The Big Picture: Link Be A Lady

Neurotic Void Melody

Bound to escape
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
4,953
6
13
Is gender really still such a big issue for people here? What's all this talk of "sexuality" in zelda games? As far as i'm aware, there has been no hint of sexuality in any Zelda adventure. At best, Link and Zelda have been close childhood friends. Any idea of sexual desire must have been imposed by the player at the time. The games have always maintained a childhood innocence, perhaps that is still difficult for some to embrace with such raging hormones.
These games have a perfect opportunity to be any gender, as Dr Who and the Assassin's creed series can be. Why not let it happen? As long as the game is still great, who really cares?
 

Nazulu

They will not take our Fluids
Jun 5, 2008
6,242
0
0
Genocidicles said:
I'd rather a game where you play as Zelda (a good one) than a game where they make Link a woman. It just seems weird swapping the genders like that.
Agreed. I find the gender swapping completely pointless when they already have candidates that could make interesting hero's. Zelda is perfect, the title of the games would actually make sense for once. Or how about we play as one of the Sheikah's (I think they're called), or a Gerudo? And you can save Link too or whatever. Now that would be an actual change.
 

SD-Fiend

Member
Legacy
Apr 26, 2020
2,075
0
1
Country
United States
Xsjadoblayde said:
Is gender really still such a big issue for people here? What's all this talk of "sexuality" in zelda games? As far as i'm aware, there has been no hint of sexuality in any Zelda adventure. At best, Link and Zelda have been close childhood friends. Any idea of sexual desire must have been imposed by the player at the time. The games have always maintained a childhood innocence, perhaps that is still difficult for some to embrace with such raging hormones.
These games have a perfect opportunity to be any gender, as Dr Who and the Assassin's creed series can be. Why not let it happen? As long as the game is still great, who really cares?
I don't really mean to challenge your statement or anything but there are at least two games where Link has an implied romance with another female character. In OoT you have the Zora princess Ruto who plans to marry you when you grow up after giving you the Water Sapphire and becoming your fiancee and even after the time skip still remembers the vows she made. In Skyward Sword you have Peatrice who you can actively romance her to make her happy or reject her to please her father.
Those are two examples of romance in Zelda games that I could think of at the moment. unless you meant strictly Link and Zelda wanting to bone each other.
 

Addendum_Forthcoming

Queen of the Edit
Feb 4, 2009
3,647
0
0
I would actually like a Zelda Game to focus more on female characters they actually have. Impa, depending on the game, is either a kick ass warrior or a magical wisewoman. Honestly, both seem like cool game protagonists to me. It's not like Zelda games haven't strayed from having Zelda actually in them ... (Link's Awakening, Majora's Mask) ... Why not actually take a bit of time to do some narrative on already existing female characters, that otherwise merely serve as supporting cast in every other game?

Here's a simple pitch. Have a game set before the first Legend of Zelda where Impa, as a kick ass Hyrulian warrior, is facing increasing qualms about the growing strife in the land. She is faced with the unenviable position of being Hyrule's greatest warrior, but acknowledges how time is working against her. She is getting older, and the true challenges that await Hyrule will outlast her ability to confront them.

She has a vision that one day, she will find a young boy who will successfully bring Hyrule into an era of peace. Armed with said knowledge, and also so armed her enemies, begins a big long quest to protect Link's family. Ultimately spending her few remaining years of being a physically capable warrior facing near-infirmity protecting the one best hope for Hyrule. At the end of the game, you could even have Impa now aged, teaching Link a few moves ... sorta as if vengeance by proxy. It also suits the theme of reincarnation and sense of one era flowing into another.

See, that would be a cooler type of game than simply exploring the sexuality and gender identity of a protagonist who was originally designed to mute, history-less, and (originally) nameless, who functioned merely as a vehicle for one's immersion into the game.

Legend of Zelda already has some good female characters. I'd rather have a story about them rather than simply a female link. Because in the end, it's merely taking a male character, making them female, and keeping them nameless, history-less, and muted.

Why not a vocal, former supporting character who ACTUALLY HAS character, history and a set-in-stone name? Someone who starts off as brash in the game, but then grows more cunning, wise and reserved as she realises that she will likely die before seeing Hyrule gleam once again.

Death, coming to terms with infirmity, honour, duty, and most importantly about the necessity being a torch in the dark so that others can continue her journey. For all those who played the first Zelda game when it was released, all these elements are things we're facing. We're in our thirties or older, possibly having children, and we're at the mid point in our lives where questions about the future and how we are going to face that future is natural.

