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Tri Force Heroes

Zelda Wii Needs an Anti-Hero

Article by TheWolfess

Many of us who were children when Ocarina of Time the Great came out are, sadly, either in college or finishing college and jumping into the working world. I am no exception, and as such I just completed my student teaching internship, where I taught a four-week unit on Good vs. Evil. I have spent the last week putting all of my materials together in a portfolio for the exit interview, and while I was looking over my material I starting thinking about our favorite Hero and the Zelda series itself.

In the first week of my unit I taught the 9th grade high school class about Idealistic Good and Evil, the ideas of “pure good” and “pure evil” and why they are not realistic, and how all of that relates to the Heroic Archetype. The second week was spent debunking the idea of pure good and evil, and introducing what is called an “Anti-Hero”.

If you’re asking yourself what all of this has to do with Zelda Wii, I’m getting there in just a moment. Let me fill you in on the basic terms I’ll be using in the article:

Idealism is:  “A theory that professes that reality exists only in ideas. It also states that ideally everything and everyone should be perfect and flawless.”

Archetypes are: “Universal patterns in all stories and mythologies regardless of culture or historical period. They can be characters, symbols, or situations.”

The “Heroic Archetype” states: “The Hero is a protagonist whose life is a series of well-marked adventures. The circumstances of his birth are unusual, and he is raised by a guardian. He will have to leave his kingdom, only to return to it upon reaching manhood. Characterized by courage, strength, and honor, the hero will endure hardship, even risk his life for the good of all. Leaves the familiar to enter an unfamiliar and challenging world.”

Let me pause here and discuss how these terms relate to Zelda. What we have in the Zelda formula is your traditional fairytale. It is an idealistic world where good is pure good with no faults, and evil is pure evil with no positive attributes. The NPCs, mainly the townspeople, may be a little quirky but ultimately they are good and should be protected as well. The monsters are evil and should be killed, no questions asked. Zelda is also ripe with every kind of archetype.

"Our hero fits perfectly into the mold of the 'Heroic Archetype'."

For example, our hero fits perfectly into the mold of the “Heroic Archetype”. Read the definition again and think about Link: his life is a series of adventures, we usually know either nothing or little about his birth and he is always raised by guardians. He leaves the place of his birth to go out into a strange, unfamiliar world full of challenges, where he endures hardship and even death for the good of all (no other reason needed). At the end of his adventure he returns home. “Courage, strength, and honor” are the perfect words to describe him. Our hero fits so perfectly into this mold he could be the poster boy.

There is, I found, a problem with archetypal heroes and idealistic worlds: though they sound good, we cannot relate to them. When I taught this part of the unit a strange thing happened in my class. I used the Wizard of Oz and Dracula to teach these concepts, and although these pieces of literature are fun and creative, my students couldn’t relate to it no matter what we tried. They soon began to lose interest. It didn’t matter how creative the activities we did were, the fact was that the characters and the situations themselves seemed flat and pointless to them. They checked out, although the activities would have been fun and engaging if they were interested in the topic.

Let’s talk about The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. We waited in anticipation, suspense, and most of us will admit that we thoroughly enjoyed our first play through. Once it was over, however, many of us did not feel the desire to play it again. We felt very disappointed. The game felt flat and lifeless somehow, leaving us with a faint feeling of needing something more. I argue that the same phenomena that took place in my classroom has taken place in the Zelda series with Twilight Princess. It’s too idealistic and ultimately we cannot relate to it.

The characters in Twilight Princess look very realistic, and many secondary characters are imperfect.

Why did this happen with Twilight Princess, but hasn’t been a problem in previous titles and in titles since? I’ve been thinking about that as well, and I believe that it is because Twilight Princess is the most realistic Zelda title to date. The characters look very realistic, and many secondary characters (such as Midna and King Bulbin) are imperfect. They are lifelike in that they have good and negative qualities, which is rare for Zelda. The best example I can think of from past Zelda titles is Skull Kid from Majora’s Mask.

No Zelda before or since, including Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, looks so lifelike, dark, and mature. This creates a different expectation and desire in the player, which Nintendo tried to fulfill with secondary characters. The problem they did not foresee is that the main character himself is un-relatable. He’s perfect, flawless, pure good. He makes no mistakes, and has no character flaws. This is a problem because this Link had the most realistic and expressive features of all of them. His face and his eyes spoke volumes in those cut-scenes, but Link himself was two-dimensional. We needed three dimensions.

Although the ideas of pure good and pure evil are great for fairytales and good ideas, they are not realistic or practical. In real life we never see a pure good hero or a pure evil villain. What we have is a world full of good people who have some bad characteristics, or flaws, and bad people who may have some good characteristics. In literature these people are called “Anti-Heroes”.

An Anti-Hero is: generally considered to be a protagonist whose character is at least in some regards conspicuously contrary to that of the archetypal hero, and is in some instances its opposite. The anti-hero is often a reluctant hero who does not consider himself capable of accomplishing the goal. He might be selfish, addicted, corrupt, sullen or disaffected. By the end of the journey the anti-hero typically transforms into a fuller, happier or more complete person due to the struggles he or she endures.

Zelda Wii is just around the corner, and the official art tells us that it will keep the realistic style of Twilight Princess. Most likely it will look even more realistic than its predecessor. For Zelda Wii to succeed, it needs a hero that can carry the weight of his own story. The secondary characters and NPCs can never fulfill the player’s need for a three-dimensional protagonist they can relate to. The secondary characters cannot carry the story—Link himself needs to be able to. That doesn’t mean that Link needs to be evil, or even drastically changed. Just giving him some negative attributes, some faults, some misgivings would suffice to turn him into the Anti-Hero we need.

A famous contemporary author named Flannery O’Connor is celebrated throughout the literary world for her amazing anti-hero protagonists. According to her book on writing, Mystery and Manners, she creates them by assigning each of her protagonists one of the seven deadly sins. Theses are:

  1. Lust: Excessive thoughts or desires of a sexual nature. Also, excessive love of others rendering your devotion to God (for our purposes, “your destiny”) as secondary.
  2. Gluttony: The over-indulgence and over-consumption of anything to the point of waste. Specifically thought of in terms of food.
  3. Greed: Excessive or rapacious desire and pursuit of wealth, status, and power.
  4. Sloth: Laziness, indifference, and the failure to utilize one’s talents and gifts.
  5. Wrath: Inordinate and uncontrolled feelings of hatred and anger.
  6. Envy: An insatiable desire for your neighbor’s belongings. Resenting that another person has something you perceive yourself as lacking, and wishing the other person to be deprived of it.
  7. Pride: A desire to be more important or attractive than others, failing to acknowledge the good work of others, and excessive love of self (especially holding self out of proper position toward God).

What I end up wonder as I read this list is what would Link be like if given a Deadly Sin? Let’s go down the list and speculate.

First we have “Lust”. Its opposite, the Heavenly Virtue “Chastity”, is what our Link usually has. There is no in-game evidence that Link ever engages in serious romantic or sexual endeavors. He is the Hero and belongs to the world, and therefore he may not love or lust. What would happen, however, if our hero fell in love? What if he became obsessed with one person, physically and/or emotionally, and saving the world became his second priority? This would set up a perfect opportunity for him to have to decide between the woman he loves’ life, and the fate of the world. What if he made the wrong choice, and his love surives but the world falls to ruin? What if he makes the right choice, and although he saves the world, his love is dead and he is heartbroken for the rest of his life?

