The Sheikah are an ancient tribe located on the Great Sea. Long thought to be extinct, they are known for their extreme secrecy, mastering of dark magic, and their devoted loyalty to the Hylian royal family and its continuing blood line. During the Great War (the events of The Wind Waker), the Sheikah briefly emerge from hiding to assist Link, the Hero of Winds, in defeating Ganondorf.
Though found throughout the Great Sea, the Sheikah make their primary home on Outset Island.
Shortly after the events of Ocarina of Time, in which Ganon is once again sealed away, the Sheikah tribe is nearly extinct. In the seven years of bloody civil war that preceded Ganon's ultimate defeat, most of the Sheikah were killed fighting Ganon's forces, believing the Hylian royal family to be the true and only hereditary leaders of Hyrule. Chief among those casulaties was Impa, the Sheikah adviser to the royal family and personal protector of Zelda. Though killed in combat facing Bongo Bongo, Impa ultimately is awakened by Link, Hero of Time, and becomes the Sage of Shadow. Sheik, the alter ego of Zelda, also aided Link in his quest. Though not actually a Sheikah, Sheik awoke in Hyrule a brief surge of Sheikah patriotism.
Despite the Sheikahs' heavy losses in the war, a small number of them were able to escape the conflcit and settled in far off lands (believed to be as far away as Termina). Following this diaspora, the Sheikah successfully sought peaceful, content lives and even after the war, did not wish to return to Hyrule. Several of these Sheikah bred with other races and integrated with other societies; for this reason, the Sheikah race was practically extinct. However, few Sheikah actually did return to Hyrule, including Pahlus, who was appointed the Royal Science Advisor and, during the reign of Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule, invented the "Whisper Stone" (also known as the "Pirate's Charm"), in part an innovation of the Sheikah Gossip Stone.
During the reign of Daltus Tyrusen Hyrule, the kingdom had a significant Sheikah population: its largest since the diaspora. Once again the Sheikah tribe was in close alliance with the royal family. However, Zlavaak, the king's top adviser and – secretly – a dark sympathiser of Ganondorf, published a pamphlet to the people of Hyrule in which he put the blame on the Sheikah for all misfortunes in Hyrule's history. The aged King Daltus, both blind and at the will of his advisory chamber, legalised the persecution of the Sheikah people. For the second time, the Sheikah were forced into hiding; however, this time, instead of seeking new kingdoms, the Sheikah remained in Hyrule, seeking solace in the cold caves of the Snowpeak Mountains. They were determined to stay loyal to Hyrule, and would one day come out of hiding to continue to serve the royal family.
These events came just years before the second coming of Ganondorf and, subsequently, the Great Flood. After Hyrule and all surrounding lands were submerged, the by now dwindling Sheikah tribe survived as they had made their homes high in the mountains. After the flood, the group soon found the newly created Great Sea to not only hold sparse survivals of the human and Hylian races, but also ravaging throngs of Ganon's monsters. The tribe, led by a young Sheikah warrior named Iyaris escaped the onslaught of monsters by sailing south from their mountain top (believed to be Gale Isle). After sailing for weeks, they came to Outset Island, then unsettled and untouched by humans. Seeking to continue their lives of solitude, the Sheikah found sanctuary in the dense wood on the island's summit. There they survived for hundreds of years, unseen by humans and monsters alike.
In The Wind Waker
During the events of The Wind Waker, the Sheikah are under the leadership of Silas, a direct descendent of Iyaris. The Sheikah tribe numbers twelve, though the actual number of unseen tribe numbers may be many more. As Silas later reports, there was a long held prophecy of the arrival of the Hero of the Winds to again seal away Ganon, as the Hero of Time had once done. Silas later tells Link that when he first saw the former in his green Hero's tunic, he knew at once that Link was the chosen Hero of the Winds.
