In a recent interview with IGN, Tri Force Heroes director Hiromasa Shikata talked about why there is no choice to choose gender in the upcoming 3DS Zelda game. IGN compared Tri Force Heroes’s choice of choosing the garments Link can wear to the Monster Hunter series, and how typically in games which give players a choice of clothing for their character, you also have the choice to choose a gender for it.

“There’s this kingdom, an event happens, and the king needs heroes. So, he puts out a call for heroes to gather and one of those is this guy Link,” Shikata responds. “He sees this audition, basically, ‘Heroes needed; apply here.’ And, that’s the start of his adventure.”

“The story calls for [a] legend where heroes come together […] In that, they are male characters.”

He continues, “The story calls for this sort of legend/prophecy where heroes will come together to help solve a problem. And in that, they are male characters. So, because the game is set with that as the story background, you cannot choose a gender; you are a male character.”

Shikata then, in an attempt to diffuse any potential anger from female fans, confirms that there are a lot of female staff that enjoy the game, and don’t have a problem with not being able to play as a female Link, and says Link “isn’t the most masculine of guys” anyway.

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  • Queen Martina

    Holy eff this is so obnoxious. It’s a Zelda game. “Legend of Zelda.” “But why could we be female characters in Hyrule Warriors?” Because it wasn’t branded as a real Zelda game. Even this one may not even be cannon. Either way. It’s part of the Legend. And now all of a sudden people want Link to be a girl. Are we going to have a Prince to? Is it going to be called, “The Legend of Zeldo?” Jeeze. Just be Link and be happy you’re getting a new Zelda game. And yes I am female and I’ve been playing Zelda for 22 years so bite me.

  • hyoseong

    They are creating the game they want to, and they honestly owe no explanation to anyone. He didn’t “attempt to diffuse anger” from anyone . He is simply stating that the women who play have no issues immersing themselves into the world of LoZ nor do they have any trouble connecting with Link/the story. Which we don’t. “I CAN’T EMPATHISE WITH THIS CHARACTER BECAUSE HE ISN’T SHE,” said no (reasonable) female gamer ever.

  • Oscar Yasser Garcia Juallek

    He explains something he shouldn’t. Screw forced gender representation, if you want to make a deal about characters genders instead of enjoying whatever immersion games may offer to you, what a sad gaming experience you have.

  • Nick

    this… isnt much of an explanation? i agree that he doesnt really need to explain himself but he didnt really give a valid reason for why link is male. he just said “it is the way he is”. but i like how he brought up that link isnt the most masculine of characters- i think people like him a lot for his androgyny tbh. the comments im sort of seeing are arguing against nothing, reading the original interview theres no need to call against people who want female representation in games. he explained himself simply because the interviewer wanted to know? i dont think they were crossing any boundaries, and all they said in response was that it disappointed them a little.
    these comments are just arguing against nothing… i dont see how “its not the legend of zeldo” is really even an argument…? its very frustrating/disappointing to me that whenever gender is called in videogames, even as a discussion point, its instantly met with negativity and ad antiquitatum fallacy arguments. i dont see why people cant be disappointed their gender isnt represented in a game, and why its so wrong for us to question how things have “always been that way”. give people some slack…

    • hyoseong

      If people want their gender/race/sexuality to be represented in games, they can either a) make their own games, or b) call for NEW games with more women/diversity.

      Honestly, the majority of gamers don’t care about politics in games; we literally just want to play them. I play a guy? Awesome. Girl? Rad. Just make the story great and gameplay fluid and the characters interesting.

      I feel that Shikata’s answer was sufficient: “Link is male because he’s male.” End. Period. Perhaps in a subsequent installment we can see Zelda saving Link, and if /they/, as developers, want to make /that/ game, Link can be female. No one has any issues with that. People have issues with others altering canon or harassing developers in order to meet some sort of “diversity quota.” That makes for weak characters. In reality, we should be more tolerant of is allowing developers to make the games they want to make without calling them “racist” or “sexist” because they didn’t have x-amount of characters. It’s irritating to me personally to see people calling Shikata sexist just because he’s saying, “For the purposes of this game/story, Link is male.”

      Again, I’ve yet to meet anyone who truly believes there should be no female/gay/Mexican/Indian/trans/etc. protagonist, but the only issue we have is trying to make already-established characters that female/gay/Mexican/Indian/trans/etc. protagonist.

      We can make new games for our generation without forcing old and established games to conform to our every whim. If/when those devs /want/ to do that in their own time, the majority will still support them as long as it doesn’t compromise or sacrifice storytelling/gameplay in the process.

      • Nick

        to answer your a) argument: make a game. just do it. go out and get published, see how easy it is to make a game, market it, and break even, esp. if youve got a protag who aint yr normal type. what people are asking for is for already established people to be doing what they want.
        your b) arg: okay, i mean thats what people are doing? theyre not asking game developers to go back and edit already made games, theyre asking people to make new games with female characters. i dont really see what youre adding here.
        “link is male because he is male” gives absolutely no critical insight or info on his creative process. he could have said something like “well we just were making the game like the other zelda games, where link is male and is an established male character” im not calling him sexist, never did. im saying that its odd that he could not give a succinct answer.
        how does having someone who isnt a white straight male going to make the characters weaker…? youre trying to pull this idea of a diversity quota on me, that i first of all never called for, but youre like backpedaling on your statements about finding the irregular characters to be fine. why does a “diversity quota” make characters weak? are they not just arbitrary features that shouldnt make a difference on the character? keep in mind were talking about a character whos only nuance in his personality is grunting loudly. the only 3d he is is on a 3ds lol.
        sorry, im just answering your individual args line by line, but once again, i never called shikata sexist, and neither did the original interviewer or anyone on this post. so i dont know who youre saying is calling shikata sexist.
        ive met plenty of people who believe the main characters should not have any sort of diversity. they are everywhere, not too hard to look for them… ive met them plenty of times on this website.
        and that is valid, that link is an already established character- tho, we have seen plenty of changes in him and zelda in the past, so i dont really think thats an issue. i mean both of them have taken on completely different looks game through game.
        finally, diversity can not “compromise” a fantasy world that rarely goes without changing radically game to game, so i dont know why youre saying it could even be a possibility.

        • Trinosaur

          Utterly Agree. Thank you.

  • Link

    Not a right thing, i’ m a male… but not a right thing

  • Trinosaur

    “You have to be a male character because you have to be a male character”

    ……ok then