The Bubble is a spirit in the form of an animated skull with fire surrounding it in The Legend of Zelda series. The main purpose of the Bubble is to curse those that they touch, leaving the victim unable to wield a blade for brief period of time. This leaves the victim open to attack from any nearby enemies and monsters. While this is their most dangerous curse, the actual effects of touching a Bubble vary from game to game; sometimes they steal magic, in others they will simply set Link on fire or merely cause damage. They first appeared in the original The Legend of Zelda and have appeared in numerous games since then. They are known in certain games by alternate names such as Fire Faerie, Anti-Fairy or Whisp. Including all their varieties, they have appeared in every main Zelda game except for Skyward Sword.
The Bubbles in The Legend of Zelda were simply animated skulls with crackling flames surrounding them. Their movements were erratic, and they often appeared in swarms along with other enemies. They were entirely invincible, but they did not cause damage. A touch from them would cause Link to be unable to use his sword for a short time, meaning he would have to rely on other weapons to defend himself, or simply flee until the curse wears off. The exception to this rule occurs in the Second Quest, where Red and Blue Bubbles make their first appearance. In this game, Red Bubbles will curse Link permanently, while Blue Bubbles will dispel a curse. Thankfully, a Blue Bubble is usually not far away from a Red Bubble. Blue Bubbles, despite knocking Link back, are entirely benign.
Starting from The Adventure of Link, Bubbles started to vary from their original form. While visually similar, Bubbles now moved differently, reflecting around dungeon walls in straight diagonal lines. Instead of making Link unable to use his sword, these Bubbles would now cause damage and steal magic. This type of Bubble would also later appear in a number of other 2D games, such as A Link to the Past, Link's Awakening, Oracle of Ages, Oracle of Seasons and Four Swords Adventures, stealing magic where available, but otherwise simply causing damage and being a dangerous obstacle. This type of Bubble is also often known as an Anti-Fairy or sometimes Fire Faerie, possibly due to the fact that using Magic Powder on them in A Link to the Past will transform them into a Fairy. This Bubble commonly has four distinctive balls of fire that circle it.
In the 3D Zelda games, the Bubbles have little in common with the Bubbles of the previous games other than similarity in appearance. They are usually considerably easier to destroy than the near invincible appearances in previous games. Their attack patterns primarily do damage and while some will fly in set patterns similar to those in the 2D adventures, often they will directly react to Link's presence and attack aggressively. In Ocarina of Time, they had a surprising amount of diversity, with Blue, Green, Red and White Bubbles, each representing different attack patterns, with Blue being the most common. While they simply caused damage in Ocarina of Time, when they returned in Majora's Mask, Blue Bubbles were able to jinx Link, which caused him to be unable to use his sword. This ability was carried over to The Wind Waker. Other varieties of Bubble will set fire to or freeze Link with their flames, while the normal Bubbles of Twilight Princess lost their flames altogether.
A Whisp or Wisp is the name given to a specific type of Bubble based on the Bubbles of the original The Legend of Zelda. This name was originally given to a separate variety of Bubble in the Oracle games to distinguish it from the normal variety (which was also known at the time as an Anti-Fairy, adding to confusion) which also appeared in the game. Whisps look and behave exactly like the Bubbles from the original game, cursing Link so he cannot use his sword, moving erratically around the room and not causing damage and being invincible. Whisps in The Minish Cap are named Wisp and will behave extremely similarly, but Blue Wisps will move faster and vanish after cursing Link, while Red Wisps will move slower but will return after cursing. They can be defeated by sucking them up using the Gust Jar. Whisp appears be used as an alternate name for the original Bubbles of The Legend of Zelda. The Whisp Ring in the Oracle games will stop the effects of being jinxed.
|Wisp (Figurine from The Minish Cap)|
||Appears in dungeons. They float in midair. They won't hurt you, but if you touch them, you won't be able to use your sword for a while.|
A larger version of the normal Bubbles, Giant Bubbles can be found in the Great Palace in The Adventure of Link. It behaves just like a normal Bubble, but if struck three times, it splits into two fast-moving normal Bubbles. It can be destroyed without it splitting if Link continues to strike it without stopping, but it will give no experience when destroyed. In Link's Awakening, the Giant Bubble returns as an enemy that only appears in Face Shrine, in a side-scrolling passageway. The Giant Bubble now looks very different from regular Bubbles, but behaves similarly, bouncing around the room in the same manner. The enemy cannot be harmed with any of Link's weapons and will simply cause damage like regular Bubbles when it comes into contact with Link.
Bubble GroupEastern Palace, and swarm around a lone jar in one room. The jar sits atop a switch that needs to be hit to get the Big Key, but the jar cannot be reached with the Bubbles protecting it. To dispel the Bubble Group, Link must defeat all the enemies in the room except for them, at which point the group will split and fly around the room as normal Bubbles.
Blue Bubbles first appeared in the dungeons of the Second Quest of the The Legend of Zelda. Rather than curse Link, they would dispel curses from normal and Red Bubbles. Blue Bubbles would later reappear as dangerous varieties in Ocarina of Time and then in Majora's Mask and The Wind Waker. They are still found in many dungeons but sometimes also appear in the overworld. Defending with Link's shield will knock its blue flame out. Other items will also accomplish this purpose, but defending is the safest method. They also seem to be attracted to bombs. When Link throws one near a Blue Bubble in Ocarina of Time, they circle it until the bomb explodes. When Bubbles drop to the floor, Link can simply attack it with his sword. The ability to jinx was returned to Bubbles in Majora's Mask, as contact with its blue flames will cause curses that cause Link to be unable to use his sword for a few seconds (this curse can instantly can be removed by the Song of Storms). If it touches the hero in The Wind Waker, he will be unable to use any item at all. In The Wind Waker, rather than blocking with the shield to put out the flames, Link must use the Hookshot or Deku Leaf. Ice Arrows are also effective, but it costs arrows and magic.
|Red Bubble & Blue Bubble (Figurine from The Wind Waker)|
|| Habitat: Tower of the Gods|
Stronger Form: Blue Bubble
The cursed blue flames of the Blue Bubble steal the power away from all of your attacks. Bubbles can be easily blown away by the Deku Leaf.
