I’m sure most of us had a crush on a fictional character when we were kids, and for me, Link was my prince charming. Of course, I went through several different fictional crushes, but Link was the most meaningful one. What little girl didn’t dream about a dashing hero who will fight for her? That’s how it all started, but little did I know that a silly little crush would come to play such a huge part of my life.

The first Link I was introduced to was the angular Nintendo 64 model in Super Smash Bros. He always intrigued me, and although I wanted to learn more about him, lets face it, those graphics were never really that attractive. I know what you’re thinking, and yes, I was a shallow six-year-old. If he wasn’t handsome, he was a no-no. If you have read my article on Ocarina of Time, you’ll know that I had stopped my interactions with the Legend of Zelda for a while before picking it up again (due to the scary stalchildren), and it wouldn’t be until the Wind Waker where I would see Link again. He was a lot cuter this time around, and not only that, but this was the game that he made me smile the most. He was cheerful, funny, and brave, and I absolutely adored him. I’d always imagine being there with him as he sailed across the oceans with his friends, but it wasn’t until I started paying more attention to Super Smash Bros Melee that I made up my mind about the Hylian hero. With the graphics updated, Link was no longer the pixelated man I once knew as a six-year old. He was incredibly handsome, and with good looks and a great personality, it was then that I decided I needed to end my “relationship’” with Zatch Bell’s Kiyo Takamine and start my journey with Link. There was only one thing in standing in my way — Zelda.

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Playing the Wind Waker, I knew that there was a relationship between Link and Zelda. Whether we see it as romantic or not is up for the player to decide, but with all the Disney movies I’ve seen, I knew that the brave hero and the beautiful princess always live happily ever after. I was so jealous. I wished I was Zelda, especially when the artwork for her Twilight Princess design came out. She looked beautiful and strong; a perfect match for Link. It was so unfair! I knew from the start that my relationship with Link was only pretend, but that actually worked to my advantage. I simply decided to pretend to be Zelda. An easy fix! It was all in my head, and I never told a soul, so why not go for it? Everyone I knew just saw regular old me, but in my imagination, I was the princess of Hyrule. I did, however, try for the longest time to get my school friends to call me Zelda, but the nickname never caught on. When I played Twilight Princess, after beating the main story, I would travel Hyrule, pretending the saved Zelda was by Links side, going on silly adventures. Every episode of any television show I replaced the main characters with Link and Zelda, and it would be their (or rather our) story. Two of my best childhood friends and I also made up a game called ‘Stranded’ where we would pick Nintendo characters who would get stranded on a deserted island (or the middle of the ocean, depending on whether we were in the pool or not). I was always Zelda, waiting for Link to come and save us. That was the only time I could admit my feelings for Link aloud without anyone ever suspecting anything. When one of my friends pretended to be Link, we even had an island wedding, though Kirby did try and ruin it — I tell you, the drama was intense. Every night before I went to bed, I laid there thinking of my own new adventures that Link and I would embark on together throughout the Zelda universe. Eventually the world expanded, introducing new characters from other games like Fire Emblem, each one bringing a new story to explore. I know it sounds weird, obsessive, and maybe even little crazy (okay, a lot crazy — cut me a break, I was a kid), but little did I know that this was just my creative side starting to blossom.

These adventures of mine would last about a year or so, slowly becoming just fluffy fan fiction stories of Link and Zelda. I never stopped pairing them together in each new game that came out, but after a while, I eventually stopped trying to get between them. I no longer thought of myself as Princess Zelda, though I always found her quite the role model. Her kindness helped me become a more compassionate person, and Link’s bravery helped me become more outgoing, standing up to bullies who made fun of me and my friends because we were “nerds who liked baby stuff”. Many of their adventures still linger into my memory from time to time; In fact, some of those stories inspire the journeys of my own characters in the screenplays and stories I now write as an adult. Link is such an inspiration to me as a writer. He is a timeless character; a man of little words, but shows such bravery and true strength through his actions. He’s strong, kind, and everything that I think children and adults alike should look up to as a role model.

Though Link and I are now “broken up”, I know there’s always going to be a special place in my heart for him. People may make fun of you for loving a fictional character so much, but the truth is, in moderation, they can help us become better people. They teach us lessons, show us how to be kind, and even bring people together. As for me, Link helped bring out my creative side, and encouraged me to create my own characters and share their stories that I hope will one day touch people’s hearts as Link and the Legend of Zelda has touched mine.