Second is “Gluttony”. Its counterpart Heavenly Virtue is “Temperance”, referring to self-control, justice, and honor. Since we never see Link eat in the games, period, it’s pretty obvious that he is normally characterized by the Virtue. What if he overindulge in food, and started out his adventure out of shape and overweight? We would have to start the game by getting Link in shape before he could save anyone. I don’t think giving Link this deadly sin would be as interesting as some of the others.

The third sin, “Greed”, is paired with the virtue “Charity”. Link is always doing things to serve others, and only receives payment for his deeds if they offer it. He never asks for payment. Giving Link this deadly sin would characterize our hero with the pursuit of money, status, and power. This would make him a lot like Ganondorf himself—in fact, if I were to pick one deadly sin that the King of Evil is cursed with it would be greed. A greedy Link would be “saving the world” and killing Ganondorf for the sake of his own advancement, his own gain. His intentions would not be pure at all.

The fourth, “Sloth”, is paired with “Diligence”. Diligence involves persistence, effort, and ethics. Link is certainly not lazy in saving the world—the man never sleeps—and he uses his natural talents very well, and for a worthy cause. If he were slothful, however, he might sleep through important cut scenes, or not use his talents for the purpose they’re given to him for. This sets up a scenario where Link’s slothfulness results in the capture of his loved ones, or some manner of enemy success and advancement. He would be riddled with guilt, knowing that it was because of him that Hyrule and his loved ones fell to evil, and might carry that guilt around throughout the entire game.

The fifth sin, “Wrath” is paired with “Patience”, and gives us particularly interesting possibilities. Many Dark Link fans write fan fictions whose main character is a Wrathful Link, called Dark Link. Their choice to give the evil entity positive characteristics as well as negative ones make him a perfect Anti-Hero form of Link. A wrathful Link might lose his temper and kill someone, causing him to go on the run. He might learn how to kill simply for the love of killing and bloodlust. This Link might have frequent outbursts, and we might wonder if he should be trusted to save the world, or if he was one of the monsters we should be frightened of. Some of my favorite fan fictions feature a wrathful Link, and it’s fascinating to watch his character grow.

The sixth sin is “Envy”, and its opposite is “Kindness”. Again, it is rather obvious which of the two our hero normally features. An envious Link might be a thief. Talented, sure, but a swindler, a sneak, and a thief. He might save the world, but he’ll rob the palace on his way out. Another possibility is that an envious Link might want something non-material that another person has, such as a woman or a title. Who knows what an envious, obsessed Link might do to obtain that desired object/person? How might the action of obtaining it affect the storyline?

“Pride” is the seventh and last sin, paired with the virtue “Humility”. Often considered the most serious of the deadly sins, and the cause of all the rest of them, a prideful Link would be very interesting to observe. For one, a prideful Link would have no sidekick because he would be too proud to admit he needed help. He might be very vain, “in love with himself” so to say, or perhaps a prideful Link would be out to make himself more important in the eyes of all around him. He would glory in his position of “hero” and welcome the attentions of the world. He would make sure everyone knew what he had done. The praise would have been his reason for the saving the world, not concern for the people.

Should Link remain perfect?

Each of these possible Links would create a very interesting story for Zelda Wii. They would also take the Zelda series in a very different direction. What do you think? Should Zelda stick to its traditional child-like formula and storytelling style? Should its hero remain the perfect virtuous archetype he has been? If that is the case, what should change about Zelda Wii to accommodate it? Or, should Zelda Wii keep its realistic style, and should Link evolve as a person and as a character? Should he be assigned one of the Seven Deadly Sins, and which one? How would the game be different with that Link? Please comment with your thoughts and opinions.

  • Shortified

    This sounds really interesting to be honest! I think a prideful Link would be the most interesting and still somewhat of the Link we love. And slothful Link would be very bothersome really =/ we don't need more blaming oneself-types of hero.

  • Bre

    pridful link = "well excuuuuuuuuuuue me princess"

    • Nintenfan81

      Ugh… don't bring up that idiot, please…

    • storngfan

      This NEEDS to be in the game!

  • Stormy

    i've had this idea for years…we should add depth to link's character, yes, but not taint him. That is why the series needs a new main character, because seriously…only 3 main characters? Zelda, Link, and Ganon? It needs a seperate, maybe even playable character, who is an anti-hero, a shadow to a hero, if you will, someone who is a little roguelike in combat, appearance, and personality. (i am not reffering to anyone already in the series). Link needs to fail for once, and let someone else take on the reigns. That's just my two cents…please dont flame me.

    • Nintenfan81

      There was a girl in the last Zelda manga that I read, I think she was a thief or bandit. She would be a perfect new main character/anti-hero.

      • Saracotta Pie

        The way you describe it is a character I think of as a mix between Midna from Twilight Princess and Nabooru from Ocarina of Time. I'm not saying use those characters, but thats just what your description drew up in my mind, and I like your idea.

    • SycoticKid

      Well, I can understand that Link, Zelda, and Ganon are the min characters because they each symbolize one of the three triforces courage, wisdom, and power. But I do like you're idea of another playable character, i dont agree in the sense that it has to be a fourth main character, but morelike a "playable navi or midna" in the sense of the helper become playable. But I do like the idea :)

  • Entorien_scriber

    Something that drew me into the Ocarina Of Time is the fact that Link was the one who allowed Ganandorf access to the Triforce. That sense of guilt made me want to make things right. I think that an imperfect Link is exactly what the game needs, a Link with whom we can identify, who feels the same imperfect feelings that we, the players, might feel.

    This idea would bring a new, and for me very welcome, dynamic to the series.

    • CosmicBrambleclaw

      I felt that same way XD The OoT was my first ever Zelda game, some of my earliest memories are watching my uncle play it (Bongo Bongo scared the bejeezus out of me)

      Im not sure however how a impure link would fit in. Something like him making a mistake and then having the player sort of feel responsible, like that in Ocarina of Time seems like a good idea though.

  • Mr. Dent

    it sounds like a good idea. I don't think many will argue with you because it's reasonable, and nobody can survive an argument with an English teacher. ;v)

  • Jake

    I think link should remain "perfect" since he really does not hold a personality in the game. As myamoto said, "the player is to project onto the character",not the other way around

    • TnzSki

      If Link is truly a window into the game more than an actual character, then Nintendo should let us project ourselves more into the game. We should be given options that let us present our flaws and personalities into the game, so we can really feel like we are the character. In every Zelda game, we are not given these options, and instead of Link being a "link" to the player, it feels like we're just controling somewhat of a boring character.

      So if Nintendo won't implement these options, I think that Link should evolve into a more interesting character, and we shouldn't be caught in the middle anymore.

    • Saracotta Pie

      That is true, but I think there's only so much your imagination can do. As a child, I used to love playing Ocarina of Time to my own imagination. I'd imagine Link was some hero by day who entered the villages in his red tunic and helped everyone. Then at night, he'd change into green and ride Epona across the fields as some sort of demon that the villagers feared.

