While there's reasonable anticipation for Hyrule Warriors in the West, it's a title that's been given a particularly big push in Japan, where the Dynasty Warriors franchise is a mainstay of the market. There are multiple editions and extras, one of which is a rather attractive artbook for the title — this will also be available in the West.

Naturally it features plenty of concept art from the development process, with the following showing off Link as he appears in the game, and the second image — on a page of what seems to be unused character designs — prompting some chatter around a female Link.

Link Scan
Female Link

If that is indeed a concept for a female Link, it's a fairly decent design; we doubt it'd be the first time the idea would have been tested in development. Alternatively it could be an early concept for another character in a similar vein to Link, perhaps another Hero — the main art focusing on a bow as the weapon, with the smaller images showing a sword and shield; the green outfit naturally catches attention.

Following the loose speculation around the reveal for the new Legend of Zelda on Wii U, it's a topic that will likely keep coming up. A reasonable argument to make is that if the Hero of these titles can have any name, a choice between two designs — one of each gender — shouldn't be beyond the scope.

Much depends on the storytelling and approach, too, and how brave Nintendo is feeling; inevitably major design choices like this cause a notable reaction among vocal fans. Details and hints so far point to the new entry on Wii U being an open world and giving the player freedom in their approach, so it could be an entry to push the series into new territory in multiple areas.

We shall see, but in the meantime let us know what you think of this concept art.

[source layiko.tumblr.com, via gonintendo.com]