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Niko is a recurring character in The Legend of Zelda series.[3] He is a member of Tetra's Pirate Crew. He is the skivvy and the lowest-ranking crew member on board Tetra's Ship, often having to deal with humiliating tasks like washing the dirty underpants of the rest of the pirates.[4] Any new member aboard Tetra's pirate ship has to report to Niko for duty.[5]


The Wind Waker

In The Wind Waker, Niko enthusiastically befriends Link when he is reluctantly cast below the decks for a journey to the Forsaken Fortress; as with Link's presence, Niko himself no longer had the worst reputation aboard the ship.[4] Niko's notorious incompetence leads him to be outwitted by Link on several occasions, handing over important treasures to the hero as rewards for completing his challenges. When Link first meets Niko, the young pirate gives him a test which all new pirate swabbies must take, which is to swing from platform to platform using Ropes hanging from the ceiling and reach the other end of the ship.[6] Niko is confident that it will take Link at least a year to successfully complete the test, but is astounded when the young hero easily finishes the trial.[7] For his great skills, Niko bestows upon Link the Spoils Bag, and tells the young hero that he is proud to have him as his underling.[8]

Later, when Link visits Windfall Island to find out what the pirates are up to, the young hero finds Niko stuck looking out for the pirate ship while the rest of the pirates are out having fun.[9] He mentions that he is happy to see his "old swabbie" again, and gives him another test similar to the one he took first, except this time there are no platforms in which Link can step on to and must swing directly from Rope to Rope to the other side.[10] Once Link successfully finishes the trial, Niko will once again be amazed (especially since that's a test he hadn't even passed himself) and hand him over some of the Bombs that they acquired from the Bomb Shop, although somewhat reluctantly since he's afraid he might get caught.[11]

In one of the Letters that Aryll writes to Link later on in the game, she mentions how Niko seems sad that Link is not around anymore, and asks whether they used to be good friends.[2]

Niko makes a final appearance in The Wind Waker during the game's ending. After Link and Tetra resurface from the sunken Hyrule Castle, Niko, along with the rest of the pirate crew and a few other character, greet the pair aboard their pirate ship. Gonzo is then seen steering the ship as Link, Tetra, and the gang of pirates set sail from Outset Island in search of new lands.

Like the rest of the pirates, Niko bears a striking resemble to a man portrayed in a wall painting hanging in the sunken Hyrule Castle, which heavily hints that the man could be Niko's ancestor serving under the orders of a past Princess Zelda.

Phantom Hourglass

In Phantom Hourglass, Niko recounts the events of The Wind Waker during the game's introduction before the Ghost Ship appears; however, Niko's role is severely limited in the game and only makes an appearance during the opening and closing sequences of the game. He is last seen when Tetra and Link reunite with the rest of the pirate crew. He is fond of his paper cutouts,[12] a character traits that he retains in Spirit Tracks.

Spirit Tracks

Niko makes an appearance in Spirit Tracks as presumably one of the few, if not the only, surviving founders of the new Hyrule. In this game, which takes place 100 years after The Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass, he appears as an old man who keeps pictures and memorabilia from his pirating days in his home. He narrates the opening cutscene of the game, just as he did at the opening of Phantom Hourglass. Later on, he gives Link the Stamp Book after musing about how Link looks like an old friend of his. By putting ten stamps in the book, Niko will give Link the Shield of Antiquity, which he claims used to belong to a friend of his.[13] By putting fifteen stamps in the book, Link can switch back and forth between his Engineer's Clothes or Recruit Uniform at any time by speaking with Niko. By putting twenty stamps in the book, Link receives a scroll allowing him to use the Great Spin.

Other Appearances

Navi Trackers

Phantom Hourglass Manga

Niko is first shown in the Phantom Hourglass manga by Akira Himekawa as Tetra and Link duel each other. Niko shows concern,[14] although Gonzo says they need their exercise.[15] When it is announced that the crew will be entering the Ghost Ship's territory, Niko exclaims that he is afraid of ghosts.[16] Link comforts him, saying that the ocean is protected by the Ocean King.[17] As Link and Tetra continue their fight, Link accidentally cuts the pirate captain's scarf, resulting in it falling into the sea. Link undresses to dive after the scarf,[18] Niko covering his lower area with a mop. Tetra tells Link to not be ridiculous, as the safety of her crew is more important.[19] In tears, Niko and his fellow pirates agree with her.[20] Niko expresses fear when the Ghost Ship approaches.[21] Tetra tells him to show some spine, saying that she will the prove it is not really a Ghost Ship.[22] The young captain boards the Ghost Ship, but is captured. Link follows Tetra, Niko shouting at the hero.[23]

At the end of the manga, Tetra and Link reappear on the pirate ship. Niko greets the captain, asking what the Ghost Ship was like and if there was any treasure.[24] Tetra angrily scolds Niko and the pirates for not coming to her rescue, asking why they didn't come to her aid.[25] Confused, Niko says that it had only been ten minutes since Tetra boarded the Ghost Ship.[26]


  • Niko is one of few supporting characters in the series that has lived long enough to meet more than one incarnation of Link.


Niko is a Finnish variation of and a common nickname for "Nicholas."[27]

Names in Other Regions
ニコ (Niko) (TWW | ST)[29][30]
The French Republic
Nico (TWW)[32]
The Federal Republic of Germany
Niko (TWW)[31]
The Italian Republic
Nico (TWW)[28]
The Kingdom of Spain
Nico (TWW)[33]
This table was generated using translation pages.
To request an addition, please contact a staff member with a reference.



