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|“||I am Impa of the Sheikah. I am responsible for protecting Princess Zelda.||„|
|~ Impa: Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time|
Impa of the Sheikah is the tritagonist of The Legend of Zelda franchise. She is the guardian of Princess Zelda, who, as the last of the Sheikah, is sworn to protect the Hyrulean royal family at all costs, and has both the knowledge and skills to be one of Hyrule's best possible bodyguards.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
The Sheikah are an ancient people native to the village of Kakariko, at the base of the treacherous Death Mountain. The Sheikah have a history of using black-magic and both summoning and combating evil spirits. The graveyard of Kakariko Village houses numerous graves reserved specifically for the Sheikah. Kakariko Graveyard's tombstones not only act as monuments to honor the dead, but also serve to seal the souls of the Sheikah who remain restlessly vigilant even after death. Impa was the leader of Kakariko Village prior to being recruited by the royal family to guard Princess Zelda as her personal bodyguard.
Link will encounter Impa inside the Hyrule Royal Palace immediately after speaking with Princess Zelda and accepting her mission to stop Ganondorf from gaining the Trifroce of Power. Impa will teach Link Zelda's Lullaby. As Impa played the Sheikah's ancestral melody to the Royal Family as a lullaby, the song doubles as a sign of trust between the player and the royal family, thus playing the song hence-forth will serve to prove Link is an agent of the Royal family like Impa. After teaching Link the song, Impa will escort Link outside the palace and point out Death Mountain, outlying his path to the home of the Gorons to gain their help in his quest.
After gaining the Sacred Ruby from the Gorons and the Sapphire from the aquatic Zoras, Link will return to Hyrule Castle to unite them with Princess Zelda, thus sealing the Triforce. However, upon his arrival outside Hyrule Castle, Link will witness Impa speeding away from the castle on horseback, with Zelda in her arms and Ganondorf shortly behind. Zelda will throw her Ocarina, the titular Ocarina of Time, into the moat upon seeing Link, in attempt to get it in safe hands.
After being tossed aside by Ganondorf in his chase, Link will retrieve the ocarina from the moat and use it and the sacred stones to enter the Temple of Time and secure the Triforce himself. Once Link enters the Temple's sealed room, Ganondorf will make his move, seizing the Triforce while Link is kept in the Sacred Realm. The sage, Rauru will keep Link in stasis until he is old enough to wield the realm's sacred Master Sword and stop Ganondorf. In seven years, Link awakens to save the land from the evil Ganondorf has unleashed.
The Shadow Temple
In his quest to get the help of the seven sages of the Sacred Realm, Link must go to each of their temples across Hyrule and free them from the evils Ganondorf has placed inside them to corrupt and oppress their regions. The Shadow Temple is revealed to be in Kakariko Village, just above the graveyard. Link must fight the evil Bongo Bongo, the ghost of a murderous sage who lived in Kakariko long ago and who took up residence in the Shadow Temple once Ganondorf broke his seal. Traveling through the twisting dark and haunted passages of the Shadow Temple will eventually place Link in the lowest chamber, facing the evil spirit. Defeating Bongo Bongo will allow the spirit of the temple's sage to reclaim it and aid Link in his quest, as it turns out, Impa is the newest Sage of Shadow.
Impa praises Link not only for freeing her ancestral temple, but for embarking on his quest to honor Princess Zelda. Impa tells Link he shall meet Zelda again before the end, then gives Link her power in the form of the Medallion of Shadow. Like all the other sages, Impa will add her power to Link's in Ganondorf's castle to overcome his evil seals. Upon beating Ganondorf and finishing the game, Impa and her fellow sages will be seen meeting on top of Death Mountain rejoicing at the freed land of Hyrule. It is implied that all the Sages are spirits and thus had been killed and recruited by the temples as the new keepers there of. It is never stated outright that Impa or any of the other sages are actually dead, but they clearly can no longer walk the land of the living.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
Taking place 100 years before the events in Breath of the Wild, Impa, compared to her short, elderly self after 100 years, is a young, tall, and very pretty Sheikah who is best friends with Princess Zelda. Impa is first seen returning to Hyrule Castle while fleeing from a group of Bokoblins sent after her by Calamity Ganon, but as she runs, she spots Link and asks him to help her. However, she stumbles and drops the Sheikah Slate she was carrying. Its presence causes Terrako, a small Guardian that Link had just found, to awaken, and using the Sheikah Slate, summons a Sheikah Tower, scaring off Impa's pursuers, but also causing Link and Impa to be shocked by the sight of the tower. Unknown to them, Terrako had time-traveled back into the past to warn them of Calamity Ganon's return to avoid the events of the Great Calamity that occurred in the Breath of the Wild timeline.