The Red Bubble also first appeared in the Second Quest of The Legend of Zelda. They were the most dangerous variety of Bubble, as their curse would remain until Link touched a Blue Bubble. They later appeared in Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, where they would leap from the lava of places Death Mountain or the Fire Temple and bounce around, attempt to set fire to Link with their red flames before returning to the lava. This variety would later appear in The Wind Waker, flying normally like Blue Bubbles, but attempting to set him on fire rather than curse him. They can be defeated in the same manner as Blue Bubbles.Gale Boomerang, then they can be slashed with the Sword. Fire Bubbles also appear in Phantom Hourglass, where they are defeated by stunning it with the Boomerang then attacking it with a Sword, Bomb, or Bombchu. Sword is most suggested, as the Bomb and Bombchu are too time-consuming. These Bubbles can also be destroyed instantly by a single arrow, though they are fairly hard to hit. Their movement pattern and red fire is based on that of the Bubbles of the old 2D games.
The Green Bubble appears in various dungeons throughout Ocarina of Time. They float in a set pattern with their green flames acting as a barrier. To defeat them, Link must simply wait until their flames die down or put them out with the shield, and then attack them, or attack them with a projectile weapon like the Bow. They won't attack directly and so can be considered easier than most. They often appear in groups of two. One appears floating around the water way in the Bottom of the Well dungeon. This one is larger than usual but still as easy to kill.
In Ocarina of Time, White Bubbles bear no flames of any color. They are simply the animated skull of a Bubble with no additional features, yet still are able to fly and do not hop around. They leave trails of white behind them as they move. The White Bubble only appears in the Spirit Temple. Similar to the Green Bubble, the White Bubble follows a set path, but they are more erratic, stopping still then moving swiftly from one spot to another. They are often seen in groups, so it is a good tactic to pick them out one by one from a distance, but unlike most other Bubbles they have no flames to dispel, so they can be easily destroyed with a sword. Interestingly, they do not appear in the Master Quest version, making them the only enemy from the original version to be excluded from Master Quest.
Ice Bubbles appear in Twilight Princess and Phantom Hourglass. As a counterpart to Fire Bubbles, they instead freeze the young hero in a small block of ice when upon contact. They are defeated in much the same manner as their fire-based counterparts in either game, but the Clawshot is not advised. In Phantom Hourglass, the Bow, Boomerang, and Grappling Hook work best.
- Using the Whistle will have a side effect of dispelling the curse in the original The Legend of Zelda simply by freezing time long enough for the curse to wear off in most circumstances. In Majora's Mask, the Song of Storms will dispel the curse possibly as reference to this.
- Stalfos heads can sometimes be seen floating around dungeons in A Link to the Past, chasing after Link when he turns his back. These heads do not have flames, but are similar to Bubbles.
- Bubbles in Four Swords Adventures will also behave a lot like Sparks, and also appear during the battle with the Big Poe.
- Stallord can summon huge swarms of Fire Bubbles during the battle with him in Link's Crossbow Training. His appearance as a floating skull in Twilight Princess is also very similar to the appearance of Bubbles in the game.
- A similar creature named Bonehead appears in the Nintendo 64 game Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. Both monsters share a few notable similarities including having wings and growing the wings when it is approached.
- Although Bubbles do not appear in Skyward Sword, a new form of Keese, another highly recurring enemy in the Zelda series, was introduced: The Dark Keese. Dark Keese resemble animated bat skeletons, making them similar to Bubbles in concept, but they also carry with them the ability to curse, identical to the Blue Bubbles of The Wind Waker. However, Dark Keese behavior and attack patterns are identical to other Keese, in that they wait silently in groups until disturbed, where small groups will then attack Link all at once. Also unlike Bubbles, Dark Keese are rarely strategically placed so as to leave Link vulnerable to other, stronger enemies, and are often alone.
Concept art of a Bubble from Twilight Princess in Hyrule Historia
- "The spirit of the dead. When it clings onto Link, he won't be able to unsheathe his sword for a while." (The Legend of Zelda manual, pg. 38)
- "My books tell me there is a beast called a Whisp that jinxes you when you touch it. You won't be able to draw your sword!" — Dr. Left (Oracle of Seasons)
|Names in Other Regions|
|Bubble||White Bubble||Red Bubble||Blue Bubble||Green Bubble|
|Spanish||Bubble||Bubble roja||Bubble azul|
|Bubble||Bubble blanco||Bubble rojo||Bubble azul||Bubble verde|
|French||Tetdoss||Tetdoss Blanche||Tetdoss Rouge||Tetdoss Bleue||Tetdoss Verte|
|French||Tetdoss||Tetdoss blanche||Tetdoss rouge||Tetdoss bleue||Tetdoss verte|
|German||Knochenfratze||Bleiche Knochenfratze||Roter Tod|| Blauer Tod
|Italian||Nembo||Nembo Rossa||Nembo Blu|
|Names in Other Regions|
|Giant Bubble||Ice Bubble||Bubble Group||Whisp|