The Legend of Zelda

Season 1 Episode 12

The Missing Link

Aired Saturday 8:30 AM Nov 24, 1989 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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  • Compelling plot, and a bit of a bombshell at the end?

    And there's not enough room
    In this world for my pain
    Signals cross and love gets lost
    And time passed makes it plain
    Of all my demon spirits
    I need you the most
    I'm in love with your ghost

    -- Indigo Girls, "Ghost"

    On s seemingly peaceful day in Hyrule, Zelda is picking flowers in the castle courtyard when suddenly a flash erupts in front of the courtyard fountain. A bunch of Moblins pour through the flash, shooting arrows -- this is a full-scale invasion. (Usually Ganon has to enter the overworld through a dungeon entrance -- since when has he been able to gate directly into the castle? Hmm.) Link quickly snaps into action, and Zelda ominously warns, "Ganon's coming". Ganon soon emerges in his Stalfos-led caravan, holding a magic wand. Zelda quickly grabs Link's shield for cover and runs off to get the Triforce. The Moblins continue attacking Link, while Ganon reveals that his new wand will allow him to zap Zelda right into his Evil Jar. This is interesting; according to previous episodes, only Ganon's creatures end up in the Evil Jar when destroyed. Regular people link Link and Zelda get hurt and die when they get hit too much.

    With no means of protection, Link is forced to hide behind a pedestal. He continues to fight off the Moblins as best he can, but the Moblins' arrows start whittling down the pedestal. Zelda soon arrives with the Triforce, but for some reason has neglected to bring back Link's shield -- fatal mistake. Using the Triforce's magic, she whips out a fireball which takes out a few Moblins. Ganon seems slightly amused at her prowess, but then busts out the whupping stick and launches a massive fireball at Zelda. Zelda quickly conjures up a shield to deflect the fireball and recoils from the impact. The fireball bounces off a few castle towers, then obliterates the pedestal and hits Link before he can escape. Link screams in agony, and soon disappears, leaving a plume of smoke behind.

    Ganon demands the Triforce from Zelda. Zelda threatens Ganon with another few fireballs, but then Ganon decides to retreat, knowing that he has Link in his Evil Jar and that Zelda will never see him again without acceding to his demands. He and his minions exit, and Zelda looks at the scorched battlefield with a defeated look on her face.

    Zelda sees Link's sword on the ground, and starts mourning her fallen hero. Link seems more than a bit amused by this, and replies "sheesh. You'd think I was destroyed or something." For once, Zelda is overjoyed to see him; she rushes over to embrace him...and runs right through him and ends up on the ground. Yup, Link's a ghost. Zelda quickly realizes that the fireball must have lost some of its juice after bouncing around so much -- it got Link's body, but not his spirit. Sprite soon arrives, shocked by the mess in the courtyard, and asks Zelda where Link is. Apparently Sprite can't see Link's ghost. Link calls out to Sprite, and she turns around, causing much confusion. Zelda wonders if she's the only one who can see Link's ghost. "That'd be your lucky day, princess", quips Link as he tries to embrace Zelda. Despite Link's being a ghost, Zelda somehow casts him aside and snaps "that's not what I'd call it." Link's ghost actually lands with a thud here. Nice to know that the initial bout of sympathy has expired and that things are back to normal. This leads to the following exchange:

    Zelda: "We've got to get your body back from Ganon."
    Link: "Don't tell me you only love me for my body!"
    Zelda: "Love you? Ha! It's just that without your body you're even more useless than usual."
    Sprite: "Oh. Maybe he'll eat less."
    Zelda: "Now that'd be a blessing."

    You gotta wonder why Link decides to put up with all this abuse when he could just take a hike and warp over to Mushroom Land where he can fight Koopas and get some action with Princess Toadstool. Link unsuccessfully tries to pick up his sword. Zelda picks it up, gives it a whirl, and decides that they're going to head to Death Mountain to find Link's body as Sprite carries the Triforce back.

    Cut to Ganon's evil jar. A bunch of Moblins are pawing at Link's lifeless body.

    Oure heroes end up in some random dungeon in the Underworld. Zelda, being the only one of the two who has a weapon, is leading the way. She opens a door and has it slam behind her. She frantically tries to reopen it to let Link through, to no avail. Link casually passes through the wall, leading to the following exchange.

