"The boy with the noble Zelda's Ocarina... As I expected, you have come. I am Impa, one of the Sheikah. I am Princess Zelda's caretaker, and I am also the Sage who guards the Shadow Temple. We Sheikah have served the royalty of Hyrule from generation to generation as attendants."
— Impa

Impa (インパ Inpa?, IMPA) is a recurring character in the Legend of Zelda series. She typically serves as a nursemaid and/or bodyguard to Princess Zelda and often offers guidance to Link. Until the release of Breath of the Wild, the Impa characters in Ocarina of Time and Skyward Sword were the only true confirmed Sheikah in all the series. Sheik was Princess Zelda's alter-ego and the other characters theorized as Sheikah were not confirmed by Nintendo until the release of Breath of the Wild. It is implied that the Impa from The Legend of Zelda and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is a Hylian due to the fact that she does not have red eyes; however, this could be only a case of retcon by Nintendo. This is further supported by Impa's reference in the prologue of Zelda II to the Impa family charged with guarding the Royal Family of Hyrule. It was later confirmed by the Hyrule Historia that she was indeed a Sheikah in said games and Breath of the Wild shows that Sheikah can have brown eyes as both her Breath of the Wild incarnation and granddaughter have brown eyes like Impa's pre-Ocarina of Time appearances yet are said to have a strong Sheikah bloodline which is confirmed as her elder sister is the only member of their family who possesses the traditional red eye color indicating it is genetically selective among Sheikah even in those with strong bloodlines.


Spoiler warning: Plot or ending details follow.

The Legend of Zelda

Impa serves as Princess Zelda's most trustworthy nursemaid. When Hyrule Castle is attacked by Ganon, the wounded Impa escapes to find a boy with enough courage to save Hyrule. Stumbling across Link, Impa tells him he must find all the pieces of the Triforce, and save Princess Zelda.

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Artwork of Impa showing Link the sleeping Princess Zelda in The Adventure of Link

Impa is the nursemaid of the Royal Family of Hyrule. Impa knows more than anyone could imagine and it is she who explains to Link his destiny. The Legend of Zelda was passed down from her family to keep it safe. Upon seeing the Triforce on Link's hand, she showed him where the princess was asleep in North Castle. She then told him of the legend of the Great Palace, the location of the Triforce of Courage. She gave Link six Crystals to place in the six palaces all over Hyrule to then gain access to the Great Palace and awaken the Princess.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Artwork of Impa from Ocarina of Time

Impa is the loyal protector of Princess Zelda, and one of the last Sheikah left in Hyrule. Unlike in other Legend of Zelda games, Impa is younger and or much more fit. She is a great asset to the Royal Family and has sworn to protect Princess Zelda.

After Link talks with Princess Zelda, Impa appears and teaches him "Zelda's Lullaby" and helps him get out of Hyrule Castle. She also explains to Link that he should go to Kakariko Village, a former Sheikah town where she was born and raised, which she opened to non-Sheikah. Prior to the events of Ocarina of Time, Impa sealed the evil spirit Bongo Bongo in the bottom of the Well of Three Features. When Ganondorf attacks Hyrule Castle Town, Impa helps Princess Zelda escape on a white horse, and the princess throws the Ocarina of Time to Link. It is possible that Impa taught Zelda the ways of the Sheikah, so she could hide herself from Ganondorf as Sheik.

After Link awakens after having been sealed within the Temple of Light for seven years, he visits each of the other six temples, eventually defeating Bongo Bongo, the boss of the Shadow Temple, and awakening Impa as the Sage of Shadow. She adds her power to Link's by giving him the Shadow Medallion. All Seven Sages aid Link in his final battle, sealing away Ganon in the Sacred Realm. Impa is last seen standing with the other Sages on top of Death Mountain.

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons

Impa (Oracle of Ages & Seasons).gif

Artwork of Impa from Oracle of Ages and Seasons

Impa is the trusted nursemaid of Princess Zelda. Impa has been sent by Zelda in order to bring the Oracles of Labrynna and Holodrum back to Hyrule for protection. This version of Impa is younger than her original and animated appearances, but she is presumably older than the Impa of Ocarina of Time and sports a substantially heavier build. Her artwork depicts her as having red eyes, a trait usually shared by the Sheikah.