      But, as an older player, which the game is directed towards, I can't play the game that way anymore as we lose our imaginations through age. I think Nintendo needs to give us some sort of darkness to base Link on before we can come up with one ourselves.

  • Megabrain3000

    Very interesting article, I like your ideas and the structure considerably, as well as the fact that you've had experience that supports your point. Nice!
    I do like to voice that while these ideas have merit, there is a certain charm to the Zelda games in their own way. I don't see anything wrong with introducing these concepts and making the series more complex (rather, I actually support the idea), I'm left with a fear of saturation, which has struck many games of today. In the quest to make the game more complex or mature, it ends up being gritty and "hardcore." I feel that Zelda, while it could do with more maturity, really doesn't need to fall into the mad rush game developers have created for realism and emotion.
    Overall though, I liked the article, and I look forward to reading more!

  • joehurrycreations

    A very interesting article and an interesting point to raise. While I understand what you mean and see what you're getting at I actually don't think they should do this. As my wife pointed out – 'people play Fable and are given the option to be good or bad and will play the whole game doing good.'

    This shows that people aspire to this archetype and really want and perhaps even are inherently good. It also shows that given the opportunity people want to be 'good'. I personally have always considered Link a great figure to aspire to and although people need to be aware that it is idealistic to assume you can be so perfect it's nice to think kids would be inspired to try.

    There's enough gritty realism and corrupt characters in every other game. Zelda should remain the pure, fairytale perfection that it's always been – even if it is an idealistic archetype.

    Fair comment?

    • Angela

      I agree with you 100% I think Link was created to be inherently good for the purpose of players wanting to aspire to him. Developing him into a sinful character would detract from his original concept.

    • vyctorrr

      but the point of the anti-hero game is become a perfect hero, let behind the past, . that is the way in real life

    • Bendi

      i agree, joehurrycreations.

  • MageSparrowhawk

    Perhaps emphasizing the naive character Link has had would keep his 'pure' character, but keep him from being perfect? Or maybe go in the other direction. This is a Link that has been fighting for a while, and is weary of saving the world. I guess I'm trying to get at the point that good doesn't have to mean perfect.

  • By_Farore

    I can relate to Link.

    But on to what I see in the games:
    Link can be greedy: risking his life for a few rupees… Not plot related, but seriously.
    He can be cruel to animals (since the game let us stab helpless cuccospigs even though we get punished for it afterwards)
    He can sometimes steal (since a few games let us do that)
    He sometimes show fear
    He can show lust (or whatever was he felt when he saw that woman's breast up close in TP)
    He can be lazy (he apparently loves sleeping at the beginning of some games, then he's not seeing sleeping anymore because it wouldn't serve the gameplay, unlike other RPGs where sleeping at an inn would recover a hero's health)
    Link was allowed by the game (won't start saying which game and when though) to break a window or two, steal a man's wig, attack an old man with a jar, cheat to get access to a dungeon, say no to the princess when she asks for help (though we can't go on and are forced to say yes in the end), lie to a great fairy…

    His character is really made according to what the player decides to do. In the games where he's allowed to steal, I can't bring myself to do so. But I took the fisherman's wig away in OoT and I'll do it again.
    I always do everything to get all the rupees I can even when I'm full, and because of that I assume he is greedy. Since he loves his grandma's soup so much, I assume he can be a glutton. Since he doesn't seem to wake up early when he's seen sleeping, I assume he can be lazy.

    That's why I love the guy.

    Others describe him as the perfect hero and like it (I'm not one of those people.)
    Some take his lack of personality as a free-for-all, making Link entirely the way they want him to be (I believe the hints of personality we get from the game shouldn't be neglected)

    I wouldn't want him becoming the 'typical' anti-hero. Seems every other game has one nowadays and I don't want Zelda to become as every other game.
    Some anti-heroes I find fun (like (one of) my version(s) of Link, which of course has a personality that goes beyond what the game gives)
    Others I hate with a passion (whinny, angsty Link saving Hyrule just because the bad guys killed his parents and he keeps ranting about it? I'd rather have 8-bit Link back and punch someone in the face, thank you.)

    But whatever Nintendo decides to do, (I really think) they prefer modelling Link according to gameplay possibilities and leave the rest to the NPCs. (Or almost NPCs like Midna in TP and Zelda in ST. …I loved seeing Zelda freak out).

  • linker27

    [In two posts. Because apparently I talk too much.]
    In theory, you make a splendid point. I could cite myriads of RPGs that demonstrate the importance of flawed characters to elaborating and making more true the storyline, and I'd love to see it done in Zelda, which has always first and foremost among my games-ever since I was a little kid who didn't mind cut-out characters and fairy tale endings.

    The trouble is that you can't just give him sins or guilt, not without will to exercise them or the words to mope properly. And if we, the players, don't have control over Link's will, then it's not a game–it's a parody of a film; a choose-your-own-adventure novel with a few boss fights thrown in for variation.

    The easiest cure is to alter the fact that Link has no voice. He nods, he smiles, he watches in terror as the boss rears its head, but… without that voice, there can be no elaborate character, not in a video game where voice and expression are the only things that are his, and not the player's.

    But I can't 100% say that I approve of making Link human, rather than a character in a legend. For one, once a character is decided, the actions he can take are limited: I've played RPGs where some of the actions you can take don't match the character–it drove me mad in Final Fantasy 8–and it always sounds wrong when you have them do something that goes against the grain. If reasoning behind any and all choices is done right, it's fine, but I'm in no way that trusting.

    Another reason I shy away from lending him voice is because every one of us has made their own little construct of who Link is-through the imagined emotions we lend him and through every action we take, be it giving the beggar boy a few rupees or stealing from the creepy shopkeeper in Koholint, the one who kills you if you go back. And what if the character they decide on isn't right, because I've already made my character, whether or not the sprite on the screen has the ability to say what I think he would?

    I've played dozens of games where the main character has no voice–notably, just about every old-school Nintendo franchise. Mario, Link, DK… It's true in shooters, too, and some RPGs (Ah, Chrono Trigger…)–and only very rarely have I been able to find the character hidden behind the silence. My only real example was in Ocarina, where it wasn't Link's characterisation that won my sympathies, but the realisation of what he would face if he were more than just a rc-drone.

    • linker27

      [Interlude rant, here, my apologies. I'm pretending it's relevant.] If any of you have never thought about it, consider what would become of Link after OOT ends. Raised as a Kokiri but all too aware that he can't be one of them for much longer, not with his Hylian blood, abandoned by his guardian (The Deku Tree, who died in front of Link, after offering the kid a chance to save him and then brushing it off afterwards because it had already been too late), dismissed by Navi (who, despite her annoying qualities, must have been his closest friend) because the job of protecting him was over, trained to be the equivalent of a knight, protecting the kingdom he never really knew existed, and being transported, after he finished the job, to a land where no one knows to thank him because none of it happened yet.
      I was so irritated with Majora's Mask for not mentioning it, beyond that one line, (botched, I know, I don't feel like looking it up), 'he embarked on a much more personal journey, in search of a beloved friend…'. If the aftermath of Ocarina, beyond Navi's departure, had been included in the script of Majora's Mask, we would have had a character, a real character—the perfect foil to the Skull Kid, even!

