Link (Legend of Zelda)

From Academic Kids

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Link, seen here in his Twilight Princess rendition, is a fierce fighter in all Legend of Zelda games.

Link is the protagonist from Nintendo's Legend of Zelda video game series. Link was created by Shigeru Miyamoto, and first appeared in the 1987 game The Legend of Zelda. Introduced as a generic sword-fighting hero, the character was typical of fantasy adventure games. However, later Legend of Zelda titles revealed significantly more details about him. The game's success—over 6.5 million copies sold worldwideTemplate:Ref—and that of its numerous sequels made Link one of Nintendo's best-known characters. Link is named for the "link" the player shares with the hero of each gameTemplate:Ref.

A peculiarity of the character is that there are several different incarnations of Link throughout the whole Legend of Zelda series, although they share a number of distinctive characteristics. The existence of multiple Links is made obvious on many occasions in the games; for example, the introduction sequences of Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap refer to an ancient, legendary champion, identical in appearance to Link. Miyamoto confirmed that there were multiple Links in late 2003. However, the exact chronology of the Legend of Zelda series is subject to debate among fans, and apart from a few fairly clear pairings (see Link's incarnations section) it is uncertain which of Link's incarnations appears in each of the games (see Legend of Zelda series for a discussion of the controversy surrounding the chronology of the games).

Contents

Common attributes of all "Links"

Link is a courageous boy or young man—it is unlikely that his age ever exceeds 19 years at any point in the series. In Legend of Zelda (LoZ) games, he usually leaves his home and relatives at an early age to pursue his destiny and fight Ganon, his archenemy, or other servants of evil. In almost all LoZ games, except for Zelda II: The Adventure of Link and the upcoming The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Link is a child when he begins his quest. This is made clear through Link's body dimensions in the 3D games and by his lack of sexual awareness: when certain characters exhibit sexual behavior in parts of some games, Link is taken aback, rather than tantalised.

Link's adventures mostly take place in his native kingdom of Hyrule, although The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons, and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages are set in other locales. Link is closely associated with the Triforce of Courage and thus with the goddess Farore and her color, green. Recovering the Triforce of Courage is a key part of some LoZ games like The Adventure of Link and The Wind Waker.

Legend of Zelda titles give few hints at Link's personality; ellipses ("..." and variations thereof) are sometimes used to replace Link's speech and can be interpreted in various ways, but his actual words are almost never given. He speaks (or thinks) a few sentences in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, and speaks his name in other games, but he is usually silent. Moreover, the top-down 2D view in many of the games is not well-suited to depict his facial expressions. However, a defining trait of his character seems to be his bravery, an attribute consistent with his role as the rightful bearer of the Triforce of Courage. In The Adventure of Link, it is explicitly stated that the quest for the Triforce of Courage is to be a trial for whomever seeks it. Despite his young age, and the adversity that he has to face, alone for the most part, Link rarely shows signs of fear or cowardice (although he sometimes expresses fear of allies for comic effect). Nintendo's Zelda.com EncyclopediaTemplate:Ref also describes Link as humble.

Appearance

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Link sprites from several 2D Zelda games, demonstrating a range of appearances

Link invariably wears a green tunic and a cap, at least for a certain period of time during each game (he also wears different-colored clothes in some Legend of Zelda titles), although the shades of green vary. Link's Kokiri tunic in Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask is of a somewhat darker tone than his tunic in The Wind Waker and The Minish Cap. This is probably partly due to the radically different artistic styles of the aforementioned games: the first two having near-realistic graphics, whereas the two others have a comic-inspired style.

Link's hair color changes throughout the series, ranging from brown in the first Legend of Zelda game, to pink in Link to the Past, to yellowish-orange in Ocarina of Time, to gold-blonde in The Wind Waker.

Link has pointed ears resembling some conceptions of elves. These are apparently a distinctive trait of the Hylian race and allow them to hear messages from the gods.

Several games mention a Triforce mark on Link's left hand; the instruction booklet for The Adventure of Link reveals that this mark identifies him as the champion who will find the Triforce of Courage. There is also a segment in the clip shown in the beginning of Super Smash Bros. Melee showing three hands coming together, each bearing a white triforce. Most recently in a demo for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess at E3 2005, Link was shown as having a brown mark of a whole triforce on his hand; all three triangles were brown, however.