It would be nice to see a character emulate these qualms and queries. Impa could literally be the character that emulates the questions that the aging gamer demographic actually has.
 

Something Evil

New member
Sep 13, 2009
7
0
0
Thing is, Link has always been male; just how he's always been left-handed, dressed in green, and carried the whole messianic role.

If we change that part of the archetype by saying "This time Link is a woman!", why not "This time Link has a shotgun. And rides a hog. And does coke. And calls himself Cocky Bruce.".
Changing an established character for the sake of changing them to give the appearance of being sensitive to current issues is facile and can potentially damage the property, especially since, as someone else pointed out, women are already quite well represented in Nintendo's recent lineup.
 

Bashfluff

New member
Jan 28, 2012
106
0
0
You absolutely cannot have it both ways here. If you want to claim a lack of representation hampers your ability to enjoy the game, you should not attempt to take away someone else's representation for your own benefit. I never will agree with the changing of a character in this way for politicize reasons no matter what. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Changing Link into a girl could be fun if they wanted to do something with it. But changing a long-standing character for reasons of social justice just isn't the way to go about it.

There are so many other avenues that you could take! Use the opportunity to explore the world of Zelda. Show notable female characters in their old games. Make up some new ones if you have to. Temporarily turning the franchise head into a girl is not some massive victory for feminism. All it will be is some temporary, insignificant change that is really only going to piss off people who don't like the overly political nature of the change. What will that tell the industry anyway? That people will continue to buy Zelda games despite the gender of the protagonist?

Why not create amazing games with female protagonists that can stand up on their own and make people take notice?
 

Jopoho

New member
Nov 17, 2009
125
0
0
Something Evil said:
Thing is, Link has always been male; just how he's always been left-handed, dressed in green, and carried the whole messianic role.

If we change that part of the archetype by saying "This time Link is a woman!", why not "This time Link has a shotgun. And rides a hog. And does coke. And calls himself Cocky Bruce.".
Link was made right-handed in the Wii version of Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword, to make his movements more immediately relatable to the majority right-handed population. They weren't so attached to the idea of a left-handed hero that they didn't change it. If the developers decide they want an incarnation to be female, it would be another concession for another majority, and that's a-ok. It wouldn't change every incarnation of link. This time, the triforce of courage decides it wants to stick itself on the back of a lady's hand instead.

Also, I would be all over a game in which Link calls himself Cocky Bruce and rides a hog.
 

DrOswald

New member
Apr 22, 2011
1,443
0
0
Penitent said:
Diddy_Mao said:
To be sure I think that it would be a welcome change, but I think that it needs to come with a certain degree of additional work if it's going to be anything other than a gender flip "stunt."
In other words, the first time Link shows up as a lady, the game needs to be one of the few times within the series that Link is given more personality than the gawping "Let's save Hyrule because...reasons" protagonist that he usually is.
No, I'd disagree. Making a big deal about the character's gender and choosing then to define their personality is what Other M did, and we don't want a repeat of that.

Just make the game like Nintendo would if it were Link as usual, then flip the pronouns. Nothing about it calls for anything more than that.
The problem is that Nintendo would be massively criticized for this. This happens all the time (not an established character gender swapping but a female character that the developer basically flipped a coin for) and is sometimes known as the "man with breasts" problem and has been the subject of a ton of video game criticism. Nintendo would get slammed for it.
 

Lono Shrugged

New member
May 7, 2009
1,467
0
0
Xsjadoblayde said:
Is gender really still such a big issue for people here? What's all this talk of "sexuality" in zelda games? As far as i'm aware, there has been no hint of sexuality in any Zelda adventure. At best, Link and Zelda have been close childhood friends. Any idea of sexual desire must have been imposed by the player at the time. The games have always maintained a childhood innocence, perhaps that is still difficult for some to embrace with such raging hormones.
These games have a perfect opportunity to be any gender, as Dr Who and the Assassin's creed series can be. Why not let it happen? As long as the game is still great, who really cares?

Sexism/equality and fucking are two different things.
 

OrokuSaki

New member
Nov 15, 2010
386
0
0
You know, I think I want a female Link. Mostly just so that the butthurt happens to somebody else. Every time they kill Peter Parker and I get up in arms about it people say "Oh, it's only temporary." or "It's just a stunt." or "That biracial new character is so progressive and cool, how could they not kill Peter Parker?"

