When the original trailer for Breath of the Wild debuted at E3 2014, the internet caught fire with speculation that the newest incarnation of the hero of Hyrule would be female. With the addition of Linkle in Hyrule Warriors, and the rumours of being able to decide Link’s gender circulating prior to E3 2016, hype for such a change was at an all time high.

Linkle closeup

However, it has now been confirmed that Link, will in fact be male.

According to Eiji Aonuma, even though Nintendo did toy with the idea of a female Link, they “decided that if [they] were going to have a female protagonist, it’s simpler to have princess Zelda as the main character.” This would have been an interesting twist in the Zelda franchise, as the titular princess has never been the main protagonist of a canon game. Though there are problems with this concept, as Aonuma goes on to say “if we have princess Zelda as the main character who fights, then what is Link going to do?”

With preserving the balance of the Triforce in mind, Breath of the Wild’s creators felt it was best to keep Link male.