Fighting abilities and weaponry

Swords and shields

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A few among Link's array of swords and shields

In all LoZ games, Link carries a shield and a sword as his main weapon. He usually acquires more powerful versions of both items at later stages of his quests. The most well-known sword the hero can use is the Master Sword. The magical blade, forged centuries before any of the events recounted in Zelda games, has become an important symbol for the series, appearing on many of the titles' cover art. It is also known as the "Sword of Evil's Bane", a fitting title given its ability to greatly damage evil. Link does not wield the Master Sword in the first two games: It is replaced by a magical sword. Additionally, in the first two games, the Holy Cross appears on his shield, as well as other places in the game (see picture (http://www.zhq2.com/coppermine/cpg132/albums/userpics/10001/z1linkb.gif)).

Some of Link's other swords include the Wooden Sword, Kokiri Sword (Ocarina of Time), the Biggoron Sword (a massive, two-handed sword), the White Sword, the Magic Sword, the Great Fairy's Sword, the Red Sword, the Golden Sword, the Four Sword (sword that allows Link to replicate himself up to three times), and the Razor Sword.

It is unclear when any of Link's incarnations developed their sword fighting or archery skills; it appears that they are naturally gifted with great dexterity, which would be consistent with Link's role as a warrior chosen to retrieve the Triforce of Courage (implied in some games, especially The Adventure of Link). In some games, however, he is taught special techniques by trainers he encounters on his way (The Adventure of Link, Majora's Mask, The Minish Cap, The Wind Waker) or can practice on dummies.

Link is left-handed (although this detail is never particularly stressed on in any of the games, save for a Nintendo Gallery figurine description in The Wind Waker, which states that Link favors his left hand) and wields his blade accordingly in the 3D games (Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, The Wind Waker, and Twilight Princess). However, in 2D Legend of Zelda titles, even Game Boy Advance games like Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, he can be seen alternately holding his weapon in the right or the left hand, depending on his orientation, due to sprite mirroring. (The somewhat joking explanation for this from Nintendo is that he always keeps his shield pointed at Death Mountain, which in the 2D games that contained it was always towards the top of the screen.)

Sword techniques

Link's oldest sword-fighting technique is the ability to shoot beams of energy from his sword—the exact nature of the beams remains obscure. This allows him to hit opponents from great distances. In most Zelda games, Link must have full health to perform this move. In The Legend of Zelda and The Adventure of Link, Link's first sword has the ability to shoot beams at full health. In A Link to the Past, Link must obtain the Master Sword before he can "zap" his foes in such fashion. Similarly, in Link's Awakening and the two Oracle games, Link must upgrade his sword to perform the technique. Majora's Mask changed the technique slightly by requiring Link to don the Fierce Deity Mask, which then required magic and not health, to perform the beam technique. In The Minish Cap, the ability was taught to him by one of the "Blade Brothers". Later in the game, this technique could also be performed when he had 4 or less health.

Only two games in the Zelda series do not feature the sword beam technique, the first being Ocarina of Time, although it was intended to be implemented, as shown in a picture on Nintendo's official website during the development process. Wind Waker also omits the sword beam.

Another of Link's signature moves is the spin attack, during which he executes a full 360 degrees (or more) rotation with his sword drawn and can harm several of his opponents at once. Although the visual representation of this attack varies throughout the series — performing a spin attack usually causes Link's sword to light up and other related visual effects — the technique itself is present in every Legend of Zelda game, with the exception of The Adventure of Link and The Legend of Zelda. The Wind Waker also introduces a new parrying technique for Link to perform; if the player hits the action button just before being hit by an enemy, Link will dodge the attack and counter it, either by rolling behind his opponents or jumping over them and slashing them from behind. Link learns this technique from the old warrior Orca on his home island, Outset Island. In The Wind Waker and The Minish Cap, after Link learns a special technique, he can spin for a prolonged period (instead of just one rotation) when he uses his spin attack. This technique was also present in The Minish Cap and the Game Boy Advance re-release of A Link to the Past.

Other weapons

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The evolution of the five main repeated items from The Legend of Zelda to A Link to the Past to Ocarina of Time.

There are other weapons recurrent in Link's arsenal, most notably small bombs, a boomerang, a bow, a hookshot, and a war hammer.

