The Legend the Zelda is one of gaming’s many beloved series. The 30-year-old franchise is one of Nintendo‘s many successful, and also the characters and storylines it has have inspired and also entertained fans for decades.

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One of the quintessential components of The Legend the Zelda is Link’s faithful steed, Epona. This loyal horse has actually been with link since nearly the beginning, and her steadfast existence has come to be something that fans count on. In light of that, let’s take a closer look in ~ the finest horse in Hyrule.

10 amazing facts about Epona from The Legend that Zelda

1) Epona’s surname originates in Celtic mythology

Epona is the goddess that horses and fertility in Celtic mythology. Her name originates native the Celtic root “epos”—which method “horse”—and the suffix “ona” i m sorry simply method “on.” Nintendo video game designer Yoshiaki Koizumi, who called Epona, said in an interview “when you name something, it boosts your affection because that it, for this reason I operated hard to make her a an excellent horse.” Mission accomplished, Koizumi.

2) Epona isn’t just any horse—she’s a silver bay

Bay equines are characterized by your reddish-brown coats, typically accompanied by a black mane, tail, and ear edges. A silver- bay trades the dark mane and also tail because that a light, silvery blonde. Epona’s build and height look choose she can be a irradiate draught horse breed like a Noriker, which would make she the perfect mount for the like the mountain terrain that is usual in Hyrule. Her stocky build and also short legs do her look more suited come hauling than racing. Her loyal temperament—once you have wooed she affection by playing her song, that course—and sure-footedness permit her to maintain the also gait essential for the placed combat that connect so enjoys.

Photo via Nintendo/Zelda.Gamepedia

3) Epona was included into the games because of Shigeru Miyamoto’s love because that westerns

When asked in an interview about the decision to add in a horse, Koizumi claimed that they started considering the possibility of including in a horse throughout the advancement of Super Mario 64. Legend that Zelda and Super Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto explained the his an inspiration came native the cowboy movies he thrived up watching.

had actually a large influence over me,” that said. “And the drink spouts at elementary school always had aluminum cups. We supplied to upper and lower reversal those over and also knock them against the concrete in rate so the sounded favor a equine galloping. That’s how much us all loved equines when we were kids. That rhythm is ingrained right into us. That’s why ns really wanted to make it so you can ride a equine in the Ocarina of Time.”

Photo via Nintendo/Zelda.Gamepedia

4) They had to make cut scenes for every feasible exit indigenous Lon Lon Ranch in Ocarina the Time

In stimulate to make gameplay easier, the developers decided to provide Epona auto-jump. At any time the player viewpoints an obstacle that Epona can jump over, she will jump automatically. The an initial instance the this being used is when Link and Epona room escaping indigenous Lon Lon Ranch in Ocarina that Time. Game developers came across a problem, however, once they realized the gate was not the only feasible exit native the ranch. Since Miyamoto the video game to break right into a cut scene as Link and also Epona flee, developers had actually to do an animation for each feasible exit, simply in instance players made decision to switch it up.

Photo via Nintendo/Zelda.Gamepedia

5) Miyamoto suggested including carrots for the services of enjoyment

With blatant disregard for his necessity that “a Legend of Zelda game doesn’t require any daunting actions,” Miyamoto made decision to add in the carrot-based speed system to do horseback riding more entertaining.

“Miyamoto-san claimed that simply riding about on a equine wouldn’t be very fun game-wise. He want to put in some kind of action, so he included carrots,” Koizumi said. Cracked the whip gives Epona a explode of speed, but each whip crack expenses a carrot. As soon as you usage up every one of your carrots Epona tires because that awhile, and also you shed the capacity to cracked the whip or run over obstacles for a time.

6) You deserve to only summon Epona when in Breath that the Wild

Breath the the Wild has been blowing players away through its gorgeous graphic and expansive world because it was released previously this year. Nintendo serious upped the ante in its many recent release, building a more complicated world v roaming wild equines the player can tame. Despite Epona is obtainable to unlock, she is not straightforward to get. Over there is an amiibo you deserve to purchase come scan Epona into the game; however, unlocking her is not the end of it. Once you have obtained Epona, you require to instantly go come a stable and register her or she might be shed forever. If she is shed or killed before you register her, you will not have the ability to scan her ago into the game again, and you will need to make carry out with the various other mounts the video game provides. Once you carry out register Epona, she has actually fours across the plank in strength, speed, and stamina, and her gentle temperament renders her terrific companion.

Screengrab via King Rhoam of Hyrule/YouTube

7) In Breath that The Wild Epona is the only horse that walk not must be tamed

The newest installment in the Legend the Zelda deviated native the formula of front Zelda gamings in number of ways, from its open-world setting to the capability to find, tame, and also ride wild horses. Breath the the Wild allows players to choose whatever equine they desire for their stable; however, very first they have to be caught and also tamed. When Epona has been unlocked, however, she is yours. No need to sneak up on her or go with the initiative of breaking her, she is all yours as soon as she spawns. After all, you’ve currently been on many adventures together over the years.

8) over there is an Epona-inspired bike in Mario Kart 8

There is a bike that looks oddly familiar in the latest Mario Kart installment, decked the end in small triforces, the Hylian Shield, and also even sporting a an extremely horse-like head. Nintendo’s Twitter account offered the bike’s beginnings a coy nod as soon as it provided that it has actually “plenty of steed power.” The bike has a selection of names depending upon your country, native America’s “Master Cycle” to France’s “Destrier de Légende” or “Legendary Steed.” The bike bring away a minute to obtain started, but once that does it has the highest possible speed of any in the game, and its superior taking care of makes it among the best vehicle choices.

Screengrab via Nintendo


9) Epona is a villager in Animal Crossing brand-new Leaf

One of Nintendo’s an ext adorable series, Animal Crossing, has several installments that permit players come live in a city through precious little anthropomorphic animals. In New Leaf, which to be released for the Nintendo 3DS in 2013, players take the function of the mayor of a brand-new town through the score of making it a much better place to live. The Welcome Amiibo update, released in so late 2016, introduced amiibo compatibility and also several new characters, consisting of Epona. Epona’s charming tiny bipedal character is peppy and sweet, and can be scanned into the game with a Link Rider, Sheik, Majora’s Mask, or Ocarina the Time link amiibos.

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10) Epona’s birthday is the very same day together the initial release of Ocarina that Time

Animal Crossing brand-new Leaf revealed Epona’s birthday, i beg your pardon she shares with the classic Zelda game Ocarina of Time. Arguably the most famous game in the franchise, Ocarina of Time was very first released ~ above Nov. 21, 1998. This was also the first game to attribute Epona, so the seems rather fitting the her birthday synchronizes with that release.