Did a Hyrule Warriors Art Book Reveal a Female Link? - Update

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Did a Hyrule Warriors Art Book Reveal a Female Link? - Update

hyrule warriors female link concept art

Art book for upcoming Wii U game appeared to feature a gender-swapped Link.

Update: Kotaku's Japan-based contributor Brian Ashcraft has weighed in on the story. According to his translations, the character depicted is in fact described as "a female version of Link" named Rinkuru ("Linkle" in English.) He goes to elaborate that while some sites had reported that other accompanying text suggested that Rinkuru is meant to be Link's daughter or younger sister, he believed this to be due to a mistranslation relating to a common anime/manga archetype often shorthanded as a "little sister," explaining:

"The art book explicitly states that the character was "devised as being sister-like" (note that the text actually says, 妹的 or "imouto teki," which means "little sister-like." On English language sites, some people are are confusing "little sister" (妹 or imouto) with "daughter" (娘 or musume) and incorrectly believing that this is Link's daughter. It's not."

Unfortunately for those who were excited at the prospect of playing as a female Link in Hyrule Warriors, Ashcraft also notes that Linkuru appears to be part of a section of the book devoted to rejected/unused original characters.

Original Story: Earlier this year, the reveal of the yet-untitled Wii U Zelda game featuring an atypical-looking Link touched off controversy and discussion about the possibility of the next Link being a woman. Now, a Japanese art book for the upcoming Zelda/Dynasty Warriors crossover Hyrule Warriors may have revealed that it's no longer simply a possibility.

Photographs (not direct scans) of the book's pages (the accompanying text to which are all in Japanese) have appeared online, and they appear to show concept art of a character who looks very much like the traditional Link but with unmistakably female features in her(?) face and outfit. The largest image of the character is depicted wielding a crossbow, but smaller views show her using a sword and shield as well. The text is not 100% visible, and no official English translation has yet appeared.

As it is apparently concept art, it is not yet known whether this character will appear in the actual Hyrule Warriors game or if the pages depict a rejected idea. While this could be a new character exclusive to the game or a reveal that players will be able to choose the gender of "their" Link; as Warriors incorporates characters from multiple series throughout the Legend of Zelda timeline it is at least hypothetically possible that this character is the heroine of either the Wii U title (or some other yet-to-be released game) making an early appearance.

There has been no statement from Nintendo at this time.

Source: GoNintendo, Kotaku

Permalink

Looks good to me. I couldn't care less about the Hyrule Warriors game but maybe, just maybe, this is a sign of what's to come in the main series as well.

On top, it says "Discarded Character", so no chance of female Link in the game.

Even if this ends up as merely being concept art for a female Link and not within Hyrule Warriors itself, this will still be hugely interesting for the sole fact that at some point they took a female Link into consideration to the stage they designed concept art for it... provided that is a female Link being depicted here (which I'm assuming it is unless it's his twin sister or something). We've clearly seen male Link within Hyrule Warriors, so in the case that there is a female Link in the game then it'd either be a case of gender choice or a result of the same dimension altering matter that has caused numerous Zelda timelines to clash.

In any case, if a female Link is playable, great. If not, then it'd be a shame but a very minor thing and nothing to get worked up over. If this instead hints to something concerning Zelda U though, even more intriguing I'll be.

Looks like an alternate Zelda Costume. Has the same hair and face structure as the Hyrule Warrior's Zelda.

image

controversy and discussion about the possibility of the next Link being a woman.

What controversy? 99% of what I read on it was "Yeah, that would be cool". The worst I think I saw was a few people who said they don't like when established characters receive huge changes.

it's just a rejected idea. Plus considering how Hyrule Warriors is very skewed towards female characters, it's no great loss. Maybe something they could put in a sequel. Interestingly, it's named "Linkle" probably either meaning it might have been a separate character or an alternate.

Not really related, but I know that Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is getting DLC that lets any character, male or female, wear gear that makes you resemble Link.