The boomerang, somewhat exotic for a fantasy setting, is available to Link in all LoZ games except for The Adventure of Link and Majora's Mask. In Majora's Mask however Zora Link is able to shoot his fins as if they were two boomerangs thrown simultaneosuly with each arm. The boomerang always returns to Link when thrown. It is most useful to stun enemies, but can be used to kill some weak opponents and collect items or activate switches at a distance. In The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess, Link's boomerang can hit multiple targets. According to Zelda.comTemplate:Ref, Link is "one of the most accurate boomerang throwers Hyrule has ever seen". In the game The Minish Cap Link gains a magical boomerang that he can control after he throws it. In the upcoming game Twilight Princess, the boomerang can be used to create whirlwinds that can carry items.

Link's bow, called the "fairy bow" in Ocarina of Time, allows him to kill enemies from a safe distance. In Link's Awakening the bow can be paired with bombs to create a powerful projectile explosive. In Legend of Zelda and A Link to the Past, he acquires special silver arrows that are required to defeat Ganon, perhaps an allusion to the vampire's fear of silver. In Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, and The Wind Waker, Link can use magic to enchant his arrows so that they freeze or burn enemies on contact. In these games, the silver arrows are replaced by the Light Arrow. Link's bow is often essential in solving in-game puzzles and defeating very powerful bosses. For example, the final confrontation with Ganon in The Wind Waker involves extensive use of the bow. Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages did not have the bow, but instead had weapons that fired seeds at enemies.

The hookshot, introduced in A Link to the Past, is a weapon which does not exist in real life, but it may be compared to a grappling hook which throws and retracts itself using a spring-based mechanism. The hookshot can dig into certain surfaces, such as wood, and then pull Link to them. Alternatively, it can be used to retrieve items, break objects, or attack enemies.

A Link to the Past was the first game to add a war hammer to Link's weaponry, which can smash enemies and objects with great force (The Adventure of Link had a hammer, but it could not be used as a weapon). It was called the Magic Hammer in A Link to the Past and Four Sword Adventures, the Megaton Hammer in Ocarina of Time, and the Skull Hammer in The Wind Waker, being decorated with a skull pattern. This item is somewhat unwieldy and is usually employed to smash down posts or plates as part of puzzles.

Companions and allies

Link is essentially a lone adventurer. Although Zelda games feature more interaction with friendly or neutral non-player characters (NPCs) than some adventure games, such as the Metroid series, these characters rarely take an active part in Link's quest. At best they provide him with hints, maps or useful items. The main exceptions are the three animal companions appearing in Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons that Link uses as mounts, and the sages from The Wind Waker.

There are too many NPCs who help Link in some way throughout the series to name them all here. Nevertheless, some can be considered particularly memorable, either because they occur in many Legend of Zelda games, or because they play a major role in the plot.

Princess Zelda

Main article: Princess Zelda

Zelda herself often aids Link in his quest to defeat evil. As an example, in Ocarina of Time, she guides Link through his adventures and provides him with hints, sometimes disguised as Sheik. In The Wind Waker, as pirate girl Tetra, she helps Link free his sister Aryll from Ganon's grasp. In both games, Zelda is by Link's side during the final confrontation with the King of Evil (Ganon).

There is a popular theory among some fans of a romantic relationship between some of the Link or Zelda characters in the series. Although not yet definitely confirmed in the video game titles of the franchise, it is based on strong hints given in the games, interviews with the game creators, the cartoons, and comics/manga.

Zelda probably giving Link a kiss behind the curtain in the end sequence of
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Zelda probably giving Link a kiss behind the curtain in the end sequence of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Fairies

Fairies are common in Legend of Zelda games. In all titles, Link can find small fairies which help him by healing him fully before disappearing. In A Link to the Past, The Minish Cap and the 3D LoZs, these can be captured in bottles and kept for later "use". Great Fairies are a somewhat rarer sight, and provide Link with items useful to his quest or upgrade his purses, bags or quiver so he can carry more bombs, arrows or rupees (the currency of Hyrule). Ocarina of Time also introduced Navi as Link's fairy companion, and the fairy Tatl accompanies Link in his journey through the world of Termina, in Majora's Mask.

