The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is arguably the most innovative entry in the series thus far, positively shattering longstanding traditions by introducing a plethora of new ideas. One of the more minor, yet still notable, changes this time around was that Link's characteristic green garb is not particularly easy to get ahold of and more or less takes the sideline in favor of the new Champion's Tunic. Funnily enough, it seems that the decision for this is simply because the developers think it looks kind of lame.
At GDC, Satoru Takizawa—the game's art director—explained part of the reason why Link's pointy green hat isn't all that prominent here, and he had this to say:
As the graphic fidelity has increased it becomes more difficult to make that hat look cool. As the game becomes more realistic it's difficult to present it in a way that's appealing.
To combat this, he made the hat much longer in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, so that it would flap heroically in the wind, but that didn't seem to work:
If you look at Twilight Princess, I really made the hat long, so it would flap in the wind and move around. But because of that people were like 'What's he got? What's in that hat?' We're reaching our limits as to how we can make it look cool.
Then, in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, he more or less admitted defeat and tried to make it a much less noticeable part of the costume, mentioning that "we're reaching our limits as to how we can make it look cool."
What do you think? Should Link's hat always be part of the character, or does he look fine without it? Do you think it'll show up in the next Zelda? Drop us a comment in the section below
To be honest, I always disliked that hat and I never understood why it was so appealing to many fans. It's probably hidden somewhere in the game though, despite what they are saying here.
He looks just fine without the hat, but Link will always be pictured in my mind with his trademark hat. Ocarina of Time made sure of that.
It's a non-issue. Link is recognizable enough without it, and while I'd still like it to show up in games, the way BoTW handled it is just fine.
I love the "rider Link" look and it's quite refreshing in BOTW. It's nice u can still get the old outfit but I'm not missing it that much. I prefer the hood/cloak.
Just put a couple of googly eyes on it. Problem solved.
I think Link has reached the status that him wearing a pointy hat looks cool already and that the artists really don't need to try hard at all. This is akin to Samus's Varia Suit giant ball shoulders and Mario's farmer like outfit. It would normally look ridiculous but that's not the case for these characters.
@roy130390 You can get the "Cap of the Wind" from an amiibo which is basically the traditional green hat.
I'm fine with there being no hat, though I'd rather it be optional for those who feel like Link isn't the same without it.
Ezlo, on the other hand....
@Fath Minish Cap already tried that lol
I'm okay with it. Context matters. If the fancy polygon graphics make it look weird or lame, I'm okay with the change. Much like giant, brightly-colored anime hair, I guess there's a tipping point where it just doesn't work well in 3D. That's why I'm still a fan of cel shading and lower detail. Actually, I rather like the art direction in Breath of the Wild because it's not aiming to be too detailed.
Cowls are much cooler tbh
100% correct. The hat 🎩 is so unnecessary and I can't wait to see a BOTW Smash....
The option should be there, for those that prefer it. It is a part of Link's classic look. As roy130390 mentioned/suggested, it's probably in the game somewhere, either accessible in-game, or in the (game's) files.
Since my reaction to this was "oh yeah, I guess they got rid of the hat" I guess I personally didn't miss it!
I think it's okay to make the traditional hat an option but, a viable one for those who would like to uphold lifelong traditionalism. It seems sillier to leave the hat out completely and not adress it, than it does too acknowledge it in a Ninty tongue in cheek way. Tunics, hookshots, Epona and mandatory master sword pickups for me please.
Yeah, that's fair. I don't think anyone could wear a hat like that in real life and be taken seriously.
@Kayfios Lmao but, honestly would someone in real life wear that hat and desire reasonable expectations of being an actual person? I choose my imagination over all other claims. Lol
Link's already a dork anyways.
Weird. I have the hat, two of them. They came from the sky when I scanned some Zelda amiibos.
As long as the iconic tunic and hat are available as an option, I'm satisfied. Time for me to scan some amiibo! I want that hat now!
So an earring, pointy ears, and a ponytail are "cool", but not the hat?
Rubbish excuse. Looked fine in all the other games. Don't care though.
Hat looked lame so we gave him a ponytail.
