- “Don’t be afraid of the Stalchild! Just attack it repeatedly!”
- — Navi
Stalchildren are recurring enemies in the Legend of Zelda series. They are undead, skeletal creatures that seem to be closely related to Stalfos, except more child-like and unarmed. Stalchildren seem to be nocturnal, as they are only seen at night, and when the sun rises, they immediately disappear.
In the original Japanese language versions of the games, Stalchildren are referred to as “Stalbabies,” while the seemingly unrelated Skull Kid race are referred to as Stalchildren instead.
Stalchildren relentlessly attack Link in Hyrule Field at night when he is a child. Strangely, they do not appear when Link is an adult, despite Ganondorf’s complete dominion over Hyrule at this point. If Link walks on the small paths scattered across Hyrule Field instead of on grassy areas, Stalchildren will not appear.
Also, they will not appear at all if Link wears the Bunny Hood. In a confrontation, they may be easily outrun, and are quickly defeated by Link’s sword; however, if the latter tactic is used, more Stalchildren will inevitably appear.
When eleven Stalchildren have been defeated, a larger one appears, which, despite its size, possesses battle attributes identical to its smaller brethren; the size of this larger Stalchild increases every time this process is repeated.
Normally, the night in Hyrule does not last long enough to show the full extent of this effect, but a cheat device can be used to perpetuate the night, ultimately allowing a Stalchild larger than Captain Keeta to appear. Interestingly, Stalchildren will be instantly defeated if they come in contact with water; if Link stays near the river when Stalchildren appear, they may occasionally come in contact with water while stalking him, killing themselves.