As for this, my guess is that it is nothing more than unused concept art. I confess that I still find the idea of a female Link a tad leery (why not just let us play as Zelda?), but I guess we'll see soon enough. I fully expect a translation to become available soon.

Didn't...didn't we already go over all this when that teaser trailer got everyone all jinned up in the first place? Wasn't Nintendo's official line "Link has always had more effeminate features so no, that's not a FemLink. For that matter, who said that was Link in that teaser in the first place?" Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see the gaming world turn on end at the concept of one of THE most well-known characters in gaming suddenly getting gender-swapped - and I actually think the publicity it'd give Nintendo, considering the progressive mindset of (what seems to be) the majority of the gaming market, would be very good - because if nothing else it shows that Nintendo is up for mixing things up.

But yeah, I won't hold my breath until they officially announce "FEMLINK HAS ARRIVED!" As such, that art-book (in my opinion) either depicts a particularly effeminate Link, a completely different character (perhaps the one seen in that teaser trailer that got everyone talking in the first place), or as someone else already mentioned: perhaps it's an alternate costume for Zelda herself.

RJ 17:
snip

See, that's the problem of gender-swapping, by doing so you make Zelda even less noticeable and make the common misconception of Link being Zelda an even bigger problem. She's been just as strong a character - if not more important to the plot - as Link has (in most entries in the series), yet the most we've gotten is a snippet of gameplay in Wind Waker I think to play as her.

If they want to have the PR of being a "progressive" company they need to make a game in the franchise that showcases Zelda, the Gerudo, or the Shiekah, not jiggly bits shifted upwards on Link.

Redryhno:

RJ 17:
snip

See, that's the problem of gender-swapping, by doing so you make Zelda even less noticeable and make the common misconception of Link being Zelda an even bigger problem. She's been just as strong a character - if not more important to the plot - as Link has (in most entries in the series), yet the most we've gotten is a snippet of gameplay in Wind Waker I think to play as her.

If they want to have the PR of being a "progressive" company they need to make a game in the franchise that showcases Zelda, the Gerudo, or the Shiekah, not jiggly bits shifted upwards on Link.

How about a double-swap? If they do make a FemLink, it'd only make sense to make Prince Zelda. :P

RJ 17:
How about a double-swap? If they do make a FemLink, it'd only make sense to make Prince Zelda. :P

Maybe, and I know that's meant mainly as a joke, but again, it's just the shifting of genitals when they've already got perfectly good characters with established crotches.

They came up with that bigass timeline and reality bending sheet a few years ago, having one game where Link dies because he hit a cucco followed by tarring,feathering, and unceremoniously being thrown off a cliff forcing her to go find the 8 pieces of the shattered Triforce of Courage to send to the next hero/keep away from Ganon and his similarly named reality twins cannot be that hard to think up.

Gender swaps are pathetic. Trying to make a male character into a female or vice versa just for "social progession" is not progression. True progression is making an independent female character, not just gender bending Link into "girl Link".

endtherapture:
Gender swaps are pathetic. Trying to make a male character into a female or vice versa just for "social progession" is not progression. True progression is making an independent female character, not just gender bending Link into "girl Link".

Preach it.

Or at the very least, gender-swapping an actual character and having it mean something, because Link is just a blank-faced cardboard cut-out with little to no personality.

Not only that, it reflects laziness on the devs part: they are so lacking in imagination or effort to create a brand new female protagonist that they'll instead transcribe a male protagonist's traits sans the Y chromosome.

Redryhno:

RJ 17:
How about a double-swap? If they do make a FemLink, it'd only make sense to make Prince Zelda. :P

Maybe, and I know that's meant mainly as a joke, but again, it's just the shifting of genitals when they've already got perfectly good characters with established crotches.

They came up with that bigass timeline and reality bending sheet a few years ago, having one game where Link dies because he hit a cucco followed by tarring,feathering, and unceremoniously being thrown off a cliff forcing her to go find the 8 pieces of the shattered Triforce of Courage to send to the next hero/keep away from Ganon and his similarly named reality twins cannot be that hard to think up.

