After all of the discussions, rumours and speculations, Eiji Aonuma has confirmed that it won't be possible to play as a female Hero in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Despite the game showcasing an impressively dynamic world and freedom in gameplay approaches, it seems the game's narrative has fixed Link as a male hero - voice acting seems to establish Link as the fixed name, too.
Speaking to GameSpot, Aonuma-san explained (through a translator) that it had been explored, but didn't fit with what the team was trying to achieve.
So yes, there were rumors like that, and we did discuss as a staff as to what would be possible if we took that route.
We thought about it [making Princess Zelda the lead character], and decided that if we're going to have a female protagonist it's simpler to have Princess Zelda as the main character.
...if we have Princess Zelda as the main character who fights, then what is Link going to do? Taking into account that, and also the idea of the balance of the Triforce, we thought it best to come back to this [original] makeup.
In truth we doubt that response will satisfy everyone, though the story, plot and characters are currently unknown to the public. What's clear is that an optional swap wasn't on the agenda for long, but rather a simple switch to Princess Zelda as the playable hero. It seems the idea of a gender-choice Link that embarks on the same adventure didn't get far.
For those that felt it was 'time' for a gender choice, this is sure to be disappointing. On the other side of the fence, however, some fans may be pleased that the status quo is continuing.
Where do you stand on this? Let us know in the comments, though please be respectful and civil towards each other.
It doesn't really matter, right? Link will still always be awesome as he is.
Would you look at that, a rumour got squashed.
I'd rather play as Zelda than a female Link. Even if they offered the option (to play as female Link), I'd still play as male Link.
Good. Now all this mindless bickering can come to an end.
Aaaaaaaaaaaand that's yet another strike against Emily Rogers. I can already tell that people will continue to treat her rumors as fact.
I'm slightly disappointed by this, but I think the reasons are sound.
Female hero = heroine
Emily Roger was wrong.
y'all enjoy the game.
no really, be happy and have fun.
I'm not going to buy it myself because of this news.
@CharlieSmile Why not. It looks awesome.
The article pic is spot on: I can see flame wars coming a mile away. And there's no wait this article will be below 100 comments by tomorrow.
Why was a female option even a thing to begin with? People are mad about no female option? Link is male. Get over it.
@CharlieSmile I still play Metroid games, even though I'm not the same gender as Samus. Honestly, gender should be a non-issue in games that aren't RPGs and aren't about character customization. It's sexist to dislike a game just because its character is male. I hate sexism, on either side. I especially hate hypocrites. I like justice, and I like true equality. That is all.
Why on earth would this be an issue for some people? Are we going to have an outpouring to turn Samus Aran into a man next?
I have nothing against female protagonists, but do it in an original IP rather than forcing it into Zelda.
@-Red- I'm glad you think the game looks awesome, I hope you enjoy it
Ah yes, people getting mad and disappointed because they believed in a rumour. God I love the internet.
@CharlieSmile um. Okay.
@BlatantlyHeroic I'm glad to hear you enjoy Metroid games
Nothing of value was lost.
Glad to hear they were of a similar to mind to myself. If you want a female hero, use the prexisting one that's in the title of the series!
Changing established characters unnecessarily is always going to just annoy some people. No-one EVER does this with female->male. There's a weird double standard with this stuff.
Character customisation tends to impact story, so I think it's better to keep Link a solid, defined character.
You can play as Link in his underwear.
That'll satisfy female players.
@Dark-Luigi The only thing mindless about this debate was the people championing the status quo purely for the sake of it.
Playable Zelda is far more interesting than a gender swapped link.
Like I said in the other article... if you're going to give the option to change Link's gender, then let the player change Link's race, hair colour, build, etc, as well.
Drastically changing Link's appearance means making Link's appearance not iconic anymore. Therefore the player should have the freedom to make Link look as they please.
People keep saying they'd be changing an established character, but that's not the case at all. You never see people asking for a gender swapped Mario because he's an actual character. Link is a different person each time. Link has zero personality, so what is lost by offering a female option?
Lol "the status quo".
In other words, changing things is good by definition. What a silly position! Nonsense. If something isn't broke, don't fix it. Plenty of games with gender choices already. For the industry at large, THAT is the status quo.
@CharlieSmile lol you're not a real fan of video games peace don't come back pls
@Peach64 Link is the reincarnation of the first hero.
Who was a male named link.
Just as Zelda is the reincarnation of a goddess, a woman.
Ganon is the reincarnation of a male demon.
Gender swapping is pointless.
Playing as Zelda is a much better idea than female Link.
@Peach64 Link's appearance is iconic (short androgynous boy with blonde hair), that's what's wrong with your argument. Link's appearance doesn't change drastically, like Doctor Who, with each game.
@Angelic_Lapras_King I'm not satisfied by that
@Zombo you may believe whatever you like
I am glad there is no gender choice for Link. I hope they make a Zelda game soon or have a Zelda story DLC for this next year.
It's a bit of a disappointment, Linkle and her crossbows are my second favorite to play with in HWL after Ganondorf (obviously because Ganon rules), though I am at the same time going to enjoy the idea of that super vocal and angry 0.001% seething into their pillows tonight. I like to think that they ruined it for the rest of us, really.
An insipid unimaginative answer. It reminds me quite a bit about a Mass Effect dev insisting that male Commander Shepard can't romance men because he isn't gay. And look how that turned out.
