Link was originally created by Shigeru Miyamoto to serve as the "link" between the player and the land of Hyrule. There are in fact many different iterations of Link, each with their own background and backstory, but all arising when a great evil threatens the world. Likewise, some Links appear in numerous games, such as the Link from A Link to the Past, who also appears in Link's Awakening; and the Hero of Time, who appears in both Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask.
Outside of the core video games, Link has appeared in various manga, television shows, and other forms of merchandising. He is often seen as one of the most recognizable video game characters, which is due in part to each variation of Link looking similar to the previous one, with nearly identical clothes and hair. His green clothing, which includes a tunic and a floppy hat, have been featured in all of the titles, and holds a symbolic meaning to what the character signifies. This was until The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, where he got a significant redesign.
The character has graced the cover of magazines, appeared as the topic of philosophical discussions, and is one of the 12 characters in the Super Smash Bros. series to appear in every game in the series. He also appeared exclusively in the GameCube version of Soulcalibur II as a guest fighter.
- 1 Character
- 2 History and story
- 2.1 The Nintendo Entertainment System era
- 2.2 The Super Nintendo Entertainment System era
- 2.3 The Nintendo 64 era
- 2.4 GameCube era
- 2.5 Wii era
- 2.6 Wii U era
- 2.7 Nintendo Switch Era
- 3 Outside appearances and cameos
- 4 Other
- 5 Conception
- 6 Games
- 7 Trivia
- 8 References
Link is a normal Hylian in most games. The course of each game's events slowly turn him into a hero, and he usually gains the Triforce of Courage along the way.
He has usually hailed from peaceful villages like the Kokiri Forest and Ordon Village, and possesses a variety of different weapons. His primary weapons of choice are swords and shields, with his best known and most often acquired sword being the Master Sword, also known as the Blade of Evil's Bane. Many games feature magical musical instruments that Link acquires along his journey, such as the Wind Waker from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, the Ocarina of Time from the Nintendo 64 games, and the Spirit Flute from The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks. Link uses these and an assortment of different spells, weapons, and other miscellaneous tools to finish his quest.
Most versions of Link are left-handed, with the exceptions being the versions in the Wii version of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, the The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Breath of the Wild's sequel. Throughout the series, Link never utters a word. His only vocalizations consist of grunts and shouts when dealing or taking damage. This allows the players, from a developer's point of view, to feel more like they are Link. The sole exception happens in The Wind Waker, where Link can be heard saying "Come on".
A common feature found in most video games is the concept of hammerspace - having near infinite pocket space in which one carries all of one's items in. The Legend of Zelda is no exception, with Link carrying many pieces of equipment with no sign of slowing down. Link can carry, for example, a sword, shield, bow, countless arrows, gauntlets, tunics, bombs, a Hookshot, various kinds of boots, and a boomerang, but still be quick and nimble on foot, with only two items generally being visible (such as a sword and shield combination). Notably, the Iron Boots, when on, will cause Link to walk very slowly - however, even though he's carrying it throughout the game it causes no effect whatsoever when unequipped.
History and story
The Nintendo Entertainment System era
Shigeru Miyamoto had found success with the extremely popular Mario series. Debuting in the early 1981's Donkey Kong, Mario became the most recognizable character in the industry. His success was furthered when Miyamoto directed Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo Entertainment System. After the game's success, Miyamoto went to work on a completely different title for the NES and, in Japan, the Famicom Disk System. Eventually he decided on a game dealing with dungeons, adventure, and exploration, a free-form style that set itself apart from the more linear platforming of the Super Mario series. The plan eventually came to fruition, becoming The Legend of Zelda.
It was so large that it was the first game that required a battery-based save system so that players could return later and play. The Legend of Zelda was also the first game to star Link. In The Legend of Zelda, Link finds himself in the land of Hyrule. The exact story as to how he ever got there is never fully explained even though the instruction booklet gives a minor story it is not seen as canon since it can be easily refuted since new games have come out. Link in the game has to defeat 8 bosses in 8 dungeons to collect pieces of the Triforce of Wisdom. After collecting all 8 pieces he must enter Level 9 (Ganon's Castle) and defeat Ganon to obtain the Triforce of Power and to save Princess Zelda.
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is vastly different from its predecessor and is considered the black Sheep in the Zelda World. The game contained one large expansive world that had enemies that when Link ran into brought him into a side scrolling area where he can defeat the enemies or run to one side to go back to the world. The game is often looked down upon because of its differences between it and other Zelda games but many Legend of Zelda items, enemies and ideas were first presented in this game and are still used to this day. Things such as iron knuckles, towns, talking NPC's (this was the first game ever to introduce this idea; it did so through the numerous people in the towns) In Adventure of Link, Link finds out from Impa that Zelda has been put to sleep by her brother and a magician.
