Anyone that knows Legend of Zelda has probably heard the clamoring for a female version of the protagonist. As a woman myself I don’t really understand the point, seeing how we have plenty of awesome female characters already in the series. Midna, Saria, Ruto, Impa and don’t forget the premier warrior princess herself – Sheik. Or Zelda, whichever.
I guess it was more of a sigh inducing reaction than jumping for glee when Linkle was revealed in the new game Hyrule Warriors Legends on the Nintendo 3DS. At first glance all she is just a female version of Link; same blond hair and huge blue eyes, same green and white attire. She does use dual crossbows which were different, and admittedly cool, but I still had no reason to care about her as much as I did the beloved silent protagonist.
Researching more on her story though, gave me an entirely new perspective however. Watching the released cut-scenes from Nintendo shows Linkle explaining right in the beginning that her grandma told her she was a reincarnated hero of ages past; something that she absolutely believes. You know who else was told that same thing by their grandmother? Wind Waker Link, a hero that was also heavily speculated because he was different than past Links and now one of the most beloved versions of the Hero of Time.
It is true that Linkle was originally intended as just a gender bent version of Link or even his kid sister – according to the art book that came with Hyrule Warriors – but she has evolved into something much more now. A hero that has to follow her own path in ways that are much different than Link’s.
I suppose I could continue to speculate and complain about changing things from how they are, but it’s not like they’re replacing Link as a character. What they’re really doing is extending his timeline into more diverse and unknown territories than previously before. After all, Link is almost always reincarnated from a past Link (excluding direct sequels of course) so why wouldn’t this work? There are no laws on reincarnation and gender limitations after all.
We still won’t be able to make up our mind about Linkle until the game’s release in March but I can leave you with something her creator, Chris Pranger, recently said:
“Linkle was the last character I was writing before I left Nintendo. I wanted her to be special. I think everyone is gonna love her. Once you know her full back story, I think everyone is gonna fall in love with her more than Lana, and I loved writing for Lana.”
For anyone that doesn’t know who Lana is, she was one of the breakout stories of Hyrule Warriors and a regular fan favorite. If it’s true what he says, then we should be in for another fantastic journey in the land of Hyrule with Linkle. So, let’s put our prejudice and misconceptions aside and let the game prove Linkle’s mettle to us once and for all.