@-Red- is that really a surprise? Emily is known for false info the wii2 rumors she helped spread just for clicks and attention don't be surprised if the nx info she said is also false
After reading this, it does seem that Nintendo is at least open to having Zelda as a player character in a game, and that makes me happy enough.
Maybe she'll have her own DLC pack in the future to test the waters or something? Who knows.
I think the reason is fair. If they are going a step further than Xenoblade Chronicles X to have voice acting for the main character and therefore have the name fixed to Link as well. Voice acting to enhance the story is most welcome.
I would have liked to see a choice of gender for Link. I thought with that would have come greater customisation of appearence like in XCX. I thought that's where the series was going.
I like the idea of playing as Zelda to. Maybe in the next game in the series.
Makes me think: Link has been described more than once as a "link" between the player and the videogame, a character that could be the player's self in the Zelda games. But despite some customisation being there for many years (you could name him, and choose certain answers and all that) Link has grown to have some identity of his own, hasn't he?
I mean, he's always envisioned as either a pre-adolescent (not quite an adult, but not a child either) or a young man, blond, white, etc.
He may not have that much of a personality (he's always courageous, though), but he has a defined image. He's not a character than can be absolutely customisable, like a Mii or the player character of some RPGs...
The bigger discomfort I have is the implied necessity of the damsel in distress. Because if Zelda is okay, why would you need Link? Really? There's plenty that could be done there from a story-perspective.
@Gamecubed They must have liked what they saw in Hyrule Warriors, but are still washing out the aftertaste left from the 2 CDi games where you play as Zelda.
I'm really sorry you won't be able to enjoy the game because of that. You'd be missing out.
@AlexSora89 I can't miss out on something I don't want
Must say I am disappointed about not having a playable heroine in the final product, but far from destroying my expectations with this game that looks awesome and has such giant scope in landscape and gameplay, it is bigger than anything else Nintendo have already made - as told by Reggie.
And Link still being Link and the same story being retold is just fine, the quality Zelda games are timeless!
One more thing: I really hope to have a heroine as a main in a future release, and Zelda itself would be great and a game changer, so the question Aonuma proposed "...if we have Princess Zelda as the main character who fights, then what is Link going to do?" is about the team to answer in a awesome, epic way that only a Zelda game can do!!
My hopes are still high that in the future they will bring such heroine!!
@CharlieSmile I mean your skipping out on a game simply because of no gender option, that's just silly.
Couldn't have said if better myself! I wouldn't mind playing as Zelda at some point in the LOZ future, but I'm happy with the decision. Link is a boy, period.
Fine with me. Wouldn't have bothered me, but I'm fine with Link remaining a dude as well. I'm not even looking at the other comments though. I'm sure there is already a petition to add it somewhere out there now.
Maybe Zelda can rescue Link for a change as I rather have that then a female Link. Just doesn't sound right.
@Zombo well that's my choice to make, not yours.
if you want to play it, go ahead.
I won't decide for you, and you won't decide for me.
I'd rather just have Link. I'd never bother with a female link. Pointless addition in my opinion
A game starring Zelda would be fine since the gameplay could be quite a bit different and she's already a strongly established character in the series. I think the option for a female Link or just simply having a female Link is about 25-30 years too late. While Link isn't really that defined he's became iconic over the years.
Imagine if you played a Metroid game and everything seems normal as usual and then at the end of the game and Samus' helmet comes off and it's a bald male space marine. The characters have been around for too long, we've already seen how people responded to the newest Metroid game starring 4 Federation Force guys instead of Samus.
So I guess the hair WAS just a little longer in that picture........
@Dezzy You're argue that what is should stay as it is, simply because it already is. That's nothing more than circular logic. Mere entropy. Spout as many platitudes as you please, that doesn't suddenly give you a point.
Laughing at some of the butt hurt comments over here.
In Metroid and Tomb Raider there is no option to play as a male protagonist, yet not a single man have I heard complain about this or even ask a male to be included in the game so why should a mainline Zelda game have the option?
I really really wouldn't have minded if a female Link would be included but I'm happy Aonuma decided not to force a female Link in the game just to please the fans.
@Yalaa There are already tons of similar games to Metroid and Tomb Raider with male protagonists, though.
I've been thinking lately about how the rise of voice acting in games has been more of a detriment than a blessing, and I'd say this is probably one more example of that.
Still extremely excited for it myself, though, and I'd say that anyone who does let this ruin the game for them needs to find something worthwhile to get upset about.
I never really cared about gender for Link, if anything I already had enough of Linkle in Hyrule Warriors Legends.
It would be pretty cool to have Zelda as the main character of a game. It could be a good inbetween game from Majora's Mask to...I believe it was Twilight Princess (the Hero doesn't appear, so Zelda has to battle and lead Hyrulian armies).
It could be called the Legend of Link: The Dark Ages
Well at least all will be quiet until the next Zelda game comes out.
@CharlieSmile you must be joking
@Vegaphil I am not.
@Yalaa While I'm on the male link side, your comment seems that it lacks an important perspective. Certain demographics saturate media representation. So why would those demographics complain about a few titles when they have a bevy of choices?
Of course the answer is NOT to genderflip or alter the skin color of these status quo characters as nothing is gained. Instead it is best to create new characters or flesh out existing characters that match demographics that aren't overly represented. If you have a plate full of cookies and I have two, I shouldn't take your cookies, I should bake or buy more for myself. That is of course if the reason for wanting a certain demographic isn't for the fantasy of inhabiting a demographic rather than seeing diverse well rounded representatives of a demographic. For the guys that want to play as women because they want to stare at her or be her that is a whole other bag of cookies and not the same reason that females or minorities want to see ourselves represented.