  • Thunder

    Omg what a dramatic story! xD This remember me when i was a child and i pretended to be young link 🙂

  • Catqueen25

    I still love Link. My current LOZ fan fiction is called Courage Quest. It takes place after OoT, in which Link chooses to stay instead of going back. He and Zelda work hard to help Hyrule recover. Before long, they marry and become King and Queen. 3 years later, they are blessed with a daughter, Lucy. The story begins with Link ill. Lucy is awakened by the lights in the castle being on and the sound of coughing. She gets up and goes to her parents room. A few moments later, a guard runs in, saying Hyrule is under attack by the Oni, a powerful shadow demon. Despite his illness, Link manages to get up and open the bottom drawer of his wardrobe to reveal the mask of the Fierce Deity. He has kept it after using it to defeat Ganon. Despite Zeldas protests, Link dons the mask and heads outside. The battle between the King and the demon lasts a full day. Realizing he can’t win, Link calls out his triforce of courage, using it to seal the Oni inside. He shatters it and sends the seven shards out over Hyrule. This act leaves him at deaths door, but the sages intervene, putting him in suspended animation. He will awaken once the shards are found and brought together. Zelda and Lucy head out to gather the shards, finding all seven shards. They bring the shards to Link, who awakens, horrified by what they have done. Before he can warn them, he is consumed by the Oni. The Oni goes on the attack and Zelda orders Hyrule to evacuate to the neighboring Mushroom Kingdom. She and Lucy stay behind to fight. They are quickly overwhelmed, and the Oni shatters the Master Sword. They are saved by Waluigi, who teleports them to the border. There, they witness the Sun himself, Brighton, cast a wall of light around Hyrule, trapping the Oni inside. This ends part one. Part two begins with Prince Mallow on his cloud, searching for something inside Hyrule. He prays the Oni doesn’t find him. He locates what he was sent to find, the remains of the Master sword. He collects the pieces and rushes back to Skyland where he delivers it to Brighton. Zelda grieves, fearing the Master sword destroyed. Brighton only smiles, and reveals that he created the Master sword himself at the behest of the Goddesses, who each blessed the blade. He can reforge the Master sword, but he needs the blessings of the Goddesses to do so. The three goddesses can be summoned from within their temples. Unfortunately the three temples locations have been lost to time. Twila removes the orb from her wand, revealing it to be Farore’s Crystal. With it they can find Farore’s temple. Through scrying, Twila pinpoints the location of the Temple deep in Darkland Desert. Waluigi, Lucy, and Mallow head out. This part deals with the rebuilding of the Master sword.

    Part three tells of the Mushroom Kingdoms battle to hold back the Oni. Zelda and Lucy join the effort. It goes very poorly until Brighton arrives with his vast army. Wielding the newly forged Master sword, he takes on the Oni himself while the two armies deal with the undead army of the Oni. Brighton deals a powerful blow, and is able to save Link from within the Oni. He offers the sword, but Link refuses, feeling like a failure. It’s his fault that this happened. He doesn’t feel worthy to take up the Master sword. It’s not until Zelda is wounded that Link finally takes action. Brighton tosses him the Master sword. Link fights the Oni to a standstill, but is unable to kill the Oni. The only way to destroy the Oni is with the pure light of Courage. Link summons his triforce of courage, which blazes with light. Link transforms into King Hyrule, the first hero. The Oni attacks. Link is only able to hold the destructive force at bay. Lucy realizes that Courage is not complete. Part of it is missing. Being a descendant of King Hyrule, she is the missing piece. She holds out her hands, and summons her triforce of Courage. Joining her father, together they destroy the Oni. The two triforces merge and courage is whole once more. There had been an eighth piece, Lucy. The pure light of Courage burns brightly, calling Wisdom and Power to its side where they merge, becoming the legendary staff of the Goddesses wielded by King Hyrule long ago. Using it, Link heals Hyrule and restores the Mushroom Kingdom. He reverts back to his normal form, completely exhausted. Brighton reveals that it was he who ordered the Goddesses to shatter the staff. He felt it way too powerful and too tempting to dark forces. Now that it is back, it is Link’s duty to wield it. Once he passes, the staff will return to its original state, break into its three parts, and slumber until the time comes for them to select new bearers.

  • Linkle

    Oh, wow…

    That story is so touching and inspiring… :’) Thank you so much for sharing this…

    And you’re right; there’s nothing wrong with loving fictional characters at all, and Link, though not really a love of mine so much as a dear friend, has always inspired me and, really, played a huge part in making me who I am today.
    He’s given me strength in ways I never thought possible. I owe much to him, and of course to Nintendo.

    Again, thank you so much for this beautiful story. I wish ZU had more articles like this.

    <3

    • Elven_Ariaera

      I was so nervous about posting this story online, and even after it was published I was still rather anxious about it. Seeing this comment really made me glad I did, thank you so much for reading this! It’s so awesome to see how this one character can touch so many people’s lives in different ways! Thank you for sharing as well!