You probably don't think very much about Link's headgear when playing through or hoping for a Legend of Zelda title. But, no matter how things change from game to game, that pointy, green cap is a beacon that says 'all are welcome here.'
A new illustrated essay at The A.V. Club covers the evolution of The Legend of Zelda series, homing in on the idea that the iconic hat remains a symbol of familiarity, as video game lovers get older and more cynical. No matter how dark the story or cartoony the art style, Link's cap — with its medieval roots — reminds players that they're entering into a fantasy that's not bound to any one time period. Even when it talks. Especially when it talks.