Actually I was being mostly serious with that. To be clear, I'm actually kinda agreeing with you: I don't see what the big deal of a gender swap is. I do, however, know that it would be a big deal to most of the gaming public even if I don't fully understand why. I mean yeah - under the assumption that they would gender-swap Link - it would be something different, but it'd just be different for the sake of being different. It's like someone who wear's blue all the time suddenly saying "Look at me! I'm wearing red now!" Sure, you'd be surprised to see that person wearing red, but is it ground-shaking or ground-breaking? Not really.

But I've never been one to buy into gender-issues when it comes to games as I highly doubt that any developer is actually trying to spread some kind of message with their portrayal of their characters. Quite honestly I don't see a difference between a "strong male character" and a "strong female character". To me they're all just "strong characters" or "weak characters". Someone made a topic a few weeks regarding how disgusted they were with the game Castle Crashers due to how the players have to fight over a damsel-in-distress at the end of the levels. Other people have bemoaned female characters that just whine and cry and need to be saved. I guess I'm a misogynist because apparently I see nothing wrong with either of those scenarios. The "Heroic Knight Saving The Damsel In Distress" is a story that's as old as the crust on my underwear...how many fairy tales have you heard in which the there's a princess that needs rescuing and there's a brave prince that's up for said rescuing? The point being that these tropes are just story templates, templates which are often used by game designers.

That said, I can definitely respect and appreciate strong female and male characters in gaming when I come across them. Whenever gender is a choice in a game I always choose to play as a female because I really do like the idea of a strong, confident woman being the hero of the day. Like I said: I just prefer to leave "politics" out of my gaming. To me, I think it's pretty easy to tell when someone's trying to be offensive...and I have yet to play a game that specifically tries to be offensive towards women. Even the Duke Nukem games, because Duke is - in my opinion - meant to be a massive parody of himself. Just a giant stereotypical 80's action hero. Do I believe the creators of the franchise meant to spread a message that women are just objects to swoon over badasses? No, I don't. I think it's all done in satire which if you ask me can't be offensive unless you're way to insecure about yourself. That's why it doesn't bother me when black comedians make fun of white people. Or when webcomics make fun of heterosexual white males. Sorry White Guy Defense Force, your services aren't needed here.

In short: I really don't care one way or another since, like I said, I don't mix politics with my gaming. My previous comments were based upon the fact that I've got a pretty good feeling for how most in the gaming community tend to think (i.e. with a "progressive" mindset) and as such know that they'd cream themselves over the thought of an official gender-swapped Link. This would give Nintendo some much-needed good press and that is something I'm all for. I'm not a big Nintendo fan these days, but nostalgia demands that I wish the best for them.

okay, it's actually NOT a Link genderswap; it's an idea that got scrapped during development along with Link having a Zelda-esque spirit during battle, Zelda having a more valkyrian design, Lana and Cia being faeries, etc. The girl is actually named "Rinkuru" (which may translate to Linkle or something) and she's described as Link's daughter. My guess is that due to the timeline shenanigans they were going to do something similar to Fire Emblem: Awakening where one of the characters would be the child of the hero. Oh well, save it for the sequel.

Aiddon:
okay, it's actually NOT a Link genderswap; it's an idea that got scrapped during development along with Link having a Zelda-esque spirit during battle, Zelda having a more valkyrian design, Lana and Cia being faeries, etc. The girl is actually named "Rinkuru" (which may translate to Linkle or something) and she's described as Link's daughter. My guess is that due to the timeline shenanigans they were going to do something similar to Fire Emblem: Awakening where one of the characters would be the child of the hero. Oh well, save it for the sequel.

You know, I think that would be an awesome idea to play as Link's daughter. It would give gamers the female Link they want while still keeping the male Link they love around. The only negative I can think of is the inevitable question and wild mass speculation of who the mother is.

endtherapture:
Gender swaps are pathetic. Trying to make a male character into a female or vice versa just for "social progession" is not progression. True progression is making an independent female character, not just gender bending Link into "girl Link".