Now I want this to happen to Zelda. I just want them to mindlessly force the gender swap so that I can say "It's just for one game." But there will be a scar deep inside the minds of Zelda fans, and no matter how many years pass, it will never fully heal.
 

FFMaster

New member
May 13, 2009
88
0
0
Azure23 said:
The "process" for change is the same process that reincarnated the triforce into three people over the generations. The triforce of wisdom is reincarnated in a princess, the triforce of power is reincarnated in a warrior, and the triforce of courage is reincarnated in a hero. There's literally no lore reason why that cant be a woman. Most Zelda games star different reincarnations of Link and Zelda and Ganon anyway, I mean do you remember the timeline where Zelda was a damn pirate captain?
Incorrect, its not to do with the triforce, the triforce is an extra aspect of the reincarnation. (also spoiler, said pirate captain was the princess hiding in plain sight).

I have said this before in this very thread, as have others, the reincarnation aspect comes from the manga, and is due to the goddess taking pity upon the original link for his sacrifice, and then vowed to have the heros spirit live on throughout time and in each generation, with herself taking mortal form. Zelda being a princess can be changed by this due to this not being part of the lore as its currently set out, there is nothing that says that she should be a princess, its just a general given thing. There is also nothing saying that Link can't be part of the Gerudo tribe (something i think might be important for the new game based on the hints).

But based on current lore link being a guy and Zelda being a girl is implied due to the reincarnation of the spirits aspect. you could argue "why not swap" but the goddess sacrificed her goddess power to be with link, kinda implies in the form of link and hylia (zelda).

And there is also the whole genderswapping for genderswap sake will cause just a much trouble because if a character can be swapped out blindly then are not really a character, just a blank slate. But if it is a blank slate character nothing is really changing therefore not furthering the whole social point aspect at all as they are not a strong character.

If the are a strong cahracter then there are agurments against the just random genderswap because they are a character (this is my opinion, link has a character even i the man in charge doesn't seem to see that, hell in link between worlds something and someone in that game HEAVILY implies that link has a character of his own, and that is as much as i can say to avoid spoilers)

Hell in fact it would be a step back, because gender swapping would make the typically strong female character (Zelda) a male character, and zelda tends to end up with a lot more characterization during the games.

Jopoho said:
Link was made right-handed in the Wii version of Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword, to make his movements more immediately relatable to the majority right-handed population. They weren't so attached to the idea of a left-handed hero that they didn't change it. If the developers decide they want an incarnation to be female, it would be another concession for another majority, and that's a-ok. It wouldn't change every incarnation of link. This time, the triforce of courage decides it wants to stick itself on the back of a lady's hand instead.
Left handed link there would have a actual game-play impact, having the sword and shield on the wrong controller for the majority of the players would seriously screw up how-the game controlled and played, and it would make it unplayable for the majority of people and a lot of hte more casual players as well. This is 2 very different things, one being discussed as literally change for changes sake. one would have had a major impact on gameplay.

And actually gamecube twilight princess had a left handed link, the entire game world was flipped for the wii one to realign with the controls.

And i know lefthandedness isn't that "small" a thing as the group of left handed people is quite large, but it is still the minority (just a bigger one). Personally i thought he motion controls and change to right handed was a bit silly because of the exlcusion of left handed people, they would have the same issues as right handed people would have done if they DIDN'T change it.
 

Darkmantle

New member
Oct 30, 2011
1,031
0
0
Crazie_Guy said:
I made the mistake as usual of reading a few comments before watching the video, and it seems like a few people wouldn't like a female link, for various stupid reasons. Then I watched the video and it had all the perfect counterpoints to those reasons. So I guess none of these people were paying attention?
honestly, I would be fine with a female link. I'd probably start buying LoZ games again just to see.

But when it's spun as some kind of moral victory, and when it's implied that the lack of diversity in protagonists causes the misogynistic culture (you know, in the same way all those violent protagonists make people more violent), all I can do is roll my eyes. It spoils it for me really.

I'd like it because it would probably be new and fun, people like Moviebob seem to like it because they perceive it as a victory in their made-up war against "patriarchy" and a blow against evil in the world. It comes off so self righteous, and just, ugh, it sours it for me.
 

