Fan-Theory: Link In The New Zelda Is A Girl

Fan-Theory: Link In The New Zelda Is A Girl

It was Michelle Starr, from CNet who made me aware of it. I hadn’t really been paying attention but, then again, I am a guy. I noticed that Link was looking a little more… ‘feminine’ in our first look at Zelda, but I never asked myself the question: could Link be a girl in the new Zelda game?

Look at the above picture — is that a bust, or has Link just gotten hella swole around that area, benching 200kgs and whatnot?

I’m going to say no. I’m saying Link remains male in this one. I think it would be a brilliant, brave and completely radical move on Nintendo’s part to make Link a female or to even provide the option (Link is a silent protagonist after all) but my feeling is that Nintendo would be far too cagey about doing something that dramatic.

I truly, honestly hope to be proven wrong on this. I actually think the option of being female in Zelda is something Nintendo could add to the game without ruining any semblance of consistency in the storyline. Personally, I’d love to see it happen.


  • I would totally be behind it 100% I would love to see Zelda actually be a prince who is captured in battle as well

    • I was actually thinking this the other day. A female protagonist named Link and a prince Named Zeldon, after his grandmother, a powerful and respected woman named Zelda would be great.

      Goddamn, this game looks amazing.

    • I personally think Zelda will remain a girl if they allow Link to be a girl. I dunno, maybe they’ll be childhood friends or something.

  • Fun fact; when I was a kid and first played The Legend of Zelda on NES, I thought I was playing as Zelda, because I was too young to really understand the text that was on screen (I think I was about four or five), the sprites on screen didn’t do much to suggest gender one way or the other, and it just made sense – it was Zelda’s legend!

    It’s harder now to pretend Link is Zelda, but it’s more fun. It will probably never happen, but it would be lovely.

    • When I was a kid, I thought the same, and actually entered the character name as ‘ZELDA’ on the new game setup screen, little realising that doing so unlocked the hard mode NG+

  • I wouldn’t mind.
    For all his awesome adventures, Link’s about as interchangeable as heroes come.

    If it were up to me I’d rather see an option to choose Link’s sex, rather than have it decided for me.
    Largely because, unless they’re planning a radical change (which I might be against), it doesn’t matter at all what Link’s sex is.
    Without some kind of relevance to a story arc I think a female Link might seem like an unnecessary and forced statement.

    You never know though, I’ll give Nintendo the benefit of the doubt that whatever they choose will be ok.

  • I think playing as a female character could be something good. But I dont want them to give us the ‘option’. I want the character to be either male or female

  • I agree. Link will still be male in this one, but it’s fun to let people indulge their imaginations.

  • If you actually watch the footage instead of just looking at a screenshot you can clearly see that they are not a girl.

  • Link has always looked a bit feminine, but this goes way beyond what they’ve done before. Interested to see if they really did flip the gender, or if this is infact just a different character.

  • More than likely, the character shown in the footage is actually Zelda before she gets kidnapped.
    Apart from the long hair, Zelda has always looked rather similar to Link.

  • I actually thought the whole throw off the cloak thing when it happened was a Zelda reveal… and then on the reverse shot I was like ah nah, Link. Now I dont know what to think!

    … but yeah its probs Link

  • S/he doesn’t have much going on in the hips department. Could be a very slender female, but I’m guessing not.

    Perhaps they’re trans.

  • He’s clearly a male:

    Can I ask why people are so desperate for a female protagonist in the Zelda series? What does it actually add to the game? Apart from the obvious “Look, we gender equality now!!”

    • Do you have a problem with gender equality? Why can’t females have the option of playing as a female protagonist in their favourite game?

  • I’ve never been a fan of simply swapping the genders in Zelda. It’s a very shallow, blunt and gimmicky approach to empowerment. Rather than re-write the same thing I might as well just copy my response to the ‘Clockwork Empire’ Zelda pitch that had Link and Zelda trade places. Keep in mind a lot of this is aimed at a Zelda pitch that had Zelda and Link swap roles in the story. It was also a little extreme, basically putting Link in as a ditzy prince even though Zelda has never been a ditzy princess.
    For the record, I think Link just looks girly because he always looks girly. Team Ninja were involved, if Link was a girl in this footage it there would be nothing subtle about it.