Even when there's nothing anywhere that actually says that Link is required to be a male? Because there isn't. I have not seen a single thing that implies that the Hero of Time is a gender defined thing, in reality, it all comes down to whether or not they wear a stupid looking hat. Link is quite possibly the biggest non-entity in the history of video game characters, so much so that he makes Master Chief look like a fleshed out character with a fully defined personality, and he serves literally no purpose other than to be a self-insert; appeal that basic isn't going to be taken away by a change in skin color or gender.

Really, if Link were just a girl in the next Legend of Zelda I think it would be about as radical a move as making The Doctor black. There's nothing in the Doctor Who lore that says Time Lords will always regenerate as the same race or gender, and the appeal isn't stolen by switching things up, so what's the problem?

T-Shirt Turtle:

Aiddon:
okay, it's actually NOT a Link genderswap; it's an idea that got scrapped during development along with Link having a Zelda-esque spirit during battle, Zelda having a more valkyrian design, Lana and Cia being faeries, etc. The girl is actually named "Rinkuru" (which may translate to Linkle or something) and she's described as Link's daughter. My guess is that due to the timeline shenanigans they were going to do something similar to Fire Emblem: Awakening where one of the characters would be the child of the hero. Oh well, save it for the sequel.

You know, I think that would be an awesome idea to play as Link's daughter. It would give gamers the female Link they want while still keeping the male Link they love around. The only negative I can think of is the inevitable question and wild mass speculation of who the mother is.

And they really don't have to reveal as the mother could've died in or shortly after child birth. Or introduced in a time skip (like child link and adult in link in OoT).

Akisa:

T-Shirt Turtle:

Aiddon:
okay, it's actually NOT a Link genderswap; it's an idea that got scrapped during development along with Link having a Zelda-esque spirit during battle, Zelda having a more valkyrian design, Lana and Cia being faeries, etc. The girl is actually named "Rinkuru" (which may translate to Linkle or something) and she's described as Link's daughter. My guess is that due to the timeline shenanigans they were going to do something similar to Fire Emblem: Awakening where one of the characters would be the child of the hero. Oh well, save it for the sequel.

You know, I think that would be an awesome idea to play as Link's daughter. It would give gamers the female Link they want while still keeping the male Link they love around. The only negative I can think of is the inevitable question and wild mass speculation of who the mother is.

And they really don't have to reveal as the mother could've died in or shortly after child birth. Or introduced in a time skip (like child link and adult in link in OoT).

Well, it's either Link's daughter, or a sister, can't tell which. I heard the strategy guide is going to have concept art in it when the game launches next month so we'll probably get official translations with that. At the very least they have something for the sequel.

Yep... definitely not Saria in any way. I mean, look at her! She has completely different colored hair... and a hat.

...which is likely why this "Link's Daughter" character was cut; playable Saria confirmed.

endtherapture:
Gender swaps are pathetic. Trying to make a male character into a female or vice versa just for "social progression" is not progression. True progression is making an independent female character, not just gender bending Link into "girl Link."

How so? In Link's case in particular it seems perfectly justifiable, since almost every Link is a different one than the ones that came before and after, but even otherwise, what is not progressive about showing that a vagina does not bar someone from doing what Link does?

I don't intend to be pushy or argumentative or what have you. I ask because I am interested in hearing you explain why you think that.

endtherapture:
Gender swaps are pathetic. Trying to make a male character into a female or vice versa just for "social progession" is not progression. True progression is making an independent female character, not just gender bending Link into "girl Link".

Normally I would agree.
But this is Legend of Zelda. Its an episodic game with not MUCH to link the different games.
Here it makes sense.

Kamui-Moshiri:

endtherapture:
Gender swaps are pathetic. Trying to make a male character into a female or vice versa just for "social progession" is not progression. True progression is making an independent female character, not just gender bending Link into "girl Link".

