It’s time for The Legend of Zelda to give us a Female Link

Linkle to the Future.

Hyrule Warriors had some interesting points about it when looked at it in comparison to the main series of Legend of Zelda games. It saw another new Link, Zelda, and Ganon, as well as a Hyrule that acted as a nexus for the wider Zelda multiverse thanks to the sorceress Cia pulling fragments from other worlds. With some of their characters dragged along for good measure.

Most importantly, Hyrule Warriors brought forward one of the strongest arguments for the possibility of a female Link appearing in future Zelda games. All beginning with a young girl oversleeping and waking to notice that Hyrule Castle was in trouble. A young girl with a magical gold compass with the ancient symbol of Hyrule engraved into it – Linkle.

Linkle poses an interesting turning point for the series at large, if you think about it. Although she begins as a kind of comic relief character, getting lost and only involved initially because she believes she is the legendary hero reborn. However, if you look at what she achieves in her adventure through a Hyrule strewn with fragments of alternate realities of the world, she is undeniably heroic.

She rescues some known and familiar faces and locations in Hyrule, including the Great Deku Tree, aided by the one creature Link himself could never tame nor defeat – Cuccos. She even steps up to the plate to save Hyrule Castle itself from a monster invasion while the “true” hero and Zelda are swanning off somewhere sealing portals to other worlds or something similarly banal.

Also, if any more evidence was needed for her worth as a hero and defender of Hyrule, Linkle can effortlessly and stylishly wield dual hand crossbows in large scale conflicts. We have irrefutable proof in the form of the 2007 Wii spin-off, Link’s Crossbow Training, that even the supposed and glorious “Hero Chosen by the Gods” can only wield one at a time and very poorly at that!

Although, that might be down to my prowess with the game, but I digress.

Hyrule Warriors and its brand new sequel, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, are full of immensely powerful female characters, and every one is more than capable of saving Hyrule alone. Impa in Hyrule Warriors with her water summoning giant blade or Urbossa having mastery over bolts of lightning in Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity being merely two examples. So it’s galling the “hero” is always male.

This being said, the mythos surrounding the “hero” – whatever iteration they might be – always refer to them as male. In Wind Waker, the hero that defeats Ganon in the opening sequence is referred to as a “young boy clad in green”. In Ocarina of Time, the prophecy states that “a Hero is destined to appear…and he alone must face the person who began the Great Cataclysm”.

So, the evidence is there to support Link always being a “boy clad in green”, or at least is for the most part. However, legend and myth are fickle mistresses and rarely do they reflect the truth of events. After all, there was once a time that we attributed all phenomena to gods that lived on an easily scalable mountain that we didn’t think to climb, but that doesn’t mean they existed.

It could be proposed the stories that underpin Zelda’s mythos, like all stories, have changed over time and are altered even at the point of delivery. Let’s just say the opening segment from Wind Waker is a tale being told to Link by his grandmother, she very easily could be tweaking the details to inspire our young chap in lobster pyjamas, just the same as stories of a hero were told to Linkle to inspire her.

Although it is true that the legend of the hero being a young boy forms a tradition on Outset Island, this rendition of the legend may not fully resemble the original tale. After all, if the Link in this tale is the “Hero of Time”, a lot of the pretty important details are glossed over for the sake of brevity. If we didn’t experience this story for ourselves, the hero could have been anyone.

This is the point. The hero in The Legend of Zelda could be anyone.

The only real prerequisite to being the hero is being chosen by the gods or goddesses, depending on the game. Whether this is by a link (get it?) to the Triforce alike the hero in Link’s Adventure or being destined for the Master Sword, you just have to be chosen to be a hero. Everything else is merely additional fluff, like being asked by the king to help or other such nonsense.

But what does this have to do with Linkle? Well, it could even be argued her actions were ordained by the goddesses themselves, because of her compass. In Hyrule Warriors, this object was inherited from her grandmother and had the power to repel evil to some degree. This was seen early on during her adventure, during an encounter with Skull Kid when he attempted to steal the item from her.

Linkle had nothing more than faith she was the hero and her compass, and yet she saved Hyrule from disaster. She deserves to at least return again in Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity or, better yet, to be her own hero. Nothing would be lost by the Hero in Green in a main game being Linkle, but what would be gained is the knowledge that heroism isn’t in destiny, it’s in actions.

1 Comment

  1. I like the premise and the overall goal but I think Linkle is not right for job simply because of her name and resemblance to Link. After 30 years of male Link, “Linkle” conceptually feels like “lesser Link” or “not quite the real hero.” I think this dynamic is a disservice to women, and we need a female hero who cannot be so obviously compared to Link.

    I personally think it would be ideal for Nintendo to create another big-budget, epic franchise with a female protagonist – women shouldn’t need to copy men in order to be seen as legitimate. A franchise that appeals to a similar customer-base as Zelda would be ideal.

    If they were to have a female protagonist in a mainstream Zelda game they could produce a wholly new character or use an existing one, such as – heaven forbid! – Zelda herself. In past games she appears soft and naive, but secretly we learn that she is tough as nails and combat ready – she practically guides Link through all of Ocarina as Sheik.

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