I gotta admit I'm happy about this, even though it definitely wouldn't have been a deal breaker for me. I love the idea of more heroines in video games and would also support demanding more female protagonists, but choosing a gender for an established character like Link just never felt right to me...doesn't matter how many times people keep saying he's just a blank slate.
I just want to say that Link can still be female/any other gender while fighting evil and balancing the tri force, heck Link and Zelda can both be female in the same game. But, eh, whatever I guess
@CharlieSmile then I think it's a real shame that untrue rumours have made you think there was going to be something that you wanted in the game when it was never going to be a thing and that has now turned you off the game. I respect your decision but if I can offer you some friendly advice, don't place so much significance on small details that ultimately have little effect.
@Vegaphil I shall place whatever significance I like on things that are significant for me, but I thank you for being friendly.
By that logic, give us a male version of Samus, a female version of Mario and a female pit all together.
Since when did these petty things actually mattered in games now?
I could say I told you so because I did. So, I told you so!
No female link for the same reason there's no male Samus. I have zero problems with this.
I'd rather have a new metroid game. Though it would be interesting to have to play a game as Zelda sometime. But that's why we have games like hyrule Warriors I suppose.
Enough with the Gender bending. I'm happy that Link is still a Man as it should always be
I'd be fine with a female Link personally. For those still clinging to hope, just remember, it might make for a really cool Hero's Quest mode to have Zelda in the driver's seat......
Yes, it's the norm. The norm in a successful series. The burden of proof is therefore on whoever wants to change it.
Your logic could apply to a million different possible changes.
Someone could come along and say "I really want them to make Zelda into a shooter" and when they say no, you could equally just reply "why are you defending the status quo?"
That doesn't work. It's very much up to whoever wants a significant change to give a good reason as to why.
If it was a highly unsuccessful series, maybe then change would considered the default. But it's not.
then you weren't a true fan of LoZ to begin with. Game devs shouldn't pander to social justice warriors just to make sales or "stand for something" because these are GAMES and they don't need to have a political statement.
@e105zeta So give me a good reason why an already established series with an already established character Link should have an female protagonist or female Link forced in.
@Ryu_Niiyama So why not apply your reasoning to games like Metroid or should they be excluded because they are not the norm?
@BlatantlyHeroic If there was an option to play as a male Samus, I would still play as the female Samus. Honestly, it would just be weird to play as a boy Samus in Metroid, just the same as it would be weird to play as a girl Link in Zelda.
@shoos You can believe whatever you'd like about me
It was blindingly obvious that Link would not, and could not ever be a woman. Because women do not have the will of the warrior. Anyone wanting to play as a girl should play something else instead.
@Yalaa You didn't read what I said. " Certain demographics saturate media representation. So why would those demographics complain about a few titles when they have a bevy of choices?"
Guys usually won't complain because they can just go play a different game. While it is changing, females don't have the same choices. Like I said the answer isn't to cannibalize male characters (unless they were created to be a blank character such as bioware games) rather the answer is to create more women protagonists or for established franchises work fleshing out existing female characters within that world. And that is just the male/female split. It gets even worse when you look at minorities as well.
@CharlieSmile Petty, senseless and immature. As expected.
As for myself, oh well, I thought it was a cool idea if it did happen. I would have even picked the female lead for a change of pace. Buuut that's about it and the game looks fantastic.
Also I guess everything I saw as ''obvious'' yesterday was not only ''not obvious'' but also ''non-existant'', haha. My B, guys.
@LinkSword Thanks for your input.
@CharlieSmile You're very much welcome.
@CharlieSmile Why aren't you buying this game exactly? I recognize your right to think whatever you want and purchase whatever you want, but would you mind explaining your reasoning for someone who just doesn't "get it"?
The feminists and social justice warriors aren't gonna be happy about this decision...
@evenflow403 The lack of gender representation is enough to reduce my interest. The rationale behind the decision rubs me the wrong way, and so, I choose not to support the game.
Others who do want to support the game are certainly free to do so, and I support that.
I could see Zelda bring a playable character, side quests etc. but I don't want samus to be a dude. I don't want link to be a chick.
It's not that hard to imagine a female Link. It doesn't have to be Zelda to be female.
Very narrow minded of Nintendo.
It doesnt matter one iota to me, but some were hoping for the option. Get over it.
Reading almost all the comments here makes me ponder about some questions here:
1- A heroine will, for sure, be important since the own company dedicated a moment of silence in its presentation to the victims of hatred this weekend at Orlando. The matter here is about diversity, and Reggie confirmed how important it is.
It may not be a matter of full customizable with gender, race, skin, hair face and whatever feature it allows to opt, but at least start including as a mais playable character, or the heroine, a woman or girl - it is a first step in the way of bringing those who are not well represented as main characters to the front, so I think the Zelda series fits this idea pretty well because here it is the princess as a possible heroine for 30 years!
And, IMO she may have a different quest from Link, but one that could still involves the Triforce or fighting a great evil. Things that Link and Zelda always do since the beginning, but she never had her quest!
2- Some defend the keeping of a male Link only as the right choice to not change the standart of a successful series for whatever reason it could be harmful. But here is the game that is defying the standarts of the series! And I sincerely hope it won't stop to change for the sake of creativity, diversity and new experiences with the painstakingly care Nintendo has with the fun.