Following the tower's summoning, Impa and Link are met by Princess Zelda, who Terrako immediately recognizes. Confused as to why the little Guardian seems to know Zelda, it is after a meeting with King Rhoam that Impa, Zelda, and Link take Terrako to the Royal Science Academy to be looked at by Robbie and Impa's sister Purah. On the way there, they are attacked by a Guardian Stalker poisoned by Calamity Ganon's Malice, as unknown to them, some of Ganon's Malice had followed Terrako into the time portal from the future, and possessed the Terrako of their timeline, turning it into Harbinger Ganon, who had infected the Guardian Stalker in an attempt to stop them early from trying to prevent the Great Calamity. However, Terrako is able to activate several Decayed Guardians not infected by Malice to help destroy the infected one. Once at the Academy, Robbie and Purah are able to scan the Sheikah Slate and Terrako's memory banks, and reveal the threat of the Great Calamity to Zelda and Impa. With newfound knowledge of the threat of Calamity Ganon's return looming over Hyrule, Zelda, Impa, and Link travel across the kingdom to recruit the Champions to pilot the Divine Beasts to help defend Hyrule when Calamity Ganon returns.
In the meantime, Harbinger Ganon tries to hinder their attempts by sending monsters to attack Zora's Domain and Death Mountain, but are easily fended off by Mipha and Daruk, with or without the aid of their Divine Beasts Vah Ruta and Vah Rudania. Harbinger Ganon attacks Rito Village, resulting in where Revali and his Rito warriors mistake Terrako for Harbinger Ganon and attack Link until Zelda intervenes as she arrives with Impa, and as a final resort, has Master Kohga disguise himself as Urbosa to turn the Gerudo warrior women against Impa, Zelda, and Link, but the real Urbosa arrives just before Kohga can strike down Zelda while in his Urbosa disguise, and electrocutes him into submission with her lightning, forcing him to reveal himself and summon his Yiga Clan warriors to distract the Gerudo Chieftain and her allies while Kohga escapes. Impa, Urbosa, Link, and Zelda chase him down, but before Urbosa and Link can take Kohga into custody once they've cornered him, he's rescued by his second-in-command Sooga, and they both escape.
When Urbosa explains that the Yiga Clan are Sheikah traitors who have turned their back on Hyrule to side with Calamity Ganon, Impa looks away in guilt and shame at hearing some of her own kind have betrayed Hyrule to side with Ganon. Nevertheless, with the four Champions gathered, Impa returned to Castle Town, but does not join Zelda, Link, and the Champions with heading to Korok Forest to recover the Master Sword, though she does try to offer Zelda some encouragement regarding working on the Divine Beasts before leaving her alone with her thoughts. While there, Link, Zelda, and the Champions encounter the large Korok Hestu, and assist him with fighting past the monsters sent by Ganon to infest the forest, along with some Malice that had appeared in the woods as well, conjured by the dark seer and follower of Calamity Ganon, Astor, the Prophet of Doom, despite Calamity Ganon having not awoken yet.
After Link claims the Master Sword and protects Zelda from Astor and his Hollows, they meet the Great Deku Tree, before returning to Castle Town so Link and the Champions can be formally given their Champion titles and attire. After the celebration, when Terrako tries to claim itself as a knight or Champion because of its relationship with Zelda, Impa, having rejoined the party, tries to scold it, but gets her hand smacked away every time by Terrako, who doesn't, or won't, put up with Impa saying otherwise, infuriating her at its disrespectful behavior in front of Zelda, leading to her chasing the little Guardian around until it tried to get Revali involved, forcing him to take flight to escape, voicing his disgust at their behavior with "How asinine".
