A couple of weeks ago, Melpomene made a video discussing the idea of a female Link in Zelda. The answer from fans was largely a “no”, but looking at the reasons, amongst them were several that I just couldn’t agree with, from reasons of just straight-up 1950’s sexism (“GIRLS CAN’T SAVE PEOPLE THAT’S WHAT MEN DO”) to other arguments like “but that would be like changing Mario or Samus” or “but that means male Zelda!” that I just find incorrect or irrelevant on other grounds.
Hit the jump for my video, where I rebut some of the above arguments and give some reasons why I feel that a female Link (or a female option Mass Effect style) wouldn’t be the dramatic negative change that people are suggesting.
For those unable to watch a video at the moment here’s some basic bulletpoints:
– Link is not a single “character” to be changed – he is as of the time of writing approximately 12 characters (with some debate over how many Links Four Swords count as). Each Link is a different age, has a different hair colour, has different body proportions, etc. The only thing linking (ohoho) them together is the tunic and the call to save the world. On top of that, many fans argue that Link is not a full “character” but a link to the player, in which case an option would help more players “link” to the game. In that case, a female option would be no more controversial than the female option for Pokemon game protagonists.
– It doesn’t mean Male Zelda at all – that’s kind of completely unrelated. The Legend of Zelda is not a series about relationships and for the most part Nintendo tend to go out of their way to keep Link out of them. A change to the main character doesn’t affect the other characters at all – it’s a world-saving adventure, not a half dating-sim where you need to select a wife to take back to Ordon Ranch. There is a game series like that, but it’s called Harvest Moon, and even it lets you select gender as of the last few console generations.
– Of course women can be heroes. I don’t even have much to say about that line of argument except that it is about 60 years out of date.
It’s a fairly unexplored field of discussion, so discussion is welcome!