      Which brings me to the only truly acceptable way I can think of to give Link a more well-rounded character, which is to give him a backstory that isn't part of the fairy tale. What have we had, in regards to backstory? Nephew to a knight, bullied kid, endearing older brother and slightly lazy grandson, and a village boy, training as a ranchhand?

      It's not that Zelda lacks strife or sorrow or morally-ambiguous characters; they're just never close enough to be real. If a medium could be found, I'd like best to see Link made human by giving him a history, rather than a true in-game character–make him a thief, or a brat, or a coward (or something more interesting than a kid who lives in a two-house village). And then use the plot to mould him, to make him into that 'hero' character we can invent our own imagined voices for. I don't want Zelda to be another Fable, but neither do I want to always be bored by Link's innocence.

      Or we could bring back a secondary character with purpose. Not just someone needing help, like the princess or Malon/Marin/Romani or Tetra or even Midna. A compatriot–because, come on, who didn't love Ralph? Or the notion of Kafei, however irritating the stupid tasks were? Spirit Tracks operates on that idea, and it's not the first: they did it way back in Ocarina and drove us mad enough that tossing Ruto into bubbles became sport, rather than cruel. If they were to give us a character who wasn't a pain, who we didn't have to carry so much… But NPCs are iffy, and there's no way they could go anywhere near a party system without abandoning the essence of LoZ.

      I've been writing for far too long. I'll let someone else poke at my ideas. Yay for engaging posts. Thanks muchly, Wolfess.

  • X x7

    REALLLLLLLLY long read, but I finally made it through. I think Links personality is always to put others in front of his well-being. So, no. I don't think they should change his personality. He should always remain good, and never any darker than that.

  • david

    I don’t think Link should change but what about Zelda. Maybe she could work with Ganondorf and change over once she realized shed be tricked. A little like Richard III.

  • Anon

    The problem is that Link is supposed to be a character with as little personality as possible, so you project yourself into him. That's why they usually have the sidekick the one left with the anti-hero role. I think the best choice is what they did in LA, where you're given the choice between heroic and anti-heroic.

  • Spaghetti

    I like the idea of this. But I kind of imagine link as me on that adventure. Having these sins set on him wouldn't be all that great to me. BUT, I think that they should give options to choose a certain decision near the begining of the game, and this will decide the path he goes down. Idk. that's just my idea.

    • Quin

      That's a cool idea, actually, and I think that would be an inventive way to work in the normal mode/hard mode split. Perhaps in one, he is less than the ideal hero, and that's what makes that adventure harder? In some way, his imperfection in character makes the journey more difficult, but he pulls through? That would be amazing.

  • Pentominoe

    I like the idea of an Anti-Hero Link. It would make a much more entertaining story, and honestly, who cares about the kids? They aren't interested- and besides, there's always the Wind Waker games. But upon the point of which Arch-Link I'd like, I'd say Prideful. With a more rude Link, he wouldn't be near as appreciated, and that could cause some interesting story segments.

    But if needed, having the NPC's do all of the human-like stuff wouldn't be TOO bad.

  • crazy guy

    i actually dont like the idea of link having any personality. your supposed to be him. not the other way around. but one thing i think would be great is if at the end of a game, link has to actually die to save the world. you know? like, if he fights off the main threat and defeats them, like ganondorf or vaati or whoever it is, but just fighting them and beating them doesnt stop them, so link would have to give his life for hyrule. and not come back. id actually like to see him die at the end. thats just my thoughts.

    • Alkunkunka

      Never thought about that, but that's actually a very very good idea…if done right.

  • Tim

    It's really tough to outline Link's character. In a nutshell, he's courageous, humble, and reasonably lighthearted. The thing about LoZ is that you're able to escape from reality into Hyrule, where you're swept away on one of Link's many swashbuckling adventures. Everybody wants to be 'good', in their own sense, and they want to diminish evil. The Legend of Zelda was made to give that "good" feeling to people, and to be fun at the same time. It's important to remember that the Legend of Zelda wasn't made to be a literary allegory like Lord of the Flies, where the faults of men were evident in the protagonist. The Legend of Zelda is purely for entertainment and gameplay, and has just the right mixture of humor, adventure, and character depth to be entertaining. People don't want to be the hero with all the blame. It would make the game harder to progress through, and general dislike for the main character would stain the series.

    I enjoyed the article, though!! 😀

  • COLLEEN!!!!!

    ZELDA WII IN LESS THAN 3 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Alkunkunka

    Well, I like how By_Faore puts it that its up to you to give Link's personality. Hadn't thought of it that way but it it true! As for the Anti-hero thing, I think it could work, but it would be mostly expressed through cut-scenes, and not so much in gameplay, I think. It'll be cool to play as a Dark Link with a parallel storyline where he must conquer the world and gets to steal the triforce or something.

    And about the deadly sins, sounds interesting. How about making him in love with Princess Zelda. That would make him obsessed and lusty but also, he would HATE his enemies. Though hate is a strong word, and I 'hate' using it in real life, ther's nothing wrong to use it to ake a game more interesting. A mad Link, kiling to save his love…..anyone?

  • GenoKID

    I like Link mostly the way he is. He literally taught me morality. I tohught I was good (no man thinks he's evil), but he saved me (no joke; try having Sephiroth as an idol). A few little flaws are okay, but I think mischief should be the limit. Wrath and pride… no.
    I also like the idea of Ganon being totally evil. It gives an edge over every Nintendo villian. But I want to see him deceive, or try to deceive Link, make him think his mission IS good, like he should control the world because he's smarter, knows better than you. And the Moblin race is a more highly evolved one, so Hylians should be exterminated, they only hinder true potential. THAT would be creepy… Mao Ze-Dhong creepy.

  • Brocko

    First let me start off by saying I almost disagree with you. While I do think making Link imperfect would make the story interesting, I have to say the concept you are talking about is overused and boring. I like your article, I just don't agree. Maybe having Link slip up once occasionally in one of those areas would be interesting, but the whole idea of having a character struggle through one issue the whole plot is way overused.

    • Brocko

      Now for what I think would make it the start of every game Link witnesses an often tragic key plot point, sometimes causing them himself. Releasing Vaati, the Great Deku Tree dying, things like that. All these thing are great and add to the story, but what would make Zelda games better is how Link deals with these events. In Ocarina, Link practically led Gannon to the Sacred Realm. In Wind Waker, he restored Gannon to full health. the list goes on and on, but the problem here is that these issues aren't adressed for the rest of the game! Keep Link's attitude but just make him mess up a few times and show us how he deals with it. Give him some emotion, some regret, something to drive him on. The whole Anti-Hero act is stale in media nowadays, just have Link deal with an issue he potentially caused himself and have him react in a way that's human. Then we can relate, and Link keeps on the way he is.

      • Musky Melon

        Link doesn't have an attitude. It's whatever your think it is. Personally, I don't play this game to watch characters deal with grief. If I wanted that I'd watch a movie or TV show where they can tell these kinds of stories much better.


    in TP link was actually more 3 dimensional thatn in previous zelda titles…it seemed he was intimate with ILLIA. but it wasn't very obvious in the story (when she gets her memory back she says "I remember you no we used to be…." and then stops which kinda tells you they had a history. I think just enough of what you mentioned should be added without corrupting the essence of the HERO link is meant to portray. I do agree with most of what you said though….being 22 I also feel more depth and complex characters are needed in the Zelda series. Its a thin line the change it without ruining it though but it will have to happen eventually….


