted everything for this text to slowly appear in an unskippable text box of torture.

Did you get all that?
image No.

Navi was annoying...sometimes, but Tatl was completely useless.

The problem with Navi was that she was useless too, she was just really annoying at the same time. I actually liked reading her dialog, but she never said anything that wasn't a complete no brainer, and the things that you actually needed to know, like how to get a lot of pieces of heart and such, she never said anything about. Personally, I never needed Navi to tell me how to solve puzzles or beat bosses or anything, including in the water temple, if Navi never was in OoT I wouldn't have missed her in any way.

Tatl on the other hand practically wasn't in Majora's and wasn't helpful at all when she was, is ironic since in Majora's Mask if you didn't have a guide you were pretty much screwed, especially if you're the find and do everything type. The difference with Tatl is that she wasn't helpful, but also wasn't annoying either, in fact I hardly even noticed that she was ever there after a while, so she's easily better than Navi.

In a nutshell, both cases they get it wrong, Navi very annoying and useless, Tatl useless but also not there. Unlike these two a good sidekick should be very useful, but you practically don't know they exist unless they appear in a cutscene or you need a tip, Midna is the perfect example of just such a sidekick.

Navi never tells you to save Princess Zelda while it is also an option to rape and murder her. Navi never tells you to save a village while you are also able to burn it to the ground. Navi never tells you to open a chest while you're also able to pawn it off to some peasant as a mystery box worth a billion rupees.

Ok... now you've made me picture Link doing just that, and for some reason I would find just such a game really entertaining, except the rape part, that gives me pause, but not the kill part oddly enough.

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