Stalchildren (スタルベビー Sutaru Bebī, literally Stalbaby) are a recurring skeleton enemy in The Legend of Zelda series, appearing in Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Twilight Princess (where they are known as Stalkin), Link's Crossbow Training, and Hyrule Warriors and its handheld port, Hyrule Warriors Legends.
As hinted at by the "Stal-" prefix, they are a skeletal, undead creature. They are connected in some way to the Stalfos, although the exact connection has never been explained. With this in mind, Stalchildren can be denoted by their seemingly more childlike appearance and that they are normally unarmed combatants. Stalchildren are also all nocturnal - they will only emerge at night and will flee from the sunlight when it rises.
Ocarina of Time
The Stalchildren make their first appearance in the classic Nintendo 64 title. Here, they are short, almost cartoonish skeletons with gigantic heads. They wear a cingulum militare, indicating that they are most likely military (or former military) soldiers. As a whole, they only will spawn at night in Hyrule Field and only during the child era. They appear to fear sunlight as they immediately flee when morning hits. They also will not appear should Link remain on the roadway, nor if he happens to wear the Bunny Hood. They are extremely weak to water as well, which will dispatch them on contact. A strike from a Stalchild will deal 1/4 hearts worth of damage.
The species as a whole takes two hits to defeat regardless of their size, and if the first strike hits them from the front they will lose their skulls and wander around aimlessly until slain. They are not necessarily to battle, as they can be easily outran.
Stalchildren always attack in pairs, and should one be defeated while the other still stands, another may spawn to replace the one lost if he takes too long to slay the other. Once ten Stalchildren are slain, a much larger one will emerge, though it is just as weak as all the others and only appears big for intimidation's sake. As a possible Easter egg, this eleventh "giant" Stalchild will be larger each time this process is repeated during a single night.
Interestingly, the Stalchildren have seemingly been eradicated by the adult era, despite the timeline being ruled over by the evil king of darkness, Ganondorf. Instead, they are replaced by Poes.
In the alternate realm of Termina, as seen in Majora's Mask, the entirety of the Stalchildren species once belonged to the soldiers of Ikana, an ancient and long-extinct kingdom. Despite this they continue to live and their loyalty to the crown permeates far beyond their initial demise. They call the Ikana Graveyard their home, where they still take commands from their old general, Captain Keeta. Despite this Stalchildren are revealed to not be particularly intelligent, as if Link wears Keeta's Captain's Hat around them, they will believe that he is in fact their leader.
Captain Keeta is a gigantic Stalchild, far larger than even the giant Stalchildren seen in Ocarina of Time. Link must chase him down, during which regular Stalchild will attempt to stall him every few meters. Keeta will give Link his hat upon his defeat.
From here on out, Link can speak with or even command the Stalchildren during any loop in time. This is primarily necessary to open the graves in the graveyard that can lead to learning the Song of Storms (which is necessary to progress through the game), but can also be used to reveal clues to locate a Piece of Heart within the Oceanside Spider House.
Stalchildren reappear with a significant alteration, and are now known as Stalkins. Now they are more obviously former footmen, and wear helmets while carrying spears. They are found in both the Arbiter's Grounds and the Cave of Ordeals. They still emerge from the earth as before but now do so in large groups instead of in pairs. Though still quite weak, their sheer numbers can make them a hassle to contend with. They can be dispatched with nearly any weapon in Link's arsenal, though the sword is still the best way to take them down.
Link's Crossbow Training
Stalchildren, once again referred to as Stalkins, appear in this short spin-off title packaged with the Wii Zapper. Here, they take on their appearance in Twilight Princess. Here, they appear in Stage 1's level, "Gerudo Stalfos: Defender" and again in Stage 4's level, "Hyrule Castle: Defender". In a similar manner to their last appearance, they will rise from the ground to attack Link with their spears, and are paired up with Stalfos. Stalkin here can be defeated in one hit but swarm the screen en masse should time run out.
Hyrule Warriors & Hyrule Warriors Legends
In their final appearance to date, Stalchildren appear as common foot soldiers. They appear in the Legend Mode scenarios "The Shiekah Tribesman," "The Water Temple," "Liberation of the Triforce," and finally in "Darkness Falls."
Like Bokoblins and Bulblins in the game, they group in very large numbers, sometimes numbering in the hundreds. Unlike before Stalchildren are now seen to have a ranking system all their own. Regular Stalchildren are the common troops for their army, while those in crude armor act as a second, stronger class. Ranged units now exist as well, which toss bones at their enemies similar to older variants of Stalfos. Keeps and outposts are guarded by a helmeted variety which wear broken armor. Summoners wear purple hoods and carry a staff, and as their name suggests they can summon reinforcements. Finally, Stalfos lead the armies as captains and as Keep Bosses.
Captain Keeta himself appears on the Termina Adventure Map in the Majora's Mask DLC.
Additionally, Wizzro is able to wear Captain Keeta's Mask as a costume.
- During translation into alternate languages, some names were swapped. As such, what was referred to as Stalchildren in Japan - the Skull Kids - gave their name to the Stalbabies.