The Helmaroc King is the secondary antagonist of the 2002 Nintendo Gamecube videogame The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, as well as a boss featured in The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventure and Hyrule Warriors. He is a giant masked Kargaroc who serves as Ganondorf's right-hand in his quest to find Princess Zelda's heir, as well as the guardian of the Forsaken Fortress. He sets off Link's journey across the Great Sea after he kidnaps his sister Aryll.
The Helmaroc King was a giant, monstrous bird created by Ganondorf to serve him as one of his henchmen. His primary task was to capture girls with long ears to help Ganondorf find Zelda's heir, which would in turn grant Ganondorf the Triforce of Wisdom. The Helmaroc King also served as a guard for the Forsaken Fortress, bringing any intruders to Ganondorf, who then decided their fate. Two girls from Windfall Island named Mila and Maggie were two victims of the Helmaroc King's kidnappings at a certain point and are kept imprisoned at the Forsaken Fortress.
The Helmaroc King eventually kidnaps Tetra, the captain of a band of pirates and keeps her clutched between one of his talons while flying over Outset Island. However, while the pirates pursued the monstrous bird, the Helmaroc King eventually loses grip of Tetra after he is struck in the face by a boulder launched from a catapult from the pirate's ship, causing Tetra to fall into the Forest of Fairies at the peak of Outset Island. After watching the chaos that ensued, Link borrows a sword from Orca and sets out to rescue Tetra. Once Tetra is rescued by Link and Gonzo, Aryll greets Link and crosses the suspension bridge, but the Helmaroc King swoops down from the sky and snatches her. In response, Link charges after the Helmaroc King, but his efforts are all in vain, as the bird has flown far away enough from Outset Island to be out of harm's reach. According to Quill the Rito Postman, the Helmaroc King mistook Aryll for Tetra, which might have been the reason Aryll was kidnapped instead.
Not willing to give up on his sister so easily, Link leaves Outset Island to join Tetra's pirates on a mission to rescue Aryll from the Forsaken Fortress at the far corner of the Great Sea. After a long journey of sailing, the pirates reach the Forsaken Fortress and help Link infiltrate the fortress with the help of their catapult, which causes him to temporarily lose his sword. Nearly defenseless, Link is forced to sneak his way through the Forsaken Fortress while the Helmaroc King rests in his nest. Link manages to reach the main tower where he briefly reunites with Aryll, but the Helmaroc King wakes up and flies in through the open roof of the tower, capturing Link before he could get a chance to free Aryll. Clutching Link with his beak, the Helmaroc King flies over to the observation deck at the top of the Forsaken Fortress and presents Link to Ganondorf. On Ganondorf's orders, the Helmaroc King then tosses Link into the sea, where he is found by the King of Red Lions and brought to Windfall Island.
When Link revisits the fortress halfway through the game after obtaining the Master Sword, Tetra and her gang of pirates fend off the Helmaroc King while Link sneaks over to the main tower. When he reaches it, Tetra and two of her men take Aryll, Miia and Maggie to safety, while Link stays behind to confront Ganondorf and keep the Helmaroc King distracted. The Helmaroc King arrives and chases Link up the tower as it fills with water. When they reach the top, he is fought as the dungeon's boss. Link uses the Skull Hammer he obtained in the Forsaken Fortress to break the Helmaroc's King, allowing him to attack the bird's face directly. Upon defeat, the Helmaroc King flies up into the air and, as all of the fortress' searchlights shine on him, lets out one last shriek before exploding in a cloud of purple smoke while his feathers scatter the fortress' arena. The player is then rewarded with the usual Heart Container and gains access to the fortress' observation deck, where Ganondorf awaits.
Four Swords Adventure
The Helmaroc King is the boss of The Mountain Path level of Death Mountain, appearing before the Links can enter the Tower of Flames. To defeat him, the Links must throw bombs at him when he swoops at them, then slash at his mask until it falls off. After his mask is broken, the Links can continue slashing at the Helmaroc King until he is defeated.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
The Helmaroc King appears as an obtainable trophy.
Hyrule Warriors Legends
The Helmaroc King appears in Hyrule Warriors Legends as a Giant Boss enemy. His weakness is the Hammer.
- The Helmaroc King's trophy description in Super Smash Bros. Brawl mentions that the Helmaroc King is the same foe as the Helmasaur King from A Link to the Past.