While we have now confirmed that it is in fact Link in the trailer for Zelda Wii U, in an interview with IGN, Eiji Aonuma talked about the possibility of having Zelda as a protagonist in the franchise. He stated that while it is an idea that he is interested in, there’s something very special about the series being called The Legend of Zelda but not featuring Zelda as the main character in the game. He also stated that if Zelda were to be a the main playable character, the title of the game may require a change from The Legend of Zelda to something else.

“It’s called ‘Legend of Zelda’ but Zelda is not the main character”

“I’m interested in seeing something like that (Zelda as the heroine), but I think one of the charm points of this particular franchise is that fact that it’s called ‘Legend of Zelda’ but Zelda is not the main character,” Aonuma says. “She’s not the protagonist. But if you ask me what that is, I don’t know. I can’t really explain it. Maybe if she’s the main character, then maybe the title needs to change.”

Last year we talked about the possibility of seeing Zelda as a playable character in a Zelda game. Clearly that has caught Nintendo’s eye. Would you like to see Zelda as the protagonist in a future Zelda installment?

  • Samantha B.

    Yes I would!!!! I don’t see the need for a game name change at all!

  • Thomas Andersen

    No thank you!:) ..

  • Robert Godan

    Not. At. All. Sorry but I would dislike this idea extremely. I don’t have a problem with her being playable in games like Hyrule Warriors but I want Link for the main series. I think he is a perfect protagonist.

    • Melody

      Exactly!

    • veeronic

      than make it an entirely different kind of game… for instance if they made a ganondorf game… it would have to play like god of war

      • Ganondox

        It would also work as a strategy game. Ooh, that would be so awesome, a brawler-RTS hybrid where you play Ganondorf.

    • Trinosaur

      Is there a reason you dislike it? What about Link makes him a perfect protagonist as opposed to Zelda?

    • Trinosaur

      Is there a reason you dislike it? What about Link makes him a perfect protagonist as opposed to Zelda?

    • Dillik

      Do you suppose his status as the perfect protagonist has anything to do with a) his matching your gender, b) your ideals about what men and women are supposed to be, or c) male heroes’ more solid grounding in early video games?

      • PeteyPiranha

        d) Link is awesome so he prefers him to Zelda

        Not everything is about social justice and male/female ratios. Do yourself a favor and stop listening to Anita Sharkeesian.

        • Dillik

          No no, you’re entirely right. It surely has nothing to do with people expecting heroism from males and passivity from females, and I’m sure any of you could list droves of “perfect” female game heroes that really resonate with you and reflect what a hero should be.

          And, I mean, supposing you couldn’t, and almost all of the characters you admire are male, I’m sure we can still figure out some way Anita and feminists are nonetheless wrong about everything and why the current standard works great for you.

          • Name

            Or perhaps he has grown attached to this hero like a great deal of the Zelda community has, I can’t speak for him but Link has been my hero since I was 6 and I would never want him replaced.

            The second part of your post is quite frankly stupid, picking you admire based solely on gender is sexist. I do not like Link because the character is male, I like him because he feels like a part of my childhood at this point and replacing him would feel like a slap in the face

          • True Davad

            We are talking about Zelda being playable, no one said anything about replacing Link.

          • Name

            I am perfectly okay with her getting her own series as long as she does not replace Link as the protagonist in The Legend of Zelda series

          • Dillik

            I respect that you’re attached to the heroes you grew up with (setting aside the unfortunate reason why the heroes you grew up with were nearly all male). I would now like equally cool heroes for my daughters (who, sexist though you may call this, do attach much more easily to female heroes, as I think many kids use what we might call superficial cues to see themselves in their role models).

            Why focus on the Zelda series instead of just putting female heroes into their own franchises? Part of my fear there is that some sort of “for girls” series would be at the immediate disadvantage of being not-the-real-one or a halfhearted spinoff. Or they’d change so much about the concept (so as not to step on the toes of the “main” series) that it wouldn’t be the type of LoZ game we love. LoZ is a rare gem in which I’d like to see a female hero included.