Man buns/ponytails are actually relatively in style.
@Kayfios Thankfully Zelda isn't a realistic game then. Sure it would look dumb in a serious realistic game, but Zelda is a fantasy setting. Link makes his traditional clothes iconic because the games are so good. Likewise, Mario's costume could be seen as dumb and lame for a videogame hero, but the games quality makes his clothes iconic. But neither hero could pull off their iconic look if it weren't for their long history. If they were both completely new, never seen before, they would both be mocked and ridiculed by everyone.
I think the significance of the hat mainly rests in the early roots of the series, especially the original Zelda and Link to the Past. This can be seen in the strategy guide for Link to the Past, in particular: in addition to detailing everything in the game, the guide provides concept art for the Hylian world, people, and even articles of clothing, which are given explanations that flesh out the design choices. It becomes apparent after reading these entries that Link's signature green cloth cap was originally based upon this line of concept art, tying in Link's clothing with the Hylian culture.
However, design concepts change over time. The signatures don't necessarily have to stay the same. Since he is the art director for BotW, I think that Takizawa should be able to feel more at liberty to express his reasoning for the changes going beyond the technical aspects.
the hats missing cuz nintendos on a budget. less graphics mean they save money to fix all the busted left joycons, the switch will die out next month and nintendo will close their doors just as they announce mother 3 and that game will be left in obscurity.
if they just woulda put links hat in this game this would have never happened.
He does get his own green tunic anyway. It's just super secret and takes an incredibly long time to do. (And no I'm not talking about the amiibo outfits)
Mario's design came about due to the limitations of a small animated sprite back in 1981, and he still looks the same today without any redesign other than more detail. Fans would call foul if Mario was redesigned to be a modern day hero.
.... how will he recognize his shadow?..
But I have been playing with the traditional outfit for a long time now. I already have the Cap of Time, Cap of Twilight and the Cap of Winds, which are the cap that we all know. But that blue outfit still eludes me.
@fafonio -Spoilers- You have to talk to Impa after reclaiming one of your memories / taking control of one of the divine beasts (I can't remember which)
@Bass_X0 I think links clothing wouldn't be "lame" if more characters in the games had strange articles of clothing aswell.
I think Link looks far better without it but it's good that those who love it can still get it.
@SH007ME Link's head is a jalapeño pepper! XD
Maybe they should spend less time trying to make things look "cool" and stick with what people already like. The game is phenomenal with that said.
@Furealz ..HA!.. you're thinking of..
..El Linko! ...
I think Link should always have his classic Green Tunic and Hat, but follow what Breath of the Wild did, Just make it optional. Have it as a separate armor set for fans who love the classic Link look and want to get nostalgic, but also have a wide range of other armor sets for Link to choose from. I think that is a brilliant compromise. That way no one loses anything, and everybody gets what they want. Plus with Link being a "Link" to the player, allowing us to choose what we want to wear gives us much more freedom to express the character.
Tunic over Hat anyday. Besides the way you can wear hoods and stuff in BoTW is amazingly cooler than his hat anyway.
The hat never bothered me.
i obtained a hat that looks like his hat from toon link amiibo.
But hey! you can support us by buying the amiibo and get a hat that way!
Ay! Haven't seen you around lately, where you've been?
I've unlocked the Tunic of the Wild set in BotW and I love it. I fully upgraded it, too, it's one of the best sets in the game.
Put a bird on it.
"As the graphic fidelity has increased it becomes more difficult to make that hat look cool. As the game becomes more realistic it's difficult to present it in a way that's appealing"
Or in other words: The new physics-system made the hat to complex to properly animate.
Now there may be a point in that. It would be very hard. In past 3D zelda's we already saw the hat clipping, if you know what I mean.
Its no biggie though: The blue tunic looks also awesome and could become just as iconic!
Well get me his non-union Mexican equivalent.
I already have the green tunic with links hat and it still looks cool, also the fierce deity outfit and mask.
So yeah it still looks cool.
@SwitchVogel It must not be that big of a non-issue since you commented.
To me, Link looks great in BotW and the option to change costumes is a good one to have present. But for fans of his iconic look it should be present. My Link is still running around in his tattered clothes, need to find some new threads.
