Link, by Edli Akolli

link1Link, by Edli Akolli

“… … …” —Link, Chosen Heroine of the Godess Hylia

Admittedly, the only of the Legend of Zelda games I’ve played extensively were on the NES and Game Boy, Link’s Awakening being the only one I actually beat (despite my best efforts, I’ve rarely been very good at video games). Even so, I’ve always had kind of an affinity for the heroine Link and the simplicity of her character. She’s a clear-cut, world’s-only-hope sort of character, but without all of the drama that often comes with the archetype. While I haven’t played all of the games, I don’t recall Link ever whining, “why do I have to save the world?” Nor is she the hot-shot thrill-seeker who thinks her power and destiny make her invincible, requiring an attitude-adjusting ass-beating from the badguys before she starts to take her job seriously.

No, indeed, when it comes to saving the kingdom, it’s difficult to find a more serious and resourceful heroine than Link, Chosen of Hylia. A bit on the laconic side, she’s not the sort to waste time boasting or trading glib remarks with her foes. Like a boss, she gets right down to business in all of her adventures and saves the day without need for flashy heroics or pointless shenanigans. Whether Hyrule needs an adventuress, a magic user, a time traveler, or a war leader, Link is always ready to assume that role competently and professionally. There’s little I respect more in a heroine.

link2I found Edli’s somewhat decorative version of Link’s costume an interesting contrast to her typical androgynous shirt and tights (I mean, it’s no wonder half of Link’s cosplayers are guys). I’ll admit that I’ve always preferred depictions of her wearing armor with her customary outfit. Edli’s version here forgoes chain mail for a leather or padded chest plate, offering our heroine reasonable protection from skeleton swords or Moblin arrows.

With the armor, Link also wears her customary green nightcap to keep her pretty head protected in Hyrule’s swamps, deserts, and wilderness. Her green tunic is equally customary, as well as looking smart, it helps her blend in with forests full of Moblin, Slimes, and giant spiders. Link’s tights and undershirt seem to vary from game to game, but I tend to prefer the white over brown or khaki. Regardless, both are light and flexible for traveling and swordplay. Her bracers might be simple leather, or they might allow her to lift and throw heavy objects. Similarly, her boots might merely be durable for climbing mountains or wading marshes, or they might help her run super fast or jump great distances.

Link’s arsenal varies from game to game. The sword and shield have always been her trademark weapons but whether it’s arrows, explosives, magic, music, or masks, Link always has the right tools for the job. Her tools include items like boomerangs, hook-shots or grapples, various potions, magic wands that burn things, or musical instruments with magical properties. All in all, I see her as one of the most well-rounded, well-equipped, highly competent heroines in all of video games.

Many thanks to Edli for letting me borrow Link for the blog. As always, thanks so much for reading folks! Take care and stay awesome!

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3 Responses to Link, by Edli Akolli

  1. I’ve occasionally theorized that Link is actually a girl in disguise. I mean, we have a trim, laconic, fairly androgynous-looking character with a mid-range voice and a genderless outfit. Couple that with the ambiguous relationship and unresolved romantic tension with Princess Zelda… I dunno, I think Nintendo has room to pull a plot-twisting gender-reveal like they did with Samus. I know one person whose daughter plays the Legend of Zelda games extensively and insists that Link is a girl. And as a friend once put it:
    “[S]eeing as how it’s already been established that there have been many Links throughout Hyrule’s history and there will always be room to write in more, maybe a female Link makes a lot of sense. As you noted, he’s always been a bit androgynous and if there are, theoretically, an infinite number of Links, at least some of them would have to be women, right? Perhaps no one is ever cross-dressing when they play Link because there is no set gender he or she has to be. Perhaps Link is whatever Hyrule, and the fans, need him or her to be.”

  2. Amandah says:

    Ummm….Link is a male character. And while it is never point-blank stated that he and Zelda become an official couple, it is heavily implied.

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