In Oracle of Ages, Impa has been sent to the land of Labrynna in order to protect Nayru, the Oracle of Ages. She is the first person Link meets after being transported to Labrynna. She asks of him to move a large stone with the Mark of a Hero upon it; hesitant to explain why she cannot do it herself, Link moves the stone with ease. However, Impa is revealed to have been under the possession of Veran, the Sorceress of Shadows. Veran leaves Impa's body and possesses Nayru's in her stead, using the power of the Oracle of Ages to travel into the Past and change the Present and Future of Labrynna. To help him on his quest, Impa gives Link the Hero's Sword. Later, Impa moves into Nayru's house in the Forest of Time.

In Oracle of Seasons, Impa has been sent along with a small group of Hyrulean loyalists to protect Din, the Oracle of Seasons. However, the group is found out and Din is captured by General Onox, who seals her away into a Crystal, throwing the seasons of Holodrum into chaos. Impa is hurt during Onox's attack and stays in a small house to the north of Horon Village. Impa tells Link to see the Maku Tree for advice.

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

While Impa does not appear in The Wind Waker, one of the stained glass windows in Hyrule Castle's basement depicts the Impa from Ocarina of Time, as well as the Sheikah Emblem.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Artwork of the Old Woman, later revealed to be Impa

Impa is a member of the Sheikah tribe who honors the request of the goddess Hylia to protect Zelda while she is at the Earth Temple, traveling into the future where the events of Skyward Sword begin. This incarnation of Impa is seemingly more harsh towards others as shown during the first portion of the story. Even though she knows Link is Hylia's chosen warrior, Impa initially believes him to be incompetent and chastises his inability to protect Zelda. Soon after, when Zelda has regained all memory of her life as Hylia, Impa takes Zelda to the Temple of Hylia in her time via the Gate of Time at the Temple of Time. Once there, Impa continues to watch over Zelda, who puts herself in suspended animation to keep Demise from breaking his seal.

Remaining in her time since then, Impa aged drastically over the centuries, taking on the guise of the elderly overseer of the Sealed Grounds in the Temple of Hylia, now called the Sealed Temple. It seems that age has made her nicer, as she wasn't so hard on Link as her younger counterpart. She not only guided Zelda to the Skyview Temple to begin the mission of regaining Zelda's previous life's memories, but also mentors Link in his adventure while persuading Groose that he has a role to play. Eventually, as her younger self safeguards the Master Sword after Demise's defeat, Link, Zelda, and Groose learn that the old woman's true identity is Impa before she vanishes as she fulfilled her mission and can finally rest in peace.

According to the Hyrule Historia, she creates a braid in her hair for each passing year she waits in servitude for her Goddess.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Artwork of Impa from A Link Between Worlds

Impa appears as Princess Zelda's attendant, and is present as Link informs her of Seres' kidnapping at the hands of Yuga. She is stated to be a descendant of the Seven Wise Men and one of the Seven Sages herself. At some point during Link's quest to acquire the Pendants of Virtue, Yuga kidnaps Impa, along with Zelda and the rest of the Sages, and transforms them into portraits, using their power to revive Ganon.

The portraits of the Sages are then scattered throughout Lorule, with Impa's being sent to Turtle Rock. Link traverses the dungeon, rescuing Impa and turning her to normal. Once he has rescued all seven Sages, Impa and the other Sages use their power to grant Link the Triforce of Courage.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

"You may already know this, but although Impa looks a looooot older than me, she's actually my little sister. She's incredibly responsible, but at what cost? She's wound waaaay too tight, if ya ask me. Love her though! Heh. People have always noted how we're nothing alike, even though we're sisters. I'm the type that charges ahead once I'm inspired! Impa prefers to wait and see. But mostly wait and wait and wait. In any, case this research facility was founded by order of some Hyrule Castle bigwigs. Despite her frail appearance, Impa was a valued and distinguished advisor to the royals at Hyrule Castle. You... see where I'm going with this, I assume? Basically, she's the one who puts a stop to some of my crazier antics. And that's the story of me and my little sis, Impa."

Impa from Breath of the Wild

In Breath of the Wild, Impa is the elder of Kakariko Village, the village of the Sheikah people. King Rhoam instructs Link to seek her out as part of the quest "Seek Out Impa" after he uses the Paraglider to leave the Great Plateau. She guides Link on his journey and relates some events of the Great Calamity and how Ganon was defeated ten thousands years prior using the ancient technology of the Sheikah. She is the first incarnation of Impa shown to have family relatives as she has an elder sister Purah and a granddaughter Paya.

