E3 2016’s First Big Controversy Involves Everyone’s Favorite Hero

E3 2016’s First Big Controversy Involves Everyone’s Favorite Hero

So at this point it’s been widely reported that despite rumors to the contrary, there will be no gender choice for Link in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild . Link is male, no choice for you.  When asked about the issue, producer Eiji Aonuma said that the team decided that rather than make a gender-fluid Link, it would be simpler to just make Zelda the hero of the story. But then Zelda was rejected as a possible hero because that would mess up the balance of the Triforce, in which Link represents courage and Zelda represents Wisdom. If she fights, Aonuma posits, “then what is Link going to do?”

I’m so glad you asked, Mr. Aonuma! Because it just so happens that I have an extensive list of things that Link could be doing while Zelda takes her turn to save the world.

Perhaps the brave warrior Link, in order to save Hyrule from Ganon’s rule, broke the Triforce into eight pieces and scattered them throughout the land. Learning what he had done, a furious Ganon imprisoned the young man deep beneath Death Mountain. The wise young Princess Zelda discerns that in order to save the realm, she must embark on a quest to defeat Ganon for good and free the warrior of legend.

Maybe a young Princess Zelda, while praying at the Temple of Time for the safety of her realm, is abruptly transported through time until she is old and wise enough to defeat the impending threat of the King of Thieves. While on her quest to overthrow the tyrant, she encounters a mysterious young man who teaches her the magical melodies she will need to set the realm right again. It is eventually revealed that this courageous youth once met Zelda as a young man, and has been secretly searching for the missing princess ever since.

Perhaps Zelda doesn’t know of her royal bloodline, and lives a peaceful life on an island that sits atop a flooded world. While searching for her kidnapped brother, she falls in with a jolly towheaded pirate and his crew. Eventually she learns that she is the descendant of Hyrule’s royal family, and that the evil Ganondorf is searching for boys who resemble the fabled hero who can defeat him. When the pirate is magically transformed into his true self, donning the green hero’s tunic of legend, he must be locked away in the Temple of Time for his own safety. Once Zelda is near the end of her adventure, the two young people defeat Ganondorf together.

E3 2016’s First Big Controversy Involves Everyone’s Favorite Hero

Maybe Zelda and Link are childhood friends who grew up together in a land above the clouds. When Link falls to the world below thanks to the shenanigans of some bullies during his knighthood initiation, Zelda steals a bird and flies down below to rescue him. The two heroes discover that they are reincarnations of an ancient goddess and an ancient hero – the only ones who can protect the world from the rebirth of the ancient being of power, Demise. Link must remain in the Sealed Temple, guarding Demise’s seal from the powers of darkness while Zelda adventures through the surface lands, seeking the means to defeat the being for good.

It’s possible that Link doesn’t have a big part in Zelda’s adventure at all. Perhaps she goes on her own adventure after the two of them defeated Ganondorf together, finding herself in a doomed land where the moon will fall and destroy the world in three days. Maybe Link died long ago, but returns as an adorable childlike ghost, guiding a young Zelda who has become a train engineer in a post-aristocratic industrial Hyrule.

There are many ways for two characters to embody the concepts of “courage” and “wisdom.”  Sometimes it’s more courageous not to fight, and sometimes it’s wisest to take up arms against an oppressor. There are many  things that Link could be doing while Zelda saves the day, but of course, Mr. Aonuma knows that. After all, he’s already implemented every one of them.


Image Credit: TourianTourist

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