    “Zelda’s strength is in wisdom where Link’s is in courage so the dynamic of the existing games fits [into a game where Zelda is the/a hero without swapping anything]. To me it seems like the better way of empowering her is to highlight her actual strengths rather than give her artificial strength by putting her in the ‘male role’. This proposal has her take Link’s power rather than developing power of her own. Also the idea can’t be repeated for continued Zelda games, so any overcompensation it does to Link folds back onto Zelda in the next game.
    Although the biggest pitfall of all seems to be that a lot of fans aren’t going to be happy about the change. It’s like gay Superman. If they made that change countless fans of Superman would go ballistic. Not because they’ve got anything against homosexuals but because they don’t like their characters being messed with. Especially when it’s perceived as being motivated by an outside groups agenda. This idea for a Zelda game is bound to provoke a negative reaction from a ton of people who don’t even have anything against female protagonists (I’d say there’s a pretty big crossover between Zelda and Metroid fans). [That’s not entirely relevant for this conversation, since Hyrule Warrior’s doesn’t appear to be such an obvious attempt to tackle the subject of gender roles.]

    If I were to do [a Zelda game with a female protagonist] I’d have Zelda and Link as dual protagonists. Throughout the story you switch between playing as Zelda, Link or both together (possibly even Ganondorf to create a full Triforce representation). The team up/multiple perspective aspect creates the hook for the game. Both (or all three) play like traditional action based Link, but they all put their own their own spin on it based on courage, wisdom and power. Encounters where Zelda takes lead are won via strategy and using your environment, where encounters led by Link are won by diving right in and thinking creatively. If Ganondorf was playable he would use overwhelming force and intimidation.
    At some point in the story each of their Triforce roles would stand alone and fail (I’d probably even make it a running theme that when something goes wrong, it’s because they’re not working together). Link would find that courage alone could not win the battle. Zelda would find that wisdom alone could not win the battle. This would continue on with the games main theme of unity and team work.
    The majority of Zelda’s story would revolve around her desperate need to return to her people to lead them through trouble (the journey obviously helping her grow better at that like Link grows better at his job). The goal would be to play up her status as a princess and a leader. Not to push her back into a girly role, but to take the player behind the scenes to show that her role is just as heroic as Link’s. Hopefully the insight Zelda provides would elevate the opinion on princess role characters without the player even realising. While it may not change their views of all princesses, at the very least this way when the next game comes along and Zelda returns to her traditional role she can retain the empowerment given to her in this game.
    Hopefully that would also make it clear that in the previous games she’s not just a damsel in distress, she’s a leader using her wisdom to hold a kingdom together and make Link’s role possible.

    And there you have it. A rough pitch for a Zelda game that permanently empowers Zelda while completely side stepping clumsy, transparent gender issue lectures that create friction. All by simply addressing the issues from a less sensitive pro-teamwork angle that highlight a simple truth – Zelda is, and has always been, a vital part of the equation.”

    • Also worth noting Aaron Diaz’s Zelda: Clockwork Empire is a pretty cool pitch. Obviously I take issue with some of it, but the concept art and ideas are interesting so I recommend looking it up.

  • If I were to do [a Zelda game with a female protagonist] I’d have Zelda and Link as dual protagonists. Throughout the story you switch between playing as Zelda, Link or both together.

    You mean Spirit Tracks?

    • I’ve never actually played Phantom Hourglass or Spirit Tracks, but now I think about it the idea is a pretty logical conclusion for early DS when they were putting an emphasis on two. I remember meaning to play them but they seem to fall into a total blind spot on my radar when they were released. For some reason GBA and DS Zelda games just don’t register in my mind as proper Zelda games even though I love them when I play them.

    • I would pre-order the ridiculously overpriced special edition with statue, artbook, and useless diversionary junk.

      … and I would LOVE IT.

  • I’d be all for it,

    I mean it’s pretty dumb to think that the Hero of Hyrule decendants have all been males. surely there has been a girl in there at some stage. or maybe instead of the Twilight World it’s some kind of Gender Bending Universe? who knows, and who cares. I just want to play this game!

  • Maybe this time the chosen hero are chosen ‘heroes’, twin brother and sister and you get to choose.

  • Maybe Link’s just intentionally made androgynous and never referred as either male or female to let each player make Link his or her own?

  • Nahh look at that outfit. Looks just like Links outfit in windwaker in the beginning (hint: Windwaker timeline). That has to be Aryll (Links Sister). It’s time to have Links family involved. And if that’s Aryll, looks like she’s been taking after her big brother. I’m sure she’ll play a major role in the game.

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