@Ryu_Niiyama Sorry but guys won't complain because they simply don't care about the gender of the protagonist they're playing with as long as the game is fun and the protagonist isn't annoying. which is why so many guys over here are shocked over this demand and outcry for something as petty as a fem Link.
Like I said I wouldn't have a problem with a female Link but why would anyone demand or even expect something like that from a 30 year old franchise which tradition is to have a male established protagonist and then bash the creators over their vision for not including more females.
I don't like Kratos of God of War but I don't pressure or expect from the developers to replace him with a hot female Kratos who doesn't shout all the time as long as I can enjoy the game I don't care about his gender.
"If you have a plate full of cookies and I have two, I shouldn't take your cookies, I should bake or buy more for myself."
By that logic those who want more minority protagonists in their games should have no problems at all to create their own game with their own fleshed out characters don't expect others to change their game for you or your needs.
Samus and Lara Croft were made by males and they've always been protagonist in their own game series with no optional male counterparts so why should Zelda be any different from them?
I don't know about the SJWs (it is a bit mind boggling that it's an insult, isn't it?), but I am a feminist and have far more important issues to worry about.
@AlanJones84 I don't feel any shame in my views on the subject.
I guess we can always play as a link who self-identifies as a female
As someone who has played this game from the original and before post-modern deconstructionism dominated Western culture and before a generation of Millennials that expects their every whim and expectation adopted and fulfilled, I say "thank you" Zelda team.
Remembering the days people played video games because they were fun and not because devs advanced their cause....
@CharlieSmile All I can say is that you're not a real Zelda fan.
@Yalaa You can say whatever you like, that's fine. You're free to think and feel however.
@k8sMum It doesn't seem like you're over it.
In other words, this Zelda title will be more of the same. Not exactly mind blowing, but familiarity has it's charms. Would have liked to see something different for a change, such as playable Zelda, but it's still looking good.
@CharlieSmile Now that I think about it, that doesn't really leave many options at all for you with Nintendo titles. Most of the playable characters are male, badly constructed characatures of women (e.g. Peach), animals, or non gendered beings (Chibi Robo). The only game that comes up off the top of my head is Animal Crossing. Other than that, multi person playable characters (such as in RPG's) are the only games I can think of that consistently have (sometimes) decent female representation.
There's like.. Almost no games you would play, other than some shooters and a lot of RPG's. Unless you dislike conflict, which rules out most of those. So maybe games like Portal? And maybe platformers like Shantae, unless showing that much skin is offensive to you. It's actually a brain teaser to think of what fits into such a narrow criteria...
@PlywoodStick Well that would be my burden to bear then.
One person says they're not getting the game based on this announcement, and I've lost count of the number of users throwing the SJWs at them, despite that one person showing complete respect for others' opinions.
Those users throwing the SJWs need to get some perspective, be respectful, and tread carefully.
Zelda was never about social justice issues and I don't see why they should pander to the West's obsession over it. Him remaining male in no way affects anything but his own story. I don't agree with Aonuma's "can't do" attitude in regards to Zelda being a protagonist but that just means he has more room to think about what kind of game she can star in.
I suppose choices are always good if it doesn't affect the overall product or development, but this is something I simple don't care about. Could you imagine if they gave us a male version of Samus? Certain groups in North America would lose their minds and cry foul. It is what it is. All I want are great games.
This is a perfectly good response. Character and story integrity is more important than forcing a female character. There are plenty of games now with female protagonists, go play those if it matters so much. I'm glad this is the direction they were interested in going down if they do decide to do this in the future anyway.
@CrazyMetroid You're drawing a lot of assumptions out of my statements, but feel free to express yourself.
They could have always released two games, one with Link as the playable character and one as Zelda. There could have been a slightly different take on the story and overall goal so that we would have a reason to complain that we have to buy and play the same game twice in order to experience everything.
I get you two disagree with CharlieSmile but that doesn't give you the right to flame her, or any other user.
Do it again and you'll receive a ban.
I'm happy with both that decision and that response. Link is male. If there was going to be a playable female character, it would sooner be a female character (Zelda) than a gender-swapped Link. In other words, male characters stay male and female characters stay female. That really shouldn't be an interesting, let alone controversial, position. Personally, I would still love to see a game in which you play as Zelda, though, but I'd prefer that to be it's own game, not an option in a traditional Zelda game.
"The lack of gender representation is enough to reduce my interest."
Does that mean you have reduced interest in every game that doesn't allow you to choose the main character's gender?
@CharlieSmile No insult meant, it's just a poignant point. Most games are about the same things over and over, often with similar concepts. Almost no games are about interpersonal issues. I think the Blackwell PC adventure saga is the only game series I can think of right now that really involves that, with a female protagonist.
But then again, this was foretold by Chris Crawford back in 1992 through his Dragon speech...
This is great. Link is male- what is so hard to understand about that?
Continuing my pondering:
3- Anyone is entitled with their very own opinion - political, cultural, expectations and experiences as a consumer, and we all here are consumers wanting to buy a game that we will have fun with! If anything bothers us and makes us not want nor enjoy it, is our right to not be interest anymore.
Please, people, respect this essential rule of life!
@TrueWiiMaster "Does that mean you have reduced interest in every game that doesn't allow you to choose the main character's gender?"
It does. Doesn't mean I am not interested, it just means (as you said) I have reduced interest.
Even when the main character's female?
@PlywoodStick No insult taken. Thank you for being polite.
@TrueWiiMaster Fair question. As before, I'm not disinterested in a game with no gender customization, I'm just less interested in a game with no gender customization.