It is not long before Impa reports to King Rhoam of new information attained from Terrako and the Sheikah Slate by Purah, Robbie, and their Sheikah researchers revealing the date of when Calamity Ganon was to break its seal and return to renew its assault on Hyrule: Zelda's 17th birthday. With time not on their side, Rhoam sends Zelda to the Spring of Courage with Link and Impa to try and awaken her dormant powers granted to her by the Triforce and Hylia, but after changing into her ceremonial white dress and pacing around in the spring, trying to get her powers to awaken, Zelda is unable to, despite Impa's encouraging words, and the spring is soon assaulted by more of Ganon's monsters. Though Link and Impa fight them off, Zelda is still doubtful of awakening her power, though Impa tries to reassure her that it was her foresight of the spring's outline and design that helped save them just now by using the various traps to escape Ganon's monsters. Thanks to Impa, Zelda feels better, and they soon return to Castle Town with the intention of having Zelda head to Mount Lanayru to train at the Spring of Wisdom as soon as she turns 17 due to the rule that anyone under 17 are barred from setting foot on Mount Lanayru until they come of age. However, that was never to occur. In the meantime, King Rhoam has Castle Town and surrounding communities evacuated of civilians and soldiers to prevent mass casualties when the Calamity returns, thereby having those soldiers that are evacuated transferred to Akkala Citadel and Fort Hateno to reinforce the garrisons there as they stand as Hyrule's two main defenses, and if they fall, Hyrule is lost.
Back in the Royal Science Academy, Purah and Robbie have just finished their latest research into Terrako's memory banks, but as they look over the newest images attained from Terrako on the Sheikah Slate, they barely have time to react to their latest discovery before they find themselves being held at blade-point by two Yiga Clan spies disguised as their Sheikah researchers, with several more holding their staff hostage, causing Robbie to voice his error in not checking the staff more thoroughly to sniff out the Yiga infiltrators. Luckily, Purah is able to give the Sheikah Slate to Terrako, and the little Guardian escapes to deliver it to Impa and Zelda before the Yiga spies can stop it. Upon when he gives it to them, the seal on Calamity Ganon finally ruptures, and the creature of Ganon's evil and Malice incarnate engulfs Hyrule Castle. Impa is forced to flee with Link and Zelda as King Rhoam and his Royal Knights distract the Malice-infected Guardian Stalkers to buy time for them to escape, but at the apparent cost of being killed by the corrupted automatons. Once safely in Hyrule Field, Impa checks the Sheikah Slate, and shows Zelda the images of the Divine Beasts completely under Calamity Ganon's control that Terrako had stored in its memory banks before fleeing into the past from the Breath of the Wild timeline. Fearing that the Champions and King Rhoam are all dead at the hands of Calamity Ganon because she was unable to awaken her dormant power granted to her by the Triforce and Hylia to stop him, Zelda breaks down in tears and guilt, blaming herself for Hyrule's downfall and demanding why her power won't awaken when it is needed the most, leaving her frustrated and devastated. However, as she sobs, one of her tears falls on Terrako, and it once more summons a time portal, several in fact, to try and alter history once more in Hyrule's favor, startling her out of her mourning. After it does, Impa spots Vah Medoh, Revali's Divine Beast, in the sky, but despite it trailing streams of Malice from its wings, it still shows a blue glow to its circuitry, indicating that Revali is holding on and still in control of Vah Medoh, meaning there is still hope to save the Champions and keep the Divine Beasts under Hyrulean control. With that, Impa, Link, and Zelda set off to help them.
