10 Things You Didn’t Know About BOTW’s Rito

No, they aren’t really able to fly.

The Rito are one of Breath of the Wild‘s most vibrant races, even if their chosen Champion is not everyone’s favorite. I mean, come on, they’re humanoid birds that have built an incredible staircaselike structure around Tabantha’s rock pillars, and one of their members is a traveling minstrel! Like everything else in the game, there’s always something you don’t know – and here are 10 specially for our favorite birdies.

10. Kass Plays the Bandoneon

Though it is widely accepted that Kass, the shrine quest-giving Rito musician, plays the accordion, this is actually incorrect. The instrument he is seen playing away on across Hyrule is actually the bandoneon, a device closely resembling the accordion. What’s the difference, you ask? Bandoneons are notable for being rectangular with buttons on each end, as seen on Kass’s instrument, while accordions are attached to the player via straps.

9. Rito Are Based on Different Real-Life Birds

While Wind Waker‘s Rito all looked about the same and more duck human than distinctly bird, Breath of the Wild‘s explored new territory as its Rito were based off of different real-life bird species, like the Zoras’ similarities to dolphins, sharks, and manta rays. For instance, Kass is based on a macaw, the elder Kaneli is an owl, and the Rito Champion Revali is an eagle. Most other members of their tribe resemble falcons.

8. Distinct Male and Female Skills

There are distinct skills that set apart male and female Ritos, as explained by the Rito guard Gesane. The males are known to be good archers, and the females are excellent singers. Many members of their tribe prove this statement to be correct: Teba, Revali, and Harth, Rito Village’s main warriors, rigorously practice archery at the Flight Range, and the young Rito sisters are often occupied with their singing rehearsals. It’s also clear that the adults care to keep this tradition in place by training the young Ritos.

7. Rito Eat Poultry

Yes, it’s true, even though it sounds disgusting. Despite the fact that Rito are birds themselves, they eat other birds – not necessarily uncommon in real life, since falcons and eagles eat other birds as prey – in their regular diet. This is told to Link by a female Rito named Frita found by the meat stand in Gerudo Town, as she is puzzled by the fact that the Gerudo meatseller doesn’t sell poultry.

5. The Majority of Rito Names End in -Li

Rito names, like Zora names, are known to be musically based. The Rito in particular have rhythmic names that have a common ending shared by many of their tribe’s members: the -li. Medli, Komali, Kaneli, Bedoli, Genli, Amali, Revali, Molli, Koboli, Kogoli, Namali, Mazli, and Pashli all share this trait. While there are outliers, like Teba and Gesane, this naming pattern is evident in both Wind Waker and Breath of the Wild‘s Rito.

4. Zora Evolved Into Rito

The Zora and the Rito clearly enjoy very different habitats. The Zora love being underwater at the bottom of the land, and the Rito soar in the skies – how could the two be related at all? Well, believe it or not, the Zora apparently evolved into the Rito as established by Wind Waker‘s lore. This is proven by the Rito sage Medli’s apron (Wind Waker), as it bears the same symbol of Ocarina of Time‘s Zora Sapphire. When Hyrule flooded, the Zora could no longer survive and adapted by flying over the high waters. The only problem is how BOTW neglects the scientific path of evolution by placing the Zora and Rito next door to each other; if BOTW’s Rito really did evolve from the Zora, the latter would no longer exist in Hyrule.

3. Ritos Are Related to a Fire Dragon in BOTW & Wind Waker

In Wind Waker, Medli and Komali gift Din’s Pearl to Link, coming from the fire dragon Valoo. In Breath of the Wild, the fire dragon Dinraal (based on the deity Din, the origination of Din’s Pearl) regularly flies between the walls of Tanagar Canyon, the canyon separating the Ritos’ home region Tabantha from most of Hyrule. See the similarity? The Ritos are always related to some sort of fire dragon and also to the Golden Goddess Din. No, BOTW’s Ritos don’t necessarily worship Din or the dragon Dinraal like their WW counterparts, but they are still related to the fiery spirits.

2. Rito Village Resembles Dragon Roost & Skyloft

Many players have found similarities between Rito Village and Skyward Sword‘s Skyloft, and even Wind Waker‘s Ritos’ home, Dragon Roost Island. The “jump off” platforms found all over Rito Village are reminiscent of Skyloft’s wooden platforms Link hops off of to fetch his Loftwing, and the village’s being built around one tall rock pillar continuously reminds us of Dragon Roost Island’s central mountain. While Rito Village isn’t built around a volcano like Dragon Roost and doesn’t float in the sky like Skyloft, it does have distinctive traits that BOTW likely took from classic Zelda games.

1. Ritos Cannot Fly Upwards On Their Own

It may be hard to believe, but Ritos, despite their amazing ability to seemingly traverse the air as they please, cannot truly fly upwards on their own. They rely on pre-created updrafts to actually fly up into the skies. This is why they chose to live in Tabantha’s Lake Totori: there is a large amount of updrafts surrounding Rito Village, allowing them to soar. The Ritos only have the natural ability to glide on air currents rather than truly fly (reasonably because of their weight). However, the Rito Champion Revali found a way around this humiliating restriction: for years, he practiced and perfected a “sacred skill” he called Revali’s Gale, aka the ability to create an updraft from scratch anywhere and anytime he wanted, allowing him to soar. The Rito therefore consider him amazing not only for his outstanding archery skills but also his unbelievable invention.

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