Link must go to six Palaces in order to release the seal on the Great Palace, where he goes on to defeat the Thunderbird in order to release the seal on Zelda. In addition, Ganon's minions are wreaking havoc in Hyrule again, hoping to sacrifice Link in order to bring back Ganon. Link defeats the Thunderbird, but then confronts his own Shadow, Dark Link. Ganon never actually appears in this game save for an image on the Game Over screen due to his death in the previous game. The two NES titles were released, and the series had sold millions.
The Super Nintendo Entertainment System era
With the SNES came the potential for more dramatic stories, enhanced graphics and much improved gameplay. Super Mario World had already made a big splash and Nintendo was hoping to replicate the game's success with another sequel. The director of Super Mario World, Takashi Tezuka (who was also a prominent figure in the development of the original Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda) was put in charge of the new Zelda title for the SNES which was called The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.
A new Link awakes to the sound of Princess Zelda's voice. He finds out that Hyrule castle is being attacked by a new villain, Agahnim, and following his uncle (a knight of Hyrule), Link gains a sword and saves Princess Zelda.
Link then finds out from the old man, Sahasrahla, that he must go to 3 temples and gain the Three pendants so that he can awaken the master sword and defeat Agahnim. But before he can defeat Agahnim he finds out that he has kidnapped Princess Zelda again. This time storming into Hyrule castle, Link defeats Agahnim but close to death, Agahnim banishes Link to the Dark World. Link finds out that the 6 maidens are trapped within temples in the Dark World. Link saves these maidens, and with their powers, he opens the door to Ganon's tower on top of Death Mountain. He then defeats Agahnim only to find that he was just a puppet for Ganon. Ganon then flies off to the inside of the Pyramid of Power where Link and Ganon have their final battle. Link upon defeating Ganon takes his piece of the Triforce, Princess Zelda's, and Ganon's and reunites them to end the game.
The Game Boy was released in 1989 and was welcomed to an unparalleled of success when compared to other handheld efforts. It was about time for Nintendo to release a game within the Zelda series for the Game Boy, which lead to the creation of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. In Link's Awakening, Link finds himself on an island after a dreadful shipwreck. Soon after, he is taken to Tarin's house, where Link will meet Marin (Tarin's daughter who resembles Zelda). Once Link ventures outside, an owl tells him that he must find and play the 8 sirens to awaken the Wind Fish to return back to his homeland, Hyrule. Each siren is heavily guarded by a boss found inside of a dungeon.
Once he traverses through every dungeon, and destroys every boss, he will be able to play the instruments, and wake the Wind Fish. It is soon revealed that this story is nothing but a mere dream (the wind fish's dream) that Link is trapped inside. Though to get out, he must still play the sirens, which will wake the fish up, thus getting rid of the dream and saving Link. One large topic throughout the game that is theorized on is whether or not Link was the bad guy or the Nightmare because in the end of the game by awaking the Wind Fish Link essentially destroys the world of the dream killing all in it (excluding Marin who turns out to be a Seagull in the end of the game). This ending and idea is hinted throughout the game especially by different bosses who essentially are trying to stop Link from destroying the dream.
The Nintendo 64 era
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
The SNES's time had passed and it was time to release a new console. Tentatively titled the Nintendo Ultra 64, Nintendo eventually removed the Ultra due to copyright problems with Konami and released the Nintendo 64. Announced for the console was a new Zelda title originally named Zelda 64. Impressive graphics complimented what seemed to be fluid and exciting gameplay and little did players know that the game would become so much better looking like development progressed, and the game inched closer to its release.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is often hailed as the greatest video game of all time. In it, the game begins in Kokiri Forest where Link is awakened by Navi the Fairy who informs Link that the Great Deku Tree wishes to see him. He seeks out a sword and shield upon the request of one of the Kokiri kids and visits the Great Deku Tree who tells Link of a dastardly villain who cursed him after refusing to hand over one of the three Spiritual Stones. Desiring for the curse to vanish, he asked Link to travel inside his great body and destroy it. Link did so, though the curse had taken effect and the Great Deku Tree died before telling Link of his great adventure that would soon begin. He gave him the Forest Emerald and drew his last breath, with which he told Link to seek out the Princess of Hyrule.
Link traveled to Hyrule Castle where he met Princess Zelda, who foretold the future through a dream of hers. The dream was dark and grim and featured Ganondorf, the evil tyrant who cursed the Deku Tree, as the prominent figure. The King of Hyrule may not have seen through him, though Zelda did, and saw that he wished to have the Triforce for his own. Zelda asked that Link find the two other Spiritual Stones in order to open the realm that houses the Triforce, and did so by visiting the locations of the Goron and Zora races. After finding the third Spiritual Stone, he traveled back to Hyrule Castle only to find that Ganondorf had attacked Hyrule. Zelda and her faithful servant Impa escaped and passed by Link. Zelda tossed an Ocarina into the moat and vanished. Ganondorf followed, though was never able to find them.