Though her family has a strong Sheikah bloodline with both Impa and Paya having the Sheikah emblem tattooed on their forehead in accordance with Sheikah tradition of those with strong bloodlines she and Paya both have brown eyes making her the first incarnation post-Ocarina of Time to have brown eyes and the first confirmed in-game to be Sheikah despite lacking the traditional red eye color which only her elder sister Purah inherited.

Additionally Paya says that the Sheikah Heirloom has been passed and protected by her family from grandmother to granddaughter for many generations awaiting the prophesied Hero. It is involved in the shrine quest Stolen Heirloom.

Spoiler warning: Spoilers end here.

Other appearances

Subseries warning: This article or section contains information on a subseries within the Legend of Zelda series and should be considered part of its own separate canon.

Hyrule Warriors

Impa from Hyrule Warriors

Impa is the Commanding Officer of the Hyrule Imperial Guard and a playable character in Hyrule Warriors. She is the attendant and vassal of Princess Zelda. The leader of a family charged with supporting Hyrule's royal family from the shadows, she cares not for herself, and works exhaustively for the family and the Princess. Starting from pulling out her long sword back handed, she disposes of her enemies with exact precision in quick, feverish succession. She is a sword master, with precise movements and footwork. She wields her Giant Blade and Naginata.

Her design in Hyrule Warriors is a hybrid of her Skyward Sword and Ocarina of Time; physically, she resembles her Skyward Sword design with similar hair, facial decoration and belt feathers. However, she also inherits some of the armor from her Ocarina of Time design, in addition to some of her character traits, such as her role as Zelda's guardian and her friendlier demeanor towards Link. Ironically, in Hyrule Warriors she is unaware of Sheik's true identity which cause her to be distrustful of the mysterious Sheikah survivor. It is only after the defeat of the false Zelda in the Water Temple in the Era of the Hero of Time, that Impa learns Sheik's true identity much to her relief thankful Zelda is alive and well. Two of Impa's Recolor outfits are based on her Oracle of Ages/Oracle of Seasons and her Skyward Sword incarnations.

Subseries warning: Subseries information ends here.

Non-canonical appearances

Non-canon warning: This article or section contains non-canonical information that is not considered to be an official part of the Legend of Zelda series and should not be considered part of the overall storyline.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time manga

Impa from the Ocarina of Time manga

Impa in the Ocarina of Time manga has some different aspects in story. Link first meets her at the market when playing with the disguised Princess Zelda. When Ganondorf attacks the Castle, Impa is seen attacking some Stalfos with a kodachi. When Link is an adult, he goes to Kakariko Village and Impa trains him and pierces his ears as a traditional rite of passage of the young male Sheikah.

Later in the story Sheik reveals that Princess Zelda wanted to infiltrate as a minion of Ganon. Impa decides to solve this by sealing her mind so she would believe she is a male Sheikah, and explains to the Princess to tell Ganondorf that she/he left Hyrule because of the Royal Family's betrayal but he has returned due to the possible collapse, Sheik explains this to the King of the Gerudo and gained his confidence.

Valiant Comics

Impa is Princess Zelda's nursemaid. She is very prophetic and knows much about the land of Hyrule. She is the one who warns Link not to leave the North Palace on the day Ganon attempts to invade the castle. Impa is also the one who tells Zelda that the Triforce disappears for a full day every decade.

Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon

Impa appears in several cutscenes, advising Princess Zelda in her quest to rescue Link and the King of Hyrule.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D

Impa model that exists in the coding of Majora's Mask 3D

For unknown reasons, an unfinished model of Impa can be found in the game's code along with models for Ganondorf and Sheik. The name of the files indicate that they may have been planned to appear in either the Swamp Fishing Hole or Ocean Fishing Hole, but the concept was scrapped. Its possible that these models were meant to be for the Terminan counterparts of Ganondorf, Impa, and Sheik.


Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U

Impa (Skyward Sword) Trophy from Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U

Impa from Skyward Sword appears as a Trophy in the Wii U version and also has an Old Woman Trophy as well. Both Trophies are part of the Skyward Sword characters Trophy Box.

In the 3DS version, Impa from Ocarina of Time appears as a Trophy as well.

Non-canon warning: Non-canonical information ends here.


See also