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Breath of the Wild’s true star is the maraca-shaking Hestu

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Hestu is bestu

zelda breath of the wild Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via KamikazeMolotov 151/Twitter

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild marks the first new console adventure for Link, Zelda and several other fan favorites in several years. But it’s a new character that’s threatening to steal the spotlight, and his name is Hestu.

The adorable tree-like friend, a member of the Korok species, makes a fantastic first impression. Link first encounters Hestu on the way to meet Lady Impa, just a few hours into the game’s main quest. He’s hard to miss, and after their first interaction, he’s impossible to forget.

Hestu’s got a catchphrase.
Allegra Frank/Polygon

Hestu’s trademark cry is “Sha-lah-kah,” and it’s an adorably joyous greeting. He’s a musical dude with a thing for maracas, but as charming and chatty as he is, it turns out that he’s not so popular with the other Koroks. They’ve stolen his “priceless maracas,” as the subsequent sidequest he stars in makes plain, and it’s up to Link to help him out.

But what makes Hestu more than just a memorable one-off character is that his quest continues on from there, and it’s an important one. The maracas need Korok seeds inside them so that Hestu can do this thing — which is singing, dancing, shaking and being extremely cute while doing so. (Plus, he upgrades Link’s inventory and weapon stash as an added bonus.)

All of this is to say that Hestu is a familiar, comforting presence around Breath of the Wild’s gigantic world. He makes it a point to see much of it, too, just like Link, as he ends up in several different spots throughout the quest. But what players love most thus far isn’t the reward Hestu gives them for helping him out — everyone just wants to keep seeing his cute, slightly off-putting face again and again.

Breath of the Wild is full of other hilarious and wonderful characters for Link to hang out with. Check out our guide on how to start trekking around the world in search of them all.