  1. "Niko, who arrived in the new world one hundred years ago as one of Tetra's pirates, is still going strong in this era. He is affectionately nicknamed "Old Man Niko." He lives with a boy named Link who is identical in appearance to the Hero of Winds." (Hyrule Historia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 133)
  2. 2.0 2.1 "As usual, Niko is always fooling around. He won't take anything serious. Actually, he seems sad not to have you around anymore. Were you guys good friends?" — Aryll (The Wind Waker)
  3. Encyclopedia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 258,(TWW) 283,(PH) & 288 (ST)
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Helloooooooo, new pirate swabbie! Goooooood-bye, dirty pirate underwear! Yes! This means I don't have to wash the other pirates' dirty underpants anymore!" — Niko (The Wind Waker)
  5. "Heya, shrimplet! Are you gonna be our new pirate swabbie? ...'Cause any new swabbie reports to me!" — Niko (The Wind Waker)
  6. "Right! Now, first off you have to take the test all new pirates have to take. It's a bit of a doozy, so get ready!" — Niko (The Wind Waker)
  7. "It will probably take you at least one year before you're good enough to make it all the way here. One rough year. One tough year, full of bumps and bruises." — Niko (The Wind Waker)
  8. "Whaaaaat!?? You did it already??? ......... I... I... I'm proud to have you as... As my... As my underling! [...] All right, swabbie! I'll tell you what! You can have the treasure in that chest over there! It's your reward from the great and generous Niko!" — Niko (The Wind Waker)
  9. "Well, after you left, I went back to being the bottom rung on the ladder...which is why I'm stuck here while everyone else is in town having fun and eating and stuff..." — Niko (The Wind Waker)
  10. "All right! Why don't we set you to your next test, huh? This one is harder than the last! Good luck! You'll need it, swabbie!" — Niko (The Wind Waker)
  11. "This isn't good... I've never even passed this test... How could he do it so quickly...? And make it look so easy?!? And if I give this to him, everyone will know for sure... Oh, I'll be so busted... Uh...OK! You're the best swabbie of all time! So...I guess I'll just give you the bombs! Go on! Take 'em!" — Niko (The Wind Waker)
  12. "So what did you think of my amazing paper cutouts? Did you guess that Tetra was really Princess Zelda?! Hey! Link! Are you sleeping, swabbie?" — Niko (Phantom Hourglass)
  13. "You got the Shield of Antiquity! Niko received this precious shield from an old, dear friend." — N/A (Spirit Tracks)
  14. "They're at it again!" (Phantom Hourglass (Himekawa), VIZ Media, pg. 8)
  15. "Let them get their exercise." (Phantom Hourglass (Himekawa), VIZ Media, pg. 8)
  16. "Yikes! I don't like ghosts!" (Phantom Hourglass (Himekawa), VIZ Media, pg. 9)
  17. "... the Ocean King rules these waters. I doubt we'll see a Ghost Ship in waters protected by such a powerful spirit." (Phantom Hourglass (Himekawa), VIZ Media, pg. 9)
  18. "Tetra's scarf!... It's my fault! I'll get it!" (Phantom Hourglass (Himekawa), VIZ Media, pg. 10)
  19. "Don't be ridiculous! As captain, nothing is more important than the lives of my crew!" (Phantom Hourglass (Himekawa), VIZ Media, pg. 10, 11)
  20. "Yes, Ma'am." (Phantom Hourglass (Himekawa), VIZ Media, pg. 11)
  21. "Th-There it is! The Ghost Ship!" (Phantom Hourglass (Himekawa), VIZ Media, pg. 14)
  22. "Show some spine, Niko! Wait here. I'll prove it's not a Ghost Ship." (Phantom Hourglass (Himekawa), VIZ Media, pg. 15)
  23. "No, Link!" (Phantom Hourglass (Himekawa), VIZ Media, pg. 16)
  24. "Cap'n! What happened on the Ghost Ship? Was there any treasure?" (Phantom Hourglass (Himekawa), VIZ Media, pg. 186)
  25. "Well, since I was... held prisoner on the Ghost Ship I don't really know! Link sailed the seas and fought monsters to rescue me! But what about you guys? Why didn't you come after me?!" (Phantom Hourglass (Himekawa), VIZ Media, pg. 186, 187)
  26. "W-what are you talking about, Cap'n? It's only been about ten minutes... since you went aboard the Ghost Ship!" (Phantom Hourglass (Himekawa), VIZ Media, pg. 187)
  27. Meaning, origin and history of the name Niko (web archive),, published December 8, 2017, retrieved November 13, 2022.
  28. "Intanto fa' il bambino ubbidiente, va' di sotto da Nico!" — Tetra (The Wind Waker)
  29. "それまでは、ニコの言うことを聞くんだよ" — Tetra (The Wind Waker)
  30. Hyrule Encyclopedia, Tokuma Shoten Publishing Co., Ltd., pg. 286 (ST)
  31. "Also hör solange auf das, was Niko dir sagt!" — Tetra (The Wind Waker)
  32. "En attendant, fais ce que Nico te demande de faire." — Tetra (The Wind Waker)
  33. "Hasta entonces, sé un buen chico y obedece a Nico." — Tetra (The Wind Waker)