When you see a man in green latex, do you come out in a cold sweat? Does the sound of "Kooloo-Limpah" make you shiver? Does your poor wallet groan as it prepares to be emptied in exchange for an absolutely extortionate treasure map? Well, you're not alone!
Ever since The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, one character has been on everyone's lips for polarising reasons. Tingle, the map merchant and reincarnated fairy (so he says) is arguably unsettling for a number of reasons; his rosy 35-year-old cheeks and skin-tight outfit, as well as his bizarre catchphrases and dances. You do you, Tingle! — which should go without saying — but there are few characters in video games that split popular opinion quite so much.
We have Majora's Mask's art director, Takaya Imamura, to thank for the balloon-riding fairy. But on Twitter, the designer — who left Nintendo last year and recently posted his parting gift from the company — shared his thoughts on his creation.
Courtesy of machine translation, Imamura says, "At that time, I intended to aim for kimo-kawa". Kimo-kawa is a Japanese phrase that loosely translates to "creepy-cute", which absolutely nails how we feel about Tingle. There's something utterly endearing about the rosy-cheeked fellow, but like with many things that originated from Majora's Mask, we can't help but feel like something is off with him all the time.
So, the little sweat drop emoji probably suggest that Imamura thinks he went too far in one direction. But he doesn't want Nintendo to forget his creation, either. Later in the thread, he says he wants the company to keep Tingle in their hearts. That's sweet! Someone's got to give the guy some love.
Tingle has appeared in multiple games since Majora's Mask, with prominent roles in Wind Waker, Oracle of Seasons and Ages, and Minish Cap, among others. And even when he's not physically there, his presence can be felt — such as Purlo in Twilight Princess or that costume in Breath of the Wild.
Do you find Tingle unsettling or adorable? Do you have a favourite Tingle moment or appearance? Let us know in the comments!