Darkmantle

New member
Oct 30, 2011
1,031
0
0
DrOswald said:
Penitent said:
Diddy_Mao said:
To be sure I think that it would be a welcome change, but I think that it needs to come with a certain degree of additional work if it's going to be anything other than a gender flip "stunt."
In other words, the first time Link shows up as a lady, the game needs to be one of the few times within the series that Link is given more personality than the gawping "Let's save Hyrule because...reasons" protagonist that he usually is.
No, I'd disagree. Making a big deal about the character's gender and choosing then to define their personality is what Other M did, and we don't want a repeat of that.

Just make the game like Nintendo would if it were Link as usual, then flip the pronouns. Nothing about it calls for anything more than that.
The problem is that Nintendo would be massively criticized for this. This happens all the time (not an established character gender swapping but a female character that the developer basically flipped a coin for) and is sometimes known as the "man with breasts" problem and has been the subject of a ton of video game criticism. Nintendo would get slammed for it.
I'm so glad you brought this up, did not feminist frequency herself decry this "trope"? Ms. Male Character, or something of the sort.

This is why it's so hard to put women in games right now, everyone seems to want a female character a certain way,and if you don't do it their way, you're a horrible misogynist. Focus on their sexuality too much, some will say you;re making a big deal of it, and call you sexist. Focus on it to little or don't consider it a factor at all, now it might as well just be a male character, you misogynist fuck.
 

DrOswald

New member
Apr 22, 2011
1,443
0
0
Darkmantle said:
DrOswald said:
Penitent said:
Diddy_Mao said:
To be sure I think that it would be a welcome change, but I think that it needs to come with a certain degree of additional work if it's going to be anything other than a gender flip "stunt."
In other words, the first time Link shows up as a lady, the game needs to be one of the few times within the series that Link is given more personality than the gawping "Let's save Hyrule because...reasons" protagonist that he usually is.
No, I'd disagree. Making a big deal about the character's gender and choosing then to define their personality is what Other M did, and we don't want a repeat of that.

Just make the game like Nintendo would if it were Link as usual, then flip the pronouns. Nothing about it calls for anything more than that.
The problem is that Nintendo would be massively criticized for this. This happens all the time (not an established character gender swapping but a female character that the developer basically flipped a coin for) and is sometimes known as the "man with breasts" problem and has been the subject of a ton of video game criticism. Nintendo would get slammed for it.
I'm so glad you brought this up, did not feminist frequency herself decry this "trope"? Ms. Male Character, or something of the sort.

This is why it's so hard to put women in games right now, everyone seems to want a female character a certain way,and if you don't do it their way, you're a horrible misogynist. Focus on their sexuality too much, some will say you;re making a big deal of it, and call you sexist. Focus on it to little or don't consider it a factor at all, now it might as well just be a male character, you misogynist fuck.
It is a bit of a problem. Some feminists (I would bet a relatively small but loud percent) seem to want a character that is uniquely female (that is, has traits beyond the physical that identify them as undeniably female) but not stereotypically female (that is, do not have traits that are traditionally associated with being female.) It is possible to do, but also very very difficult and the definition will change from one observer to the next.

The real problem with this is that there are no real female defining features beyond the strictly physical. There are certain trends (women tend to have greater pain tolerance than men, for example) and social constructs (pink!) but those things are not inherently female anymore than blue is inherently male. All "inherently" female traits are purely physical (and there is even an argument to be made there.) Everything else is just stereotypes based mostly on social constructs.

Frankly, the "man with boobs" criticism is bizarrely sexist. It is a feminist deciding that a female characters is not stereotypically female enough and criticizing the creator for failing to conform their female character to accepted female stereotypes.
 

KisaiTenshi

New member
Mar 6, 2014
45
0
0
DrOswald said:
Darkmantle said:
DrOswald said:
Penitent said:
Diddy_Mao said:
To be sure I think that it would be a welcome change, but I think that it needs to come with a certain degree of additional work if it's going to be anything other than a gender flip "stunt."
In other words, the first time Link shows up as a lady, the game needs to be one of the few times within the series that Link is given more personality than the gawping "Let's save Hyrule because...reasons" protagonist that he usually is.
No, I'd disagree. Making a big deal about the character's gender and choosing then to define their personality is what Other M did, and we don't want a repeat of that.

Just make the game like Nintendo would if it were Link as usual, then flip the pronouns. Nothing about it calls for anything more than that.
The problem is that Nintendo would be massively criticized for this. This happens all the time (not an established character gender swapping but a female character that the developer basically flipped a coin for) and is sometimes known as the "man with breasts" problem and has been the subject of a ton of video game criticism. Nintendo would get slammed for it.
I'm so glad you brought this up, did not feminist frequency herself decry this "trope"? Ms. Male Character, or something of the sort.

