Now that The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is on the horizon, I want to look back at its predecessor Breath of the Wild for a fun reference that has gone unnoticed since its release in 2017. This Easter egg centers on a connection between the Goron Yunobo and the main character from the Ultimate Muscle anime.
In Breath of the Wild, the player meets a character named Yunobo. When I first encountered Yunobo, I was struck by his similarities to the main character in Ultimate Muscle: The Kinnikuman Legacy. This was an anime that aired (in the US) from 2002-2004 on 4KidsTV. The main character of Ultimate Muscle was Kid Muscle.
Maybe it’s just me, but Yunobo and Kid Muscle bear quite the resemblance…
Clearly, there are some visual similarities. Besides their looks however, the two characters share a lazy and fearful personality. Anytime Yunobo encounters monsters, he hides and yells for help. Plus, the leader of the Gorons calls him a “slacker”. This is similar to Kid Muscle who claims he is “afraid of pillows, puppies, and words with more than three syllable”. Additionally, Kid Muscle regularly fails to do his homework.
At the hint of danger, these two characters devolve into this…
What is ironic about their frequent terror is that their ancestry should say otherwise. Both Yunobo and Kid Muscle are descendants of mighty warriors. For Yunobo, he is the grandson of the Goron Champion Daruk. This bloodline allows him to use Daruk’s protection to produce a magic shield around his body.
In Ultimate Muscle, Kid Muscle is the son of King Muscle of Muscle Planet. This royal blood gives him the power of Ultimate Muscle. Lots of “Muscle”! When Kid Muscle uses his power, he gains super strength and wrestling skills. One character even says he has “the blood of a champion flowing through [him]!”
Please admire Yunobo and Kid Muscle when they use their ancestral powers…
You don’t have to tell me; I know you’re convinced that Yunobo was indeed inspired by Kid Muscle of Ultimate Muscle fame.
It’s cool to see Nintendo reference a seemingly random anime from over a decade ago in a Legend of Zelda game, especially one that was not popular in Japan. Nintendo rarely includes pop culture references in their video games, save for some allusions to other Nintendo games. For instance, you are more likely to see a Mario Bros. Piranha Plant than a movie, tv, or anime reference in a Legend of Zelda game.
It is also rewarding to see two childhood franchises I love come together in a unique way. This is especially true because it felt like I was the only one who knew about Ultimate Muscle. I hope through this Easter egg, more people watch and experience the Ultimate Muscle franchise.