Link riding Epona artwork
from Twilight Princess HD
|Game(s)|| Ocarina of Time|
The Minish Cap
Zelda Wii U
|Non-canon Appearances|| Ocarina of Time manga|
Link's Crossbow Training
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS
Ocarina of Time
In Ocarina of Time, Epona is first seen when she is just a foal at Lon Lon Ranch, where she is raised by Malon. She is wild and untamed, running away when Link approaches, as only Malon can get close to her. After Malon teaches Link "Epona's Song," Epona stops running away and approaches Link. Malon then says that Epona has taken a liking to him.
Link then finds Epona seven years later when she has become a mare. However, things have taken a turn at the ranch and Ingo is now in charge. Ingo plans to present Epona to Ganondorf, who he claims gave him ownership of the Ranch. At first, Epona will run from Link as if he was a stranger, but if he plays "Epona's Song," she will remember him and trot to his side. Link can then participate in a horse race against Ingo with Epona as his steed. If Link wins, Ingo will get furious, challenging him again while betting Epona herself on the outcome of the race. If Link wins, Ingo lets him keep Epona. However, Ingo then attempts to prevent Link from leaving with Epona by shutting the gates of the ranch. The young hero can then jump above the walls of the ranch to escape with Epona. Afterwards, Link can play "Epona's Song" while in Hyrule Field to call her. During the ending credits, Epona is seen running across Hyrule Field, and is later seen next to Malon during the celebration of Ganondorf's defeat at Lon Lon Ranch.
While riding Epona, Link cannot get hurt by enemies and can only attack by using the Bow. He can also whip her to get up to six speed boosts, appearing on-screen as carrots. The boosts can be used to jump over barriers and fences and are restored after a few seconds. Epona can be used to jump across the broken bridge in Gerudo Valley and to play the Horseback Archery Range minigame in Gerudo's Fortress. She is also required to summon Big Poes in Hyrule Field. Despite this, obtaining Epona is entirely optional, as Link can also cross the broken bridge in Gerudo Valley using the Longshot.
In Majora's Mask, Link is first seen riding Epona through the Lost Woods at the start of the game. Epona is then startled by Tatl and Tael, causing Link to be thrown to the ground and knocked unconscious. The Skull Kid wearing Majora's Mask then appears and searches Link's body, finding the Ocarina of Time and taking it. When Link regains consciousness, Skull Kid attempts to hide the Ocarina, but Link lunges at him in an attempt to get it back. Skull Kid then leaps out of the way and onto Epona, galloping away on her afterwards. Link leaps after him but only manages to grab onto Skull Kid's leg. Epona continues to gallop along, dragging Link with them until he loses his grip. When Link finally catches up with Skull Kid again, he tells him that he got rid of Epona because she did not listen to a word he said.
After completing the Snowhead Temple, Link finds Epona in Romani Ranch. If he visits the ranch on the First Day, Romani teaches him "Epona's Song" and gives Epona back after Link practices shooting balloons while riding her. Epona is required to enter the Great Bay and Ikana Canyon since they are blocked by fences that only Epona can jump over. During the ending credits, Link is seen departing from Termina on Epona.
As in Ocarina of Time, enemies cannot hurt Link while riding on Epona, he can only attack by using his Bow, and he can get up to six speed boosts.
The Minish Cap
In The Minish Cap, Epona can be seen in Hyrule Castle Town carrying a wagon with milk containers. She is owned by Malon, who sells milk to Link after he helps her and Talon find the Spare Key to their farm house. Minish Link can communicate with Epona, who asks him to buy some Lon Lon Milk. Link can also fuse Kinstones with her.
In Twilight Princess, the name of Link's horse can be chosen, although the default name is Epona. She is seen and used very early in the game, aiding Link in his job as a rancher, although Ilia is who takes care of her. Ilia gets angry when Link treats the horse poorly or she gets hurt. After the village is attacked by King Bulblin, Epona disappears. However, Link reunites with her later in Kakariko Village, where she runs around desperately attempting to throw off two Bulblins. Once the Bulblins are defeated, Link has to tame her and then ride her to save Colin.
In most locations around Hyrule Field, Link can call Epona by blowing a Horse Grass or the Horse Call, which both play "Epona's Song." Different from previous games, Link can use various items while riding her, including the Sword. Also, carrots are replaced by spurs. Epona is used when fighting against King Bulblin and during the third part of Ganondorf's battle. Wolf Link is able to speak with her, as with other animals.