@gcunit Actually, most people weren't throwing "SJW" at them, just bewildered by their stance.
This person believed in a rumour propagated by games journalists and forums, then used that unsubstantiated rumour to levy a complaint towards the game and the unwitting game developers, and that is unfair.
@CharlieSmile Funny that you claim to be a supporter of Social Justice, then openly try to criticise people with differing opinions to your own. The passive aggressive nonsense doesn't fly with people, you won't find much sympathy using it as a form of expressing your views- not to mention the arrogance of it.
Why don't you support Nintendo's rights to creative freedom in not bending to every passing whim of an overly politically correct society?
Guess not. I'll just enjoy my views, enjoy this wonderful looking game, and enjoy that you are so glad about it
@yuwarite Actually, no. This person was not satisfied with Nintendo's response as to why a female player character was not considered for this game. Therefore, this person stated she would not be buying the game, but bears no negativity towards those who do want to buy/play it.
@HappyMaskedGuy What I said was I'm not buying the game, and I have no problem with people who do want to buy/play it. You may read into that statement however you'd like.
@CharlieSmile Maybe you should just ignore other users at this point, I appreciate that you're being civil with your arguments but others are not so polite.
Please just report flame comments, and we'll remove them asap.
@Danksparce That's fair. Thank you♡
@CharlieSmile I could understand your point if not because;
Link is not human, and it is a story driven game. I couldn't care less about what gender my main character is, if there are logical storytelling reasons behind it. Samus is better as a female. Lara Croft too. In say, Animal Crossing, then gender selection is more applicable- even in Pokemon. But Zelda has a specific lore that the Zelda team decided didn't work with gender selection. After all, you wouldn't not watch a film because of the main characters gender, or not read a book because of it? I just disagree with your reasoning, I suppose. I think it would be daft to not play it, because it is a purposeless protest.
@k8sMum Hoping for an option is fair enough. But some have let their hope turn into expectation.
A while back I said people should take the rumours with a grain of salt. Yet despite the fact Nintendo promised nothing, people are acting in a way as if the rumours were a broken promise from Nintendo.
There's no better way to set yourself up for disappointment than expect something someone(Aonuma) didn't promise and already suggested wouldn't happen about 2 years ago.
On a totally unrelated topic: who's excited to see what Zelda will look like? I bet she's going to be stunning!
I would like Zelda to be an old woman. Mix it up a little.
Good decision. Forcing a character into the opposite gender for the sake of it is bad. Link is male. If anything, Zelda could have been the female playable character. From the Treehouse livestream it was obvious that the game made some progress in the areas that really matter in a game like this: level design and world progression. It's gameplay that matters, and not wether your character is male or female, especially if that character is 30 year old established character (yeah yeah, "Link's no character, he doesn't even talk, hurr durr").
Also, I'll take a preset character over a blank slate anyday. There is a reason why characters like Nathan Drake, Lara Croft, Geralt, Link and Mario are so popular. Nobody will remember the MC of games like Fire Emblem, Xenoblade Chronicles X and Skyrim though.
@CharlieSmile Firstly it was Aunouma's response to a question posed in a GameSpot interview, and even he states it was a rumour.
The team did give consideration to it, and even consideration to Zelda being the protagonist, but ultimately it didn't meet their vision, and that's fine.
They said nothing in particular that's malicious enough to warrant one to boycott the game, so that's why people remain bewildered by your stance on the matter. It still sounds like you're very upset by an unsubstantiated rumour.
I didn't put any stock into that rumor anyways. But the option for a female Link would still be cool. The lack of voice acting hurts the most though, especially after hearing some voice work in the beginning of the trailer.
@greengecko007 Nice Phelsuma!
read through the entire comment section
hurls - then leaves
BUT IT'S 2016!!
Link is androgynous enough that I've personally just pretended he's a girl while I play, so I personally don't really care either way. That said, I hope the lack of a character edit screen doesn't doom Nintendo to another round of "that Nintendo, so old-fashioned" comments from reviewers like they got with Skyward Sword. Because otherwise this looks like a MAJOR step forward for the series.
or get a PS4...Horizon Zero Dawn is Sony's answer to Zelda starring a female lead. It looks AMAZING!
Ah. Oh well.
@gokev13 Now that's thinking like a games company! Not gonna lie, I would definitely consider buying one of these or both.
(But I feel like you're also not too far off from how people would react, haha)
@AlexSora89 I am betting on more than 200 comments before the day is out.
I'm glad. If the idea of a female protagonist didn't fit with the development team's vision for the game, I'm happy they didn't try to shoehorn it in.
@HappyMaskedGuy Beautiful creatures indeed!
Well, Link is a male character. Doesn't need to be two genders for every single playable video game character, does there?
I would love a game with Zelda or Linkle as the protagonist. Get some cool back stories and watch them develope as characters. Link doesn't have much personality, but enough to make him enjoyable and leaves room for me to imagine him how I want. It would be cool to have that for Zelda too.
One of the reasons I enjoy Hyrule Warriors so much is because I can play as so many female characters, it was awesome to get to play as Midna.
I think female gamers deserve more than just a gender swapped protagonist, that seems like a cheap cop out, we deserve full female characters- with personalities, someone we can watch grow throughout the franchise, someone who can become established. I'd prefer that over a female Link, not because I think Link should always be male, but I think we can have awesome female protagonists.