Even when there's nothing anywhere that actually says that Link is required to be a male? Because there isn't. I have not seen a single thing that implies that the Hero of Time is a gender defined thing, in reality, it all comes down to whether or not they wear a stupid looking hat. Link is quite possibly the biggest non-entity in the history of video game characters, so much so that he makes Master Chief look like a fleshed out character with a fully defined personality, and he serves literally no purpose other than to be a self-insert; appeal that basic isn't going to be taken away by a change in skin color or gender.

There is nothing saying that Ganondorf or Zelda need to be male or female, either. I don't mind a gender swap if they go all the way with it. Sure, have Link as a girl. But I'd like to see Ganondorf as a female, too, since I hate always seeing the villain as the male, especially when the hero is a girl, and make Zelda a boy.

Weaver:

controversy and discussion about the possibility of the next Link being a woman.

What controversy? 99% of what I read on it was "Yeah, that would be cool". The worst I think I saw was a few people who said they don't like when established characters receive huge changes.

Yeah, there wasn't much controversy at all, and that argument that people used didn't really hold up.

Link is never the same person in every game, in Wind Waker you aren't even a descendant, there is really no reason the Hero of Time couldn't have a Female descendant in the first place.

I've always seen the Links as different characters myself, so a Female Link doesn't seem out of place at all but it could be different for other people.

Blue Ranger:

Kamui-Moshiri:

endtherapture:
Gender swaps are pathetic. Trying to make a male character into a female or vice versa just for "social progession" is not progression. True progression is making an independent female character, not just gender bending Link into "girl Link".

Even when there's nothing anywhere that actually says that Link is required to be a male? Because there isn't. I have not seen a single thing that implies that the Hero of Time is a gender defined thing, in reality, it all comes down to whether or not they wear a stupid looking hat. Link is quite possibly the biggest non-entity in the history of video game characters, so much so that he makes Master Chief look like a fleshed out character with a fully defined personality, and he serves literally no purpose other than to be a self-insert; appeal that basic isn't going to be taken away by a change in skin color or gender.

There is nothing saying that Ganondorf or Zelda need to be male or female, either. I don't mind a gender swap if they go all the way with it. Sure, have Link as a girl. But I'd like to see Ganondorf as a female, too, since I hate always seeing the villain as the male, especially when the hero is a girl, and make Zelda a boy.

I really don't want to get into this whole Gender flipping argument but Ganondorf does have to be male. There has only ever been one Ganondorf and every time he has appeared within the games he has either been revived by one of his followers or released from his seal in the sacred realm.

Kinda harrd to tell with Link... and that's before you get into the japanese art thing. They love them some bishies in Japan. Though I am not looking forward to all the Link x Ganondorf Fan art and fan fiction it will spark... *shudder*

Funny how they have to give him those knee high boots and let his hair flop around to make him "female".
Link is so androgynous, all you have to do to change his gender is alter the audio files of his grunts.

I believe no one ever talks about link in the third person too, do they?
So there wouldn't even be the need to search and replace "he" with "she".

Also this is about as "controversial" as the reveal that final fantasy 13 would have a female protagonist.

Kamui-Moshiri:

endtherapture:
Gender swaps are pathetic. Trying to make a male character into a female or vice versa just for "social progession" is not progression. True progression is making an independent female character, not just gender bending Link into "girl Link".

Even when there's nothing anywhere that actually says that Link is required to be a male? Because there isn't. I have not seen a single thing that implies that the Hero of Time is a gender defined thing, in reality, it all comes down to whether or not they wear a stupid looking hat. Link is quite possibly the biggest non-entity in the history of video game characters, so much so that he makes Master Chief look like a fleshed out character with a fully defined personality, and he serves literally no purpose other than to be a self-insert; appeal that basic isn't going to be taken away by a change in skin color or gender.

Really, if Link were just a girl in the next Legend of Zelda I think it would be about as radical a move as making The Doctor black. There's nothing in the Doctor Who lore that says Time Lords will always regenerate as the same race or gender, and the appeal isn't stolen by switching things up, so what's the problem?