            That doesn’t necessarily mean banishing male-Link. Maybe you could choose female-Link, or choose Zelda, or choose some other female character we haven’t seen (though she’d be at a familiarity/popularity disadvantage from the outset). Choice certainly reflects the idea that Link is your blank-slate avatar in the world. (Presumably your Link shouldn’t be cheapened just because it’s not the Link I have to look at on my machine.)

            I’d also be okay with just occasionally throwing in a female hero as the only playable character in some games or some portions of the games, but whether those games/portions would be designed more poorly (“She’s a girl! Must change something!” -devs) or just perceived more poorly, I don’t know.

          • Alysaphiria

            Why not like having a 2 side story? Like the game make you the choice at the begining to be either Link or Zelda, and both have their own side of the story?

          • Name

            I would not call your daughter sexist, she wants to see someone she wants to grow up to be doing amazing things, which is why I am for a female Link instead of making Zelda playable in the main series, I am a firm believer that Link should stay the same amazing hero no matter what gender Link is in the game

          • PeteyPiranha

            I don’t care if the protagonist of a game is a male, female, alien, robot, what have you. As long as the character is likeable, then they’re cool with me. People like you and Anita look for things to complain about, and manufacture something to complain about when there isn’t one.

      • loliberals

        OMG femenazi gtfo already

        • Nick

          you know i really get annoyed when people call someone a feminazi for wanting a female lead character in a video game. you know what they asked for? a female game character. you know what the nazis did? enslave, torture, and murder millions. try and think about what youre saying before you throw around that kind of ignorance.

          • loliberals

            awww did the ladyboy get her feelwingz hurted? )’: )’:
            Go scrub a drain or something.

          • RUSTY

            HEY LOOK IM PRINCESS NICK
            *RATTLES POTS AND PANS LIKE WOMENS DO*
            LOL0LOL0LO0OL

          • Dillik

            I’d like to imagine this is a straw-man account posted to make anti-feminists look foolish. In which case B+ for effort, but the execution is just way too over-the-top.

          • RUSTY

            NICK WANTS TO BE A GIRL LOLOLOLOL
            I BET HE DRESSES BARBIE DOLLZ AND PLAYZ HIZ PINK WIIMOTE WITH HIZ PINKIEZ UP LOLOOLOLOL

          • Ganondox

            This here is why gamers are the worst. I thought Zelda fans were better, apparently not.

          • True Davad

            You know the negative reactuion to Nick’s comment is the most sexist thing I have ever seen. The way the haters put them is pathetic.

          • Name

            The negative reaction is due to the fact that he taking the term too literaly when it is meant to be an exageration

          • Nick

            i wrote a super long thing so apparently it has to be approved and if it isnt by the end of today im going to give it to you all in pieces because i think its time you learned something

    • JaidynReiman

      I don’t see why we can’t have a Zelda game where we’re actually playing as Zelda most or even part of the game. I’d love that really.

  • zombiek3nny

    Personally, I would like this, as long as we can still play as Link (kind of like how you can switch between Link and Wolf Link/Midna in Twilight Princess).

    • Nick

      id actually like at least a few games where you actually have to play as a girl, because there are so many where everyone plays as a boy, maybe we can take a break for a little while.

  • Melody

    If he did do that I agree 100% with a game name name change. He is correct there is something special playing as link.The story is not all about zelda but nore does it focus on Link..
    if you knock Link of for zelda I say name change. I know when I, along with other fans, hear about a ‘new Legend of Zelda’ game, we are expecting and hoping for our iconic Link character to go cut grass and smash pots with. Its not the same if your Zelda and trying to create the same atmosphere.

    • Dillik

      It depends entirely on the baggage that comes with “Zelda” (or “generic princess”), doesn’t it? Would any of us have a hard time imagining Tetra smashing pots and cutting grass? That’s Zelda with Link’s mischief level and then some.

      • Melody

        No I actually cant imagine running around as Tetra Like that. And even if they made a more mischievous Zelda, I would still be disappointed to hear nl Link. Doesn’t hurt to change the title and then the characters allong with it. I look forward to Link, not Zelda. Least with a name change everyone would be pleased.

