New ‘Legend of Zelda’ Hero Definitely is Link [Updated]

Published 11 months ago by

Legend of Zelda E3 teaser reveal hero

Out of the many announcements at E3 2014, a new game in The Legend of Zelda series was one of the least surprising, but nonetheless one of the most intriguing. Since the more recent titles in the franchise have featured fairly linear mission styles, producer Eiji Aonuma said that he wanted to return to the more exploration oriented open world structure that the first game had, and offered a first look at the upcoming game’s vast landscape, surveyed by a familiar-looking traveller on horseback.

When the young hero whipped off their hood and leapt into the air to do battle with a fire-breathing creature, most who saw the trailer assumed that the blond-haired youth was The Legend of Zelda‘s perennial protagonist Link. According to Aonuma, however, we shouldn’t take anything for granted.

Speaking to GamesBeat in an interview at E3, Aonuma smiled and laughed when asked about Link’s new appearance and said mysteriously, “No one explicitly said that that was Link.” It’s certainly a sentence to make you think. Upon closer inspection, the horse that the adventurer is riding has a dark mane rather than a white one, meaning that it might not be Link’s faithful companion Epona.

You can’t blame Legend of Zelda fans for assuming that the character in the teaser was Link. His appearance and origins have varied across his various incarnations, with the only truly consistent attributes being his blond hair, elfin appearance and green tunic and hat. The outfit is new, but looks similar to the blue tunic that Link wore in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.

Another defining feature of Link is his slightly androgynous looks, and even when squinting at the character depicted in this teaser it’s difficult to say for sure whether they are male or female. After all, Zelda’s alter ego Sheik, who first appeared in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, is distinctly male in appearance. In light of Aonuma’s comments, some fans have speculated that the upcoming Legend of Zelda will actually feature the titular character as its protagonist, and that this is simply a new look for her.

Another possible explanation, based on the appearance of both the hero and the horse, is that the game’s protagonist might be a son or daughter of Link or Zelda. The more romantic fans have already speculated that Link and Zelda finally decided to get together, and that the new character is their offspring.

For now we won’t completely write off the possibility that Aonuma is just trolling us, but it would certainly be a bold move to make a major new Legend of Zelda game in which Link is not the hero.

[Update: It turns out that Aonuma was just kidding. When asked about his comment by MMGN, the producer chuckled and responded:

“It’s not that I said that it wasn’t Link. It’s that I never said that it was Link. It’s not really the same thing, but I can understand how it could be taken that way. It seems like it has kind of taken off where people are saying ‘oh it’s a female character’ and it just kind of grew. But my intent in saying that was humour. You know, you have to show Link when you create a trailer for a Zelda announcement.”

Are you disappointed to hear that Nintendo won’t be striking out with a new character, or are you looking forward to seeing Link again?]

Game Rant E3 2014 Live Coverage

The new Legend of Zelda game is expected to release on Wii U some time in 2015.

Source: GamesBeat, MMGN

TAGS: E3 2014, Nintendo, The Legend of Zelda, Wii U

  • patrick

    it would be a f*cking awesome move

  • Onilink

    It is Epona. Official Nintendo Magazine said so. Unless they made an assumption.

    • Hannah Shaw-Williams

      I’m pretty sure they made an assumption, since they also say that the character in the teaser is Link.

  • Kenny

    I’m not sure how I’d feel if it isn’t Link. Don’t get me wrong I’d still buy and most likely enjoy the hell out of it. But something about not being Link, and not having the traditional green tunic rubs me the wrong way. Unless if its open world allows you to purchase various tunics and outfits, than that’d be flippin’ awesome!

    • GamerGirl

      “…and not having the traditional green tunic rubs me the wrong way.”

      Ever hear of Ocarina of Time? It was kind of a requirement of its gameplay to wear a red and blue tunic. Then there is Majora’s Mask where you were turned into a Deku Scrub, Goron, and Zora. Then in Twilight Princess, you played a good majority of the game as a wolf. Do I really need to go on? There is nothing “traditional” about Link and the garb he wears at all times. This garb he is wearing in the trailer could easily be something he starts out wearing like in just about every other Zelda game.

      • NeoSubZero

        I’m sure you know what was meant. The green tunic IS traditional. He wears it in EVERY GAME (with slightly different variations in each game). The blue and red tunics are colored different because they give different abilities. The designs for his transformations in Majora’s mask were based off his traditional look (still had hints of the green tunic here and there). And twilight princess…just a transformation into a wolf, yet his traditional style was still there. That’s like saying Mario’s red and blue look isn’t traditional because his costume changes when he get’s a power-up.

  • Kenny

    Possible theory, Link has a twin brother or alternate world duplicate like in ‘A Link Between Worlds” and only featured him in the trailer.

    • Daniel Carlson

      let’s use Occam’s razor (simplest answer is probably the correct one), it’s just one of links many changing looks. >.>

      • Daniel Carlson

        in fact his look changing is almost routine for nintendo. he changes in most of the zelda games in some way. hell, he used to have brown hair and wasn’t always so androgynous.

  • djnforce9

    If you’re not playing Link, then who else could it possible be (doesn’t seem like Zelda is on that horse either)? Also, how would Link fit into this game if that is the case?

    • ImoruImiti

      Zelda has to rescue Link. Just kidding.

  • Greybeard93

    Darn, I was hoping for a character maker.

  • JBARR9

    Does anyone realize that the clothes that this Link is wearing are very similar to the clothes that Wind Waker Link started off with.

  • patrick

    it would be amazing if it was Link’s sister, but unfortunately Nintendo isn’t ready to do something that cool. guess we’ll have to settle for the traditional game with a really beautiful open world for now.

    • GirlGamer

      So we are “settling” for Link? He is the hero of those games. How would replacing him make it more cool?