Today’s Zelda-related question may sound similar in tone to Dylan’s Ghirahim-related query from yesterday, but I assure you that this subject is quite different. I’ve been studying medieval literature - particularly medieval hero legends - and I’m noticing that there’s one issue with Link that makes him hard to place among the most renowned of the renowned heroes of yesteryears. While they’re all heralded as paragons of manliness, Link takes on a more feminine air… or at least he has in recent years.
Sure, we might write off some of his less masculine characteristics, such as his big eyes, soft facial features, and accentuated lips, as mere by-products of an effort to make him look more youthful, and thus appeal to a younger demographic. And it’d be a stretch to say that Link’s gone quite as far as some of the more notoriously androgynous youthful heroes from games like Final Fantasy. Nonetheless, I think that the series might benefit from embracing a more traditional hero look for Link.
I don’t think this would be an especially significant compromise for existing series fans; I’m not asking for a God of War style makeover or anything. As far as I’m concerned there’s not much that could do with some change. Twilight Princess already introduced a number of iconic fantasy hero costume pieces such as Link’s shirt of chain mail, ornate armguard, and more detail in terms of his clothing. Just shove Link himself a bit more towards that same sensibility and I think that’d be enough.
Give us a Link that looks more like he really could have come out of a medieval hero epic, and I’ll be satisfied. I’m sure you guys remember this glorious piece of 25th anniversary fan-art, but I think it really nailed the kind of look I’d like to see:
What do you think? Is Link too feminine? Do you think Nintendo should bring his look more in line with traditional fantasy? What would you do to make him more appealing? Share your thoughts in the comments!