    Zelda: "The door won't open! (Pounds on door) Link! Can you hear me? Link!"
    Link: "You don't have to shout."
    Zelda: "Aaah! (Closes eyes and starts swinging sword wildly) Oh. Don't DO that!"
    Link: "You swing that sword like a girl."
    Zelda: "I AM a girl."
    Link: "Yes, I've noticed."
    Zelda: "Ugh! Even when you're a ghost you're disgusting!"
    Link: "Well, excuuuuuuuse me, Princess. Just trying to keep my spirits up."

    Zelda and Link walk into a large hall, where a bunch of Stalfos emerge from behind various doors. Instinctively Link steps in front of Zelda and whips into hero mode, forgetting that he's a ghost. The Stalfos pass through him effortlessly. Zelda does a backflip onto a higher perch. She tries to zap one of the skeletons, but the recoil knocks her backwards and sends the zap awry. Naturally, Link is horrified at Zelda's lack of swordsmanship and can only resort to coaching Zelda on proper technique. He tells her to hold the sword with two hands, and eventually she manages to finish off all but one of the Stalfos. The last one grabs her from behind. We get this exchange:

    Zelda: "Don't give me that look Link, just DO something!"
    Stalfos: "Link? What? Where is he?"
    Link: (emerges from behind Stalfos) "Right HERE!"

    The Stalfos hears Link's voice and runs off in horror, and Zelda finishes it off.

    Link lectures Zelda on her swordsmanship, and naturally Zelda doesn't seem to appreciate the comment too much. Link audaciously tries to pull out the "well, I did save you from that last Stalfos, how 'bout a kiss" card. Of course, since Link has no body, Zelda is happy to oblige this time.

    The defeated Stalfos reappear in the Evil Jar and report to Ganon. (Animation flub here -- one of the Stalfos speaks while Ganon's lips are moving.) Ganon is shocked to hear that Link is with Zelda, and puzzled to hear that while everyone can hear Link, Zelda is the only one who can see him. Ganon realizes that he only has Link's body, and posits that Zelda can see Link only because she loves him.

    Of course, our heroes are watching this all from a balcony overlooking Ganon's main hall. Link reacts in an empowered smugness, Zelda in a horrified embarassment. Zelda resignedly admits to loving Link "maybe just a little". Link starts exclaiming triumphantly "Zelda loves me! Zelda loves me!" After 11 episodes, he'll take whatever he can get. Of course, Ganon hears Link's voice and empties the Evil Jar (except for one Stalfos who watches Link's body). He sends a bunch of Moblins off to find Link and Zelda. Link doesn't seem too concerned. Zelda, still possessing a corporeal form, seems a bit more worried. Link tells Zelda to hold off the monsters while he reclaims his body.

    Zelda makes a rather poor tactical choice by jumping off the balcony and fighting the Moblins on the ground instead of shooting them from above. Nevertheless, she is able to zap a few of them while Link makes a break for the Evil Jar. Link reenters his body, and at this point you might have wondered exactly how Link thought he was going to escape the Evil Jar. He does this by grabbing the Stalfos by its lapels and getting it to cough up a bomb.

    Back on the ground, a pair of Moblins manage to subdue Zelda. Just then, the Evil Jar explodes and Link emerges, surfing a wave of purple liquid that washes Ganon and a bunch of the Moblins away. After the wave subsides, Zelda punts the sword over to Link, who finishes off the rest of the monsters. The Evil Jar starts shooting magical blasts all over the place, so Link and Zelda exit before the thing goes kablooie.

    Link and Zelda emerge from a hole in the ground. Link makes his usual request for a kiss, but before Zelda can reward him, the rock under Link's feet collapses, sending him back into the hole in the ground. Fin.


    This is probably the best episode of the series. We get a compelling plot, which leads to a lot of hilarious banter between Link and Zelda. The whole bit about Zelda loving Link is a bit odd, however. I don't think that Zelda does or needs to love Link in any sort of romantic way, just as a friend and all-around savior of Hyrule. Regardless, it is hilarious watching her try to wriggle out of that situation.