Poes are recurring enemies in The Legend of Zelda series. They are spirits of concentrated hatred that freely roam graveyards and other haunted locales about Hyrule and other lands. They carry a lantern with them that serves as the container for that specific Poe Soul.
Poes are wandering spirits that frequently inhabit haunted or decaying areas, such as graveyards and tombs. They appear as cloaked specters and are nearly always seen carrying lanterns with them, which serves as a container for their Poe Souls. When a Poe is defeated, its physical body disappears and its lantern is dropped and breaks, sometimes releasing its Poe Soul, which may be collected in certain games. These Souls are often important as sidequest items, or can be sold for Rupees. As ghosts, Poes can disappear and reappear as part of their strategy, and can easily move through walls. Most Poes are known for being wicked, vengeful spirits, however some Poes are helpful and serve as guides, although not without their deceitful trickery. The Poe bares many similarities to Ghinis, and may serve as a replacement to them in console Zelda games since A Link to the Past, as Poes behaved identically to them in that title. Poes have since developed separately from the Ghini, and now often employ different strategies and behavior. Poes are not common in the 2D games, and Ghinis otherwise take their place in those games.
Poes can be defeated with merely the Sword in most games, however they will often have high health or defense mechanisms in place to hinder Link, such as repeatedly turning invisible, which makes them invulnerable to all attacks until again visible. The Bow can also be an effective weapon, and in some cases is the only weapon that can defeat them. Poes of The Wind Waker are permanently translucent until light is shone onto them, using either the Mirror Shield or Medli's Harp in the Earth Temple. The Poes in Twilight Princess can only be seen while using Wolf Link's senses, and likewise can only be attacked in that form.
- Main article: Big Poe
The Big Poe is a variation of the Poe that appears in certain games. It is typically a much bigger and stronger version of the Poe, hence its name. In Ocarina of Time, they were the subject of a sidequest that involves collecting their Big Poe Souls for the Poe Collector. These Poes only appear if Link is riding on Epona, and can only be defeated using the Bow.
A Link to the Past
In A Link to the Past, Poes appear in grave sites, flying sporadically around the area and emerging from beneath disturbed tombstones. They behave identically to the Ghinis of the first game. Much like the Ghini, they also have high health and endurance, and tend to take many hits before they can be defeated. Their Dark World equivalent is the Hyu, which acts and appears in similar areas to the Poe.
Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask
In Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, Poes take on the appearance of hooded wraiths with glowing eyes, and faces shrouded under their oversized cloaks. Their distinctive lanterns immediately identifies them, and is the only part of them that will not turn invisible, and the Poe will come into view as Link approaches. Targeting Poes in these games will cause them to become temporarily invisible, although they will reappear in even, predictable intervals. These Poes appear predominately in the Kakariko Graveyard in Ocarina of Time, and in the Stone Tower Temple in Majora's Mask. In Ocarina of Time, a second kind of Poe with a square-shaped head will also appear around Hyrule Field when Link is an adult, and appears in the same spawn spots as Big Poes, except that they will appear when Link is not riding Epona. These Poes do not disappear when Z-Targeted, and instead circle around Link and drop flames around him. All Poes in these games will leave Poe Souls when defeated. Poe Souls can be collected inside Bottles in these games, which can then be sold to either the Poe Collector in Ocarina of Time, or to the Curiosity Shop in Majora's Mask. The Poe Soul is a purple-flamed face with melancholy, which will disappear after a short while of inactivity.
Several notable Poes appear in Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask.
- The Poe Sisters: The four Poe Sisters are a group of Poe siblings encountered in the Forest Temple in Ocarina of Time and the Spirit House in Majora's Mask. They are Joelle, Beth, Amy, and Meg. In the Forest Temple, they are the mini-bosses of the temple and must be defeated to retrieve the torches they stole. In the Spirit House, they are fought as part of a mini-game.