    I just wanted to add that zelda is not meant to be that realistic but rather fantasy like. It is an excape from reality to a fantasy world and therefore has unrealistic qualities. and thats perfectly fine to me (for the most part). and there has been parts of the games which portray the anti-hero. WW ganon was trying to avenge the destruction of his people. I never really saw ganon as bad I always thought he was cool although he was clearly my adversary. he acted as most humans would act and tried to achieve power. Link is more like Jesus in that he didnt ask for his power but it was devinely given to him. he represents the "one" like neo or anakin or whatever you want to call it (he is the 1% who brings balance to the force and to do this your actions must be different than the other 99% "to the utmost righteousness which is what he portrays") so for me he almost represents a almost religeous symbol which is the epitimy of the potential of the human soul to create harmony. there is some room for change though

    • Ben Cairns

      How could you possibly mention anakin he had lust big time so much so that he sacrificed all his ideals and the whole republic for his lover he is far from an ideal hero.

  • SRWG

    I'd like a wrathful Link, just because it'd be cool to see Link as naturally violent, and not just violent due to game mechanics.

    I've never perceived myself as Link (ever), so I find that argument to fall flat. Every Zelda game I've played has been me watching this dude save Hyrule, not watching myself do it.

    • LoZ

      Just in my opinion, I wouldn't like seeing Link naturally violent because I would find him less likable and entertaining.

      But I agree, I've always thought Link as a different person and not "me".

  • CorvosKK

    The metaphysics for Zelda really open itself up for this. While I don't think it should be as extreme as a sole quality that rules him, it would be nice to see. The Triforce splits because the heart is impure. Since Ganondorf's heart was unequal, it's safe to assume that the others are as well. Link isn't JUST courageous, so there's definitely room to add some more human definition and development to Link's character.

    Nice article by the way :)

  • Stormy

    woah…let's not make link anakin skywalker…and i mean the prequel trilogy one, not darth vader. Though link as darth vader would be cool…i dont want to listen to cheesy romance lines from hayden christensen.

  • Cayh

    We've got loads of anti-heroes in gaming already, and frankly it's starting to seem pretentious. Not to mention the creators don't want Link being too much his own character so that the player can put their own personality into him for the most part.

    Maybe a secondary character, someone tagging along with Link or something, can be the anti-Hero. Someone Link worries about having to confront rather than continue to help..

    • GorCoronSumo

      A false reward like the green rupee treasure in WW…

      • GorCoronSumo

        Dang, I missed, that was intended for th comment below.:)

  • LizMara

    The sin for wrath one is the most popular when it comes to Link as an anti-hero but the one for greed is also a nice choice. Sure, Link isn't really greedy, especially since he doesn't as for rewards when it comes to sidequests…but the player does. =)
    Think about it. I mean, the guy would go to someone's home or backyard to break pots for god's sake. The theme for "greed" can be a nice idea when it comes to different endings. The player having to think carefully about who to help and not to help in order for him or her to get the desired ending sounds like a nice change of pace, at least to me. Make some of the player's decision have consequences. It would also be funny to see some sidequests that trick the player into doing something for some false reward. You know, a twist.

    A small gripe I have with this, though…the anti-hero theme can end up as a generic plot device if not executed well. Maybe the player should have freedom whether to make Link anti-hero like or not, depending on the player's actions. If you do the right thing about 90% of the time he won't end up as an anti hero or villain, or something.

  • KingOfHeart

    I still like Link to represent good, but he could get a slight bad side but it should be the choice of the player controlling him.

    A love story would make a good game. In the game when Link destroys pots or hits NPC, or chicken with his sword, he should laugh about it slightly.
    Link could get angry if a loved one gets kidnapped or something, but I don't see Link as someone who wants revenge.

  • Jxcrust

    It would be great to have an anti-hero Link, but why not make a game staring Shadow/Dark Link?

  • jacob

    turn link into a sinner wow…. that maybe the best idea ever having link gramble or killing some one you have a point that is what the zelda games need

  • The Eternal

    Honestly, I don’t see much reason for Link to become more of an anti-hero. As you yourself stated, the Legend of Zelda games are fairytales almost by definition, and I think that’s one of the core aspects of the series. It’s something which cannot really be changed much before things start breaking down; before the series loses that particular charm which has sustained it for so long.

    Link himself, in my opinion, can only exist as an archetypal hero. That’s part of his character; “Courage, strength, and honor” are his defining qualities. Having him guilty of any of the Seven Sins would only diminish his character as a whole.

    To give Link depth, it is not necessary to change his character in any way. Instead, it would be far more effective to use the game as a method of deconstructing the notions of the archetypal hero: place Link in situations where his pure virtues are powerless. The scene you outlined above–a sadistic choice between a close friend and the fate of the world–is one such example. Subverting the “hero saves everyone” motif would add considerable gravitas to the story, as well as strike an emotional chord with the player.

    Along the same lines, the villains of the series need not be purely evil, or at least, need not have always been evil. Ganondorf himself demonstrated this via motive rant in The Windwaker. Having enemies which are more human, more relatable, would add to the deconstruction of Link as a character. Antagonists such as these are always more memorable, and always more interesting.

    To summarize: leave Link as he is, and instead tailor the story to present emotional and moral challenges to both him and the player. Place the character against a foe not so different from our hero, in situations where failure on some level is inevitable. That should cure the “flat and lifeless” feeling.

    (On another note altogether, I’d argue that the inability to relate to Link in Twilight Princess is a less a matter of his lack of flaws than the influence of external factors, but that’s not the subject of this discussion.)

  • Steingrimur J.

    Link is an empty canvas, a "player vessel". He should bend to the player's will, not the other way around.

  • Skai Cyan

    Using “sin” makes it sound way heavier than I think you’re trying to impose. A good way to apply a little more character to Link, I think, would be to have him act more like Mario does in cutscenes in his RPGs (most prominently SMRPG and PM64). You know, forgetting people, getting miffed (but not really angry), falling asleep during long explainations, those sorta things. He he, irony of ironies, the everyman “Mr. Videogame” character shows more humanity than the epic adventure hero.

  • Musky Melon

    Lots of RPGs have anti-heroes who are quite frankly cannot be related to and downright irritating. At least with Link there isn't much to object to.

  • caitlyn

    i love the first one "lust" i think it would be so cool if link fell in love, its about time he fell in love, in TP he looked a lot older almost like an adult. Plus its not like the hero of the world is going to stay single forever. Actually when i think about any of the seven sins would be really cool to see in the game i think i would just prefer to see "lust".

  • veeronic

    different link I know, but;
    link from awakening, forced to destroy that entire world, they could probably do more but that was the closest they came to an anti hero link.

