Friday, April 8, 2016

Female Link in Zelda U?


Last year, when Linkle was announced for Hyrule Warriors Legends, I already thought about having her as an option for the new Legend of Zelda on Wii U / NX. The game seems to focus on the bow a lot more and instead of making Link look even more feminine, it would be interesting to have the option to play as Linkle instead.

Now, there are three new rumors by Emily Rogers about the new game. She always was a trustworthy source, so we should pay attention. First of all, she confirms the double release of the game for both Wii U and NX. We've already been over this, so nothing new here.

The last rumor is about voice acting. As long as Link doesn't talk and they can get good English voice actors, I'm all for it. The dubbing might be in issue for the German version, but they also might do the same as in Hyrule Warriors, where you have German subs and the English story teller (which I liked).

The real interesting rumor is the middle one: apparently you can chose the gender of your "playable character". It doesn't say "Link" or "Linkle" and there are many possibilities, what this could mean. It might be that the new protagonist isn't even Link, but a new one, where you have more customization options including the gender. Or it might be that Link can simply be female this time. Or it's really Linkle as an option.

Linkle, however, is a character on her own, who talks (unlike Link) and is a lot of fun. I enjoyed her campaign in Hyrule Warriors Legends, where she keeps going in the wrong direction and shows all this positive energy, believing that she's the Hero of Legend. I love, how she's supported by an army of Cuccos and her crossbow fighting style is pretty good. They even used music from Link's Crossbow Training for her ingame theme. Overall Koei Tecmo created another great original character here and I would love to see more of her.

But she technically isn't a female Link. She's a completely different character, who only believes to be the hero. This may or may not fit the protagonist of the new game - the idea of playing as someone, who only believes to be the Hero of Legend, is as old as this blog. What does fit is her affinity for crossbows, since the bow seems to be a real important item this time around. And this leads also to another question: will the choice of gender have any influence on the story or the gameplay? Playing as a female Link might alter the gameplay, because she could use crossbows instead of a bow for example or different items in general.

Or is it really just a way to customize Link so that he finally becomes a real avatar for the player? In that case I might have trouble making a choice here. In general I prefer playing with female characters, because if you're looking at the same character for so long, it might as well be a pretty one. On the other hand I always was able to identify with Link quite well and I might miss playing as him.

And if the character is supposed to be neutral in every way, the game will certainly lack any implied "romance" like you got with Marin, Malon, Ruto or Zelda. It's not something that you get in every Zelda game, so it's not a "must", but if you're hoping for another Zelda harem game, this most likely won't be it. And if I can play as a female Link, I certainly wouldn't want to have another Adam Malkovich character or any male love interest at all. Linkle simply saving Zelda in Hyrule Warriors Legends, because it's her "specialty", was fun and it did work for me.

We'll see about this. But I'm certainly not opposed to having this option and right now I just want to see, how the female Link will look and play like. E3 can come.

Update: Another alternative, which people seem to forget right now (including myself), would be a playable Zelda. So, you can either play as Link or Zelda. This even was something that was considered by Nintendo in the past.

11 comments:

JaredMithrandir said...

I personally have always identified more with female characters

Eren Jaeger said...

I would prefer it if it wasn't really an "option;" the game starts off with Link in the typical village setting, and he has another sister character, who, instead of being another damsel in distress, will be a playable character in her own certain side missions and side stories in an effort to protect her village from monsters. That way, both the male and female Link are portrayed as main characters and it doesn't really change anything based on gender. Also, just my personal opinion, but I don't get why people are trying to change Link now, 30 years later, after the character has already been established as a male. It'd be like taking Samus and adding a male option to a new Metroid game, or adding the ability to play as "Vixen Mccloud" in Star Fox Zero.

TourianTourist said...

@Eren:
"It'd be like taking Samus and adding a male option to a new Metroid game, or adding the ability to play as "Vixen Mccloud" in Star Fox Zero."

I don't really feel the same. I also wouldn't want to see a male Samus or a female Mario, but Link for me always has been quite androgynous and usually a blank slate. His character really never was defined much and he was supposed to be a "link" to the player. You can even name him (unlike Samus, Mario or Fox). In addition there have been very different iterations / incarnations of the hero. So, why not go further with this?

Benjamin Fowler said...

Link is supposed to be a "link" to the player, yes, since it's one of the reasons he's named Link, but it's hard to push the idea of "He's just an avatar" after 30 years of leaving him as mostly the same in every iteration; white, male, blue eyes, young, blonde/brownish hair.

TourianTourist said...

Well, they would only change one of these attributes. :-D

They even had a gender choice in the BS-X Zelda games, but in those games you weren't playing as Link. But it shows that Nintendo was interested in doing so for a very long time.

Benjamin Fowler said...

I just find it silly that even though the same character has established traits, as well as Aonuma pushing the idea of Link in Zelda U being male, they'd suddenly go back on their word.

TourianTourist said...

But he didn't, quite the opposite. If I remember correctly, Aonuma was amused about the comments that Link looks like a girl more than ever... Maybe the comments from E3 and all the hype around Linkle even inspired him to try a female option. We'll see.

And keep in mind that they are not allowed to reveal anything new in interviews. It's like when he kept getting asked about Majora's Mask 3D and he had to deny it, even though they were developing it since the release of Ocarina of Time 3D.

Benjamin Fowler said...

He was interested in the community response, but he pushed the idea that Link was male in the game.

TourianTourist said...

Well, because he was male in the footage. As I said, they could have changed their mind because of the community responses or they planned it all along and he wasn't supposed to reveal it yet. It doesn't really matter. You act like he made a promise that Link will be male and only male in the game, which Aonuma didn't...

Benjamin Fowler said...

But where did he himself say that Link would be a female? All we have now are rumors, nothing more.

TourianTourist said...

Where did I claim that he did? I just said that he didn't rule out a gender option.