Sheik (シーク, Sheik) is a character from The Legend of Zelda universe. Sheik debuted in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, claiming to be one of the last surviving Sheikah and aiding Link by teaching him warp songs. In actuality, however, Sheik is the magically-induced alter ego of Princess Zelda.
Sheik is a Sheikah who debuted in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Contrasting with Impa, the only other Sheikah seen in the game, Sheik's identity and voice are concealed with conservative clothing and a scarf.
Sheik first appears before Link soon after his spirit is unsealed after being contained within the Chamber of Sages for seven years. Upon meeting Link, Sheik reveals to him his true quest: he is now old enough to properly become the Hero of Time, and now that he has acquired the Light Medallion from Rauru, the Sage of Light, he must also awaken five other Sages and acquire their respective Medallions in order to become powerful enough to stop Ganondorf and save Hyrule.
Following this, Sheik appears before Link at various instances to teach him warp songs to help him on his quest. Sheik also imparts words of wisdom before mysteriously disappearing each time, typically via the explosive flash of a Deku Nut. When all six Sages are awakened, Link arrives at the Temple of Time near the end of the game and is greeted by Sheik, who uses the Triforce of Wisdom to reveal herself as Princess Zelda. She explains that after Ganondorf conquered Hyrule during Link's absence, she and Impa were forced to go into hiding, and Impa taught Zelda the ways of the Sheikah to both hide her identity and defend herself if she is forced into combat.
Though Sheik has not made another appearance in a mainline Zelda game to date, her design within the Super Smash Bros. series has been updated over time to match the aesthetics of other installments in the series. When Zelda's design was changed to her Twilight Princess appearance in Brawl, Sheik was also altered to match, now using a design based on concept art the development team created specifically for Brawl. Because Zelda and Sheik were split into unique fighters in SSB4, their designs diverged in Ultimate; while Zelda uses her look from A Link Between Worlds, Sheik was given a unique appearance combining the Twilight Princess design with the Stealth Set, armor based on her design which is available to Link in Breath of the Wild.
Sheik is usually depicted as stoic and reserved, rarely showing emotion. The only instances are brief episodes of surprise and concern when herself and the surrounding area are in danger, especially when Link is nearby. Sheik has very melancholic diction, often waxing poetic about time and its affect on the mind, particularly with age. This is likely due to herself being partly responsible for Link's involvement in the conflict and his seven year coma and having all that time to think about those consequences. Sheik is also proficient with a harp, which she uses to teach Link the various Ocarina melodies.
Sheik is occasionally assumed to be male or a male persona of Zelda, but it is the official stance of Nintendo that Sheik is female, just as Zelda is. She merely disguises herself as male, which her trophy in Melee speculates to be the result of magic. The manga adaptation of Ocarina of Time suggests that Zelda uses the Triforce of Wisdom to actually become male while disguised as Sheik, though this is considered non-canon to the games.
The Super Smash Bros. games consistently refer to Sheik as female, but the Super Smash Blog for Ultimate once referred to Sheik as male; however, an official Nintendo Twitter account which reposted the information altered it to refer to her as female, suggesting it to be a mistake. Likewise, while Sheik is referred to with female pronouns in her Ultimate Move List and tips, Palutena and Viridi refer to Sheik as male in the corresponding Palutena's Guidance conversation in Ultimate (likely as an intentional joke, since Pit knows that Sheik's true identity is Zelda).
As a playable character
Main article: Sheik (SSBM)
Sheik is one of the new characters introduced in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Rather than being a full-fledged character, she is a transformation of Zelda, which makes them the only characters in Melee to possess such an ability. In addition to her ability to Transform into Zelda, Sheik's Vanish is based on her usage of Deku Nuts in Ocarina of Time.
Unlike Zelda, Sheik boasts very fast attack speed and excellent mobility. When coupled with her deceptively powerful smash attacks and terrific neutral game, Sheik was initially deemed broken by some players, until the evolution of Melee's metagame revealed that she has a poor recovery and a mediocre neutral game. Nevertheless, Sheik's strengths still largely outweighed her weaknesses, reflected by her current ranking being 5th out of 26 on the tier list.
Main article: List of SSBM trophies (The Legend of Zelda series)
In addition to the Zelda trophies, there are three Sheik trophies available in Melee. Her main trophy reads as follows:
As a playable character
Main article: Sheik (SSBB)
Unlike Melee, Super Smash Bros. Brawl does not feature the Princess Zelda from Ocarina of Time. Instead, she has been succeeded by her descendant, the Zelda from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Due to this, many debates initially came about as to whether or not Sheik would return.