I'm only now realizing that the hat is consistently MIA this time around.
It's an iconic design element for sure, but it's true that more abstract pieces like that become harder and harder to explain the more realistic proportions and physics become.
Visual stylization remains vital to classic game franchises, if they don't want to have to do away with most of what is recognizable about the property.
Sacrificing the hat might not be that big of an issue in the end, when so many other things still feel intact.
It's good that they were able to make it last as long as they did. It did look cool. You see the pointy hat with the rest of the attire and it just fits. But it isn't necessary. The tunic is as iconic as the hat. Variations on this are more than welcome. Especially when there's a good story behind it. Be it the colour or any ancient symbols featured.
So happy the hat is gone, I always hated that hat.
Depends on what Zelda game they're making. If it's one of the handheld games, they should really keep the hat to keep Link cute and elf-like. It looks great in Phantom Hourglass, Link Between Worlds and ESPECIALLY Triforce Heroes where everything looks like a King's Quest game, but in "Breath of the Wild Super Anime Teens Edition" he looks cooler and hotter without the hat.
I got the hat from the classic link amiibo. Personally, I've always liked it, I mean you could wear what's essentially a fat armor suit that looks completely silly, a pointy green hat isnt any worse.
We did lose left-handed Link forever though....and that made me slightly sad
You know what...in all honesty, i havent even thought about the absence of the classic hat D:
If you want the hats just use amiibo
Seems like a nonsense excuse. The hat is iconic and therefore is cool.
@Musashiden As a lefty, I'm sad that Link just kind of stopped being left-handed. Not losing any sleep over it, but it was always a nice detail. I know this already happened, but I've managed to ignore until now because I never got into Twilight Princess.
Been using the Cap of Twilight with the Hylian Tunic and it looks awesome! I like the hat so I hope it is always an option.
SPOILER ALERT! ********************************************************the green tunic and *****************hat is ***************in *******************the game*********************
I would be more worried if he was missing his trousers,running around in his mankini
I mean, originally he had that stuff because he was
1. an elf
2. peter pan
Haha. So i get moving away from it the more and more like a Legolas elf he has become.
Some things (the pink hair) needed to go, not sure the hat's really one of them, but as long as I get the option that's cool. but I don't want to buy toon link amiibo. hope there's another way in game.
@The8BitLego You have to reclaim a memory for the Champion's Tunic, but you are correct.
I would rather it had been in the game, not as an amiibo addon. Too bad.
@Mainer82 -SPOILERS- There is one in game. There are 5 sets, 4 based on previous Link incarnations are tied to the Amiibo, but there is a Hero of the Wild set which is in game and does not require Amiibo. I won't spoil how to find it.
If Link was supposed to look cool, they wouldn't have made him look like he was 4'10" and shorter than most of the women in the game.
The hat should never go away,I don't care if it doesn't look cool.The original Link wasn't cool-looking,his actions made him cool.Since OOT Nintendo turned him into a bishounen.
@yuwarite Link is always portrayed as either a child of approximately age 8 (OOT, MM, Wind Waker, etc) or a young adult of approximately age 15 (OOT, Skyward Sword, Twilight Princess, Breath of the Wild, etc). If he were taller it wouldn't make sense.
Now that is a genuinely stupid reason/assertion.
Thankfully, you can still get the full classic green costume in the game, and I actually think it looks cool:
Why does it have to look "cool"? I mean this is Link in Zelda not some boyband trying to impress the girls!
I mean Link's an elf and they wear hats and have pointy ears, it's fantasy FFS...
@Bass_X0 Not true. Originally, Mario had a red overall with a blue shirt. Now it is a blue overall with a red shirt. He also looks somewhat leaner than in his debut. Mario hasn't gone through a radical redesign, but he has changed over the years.
I'm cool with ditching the hat. So far my favorite outfit is the Hylan Armor died green.
I don't really see a need for it as I am loving the Hylian Hood right now but I do think that it is a bit odd to have the tunic but not the iconic cap. There are so many cool armor choices and since you can dye them in the different colors I don't see myself using the green tunic anyway.