  • Ballistixz

    if link had ANY negative traits what so ever he would not be able to touch the master sword nor would he have the triforce of courage. link is pure because the story requires him to be pure. making link into a "anti hero" would radically change the entire storyline in order for him to fit that change.

    in all of the zelda games they always portray link as needing a pure kind heart in order to save and bring peace to hyrule and all that good stuff. anything negative about link would not sit well because of the triforce of courage all the links have/need in order to be the "hero".

    basically, a anti hero just would not work in a zelda game. any other game yes, but not zelda. its interesting in theory but put into practice it just wouldnt work unless u change the story line dramatically for it to work and i dont see that happening anytime soon. link being the pure hearted hero he has always been is because of the overall storyline of zelda and nothing more.

  • Ariel

    I reckon we've had a fair few 'broken characters' in the Zelda series that represent these sins.

    Lust: A little from Telma.
    Sloth: Probably from Barnes.
    Greed & Envy: Talo, King Bulbin, Hena
    Gluttony: That bean selling guy from OoT/MM, Zora King
    Wrath: The Shopkeep That Kills You, Coro (the shopkeep parrot), any Cucco
    Pride: LINEBECK!!! Mido

    But I sincerely think Link is an extension of the player. So either leave him as a blank slate of personality, or allow us to impart our own personality flaws on him for added depth.

  • Ariel


    Zelda from Spirit Tracks was by no means an archetype hero.
    She was proud, envious, wrathful, greedy, vain, and a bit stupid too.

  • LINK

    Link ins't perfected when i help an NPC to get a bottle or some other item i do it for the item not the NPC

    • Ariel

      Good point.

  • Lukas

    I'd say, lust, greed, wrath and pride would be the most interesting. Maybe sloth could work out too. Some kind of emotional problem is an interesting angle of the game and it would make you wonder more and give a bugger lust for playing the game. Interesting article! :)

  • LuX

    Great article I think you really hit the nail on the head, but there is a snag you haven't considered. Although I think alot of fans agree as do I, that Link needs greater depth, when playing Twilight Princess it was like watching an actor trying not too show emotion, every time you saw it through his facial expression it was quickly gone as though a mistake and we were left with a 2-D character. The reason for this is that WE are supposed to be Link the player is Link, his depth comes from us. Buuuuuut it's not something I feel works anymore, I think Link should become Link, we shouldn't name him anymore he should be Link, Nintendo should explore who this character is, I mean in recent games there has been so much backstory or so much of a look at Link before his hero days, we can't relate to him, he isn't the 'link' to the game anymore, he is a full character in his own right and I'm hoping Nintendo see that and we see something truly different in a couple of days.

  • Sanity's_Theif

    I ave to disagree on one part, whenever I think of replaying a Zelda game I go to TP, honestly, I've only beat OOT, MM and WW once and I've never thought about replaying them

    I've beat TP twice however and would consider doing it again, why? I have no idea, never gave it much thought, the game is just appealing for some reason, maybe because I have the Wii version?

    MM is still my favorite Zelda, but beating it again seems like a pain, I already know all the story's of every person and sidequest and don't feel like doing all those over again.

    If I had to choose one, I'd pick wrathful Link, it seems like the most likely of them all and I think it would be very interesting, similar to Ryu from street fighter with that dark side of power or something(I forget the name), all of the other sins just seem boring for Link to have.

    Pride? No that would just make Link irritating, IDK if I could play the game, and it would just be him like "Oh yeah I'm the best" all the time, not very interesting.

  • Korok

    I think Link is supposed to be the “perfect hero” because he has the triforce, meaning that he has to be perfectly good. But, for an anti-hero, and this is kind of two ideas at once, how about a partner like Navi that is human? No more mystical beings, just another, imperfect guy? Another knight, maybe?

  • capt. link

    link can be very cruel:
    whipping phantom zelda in spirit tracks? she bites back.
    attacking cuccos? so do they!
    basically, no matter what bad things link does, he gets hurt by it in the end. it's kind of like he's learning what to do and what not do. if he does the wrong things, he gets hurt. if he does the right things, then he gets his name immortalized in the legends of the hero of time, winds, and twilight. so he does get a reward. he also gets rupees from jovani. i agree that king bulbin and midna are two of the deepest characters in the series, along with vaati.

  • David

    I would say sloth. Say you start off in Ordon (just for the sake of an example) and your occupation is… guardian of the spring? (lame i know but its just an example!) Every evening when your done you have to close the village gate when you come back, to prevent the monsters from coming in, but one day link is reeeally tired. he's comin home, and then he heres his mam/dad/big sis/big bro/gaurdian calling him for dinner and he's soooooo hungry and exhausted and he cant help but think about it so he totally forgets about the gate and he goes off home…!
    Next morning, disaster has struck… the village was raided my moblins , houses have been burnt to the ground, children kidnapped to be used as slaves, all posessions stolen… its all links fault.
    and he knows it.
    He cant look anybody in the eye anymore, he is so ashamed; so he runs away! gets caught up in some mercenary gang from castle town. its all he can do to survive… he's caught by the hyrulean police, put on trial for some terrible crime he commited (murder… maybe, the player doesn't find out but there are various hints throughout the game) and is…… sentenced to death by the princess herself!
    of course he finds some form of escape, but the past will catch up on him…
    so there we go! instant anti-hero. Of course he will redeem himself. he really is a good guy, but hes made some mistakes. sometime he will rescue hyrule… one way or another. we cant be THAT untraditional…!

    • Anonymous

      Nice idea, perhaps he could be sentenced to death by Zelda… The woman he loves? Tat would be interesting.

  • Tsubasa_Zero

    Link is already stealing the places eh visites. He plunders chests he sees every where.

  • damoi

    Sloth Link: "It sure is boring around here!"

  • Tsubasa_Zero

    I think Link doesn't need a sin, but more emotion. Why can't he get mad when soemthing bad happens. Why can't eh run the first time he sees an enemy. Why can't he cry when he sees a loved one is save.
    In WW he displayed soem emotion. Why can't he react more human.

    • Sanity's_Theif

      Actually I agree with this

      He also needs a sprint or run function, his normal speed is too slow when you want to get to some nearby place real quick

  • LlNK

    Anti Heroes are some of my favorite characters in games, take dark link from OoT and FSA, and probably my favorite anti hero, scorpion from the mortal kombat games, he is technically on the side of good, but he is obssessed with revenge for his family, he does things for his own motives, even working on the evil side, he is probably the best anti hero out there.

  • Singularity

    It's hard to give a voiceless avatar a personality. If Link spoke, then certainly, he should be imperfect. I think having a cold, uncaring Link would be interesting. Someone who's only doing what he needs to do.

  • Midna

    I'm for the idea of Link being a non-perfect hero, but any of these sound like they could dominate the game in a way, Link should still save Hyrule or wherever, but it seems like any of these Links would be a jerk about it or not change through the course of the game

  • FrizzyHairedGirl

    Perhaps maybe we don't need human NPC's to be the anti-hero, but perhaps like an object. Take the Master Sword for example. If say, the Master Sword was commanded to destroy evil when it was made, then it would just want to destroy, seeing how inanimate objects don't really know the difference between good and evil. Maybe, instead of Link struggling against his own faults (seeing how it's getting really overused these days) we could have him struggling against the Bane of Evil's Blade itself. It could help with the dynamic element that just seems to be disappearing lately.

    What do you think?

  • Kira

    I wouldn't like to make Link even a bit darker then he is now.
    But I would like to be able to fight against my dark self maybe few times in the new game. Just like in OoT where at the water temple we fought against the dark Link.

