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Topic: What if Link is gender neutral?

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theblackdragon

221. Posted:

Last I checked, this topic was about Link's gender, not another sexuality debate. We can either get back on topic or i can lock the thread — or i can start banning people who refuse to respect Nintendo Life's decision regarding these tangents when they crop up. The choice is yours, guys.

As for the topic at hand:

shaneoh wrote:

This long between metroid games certainly feels like reincarnation. But it is the same Link being reincarnated again and again, not just in gender, but in personality as well. He's not just being spun out into the world as a random person, but into a specific role...

Firstly, personality is not dependent on gender, and the role of the Hero of Time has never been officially stated to be gender specific. Secondly... what personality? This is Link we're talking about, he brings about as much personality to the table as a doorknob. He is intentionally written as a blank slate through which the player interacts with Hyrule. giving us the choice in how our Link looks and sounds on screen will only help us to identify with him or her more.

shaneoh wrote:

Link's gender has become fixed, and my niece doesn't care one bit, she is loving OoT 3D and doesn't care that the protagonist is a male.

While that's awesome for your niece and I'm glad she's enjoying some quality games, forgive me for being blunt about it, bit why do I care? I'm talking about my experience and what i'd like to see in a Zelda game, not hers. Perhaps someday she, too, will wonder why Link has never been given the chance to be reborn as a girl to better serve her own playing experience (surely it must be boring for an endlessly reborn spirit to have no variety in ye olde mortal shell?), or why she can't choose to be a female character in classic gaming staples as the option grows more and more common in the future, who knows?

Also, i'm not sure who exactly started up the 'females aren't as physically strong biologically as males' argument, but for pete's sake, does any of the rest of the game follow real-life science as we know it? We've got elves, fish-people, magic and goddesses and spirits and great looming evils threatening to swallow the world, i'm pretty sure a bit of difference in hand-grip strength won't matter when you've got the same bracelets or whatever Link gets to pick up stones (remember, he can't do so without help!), the same bombs to blow up big rocks, the same tunic to help breathe underwater, and the same Iron Boots to keep you on the sumo platform. Link himself gets a lot of help in terms of special items. surely they'd help a female Hero of Time do the same in a future adventure.

and as for Zelda and Ganon being potentially all switched up gender-wise, bring it on! Wouldn't mind seeing a wicked female Ganon attempt to fool its enemies by presenting itself in female form for once, wouldn't that potentially throw the ol' king of hyrule for a loop? Though male Zelda has sorta been done before via Sheik, i wouldn't mind seeing more of that either — whether an actual change in gender or more dress-up, Sheik was pretty awesome :3

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skywake

222. Posted:

While i can appreciate the humor in this comment, please, the tangent is now over. Let's return to the topic at hand as outlined in the OP :3 — TBD

Edited on by theblackdragon

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Oragami

223. Posted:

Also, I'm sure once I played a game with a female Link, I would get used to it, but I would definitely be thrown off at the beginning. Kind of like when Ocarina of Time came out and everything was in polygons. It was different, but it was still good.

As I said before, I really don't like the idea of there being a choice of the gender of Link. That's too much character customization for the legend of Zelda. We aren't playing Mass Effect or Skyrim, we are playing Zelda.
And if Link is a female, Zelda doesn't have to be a male. Link and Zelda don't NEED to have a romantic relationship. That was shown in Link's Awakening, Majora's Mask, and heck, A Link to the Past wasn't that romantic either.

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theblackdragon

224. Posted:

I'm serious, guys. Any further off-topicness will just be deleted, and if you're that offensive about it, it may be accompanied by a temp-ban. This is your warning.

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Kodeen

225. Posted:

Oragami wrote:

Link and Zelda don't NEED to have a romantic relationship. That was shown in Link's Awakening, Majora's Mask, and heck, A Link to the Past wasn't that romantic either.

Apart from maybe Skyward Sword (which I haven't played except for a little), Link and Zelda have never been romantic.

To take it further, Link isn't really anything. It's a different incarnation almost every time, he has no real connections (romantic or otherwise) with any characters, and as TBD pointed out he has the personality of a doorknob. He's an amorphous blob with a green tunic. I fail to see how changing any aspect of him makes any difference at all.

