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Old man or old men in The Legend of Zelda NES?

Joined
Nov 21, 2021
I was starting to replay the Zelda series in release order to make notes on everything. A question that I was wondering about was if the multiple instances of the old man is the same old man or multiple old men.

There is a spot in the game that an old man refers to another old man. Is he talking in 3rd person or is there a separate old man?
 

Spiritual Mask Salesman

CHIMer Dragonborn
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Due to the limitations of the time they re-used character models a lot. It's not the same old man, it is various old men throughout the world, it's just that re-using the same character model doesn't relate that very well. It's the same as the wizards and knights in Zelda II, it isn't only one wizard and one knight throughout the game, but numerous ones.
 

VikzeLink

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In terms of the game, there are many old men.

If you go by the Legend of Neil web series, there are 2. The main one, and his brother with tourettes
 
Joined
Jan 10, 2021
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They are all different characters: the remaining population of Lesser Hyrule after Ganon's invasion.

All Old Men/Old Women/Moblin Shopkeepers:

zelda-overworld(grottos).png

Eagle Old Man
Moon Old Man
Manji Old Man
Snake Old Man
Lizard Old Man
Lizard Old Man
Lizard Old Man
Dragon Old Man
Dragon Old Man
Demon Old Man
Demon Old Man
Demon Moblin
Lion Old Man
Lion Old Man
Spectacle Rock Old Man
Spectacle Rock Old Man
Spectacle Rock Old Man
Spectacle Rock Old Man

Caves:
Sword-Giving Old Man
White Sword-Giving Old Man
Magical Sword-Giving Old Man
Magical Sword Guiding Old Woman
Letter-Entrusting Old Man
Lost Woods Old Woman
Lost Hills Old Woman
The Lion Secret Tree Old Man
Heart Container Old Man
Heart Container Old Man
Heart Container Old Man
Heart Container Old Man
Money Making Game Old Man
Money Making Game Old Man
Money Making Game Old Man
Money Making Game Old Man
Money Making Game Old Man
Road Guard Old Man
Road Guard Old Man
Road Guard Old Man
Road Guard Old Man
Shield/Bomb/Arrow White-Coated Merchant
Shield/Meat/Heart Merchant
Shield/Meat/Heart Merchant
Shield/Meat/Heart Merchant
Shield/Key/Candle Merchant
Shield/Key/Candle Merchant
Shield/Key/Candle Merchant
Shield/Bomb/Arrow Merchant
Shield/Bomb/Arrow Merchant
Shield/Bomb/Arrow Merchant
Key/Ring/Meat Merchant
Door Charge Old Man
Door Charge Old Man
Door Charge Old Man
Door Charge Old Man
Door Charge Old Man
Door Charge Old Man
Door Charge Old Man
Door Charge Old Man
Apothecary Old Woman
Apothecary Old Woman
Apothecary Old Woman
Apothecary Old Woman
Apothecary Old Woman
Apothecary Old Woman
10 Rupee Secret Moblin
10 Rupee Secret Moblin
30 Rupee Secret Moblin
30 Rupee Secret Moblin
30 Rupee Secret Moblin
30 Rupee Secret Moblin
30 Rupee Secret Moblin
30 Rupee Secret Moblin
100 Rupee Secret Moblin
100 Rupee Secret Moblin
100 Rupee Secret Moblin
 

Uwu_Oocoo2

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They are all different characters: the remaining population of Lesser Hyrule after Ganon's invasion.

All Old Men/Old Women/Moblin Shopkeepers:

View attachment 53716

Eagle Old Man
Moon Old Man
Manji Old Man
Snake Old Man
Lizard Old Man
Lizard Old Man
Lizard Old Man
Dragon Old Man
Dragon Old Man
Demon Old Man
Demon Old Man
Demon Moblin
Lion Old Man
Lion Old Man
Spectacle Rock Old Man
Spectacle Rock Old Man
Spectacle Rock Old Man
Spectacle Rock Old Man

Caves:
Sword-Giving Old Man
White Sword-Giving Old Man
Magical Sword-Giving Old Man
Magical Sword Guiding Old Woman
Letter-Entrusting Old Man
Lost Woods Old Woman
Lost Hills Old Woman
The Lion Secret Tree Old Man
Heart Container Old Man
Heart Container Old Man
Heart Container Old Man
Heart Container Old Man
Money Making Game Old Man
Money Making Game Old Man
Money Making Game Old Man
Money Making Game Old Man
Money Making Game Old Man
Road Guard Old Man
Road Guard Old Man
Road Guard Old Man
Road Guard Old Man
Shield/Bomb/Arrow White-Coated Merchant
Shield/Meat/Heart Merchant
Shield/Meat/Heart Merchant
Shield/Meat/Heart Merchant
Shield/Key/Candle Merchant
Shield/Key/Candle Merchant
Shield/Key/Candle Merchant
Shield/Bomb/Arrow Merchant
Shield/Bomb/Arrow Merchant
Shield/Bomb/Arrow Merchant
Key/Ring/Meat Merchant
Door Charge Old Man
Door Charge Old Man
Door Charge Old Man
Door Charge Old Man
Door Charge Old Man
Door Charge Old Man
Door Charge Old Man
Door Charge Old Man
Apothecary Old Woman
Apothecary Old Woman
Apothecary Old Woman
Apothecary Old Woman
Apothecary Old Woman
Apothecary Old Woman
10 Rupee Secret Moblin
10 Rupee Secret Moblin
30 Rupee Secret Moblin
30 Rupee Secret Moblin
30 Rupee Secret Moblin
30 Rupee Secret Moblin
30 Rupee Secret Moblin
30 Rupee Secret Moblin
100 Rupee Secret Moblin
100 Rupee Secret Moblin
100 Rupee Secret Moblin
That's a lot of old men
 

Hyrulian Hero

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*Rethread*

I'm calling my necro threads "rethreads" now for Zelda flavor. Anyway, in the olden days, before most of you were grubs, it seems Nintendo would refer to Zelda characters without a determining indefinite article ('a' or 'an'). For instance, Link might refer to a zora as 'zora' not 'a zora' in the cartoon. I can't remember off the top of my head but I think old men in LoZ might have been referred to in media (magazines, manual, etc.) as 'Old Man' and not 'an old man's. I'm sure this'll be confirmed or corrected, I just can't remember right now.

Edit: I lost some Zelda cred. Back then, Nintendo would have called them 'zola'. My bad.
 
Last edited:

Fig

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Jul 23, 2011
Location
Mishima Tower
Personally I find it funnier to believe it is only one Old Man throughout Zelda 1. Much like how there's only 1 copy per important character, there's credibility that there is only one Old Man in Zelda 1. It's a fantasy game with magic, bombs, etc. so who's to say he didn't teleport to an area prior to Link arriving? It would also make sense thematically as he could be telling a confused/lost Link where to exactly go to pick up the next power-up if Link is having a hard time.
 

Requiem Of Spirit

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Location
Hyrule, Gerudo Canyon Stable
I take it they are different old men, considering the Snes limitations. While in ALttp they could at least give the old men different names and colored robes, maybe they couldn't do the same in the Snes. I think him talking in 3rd person is a good hint that there are more old men.

Although I guess it could be the same old man, he could be using magic to move from place to place.

After all, the old men/man seems to know more than he/they let on.
 

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