Wind and Earth Sages in The Wind Waker

In The Wind Waker, Link meets Medli, a winged young girl from the Rito tribe, living on Dragon Roost island and Makar, a member of the Korok, a tribe led by the Great Deku Tree. Medli plays the harp and Makar is a violinist. It is eventually revealed that they are both destined to become Earth and Wind sages, respectively, to replace Laruto (of the Zora) and Fado (of the Kokiri), who were killed by Ganon.

To restore the power of the Master Sword, Link must help them reach the inside of the Earth and Wind temples so they can begin their prayers. Inside both temples, Link has to work in synergy with the aspiring sages and use their special abilities to trigger certain mechanisms. By playing the Command Melody, Link can take possession of their bodies and the player can directly control Makar or Medli; this is crucial in solving some of the temples' puzzles.

Oracle series animals

In the two Oracle games, Link meets creatures that can carry him around and even attack enemies, which is a first in the series (Link's horse Epona in Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask could only run them over).

  • Ricky is a talking, boxing kangaroo Link meets in Holodrum Plain. When Link is in his pouch, he can jump with him over holes and defeat enemies using Ricky's punch. Ricky can shoot a Tornado from his fists if you hold the attack button down. Flashes similarly to Link when he charges his Sword.
  • Moosh is a blue, flying polar bear which Link can ride to fly over a short distance. If the jump Button is held down when he's at his peak in the air, Moosh will float in the air, float, and then butt stomp. Moosh flashes similarly to Link when he charges his Sword.
  • Dimitri is a Dodongo, a dinosaur-like creature that Link can use as a mount, both on the ground and on water. Goes much faster in water, and can also eat some enemies, such as Moblins.

Kafei

In The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Link assists Kafei (who has been transformed into a child) throughout the game in finding the Sun Mask that Sakon stole from him, which was to be involved in his marriage with Anju. When the player reaches Sakon's Hideout, he must negotiate a plethora of traps and monsters in order to reach the Sun Mask before the time runs out. During this time the player is briefly able to control Kafei directly. When Kafei is seen delivering his mail, he is always wearing a Keaton mask.

Link's incarnations

Below are synopses of the different Links' adventures.

The Legend of Zelda

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Link, carrying all of the many and varied items he acquires in The Legend of Zelda.

Main article: The Legend of Zelda.

In this game, Link's character is not described in detail. He is a child and, like any Link in the series, is controlled by the player. He is mostly a generic hero character attempting to rescue Princess Zelda (and her kingdom, Hyrule) from the evil wizard Ganon. He begins the game as a green-clad elfin boy with a shield but no weapon, and gradually gathers equipment and shards of the Triforce of Wisdom until he is powerful enough to defeat Ganon and free the Princess. Later-released Zelda games suggest that this game's Link and Zelda are reincarnations of the originals who are called forth because Ganon had become free again.

The reincarnation theory is given backing in The Wind Waker, in which Hyrule is a long-gone land of myth, flooded following an attack by Ganon while Link was searching for Navi during The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, and the main protagonist may be the spirit of Link, reincarnated to save Hyrule from Ganon.

The Adventure of Link

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Link in front of the sleeping Zelda's altar in North Castle.

Main article: Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.

(This Link is generally considered to be the same Link from The Legend of Zelda)

As Link approached his 16th birthday, Princess Zelda's old Sheikah nursemaid Impa takes Link to North Castle in Hyrule, alarmed by the sudden appearance of a crest on the boy's left hand. She shows him the true heiress of Hyrule, Princess Zelda, trapped out of time in an eternal sleep, lying on an altar in the castle. The old woman also tells Link the Legend of Zelda, an ancient tale about the division of the Triforce and the curse that was put upon the princess. Long ago, the power of the Triforce had belonged to one man alone, the king of Hyrule; however, when he died, the artifact was divided, and the heir of the throne could inherit only part of it. Before his death, the king had only told the prince's younger sister, Princess Zelda, where the missing parts of the Triforce could be found. As the princess would not give away her precious secret, the prince and one of his counselors, a magus, threatened her, but still the princess kept silent. In his anger, the magician put a curse on the princess so she would sleep forever, despite the objections of the prince, and died in exhaustion after casting the spell.