Using the three Spiritual Stones and the newly acquired Ocarina of Time, Link opened the door of the Sacred Realm. There laid the Master Sword, with which he would be able to defeat Ganondorf. He thrust it from its pedestal, thus opening the way to the Triforce. However, Link was too young a boy to kill Ganondorf, and was thus sealed away for seven years. After withdrawing the blade, Ganondorf entered the realm and took the Triforce for himself. Link would have to wait for many ages until he would be old enough to defeat the beast.
Seven years later, it was revealed that Ganondorf's heart was not balanced in power, courage and wisdom. Thus, upon acquiring the Triforce, it was split into three parts and would find its new location within those whose attributes accurately signify power, courage and wisdom. Power was to Ganondorf, wisdom to Zelda, and courage to Link. Ganondorf would need to find the two of them in order to gain the ultimate power he so desired.
Meanwhile, Link, now an adult, would need to seek the help of six Sages. Each one rested within a temple, and Link would need to conquer each one in order to awaken them and their power. After doing so, a seventh Sage was revealed, Zelda. With their combined power, Link was able to enter the tower of Ganondorf that was suspended in midair above a pool of flowing lava. He crossed the newly made bridge and entered the building. He climbed to the top, defeating waves of enemies and completing challenging puzzles, only to come across Ganondorf once and for all. He defeated him, though the tower where he was stationed started to collapse and he and Zelda had to escape.
They did so, though outside Ganondorf transformed into his beast form Ganon and a new battle ensued. link through the use of unconventional weapons defeats Ganon with a final blow to the skull. Though in the end Ganon is banished to the Spirit Realm by the sages. Link is sent back in time to tell Princess Zelda of the future so that this can never happen and in its wake creates a split in time between the Adult Link's journey and the Child Link's journey. These two different endings to the game that happen simultaneously lead to other games that depict themselves as happening after one or the other ending.
Majora's Mask and the Oracle games
The team behind Ocarina of Time immediately went to work on the game's successor after it managed to become the best-selling game in the series. Eiji Aonuma, who as one of the game's many directors in Ocarina, became the primary director of this game. Miyamoto had past the torch to him and a new leader would helm the series from there on out. The first result was a game considered the darkest title on the Nintendo 64. Enter The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.
In The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Link finds himself in a forest (presumed to be the Lost Woods) after the events of Ocarina of Time. Link on his journey was looking for his long-lost friend Navi when he was attacked by the Skull Kid. Chasing him he fell into a portal leading him to Termina where the story begins as Link is turned into a Deku Scrub. Link then sets off to gain confront the Skull Kid so he gains the Ocarina of Time back so he can be turned back to normal. Link finds out that the Skull Kid has been corrupted because of a mythical mask called the Majora's Mask.
Majora's Mask's most devious plan was pulling the Moon from its initial orbit and bringing it closer to the planet. Within three days the moon would crash in the middle of Termina, bringing the apocalypse upon Termina. Link was obligated to stop these horrors from occurring. Link manages to get his Ocarina back and playing a special song on it rewinds time by three days. Certain things that Link alter in those three days, however, will stay altered rather than reverting to their previous state such as items Link gains will still be with him. Link then needed to use this to his advantage and call the Four Giants so that they could push the moon back into its orbit. Doing so, however, would not rid of Majora's Mask. Link after calling the Four Giants finds that the Mask has become its own entity and then upon the moon laying in the holding hands of the Giants Link fights and defeats Majora's Mask.
The next game after Majora's Mask was unique since it was released as two separate games. Each one contained different stages, characters, and the overall theme was different too. Developed by Capcom's now defunct Flagship studio, the games were The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons. Released alongside each other, the games would have Link acquiring the ability to change either the season or the year. In each game Link would have to stop Twinrova from reviving Ganon during a link game but before Link would have to stop Veran in The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Onox in 'The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons.
At the end of either game the flame of sorrow or the flame of destruction would be lit and by linking with another person you could find the other one lit. This would unlock the second half of the game with more puzzles, dungeons, and even more items since you could get items that before were only in one or the other game. A third game was rumored to be in construction that would work alongside these two, but it was never finished due to time constraints, money constraints, and difficulty constraints of interconnecting three games.
With the GameCube came a new look for Link in the form of Toon Link (he was named this in Super Smash Bros. Brawl though this is not an official name and he is recognized as WW Link). This new, cel-shaded look was given to a new iteration of Link in the game The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. When first revealed, fans were skeptical, but their fears were soon subdued when they played the game. In the game, Ganondorf vows to retake Hyrule back from the sea that flooded it, so that he might one day rule it. A dark energy is felt through the world and Link, the hero of the winds, sets sail via the King of Red Lions after his sister is abducted by the Helmaroc King. At first Link's primary goal is to simply save his awaiting sister, though a series of events occur that causes him to be brought into a much more serious situation that requires him to thwart the demon king Ganondorf.