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ClockworkMario

226. Posted:

theblackdragon wrote:

and as for Zelda and Ganon being potentially all switched up gender-wise, bring it on! Wouldn't mind seeing a wicked female Ganon attempt to fool its enemies by presenting itself in female form for once, wouldn't that potentially throw the ol' king of hyrule for a loop? Though male Zelda has sorta been done before via Sheik, i wouldn't mind seeing more of that either — whether an actual change in gender or more dress-up, Sheik was pretty awesome :3

Ganondorf's fairly set in stone, as he's the King of Gerudos who was seduced by the Triforce of Power and the spirit of Demise; as in he's a just a man (or a huge boar-thingy), often reawakened, but not a reincarnation like Link or Zelda. I see no reason why there couldn't be a new female vessel of Demise though.

Zelda? Sure – the series lore only says that (s)he must be of the of the goddess' bloodline. Maybe Sheik could be Zelda's alter ego: a mystical figure fighting for justice and freedom while the princess maneuvers through the storms of politics, though always oddly absent when something huge happens – these key figures are never seen at the same room ;)

Good to see this thread back on track. Hunkering on trenches, throwing insults and oversimplifying others' comments to mere mockeries of what was actually said will only spiral a conversation to a flame war (and wake one very angry dragon :) )

Edited on by ClockworkMario

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SpookyMeths

227. Posted:

Link and Zelda are different incarnations every time (direct sequels notwithstanding), but Ganon actually is the exact same being every time. He just gets trapped in a different realm and resurrected a lot. Making him a woman wouldn't really make any sense.

Still advocating a choice of gender for Link with minor changes to story context a la Mass Effect/Dragon Age. :P

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skywake

228. Posted:

skywake wrote:

While i can appreciate the humor in this comment, please, the tangent is now over. Let's return to the topic at hand as outlined in the OP :3 — TBD

dude, it takes more than 8mins to create a funny post at half past midnight....
:(

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Usagi-san

229. Posted:

theblackdragon wrote:

this is Link we're talking about, he brings about as much personality to the table as a doorknob. He is intentionally written as a blank slate

I'm sick of hearing this argument to be honest, this has never been true not even as far back as the first game.
Link was never a blank slate in any of the Zelda games. In an interview with Shigeru Miyamoto for Iwata asks Miyamoto discusses how Link was a mischievous and playful character in the earlier games and
how he didn't want him to be just be another cool hero in Oot.

How could Miyamoto possibly say anything about Link's character if he was written as a "blank slate".
For what it's worth, in the same interview he also mentions how Link being a young boy influenced the creation of characters like Saria and Malon. So if anybody would like to say that Link's gender has never been an influence on the games they would be in disagreement with one of the developers for at least one of them.

Link represents the Zelda series as much as Samus represents metroid or Mario represents Nintendo. I think the comparison is apt enough, you wouldn't change the genders of either these characters so I see no reason why Link's gender should change. For the people who say that Link is reincarnated in each game and could easily be reborn as a girl, I disagree. In each game Link has maintained certain characteristics, what reason do we have to believe that it is even possible in the Zelda Universe for a character to reincarnate as a different gender? Impa hasn't, nor has Zelda.
In hyrule History Shigeru Miyamoto writes:

"Even though Ganon is defeated time and time again, he is evil incarnate and will come back time and time again, with a vengeance.
Each time, when the world is blanketed in evil, a young boy and girl will be born."
i.e Link and Zelda will be reborn to face evil.

I am not against a female protagonist in a Zelda game, I am however emphatically against changing Link, who stands next to Zelda as a constant symbol of the series, for the sake of looking "progressive".

Edited on by Usagi-san

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SCAR392

230. Posted:

Kodeen wrote:

He's an amorphous blob with a green tunic.

Isn't that enough for a character to have feelings? Yes, this is rhetoric.

Just look at Majora's Mask. Link is going on a journey to find a friend.

