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Nintendo's Kensuke Tanabe Wants To Make Tingle Popular In The West

Posted by Damien McFerran

Tingle! Tingle! Kooloo-Limpah!

Let's be honest here — there's not much love for Tingle in the west. This plump, comedic character started his life as part of the Zelda series, but has since starred in his own games: Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland and Tingle's Balloon Fight DS. Even so, his reputation among players is pretty dire — he's been described in the past as "Zelda's JarJar", which speaks volumes for the hatred many feel towards him.

Turning Tingle into a fan-favourite is going to be quite a challenge, then — and it's this challenge which has captured the imagination of Nintendo's Kensuke Tanabe.

Speaking to VentureBeat, Tanabe said:

There’s no definitive plan or anything. It’s just me off the top of my head. I know how hated the character of Tingle is in the U.S. I know that people cannot stand Tingle. But to me that challenge is: Could I take this character that is so reviled in the West and just [do] a complete turnaround and make him a beloved, fun character? The idea of that really just gets me going. I know we have made a Tingle game in the past, but maybe at some point down the road.

It’s like love. It’s like romance: You meet someone and you’re like, ‘Oh god, I can’t stand that person.’ And then three weeks later, you’re madly in love — it’s that turn, that quick whip, that motivates [me] a little bit. If we we ever get a really successful Tingle game, maybe we will have like a big Tingle statue out there [points to Nintendo's E3 booth outside the room's walls].

Tanabe was keen to stress that he was really thinking out loud, and that a Tingle reboot isn't currently part of Nintendo's plans. But who knows — a Tingle FPS could be just what the Wii U needs to turn its fortunes around.

(That was a joke, just in case you were wondering.)


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User Comments (77)



RupeeClock said:

Having played Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland, I actually do have to recommend that game, pretty fun stuff.
Tingle gets too much of a bad rap for some reason, he can be a bit weird and annoying but for some reason he seems especially despised in America.



MilesVor said:

Wait, wtf? People hate Tingle? I never heard about this...
Zelda fans I know adore the whacky creature.



Undead_terror said:

I never heard any body hate him, hell I got Tingle's balloon fight which is a Japanese game for the ds, don't have many Japanese words so I am able to play and know what I'm going.



Doma said:

Tingle is cool, i guess. I respect him more for the fact he was introduced in the best 3d Zelda.



SirMario said:

Tingle is already popular in the west especially after drinking beer....oh wait...that is tinkle? Never mind then.



DarkNinja9 said:

never heard of ppl actually hating him more like they thought he was creepy or annoying o.O



ueI said:

I also want Tingle to be popular in the west, but it's not going to happen if he's not in any games.



dumedum said:

oh... i don't want him in smash bros. There's a reason he's not liked... does look like appealing.



Nintenjoe64 said:

If they want him to be popular in the West, call him Captain Tingle and make him the drill instructor of a violent war shoot em up and have him die near the end of the game.

I hope they do that in a Link's Crossbow Training follow-up using the gamepad on that zapper contraption we saw in 2011.



Shambo said:

here's a crazy plan... how about you localize the second tingle ds game? i love tingle in a not-fairy way. i love rosey rupeeland, and i want 'colour changing balloontrip of love' or whatever it was translated to. and tingle's balloon fight on the stars catalogue in europe. you want tingle to be popular, stop keeping his games away from us



XCWarrior said:

No please. Any resources that go toward a Tingle game rather any other game is a waste of money.



Doma said:

I do think he should've been limited to starring as cameos only. He's just too.... fruity for most peoples tastes. Why on earth did they decide to give him his own crappy game.



SirMario said:

@MilesVor People are afraid Tingle would touch them at night but once they get to know him, they realized Tingle is a friendly creature who touch only himself at night. Fact: the reason why Nintendo doent think Tingle is popular in the west is because of IGN campaign to rid all Tingle from future Zelda games. It received over 80% of voters support. Nintendo decided not to release Tingle Rosy Rupeeland in America.



Grubdog said:

People hate Tingle because he is them. A 40 year old man who dressed up and plays videogames. My hero.



NESguy94 said:

Rosy Rupeeland was pretty good. I imported the UK version. I liked it but it was annoying when you had to set a price for yor rewards.



FiveDigitLP said:

@Grubdog "People hate Tingle because he is them. A 40 year old man who dressed up and plays videogames. My hero."
Oh man, that made me laugh so hard. I wonder how true that is? Perhaps Nintendo did intend to create to poke fun at the guys who live in their moms' basements? Haha.

Anyway, I don't have a problem with him. I suppose he can seem a bit creepy, but I've always found him amusing and have never understood why so many people dislike him.

Then again, I actually kind of like Jar Jar as well... :-/



SKTTR said:

Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland is the best handheld-Zelda (if you don't count the Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time remakes.) and the best DS game of all time.
A really fresh approach to the Zelda formula. Addicting, adventurous, big, and just fun.

I don't care why US gamers are so childish about Tingle (if they had played the game they would all shut up), but please release the other Tingle games in Europe. I really want to understand the other DS game, the japan-only Tingle point&click adventure. And I'd love to try the Balloon Fight version of him.



LordGeovanni said:

Tingle = WJT, Weird Japan Thing.

Too weird for me (and that is saying something) but I really cannot get behind a 40-year-old man in green spandex running around and literally trying to be a fairy. Especially when he is running around to make maps or other odd-ball things to sell to what ammounts to a 10-year-old boy who, to him, may have the secret to Tingle becoming a fairy for real...

