Link: Young or Old

The Legend of Zelda has always been about Link. Link is generally a young boy/man setting out to save Hyrule from the forces of evil, most of the time that being Ganondorf. However, the identity of Link is sometimes called into question. Is Link a young boy or a man? Ocarina of Time used both, but the Toon games like Wind Waker, Phantom Hourglass, and Spirit Tracks use a young boy. Originally, it is well known Link is a boy. What changed for the creators to make him a man in Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess? And what changed to make them change him back again? What does this do for the franchise? Does it help or ruin it?

  • It might be helpful to refer to the timeline given by the game creators in the Hyrule Historia: which also brings up the question, are they all the same character at different times, or different characters united by striking similarities? – Luthien 7 years ago
  • They're different. Wind Waker practically confirms this. – SpectreWriter 7 years ago
  • This could be really interesting if the article takes a slightly different direction and discusses the perception of Link's masculinity and how that changes based on his age. In some of the games where he is depicted as younger, his relationship to the female characters in the game is different than when he is older. When he is depicted as a young man, there seems to be somewhat of a bachelor's complex going on: most of the female characters are in love with him, or make comments about how he is "cute" and whatnot (examples: TP, OOT). This is a conscious decision made by the creators of the game. How does it play into perceptions of heroic men? How does Link's performance of masculinity change based on his age? How does his relationship to women change? Ocarina of Time would be a particularly good study because it shows his growth from a child to a young man. – Emilie Medland-Marchen 7 years ago
  • For anyone writing this, research into the timelines is really important as well. It's sort of been made official by Nintendo in Hyrule Historia, but before that was released there were many theories about the different Links and their relationships to one another floating around online (check Zelda Universe). You'd have to decide whether to use the official Nintendo timeline (which is not accepted by some game theorists) or explore the other in-depth theories. – Emilie Medland-Marchen 7 years ago

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