The Legend of Zelda – All Sheik Appearances in Chronological Order

Sheik from The Legend of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda – All Sheik Appearances in Chronological Order

Since first appearing in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Sheik continues to endear herself to Nintendo fans the world over thanks to her myriad appearances in the Super Smash Bros. series. The appeal of Sheik comes as no surprise, as the reveal of her true identity as Princess Zelda near the conclusion of Ocarina of Time is still one of the greatest (if not obviously apparent) twists in a game from its era. Sheik arrives at a time of crisis for Link where he awakens as an adult in a twisted version of Hyrule, and continues to provide him with help at opportune times throughout his adventure before finally revealing herself to be none other than the princess.

Even outside Sheik’s importance to Ocarina of Time‘s narrative, she’s the Zelda series’ version of one of the most popular character archetypes in gaming: the Ninja. For years, the Zelda series’ mythology and setting seemed to pull more directly from European cultures and high fantasy, so the introduction of an honest-to-goodness ninja into the canon of the franchise serves as a watershed moment for longtime fans. The added bonus of this skilled ninja being Princess Zelda is just the icing on the cake, showing (for the first time) that Zelda isn’t the typical “damsel in distress” that previous games make her out to be.

Who is Sheik?

Sheik appears to us as a male member of the Sheika tribe, the very same mysterious tribe of Hyrule that Zelda’s caretaker Impa belongs to. Right after Link pulls the Master Sword from its pedestal in the Temple of Time, the spirit of the weapon places him in a deep slumber until he is physically ready to wield the blade against Ganon. This causes Link to spend 7 years in suspended animation, waking up in the Temple of Time to a ruined Hyrule. During this hour of need, Sheik appears to teach Link songs using his harp that Link will play on the Ocarina of Time throughout his adventure.

Eventually, Sheik reveals to Link that he is actually Princess Zelda in disguise. Needing to conceal her whereabouts to avoid detection and capture by Ganon, Zelda assumes the role of Sheik and uses all of the training that Impa imparted on her as a child to defend herself and watch over Link. Following her appearances in Ocarina of Time (as well as its various adaptations in manga), Sheik is a fan-favorite character in Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. series, though her original appearances are part of the selection and moveset of Princess Zelda before eventually gaining her own character selection.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Sheik

The first appearance of Sheik comes as a key element of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time‘s narrative, appearing in the Temple of Time to aid Link in restoring the Seven Sages and earning their medallions to challenge Ganon. Sheik then frequently reappears after Link completes each temple, teaching him the songs necessary to warp back to the temple grounds as well as providing him with hints as to where his adventure should take him next. Eventually, Sheik reveals herself to be Princess Zelda, explaining that the double identity was a ruse to protect herself and Link from Ganon’s reach.

Super Smash Bros. Melee (2001)

Super Smash Bros. Melee Sheik

Playing as Princess Zelda in Super Smash Bros. Melee for GameCube allows players to also assume the role of Sheik. By pressing down on the analog stick while holding the B button, players can transform Princess Zelda into her Sheik form, complete with the addition of a brand new unique moveset and abilities. Playing as Sheik and completing the various modes of Super Smash Bros. Melee earns players three unique trophies that display Sheik in different combat positions.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl (2008)

Super Smash Bros. Brawl Sheik

Sheik appears again in the next Smash Bros. game, Super Smash Bros. Brawl for GameCube. She is a prominent character in the game’s adventure mode, The Subspace Emmisary. After Solid Snake saves Peach and Zelda from the Halberd, Zelda transforms into Sheik so that the two can successfully escape the battleship. She has the same moveset as in Super Smash Bros. Melee but with the addition of a final smash attack that is identical to Princess Zelda’s, albeit doing more damage. Sheik’s appearance is more in line with the character designs of Twilight Princess despite not appearing in that game, though the Hyrule Historia compendium reveals that Sheik was originally a character as part of the title’s early development and conceptualization.

Hyrule Warriors (2014)

Hyrule Warriors Sheik

Sheik’s first non-Smash Bros. appearance following her debut in Ocarina of Time comes as part of the Zelda spin-off game Hyrule Warriors. Blending the musou style of gameplay from titles like Dynasty Warriors with The Legend of Zelda setting and characters, Sheik is one of several playable characters from the core Zelda series players can use in Hyrule Warriors. Although she still maintains the speed and agility characteristic of a ninja, her primary weapon is her harp, which she can use to create elemental disturbances. Each of her harp’s elemental effects have the potential to boost and increase the effectiveness of her other attacks, which each build toward filling her Special Attack gauge.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U (2014)

Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U Sheik

The fourth entry in Nintendo’s Smash Bros. series is the cross platform release Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, and again Sheik returns as a playable character in arena battles against other popular Nintendo characters. This is the first game in the Smash series where Sheik is a separate playable character right from the outset, no longer being a transformation ability of Princess Zelda. As a result, the two characters no longer have identical movesets, with both Sheik and Princess Zelda earning new moves, special moves, and final smash attacks as part of their new separation as two unique characters.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (2018)

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Sheik

The most recent appearance of Sheik comes from the latest game in the Smash Bros. series, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Because Link has a new armor set in Breath of the Wild that transforms his appearnace into that of a Sheikah warrior (the Stealth Set), Smash Bros. Ultimate‘s version of Sheik receives a redesign to bring her appearance more in line with the Nintendo Switch’s recent Zelda title. She still maintains her same moveset and abilities from Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, although she does have a new final smash attack. In addition to selecting Sheik as a fighter, players can also acquire the character as a Fighter Spirit to accompany them in battles.

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