But in this game, through his speech seen in the end of game, Ganondorf is shown to be human and not as much a dictator, as he speaks of how he started the war and is continuing this war to try and better the lives of the Gerudos. As always, Ganondorf attempts to come in possession of the Triforce so that he can have ultimate power. Also, if he manages to do so, then he won't turn into the boar that he is destined to turn into. While in most titles Link is simply known as the Hero of Hyrule or Time, the King of Red Lions assumes that another name suits him well this time around - the Hero of Winds, as the character wields the Wind Waker, a magical wand that allows its user to control the winds. In the end of the game, Link wields the Master sword and plunges it through Ganondorf's head, turning him to stone.
The game was almost as successful as Ocarina of Time. Taking a new turn Eiji Aonuma planned to create a title more unique, and thus created The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventure. Hoping to cause a surge in sales, the game focused on multiplayer. In this game, there are four styles of Link. There is green, blue, red, and purple. While they are all Link, and they fight together, they encounter a new foe named Vaati, formally seen in the Four Sword Minigame. In this game Link pulls the Four Sword releasing Vaati from his prison after Dark Link attacked and captured the maidens and Princess Zelda. Link then is sent onto a quest to save the maidens and Princess Zelda from temples across Hyrule. The Link's slowly find out that a new Ganondorf is behind the entire plot and that Ganondorf through the Dark Mirror had created Dark Link to wreak havoc while he went behind Dark Link to steal the Trident of Power. In the end after the defeat of Vaati the Link's must defeat Ganon. With the help of Princess Zelda, they banish him into the prison of the Four Sword that Vaati was formally within.
After Four Swords Adventures, Capcom's Flagship studio created their last Zelda title, The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap for the Game Boy Advance. This is often considered the first game in the series chronologically but due to it having no distinct links to any other games(other than the Four Sword saga) it can be placed in numerous places. The game casually starts with Link and Zelda attending a festival in Hyrule where the winner of a competition would be rewarded with a sword crafted by Link's grandfather. Chronologically, The Minish Cap is usually considered the very first video game in the series, thus making this Link the first incarnation of the hero. At the festival, Vaati, desiring the golden light contained within a chest that encased various evil monsters, broke the sword that kept the evil within. The monsters escaped, and after turning many of Hyrule residents into stone, including the princess, Link was asked by King Daltus to reforge the sword by finding the legendary Picori.
Link managed to find the little creatures by placing the Picori that was cursed and turned into a hat Ezlo on his head. Using Ezlo, Link could shrink to the size of a Picori and thus converse with them. Link then by obtaining the 4 elements turned the broken Picori Sword into the Four Sword. In the end by defeating Vaati's human like form and then his true form he sent Vaati into the prison within the Four Sword which was then placed within the Four Sword Sanctuary.
In 2004 Nintendo announced a new, realistic looking Zelda game at that year's E3 press conference. The game, announced for the GameCube, would be delayed by a year and would eventually be released in late 2006 for both the GameCube and the Wii.
At the beginning of Twilight Princess, Link is just an ordinary farm boy; but when King Bublin kidnaps his best friend Ilia, he is thrust into a world of Twilight created by Zant, the twilight usurps and is transformed into a wolf. A strange creature by the name of Midna offers to help Link get back to human form, but first they must meet Princess Zelda, who tells them to revive all the fountains of the Light Spirits and retrieve the Fused Shadow pieces to defeat Zant. However, once you do this, Zant steals the Fused Shadow leaving Link in a Wolf form and Midna weak. Link then must go to Princess Zelda again who gives some of her power to Midna to revive her. Then Link must retrieve the Master Sword from deep within the Lost Woods to turn himself back to normal.
Link must travel to Arbiter's Grounds to find the mirror chamber, the only access point to the Twilight world. Upon finding out that the Mirror had been destroyed, Link must retrieve the lost mirror shards from all around Hyrule and put them back into the mirror chamber to open the Twilight world to finally defeat Zant. Link also finds out here as he finds the mirror broken that Ganondorf when he was being sealed away had killed a Sage. The Sages then locked Ganondorf away in the Twilight Realm. Later after retrieving the mirror pieces Link goes to defeat Zant and finds out that Ganondorf was behind Zant's power and was the real mastermind behind Zant's plot. Midna urges Link to go back to Hyrule Castle to save Princess Zelda from Ganondorf's wrath.
Link defeats him, thus restoring peace to the land of Hyrule. In one final cutscene you see Midna's true form as she is now free of Zant and Ganondorf's curse. To keep anything like this from happening again the Twilight Princess, Midna, destroys the Mirror of twilight after she enters it. The same Link that appeared in Twilight Princess would later appear in the Wii Zapper compatible title Link's Crossbow Training, a spinoff game without a strong plot.