JimB:

endtherapture:
Gender swaps are pathetic. Trying to make a male character into a female or vice versa just for "social progression" is not progression. True progression is making an independent female character, not just gender bending Link into "girl Link."

How so? In Link's case in particular it seems perfectly justifiable, since almost every Link is a different one than the ones that came before and after, but even otherwise, what is not progressive about showing that a vagina does not bar someone from doing what Link does?

I don't intend to be pushy or argumentative or what have you. I ask because I am interested in hearing you explain why you think that.

In both of these cases, making Link female accomplishes nothing. Why can't we play as Tetra or Sheikh or Mindna or one of the many strong female Zelda characters? Link has been male for over 20 years. He's known as Link, Link the blonde haired guy in a green cap with a sword and shield. That's Link.

Gender bending accomplishes nothing. It wouldn't be a true strong or original female character because female Link would always be known as female Link. Do you not see the problem in that? It's a very weak character. "Our female character is exactly the same a our male character but with feminine features".

Shame, I was looking forward to a female Link. Oh well.

endtherapture:

In both of these cases, making Link female accomplishes nothing. Why can't we play as Tetra or Sheikh or Mindna or one of the many strong female Zelda characters? Link has been male for over 20 years. He's known as Link, Link the blonde haired guy in a green cap with a sword and shield. That's Link.

Gender bending accomplishes nothing. It wouldn't be a true strong or original female character because female Link would always be known as female Link. Do you not see the problem in that? It's a very weak character. "Our female character is exactly the same a our male character but with feminine features".

Making the new Link male accomplishes nothing either, so why do it? There have been Links of different ages, raised up in different villages, encountering different plots. The sword is actually a plot point that unites them. The penis is not.

Here we have a character who is explicitly not a biological person, but a succession of different people who represent the Spirit of the Hero.

If it accomplishes nothing, then it could 50-50% go either way. Otherwise, why would it be so important to actively make sure that his apparently "iconic" maleness is preserved?

Entitled:

endtherapture:

In both of these cases, making Link female accomplishes nothing. Why can't we play as Tetra or Sheikh or Mindna or one of the many strong female Zelda characters? Link has been male for over 20 years. He's known as Link, Link the blonde haired guy in a green cap with a sword and shield. That's Link.

Gender bending accomplishes nothing. It wouldn't be a true strong or original female character because female Link would always be known as female Link. Do you not see the problem in that? It's a very weak character. "Our female character is exactly the same a our male character but with feminine features".

Making the new Link male accomplishes nothing either, so why do it? There have been Links of different ages, raised up in different villages, encountering different plots. The sword is actually a plot point that unites them. The penis is not.

Here we have a character who is explicitly not a biological person, but a succession of different people who represent the Spirit of the Hero.

If it accomplishes nothing, then it could 50-50% go either way. Otherwise, why would it be so important to actively make sure that his apparently "iconic" maleness is preserved?

That's just the way the franchise is.

I'm going to give you an example here of Wolverine and X-23. X-23 was a clone of Wolverine who was female. It was basically a gender swap like the upcoming Thor one but it actually worked because she was a new character and not just an old one with the genitals switched.

If they gender-bent Link and did something interesting with it, like a story about exceeding the expectations of ones gender and the world coming to terms with a female Link or something like that, then it would be really interesting. However this one would just be a straight swap with no interesting reasoning or ideas behind it and would just alienate a bunch of the Zelda fanbase.

endtherapture:

Entitled:

Making the new Link male accomplishes nothing either, so why do it? There have been Links of different ages, raised up in different villages, encountering different plots. The sword is actually a plot point that unites them. The penis is not.

Here we have a character who is explicitly not a biological person, but a succession of different people who represent the Spirit of the Hero.

If it accomplishes nothing, then it could 50-50% go either way. Otherwise, why would it be so important to actively make sure that his apparently "iconic" maleness is preserved?

That's just the way the franchise is.

