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Topic: What if Link is gender neutral?

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Dreamz

121. Posted:

SomeBitTripFan wrote:

I'll just say. Does it really matter? Yes, Link could feasibly be a woman, but does it matter so much?
(Snip)
My Stance: If Link is going to be a guy in this game, let him be a guy. If Link is going to be a girl in one game, make there be a significant reason.

This is pretty much the same double standard I see throughout various posts in this thread. If it doesn't matter that much, why not just make Link a girl for one game, then? If it doesn't matter that much, why does there need to be a significant reason?

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Usagi-san

122. Posted:

Jollykarp wrote:

Usagi-san wrote:

Jollykarp wrote:

This seems like an interesting idea. Link was supposed to be nothing but a player avatar after all, it's not like Link's gender particularly affects the story in any way. I think having a whole game avoiding gendered pronouns is a bit much though. You could always let the player select from he/she/they in the options menu (and not change Link's cosmetic appearance at all).

Where does Miyamoto say that Link was only ever meant to be a player avatar? I can't find the quote and I seem to recall him talking about Link's character changing at some stage compared to earlier games.

I believe it's a fairly old interview about the original NES game, when asked about where the name Link came from. (I checked it again and I can't find the source, I did find another origin for the name Link which isn't consistent with what I said before though). I admit that Link has taken more masculine characteristics in every game he's been in since the original, but hey, the WiiU title evokes the original where Link was as androgynous as Samus in armour was.

Link wasn't originally androgynous, look at the concept art. Can anybody else point me to the article where Miyamoto talks about Link being an avatar for the player? Surely somebody can point me in the right direction.

Edited on by Usagi-san

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SomeBitTripFan

123. Posted:

@Dreamz: Male Link is the standard of the series. Link is doing what are considered masculine things throughout the game. It's more simple and requires less explanation to have a male Link fighting enemies. If Link is a female in one game, I want for there to be a reason. Why is this woman fighting monsters? With Samus, she's a bounty hunter and her parents were killed by the Space Pirates. It's gender roles admittedly, but with a female character, the audience is going to want an explanation more than they are going to a male character. "Significant" wasn't the best choice word, but I simply want there to be an actual reason that Link needs to be a female other than "just because" and gender equality, especially in a case that, to my knowledge, hasn't seemed to have much of an impact on gamers.

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MikeLove

124. Posted:

Untitled

There's no reason why Link shouldn't be a black guy either, so lets make that an option as well.

MikeLove

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SomeBitTripFan

125. Posted:

KennyPowers wrote:

Untitled

There's no reason why Link shouldn't be a black guy either, so lets make that an option as well.

What about Link as a black woman? I couldn't even find a picture. Although, I don't think Hylians can be black, so that rules out black Link for now. :P

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MikeLove

126. Posted:

SomeBitTripFan wrote:

KennyPowers wrote:

Untitled

There's no reason why Link shouldn't be a black guy either, so lets make that an option as well.

What about Link as a black woman? I couldn't even find a picture. Although, I don't think Hylians can be black, so that rules out black Link for now. :P

BOOM

Untitled

MikeLove

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Squid

127. Posted:

SomeBitTripFan wrote:

@Dreamz: Male Link is the standard of the series. Link is doing what are considered masculine things throughout the game. It's more simple and requires less explanation to have a male Link fighting enemies. If Link is a female in one game, I want for there to be a reason. Why is this woman fighting monsters? With Samus, she's a bounty hunter and her parents were killed by the Space Pirates. It's gender roles admittedly, but with a female character, the audience is going to want an explanation more than they are going to a male character. "Significant" wasn't the best choice word, but I simply want there to be an actual reason that Link needs to be a female other than "just because" and gender equality, especially in a case that, to my knowledge, hasn't seemed to have much of an impact on gamers.

But Samus was designed to be female because the creators thought it would be cool and would surprise the player. That doesn't serve a real explanation as to why she needs to be female; they just did it because it would be cool. Saying that she fights monsters because she's a bounty hunter and is avenging her parents has nothing to do with her being female, because a male character could have the same backstory. Therefore, Eiji Aonuma could decide to make Link a girl just because it would be cool, too, and doesn't need to offer an explanation.

It should also really say something about gender roles in our society if we need to question why a woman fights monsters but don't when a man does. Why can't both?

Edited on by Squid

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Magikarp3

128. Posted:

Ok, I take back most of the things I said about the NES Zelda because too much conflicting information and I may have jumped to a few conclusions.

That being said, I have definitely read interviews where Miyamoto has talked about how he doesn't want the player to be playing as Link - he wants to player to feel like they are Link. That's why androgyny and ambiguity works the best in this case - your Link can be whoever you are, and you don't need to forcefully tell the game who you are through menus and character customisation. Instead, the way you play the game lets you express yourself.

so in argument to @SomeBitTripFan , this is an issue beyond gender equality (which by the way is a pretty big cause and I think you've made light of that here, but that's a discussion for another day). The more characteristics you ascribe to Link, whether gender or age or even race, the less the player feels like they are Link, and the more it feels like Link is some character predesigned by somebody else that you have to act as for the duration of this game. The big deal with social rights and equality movements in real life is that, in fact, there are predesigned roles and characters that people of certain categories are expected to act as for the duration of their life. Videogames are an opportunity to escape from that, and to reflect and criticise it. In my opinion, this is an incredibly significant reason why Link should be gender neutral rather than clearly male.

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Edited on by Magikarp3

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mamp

129. Posted:

I'm not wanting a female Link but I'm not opposed to it. If it happens it happens. Don't know why people have such an issue with this. How could a female Link hurt anyone or the series at all? Guess the boys ain't man enough to handle a woman :P I guess versions of Link have been male but Reincarnations can vary (let us not forget Link and Zelda's different colored hairstyles, pink hair LOL). I'm just saying a female Link is not out of the realm of possibility.