The next game in the series, The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass for the Nintendo DS, was released a year later. The game takes place after the events of The Wind Waker and stars the same characters. Tetra jumps aboard a pirate ship they were searching for though doesn't come back. Link jumps to save her and winds up in an Alternate Universe named the world of the Ocean King. Link must then go out and save her with the help of a fairy named Ciela, along with two other fairies that don't really play as much of a significant roll, and a ship captain named Linebeck. The game retains the sea traveling elements from the previous game but emphasizes on accessibility by letting you route your course beforehand and removing the wind aspects.
After finding the stone body of Tetra abroad the mythical Ghost Ship. Link goes out to retrieve three elements so that he can make the Phantom Sword, the only sword that can defeat Bellum who is the one causing havoc in this land. After Link travels to the bottom of the Temple of the Ocean King he defeats Bellum. Oshus gets some of his power back and revives Tetra from stone. Then Link finds out that Bellum wasn't actually killed. Bellum takes over the Ghost Ship which link defeats using the S.S. Linebeck. On the remnants of the Ghost Ship Link faces off for the last time against Bellum who has taken over Linebeck's body. After defeating him Osahus turns back to his original form as the Ocean King, a giant whale, and Link and Tetra are sent back to the Great Sea. Link and Tetra wake up on their pirate ship where they find out that only 5 minutes have passed. Link looks over the side of the ship to see the S.S. Linebeck sailing away.
In 2009 The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks was released on the DS. Taking place one hundred years after Phantom Hourglass, this game stars yet another cast of characters. The seas that submerged Hyrule in water have condensed and the citizens of Hyrule have founded the technology to create trains. Trains are the main form of transportation in the video game. In Spirit Tracks, Link is an engineer who heads to Hyrule Castle to become a royal engineer. After Chancellor Cole removes Zelda's spirit from her body, Link and Zelda's spirit reunite and go on an adventure across 4 lands where they must awaken the Spirit Tracks in 4 different Temples. Finally, to defeat Malladus who is about to be resurrected by Chancellor Cole Link must go to the Sand Temple to gain the Bow of Light. Then he is given the Lokomo sword and with both weapons on hand Link goes to defeat Chancellor Cole and Malladus. After defeating the Demon Train and then Princess Zelda's possessed body Malladus takes over Chancellor Coles body and turns into a monstrous creature reminiscent of Ganon. After defeating Malladus the Lokomos seal the beast away and the New Hyrule gains peace once again.
A new game is also planned for the Wii, named at E3 2010 as The Legend of Zelda: The Skyward Sword. In it, the game shows the creation of the legendary Master Sword from the titular Skyward Sword. According to an interview with Shigeru Miyamoto, the artwork given for the game ' shows the main story'. It has also been announced that it is going to be more unique so gamers can each have their own individual memoires of playing the game, in this game Link must defeat Demise, the root of all evil in the Zelda series and his second in command the Demon Lord Ghirahim.This game introduce a whole new Goddess and give an explanation for the existence of Ganon and for the reincarnation of Zelda and Link.
Wii U era
2011: Wii U tech demo
At E3 2011 a tech demo for what could be the future 3D Zelda for the Wii u is shown, the tech demo is a pre rendered demo based on Twilight Princess that show what an HD Zelda game could look like. We can see Link battling Armogohma. Later this year Aonuma announce the creation of a new Zelda game for Nintendo's new handheld system: the 3DS. The game is said to be a spiritual successor of A Link to the Past.
In 2013 the handheld game is finally revealed as The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds and is released before the end of the year. In this game we follow a Link born sometime after the events of Link's Awakening in the same setting as A Link to the Past but this time Link must face Yuga a mysterious sorcerer who traveled from the alternate Dimension to steal the power of the sages and using it to resurrect Ganon and fusing with him.
2014: Zelda Wii U and Hyrule Warriors
In 2014 the first trailer for what is known as Zelda Wii U is shown at E3, in it we can see a game completely different from what was shown in the tech demo in 2011 or any Zelda game before: Link's green tunic is missing, the art style is in a style taking inspiration from Japanese animation, a giant mechanical monster is hunting down Link and a 2015 release date is given. Later this year during the Game Awards gameplay is shown where we can see the open world aspect of the game announced earlier.
Late 2014 was also saw the release of the first Hyrule Warriors on the Wii U. That game developed by Koei Tecmo in partnership with Nintendo is a Zelda themed Dynasty Warrior styled game. In this game, the player can play as Link as well as many other Zelda characters taken from games all across the series. The story revolves across the witch Cia who, under Ganondorf's influence, merged different point in times from across the timeline. Link must team up with those heroes from another time to stop Cia, Ganondorf and their allies who were also brought from different times.
