Is Zelda's Navi a glowing orb with wings, or is there a traditional fairy under there?

Is Navi an orb or a tiny person?

  • Orb

    Votes: 381 37.3%
  • Traditional Fairy

    Votes: 640 62.6%

  • Total voters
    1,022

Rotobit

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,131
Up until Ocarina of Time, Zelda's fairies were your run-of-the-mill traditional "tiny woman with wings".





Come Ocarina of Time, however, we were introduced to Navi with a close-up, and she's depicted as a flying glowing orb with wings.



I assume this was done for the sake of performance - Navi is on the screen quite often and it'd be wasted resources to render polygons when a simple sprite would suffice.

But since then we've seen this style of fairy show up again and again, even when the hardware could probably render a proper tiny fairy. Like this one, from Breath of the Wild:


So, do you perceive Navi, and similarly depicted fairies, as glowing orbs, or as fairies that are giving off a strong amount of light?

Give me your answers to this incredibly pressing and important question in the poll above.
 

upandaway

Member
Oct 25, 2017
250
I always thought there's a normal fairy underneath and she's just really glowy, not literally an orb

As proof look at the great fairies
 

KartuneDX

Member
Jan 12, 2018
569
It could be one of those interchangeable lore things like Zoras becoming Ritos but wait now Zoras and Ritos coexist... aka try not to put too much thought into it.

FWIW I prefer the orb design.
 

Zomba13

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,767
I believe it's just a glowing fairy, like a little Tinkerbell but glowing very brightly.

I PREFER if it's just a glowy orb of light with wings though. I think it's cuter.
 
OP
OP
Rotobit

Rotobit

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,131
For what it's worth, there's this early OoT art which depicts what is presumably Navi and she looks like a Hanna Barbera character



Whether you factor this into your Orb vs. Tiny Person opinion depends on whether you take it as canon
 
Oct 27, 2017
5,085
In hyrule warriors, companion fairies have the ability to show up both in the orb of light form and the more traditional fairy form. So I assume all fairies can have both if they so wish.
 

Tesser

Member
Oct 28, 2017
323
The bigger question is: through what manner of biology, magic or whatever, are the wings attached to a theoretical ball of light energy?
 

PMS341

Member
Oct 29, 2017
2,759
I assume the orb is just a generic glow of light that was used for easier modeling back when Ocarina of Time hit, and I suppose the design stuck depending on the game.
 

SturokBGD

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,427
Ontario
I think Navi was likely depicted as a glowing orb for performance reasons but the design became so iconic they just kept it despite more powerful hardware.
 

ned_ballad

Member
Oct 25, 2017
22,291
Rochester, New York
I always assumed the orbs was just an abstract way to represent the fairy because the graphis of the N64 weren't really good enough to make a little creature look detailed enough and also without being distracting since Navi is a gameplay mechanic
 

Spacejaws

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,699
Scotland
I love the orb wing design. The generic fairy design is dull. So I guarantee she's just a generic fairy obscured by light so life can kick me in the nuts in a new and original way.
 

ArmadilloGame

Member
Oct 27, 2017
698
They're "real" fairies, just shown as orbs with wing for graphical simplicity. N64 hardware was a thing. The fountain fairies aren't canonically grotesquely shaped leaf monster beasts, but that's what they look like in game. You have to use your imagination.
 

RagnarokX

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,141
They probably drew inspiration from Tinkerbell

She makes bell sounds like Tinkerbell, too.

Link was inspired by Peter Pan.
 
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Asbsand

Member
Oct 30, 2017
5,712
Denmark
I have a saying I like to use:
"What I see in the game is canon" and I mean it literally. Concept art looks cool but the way everything looked in Ocarina of Time is what it was, on face value. That's why I love how in Metal Gear Solid 4 they didn't try to re-render the events of the previous games in the flashbacks, they simply showed them as they were, because that is the truth.