Impa then gives Link six crystals, and a scroll written in an ancient Hylian tongue, which Link understands despite having never learned it. He reads that the mark on his hand is the sign that he was chosen to seek the Triforce of Courage in the Great Palace in the Valley of Death. Link then begins a quest to place a crystal in each of six palaces in Hyrule, so that he can later penetrate unhindered in the magically protected Great Palace, claim the Triforce of Courage, and awaken Zelda from her slumber.

A Link to the Past

Main article: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.

Centuries before the events of A Link to the Past, Ganon and his army of evil were banished into the Golden Land, the realm of the Triforce, by the Hylians, at the price of countless lives. The portal to this world was magically blocked by seven sages, and the lands behind that seal, which Hylians hoped would never be broken again, became known as the Dark World, as they were corrupted by Ganon's malice. (These events are generally believed to be those recounted in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.)

One day however, the dark wizard Agahnim appears at the court of the king of Hyrule. Shortly after his arrival, he seizes power from the hands of the king and imprisons six maidens, descendants of the wise men who had sealed the entrance of the Dark World, in crystal and they are never seen again. Agahnim also begins a dark ritual to break the seal on the Dark World and release Ganon's fury upon Hyrule. Princess Zelda herself descends from the seventh sage, and manages to send out a telepathic call for help before being taken away. Link's uncle first heads for the royal castle, but he must quickly admit that fighting Agahnim is above his capabilities. He hands Link his sword after teaching him the spin sword technique. The young hero then begins a journey to collect three magic pendants, and claim the Master Sword as his before facing and defeating Agahnim. Link then enters the Dark World to rescue the seven sages trapped in their crystal prisons, and eventually slay Ganon himself. He is then told by the entity known as the Essence of the Triforce that touching it will grant him any wish. Link uses his wish to restore peace and prosperity to the land of Hyrule, and returns the Master Sword to its pedestal.

Link's Awakening

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Screen shot of opening scene from the DX version of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening.

Main article: The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening.

(This Link is generally considered the same Link from A Link to the Past)

After defeating Ganon, Link decides to journey the world, to be prepared if a threat like Ganon ever came to Hyrule again. Upon returning to Hyrule, Link's ship is caught in a storm and the wreckage washed up on a mysterious island called Koholint. A girl called Marin finds Link lying unconscious on the beach and brings him to her home. When he awakes, the young hero returns to the beach to retrieve his equipment. He then meets a strange talking owl, Hoot, which tells him the only way he can escape Koholint is by awakening the Wind Fish, a giant creature slumbering in a colossal egg in the center of the island. To do so, Link must collect eight musical instruments and play the Ballad of the Wind Fish. Link later discovers that the entire island of Koholint and its people were dreamed into existence by the Wind Fish itself. Before the end of his journey inside the Wind Fish's egg, Link must fight the Nightmares, evil spirits which Hoot says have recently started disturbing the dream realm's quietness.

Link's Awakening has a mysterious and somewhat confusing plot and an atmosphere that is sometimes compared to Alice in Wonderland. The ending is purportedly equivocal, as it remains unclear how Link entered the Wind Fish's dream, or whether Link himself dreamed the entire adventure. In the short ending sequence however, Link awakens and sees the Wind Fish flying above him. This ambiguity is well illustrated by the Wind Fish's last words before Link plays the Song of Awakening, at the end of the game: "[...] Come Link... Let us awaken... Let us awaken... Together!". This is considered to be reminiscent of the Red King in Through the Looking-Glass.

Ocarina of Time

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Link playing the legendary Ocarina of Time

Main article: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

In Ocarina of Time, Link was raised as one of the Kokiri, the "children of the forest" (who later are thought to have become the Koroks in The Wind Waker). He was always considered an outsider by Mido, the leader of the Kokiri, due to the fact that, unlike other Kokiri, Link did not have a fairy companion. However the other Kokiri treated him as an equal and he became very good friends with one of them, Saria (who later becomes one of the seven sages), which made Mido particularly jealous. Link's life changes when the Great Deku Tree sends him a fairy, Navi, with instructions to come and meet him. However Mido will not allow Link to see him until he has equipped himself with a sword and shield.