Edited on by mamp

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skywake

130. Posted:

Aviator wrote:

Nobody is asking for Link to only be female. Link has never had a voice, he is a vessel for the player to embody. The player, either male or female becomes Link, and there's no question that for some females, the experience can be lessened because they cannot connect to a male character. What some players want, is an option. Not a lot would have to change. A female could be called the Hero of Time. A female Link could rescue the female Zelda.

I think you're missing the reason behind the push for a female lead character. The reason these threads exist is because people want to break the whole "sexist tropes" that Zelda games are apparently stuck in. The thing is you don't have to have a female Link to do that. Even more to the point giving people an option and not changing anything just means that half the people are playing the exact same game and the other half are playing as Link in drag. I don't see how this makes the game more progressive. Helpless Zelda is the bigger/only issue here it just doesn't have the same sort of clickbait.

My argument in these threads time and time again has been that you don't need to change the gender of anyone to improve the story. I mean a female Link could change it up a bit but I don't think it's a requirement for the game to be more progressive. You just make it so Zelda doesn't get kidnapped and you make it so that other characters in the game are saving the world as much as Link is. Of course Link still has to be the main "hero" because you're playing as Link. That doesn't mean that other characters can't do their own bit. Midna did more than her fair share, so has Zelda, Impa. So what's the problem here? Why not just improve on that a bit more?

Edited on by skywake

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mamp

131. Posted:

@skywake did I read it wrong? Having a female option let's players play as Link in drag? XD
So does that mean that the female pokemon trainer is just the regular pokemon trainer in drag? I mean they don't change anything in the story and everything in the game is exactly the same. Same applies to a lot of games out there.

Edited on by mamp

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kkslider5552000

132. Posted:

Mass Effect is all the proof I need that there is no reason to not include a female option tbh. If the devs had a valid reason why their story needed Link to stay male, but with them admitting that Link is supposed to be as much of a player character as ever, there's no reason not to.

Any option that a person would enjoy but others can entirely ignore is borderline always a good idea, especially with the low risk/high reward for Nintendo this could be (adding options paid off for Fire Emblem). And if this for whatever reasons gets more women to play the new Zelda, totally worth it (and seriously, Link has been designed for anime fangirls for years anyway :p)

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Chrono_Cross

133. Posted:

SomeBitTripFan wrote:

@Dreamz: Male Link is the standard of the series. Link is doing what are considered masculine things throughout the game.

Masculine things? Saving the world can't be a feminine thing?

It's more simple and requires less explanation to have a male Link fighting enemies. If Link is a female in one game, I want for there to be a reason. Why is this woman fighting monsters?

Why does Link fight monsters?

There should be no explanation to why Link has been reincarnated as a female. If anything, the story should just say it happened. No more. I say this because it's not a big deal.

It's gender roles admittedly, but with a female character, the audience is going to want an explanation more than they are going to a male character.

I don't. It's nature. Women physically and mentally can do whatever men can.

"Significant" wasn't the best choice word, but I simply want there to be an actual reason that Link needs to be a female other than "just because" and gender equality, especially in a case that, to my knowledge, hasn't seemed to have much of an impact on gamers.

Why do you need a reason? Why does anything need an explanation regarding gender, sexuality, religion, or race?

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1337man1233

134. Posted:

i would be fine if they made it an option but to flatout change the gender of a well established character would be stupid

1337man1233

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shingi_70

135. Posted:

Nintendo just shot themselves in the foot.

I don't know how much the rest of you know about male rights culture (I'm an expert), but honor and shame are huge parts of it. It's not like it is in feminism where you can become successful by not having a penis. If you screw someone over in male rights, you bring shame to yourself, and the only way to get rid of that shame is repentance.

What this means is the male public, after hearing about this, is not going to want to purchase The Legend of Zelda for Wii U, nor will they purchase any of Nintendo's games. This is HUGE. You can laugh all you want, but Nintendo has alienated an entire market with this move.

Nintendo, publicly apologize and cancel LOZ for Wii U or you can kiss your business goodbye.

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Jim_Purcell

136. Posted:

shingi_70 wrote:

Nintendo just shot themselves in the foot.

I don't know how much the rest of you know about male rights culture (I'm an exper...

Stopped reading. Because LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL

-sob-

Edited on by Jim_Purcell

Jim_Purcell

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Chrono_Cross

137. Posted:

Jim_Purcell wrote:

shingi_70 wrote:

Nintendo just shot themselves in the foot.

I don't know how much the rest of you know about male rights culture (I'm an exper...

Stopped reading. Because LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL

-sob-

Yeah, you should feel bad.

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Jaz007

138. Posted:

@Chrono_Cross No offensive, but men are generallly stronger than women physically. The strongest man will always be stronger than the strongest women, and there is a reason special forces don't allow women, and until, recently women didn't fight in the front lines, which I don't think should have been changed. (Note: If was up for consideration and not changed then sorry, my memory on it is a little stale). It's not sexism, it's just how the different genders and their bodys work.

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Jim_Purcell

139. Posted:

Jaz007 wrote:

It's not sexism, it's just how the different genders and their bodys work.

It is Sexism. The faster you learn that, the healthier you will be.

Jim_Purcell

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Dreamz

140. Posted:

Jim_Purcell wrote:

Jaz007 wrote:

It's not sexism, it's just how the different genders and their bodys work.

It is Sexism. The faster you learn that, the healthier you will be.

Maybe I missed something somewhere, but the strength difference between men and women is a biological fact, not sexism.

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