When a platoon of Boboklins under the command of Okobek overtake Outset Woods in search of Tetra, the captain of the pirates, the Sheikah initially fight back vehemently, but are ultimately driven deeper into the woods. They make sure to seal off the Great Fairy's fountain as they are leaving, so that the monsters could not extract the fountain's powers. All this occurs just moments before Link's arrival to the scene.
After word of the hero's return spreads across the Great Sea, the Sheikah are determined to bring the fight to Ganon, and actively begin weakening his forces. Most notably they are present at the Battle of Greatfish Isle, the home of the keeper of Nayru's Pearl, Jabun. The island was an inevitable target, and the Wizzrobe Kormanos invaded with a much larger force than the small Sheikah defending group. Though the battle ultimately ended in stalemate, with both sides retreating and Greatfish Isle left in a state of ruin, the Sheikah were instrumental in escorting Jabun and the pearl from the island, and bringing him to Outset Island.
The first time Link encounters the Sheikah is shortly after the Battle of Greatfish Isle, when Link has returned to Outset Island to retrieve Nayru's Pearl. During a brief excursion in the Outset Woods to recover a fairy from the blocked fountain, Link is suddenly ambushed by a throng of monsters (primarily Moblins, Miniblins, and Mothulas). Struggling to fight them off, Link is soon relieved when Silas and two Sheikah vanguards emerge from the trees and quickly slay the monsters. Silas introduces himself to the young hero as the leader of the Sheikah tribe, and briefly explains the group's struggles since the Great Flood. He assures Link that they fight for the same cause and motions him to the location of the Great Fairy's fountain.
Following this encounter, Link can also now enter the Sheikah Village through an additional corridor in the back of Outset Woods, previously inaccessible.
Shortly after Link departs Outset with the pearl, the pirates arrive. Madam Fesila, the Sheikah village sibyl, informs Silas that the young pirate captain, Tetra, is the actual Princess Zelda. Thus, Silas and the Sheikah approach the pirates on Outset and forge an alliance.
When Link returns to the Forsaken Fortress to rescue his sister Aryll, little does he know that the pirates and Sheikah are behind him. As Link infiltrates the fortress and ascends it, the pirates and a dispatch of Sheikah warriors fight fiercely in the prison's interior, keeping Ganon's main forces at bay so that Link may succeed. One Sheikah warrior, Hirlal, is even tasked with diverting the Helmaroc King. Unfortunately, the Sheikah and pirates are so preoccupied in the battle waging in the lower part of the fortress, that neither groups are unable to save Tetra and Link from the grasp of Ganon; fortunately, the unexpected team of Quill and Prince Komali are able to do just that.
Never officially named, the Sheikah Village is located behind the main area of the Outset Woods and is only accessible after Link returns to Outset for the second time in the game. The village area's lighting is relatively darker than that of the rest of the woods, and the village itself is made up primarily of log huts and bivouacs, and grottoes dug into the hilly and thickly wooded environment. All twelve members of the Sheikah tribe are scattered throughout the village.
Upon entry into the village, the general store is located a few cabins back, and is owned and operated by Taro. Basic items such as arrows and bombs are sold here. The shop also sells one item unique to the village: Sheikah Pellets. Essentially the same as Deku Nuts from Ocarina of Time, Sheikah Pellets are items Link may use by throwing within a short proximity to trigger a powerful flash of light, temporarily stunning all nearby enemies. For unknown reasons, the Sheikah Pellets are stored in Link's Bait Bag.
The village apothecary is ran by the youngest member of the Sheikah tribe, Zulah. She sells all three kinds of potions: red, green, and blue. However, unlike the Chu Jelly Juice Shop on Windfall Island, no drops of Chu jelly are needed to brew these potions; they are available to Link earlier on and at a reduced price.