The cap should've been there. It's the trademark of Link! Period! Taking that away it feels like playing an other game. Sorry bout it. Truth
@Alshain01 He still looks very short for the average height of a 15 year old boy (which is ~5'7"). Even if he were to have a growth spurt, it looks like he'd grow no taller than 5'3".
The hat is fine gone. I run around with whatever most of the time, since the hats are way too expensive.
I like the traditional green outfit and hat but being able to choose seems like a really good way to go. Maybe next game Link will have his own house that he can decorate and buy furniture for, then he can raise money catching fish and bugs and selling them. Maybe it would be great if his house was even in a town that he can beautify with neighbors who can move in... oh wait, that's Animal Crossing.
Kind of a dumb answer considering a game where players have options of what they can wear.
@yuwarite 15 year old Human maybe. He isn't human. In any case, being short could just be one of his genetic factors, like his left handedness or tendency for being a sleepyhead (both of which are present in BotW). The point is, he has always been depicted as small, originally probably to accent his role as an underdog taking on a giant evil.
The only reason I can think they had trouble with the hat is because they actually insist on making Link look adult. I just don't accept another reason ("the hat looks silly").
In previous Zelda titles, the devs had grievances with making sure Link didn't look TOO cool and suave, now they're aiming for the opposite? Personally, I'll always prefer the lazy, kind of doofy peaceful young man who has to take up arms for the greater good than the dedicated prodigy knight of BotW.
@PekoponTAS Holy moly... I remember you from ScrewAttack way back when! It's me, Silent_Protagonist! What a trip! Hope you're doing well.
@ProjectCafe I've been around! I visit the site a lot less and barely comment anymore but I haven't completely left just yet.
I wonder how many people know that if you beat all 120 dungeons in the game, you unlock the Tunic of the Wild.
Eh, I personally think its design is a step down from Link's tunics from Twilight Princess and Hyrule Warriors. It looks like a remix of Link's original tunic from the first Zelda. It's not terrible but should've built off the last two designs I mentioned, imo.
He looks fine without it, but to be honest I thought the hat looked cool. Making it optional is nice.
Truthfully, I'm not the biggest fan of Link's original design, but I love his new blue tunic and especially the Hylian Hood.
I love Link's hat no matter how "lame" it looks! I'm so lame that a lady at work crocheted me one. I do love the look of the champions tunic as well. The blue is such a nice colour and the black hood is pretty bad ass! I'm trying to avoid any spoilers as I've barely scratched the surface.
I've never liked the hat honestly. I've unlocked traditional tunics and hats through the amiibo, but I can't bear to let go of the amazing looking Hylian hood and Champion Tunic. I just keep going back to it.
Put it on him sideways like those idiotic gangsta and wannabe gangastas 🤣
I mean, it was great in Twilight Princess — just do that again. It translates fine to HD, not to mention how useful having a built-in windsock in Breath of the Wild would have been.
Remember Fat Fat Pikachu and Beer Belly Sonic?
Man, all of the iconic game characters must've gone on the same diet plan or hired the same trainer in the past 20 years.
The Hero's Tunic is a fine tradition, and we have accepted it as The Look for Link so most of don't think it looks strange on him. It is a bit quirky, and that only adds to the personality of Zelda games. Everything doesn't need to be "cool".
But he does have a point! It might look dorky to new players.
Besides, foregoing the compulsion of having the Green Garb opened up the possibility of adding a plethora of gear and clothing in the game, and that is so liberating!
I don't play Zelda for the green outfit.
@SpiffmanSpace Hey buddy! I'm doing great. I was playing retro games a lot during the 3DS/Wii U era, so I'm playing catch up now. So many first party titles on 3DS!
I'm 100% fine with Link having different outfits in future games, because ever since Twilight Princess I've found it more and more unbelievable that this many different people have been named Link and wear the same clothes, no matter how hard they try to write it in to each game. It's the silliest in Triforce Heroes where that may as well be a different character entirely for how little it feels like I'm playing as Link. I say keep the same name, but give him different outfits to make the separate Link characters unique. If Zelda can get away with looking completely different in almost every game, I don't see why Link has to follow a dress code.