    Maybe something that happened in Prince of Persia The Two Thrones.
    Somehow Ganon managed to split links personality. So at some point something bad happens to Link, he loses control of his self and "splits" in to persons. In the standard good Link and the dark evil Link.
    But unlike in PoP, you can't control your evil side, but you must fight him and he's the second main enemy (after Ganon).

  • Azerik

    This is probably one of the most interesting articles I've read on ZU. The idea of adding one of the Seven Deadly Sins to Link's persona leaves a lot to think about, but in the end, I think I'd rather stick with the Heroic-Archetype Link. The Legend of Zelda series is supposed to be exactly what the title implies: A legend. And what is a legend without the Archetypal Hero and Villain? The "Anti-Hero" works in some stories, but not in this case if you ask me.

  • Jon

    I like the idea that you should be able to make decisions along the course of the story that would alter the way the story continued depending on the way you chose to act. By the way I hate the way that the previous games have had it how you will get the option to help or not but you can't continue until you agree to help. Why give you the choice when your only answer is "yes"? I don't think you should just instantly brand Link with a flaw, rather have it so you make him flawed yourself. A sort of your own personal Link who acts the way you told him to.

  • Quill

    Honestly, Dark Link needs to have his own game. Maybe Dark would match with some of the sins and be a pretty nice anti-hero. Int he other hand, Link's never going to change unless Nintendo finally go (only) for a more mature audience, don't you think?

    Even though, it would be interesting to have some love between Link and another character… But yes, I think that if what we want is an anti-hero, there's Dark already.

    • TheMaverickk

      Again it's funny how people associate "Dark" with "Mature". Maturity has nothing to do with getting an "M" rating either. Zelda is plenty mature in terms of the themes it explores… death, right and wrong, love, friendship, responsibility.

      People just don't catch it because they are looking for the obvious elements that make a game rated "M".

      • Quill

        Yeah, I guess you're right about the "M" rating… But what I was thinking is that Nintendo may not change Link because he represents "that pure good" and is perfect to make a good impression for children.

        The truth is that, since I'm not a native english speaker, I can't say exactly what I think… I'm not that good yet, hehe 😉

  • Ianoren

    This is funny that you mention this, because in the story plot for the game I added Link having a large ego. So, he needed to throw it away in order to become the hero of Hyrule. I completely agree and believe that Greed or Pride should be the choice. Or possibly both.

  • ZoraMikau

    This is a great article, I've played some games(I can't think of the names right now) where a character(main or sidekick) has had a lot of pride, sometimes vainity, the same with envy. When I played TP, I thought link's personality might change as a wolf, and I could have saw him stealing money or something when it's in his reach. Not to contradict your article, but in TP, link actually steals the castles riches, he gets into hyrule castles treasury, but that wasn't much of a stealing scene, hyrule castle was tooken over and stuff, and it makes you think, If your good, is it right to steal from evil, even when it's for a good cause? All in all, that was a different article than I was expecting from the title, I knew you meant a dark link character with the word(s?) anti-hero.

    I agree link should have one or two of these sins added to his personality, as long as their used in a good way(by that I mean; so then nintendo can make it work).

    • TheMaverickk

      Actually Link does steal in Twilight Princess. He steals a sword and a shield from his own village. That's pretty sinful in some respects, even if the intentions are good (which is exactly what you mentioned). As a wolf he sneaks around and breaks into peoples homes… they are not only just his friends but also they are his friends who have just suffered a tragedy with the kidnapping of their children and raiding of their village.

      Rusl was badly injured and should've been resting instead he has to step out and fend off the wolf that is Link. So really there are elements in the game already revolving around these themes. Yet most people don't notice them or think about it because naturally they believe it's ok to steal from the village in the game cause it's your home town and they'd understand right? Although in reality most people in society wouldn't… even if your intentions were good. As well I doubt the player doesn't feel bad to steal from their own village, their thought is "need to get sword and shield, and move in order to progress" with that being their only concern.

  • Deku scrubie.

    I think link is good as a perfect hero. I was reading about the sins he might have and each one got more…. For a lack of better words: Ridiculous. I just cant imagine Link as a sinner, not at all. I also cant see any upside to making him one either.

    So I think that the Zelda series and Zelda wii should stick to the traditional to-good-to-be-imitated Link.

    Nice article though.

  • teac77

    It is difficult for Nintendo’s “Zelda” developers to do bold things with Link, with the ideals about the Legend of Zelda, and what makes a Zelda game. It’s also easy to tell that they don’t ask fans what they want.

    • TheMaverickk

      It's also hard for any developer to go and "ask the fans" what they want. Since when it comes to such large fan bases, you get so many differing opinions. So many people have different perspectives and hopes and dreams about what Zelda should be, or should be come. If they were to ask the fans what they wanted, and only a certain sect of fans respond and then you get a certain Zelda formed as a result that other fans may not enjoy then it could be a flop.

      Really as artists they should have the creative freedom to do what they would like with the series. I mean when something is created I am sure that they should create it the way they feel it should be created, not how they are told to create it.

      Fans are fickle too… they may want something one day and not another. Some people want a "Assasins Creed" style Zelda because it's the medieval action adventure that is fairly popular now. Some want a sandbox Zelda, being a little on the Grand Theft Auto way… steal horses you know. Just because they are popular game franchises though, that doesn't mean that Zelda should become like them. Also in the future who knows if such franchises will be as big.

  • TheMaverickk

    Personally I don't attribute my disappointment with Twilight Princess to me not being ale to relate to the Link of the game. My disappointment is entirely based around there being nothing to explore. The closest adventuring thrills I got in the game were really from exploring the Forest Temple, Water Temple, lantern caves (there were only two of them) and the Arbiter Grounds. These places all had a sort of quality of wonderment that I loved.

    Everything else in the game was empty and void of any emotional attachment. The City in the Sky was a horrible dungeon (with an awesome boss though)… the city had nothing going on that made me feel "wow"… it was blocky and slow (hanging by hookshot on the peahats was not fun) and this was supposed to be the last dungeon high before facing Zant. The Twilight Palace was again disappointing… barely what I could call a dungeon in terms of challenge and puzzles. Strangely The Twilight Palace and Hyrule Castle both suffer the exact same design flaws… you have these malevolent evils to face that sit in empty castles with barely any guards.

    Twilight Princess didn't need an anti hero… I felt for Link. Seeing him get angry at Colin's kidnappers… when Midna teleports them away as Ganondorf still tries to attack them. There was an emotive character they had who was relate able to. Most people I've heard complain about Twilight Princess had no real issues with Link himself or the characters… it was purely level design and over all feel of the world of Hyrule. The linearity and lack of anything to explore. How often was anyone compelled to explore and look around Lake Hyrlia… there wasn't much to see under the water. Overall the problem with Twilight Princess was the world that was created.

  • Alex

    An interesting thing to note is that Link in the various Manga series is usually a much more rounded character than his video game counterparts.

  • Vic George

    Why not a Zelda game where Link is faced with a moral dilemma that could affect the outcome of the game dependent on what he chooses? Link doesn't have to have a certain moral fault that runs throughout the entire game.