No doubt an allusion to the Well of Three Features mini-dungeon from Kakariko Village in Ocarina of Time, this large open well located in the centre of the Sheikah Village houses a much smaller mini-dungeon. Initially filled to the top with water, the well can be emptied after playing the Wind's Requiem and standing on an enshrouded switch, which causes the village's makeshift windmill to begin operating, instantaneously draining the well. Link may then enter the will, landing in a deep collection of water at the bottom. Link must then navigate a series of tunnels and caverns chockfull of monsters and puzzles. Though not as long or rigorous as the Well of Three Features mini-dungeon, this short diversion offers three different chests to Link: one containing a joy pendant, one containing fifty rupees, and the last containing a Treasure Chart.
Madam Fesila's Fortune Shop
Another feature of the Sheikah Village is Madam Fesilia's Fortune Shop. Here, Fesilia will tell Link's fortune for a charge of thirty rupees each time. Upon payment, Fesilia asks Link the question: "What is it you want to know about?" with either "Love!" or "Treasure!" being choosable answers. If Link selects the former, Fesilia, after muttering a series of incoherent Sheikah odes, will reveal to Link a location in which a Piece of Heart is located. Likewise, if Link chooses "Treasure!" then Fesilia, after mumbling a similar prayer, will reveal a location concealing a Treasure Chart.
The largest building in the village, the longhouse is located at the far end of the area. Within is a massive hall with wooden pews and an altar-like stage on which Silas stands, as well as Myrnah, the village matriarch and elder. Engaging in a conversation with the latter will trigger an indepthh explanation of the Sheikah's history and ultimate arrival at Outset, among other things. By talking to Silas, Link will be reminded of his own current objectives as well as other vital and less-obvious information.
Like the Sheikah in Ocarina of Time and Skyward Sword, the Sheikah tribe members are ninja-like warriors excelling in black magic. They are quick, agile, and prefer short hit-and-run guerrilla attacks over full-fledged conflict. Their primary modes of battle include short, dagger-like needles that are thrown from the wrists, and short-edged blades and swords for melee combat. Silas is often seen fighting with a curved katana. The Sheikah Pellets are a staple of the Sheikah warrior arsenal, used frequently to stun enemies and retreat. The Sheikah warriors are known in particular for their unnatural speed and agility, which, as Myrnah, the village elder, suggests, is due to the many hardships the Sheikah have been forced to face.
Physically, the Sheikah are similar to those seen earlier in the series. They are pale-skinned with piercing red eyes and blonde or white hair. Most wear dark blue and black tunics (sporting the white Sheikah "eye" emblem on the chests), and some warriors even wear white headdresses concealing their faces, similar to that worn by Sheik.
Overall, the Sheikah are kind to Link and remain devoted to the cause at hand. All members of the tribe offer useful information and assistance to Link, even going so far as to create a distraction for Ganon's main forces during the Battle of the Forsaken Fortress. They live by a code of no surrender, never admitting defeat or succumbing to their enemy.
Silas is the young, dashing and fearless leader of the Sheikah tribe. As Myrnah explains, the leadership of the tribe does not pass on to the eldest member, but rather to he or she whom is a direct discendent of the tribe's founder, Iyaris. He is courageous in battle and even occasionally cocky. He is a steadfast friend of Link and feels his greatest duty lies within the interests of the Hylian people.
The eldest member of the tribe and matriarch, Myrnah is the only Sheikah in the tribe never seen in battle. She dresses in reddish-grey – rather than blue and black – and her long white hair is tied in braids. She is considered the wisest of the Sheikah, as well as the kindest. Found in the longhouse, Myrnah always has a historical anecdote or piece of advice to offer to Link. She walks with a cane and claims to be a descendant of the "Shadow Sage" (i.e. Impa).
Arguably the best Sheikah warrior, Aker is an older Sheikah tribesman known for his piety and grace in battle. He seldom speaks, but when he does offers a voice of wisdom. He fights with two small swords and is thus particularly known for his swordsmanship. He wears the long scar down the left side of his face as a trophy of war; it was given to him by the slash of a Boboklin blade. Aker can be found in his hut in the Sheikah Village, where he can give Link tips on sword fighting.