In 2015 Zelda Wii U is delayed to 2016 and a new multiplayer Zelda named The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes is announced during E3 and is released before the end of the year. In this game based on classical fairy tales the Link of A Link Between Worlds is transported to a land where fashion is the main hobby of the citizens and where a malicious sorceress casted a spell on the princess of the kingdom Forbidding her to wear anything else than black tights and causing fear in the population, Link must join force with Madame Couture to restore peace in the kingdom.
In 2016 Zelda Wii U is once again delayed to the next year, but this time Nintendo announce that the game will also be on Nintendo new console the code named NX. Later Nintendo announce that Zelda Wii U will be the main focus of this year E3. During the presentation the game is given his final name The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and more about the plot is revealed: Link wake up in a destroyed Hyrule where the entity known as Calamity Ganon was captured by Sheikah technology after going in a rampage and seemingly killing the Link of Breath of the Wild 100 years prior.
Nintendo Switch Era
On March 3rd, 2017, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was released for the Nintendo Switch and the Wii U, releasing to phenomenal reviews. It got two DLC Packs later that year. The games take place in the distant future of the Zelda series with over 10,000 years between the last games and Breath of the Wild. Hyrule eventually rose to incredible technological levels in the distant past before the royal family turned on the Sheikah for creating machines that they began to fear. Sheikah technology became unused and Hyrule was set back to the level of technology it had before the raise of the Sheikah technology. 100 years before the game, Link was one of the champions chosen to help Zelda in her fight against Ganon who was set to return and for that task, the ancient technology was excavated from the ground and prepared to fight Ganon. Ganon took over the machines and used them to ravage the kingdom and gravely injure Link before being trapped by Zelda inside Hyrule Castle for 100 years. Link awoke from his slumber 100 years after being placed into a healing device by the Sheikah and must explore Hyrule and its past to prepare himself to fight Calamity Ganon.
In early 2019, a partnership between Brace Yourself Games and Nintendo was announced. As a result, Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer feat. The Legend of Zelda was developed and set to release in June of the same year. Cadence of Hyrule is a rhythm based roguelike using elements from both The Legend of Zelda and Crypt of the NecroDancer.
Slightly before the announcement of Cadence of Hyrule, a remake of Link's Awakening was announced for the Nintendo Switch and later released on September 20th. It features a new, toy-based art style. The game contains a few new features beside the enhanced art style, notably a new dungeon builder that can reward the player with items that didn't exist in the original for completing dungeons.
In early September 2020, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity was announced for the Nintendo Switch with a release date stated to be in November of the same year. The game is the second new Zelda game in the style of Dynasty Warrior but unlike the first Hyrule Warriors, this one is entirely focused on Breath of the Wild and its characters and tells the story of the Great Calamity, which occurred 100 years before Breath of the Wild. Like Hyrule Warriors, this game allows you to play as various other Zelda characters aside from Link.
Outside appearances and cameos
The various incarnations of Link have been featured in various non-Zelda games, most of which are games published by Nintendo, though some third-party titles as well. They have appeared as a playable character in all five Super Smash Bros. games.
Super Smash Bros. series
Link has appeared in every Super Smash Bros. video game since the original on the Nintendo 64. He was the series first "weapon user" character wielding a weapon during his physical attacks rather than punches and kicks, using his iconic Master Sword. The main Link that appears in all of the games is the adult incarnations and has been three different characters over the course of the series. The character from the original and Super Smash Bros. Melee is the Hero of Time from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the character from Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U is the Hero of Twilight from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and the character from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the Hero of the Wild from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. In Melee, the child version of the Hero of Time from Ocarina of Time/Majora's Mask became a playable character, under the name of Young Link. Young Link is a faster but lighter Echo Fighter for adult Link. He was seemingly replaced by Toon Link in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the Hero of Winds from The Wind Waker, but both Young Link and Toon Link came back in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Link's special moves consists primarily of his arsenal from the games. His Neutral Special has him use his Bow, which sees him shoot forward to attempt to snipe opponents. His Side Special is some variation of the Boomerang, an attack that can hit opponents going forward and backwards. In Brawl and Smash 4, Adult Link had it swapped out for the Gale Boomerang, which can't damage opponents coming back, instead bringing them with it. His Up Special is always the Spin Attack. His down special is some variation of a Bomb, an item that gets detonated a set amount of time later. In Ultimate, Link's Down B is replaced by manually detonated Remote Bombs. In most games, Link's grab is a Tether Based Hookshot, but it was removed in Ultimate. In Brawl and 4, Link's final Smash is the Triforce Slash. In Ultimate, Link's Final Smash uses the Ancient Bow and Arrow.
