LN Female Sheikah Ninja 12
Weapon of Choice: Kodachi
The earliest known Impa in the chronology of the Zelda series is the Impa in Skyward Sword. As a member of the Sheikah tribe, the chosen guardians of the goddess Hylia, she is a loyal and dedicated guardian and servant to Her Grace in the Era of the Goddess Hylia.3
In the final days of her life following a fierce battle with the Demon King Demise, the goddess ordered Impa to go through a Gate of Time to the far future to protect her eventual mortal incarnation and to help her future incarnation remember her former life.4 When Hylia is reborn on the floating island of Skyloft as Zelda, she falls to the the Surface. Impa then meets with the former goddess while saving her from a group of Bokoblins near the Earth Temple, later protecting her from Ghirahim’s grasp as he is chasing after the young girl.5 Shortly afterwards, she voices concerns during her first encounter with Link at the fiery temple, believing that he is unworthy of being Hylia’s chosen hero, as she was forced to intervene to protect the goddess incarnate during the young hero’s absence.6 Later, at the Temple of Time in Lanayru Desert, she faces Ghirahim in short battle while Zelda escapes through a Gate of Time at the temple. She is saved by Link when her magical defenses are overwhelmed by her opponent’s powers.7 She is thus able to proceed through the Gate of Time with Zelda and tells Link to tell “the old woman” in the Sealed Grounds the recent events so that Link may know where to go.8 Impa then escapes into the past, destroying the gate as it closes behind them to prevent Ghirahim from pursuing them.9
Link follows Impa’s advice and returns to the old woman, who explains that Link will need to strengthen the Goddess Sword with the power of the three Sacred Flames in order to awaken the Gate of Time in the Sealed Temple.10 She also teaches the young hero how to play the Goddess’s Harp as well as the “Ballad of the Goddess” to help him on his quest.11
File:Old Woman SS.png
Official artwork of the aged Impa
The young Impa remains in the distant past, her own time period, with Zelda and watches over her as she enters a deep slumber in the Temple of Hylia to keep the seal on Demise, who had only recently been sealed by her goddess incarnation, strong in that period of time. After the eradication of Demise outside of the temple in present, a very aged Impa witnesses Zelda finally awaken from her ancient slumber and briefly reunite with Link. The short-lived reunion is interrupted by an aggravated Ghirahim, who then kidnaps the newly awakened Zelda and proceeds through the second Gate of Time that is located in center of the temple, going to the temple’s distant past. There, young Impa, still guarding the sleeping Zelda from earlier in their timelines, is attacked and wounded by the demon lord.12 Once Demise is successfully revived and sealed once more by Link, the young Impa congratulates him on his world-saving accomplishment. Much to the present Zelda’s tearful wishes, Impa explains that she is a being of that age and must stay behind to take care of the Gate of Time and the Master Sword.13 She tells Zelda not to despair and promises that they will surely meet again one day, to which Zelda gives Impa one of her bracelets as a token of their friendship and the time they spent together before returning the present.14
Once again in the present, an aged Impa awaits the return of the young heroes. As they step out of the Gate of Time, it closes behind them and disappears, revealing her to be behind it. As the heroes approach her, the bracelet given to her by Zelda many years earlier is visible to them, revealing she is indeed the same young, tanned and slender woman they had left behind in the past. She smiles at Zelda, telling her that they indeed did meet again.15 She then falls silent, steps backwards slightly and fades away into light, passing away. The bracelet given to her by Zelda falls to the floor and Zelda mourns her passing, thanking her for everything she did to help them.16
Appearance and Characteristics
As a young woman, Impa appears tall and lithe. She has straight light blonde hair, very tanned skin and the standard red eyes of the Sheikah tribe. The Sheikah eye symbol is tattooed in red on her forehead, and her left eye is tattooed with the three white marks above and a white teardrop below in the form of the same symbol. She also dresses in blueish purple clothing marked with yellow lines, an orange belt around her waist, and briefly wears a black cloak also marked with yellow lines. She lives to be very ancient for a mortal being, hailing from the Era of the Goddess Hylia and living for thousands of years through to the Era of the Sky. Whether this is a natural Sheikah ability or the work of divine interference is unknown, as she disintegrates into particles of light and fades away when her mission in life is done.
As an old woman, her hair is greyish blonde and has become very long, now braided and wrapped around her eyes and forehead; it hangs down on one side for use as a pendulum. The white teardrop is still visible, but elongated on her wrinkled cheek. She stands quite short and wears a pointed red hood and cape with a variation of the Sheikah eye symbol on the back.
Ocarina of Time
Impa from Ocarina of Time.
In Ocarina of Time, Impa was born and raised in Kakariko Village,17 the village of the Sheikah.18 She was selected as Princess Zelda’s attendant and likely left her village around that time, giving it to the people of other races.19 Though Hyrule Castle became her new home,20 she still kept a watching eye over Kakariko though,21 but most of her attention went to the young princess. Until Link came along, Impa was the only one who believed her visions.
Link met Impa for the first time in Hyrule Castle, where she taught him Zelda’s Lullaby.22 She then helped him leave the castle.23 Outside, she advised Link to head to Death Mountain to find the next Spiritual Stone17 and returned to the princess. Unfortunately, while Link was searching for the remaining Spiritual Stones, Ganondorf attacked Hyrule Castle. Impa took Princess Zelda and fled the castle with her.24 She only barely managed to escape Ganondorf and stayed in hiding with the princess for seven years. It is likely that she was the one who raised Zelda during those years and taught her what she had to know to pass off as a Sheikah. Impa also kept protecting Kakariko Village to her best effort.25
When Zelda was old enough to take care of herself, Impa started focusing on her old village again. An old evil that had plagued Kakariko Village in the past and that was locked up by Impa, had returned. Impa went to the Shadow Temple in order to lock the creature up again. When Link went to Kakariko Village after his seven year slumber, Sheik greeted him and told him about Impa.26 Link followed Impa into the Shadow Temple and was able to kill the creature, awakening Impa as the Sage of Shadows. As her new duty as a Sage prevented her from being at Princess Zelda’s side, her final words to Link were a request to protect the princess on her behalf.27 Before leaving, Link received the Shadow Medallion from her.1
When Link defeated Ganon, Impa and the other Sages bundled their powers to seal away Ganon. During the ending, she could be seen overlooking a celebrating Hyrule on Death Mountain with the other Sages.
Death: Dies fighting against a band of enemy Shinobi