Taro is a young Sheikah warrior who also manages the village general store. Though a decent fighter and genuinely kind, he tends to be rather short-tempered, and will show this undesirable trait if Link takes too long in the shop choosing what to purchase.
Zulah is the youngest member of the Sheikah tribe. She operates the village's apothecary, selling all three potions to Link at low prices.
Taro's older and more level-headed brother, Yalto is the village guard, usually standing outside the small gate to the entrance of the encampment to greet Link whenever he enters the area. He holds a large spear – an unorthodox weapon for a Sheikah (however, he prefers a short sword in battle). He is kind-hearted and will occasionally apologise to Link for his younger brother's antics and impatience.
Always found hidden away in his hut, Garathor is described as the greatest Sheikah assassin. He rarely speaks, but usually has decent insight to offer when he does. Upon conversing with him in his home, he will usually tell Link that he's busy "honing his skills". He prefers stealthy kills and guerrilla tactics over full-out battle, as evidenced by his masterful knife-throwing skills. He, along with Silas and Aker, is one of the Sheikah that rescues Link in the Outset Woods.
Fesila is a large-bodied Sheikah maiden who runs the village's fortune shop. She is the village's soothsayer, being able to predict imminent events and reports her prophecies to the village's chieftain, Silas. Indeed, it was her own visions that predicted the coming of the Hero of the Winds, as well as Princess Zelda and Ganondorf.
Renowned for her excellent aim, Mella is regarded as the village's marksman. Relatively young and somewhat of a tomboy, she spends he days outside her hut on a small hill overlooking the village, perfecting her skills by throwing daggers at a practice dummy. Upon speaking to her, she will playfully tease Link, claiming that her knives are more powerful than his bow and arrows.
The youngest Sheikah warrior, brave Hirlal is the son of Silas and heir to the chiefdom. Though only about Link's age, he shows great determination and courage on and off the battlefield. He can be found wandering outside the longhouse, and will offer a word of encouragement to Link. It was Hirlal who, through great cunning and the use of Sheikah pellets, was able to divert the Helmaroc King's attention during the Battle of the Forsaken Fortress, giving Link the time to rescue his sister.
Ibaro is considered to be the most cowardly of the Sheikah warriors, never fully expunging himself in combat nor really caring to train at all. He finds the sight of swords and knives to be "distasteful" and constantly whines about how he wishes he was living the metropolitan lifestyle on Windfall Island instead of "this backwoods camp". He stands near the well in the village centre, and will occasionally query about what might be down it. Some of the other Sheikah have begun to wonder whether Ibaro is even a Sheikah at all.
Galis is another Sheikah warrior who excels in the use of the dagger. He is good friends with Mella and will admit to having a crush on her. He stands outside his hut near the general store, and will either confide in Link about his love for Mella, or rave about Sheikah pellets sold in the shop, and advise Link to buy some and how to use them.
- This is the first time a male Sheikah has been seen in the series. All Sheikah have previously been female, save Sheik, who was considered male (but was actually Princess Zelda).
- The theme heard in the Sheikah Village is a slowed, slightly melancholy rendition of the Kakariko Village theme from Ocarina of Time; this alludes to the fact that the Sheikah founded Kakariko Village.
- A small mural of Impa (from Ocarina of Time) can be found in the longhouse in the Sheikah Village. This is one of two images of Impa in The Wind Waker, the other being a stained glass of her and the other sages in the Master Sword chamber.
- Madam Fesila and her fortune shop are an allusion to Madam Fanadi, the fortune teller from Castle Town in Twilight Princess. It is believed that Fanadi herself was a Sheikah, as she had red eyes and sported what appeared to be the Sheikah "eye" on her forehead.
- Despite being a different race altogether, the Sheikah figurines, acquired after taking their pictographs, appear in the same gallery as the civilians of Outset Island.