- Flat and Sharp: Flat and Sharp are the Poe ghosts of the Royal Composer Brothers. In Ocarina of Time, they appear in the Kakariko Graveyard where they can be encountered as enemies, and tell Link about the "Sun's Song" after he defeats them. In Majora's Mask, Flat rewards Link with the "Song of Storms" which is used to defeat Sharp later in the game.
- The Phantom Guide: The Phantom Guide is a Poe that only appears in Ocarina of Time. It is a helpful spirit that guides Link to the Spirit Temple through the Haunted Wasteland, and is necessary to follow to avoid getting lost and starting over. It can only be seen with the Lens of Truth.
Oracle of Ages
In Oracle of Ages, a lone Poe appears inside a fenced tomb in Yoll Graveyard. On his way to the Spirit's Grave, Link overhears a group of young boys speaking in fear of the ghost. With the Power Bracelet obtained in the dungeon nearby, Link can lift the rock blocking the entrance to the tomb and investigate for himself. The young hero discovers that the Poe is harmless and that it simply wishes to have its headstone moved, as its actual self is trapped within the grave. With the Power Bracelet, Link is able to accord him the favor, allowing the Poe to move on to the afterlife. As thanks, the Poe gives the young hero its Poe Clock, which is the first item in the Oracle of Ages Trading Sequence.
The Wind Waker
In The Wind Waker, Poes have a distinctively different appearance, and appear as multicolored ghosts wearing masks. They harass Link by ramming, throwing, and burning him with their lamps. They can also jump into Link's body, possessing him and temporarily reversing his movement controls. After the possession is over with, they leave and disappear, as if they had been defeated. The Poes are now permanently translucent until direct light is shone on them using the Mirror Shield (or Medli's Harp, in the Earth Temple). The Poes will then become solid and run frantically about the room in an attempt to avoid Link's now effective attacks. They appear in the Earth Temple and also inhabit the Ghost Ship, among other places. The boss of the temple, Jalhalla, is composed entirely of Poes, and is said to rule over all Poes.
|Poe (Figurine from The Wind Waker)|
|| Habitat: Earth Temple|
Best Attack: Possession
These ghostly creatures have no physical form, so physical attacks pass right through them. Shining light on them with the Mirror Shield makes them take form.
In Twilight Princess, Poes take on a role similar to that of the Gold Skulltulas in Ocarina of Time. A man in Castle Town named Jovani was cursed for his greed and had his soul stolen by "Imp Poes," of which there are a total of 60 throughout Hyrule. Imp Poes only come out at night and can only be defeated using Wolf Link's heightened senses. Once a Poe has been damaged, it will fall to the ground and its Soul will become visible, which can be ripped out and collected by performing the Ending Blow on it while still in Wolf form. Collecting 20 souls will break part of the curse on Jovani, and he will give Link a Bottle full of Great Fairy's Tears as thanks. After all 60 souls have been collected, the curse will lift completely, and Jovani's cat Gengle will give Link 200 Rupees every time he enters the room thereafter, similarly to father of the family in the House of Skulltula.
Four Poes also appear in Arbiter's Grounds. Similarly to the Poe Sisters of Ocarina of Time, they steal the fire from four torches in the central room, thereby impeding Link's progress and must be defeated to retrieve the fire. Like the Imp Poes, they can only be seen and attacked while as Wolf Link, and carry Souls which can be ripped from them. The last Poe has the strategy of duplicating itself and encircling Link, the same strategy used by Meg, the last of the four Poe Sisters.
In Phantom Hourglass, Poes appear aboard the Ghost Ship and have a radically different look in comparison to their earlier incarnations. They resemble puffer fish with purple body markings, having floating tadpoles for arms. They attack by teleporting back and forth, and periodically spitting a ball of blue fire at Link. They can only be struck when visible and will actively avoid Link's attacks.
