It’s a noble member of the Hyrule Castle Royal Guard!  Save princess Zelda!

“It’s dangerous to go alone.  Take this.”

It’s a sword I made out of some sticks and rocks I found.  Good luck, young man!

It’s the old man in the cave from The Legend of Zelda!  If you were smart enough to walk in to the painfully obvious open cave in the very first screen, you were greeted by this kind fellow, who would freely give you the gift of wooden sword (or copper, depending on who you ask, but wooden has more comedic value).

Technically, this old man, who we will call Old Man, is the very first person Link meets in any Zelda game.  That is, real world chronologically speaking.  As for the legitimate Zelda timeline and/or alternate dimensions and/or planes of existence theories, we won’t get in to that.  Perhaps, if you ever meet him, you could ask Old Man.  I’m sure he’s got it figured out.  Either that or he’ll give you a wooden sword.

This is Tingle, the horrible butt-clown from the Zelda franchise.

It’s a Skull Kid!  These little guys are from the Zelda series and presented as children forever lost in the appropriately named Lost Woods, cursed to never grow in to adults.  In Ocarina of Time, they will befriend you as a child, then they’ll fire rocks at you once you become an adult.  I guess you’d call that a conditional friendship.

This is Sheik, or Princess Zelda in disguise.  From Ocarina of Time, this was one of those Metroid-esque holy-crap-it’s-a-girl characters.  Truth be told, I called it.

The alleged god of chaos and destruction, I bring you Majora’s Mask from the Zelda series.  Technically, this is a haunted mask possessing the body of a deranged child who was lost in the woods and took on a new life Lord of the Flies style.  These lost children showed a darker side of the story earlier in the series, but when one of them played key antagonist bent on world destruction, the figurative gloves really came off like never before.

"It’s dangerous to go alone.  Take this."

For some reason, most Link skins I see have dumb-face and they’ve got way too much noise filter applied.  It’s like people think Link is some incompetent moron who, in pursuit of looking for Princess Zelda, happened to fall in some mud and then get lost in the lost woods and spent the rest of his day huffing fairy shrooms.

Link from Zelda again, this time with the transformation mask of the lovely ape-bear-people, the Gorons!

Link in the form of the deceased Deku child.  From the greatest Zelda game of all time.

It’s the hero Link from Zelda again, this time with the mask of the Fierce Deity, alleged god of order, counterbalance to chaos.