In a recent interview, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild producer Eiji Aonuma discusses the possibility of a female protagonist in a future game within the long running series.
After a very long development cycle, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is finally a month and a half away from release. Thanks to an impressive CG story trailer a few weeks ago, even more details were revealed about the open world title, but some of the old questions about the game have continued to stir. Since its first appearance way back at E3 2014, the ability to select between a female or male hero has been another major talking point for this game, and while Nintendo has previously confirmed that Link continues to be male, it seems the potential for a female Link to appear in a future game isn’t entirely off the table.
In a recent interview with Waypoint, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild producer Eiji Aonuma was asked about the potential for a female protagonist, whether that be a Link (such as the recently introduced Linkle) or someone else entirely. Aonuma wouldn’t confirm anything directly, only stating that they’re well aware of fan feedback, even if the developers don’t necessarily incorporate everything. To him, listening and trying to add every piece of feedback would likely result in an unfocused and a game that lacks quality.
Aonuma also admitted in the interview that the speculation over a possibly female link stemmed from his comments back at E3 2014, when he wouldn’t confirm whether or not the character seen in the teaser was Link or even male. For an immediate solution, Aonuma reminded fans that Hyrule Warriors is available and features an assortment of playable characters, many of which are female such as Zelda, Cia, Impa, and more.
“Regarding the future possibility of us taking a Zelda title in a new direction, perhaps with Link as someone different, or with a new protagonist altogether who’s radically different from what we’ve seen before, on the Wii U there’s already Hyrule Warriors. In that you’ve got Princess Zelda herself as a playable character, and a real assortment of playable characters including numerous female ones. So, that title exists already. But in the future, regarding doing that sort of thing again, and changing what you expect from Zelda characters, I’d say yes, it’s a possibility.”
Breath of the Wild has been the source of must speculation over the past year with fans wondering if this rumored reboot of the franchise is representative of the direction that future games in the series are headed. With a potential for future Zelda titles to arrive on the Switch, Aonuma has gone on record saying that a multiplayer focused Legend of Zelda title could be on the cards. The series producer plans to take all of the lessons learned with Breath of the Wild to craft a new title with multiplayer similar to Triforce Heroes.
Whichever direction the long running franchise chooses to go in, its clear that the series is slowly starting to break free from its old school traditions. Link, the main protagonist of the series, has always been a mute hero, unable to speak when asked questions from the world’s gibberish speaking citizens. With Breath of the Wild, Nintendo has finally added voice acting in an effort to provide more emotional weight, which can be hard to do through just text. With long standing traditions finally evolving, perhaps a female link or a Zelda focused title isn’t too far off the horizon after all.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be released on 3 March, 2017, for Wii U and Switch.