Link then saves the Tree from a curse put on it by Ganondorf, an evil Gerudo thief from the desert. After saving the Deku Tree he goes to see Princess Zelda at Hyrule Castle. She sends him on a mission to get the three Spiritual Stones and save Hyrule. After acheiving the stones, he travels to the Temple of Time, opens the Door of Time with the Stones and the Song of Time, and draws the Master Sword from its stone pedestal. However, the Sword locks him in time in the Temple of Light for seven years while Ganondorf, the King of Evil, takes control of Hyrule and seizes the Triforce, a legendary artifact hidden in the Sacred Realm by the three goddesses, holding unimaginable magic power.

Seven years after drawing the sword from the pedestal, Link is awakened by Rauru. Link finds that he had grown up, and is now an adult. He then sets off on a quest to cleanse the land of Hyrule from Ganondorf's evil. He returns to Kokiri Forest and finds that none of his friends have grown up! Finally he meets the Deku Sprout (the Great Deku Tree's successor), who reveals his true past to him.

The reason Link has grown while his Kokiri friends have not is that he is actually a Hylian, orphaned in the Hyrulean Wars instigated by the evil Ganondorf. While he was still only a baby, this war struck Hyrule. His mother took him to Kokiri Forest, where she knew he would be safe under the protection of the Great Deku Tree. She barely managed to take him there before she died. Link was brought up as one of the Kokiri and knew no different. Link learns that he has to release the six sages from their temples so they can lock Ganondorf away into the Sacred Realm. After Link saves the sages, Zelda, the final sage, is captured and Link has to fight Ganondorf to rescue her. After Ganondorf is seemingly defeated, the King of Evil reveals the true evil in his heart and transforms into the monstrous Ganon. After Link defeats Ganon, Princess Zelda uses the power of the Ocarina of Time to return Link to the past and allow him to live out those seven years of his youth that have been taken from him while sealed by the Master Sword.

Although there is no definite chronological order in the series, it is commonly accepted that Ocarina's Link is the first chronologically, due in part to references to the Hero of Time in The Wind Waker.

Majora's Mask

Main article: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. (This is the same Link from Ocarina of Time)

After defeating the King of Evil, Ganondorf, and being sent back in time as a child once again, Link leaves Hyrule to search for his lost friend (which some Zelda fans believe is his fairy companion, Navi). While searching a forest, he is ambushed by a Skull Kid who is possessed by an evil mask, the Majora's Mask, and his horse, Epona, is stolen. While chasing the Skull Kid, Link falls down a crevasse and arrives in an alternate reality world called Termina. There, he has to save the land from the evil of Majora's Mask, which has drawn the moon into an Armageddon course, and will force it to crash into Termina's capital city in just three days. Link uses his trusty Ocarina of Time and the Song of Time, which sends him back in time when he plays it, allowing him to relive those precious three days again and again in order to prevent the disaster. Along the way Link finds many magic masks of his own, a handful of which allow him to transform. Those masks can turn him into a rock-like Goron; a petite, plant-like Deku Scrub; a graceful aquatic Zora; or the all-powerful Fierce Deity, making Link as powerful as Majora's Mask.

In this game, Link never grows up in the traditional sense, but the power of the evil Fierce Deity's mask allows Link to turn into a powerful adult form, known among some fans by the name Oni-Link (Demon-Link).

Oracle of Ages

Link at the beginning of his journey through the land of Labrynna, in .
Link at the beginning of his journey through the land of Labrynna, in Oracle of Ages.

Main article: The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages.

Link one day awakes in another land, Labrynna, where he was magically transported by the Triforce. Upon arriving he is tricked by Veran, the Sorceress of Shadows, to open the seal to the Oracle of Ages, a singer named Nayru. Veran, possessing Nayru's body, and her time-traveling powers, goes back in time to change the past and command the present. Link rushes back in time to save Nayru using the power of the Harp of Ages, which grants the user the power to go back and forth in time. After defeating Veran's spirit by shooting it with mystery seeds once it is out of Nayru's body, Link ascends her citadel to defeat the Spectre of Sorrow.

Oracle of Seasons

Main article: The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons.

(This Link is the same Link from Oracle of Ages)

The Triforce sends Link on a mission to another land, Holodrum, to stop the disruption of the seasons by the General of Darkness, Onox. While there, it is his duty to protect the Oracle of Seasons, a dancer named Din. After Onox takes her by force, Link goes off to rescue her with the aid of the Rod of Seasons (a magical rod which allows Link to control the four seasons).

The Wind Waker

Main article: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.