Zelda Wii U
In Zelda Wii U, riding Epona is done automatically, with Link only needing to steer. He can attack by using the Sword or the Bow while riding her. Link is also able to jump off Epona, slowing the game in order to shoot Arrows at enemies more precisely. However, unlike her physical appearance in all other games, Epona is seen with a black mane and tail.
During the development of Super Mario 64, the development team had plans to include a horse, which were later moved to Ocarina of Time. The developers did not want controls to be difficult, so Epona was made to automatically jump over barriers if she has enough speed. To make the experience more entertaining, the carrot system was established, as well as mounted archery. The developers also wanted to include one-on-one battles and horseback swordplay, though such features did not appear until Twilight Princess.
The scene where Epona jumps over the broken bridge in Gerudo Valley was specially requested by Shigeru Miyamoto. A similar scene is shown when Epona escapes from Lon Lon Ranch, which had more than one exit, so a cutscene was made for each. The idea of horses and these scenes were inspired by Western movies.
- Various unnamed horses resembling Epona appear in the Oracle series and The Wind Waker introductions, and in The Field stage from Four Swords Adventures.
- During development of Ocarina of Time, Link would use a whip to control Epona. After using the whip, Link would have to give her a carrot.
|Names in Other Regions|
- "That first DLC pack unlocks Epona, which is like the best thing ever." — Nintendo Minute – September Favorites, YouTube, published October 10, 2014, retrieved October 24, 2014.
- "Oh, yeah, I have to introduce you to my friend, fairy boy! She's this horse. Her name is Epona. Isn't she cute?" — Malon (Ocarina of Time)
- "It seems like Epona is afraid of you, fairy boy..." — Malon (Ocarina of Time)
- "My mother composed this song. Isn't it nice? Let's sing together." — Malon (Ocarina of Time)
- "Oh, Epona! She's grown fond of you, fairy boy." — Malon (Ocarina of Time)
- "Is that Epona? How did you tame that wild horse right under my nose?! I was going to present that horse to the great Ganondorf..." — Ingo (Ocarina of Time)
- "There are some people in Kakariko spreading rumors that I cheated Talon out of the ranch, but... Don't be ridiculous! That guy Talon was weak! I, the hard-working Ingo, poured so much energy into this place! I don't want any strangers like you saying anything bad about me! Listen. The great Ganondorf recognized my obvious talents and gave the ranch to me!" — Ingo (Ocarina of Time)
- "Hey, you!! How about another race! If you win... You can keep...the horse!!" — Ingo (Ocarina of Time)
- "As I promised, I'll give the horse to you... However... I'll never let you leave this ranch!" — Ingo (Ocarina of Time)
- "Ooh, ooh! What a pretty ocarina... Hey, Skull Kid, lemme touch it! I wanna see!" — Tael (Majora's Mask)
- "What's with that stupid horse of yours?! It doesn't listen to a word that's said to it... There's no point in riding a thing like that, so I did you a favor and got rid of it... Hee, hee..." — Skull Kid (Majora's Mask)
- "I'll teach Romani's horse-calling song to you, Grasshopper." — Romani (Majora's Mask)
- "Now you two keep getting along, and go practice some more!" — Romani (Majora's Mask)
- "Please! Buy Lon Lon Milk from me! If you don't my wagon will be too heavy on the ride home!" — Epona (The Minish Cap)
- "Oh, hi, Link. I washed Epona for you!" — Ilia (Twilight Princess)
- "Wait... What's this? What's happened? She's injured, isn't she? Link? How could you! You were pushing Epona too hard again! I bet you hurt her leg jumping fences, didn't you!" — Ilia (Twilight Princess)
- "Hmm... You're not too shabby a wrangler after all! Won't this make getting back to your town a lot easier? Now go finish your errand so we can get back! Get a move on!" — Midna (Twilight Princess)
- "Even though you change shape, I still understand you." — Epona (Twilight Princess)
- "Link... Hurry up and return to your true self..." — Epona (Twilight Princess)
- "If you wish to ride me, return to your true self." — Epona (Twilight Princess)
- What We Couldn't Do with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Nintendo official website.
- Everyone Loves Horses, Nintendo official website.
- "Q: How do you control the horse?
Miyamoto: With whips and carrots. For each time you use the whip, you have to give the horse a carrot. If you only use the whip, then we'd feel sorry for the horse." — The Z-Files, IGN, published November 26, 1997, retrieved March 26, 2016.