      • Dusk

        Zelda is far from “Generic princess”. in twilight princess she adopted a queenly status literally running the entire kingdom. in skyward sword, she was simply an adventurous student who was thrust into destiny and reacted pretty damn accordingly. in Minish cap, she was a playful friend of Link with a bit of a mischievous side. I don’t see the “Generic” anywhere

        • Dillik

          Well, it is nice that several games have bothered to give her as much personality as the average side character, but what I’m referring to here are our expectations for a new game. We wouldn’t know anything about random Zelda #19 (I made that number up) except that she’s a princess (maybe), and in this regard some people may not see her in an adventurer role. My point is that Zelda can be written in ways that defy shallow expectations, and Tetra is a good example of that.

  • Paula Wise

    I would like to see a game based on Sheik and what she went through during OoT.

    • Gabriel Aguilar

      THIS. I would buy this….. So quickly.

    • Melody

      I would also, but with a different name. Or at least something like LOZ Shieks tale. Something to warn the die hard link fans that he isn’t in it before full information comws out for it.

  • James Wright

    It would be cool if they were both payable characters in the same game. in other zelda games you take it on with another character sometimes but i always found it laborious and the talents of the other character are usually standing on switches. no wait thats the only talent haha. but i thought it would be cool having 2 characters and they could have similar or completely interchangeable talents. for example you could do all the usual one stands on a switch and the other walks through the door crap. but you could also maybe send one character off to get potions or you could be in 2 different dungeons on the world map at the same time.

  • Fuzzylittlebastard

    I think that if Zelda were to be a Protagonist in the LOZ canon, then they would have to make a few changes.
    1) No dress
    2) not a princess (Link as a prince maybe?)
    3) Not entirely swapped roles I.E. Zelda not a farm girl from Ordon Provence. Maybe is in the city or something

    Thats all I can think of, it would be a tricky thing to do, but I would love to see Nintendo try to switch up the formula to that extent.

  • killerbox13

    I can see it now…”The Legend of Link” lol
    But seriously, I wouldn’t mind playing as Zelda in a game. It would be interesting to say the least. Maybe have it titled something like “The Legend of Hyrule” or what about “The Legends of Zelda” lol

    • Nick

      i think it would be really cool if they didnt change it, but had the name just be “The Legend of Zelda” and no undertitle

  • Trinosaur

    My only concern with Zelda being the protagonist is that we’ll get another “Super Princess Peach” kind of deal. I’d like it if she were taken seriously and respected as a character in the same way that Link is, should she get her own title. I would adore playing a game where Zelda, dressed similarly to Sheik perhaps, went on a grand adventure to find the hero of courage in order to save her people and realizing “Wait, I already have the power to do that” or something to that effect. The useless emotional princess trope needs to end.

    • Nick

      while i agree that super princess peach was ridiculous and really pretty sexist how they handled it (i.e. using emotions to fight) but i dont think theres anything wrong with a main character being feminine and also being really cool!

      • Trinosaur

        I can agree with that too. I’m just afraid of the femininity being overplayed, as you say happened in Super Princess Peach. Basically, I don’t want it to revolve around the fact that “omg she is female” but for her to have her own spotlight, still be a girl, but not have it be the only reason to buy and play the game, you know? I hope that makes sense. I want her to be a character, not a trope.

        • True Davad

          I agree. Zelda being Female is just a gender. That is all it is.

  • Sdudyoy

    Personally instead of making Zelda a playable character, I would rather have another Female protagonist, kinda like how Pokemon lets you choose between a girl and a boy, and then you would see the other one through out your adventure, Zelda would have an entirely different play style, so she would have to be in a spin off instead of a main series game, and I don’t think many people would like that.

    • Ganondox

      I think many people would love a spinoff.

      • Sdudyoy

        Of course people would love a spinoff, that’s not what I meant, what I meant was that people want to see Zelda playable in a main series game, if Zelda was only playable in a spin off, they would complain about her not being playable in a main game.

  • deckchair

    Yes, definitely. I think there is huge scope for a story with her as the lead. I want to see the world from the perspective of the Goddess reborn for once! I don’t see why the name needs changing as the story would still revolve around the legend of Zelda, but she’d have different weapons, a different goal.
    Maybe it’d be cool to see a timeline where the hero just never appeared and the world fell to ruin, so Zelda has take up the mantel herself. She pretty went on her own quest in Skyward Sword and was way ahead of Link the whole way, we just never got to play as her.