Many argued that because Sheik did not appear in Twilight Princess, Zelda would not be able to Transform into Sheik. By extension, many cited the fact that the Hero of Time had also been succeeded by his own descendant, the Link from Twilight Princess, who features special moves that were reworked to fit with Twilight Princess' aesthetics. Conversely, others argued that even though the Zelda in Melee was explicitly the Ocarina of Time incarnation, she was not supposed to be based on any specific Zelda, but rather an amalgamation of all Zelda's past and present. As a result, they argued that the Twilight Princess incarnation of Zelda would not be prevented from being able to Transform into Sheik as her ancestor could in Melee.
The debate was settled with the revelation of Sheik's inclusion in Famitsu's review of Brawl. Shortly thereafter, Smash Bros. DOJO!! confirmed Sheik's inclusion via its January 16th update. Sheik's special moves have remained unchanged, but much like Zelda, Link, and Ganondorf, she now features an updated design based on Twilight Princess' aesthetics.
Sheik's updated design was created for Brawl to represent the Twilight Princess version of Zelda. Her new design noticeably includes a braided ponytail, similar to Zelda's design in Twilight Princess.
Sheik's playstyle is largely similar to how it was in Melee, though she now has a Final Smash, Light Arrow, that she shares with Zelda. However, her KO potential has been severely weakened, while her endurance has also worsened. As a result, Sheik is currently ranked 25th out of 38 on the tier list, which renders her as a mid-tier character.
Main article: List of SSBB trophies (The Legend of Zelda series)
As a playable character
Main article: Sheik (SSB4)
Sheik returns as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. 4. Although she has retained her Twilight Princess design, her overall color scheme is now more vibrant because of SSB4's aesthetics. By extension, she now has an alternate costume that features the color scheme of her attire in Ocarina of Time.
Unlike in previous installments, Sheik is now a standalone character, like Zero Suit Samus and Charizard. She has also gained two new special moves, one of which compensates for her independence from Zelda: Burst Grenade replaces Chain (and also results in her side taunt being modified), and Bouncing Fish replaces Transform.
Sheik has been buffed significantly in the transition from Brawl to SSB4, thanks to many of her attacks being partially reverted to how they functioned in Melee, or updated outright. Unlike in Melee, she now has a noticeably better neutral game and recovery. Her neutral game benefits from Needle Storm's faster travel speed and increased knockback, as well as her faster walking, dashing, and air speeds.
In comparison, Sheik's recovery benefits from her much faster airspeed, Bouncing Fish's ability to function as a horizontal recovery option, and the removal of edge-hogging. Outside of these changes, Sheik still boasts unarguably the best frame data among the cast, which results in her retaining an excellent combo game, and makes her exceedingly difficult to punish.
However, Sheik retains a low overall damage output, mediocre smash attacks, unimpressive endurance, a lack of reliable KO setups at high percentages, and only a handful of KOing options (sweet spotted up smash, up aerial, Vanish's disappearing hitbox, and Bouncing Fish). In addition, game updates heavily nerfed some of Sheik's most viable options, such as weakening her forward aerial, hindering her forward and down throws' combo potentials at high percentages, and decreasing Needle Storm's range.
Overall, Sheik's strengths largely outweigh her weaknesses, and she has achieved great tournament representation and results as a result. To reflect this, Sheik is currently ranked 4th out of 55 on the tier list, and she has maintained her status as a top-tier character throughout SSB4's lifespan like in Melee.
As a costume
A Sheik Mask is available as headgear for all Mii Fighter types.
As a playable character
Main article: Sheik (SSBU)
Sheik returns as a standalone character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. However, her design has been overhauled to reference The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild; Sheik now wears the Stealth Chest Guard and Stealth Tights from the Stealth Set, while her mask is now similar to its appearance as headgear armor in Breath of the Wild. Unlike her previous appearances, Sheik is now an unlockable character instead of a starter character.
As Sheik was top tier for most of Smash 4 even in spite of the nerfs she received in updates, she was drastically nerfed in the transition to Ultimate. Her damage output was severely reduced, forcing her to rack up extremely long strings of hits to deal any notable damage. Her already low weight was also decreased even further, and she doesn't benefit much from universal mobility improvements compared to other characters. Sheik's initially abysmal perception has slowly improved thanks to recent buffs however, and currently she is generally agreed to be mid-tier.
As a costume
The Sheik Mask returns as headgear for all Mii Fighter types.
Names in other languages