  • Matthew

    I loved the article however, I feel to really accomplish such a task link needs to have a personality and to have a personality he must speak. So ultimately I just don't see this happening since I don't see Link speaking in the near future.

  • primroze

    the idea that loz is a religious comment is very important imho–im in no way religious–yet i see the structural importance. link himself is a jesus, saving a people with no thought of return. yet even in the bible, we see jesus as questioning god and the meaning behind the apparent suffering implemented by him. in no way am i saying that loz wii should hold more religious aspects than it already has. if it did then i would feel as though i was playing dmc IV–a great game, yet containing some of the most annoyingly flat and juvenile characters in rpg genera. my point being that i feel as though the best way loz wii could return a more personal connection to the player would be to have link fail. he could fail in his defeat of gannon, kinda like what we saw in majora's mask. but i am proposing something even more rudimentary, such as; link is by sequential standards charismatic and determined, yet he is failure at the most needed skill, fighting. throughout the game you would then shape the way by which link wields his sword, maybe creating your own secret sword techniques, or creating a sense of accomplishment by eventually proving your worth. that is just an idea, probably one of the worst ive had, but the point remains. as a side note, and as a loz lover, i feel as though the most interesting flaw for link to have would be for him to fall in love with zelda, it is kinda implied in some games such as with tetra in ww. i think the series should show such flat out by creating a wrathfull link as a result of gannon imprisoning zelda or something along the lines of such. in essence, i agree with SRWG.
    also i loved the article :)

  • RWB

    I personally love flipping between picturing (The) Link(s) as a realistical hero(becoming more hardened and gritty the more he has to do), and as the goofy but lovable cartoon/comic version of him(while not the same, they were similar).

  • Michelle

    Dude this article is amazzzzzzzzzing

    and yes I totally agree with you…

    Regarding which sin I think Link should have is Greed” imagine when you are done saving Hyrule you turned to take it for your own and you have to fight yourself and your greed…

    it will be so amazing and exciting ….

  • Cody

    I think it would be very intresting to see our Hero Link struggling with the obbsticles that we struggle with every day. I like to think of it as a dungeon, except in Links mind. Before he saves the world, he must over come his personal chalenges from within.

  • Dodon

    A dead 9th grade class…? That sucks. It would've been cool if I heard you say those exact words up in your article in my high school lit. class. You'd be too cool to be my teacher. Maybe you should talk about video game characters next class! 😀

    Anyway, you make a great point. I'd like to see Link with a bit of imperfection in him. I think a bit of each 'sin' would do him some good. I'm sure it'd make the story telling far more awesome. Although, I'm thinking it would separate the player from Link a little bit. Link is supposed to be our 'link' to the game right? Seeing Link with a personality that doesn't satisfy us might cause us to grow distant. I can already see some getting a foul taste in their mouths.

    Ugh…I'm just arguing with myself. Overall, Link with more personality = awesome. Good luck with teaching! 😀

  • @gabosaurio

    I agree with many other people's views. Even though it would be interesting to have a main character with certain personality traits, that would take the charm off a flat character, which lets you build him up as you want to.

    Just as you imagine him to be a good-willed, sinless, humble character, I have found myself thinking he can be quite a victim of the circumstances that surround him, and he just does what he can in order to get out of them -saving the world in the process- but in the end, to me, he's just a very unfortunate child. Probably because I'm pretty much the drama queen myself.

    Anyways, if Zelda has so many fans, it is clearly because the main hero is a flat character to which anyone can relate to, because he will have the characteristics and flaws that each player chooses to see in him.

  • Crono Maniac

    Sorry, I completely disagree. Some of the greatest stories and characters ever created are Heroic beings with no discernible character flaws while still remaining a fascinating character. I love characters that are pure and simply good, and its one of the reason's I like Mega Man's back story more than any other character of the NES era. Look at Crono from Chrono Trigger. He's a silent protagonist with no real character flaws, and yet he is still a fascinating character. You can feel his (and your own) righteous fury when he draws his sword before the final battle. His sacrifice to save the party is an incredibly heroic action. I like my Link just the way he is, thank you.

    By the way, Skyward Sword uses a more cartoony style, reminiscent of Ocarina of Time. And thank God for it. Twilight Princess was boring looking, and I'd take Wind Waker any day of the week.

  • MachEx

    Greed: Link kills the poor enemies just wandering hyrule field for the rupees they hold.

    Sloth: Young link (Oot) is said by navi to be lazy, the scene where she wakes him up?

    Envy: The enemies rupees, again.

    Wrath: he kills the poor enemies without a second thought. And the bosses only wan’t to be loved. link is wrathful. He has issues. Heck he doesn’t go so far as to blink when he kills ganondorf in TP. Link is a sociapath.

    more serious here though, toon link’s tone of voice his humorous shock whenever things don’t go his way his single line “come on” make him seem even worse than any other link.

    Link aint perfect. However of how close he may seem.

  • @mechanesthesia

    I just finished playing TP and I loved the game, and can go back to it again and again. To me it wasn't all this "bright and happy" stuff, it showed some real dark, mature content. And I think Midna was a perfect "anti-hero" and I totally related to her. She was reluctant and sometimes I even thought she would turn against me. Also, Zant was a great character that had greed for power and ended up turning to the dark side.

  • @mechanesthesia

    Also, like in any RPG, the main character is supposed to be blank and 2-dimensional, so that the player can incorporate their own thoughts and ideas into the the character.

  • @mechanesthesia

    ANd hello? The wolf! You go around terrorizing townspeople for fun! How is that "moral and virtuous"!

  • the hero of dragons

    I would like to be able to create the character by a survey ala-pokemon mystery dungeon

  • Superfield



  • andi

    Okay, I didn't have time to read all the comments so I'm sure someone already mentioned this (actually I did read one comment that said close to the same thing), but the reason I originally loved the zelda series was BECAUSE of its idealism. Not only link the character is idealistic, but his entire world is. If you gave only link backstory and motives and just said everything and everyone else around him is either "good" or "evil", it would leave the player unsatisfied because of that inconsistency. Moreover if you try to give every character realistic motives, it would over embellish the game and story. I think what made twilight princess unsatisfying is the lack of stuff to do within the game- ( I finished it much quicker than any other title, even the gbc and nintendo ones)- not that link was one-dimensional.

    on an unrelated note, to thewolfess, I have been jumping from site to site reading your articles- super addicted to your intriguing choice of topics in relation to zelda.

  • adolf wolf

    "how can hyrule's destiny depend on such a lazy boy?"

    what else is there to say? none of those other "sins" could possibly apply to the Link we all know… but he's lazy! the hero is always lazy until he's called to action. he's meant to be a simple character, a simple life, and until he's brought into his role of destiny he has nothing important to do and therefor is understandably lazy (why would a hero of destiny find anything important in day-to-day meaninglessness? he just wants to sleep in the sun).

    i can hardly believe this slipped your mind, though this is an old article. you may be right that Link's character is flawed in Twilight Princess,—yet, is the flaw perhaps just in your perception? I thought the problem with the game was that there was too much story, not that there was insufficient depth as you suggest. for me the problem was in the gameplay and puzzles and battles, not the character development.

    but what do I know? I'm not getting my master's (sorry, can't help but say it)

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