First things first, let’s eliminate a bit of confusion. “Skull Kid(s)” isn’t just one singular character in the Legend of Zelda franchise. It’s a race like the Zoras or Gorans. However, there is “The Skull Kid,” who is one particular Skull Kid that Link interacts with, and that is the focus of this article—confused yet? Don’t worry. I’ll guide you through the confusion in this Skull Kid guide, and hopefully, you’ll leave with a little more appreciation for this fella.
Key Details Upfront
First introduced in the Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, Skull Kid is timid and a bit cowardly. However, other entries will drastically change his character by having him more antagonistic.
Though he usually has a change of heart or ends up helping Link at some point, in all cases of their canon appearances, the Skull kid is antagonistic toward Link and will kill him if he isn’t careful.
The Skull Kid in Ocarina of Time and Majoras Mask are the same. When you first meet Skull Kid in the Lost Woods, you teach him Saria’s Song; later, at the end of Majora’s Mask, Skull Kid will mention Link has the same smell as a boy who taught him a song in the woods. Thus implying the Skull Kid from the two different games are one and the same.
The Skull Kid is depicted as impish and mischievous but not entirely evil. His more harmful behavior is played off as him not knowing better — as if he may not be aware that his playful antics can cause serious harm.
For instance, in Twilight Princess, Skull Kid forces Link to play a game of hiding and seek. If Link catches him, the Skull Kid will send out puppets that will try to kill Link. However, if you beat Skull Kid, he’ll tell you he had fun “playing.”
So the Skull Kid is less of a bad guy and more bad guy adjacent.
Skull Kid has different designs depending on the game. In Ocarina of Time, the Skull Kid is depicted with an all-black face and head with orange lips. However, this design is replaced in the version of Majora’s Mask sold outside of Japan. This new design gives Skull Kid a more wooden-looking head. In addition, Skull Kid is given a beak instead of orange lips in both Japanese and international versions of Majoras Mask. In all versions of Ocarina of Time 3D, he retains the wooden head and orange beak.
Legend of Zelda Appearances
Skull Kid appears as a character in three Zelda games of the main series, Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, and Twilight Princess. He also has two non-canon appearances in Super Smash Bros and Hyrule Warriors.
Though his roles in Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess are minor, he takes on the part of the main antagonist in Majora’s Mask after being possessed by the mask’s power.
Ocarina of Time
In Ocarina of Time, Skull Kid can be found in the lost woods. Once you encounter the Skull Kid, Navi implies that Skull Kids are children that are transformed after being lost in the woods for too long.
If you interact with the first Skull Kid you meet, he’s timid and acts scared of Link. However, if Link Plays “Saria’s Song” for the Skull Kid, he befriends Link after realizing they share a mutual friend in Saria.
Later on, if you’re doing the Happy Mask Salesman side quest and you wear the “Skull Mask” around the Skull Kid, he’ll offer to buy it from you in the hopes that it will make him look tougher. Unfortunately, despite the mask costing 20 rupees, the Skull Kid only leaves 10, forcing Link to cover the difference. This, as you will find out below, is only the second-worst thing he does to Link in this game.
If Link returns to the Skull Kid as an adult, the Skull Kid will attack Link by shooting blow darts at him from his flute. According to Navi, this is because the Skull Kid doesn’t like adults.
There is a small error in the original Ocarina of Time version. After you sell Skull Kid the mask, all the Skull Kids you encounter in the game will be wearing the mask. This is unintentional, as you will meet multiple Skull Kids at once, all wearing the mask. This was likely done to save memory, as the 3DS version doesn’t make this mistake.
While searching for Navi, Link encounters the Skull Kid in the forest. Apparently, ripping Link off in the last game wasn’t enough, and he steals the Ocarina of Time and Epona (What kind of person steals a boy’s horse?) from Link. After Link chases him down to retrieve his stolen items, the Skull Kid, now bestowed with the power of Majora’s Mask, curses Link and turns him into a Deku Scrub.
In Majora’s Mask, the Skull Kid acts as the main antagonist while under the mask’s influence. His main goal here seems to be pure destruction as he wants to crash Moon into the land of Termina. Besides that, the four regions of Termina have fallen into some sort of crisis due to the Skull Kid’s action under the mask’s influence.
Later on in the game, it’s revealed that long ago, there were Four Giants that befriended the Skull Kid and that the Skull Kid was so saddened when the Four Giants left to sleep that he started acting out in fits of hateful rage. Eventually, the Skull Kid caused so much harm that the people of Termina had to Summon the Four Giants back to banish him.
The implication is that all of Termina, a place with a functioning government, which means we can probably assume they had some sort of army, couldn’t stop the Skull Kid from terrorizing their land. They had to summon literal giants. And this was without Majora’s Mask, but despite all this power, he still shorted Link 10 rupees? Ok, I’ll let it go now.
Eventually, Link rescues the Four Giants that had been sealed away by the power of Majora’s Mask and summons them to stop the Moon from crashing into Termina. However, not being able to withstand the power of the Four Giants, Skull Kid faints, and Majora’s Mask, after revealing itself to be sentient, retreats inside the Moon.
Link defeats Majora and returns to see Skull Kid is genuinely remorseful for his actions. After realizing the Giants hadn’t forgotten him and that they were still his friends, Skull Kid gets the closure he needs and lets them go.
It’s not certain if this version of Skull Kid is different or the same one from Ocarina of Time and Majoras Mask, but he plays “Saria’s Song” on his trumpet, which would suggest some connection to the other two games.
In Twilight Princess, the Skull Kid will lead Link to the Sacred Grove that contains Master Sword and to the Temple of Time. However, he couldn’t just take Link by the hand and have a casual calm stroll through the woods. No, he decides to play one of the deadliest games of hiding-and-seek ever. The idea is for Link to follow the Skull Kid through the woods and strike him. Each time You hit him, he disappears and blows his horn to summon some of the creepiest puppets I’ve ever seen. These puppets will chase Link until he destroys them.
You do this twice, once to get the Master Sword and a second time to find the Temple of Time.
During your second meeting with the Skull Kid, after the final blow is struck, he’ll shrug it off and disappear and let you into the Sacred Grove so you can access the Temple of Time. Though not before telling you he had a good time trying to murder you. Ok, he doesn’t put it like that. He just says he had “fun.”
Super Smash Bros Wii U/3DS: The Skull Kid wearing Majora’s Mask appears as one of the assist trophies in the game. He has three possible effects in battle, and they’re all terrible. One is flipping the screen upside down, the other is turning all players translucent so they’re hard to see, and the last one is inverting the directional controls.
If you’ve ever used this item while playing with friends, you probably no longer have those friends.
Hyrule Warriors: Skull Kid is a playable character and a part of one of Kid Link’s attacks. In the attack, the Skull Kid sends the Moon crashing into Fierce Deity Link, forcing Link to cut the Moon in half and causing a shock wave.
Skull Kid Guide FAQ
Question: What Race is Skull Kid?
Answer: The Skull Kid is both the character’s name and his race.
Question: Is Link the Skull Kid?
Answer: Nope, Link is Hylian, Skull Kid is a Skull Kid.
Question: Is Skull Kid in Breath of the Wild?
Answer: No, Skull Kid’s not in Breath of the Wild, but it would’ve been cool if he was.
The Skull Kid isn’t evil. Remember, Navi suspects that Skull Kids are what happens to people who get lost in the Woods. So he may have done some bad things, but he is just a kid without adult supervision. His grey area morals make him an interesting character, and I love any interaction with him. I hope he appears in more games in the future.