"We're not giving you Link's iconic hat because we can't make it look cool enough; however, we are giving you a variety of other cool hats, hoods and masks..."
So instead, they give us a gimp suit from pulp fiction? (The glow in the dark one)
Do Mario and Luigi still need their hats? What if their overalls were changed too?
@Alshain01 My point is, I don't agree with their logic of removing the hat in the pretense that it made him not look cool; they already did that by making him look like a manlet who's shorter than the typical housewife in the game.
@yuwarite My point is that a person or character doesn't need height to be a man or look cool, and to believe such a thing is pure bigotry.
@subpopz No way, dude! How the cap moves when Link does the spin attack? That's iconic.
Poor escuse... Everyone likes It and finds It cool. Twilight Princess was the coolest. Still, I like the change, Link using the same clothers over and over was getting ridiculous. I mean, oot Link uses green for Living with the kokiri. Wind Waker and Twilight Princess use the túnica because the hero of time used. The others, never really had an explanation. The break here makes It more belivable.
@Alshain01 Well, most women would disagree with that when it comes to a man they think is attractive, and I disagree with that when it comes to a male character I think looks cool. It's just a subjective opinion, and your use of the term biggot is hyperbolic and uncalled for.
@burninmylight I definitely remember when Pikachu was much fatter. It was surreal comparing his look back then to how he looks now. I think it is for the better.
Spoiler alert. complete all the shrines
@yuwarite Really? Have you asked most women? Because people have different attractions to different things. Besides, personal attraction and considering someone -not a man- due to physical features beyond their control are two very different things, one is bigotry the other is not. The statement is not at all exaggerated, nor is it opinion, it is fact. Now, this may be just a video game character but the truth is, your opinion of what makes a man is still dependent on it.
The fact of the matter is, the Link characters height is just fine. It does not speak to how "cool" he is or make him a "manlet".
@Alshain01 No, the fact of the matter is, I don't agree with the removal of Link's signature hat under the pretense that 'it made him look less cool', because to me, he was already depicted as a short character who I don't think looks cool. I'd say the same thing if they removed Mario's hat. Mario's depicted as a short plump plumber; he's not the epitome of cool, and I would find it laughable if they if they removed his hat for the same reason.
Hopefully now you understand where my point was coming from; it sounds like you took personal offense with my comments about height and I apologise. I think you took what I said a little too literally. My comments come from what I think looks cool in the context of playing a hero character in a video game.
Much better without. Love his new look and being able to swap outfits and armours!
All eight versions of the cap in the game are floppy but still iconic. And one ought to be able to dress like a hero after completing 120 shrines.
Got the Ocarina of Time hat look from the corresponding Amiibo, and I'm content with that. Don't always use it, but happy to when I feel nostalgic. Which is to say that I always appreciate options; let players get it if they want or make it a collectible, but to flat out remove it from the game entirely seems like a pretty needless and senseless act.
@Alshain01Thank you, I'll keep a look out for it.
Bring it back in DLC, new story, Ganon returns in hat form, the hat latches on to Links head - by day you fight for justice, heart containers and a search for the cure; by night you're an agent of chaos with your ever-dwindling health only renewed through creating a maelstrom of destruction. #GreenHatsMatter
I personally dig the green tunic and hat look and think it should be updated in future Zeldas. Not a fan of hatless Link in a blue tunic. It looks too much like a starting outfit.
Like the iconic Master Sword and Hylian Shield, the green tunic and hat is also iconic and immediately distinguishes Link from every other run-of-the-mill knight or open world warrior-hero wannabee that typically stereotypically floods the gaming industry. Hylian tunic dyed green with cap of the wild (dyed green) all day!
Lol, the hat NEVER looked cool.
LoZ didnt become iconic because link had a cool character design with the 'super cool' keebler elf hat.
The goofy keebler elf hat became iconic because it was on the face of an amazing game series.
Besides, it actually looks pretty good in botw. The increased fidelity and physics certainly didnt hurt it. Both the oot style (mines shadow links, i dont do amiibo) and og style with tunic of the wild.
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