What games do you play/enjoy? Have you played a Zelda game before and enjoyed it? What consoles do you own? Were you interested in the new Zelda prior to the rumor? This is a forum community where people connect. I think people are generally curious about where your opinions are coming from.
I don't think Aonuma meant anything to be inflammatory with his comments. It's a question of customization versus fleshing out a character. Both can be done, but it takes alot more time to develop multiple stories, multiple cutscenes, multiple character movement/ interactions.
@Dezzy The problem is you're not even conserving something. You're saying purely that "It would be bad if Nintendo did more. Don't add a cosmetic option to the game." Nothing's being taken away from you, ya big Zelda fan. Stop acting so offended over nothing.
We all play games that are fun and enjoyable- maybe you look for action or maybe a deep story, but we play games because they are fun. Game play and mechanics should be, and probably are for everyone, the most important aspect of a game. However, it is really awesome to see representation in a medium that you love. If you love comics but barely see any characters of color in them it can be disheartening, especially living in a society that already makes you feel "other". If a little girl grows up loving video games but hardly ever sees female protagonists it can be saddening, it can reflect the idea that females are lesser or incapable of doing things and being heroes.
Of course video games are make believe (most of them anyway) and are there to entertain and are a product and reflection of the artist, but being more inclusive would be a big step. As gamers or nerds most of us might already feel like outsiders, so shouldn't we strive to be more inclusive and accepting?
@Gubics Please shove that kind of attitude elsewhere.
I'm totally in favor of having more playable female characters in games, but considering that Zelda games are basically just a retelling of the same story over and over again, just in a different time, I really don't think it's necessary or best to change the character roles just for the sake of meeting some societal requirement for gender equality. I think it's great for the industry to make an effort to produce more games with strong female leads, but I think the cause would be better served if they did so by creating new games with their own bespoke female characters, rather than just shoehorning them into existing franchises that already have established male characters that everyone already knows that franchise revolves around, simply so they can get good marks on their political-correctness report card.
@World I have come to learn something in life. No matter what you do someone somewhere is going to be unhappy that you did it. I made that comment tongue in cheek but at the same time I was thinking about Skyward Sword and how Zelda was kind of on her own quest in the background and it actually might be cool to make a game around that mechanic, kind of like the Oracle Zelda games. One where you play as Link and one where you play as Zelda and their quests actually run alongside each other and complement each other in certain ways. It might actually be pretty cool.
Maybe if they made another Triforce Heroes picking a gender would make more sense.
@gokev13 Yeah, I figured you meant it as a joke but it actually sounds awesome! I'm sure it'd end up on a portable because of the cost factor (and maybe a special Ganondorf edition as DLC? )
Triforce Heroes would be a good fit for that, you're right! That Link can crossdress anyway, so I'm surprised they didn't add it in the first time!
@DBPirate Of course not. Buuut pretty much every open-world game has the option now, so I'm wondering how the reviewing world is going to take this news...
They ripped Skyward Sword for being an old-fashioned linear game with gimmicks, and this game DOES look miles ahead of SS at first glance. We'll see I guess!
@CharlieSmile ... You can't be serious.
Wait, let me guess your response "I'm completely serious, thanks for your input".
if there is no male Bayonetta there is no equality. Also create some original characters or play any of those many games with awesome female characters. If it fits the story do it but if not don't do it
Extremely disappointed. Nintendo had a good opportunity here to use Linkle or a female Link in general as an option to play as. Would have been a great move by them. Very sad they didn't even give it a chance.
Good to see one developer not give into the gender-driven politics that have been polluting the industry lately.
Like I said before if they're gonna introduce a female option I rather they make a new character than simply making Link into a woman.
I've wanted a Shiek game that fills the 7 year gap that link is away in Ocarina of time, but this is about politics rather than cool games isn't it?
Ok, so I counted, as best I could offhand, and out of 162 comments in this article, about thirteen people were seriously upset about this announcement, with one of them posting an excessive number of replies, so we'll double it to about 26/162, or 16%, opposed to a male-only Link, and 84% either in favor of or at least ok with keeping Link single-gendered.
With a commanding majority, and the "word of God," in agreement, can we now, finally, put the idea that this story was ever anthing more than the fantasy of the Nintendo Life editorial team to rest?
This decision pleases me. Link is a dude, he's been around for 30 years and is an iconic character. There are plenty of other female choices in the series. He is not a customizable avatar nor was he ever. Name change? Yeah I'd like to not have my file accidentally erased/saved over and vice versa thanks. Change of clothes? Various magical artifiacts to strengthen your defense or make you not burn to death in a freakin volcano.
There are also plenty of games with strong, well established female leads. Shantae, Metroid, Bayonetta, Super Princess Peach, DKC2, 3 and 64, Golden Sun, Pokemon, Tombraider, Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat and on it goes.
Last but not least, it is someone else's creative content and not yours, so please don't throw a hissy fit and call people sexist because they refuse to genderbend Their character to your every passing whim. That's what fan art is for.
Link started as a blank slate, but I really think he isn't anymore. Games like OOT, TP, and SS gave him some personalaity through his interactions with other characters and facial expressions. GLaD they didn't change him.
Wow, state your opinion and you get threatened with a ban. What has the world come to.
