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

RagnarokX

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,147
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.
Well that's why what they did with Navi is so clever. It doesn't contradict the concept art. She's just so bright that her body is completely obscured by the light, but it's still in there. It also ended up looking much better than what they would have gone with if N64 had been more powerful. Really it makes sense since Tinkerbell has long been portrayed in stage plays by a light being shined upon the stage.
 

LukeOP

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
2,841
What does Navi and other fairies like her eat to sustain the energy needed to glow 24/7?
 
Jun 1, 2018
198
Los Angeles
I've always imagined Navi being a humanoid shape but glows so intensely you cannot see....BUT those wings are just too massive they way it's depicted and seem to close to the edge of the sphere. If there was a person in the light it would look very disproportionate (not that it matters because we are talking proportions on a video game vs real life).
 
Oct 27, 2017
5,098
What does Navi and other fairies like her eat to sustain the energy needed to glow 24/7?
Conspiracy theory: They sap the life energy from humanoids. That's why they all paired with a kokiri in ocarina of time, and the one 3d game where they don't have a orb form at all is the one where humanoid life is very sparse (wind waker), due to all the livable land being destroyed.
 

Vonocourt

Member
Oct 25, 2017
884
It's a tiny figure that projected blinding light, doubt they really could do anything else with the game's low resolution.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,413
There are plenty of zelda games where you can see the actual fairy. They probably obscured her in OOT because of the systems' limitations. It's easier to just draw a circle with wings than a 360 degrees 2D fairy -and I say 2d because there's no way the would have made her in 3d-
 

RPGamer

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,273
Perhaps it's censorship cause she is naked? Also you can consume fairies in Zelda, it would be heartbreaking to show their original forms.
 

jph139

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,025
Massachusetts
The intent is clearly that there's an actual tiny lady underneath, but whether that's still the case at this point, tough to say. I assume modern takes on the orb are just in reference to the original N64 design - like, little glowing ball is the most iconic fairy design, simple as it is.
 

Joeytj

Member
Oct 30, 2017
2,138
They’re fairies obscured by light. But they kept them as an orb for simplicity, I guess.

The biggest clue is how they look like traditional fairies in almost every other games.
 

Worldshaker

Member
Oct 28, 2017
785
Michigan
Normal fairy covered in light for sure.

Due to limitations on the N64 I think they just made her covered by light to make her look less terrible.

Also in some of the art for the game she was shown as being an actual fairy (woman) IIRC?
 

jman2050

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
2,110
"Link, listen! I have had it with these mother-fucking Ganon on this mother-fucking Hyrule!"
You joke but this tone wouldn't be all strange coming from Tatl from Majora's Mask.

EDIT - Speaking of which, Tatl has a line at the start of that game where she chides Link for staring at her, presumably because she looks identical to Navi, and she's like "is there something on my face?" so the tiny person thing seems pretty firmly established.
 

Calamari41

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,838
There's a little woman in there just like the glowing orb of a firefly has a little bug inside it.
 

VaporSnake

Banned
Oct 28, 2017
2,823
Now I can't say there's a traditional fairy under there (for all we know she could look like an insect or some shit) but she's definitely not a floating orb, whatever the actual physical form of the fairy is, the extremely strong bioluminescence obscures it's true appearance.
 

sunnpeace

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
667
The Great Fairy is the same 'species' but larger, and she's always had a humanoid appearance. The fairy sprites in Zelda I and II are humanoid. As mentioned earlier in the thread they're probably meant to resemble Tinkerbell similarly to how Link resembles Peter Pan.
BotW keeps the glowing orb appearance because it's iconic and easier to spot at a distance when scavenging for resources.

Hyrule Warriors art:
 

Garlador

Member
Oct 30, 2017
5,820
Yeah, that's just how many fairies were shown in movies.

They even did it in the most "Zelda by any other name" movie "Legend" when the fairies turn small.
 

Shoichi

Member
Jan 10, 2018
2,913
Navi is probably just a normal fairy with wings that just looks like a ball of glowing light with wings due to performance of the N64. They just stuck to that orb fairy for simplicity. The great fairy is likely just a larger scale version of what Navi them look like.
 

Bulbul

Member
Nov 20, 2017
668
They stuck with the orb design since it's iconic, has a gameplay function and simple. Even with the better hardware we have today.

I am sure it always is #teamActualFairy lore wise.
 

WordAssassin

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,606
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.
Is there a reason I keep seeing people try to do the "how can Zoras become Ritos if they both exist at the same time" as a gotcha? It's the Zelda equivalent of "Why we still got monkeys?"
 

Stryder

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,095
US
When working on the N64 it probably looked fugly when they just made a little fairy person with wings. So, they obscured it so that you don't constantly see a scantly clad woman hovering over you. Also it cuts the amount of work in having to worry about animating her during certain scenes.
 

Prof Bathtub

Member
Apr 26, 2018
1,569
The great fairy is likely just a larger scale version of what Navi them look like.
There are probably other ways fairies can look, given that Four Swords/Minish Cap have designs that try to bridge the gap between humanoids and glowing orbs with butterfly/dragonfly wings.
But if what you say is the case, then is Tael this jacked male fairy in a leafy speedo?
 

Nanashrew

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,020
The way fairies are depicted in most media is that they often don't have a clean cut shape but emit sparkles and shine of color and light around their bodies, and they are most visible at twilight much like fireflies. They twinkle like starlight.

The modern fairy as we know them and how they are still depicted today started in the romantic period of arts and literature in the Victorian era. Though for fairies themselves and dispelling fears that surrounded them in the 16th and 17th century, we can thank Shakespeare's comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream.
 
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Peltz

Member
Oct 26, 2017
3,294
Fairies were fully rendered in Wind Waker but mere orbs of light in Phantom Hourglass - and those take place in the same universe involving the same Link.

So....? I just roll with it and just accept all their forms. Same with Great Fairies and pretty much all Zelda creatures.
 

Nanashrew

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,020
Fairies were fully rendered in Wind Waker but mere orbs of light in Phantom Hourglass - and those take place in the same universe involving the same Link.

So....? I just roll with it and just accept all their forms. Same with Great Fairies and pretty much all Zelda creatures.
Very simple, the Wind Waker fairy left to Minish Cap.
 

chezzymann

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,641
I bet they made them orbs cause they didnt have the graphical budget to make an actual tiny fairy in there
 
Oct 29, 2017
4,435
I don't know whether she actually looks like a tiny person or maybe she looks like a tiny critter, but whatever it is, there must be something in the middle of the light.
 
OP
OP
Rotobit

Rotobit

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,156
Y’all can’t literally believe it’s a glowing ball with wings, right??? It’s a Zelda fairy like any other and an obvious stylistic choice to make it a ball of light because the N64 limitations.


Yup.
In the OP I addressed the technical limitations being the likely original intent when it comes to the original OoT, but later depictions of Navi and similar fairies make it so the proportions don't really make sense for a tiny human to be in there - the wings in particular are too far out.



she'd have to be hunched over constantly or something, if she had normal human proportions