Link has a number of alternate costumes in the series. His red costume is based on the red tunic from the top-down games and the Goron Tunic from Ocarina of Time. His blue outfit is based on the Zora tunic from Ocarina of Time and the blue mail from games like Link to the Past. In Brawl, Link gained a Dark Link costume based on the representations shown in a scene from Twilight Princess. Link also has a gold costume possibly based off the Magic Armor from Twilight Princess. In Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS and Wii U, he gains two more costumes; one based on Link in the beginning of Skyward Sword, and one based on the Fierce Deity form from Majora's Mask with the lavender costume being replaced by a darker purple.
Link appears as a trophy in every Super Smash Bros. installment from Melee onwards.
Super Smash Bros. Melee
- Even in his youth, Link was already becoming the warrior who would carry the destiny of Hyrule (and many other lands) on his shoulders. His epic struggles against the forces of darkness are written in legend, and he is bound to the Princess Zelda and the archfiend Ganondorf by the awesome power of the Triforce.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
- A young man who emerged to rescue Hyrule from peril. He's the bearer of the Triforce of Courage who fights to keep Ganondorf from conquering the world. His green outfit is a constant throughout the series. He's a skilled swordsman, horseman, and archer. He's also proficient with bombs and boomerangs.
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U Link is a part of the Twilight Princess trophy box
- Green clothes? Pointy hat? Yep, it's Link, all right! In this game, his sword and shield make for effective attacking and blocking, and his bow, bombs, and boomerang will spice up any battle. He's even brought his Clawshot for grabbing enemies and edges. Jeez, just how much stuff can Link carry?
- Link (Alt)
- If Link was on a desert island and could only pick one item, it'd be his powerful sword. This weapon is key to his down-air attack, a move with great launching potential and the ability to strike twice. He can also strike twice with his side smash—the second blow deals more damage and launches harder.
- Green clothes? Pointy hat? Yep, it's Link, all right! In this game, his sword and shield make for effective attacking and blocking, and his bow, bombs, and boomerang will spice up any battle. He's even brought his Clawshot for grabbing enemies and edges. The hero of Hyrule is really kitted out for a brawl!
- Link (Alt)
- Of all of his weapons, Link's sword may be the most lethal. His down air attack has incredible launching power. What's more, he'll bounce up afterwards, allowing for a follow-up strike. His side smash can also be followed up with a more powerful second blow that sends foes flying - just press the button again straight away.
- NES The Legend of Zelda (08/1987)
- SNES- The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (04/1992)
Link was a playable character in the GameCube version of the Namco developed fighter game SoulCalibur II. The Link found in this game was the one featured in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time instead of the one present in The Wind Waker. Link, who had already appeared in Super Smash Bros. and its sequel, was becoming quite the fighter as this would mark his third appearance in a fighting video game. Shigeru Miyamoto said that because of Super Smash Bros., he didn't feel it was unnatural to have Link as a playable character in the game, and fans were delighted to see the return of the adult Link from Ocarina of Time. He retains various attacks from the games, and wields multiple weapons including the Master Sword, boomerang, Fairy Bow, bomb, and others. The Master Sword is his main weapon, and can be changed (as can his Hylian Shield). The various other swords present in the game include (note that not all replacements are swords) the Razor Sword, Armos Series, Megaton Hammer, Cane of Byrna, Mirror Shield, Magic Sword, Biggoron's Sword, Soul Edge, Great Fairy Sword, and the Bug Catching Net.
- In Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, Link is at the end in Cranky's video game heroes if the player did not get enough DK coins to beat his place. Video game stars Mario and Yoshi would also appear here as well.
- Link can be found sleeping at an inn in Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. Samus Aran, another famous Nintendo character, can also be seen sleeping in another inn.
- One of the names on the scoreboard in the Nintendo 64 version of Mario Golf is Link.
- In Animal Crossing: City Folk for the Wii, Link's hat and tunic are available as clothing items.
- Link is one of the various characters who will cheer for the player in F-1 Race.
- In a town inhabited of elves in the Japanese version of Final Fantasy for the Famicom and the Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy II GBA remake Final Fantasy I & II Dawn of Souls, Link's name is on one of the tombstones. While technically Link is not an elf, he does resemble one. In the Final Fantasy spin-off Final Fantasy Tactics Advance for the Game Boy Advance, the Master Sword is one of the items the player can acquire.
- In Captain Rainbow, a portrait of Link as he appears in Twilight Princess appears above Crazy Tracy's throne.
- In Scribblenauts Unlimited, many Zelda series characters are summonable in the Wii U version. This includes Link, in his Wind Waker design
- The Link (Archer) amiibo is compatible with the Switch version of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and allow the player to wear the Champion Shirt, the Master Sword and the Hylian Shield.
- In the Japanese release of Final Fantasy, a grave in the town of Elfheim reads "Here lies Link". This reference is however absent in the North American release and instead reads "Here lies Erdrick", however remains in later ports.
Link is also featured in The Legend of Zelda animated series which was shown along with The Super Mario Bros. Super Show.