Anyways, as stated before in my previous comment which got deleted: I am so happy with this decision. Link is a male and always should stay one. Wouldn't make sense if they made samus a man, so why turn Link into a female? (Obligatory: No disrespect meant, but it's a shame that I have to say this in order to avoid problems in this day and age)
What I was expecting to see:
WOW OMG WHAT SEXISM NINTENDO AND AUNOMA ARE SEXIST I HATE THEM SO MUCH THEY HATE WOMEN VOTE 4 HILARY #Feminism #KillAllMen #NintendoIsEVIL #SJW #ImWithHer
What I actually saw:
Eh. I never really cared about gender selection to begin with. Would've messed up the game's dynamic. Game looks really good!
Good job, NintendoLife readers! You aren't all raging feminazis!
I guess that by taking timezones into account your bet isn't lost yet.
It's not about appeasing feminazis, capitulating to the PC liberal SJW agenda, or anything like that - it's about making little girls happy. Please read the following...
I already knew this.
Well, there was a Princess Peach game, and it was better than its contemporary Super Mario game. Why not a Princess Zelda game... That doesn't have to have Link in it at all, maybe?
(That said, his reaction is kinda stupid - nothing except Japan's bizarre we-all-love-it-but-it's-pervy attitude towards lesbians in media prevents a female Link as it changes nothing in gameplay or story of any game in the franchise — and even so, Girlink saving Zelda does not have to have a romantic angle, it's community service, saving the princess of your kingdom!)
I also think that a moderator white knighting one poster's opinion, whilst unjustly accusing another's opinion as 'rude' is really pretty off- especially seeing as the poster so needing the mods protection was essentially over replying to every single response with empty, passive aggressive denials.
@CharlieSmile I'm not trying to be rude but this game is no different from every other Zelda game where a male Link is your only option as the protagonist. If you are a fan of The Legend of Zelda, then why abandon this game because it didn't include a feature which it never had in the 1st place? Again, I'm not trying to be rude and I appreciate that you have your own views.
@AlexSora89 I lost, and I was just 25 shy too
An option for a Link like character would be great for the series. Not a female Link, a separate female character who could also possess the spirit of the hero. I would like to take a female character around Hyrule, perhaps in a second quest type adventure. I really wanted to play as Zelda in Skyward Sword and I really hoped you would unlock her quest after you finish the game. Or perhaps play as Ashei from Twilight Princess, or even a new incarnation of Aryll.
@Dezzy RE: "status quo", I'm glad I wasn't the only one to pick that up.
Let me paraphrase that section in my own way:
"For those that felt [they can only relate to a character if they share the same genitals], this is sure to be [triggering]. On the other side of the fence, however, some fans may be pleased that [the developers were able to maintain their artistic integrity in the face of screeching gender idealogues.]"
Or, it could just be the mods had to step in to protect someone who was getting carpet bombed with negative behavior, due to many people here being unable to even attempt to understand a perspective different than their own. The mods aren't white knighting, just doing their job. Let's not hide behind excuses and pretend that she wasn't being ganged up on, regardless of the reason. They could have just gone for the nuclear option by closing the comments, and still could at this rate.
@jpfan1989 A whole bunch of comments got deleted, so I think your bet might have lost on a technicality.
As a consolation prize, enjoy this.
To me that reasoning is sound. Link bears the Triforce of Courage, because/that's why he's the one who goes on a quest. Zelda bears the Triforce of Wisdom, so gameplay for her would have been different. It would lend itself for a spin off, like a puzzle game or I read someone saying something like a strategy game where she has to defend Hyrule, something like that would be cool.
Aren't we going a little too much into the direction where everything is costumisable to the point where there're really only few distinct characters anymore?
They say Link doesn't have a personality, but to me he does. I'd like it to be fleshed out, not diluted until he becomes an actual avatar.
Nah, it's a lame excuse. A changed bust line, a slightly different hairstyle, and a few changed lines of text would be all it took.
I always thought Link's gender swapping was such a stupid debate. Who cares? Regardless of his "link" to the player, he's been defined as a male for almost thirty years now.
Playable Zelda isn't a bad idea but I'd prefer she'd stay in a less ambitious spin-off that showcases her magical capabilities.
There are plenty of defined heroines in the gaming world today and if players really want to customize their lead character's gender, you'll always have Bioware and Bethesda RPGs.
At no point have I been offended or said anything to suggest that I am. Disagreement is not being offended. But please, keep going through your list of cliches that allow you to avoid listening to people's opinions. Status quo, you're offended, it's just sexism, etc. You seem to have used them all. I'm pretty close to filling my bingo card.
@Dezzy Look at the post above yours though - "Who cares? Regardless of his "link" to the player, he's been defined as a male for almost thirty years now", and "I'd prefer she'd stay in a less ambitious spin-off" are plain examples of lazily wanting to maintain the status quo and straightforward sexism...
UGH, that's the lamest excuse ever. Just make a female-Link possible character, have the player choose if they want male-Link or female-Link at the start, the game already lets you change the name of Link, and each game has a different Link who is like the reincarnated version of the legendary hero, so why couldn't Link just be female and still rescuing Zelda and restoring light to Hyrule?
Wow, seriously? Would I be sexist if I wanted any game starring a male character in the Metroid universe to be a less ambitious spin-off than a main Metroid title? Why should any creator of interactive media feel obliged to change the traditional conventions of their own creations? Just to achieve a wider audience? If simply making Link a female suddenly somehow made Zelda games more accessible, wouldn't those people previously on the fence be sexist for not purchasing Zelda games that starred a male protagonist?
Zelda as a playable character is fine for a traditional Zelda game. But she shouldn't ever replace Link's role in a traditional Zelda game as the main protagonist just to appease those who wish to play as a female protagonist. Unless she offers some new unique gameplay features attached to the Triforce of Wisdom (or magic) that would justify her role as main protagonist. But yes, she can't wield the Master Sword, so she should star in a spin-off, imo. Not because she's a female.