Edited on by SCAR392

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Dreamz

231. Posted:

Usagi-san wrote:

theblackdragon wrote:

this is Link we're talking about, he brings about as much personality to the table as a doorknob. He is intentionally written as a blank slate

I'm sick of hearing this argument to be honest, this has never been true not even as far back as the first game.
Link was never a blank slate in any of the Zelda games. In an interview with Shigeru Miyamoto for Iwata asks Miyamoto discusses how Link was a mishievious and playful character in the earlier games and
how he didn't want him to be just be another cool hero in Oot.

How could Miyamoto possibly say anything about Link's character if he was written as a "blank slate".
For what it's worth, in the same interview he also mentions how Link being a young boy influenced the creation of characters like Saria and Malon. So if anybody would like to say that Link's gender has never been an influence on the games they would be in disagreement with one of the developers for at least one of them.

There's no possible way you would be saying that if you've actually played the entire series. TBD is entirely correct; Link has never shown anything resembling personality until Windwaker. And even during WW and beyond, his character doesn't extend much beyond "courageous guy who does his best."

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SCAR392

232. Posted:

Dreamz wrote:

Usagi-san wrote:

theblackdragon wrote:

this is Link we're talking about, he brings about as much personality to the table as a doorknob. He is intentionally written as a blank slate

I'm sick of hearing this argument to be honest, this has never been true not even as far back as the first game.
Link was never a blank slate in any of the Zelda games. In an interview with Shigeru Miyamoto for Iwata asks Miyamoto discusses how Link was a mishievious and playful character in the earlier games and
how he didn't want him to be just be another cool hero in Oot.

How could Miyamoto possibly say anything about Link's character if he was written as a "blank slate".
For what it's worth, in the same interview he also mentions how Link being a young boy influenced the creation of characters like Saria and Malon. So if anybody would like to say that Link's gender has never been an influence on the games they would be in disagreement with one of the developers for at least one of them.

There's no possible way you would be saying that if you've actually played the entire series. TBD is entirely correct; Link has never shown anything resembling personality until Windwaker. And even during WW and beyond, his character doesn't extend much beyond "courageous guy who does his best."

What about when he saves Zelda in Zelda 2? Do you think he just randomly decided to go kill Moblins, and that just so happened to save Zelda?

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Usagi-san

233. Posted:

Dreamz wrote:

his character doesn't extend much beyond "courageous guy who does his best."

Congratulations, you just described Link's PERSONALITY.

Edited on by Usagi-san

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Oragami

234. Posted:

Dreamz wrote:

Usagi-san wrote:

theblackdragon wrote:

this is Link we're talking about, he brings about as much personality to the table as a doorknob. He is intentionally written as a blank slate

I'm sick of hearing this argument to be honest, this has never been true not even as far back as the first game.
Link was never a blank slate in any of the Zelda games. In an interview with Shigeru Miyamoto for Iwata asks Miyamoto discusses how Link was a mishievious and playful character in the earlier games and
how he didn't want him to be just be another cool hero in Oot.

How could Miyamoto possibly say anything about Link's character if he was written as a "blank slate".
For what it's worth, in the same interview he also mentions how Link being a young boy influenced the creation of characters like Saria and Malon. So if anybody would like to say that Link's gender has never been an influence on the games they would be in disagreement with one of the developers for at least one of them.

There's no possible way you would be saying that if you've actually played the entire series. TBD is entirely correct; Link has never shown anything resembling personality until Windwaker. And even during WW and beyond, his character doesn't extend much beyond "courageous guy who does his best."

Adventure of Link - It is heavily implied that Link and Zelda are somewhat romantically involved, at least by the end.
Link's Awakening - It is VERY heavily implied that Link has feelings for Marin.
Ocarina of Time - Link shows fear at the start with his nightmares (although those could just be prophecies)
Majora's Mask - Link puts himself in danger to find his friend, implied to be Navi
Oracle Games - Not much here, except Link's facial expressions during the detailed pictures show a personality of sorts.
Wind Waker - Loads of personality, as you said
Minish Cap - Link and Zelda are friends that care for each other
Twilight Princess - Link shows he cares for his fellow townspeople, as is shown several times throughout the game.
Phantom Hourglass - Just like Wind Waker, Link has loads of personality
Spirit Tracks - Same situation as Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass
Skyward Sword - Link shows emotion constantly.