A Link Between Worlds
In A Link Between Worlds, a group of nine Poes appear in the Lost Woods. They help guide Link to the resting place of the Master Sword, however, they also try to mislead him by moving in tricky formations and having Link follow the correct Poe through the woods. The Poes test him several times doing this. If Link fails and makes a wrong turn, he will have to start over from the beginning. After the Master Sword has been retrieved, they will no longer appear in the Lost Woods, and entering the woods will immediately bring Link back to the sword's resting place.
Poe may be derived from the name of the famous poet Edgar Allan Poe, who is known for his dark, gloomy works. It could also come from the Chinese word "po," meaning spirit.
- In Majora's Mask, the ghostly aliens that invade Romani's Ranch bear a resemblance to Poes. The balloons Romani practices on bare a much stronger resemblance to Poes than to the invaders.
- If Link uses his Grappling Hook on a solidified Poe in The Wind Waker, it will float motionlessly in the air for several seconds, in a different stance than if it had been stunned with the Boomerang.
- The Cubus Sisters from Phantom Hourglass bare a resemblance to previous incarnations of Poes, and are often thought as similar to the Poe Sisters of Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask.
- In Skyward Sword, the Watchers, patrolling the trials of the Silent Realm, bear a striking resemblance to Poes, even holding lanterns. However, their function is completely different and may merely be meant as a reference by the designers.
- "You caught a Poe in a bottle! Something good might happen!" — N/A (Ocarina of Time)
- "Joelle – one of the Poe Sisters! Aim for her when she appears!" — Navi (Ocarina of Time)
- "Beth – one of the Poe Sisters! Aim for her when she appears!" — Navi (Ocarina of Time)
- "Amy – one of the Poe Sisters! Aim for her when she appears!" — Navi (Ocarina of Time)
- "Meg – one of the Poe Sisters! If she splits into multiple images, you have to figure out which one is the real one." — Navi (Ocarina of Time)
- "Whenever you are in darkness, that song should bring the sun's light to you." — Flat (Ocarina of Time)
- "Like I told you before, with that song, you can turn day to night or night to day whenever you want." — Flat (Ocarina of Time)
- "You who do not fear the dead, learn well the song that is inscribed behind me... And if you ever meet my brother, I'd like you to inform him... The thousand years of raindrops summoned by my song are my tears. The thunder that strikes the earth is my anger!" — Flat (Majora's Mask)
- "Your second trial is... the Phantom Guide!" — Gerudo at the Gate (Ocarina of Time)
- "One with the eye of truth shall be guided to the Spirit Temple by an inviting ghost." — Tablet in the Gerudo Desert (Ocarina of Time)
- "No way! It's too scary! It's pitch black inside that grave beneath the tree! Besides... It might come out... ...The ghost." — Boy (Oracle of Ages)
- "Someone finally came! This headstone blocks my path to the afterlife. I'm actually below here, right? I'd appreciate it if you could help me out." — Poe (Oracle of Ages)
- "You must have moved my headstone! That means I can move on to the afterworld. My heart lifts at the thought of it! Thanks!" — Poe (Oracle of Ages)
- "You came out! Since I'm moving on, I don't need this anymore. Take it! I hope you can reach the afterworld soon, too!" — Poe (Oracle of Ages)
- "These ghostly creatures have no physical form." — Nintendo Gallery (The Wind Waker)
- "Shining light on them with the Mirror Shield makes them take form." — Nintendo Gallery (The Wind Waker)
- "This gigantic ghost rules over all Poes." — Nintendo Gallery (The Wind Waker)
- "Spirits held by the Poes visible to honed senses." — N/A (Twilight Princess)
- "Collect 20 or more of them and take them to Jovani." — N/A (Twilight Princess)
|Names in Other Regions|
|Japanese||ポウ (Pō)||ポゥフィー (Pōfuii)|
| Poe (OoT3D)
Poe del cementerio (Composer Brothers as enemies) (OoT3D)
|French|| Esprit (OoT3D)
Esprit du cimetière (Composer Brothers as enemies) (OoT3D)