I'm going to give you an example here of Wolverine and X-23. X-23 was a clone of Wolverine who was female. It was basically a gender swap like the upcoming Thor one but it actually worked because she was a new character and not just an old one with the genitals switched.

If they gender-bent Link and did something interesting with it, like a story about exceeding the expectations of ones gender and the world coming to terms with a female Link or something like that, then it would be really interesting. However this one would just be a straight swap with no interesting reasoning or ideas behind it and would just alienate a bunch of the Zelda fanbase.

Honestly, I'd be fine with fem-Link being a mostly separate character or just the same Link but a girl. Not every character that's a not a straight white guy needs to have their story focus on them not being a straight white guy. Take Lee from the Walking Dead. He's black, but the story never calls attention to it apart from for an occasional gag. And the last time Nintendo focused on a character's femininity in a plot, we got Other M, which is the worst game they ever made and I will hear no argument to the contrary. Besides, with the resurrection cycle it just makes logical sense that in at least one incarnation Link would be a girl. Also, if we lose a chunk of the fan base because they don't want a girl to be the hero... I won't exactly mourn their loss.

endtherapture:

Entitled:

endtherapture:

In both of these cases, making Link female accomplishes nothing. Why can't we play as Tetra or Sheikh or Mindna or one of the many strong female Zelda characters? Link has been male for over 20 years. He's known as Link, Link the blonde haired guy in a green cap with a sword and shield. That's Link.

Gender bending accomplishes nothing. It wouldn't be a true strong or original female character because female Link would always be known as female Link. Do you not see the problem in that? It's a very weak character. "Our female character is exactly the same a our male character but with feminine features".

Making the new Link male accomplishes nothing either, so why do it? There have been Links of different ages, raised up in different villages, encountering different plots. The sword is actually a plot point that unites them. The penis is not.

Here we have a character who is explicitly not a biological person, but a succession of different people who represent the Spirit of the Hero.

If it accomplishes nothing, then it could 50-50% go either way. Otherwise, why would it be so important to actively make sure that his apparently "iconic" maleness is preserved?

That's just the way the franchise is.

I'm going to give you an example here of Wolverine and X-23. X-23 was a clone of Wolverine who was female. It was basically a gender swap like the upcoming Thor one but it actually worked because she was a new character and not just an old one with the genitals switched.

If they gender-bent Link and did something interesting with it, like a story about exceeding the expectations of ones gender and the world coming to terms with a female Link or something like that, then it would be really interesting. However this one would just be a straight swap with no interesting reasoning or ideas behind it and would just alienate a bunch of the Zelda fanbase.

'That's just the way it is?' Surely, I don't have to assume you're totally ignorant of history to know just how many countless people have said variations of that exact same phrase only to be proven wrong by the immutable force of time, right?

The 'Hero of Time' is not a character, it's an abstract concept. It's a myth that states that every generation has a young hero that rises up to defeat a great evil using the power of the Tri-Force and the Master Sword, that's it. Beyond that simple, repeating legend there is nothing that indicates that the key characters have preordained identities that remain static. We have no idea who's going to represent power, wisdom, and courage, all we know is that somebody will.

The Hero of Time being a female is perfectly acceptable within the lore of the series, and as such, there doesn't have to be a separate arc where her 'femaleness' is justified (which is a concept that I think is bullshit by itself, but that's a discussion for another time), and 'that's just the way it is' is not a reasoning I find personally acceptable.

endtherapture:

That's just the way the franchise is.

I'm going to give you an example here of Wolverine and X-23. X-23 was a clone of Wolverine who was female. It was basically a gender swap like the upcoming Thor one but it actually worked because she was a new character and not just an old one with the genitals switched.

But according to "the way the franchise is", the various Zelda protagonists are NOT the same character either.

Expecting the next Link from Hyrule Warriors to be also male like the earlier ones, is like expecting X-23 to be male. Even worse than that, clones can be expected to be their source's gender by default, but the Spirit of the Hero in Zelda has no reason to only appear in male characters.

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