Making it in time to Vah Ruta and Vah Naboris, Link, Impa, and Zelda rescue Mipha and Urbosa, who were aided in holding off Waterblight and Thunderblight Ganon until they arrived by Sidon, Riju, and Patricia. With Mipha and Urbosa safe, they help gain access to Vah Rudania and Vah Medoh, allowing Link, Impa, and Zelda to rescue Daruk and Revali, who were being aided in holding off Fireblight and Windblight Ganon by Yunobo and Teba. Once they are rescued, and with all four Divine Beasts still under Hyrulean control, preventing Ganon from using them to cause chaos to their respective races for a century, the time is right to launch the counterattack to rescue Akkala Citadel and Fort Hateno from the hordes of Guardian Stalkers, Skywatchers, and monsters laying siege to them. During the defense of Fort Hateno, Astor arrives with the resurrected Blight Ganons, and has them attack Link, while Impa tries to get Zelda to safety. However, after possibly losing her father to Ganon, Zelda can't bear losing Link, and breaking free from Impa's grip, she runs back towards Link, causing her dormant power from the Triforce and Hylia to finally awaken, stunning the Blight Ganons and purging the corrupted Guardian Stalkers of the Malice possessing them, resulting in the Blight Ganons being destroyed again, and Fort Hateno saved, thanks to Purah having installed a failsafe that wipes most of the corrupted Guardian automatons out, leaving Calamity Ganon with only a handful left to reinforce his monsters, costing Ganon his main means of what he razed Hyrule with in the Breath of the Wild timeline alongside taking over the Divine Beasts. Mustering the surviving Hyrulean Soldiers under her command with a rousing speech to bolster their morale, Zelda and Impa are later confronted by Master Kohga, but this time, he asks for their help as, angry as Astor using his fellow Yiga to resurrect the Blight Ganons, he has chosen to have the Yiga Clan rejoin Impa and her fellow Sheikah to take revenge on Astor and Calamity Ganon. With Master Kohga's support, a defense of the Great Plateau is successful, and Zelda discovers her father, King Rhoam, is still alive in the Temple of Time, thanks to the Sheikah artifact he gave her earlier, which produced a Guardian Shield to protect him and his Royal Knights from the corrupted Guardian Stalkers, turning their lasers back on them and stunning them, giving the King and his men time to withdraw back to the Great Plateau and the Temple of Time before the automatons recovered.
With King Rhoam alive and safe, giving the troops a much needed morale boost, Impa joins Zelda, Link, Rhoam, the Champions, Master Kohga, Hestu, and the united coalition of Hyrule's races, including Gerudo, Gorons, Zora, Rito, and Sheikah in the Yiga Clan, along with the Divine Beasts, with preparing to lay siege to Hyrule Castle to reclaim it from Calamity Ganon, with Zelda, her powers granted to her by the Triforce and Hylia having awoken, taking command of the united army with her father's blessing to lead them to victory.
However, upon reaching the castle, they are confronted by Astor and Harbinger Ganon. Though they put up a strong fight, especially with summoning the Blight Ganons again to face the heroes, they are defeated. Refusing to admit defeat, Astor lost all composure and commands Calamity Ganon to destroy the heroes, but as Sooga had mentioned earlier, Calamity Ganon is no one's servant, and Astor is absorbed by Harbinger Ganon, resulting in the corrupted Terrako being destroyed as Calamity Ganon uses Astor to create a new body for itself. Once in its new form, Calamity Ganon infects the future Terrako with his Malice, turning it against Zelda, forcing the heroes to have to fight it to purge the Malice from it, but leaving Terrako critically damaged. Devastated over losing Terrako upon finally remembering it from her childhood and how it comforted her after Zelda's mother, the Queen of Hyrule, passed away, Zelda steels her resolve, and swears that Calamity Ganon will be defeated, once and for all.
Reaching the castle citadel, Calamity Ganon proves to be too powerful for anyone to effectively damage him. Zelda is forced to try and block his attacks with her awoken powers, but begins to falter against the onslaught, until Terrako, despite its critically-wounded state, runs in and heroically sacrifices itself to weaken Calamity Ganon severely, allowing Link to deliver the finisher with the Master Sword, cleaving Calamity Ganon in half vertically, and allowing Zelda to then use her powers granted by the Triforce and Hylia to seal Calamity Ganon away for good, despite its desperate and furious attempt to stop her, only for the punch to be deflected by Zelda's powers before engulfing Calamity Ganon completely.
With Calamity Ganon gone, his Malice is wiped out, and Hyrule survives to rebuild, having survived the Great Calamity compared to what happened in Breath of the Wild. Teba, Yunobo, the older Sidon, Riju, and Patricia, are returned to their timeline by the residual energy from the screw Terrako left behind, and Impa and the others look toward the future now that Hyrule is safe. Some time later, they manage to recover enough of Terrako's scattered parts to piece it back together, but upon its reactivation, it seems unresponsive to any of them. Impa actually tries to help by smacking Terrako, telling it to wake up, before Zelda steps in to stop her from potentially damaging Terrako again. Thankfully, upon seeing Zelda, Terrako fully wakes up, much to Impa, Robbie, Purah, and the Champions' relief, and as Zelda takes Terrako into her embrace and welcomes it back, seeing her crying, but not understanding they were tears of joy, not sadness or grief, Terrako plays Zelda's Lullaby to comfort her.