@BigBluePanda Be CAREFUL! (He might HEAR you!)
@SKTTR My reason is above in this post...



Rect_Pola said:

Tingle might have been appealing in a crazier world where he didn't stick out like a sore thumb. He probably shouldn't have been wedged into Zelda. The tingle team would have helped if they were willfully in league with him and similarly goofy, not relatives [+ 1 stranger] he somehow FORCED TO DRESS UP LIKE HIM.



KamenRiderClive said:

I was always confused by the hatred for Tingle. All my friends love him, and he's always been one of my favorite characters. Freshly Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland, which Nintendo cruelly forced me to import, was one of the most fun and creative games I'd played in a long time.



bassoongoon said:

Haha, JarJar of the Zelda universe indeed. Tingle is super creepy. I will admit, I really dislike the character, although I would not have them change him for the world. Why? Because he is the character that we love to hate!



sketchturner said:

I love Tingle and Jar Jar Binks. Tingle is my favorite character in Majora's Mask. I didn't care for him as much in WindWaker though.



TheAdza said:

Year of Tingle!!! Year of Tingle!!!!

I have no idea about this character. But I do find his whole design hideous in a very funny and charming way. More of this. Maybe some kind of eShop only game starring Tingle. I'd buy it for sure.



WaxxyOne said:

Tingle hatred is just a sad extension of barely-buried homophobia that is rampant in the US and some other western companies. He is a character who is self-described as being in his forties but wears a green leotard and prances around calling himself a "fairy." The jokes write themselves. But whereas in Japan they can create a character like that as satire and still have fun with him, here in the states putting someone like that into a game is just asking to have mud slung at you.

I have never really had a problem with Tingle. He's quirky and funny, but there are so many characters throughout the Zelda series who are their own type of oddball, the idea that this one would spark hatred to me is just silly. It's the same type of closed-minded attitude that causes people to refer to Nintendo titles as "kid games."

For what it's worth, I also never had a problem with Jar-Jar. The character was thrown is as comic relief and might be a bit too slapstick for Star Wars, but he was just there to keep the little kids entertained. I never saw him as a racist stereotype and I don't see how anyone else could either because I'm pretty sure no one's ever met a real Gungan before.



DerpSandwich said:

I don't really like how Tingle's games gave him a back story. I think the best part about the character is how he's just one big mystery. Why is he in different parts of the Zelda timeline? Who is he and why is he so weird?

But now that we actually know how he came to be it's not as fun in my opinion.



Dizzard said:

I thought people hated Navi more?

I don't really have an opinion on Tingle either way.



Stuffgamer1 said:

I'm already an American Tingle fan...I imported BOTH of the games mentioned in the article! I think it's a shame I'm in a minority, especially since that resulted in the sequel to Rupeeland not making it out of Japan.



edhe said:

I wish they would localise the Rosy Rupeeland sequel for Europe. I hear it's a bit saucy. Nintendo never gives us Westerners saucy stuff.

Just like Captain Rainbow.



tanookisuit said:

The character is terrible, just leave it be and do whatever you do overseas or better yet, shelve it. The personality, the demeanor, prancing around, it's just awful and entirely un-zelda like. I hadn't heard Zelda's JarJar before but really I almost feel bad for JarJar saying that.



HeatBombastic said:

@MilesVor Zelda fans? Don't you mean Zelda fangirls and fanboys? I mean, some of us like Zelda games, other people complain about new Zelda games so much, but buy and love them anyway since they're fantastic games.



shredmeister said:

I don't hate Tingle. I loved Balloon Fight. I wish that Tingle's Balloon Fight was released in the US. I'm actually thinking of getting an imported copy of the game. This whole thing about 'hating' Tingle is based on assumption, I think.



TwilightV said:

Pffft. If anyone's the Jar-Jar of Zelda, it's that guy stuck in the toilet in Majora's Mask and Oracle Of Ages. >:c



NintyMan said:

I don't understand all the Tingle hate, honestly. He's a weird guy, sure, but isn't a little weirdness a good thing now and then? He's funny and light-hearted, so I think us westerners just need to give him a chance. I think a Tingle game released westward would be a cool idea!



Hamguar said:

In all honestly, the picture and title alone kinda made me vomit a little so good luck with that Mr.Tanabe!



Jukilum said:

I am also an American who imported Freshly Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupee Land. It's a really fun game.



WiX said:

What @Kaine_Morrison said. Have him appear in Super Smash Bros. (as a playable character, natch)! I would definitely play as him They could do wonders adding him to the roster, who knows.



NassaDane said:

Ok...since when does anyone hate Tingle? First I've heard of this. He's always been popular. Pretty much a staple in the Zelda universe it seemed.



SCAR said:

I like Tingle. He was the s*** in Majora's Mask. He made a funny animation when I popped the balloon, he gave me maps, and he said his magic words which he made clear he didn't want me to steal.



SCAR said:

In any other game, he was kind of an annoyance and literally hindered progress at times, but he was great in MM, IMO.



Asaki said:

Unfortunately they already missed their chance to boost his reputation.
I also thought Tingle was just really creepy and annoying, but then I played Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland, and I totally "get" him, we're cool now. Too bad it never got released in the States...if people would just open their minds and give it a try, I'm sure they'd be swayed.



Henmii said:

"It’s like love. It’s like romance: You meet someone and you’re like, ‘Oh god, I can’t stand that person.’ And then three weeks later, you’re madly in love"


By the way: I would love Tingle rpg balloon trip of love here in Europe! Either boxed or as download, though boxed would be best!

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