This is one of the most notoriously mysterious things about Vaati, and for good reason. Just how old was Vaati in “The Minish Cap”?
I say this, as it is clearly stated that Vaati is immortal in “Four Swords” and “Four Swords Adventures”, so age does not really apply to him there. But as for him in “The Minish Cap”?
I ran through Google, looking for scans of “Hyrule Historia”, so I could find the page about Vaati. And I did. And all it says about his age is calling him a “man”.
That… Sort of narrows down his age? Like, it didn’t say “old man”… But it didn’t say “young man”, either. But it’s more likely to be “young man”. But HOW young?
For example, when Ezlo refers to Vaati as a child, he was speaking in the past tense: “Vaati was only a boy when I took him on as my apprentice.” This has one of two possibilities- 1. He took Vaati in a very long time in the past, and thus he is an adult by the time of the game’s events. 2. This happened basically last week and Vaati is still a child.
So, what does the game itself have to show for us? Using the sprites…
Hylian Vaati is exactly one pixel taller than Link and Princess Zelda. Okay. That’s not much of a difference. However… Somebody on TVTropes said that Minish Vaati’s sprite was smaller than the average Minish, and that could be used to narrow down his age. And guess what?
IT’S NOT. Vaati is the average size of a Minish and the only thing smaller than him is the entire Forest Minish population. (If anything, the anomaly is Master Melari- just look at how huge that guy is!). So, the sprite art is somewhat unreliable. So… What about the game’s official Artwork?
It works. Kinda. Link is the shortest, followed by Princess Zelda, and then the tallest is Vaati. So, judging by that, Vaati is at least older than Link and Zelda. And how old are Link and Zelda? …“Children”. Not even THEIR ages are specified!
So, what does the “Zelda” series consider a child? In “Ocarina of Time”, Child Link was 10 years old. Going by that logic, we could say that “Minish Cap” Link and Zelda are 10, and judging by Vaati’s height, he seems likely to be at least 12 or older. And…
Vaati has an immense vocabulary. He uses words such as “minuscule”, “victor”, “tolerate”, “disobedience”, and “suffice”. Something an average child would possibly not know. I imagine someone 14-15 would begin to know these words. This is further backed up by the German translation of “The Minish Cap”, in which Vaati talks like a moody teenager. Ex: his reaction to what’s inside of the Bound Chest in the English version is: “Empty? There was nothing in there but those monsters? What is the meaning of this?”; whereas, in the German version, he blurts out: „Was ist denn das?!? Da waren nur Monster in der Kiste!?!“ (which roughly translates to "What is this, then?!? There were only monsters in the chest!?!”).
So, based on the combination of the English and German versions, and their portrayals of Vaati, he is most likely around…
15-18 years old.
But does it really matter? As my friend, Lonmi, pointed out, perhaps the Minish age differently than Hylians; as in, Vaati could be considered a child in Minish terms, but an adult in Hylian terms or vice-versa.
Or, he could have aged himself up for his Hylian form to make himself more threatening. I mean, he had FIRE SLEEVES in his Reborn form, so why not?
That way, everybody is right about his age… AAAANNNDDD, I undid my own theory. Whoops.
And I did every ounce of those pictures in MS Paint.
THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED AND I AM SO PROUD OF MYSELF
Annoying guy: “Do you speak German?”
Guy: “No you don’t.”
Me: “Okay, whatever.”
Guy: “Wait, you really speak German? Sprechen Sie Deutsch?”
Me: “You don’t have to ask me the same question twice in a row. Don’t you know how to say anything else in German?”
Guy: “Ein Bier, bitte!” *cracks up laughing*
Me: “Seh ich aus wie ne Kellnerin oder was? Wenn du nen Drink willst… hol dir selbst einen runter.”
He said “One beer, please!” (a classic line for tourists who don’t know how to say anything else in German) and I said “Do I look like a waitress? If you want a drink, go get one yourself.” Except the particular way I said “go get one yourself” also happens to mean the German equivalent of “Go f*** yourself.” (Literally: “go jerk yourself off”)
idk man have you really spent much time listening to a native speaker? the Rs are round and throaty and even the “hard” CH noise sometimes just sounds like a rough exhale or a “sh”…it’s no more elegant than, say, english, but I don’t think its words are aggressive! gemüse! fahne! schlüssel! leuchtend!
americans hit the consonants really hard and over-pronounce the vowels, but…the shape of it in a native accent is so different and…well, idk. obvs. I can’t change the way people feel about a thing by rhapsodizing. suffice to say I guess I don’t hear it the same way you do!