It's fine for Princess Peach to be a playable character alongside Mario, but she shouldn't replace him as main protagonist simply to appease those who wish to see a female take the lead role in a Mario game. It's a Mario game afterall.
Peach has already 'replaced (Mario) as main protagonist' to exactly the degree that people want a female option for a Zelda game. In Mario 3D World, you can play exclusively as peach for the whole of the game if you want, which my daughter does. Is that a bad thing? Has the 'appeasement' gone too far just to 'achieve a wider audience'?
All I want is the same thing for Zelda. Let her play as a girl if she wants - it's a work of fiction, constantly growing in lore. Put linkle in as the hero, or have princess Zelda have the triforce of courage this time if you're such a stickler.
And yes, wanting the female character to be in a 'less ambitious spinoff' is absolutely sexist, otherwise you'd have said 'give her another entry in the series just as good'.
And saying that you don't care, and that it's been like this for years and years and you just don't see a reason for change is absolutely just lazily defending the status quo. Have a bit of empathy, man. We're telling you the reason for change.
And it's such a tiny change. A menu option, or a single question at the start of the game. A bust line, a slightly different haircut, some different clothes. Some tiny changes to the text whenever link is talked about in the third-person. That's all it would take.
I guess that's not now though. So in a few months time, when I'm showing my daughter the game, and she says she wants to be the princess, I guess I'll say 'sorry, sweetie, you can't be the princess in this one. Hopefully they'll make a 'less ambitious spinoff' you can try. Anyway, by wanting to be the princess, you're being sexist. You can't be the princess in this one because you've never been able to be the princess in these ones, and anyway, the princess can't wield the master sword'
This makes perfect sense. It fits in with the lore. Every resident of Hyrule expects the hero to be a male. In Wind Waker, as a coming of age ceremony, boys would don the iconic green tunic. Images of the hero usually show a male figure(You could argue gender identity related stuff, but that’s irrelevant. Hero is depicted as a stereotypical Hyrulean boy). Everyone is expecting the hero to be a boy. Legends have foretold it.
I am glad Nintendo is sticking to the lore. They have not compromised lore to please “fans.” Just because the new game is open world does not mean that the story/world they’ve established should be changed completely. They’ve got a story to tell(and show) and you’ve got a choice to take part in the journey it or not. Link is a male hero. Get over it.
@toxibunny You should tell her instead : "Honey, in this game you play as a hero! Heroes also have a great story to tell, so why not give it a try?"
@CrazyMetroid Well obviously I'm not going to tell her all those lame excuses with a straight face. But I'm not going to deflect the real question of why she can't play as a girl with the non-answer of 'you can be a hero instead' either. I'll just tell her, sympathetically, that she just can't, because the people who made the game didn't put in that option.
Lol "if you don't change the sex of this 30 year old character, it's sexism".
Please, can I get some actual logic?
Please don't quote something I haven't said and laughingly ask for an explanation. Tag someone else if you're itching for an argument. I'm out.
"What would Link do?" REALLY????
If any of you are starting to smell smoke, that's just your Nonsense-O-Meter exploding from all the stupid.
Here's a list of things Link could do if Zelda was the hero:
1. Give me some Tylenol for the headache you're giving me, Nintendo!
2. Be the character who needs rescuing.
3. Be one of the seven sages.
4. Be Ganon's right hand man.
5. Be a mentor character for Zelda.
6. Be Zelda's childhood friend.
I apologize in advance for the huge wall of text.
Honestly, I wouldn't really enjoy a female option for this upcoming game, especially with nintendo going for a seemingly more anchored storyline. I would enjoy another game with a female link or zelda as the protagonist and not just an optional skin to play as. Changing Link's gender does not ruin whatever little characterization or personality he has, it just simply gives a twist to an old story. Each Link that has happened thus far is their own person with similar traits and pasts, but they all have things that distinguish them from one another. Even then, considering how androgynous link is, it would only be natural that she would be just as androgynous with only slight differences to her appeared to tip the gender scale slightly towards female. Differences as normal like those you see between each Link.
No one seems to complain how sometimes both Ganon and Zelda sometimes have more differences than similarities compared to their counterparts in the other games despite also being rather iconic characters. It might be a bit difficult for Zelda to get her own game with the whole balance thing going on, considering the times where it was mentioned that link didn't show up to the tri-force party, everything went to hell, but I'm sure there are plenty of creative minds that could think up of various good storylines in which balance is still somehow kept without the Hero of Time doing all of the hard, life-threatening work. Either option would certainly call for a very interesting storyline considering this isn't a franchise name nintendo can just slap onto any game that's even remotely mediocre anymore.
I'd also would like to point out that arguments about no one whining about gender-swapping protagonists from games like metroid or tomb raider and such aren't very valid or strong arguments considering that those games are meant to play within the protagonist's single lifetime, and not multiple reincarnations over hundreds and thousands of years.
Anyway, not getting an option to be able to use a crappy female skin for a game as big as LoZ whose plot centers completely around the male counterpart is not something people should whine about or avoid supporting. If it would have happened, then those who would've whined about not getting it would be whining about how the game really only fits the male version.
Since link is just waking from a hundred year sleep they could have set the game leading up to that with zelda using her wisdom to bring about the conditions for link's awakening (if you'll excuse the pun).
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