A young boy rises again to fight evil, Hundreds of years after Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, after the Goddesses have flooded Hyrule. The first Zelda and Link have disappeared and a new kingdom has been formed encompassing the islands of the Great Sea, islands that were once the highest mountain-tops of Hyrule. The kingdom of old, resting dormant under the sea, is now only a legend that lives on in scrolls and memory.

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Link as he appears in The Wind Waker. Save for differences in color of tights and hair, he almost looks like the Link from the first Zelda game.

In the beginning of the game, Link's younger sister Aryll is captured by the Helmaroc King (a giant masked bird), mistaken for someone else with golden hair and pointy ears. In order to save his sister, Link travels to the corners of the Great Sea to recover his sister and defeat the shadowy power in control of the bird. He finds his quest intertwines with another, and Link becomes, after many trials, the Hero of Winds. Using the Wind Waker, a magical conductor's baton (often likened to a magic wand of sorts) to borrow the power of the gods to aid him in his quest. The wand's user interface is similar to that used for the Ocarina of Time, but adds tempo as well as pitch to form tunes.

It is widely discussed what relation Link has to the Hero of Time, but the most reasonable explanation is that since the Hero of Time used the same shield as the Hylian knights, and the tradition in his hometown is to hang the family shield on the wall, Link is actually a descendant of a Hylian knight. Whether he is the hero reincarnated is not known for sure. He aids the pirate Tetra in finding her true destiny as the Crown Princess of Hyrule, Zelda. The true heir to the Hylian royal family also aids him in his quest to awaken two sages and seal the great evil sorcerer Ganondorf under the sea.

The Minish Cap

Link receiving the restored White Sword in .
Link receiving the restored White Sword in The Minish Cap.

Main article: The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap.

In The Minish Cap, Link is a young boy living with his grandfather, the Master Smith of Hyrule. Link is a childhood friend of Princess Zelda, and on the day of Hyrule's yearly fair to celebrate the coming of the Picori, they go to join in the festivities. A mysterious stranger, Vaati, shows up and wins the sword-fighting competition; each year the victor of this tourney has the honor of touching the sacred Picori Blade (bearing a strong resemblance to the Master Sword), a sword gifted to the Hylians by the tiny Picori; it was used long ago by a legendary hero (one of the Links) to defeat the forces of darkness and seal them away in the Bound Chest. At the ceremony, Vaati reveals his true nature; he breaks the Picori Blade off at the hilt, releasing all the malevolent spirits that had been imprisoned inside the chest. Princess Zelda is protected from the spirits by a mysterious golden aura emitting from her forehead. Vaati then remembers that the female descendants of Hyrule have "the power of light" in their blood; knowing she could cause him trouble with this power, he turns her to stone before looking in the chest. He had been hoping to find the legendary Light Force, but instead it is completely empty. The king of Hyrule, desperate to save his daughter, sends the young Link on a mission to seek help from the Picori, who are believed to reveal themselves only to children. With the help of a mysterious creature called Ezlo, Link crosses all of Hyrule to find four elemental artifacts and imbue the reforged Picori Blade with their power and face the power-hungry Vaati. The reforged sword is known as the White Sword, until Link imbues it with the power of the four elements, when it becomes the Four Sword.

Twilight Princess

Main article: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.

In the upcoming Twilight Princess, scheduled for release "Q4 (October November or December) 2005"Template:Ref, Link is a young rancher living a normal life until two of his friends are kidnapped by monsters. Link's pursuit leads him into the Twilight Realm, a dark place that changes him into a wolf. When he is a wolf, a strange creature named Midna with an object attached to its head rides his back. In his pursuit to save a young boy, Link discovers an even greater evil that only he can stop.

Appearances in other games

Link is present in a number of games outside of the Legend of Zelda series. In these games, his appearance is that of the legendary Hero of Time from Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, which is arguably also the most popular.

Link: The Faces of Evil

Link: The Faces of Evil, released in 1993 for Philips' CD-i system, is the only game not made for a Nintendo system in which Link is the main protagonist. At the beginning of Faces of Evil, Link is visited by a wizard who tells him that Ganon and his servants have seized the peaceful island of Koridai and captured Zelda. After being informed that only he can defeat Ganon, Link travels to Koridai to find the magical artifact known as the Book of Koridai. Using the Book, he defeats Ganon and frees Zelda.