  • Garrett Hoy

    While I love Zelda, I don’t like the idea. It’s not about male’s being better or anything like that, it’s just that the series has grown so much that to change the protagonist, would be to change the face of nintendo. It would be like Peach saving Mario. Now I would definitely be open to having another series about Zelda. I would love to see that, but don’t interfere with the Zelda series that drastically please.

    • Nick

      there was a game where peach saved mario actually. but anyhow im not sure that switching up protagonists for even one game might change the face of nintendo. i dont think its that drastic a change to just have a different character in the same story? i think a big problem a lot of people here are facing is the idea of “a woman character” and mabe thats a part of some gender theory stuff where maybe we could just think of “a new character” you know? but i suppose you might still be uncomfortable with a new character that wasnt link and was male as well, in which case i understand. but i think nintendo has always been about breaking tradition, and i think that male prevalence might be one tradition they should break, considering we are heading to a new world as we speak, what with political tensions climbing over queer and feminine identities.

      • Dillik

        “but i suppose you might still be uncomfortable with a new character that wasnt link and was male as well”

        It’s an interesting question. When Aonuma was trolling, “who said that’s Link?”, how many people (who identified the character as definitively male) were up in arms about the possibility of a playable male character who wasn’t Link (Link’s brother, son, or whatever)? Fewer or more than those who’d protest a playable female character who wasn’t Link? “Brother or son… Maybe interesting, let’s keep an eye on. Sister or daughter, WTF NINTENDO??!” Or am I underestimating the fanbase?

  • Joseph Reyes

    Maybe make two sides of the story, make Link playable for sure, for all those who have grown up with him as the main protagonist (no offense, but Link definitely needs to have the main role in this game, we all have grown onto him, in a really cool way). Then perhaps Zelda’s side of the story, playable as herself, with a crazy plot twist, like maybe she was being manipulated by someone the entire time, ha, anything’s possible. Now if they want to make a game solely for Zelda, then that’s also an option too.

  • Vladislak

    I’d be okay with it, I’d much prefer playing Zelda than genderswapping Link. That’s just always seemed kinda creepy to me.

    Honestly, more than either of those options I’d prefer they make a whole new female protagonist independent of of Zelda or Link. Not just “that female Link” or “the warrior princess”, but something totally original with it’s own merits.

    • Dusk

      I actually like the idea of genderswapping Link. unfortunately, I can’t think of an instance where it would be a significant enough mechanic for changing such a beloved character. but I do like the idea of the Hero of Hyrule not being bound to one gender considering he is constantly reincarnated throughout the ages.

  • Ceres Leaf

    They should use the Paper Mario system, after every chapter you should be able to play as Zelda/Peach to advance the plot by setting things up and the likes, it add diversity and something to look forward to every chapter, oh well.

  • Michael James Kennedy

    I would rather have a new Metroid game… or 2.

  • Dusk

    I think it’s an interesting concept. people can finally stop saying she’s a stereotype. (she’s not, Zelda is very much a mental character working behind the scenes)

    • Ganondox

      She’s certainly gotten more fleshed out as she’s gone along, I’d call her since Ocarina of Time a strong female character, however it’s still very cliche that despite this you still pretty much have to rescue her at like the end of every game.

  • Peter Subramanian

    Zelda would be cool, but I think simply a sex/gender change between the current Zelda and Link would make more sense.

  • nasanerd09

    I would be sad to see a LoZ game without Link as the main protagonist, but I’m not totally against the idea of having Zelda be a playable character as well. I’d like something similar to Spirit Tracks, where Zelda as your sidekick was able to be controlled by the player in certain situations, but just have her role and abilities fleshed out more. Or to have a co-op game where both characters are fully playable and going on the adventure together. But a Zelda game fully devoid of Link would just feel empty to me. It’d be much harder to project myself onto Zelda than it would be to project myself onto Link, because as a character her personality and story is always more fleshed out. And gender has nothing to do with it, I’m a girl.

  • Keimori

    It’d be great to see a spinoff staring Zelda in a Zelda type game.
    I’d like to see a game with a story that deals with her having to deal with the pressures of being Hyrule’s Monarch.