Link was created by Shigeru Miyamoto when he wanted to create a character who would traverse lands and uncover secret dungeons. Link was to be a boy open to the world, and his name stems from the "link" he has with the player. Though in game his canon name is Link, the player can usually name the character whatever they wish to.
- The Legend of Zelda (1987)
- Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (1988)
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (1992)
- Link: The Faces of Evil (1993)
- The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (1993)
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)
- The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (2000)
- The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages (2001)
- The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons (2001)
- The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords (2003)
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Master Quest (2003)
- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (2003)
- The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures (2004)
- The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (2005)
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2006)
- The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (2007)
- The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (2009)
- The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (2011)
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (2013)
- The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes (2015)
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017)
- The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (Switch) (2019)
- Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity (2020)
- Link won the award for Best Character in both the 1988 and 1989 Nintendo Power Awards for his appearance in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. Four years later, he won Best Hero in the 1992 Nintendo Power Awards for his appearance in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to The Past.
- Miyamoto admitted that Link's outfit was based on Disney's version of Peter Pan.
- Link's name was featured in over five Zelda game titles, which in order are; Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, Link: The Faces of Evil, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (and its remake), Link's Crossbow Training, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.
- Reyna, Leo (2017-11-18). "15 Things You Never Knew About The MISERABLE Zelda II: The Adventure Of Link". thegamer.com. Archived from the original on 2019-08-06. http://web.archive.org/web/20190807033442/https://www.thegamer.com/things-you-never-knew-about-the-miserable-zelda-ii-the-adventure-of-link/. Retrieved on 2019-08-06.
|The Legend of Zelda characters|
|Main characters||Link (Young Link • Toon Link) • Princess Zelda (Tetra • Toon Zelda)|
|Villains||Ganon (Ganondorf) • Dark Link • Twinrova • Majora • Onox • Veran • Vaati • Zant • Bellum • Chancellor Cole • Malladus • Ghirahim • Demise • Princess Hilda • Yuga • Cia • Lady Maud • Master Kohga • Astor • Sooga|
|Supporting cast||Epona • Four Giants • Golden Goddesses • Great Deku Tree • Happy Mask Salesman • Impa • King of Hyrule • Linebeck • Ciela • Marin • Navi • Tatl • Tael • • Old Man • Ralph • Sages • Tingle • Ravio • Lana • Linkle • Hylia • Dr. Purah • Robbie • Princess Mipha • Daruk • Revali • Urbosa • Prince Sidon • Yunobo • Teba • Makeela Riju • King Rhoam Bosphoramus Hyrule • Hestu • Saki • Tulin • Harth • Terrako|
|Recurring characters||Anju • Beedle • Biggoron • Dampé • Great Fairy • Guru-Guru • Malon • Mamamu Yan • Mutoh • Postman • Skull Kid • Syrup • Maple • Talon • Din (Din (Oracle)) • Farore (Farore (Oracle)) • Nayru (Nayru (Oracle))|
|The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask|
|Main Characters||Link • Tatl • Tael • Skull Kid • Majora's Mask • Happy Mask Salesman • Darmani • Mikau|
|Bosses||Odolwa • Goht • Gyorg • Twinmold • Majora's Mask • Majora's Incarnation • Majora's Wrath|
|Masks||Postman's Hat • All-Night Mask • Blast Mask • Stone Mask • Great Fairy Mask • Deku Mask • Keaton Mask • Bremen Mask • Bunny Hood • Don Gero's Mask • Mask of Scents • Goron Mask • Romani's Mask • Circus Leader's Mask • Kafei's Mask • Couple's Mask • Mask of Truth • Zora Mask • Kamaro's Mask • Gibdo Mask • Garo's Mask • Captain's Hat • Giant's Mask • Fierce Deity's Mask|
|Hyrule Warriors characters|
|Base game||Link • Princess Zelda • Impa • Lana • Princess Ruto • Darunia • Midna • Agitha • Fi • Zant • Ghirahim • Ganondorf • Cia (DLC) • Volga (DLC) • Wizzro (DLC) • Twili Midna (DLC) • Tingle (DLC) • Young Link (DLC)|
|Boss Mode||Ganon • Cucco|
|Legends||Linkle • Toon Link • Tetra • King of Hyrule • Skull Kid • Medli (DLC) • Marin (DLC) • Toon Zelda (DLC) • Ravio (DLC) • Yuga (DLC)|
|Age of Calamity||Link • Princess Zelda • Revali • Princess Mipha • Daruk • Urbosa • Impa • Hestu • Teba • Makeela Riju • Prince Sidon • Yunobo • Master Kohga • King Rhoam • Great Fairy • Monk Maz Koshia • Terrako • Calamity Ganon • Battle-Tested Guardian (DLC) • Purah & Robbie (DLC) • Sooga (DLC)|