I think that leaves 5 games where Link has little to no personality.

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SpookyMeths

235. Posted:

Usagi-san wrote:

Dreamz wrote:

his character doesn't extend much beyond "courageous guy who does his best."

Congratulations, you just described Link's PERSONALITY.

I'm all for having defined characters in my games (male or female, I enjoy taking on the role of both), but "courageous and does their best" is hardly a gender-specific characterization.

That said, to play, there are specific points in the lore that point to Link being male and make a stronger argument than his personality. The titular legend has always referred to a boy when speaking of the hero. It's not like it would create a damning rift if the lore was retconned though.

Edited on by SpookyMeths

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SCAR392

236. Posted:

CaviarMeths wrote:

Usagi-san wrote:

Dreamz wrote:

his character doesn't extend much beyond "courageous guy who does his best."

Congratulations, you just described Link's PERSONALITY.

I'm all for having defined characters in my games (male or female, I enjoy taking on the role of both), but "courageous and does their best" is hardly a gender-specific characterization.

That said, to play, there are specific points in the lore that point to Link being male and make a stronger argument than his personality. The titular legend has always referred to a boy when speaking of the hero. It's not like it would create a damning rift if the lore was retconned though.

Or, if the lore said the hero would be a boy, then the hero actually ended up being a girl.

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Usagi-san

237. Posted:

CaviarMeths wrote:

Usagi-san wrote:

Dreamz wrote:

his character doesn't extend much beyond "courageous guy who does his best."

Congratulations, you just described Link's PERSONALITY.

I'm all for having defined characters in my games (male or female, I enjoy taking on the role of both), but "courageous and does their best" is hardly a gender-specific characterization.

The argument I have heard is that Link is just a blank slate anyway so that changing his gender wouldn't be a big deal. Establishing that Link has a personality shows that he is just as much an established character with specific traits as say Mario and has a gender that is equally immutable.

Edited on by Usagi-san

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Dreamz

238. Posted:

Usagi-san wrote:

CaviarMeths wrote:

Usagi-san wrote:

Dreamz wrote:

his character doesn't extend much beyond "courageous guy who does his best."

Congratulations, you just described Link's PERSONALITY.

I'm all for having defined characters in my games (male or female, I enjoy taking on the role of both), but "courageous and does their best" is hardly a gender-specific characterization.

The argument I have heard is that Link is just a blank slate anyway so that changing his gender wouldn't be a big deal. Establishing that Link has a personality shows that he is just as much an established character with specific traits as say Mario and has a gender that is equally immutable.

Except that it hasn't been established that he has a personality. So far we've only seen stretching examples that give one or at best two personality traits for each incarnation. A personality is made up of dozens of those. Link has never, ever show that in any incarnation.

Edited on by Dreamz

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Usagi-san

239. Posted:

Dreamz wrote:

Usagi-san wrote:

CaviarMeths wrote:

Usagi-san wrote:

Dreamz wrote:

his character doesn't extend much beyond "courageous guy who does his best."

Congratulations, you just described Link's PERSONALITY.

I'm all for having defined characters in my games (male or female, I enjoy taking on the role of both), but "courageous and does their best" is hardly a gender-specific characterization.

The argument I have heard is that Link is just a blank slate anyway so that changing his gender wouldn't be a big deal. Establishing that Link has a personality shows that he is just as much an established character with specific traits as say Mario and has a gender that is equally immutable.

Except that it hasn't been established that he has a personality. So far we've only seen stretching examples that give one or at best two personality traits for each incarnation. A personality is made up of dozens of those. Link has never, ever show that in any incarnation.

You've said that it hasn't been established that Link has a personality because he doesn't have enough personality traits but you don't NEED dozens of personality traits to have a character (Who even decides on the number of personality traits a character has to have before they're officially not a blank slate anyway?).

Edited on by Usagi-san

"I never swear, my lord, I say yes or no; and, as I am a gentleman, I keep my word." - D'artagnan in Twenty Years After

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skywake

240. Posted:

To the people who think a story needs a female lead for it to have a progressive attitude towards women. One word....

Firefly

That is all /thread

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