Although featuring Zelda characters, this game was not produced by Nintendo, with supervision from Nintendo, or even for a Nintendo system. It has earned disfavorable reviews, particularly from Zelda fans, who do not consider it part of the Zelda series.

There were two other Legend of Zelda games released for the CD-i; Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon and Zelda's Adventure. However, in both games Princess Zelda was the main protagonist, as in both games the plot involves Link's kidnapping.

Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Melee

Link is one of eight characters available at the beginning of Nintendo's 1999 fighting game, Super Smash Bros. No special information is disclosed about Link in this game. Link sports his traditional green Kokiri tunic (the player can also choose from a few alternate tunic colors inspired by Link's Ocarina of Time tunics, including red (Goron) and blue (Zora); a purplish white color inspired by the effect of the Blue Ring from the original Legend of Zelda is also present); he also has some of his usual weaponry arsenal from the Legend of Zelda series at his disposal, including bombs, his boomerang and a hook shot, and is presented in the Ocarina of Time style as an adult.

Link is also a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Melee, the 2001 sequel to Super Smash Bros. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, he comes equipped with his bow in addition to the equipment he brought with him to the original Super Smash Bros. While his swordplay is formidable, Link is at his best when utilizing all his tools and weapons alongside his fighting skill, rather akin to his motif in his respective game series. This makes Link one of the most versatile and flexible close range fighters in the game.

The game also introduces Young Link, the younger version of Link from most of the games in the series, as a secret unlockable character. He is more agile but weaker than the older Link, and his hookshot has a shorter range. His Kokiri Sword and bombs also inflict less damage than adult Link's Master Sword and bombs. Young Link's quiver is stocked with fire arrows rather than traditional arrows. According to Young's Link trophy description, he is said to be the "true" Link. It is known that Miyamoto originally considered Link to be an adolescent child adventurer as opposed to his form as a young man.

Soul Calibur 2

Appearing in the GameCube version of Soul Calibur 2, Link is shown as a playable fighter in his adult age. Not much is known about the story, but it is known that Link, after saving Hyrule from an evil wizard that was being controlled by a fragment of Soul Edge, goes on a quest to destroy the evil sword. Quickly pulling the Master Sword out of its pedestal, he embarked on a secret journey, a journey which Zelda knew nothing about. He left Hyrule to destroy Soul Edge, so that the evil blade would not bring harm to Hyrule or anyone else again.

The Gamecube version of Soul Calibur 2 is said to have sold better than the Playstation 2 or Xbox versions of the same; many believe that this is due to Link's presence, since the Gamecube is not the most popular current generation console among gamers. Link was also notable in this game for being the only character with true projectile attacks (his trusty bow and arrow, boomerang, and bomb) - only Spawn, an Xbox exclusive character, could do the same. Link was also given a unique fighting style on par with any of the "regular" characters, and even had several moves from some LoZ games - for instance, a dashing sword attack inspired by the A Link to the Past's Pegasus Boots, the Upper and Under Cut jumping attacks from The Adventure of Link, and a backflip/jump sword attack nearly identical to attacks used in Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask. As in the Super Smash Bros. series, he had a total of four costumes. Though they differed only in color (green, red, blue, and a very light blue), it happened to be more than any other character had in any version of the game.

This compares favorably with some background presented in The Wind Waker - that game states that the Triforce of Courage was shattered into pieces when the Hero of Time left Hyrule. While this could just as well refer to Majora's Mask or other undisclosed events, it does allow for Link's traveling throughout other realms, even to an Earth set four hundred years ago (Soul Calibur 2's setting).

However, the fact that Link is a character in this game, does not count for this being a game in the Legend of Zelda series. Various fans believe that this game could be considered of the series but since Soul Calibur 2 makes an appearence on the Playstation 2 and XBOX consoles the game is exempt.

Minor cameos

Missing image
Link_Cameo_Strip.png


Link also briefly appears (cameos) in the following Nintendo games:

References

In addition to information taken from the Legend of Zelda games themselves, the instruction booklets of the following Zelda games were also used as references for this article:

  • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, US/NTSC version, Nintendo, 1987.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, US version, Nintendo, 1993.
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, EU version, Nintendo/Capcom, 2004.

See also

es:Link sv:Link

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