This is why it's so hard to put women in games right now, everyone seems to want a female character a certain way,and if you don't do it their way, you're a horrible misogynist. Focus on their sexuality too much, some will say you;re making a big deal of it, and call you sexist. Focus on it to little or don't consider it a factor at all, now it might as well just be a male character, you misogynist fuck.
It is a bit of a problem. Some feminists (I would bet a relatively small but loud percent) seem to want a character that is uniquely female (that is, has traits beyond the physical that identify them as undeniably female) but not stereotypically female (that is, do not have traits that are traditionally associated with being female.) It is possible to do, but also very very difficult and the definition will change from one observer to the next.

The real problem with this is that there are no real female defining features beyond the strictly physical. There are certain trends (women tend to have greater pain tolerance than men, for example) and social constructs (pink!) but those things are not inherently female anymore than blue is inherently male. All "inherently" female traits are purely physical (and there is even an argument to be made there.) Everything else is just stereotypes based mostly on social constructs.

Frankly, the "man with boobs" criticism is bizarrely sexist. It is a feminist deciding that a female characters is not stereotypically female enough and criticizing the creator for failing to conform their female character to accepted female stereotypes.
It wouldn't be such a problem if leading questions weren't always phrased as "... as a woman" because the subject then goes from being about the character to being just about their gender. That's the core problem with the lack of women in games.

Nintendo would lose absolutely nothing by genderflipping Link and/or Zelda and/or Ganon as long as the end result doesn't betray the lore "Link is aided by Zelda to find the Master Sword, the three triforce pieces, and save Hyrule from _(Ganon)_" Swapping Link and Zelda's positions in the narrative (be it you play Zelda, and Link is the help) results in a different game. Genderflipping does not, as the games have never had any heavy romance narrative to them.

Nintendo has to pay attention though. Remember the Super Princess Peach game? Here is a case of swapping the Mario and Peach's positions in the "Bowser kidnaps ___" narrative, but the game doesn't work very good (aside from being outsourced) because it seems like Nintendo told the developers to "make a game starring Peach" and gave no direction other than that. This is why the "create a new IP" argument doesn't work, because that fundamentally misunderstands the reason why there is a demand for the female protagonist. We did not need the "pink aisle" version of a Mario platformer. When Nintendo put out a Super Luigi U DLC addon for Super Mario U, they gave Luigi's stages a slightly different mechanics. Nintendo could have done the same for Peach, but hasn't. So when Super Mario 3D World was released, they finally did.

But as it turns out, Nintendo is at least paying attention to the demand. Most of the other developers don't seem too interested and would rather rush a "With a new hat" improvement to their IP, improving nothing.
 

Rabid_meese

New member
Jan 7, 2014
47
0
0
Bob has really been grating on me for a while with the whole feminism issue, especially on Twitter.

I'm not a feminist. I used to, but the movement itself has gotten as toxic as the people who harassed them. That is a huge statement to make - but it's not completely unfounded. On top of that, stating that the Men's Rights Activists are evil misogynists and that YouTube personalities that are anti-feminist are some how evil gets grating. Ya know what is attractive about Feminism? Equality. Everyone, no matter what they've got swinging below the belt, or the color of their skin, deserves a fair chance. To do that, the first step is to admit that not everyone is made equally - and biology is part of that (Addendum: an example of biology is sexual dimorphism, where not only our bodies are physically different, but the chemicals in our brain. Recognizing differences is the key to overcoming them. One example I like to use is childbirth. Women can have babies, men can't. Having a child can eat years out of a womens experience in the world, as well as effect pay. How do you answer that? Extend support to both genders - Paternal and Maternal care. By forcing that as a standard, you then cut away one of the risks females have over men, which makes it a much more even playing field for women in the long run)

And what's really grating on me is the comment about how sexist gaming culture and development is. No. No more so then any other medium. In fact, I'd argue that our medium has gone leaps and bounds above culture in general. Making games based off of common cultural tropes doesn't mean you're reinforcing a non-existent patriarchy. It's all about appealing to an audience and telling a variation of a story - its a symptom of laziness. And, supposing that gaming culture IS sexist, what good would a female Link do? If sexism permeates the culture, then all it would be is an echo chamber of LOL WOMEN R INFERIOR jokes and offensive jokes. You don't change people's opinions on matters of sexism or racism by parading around a typical archetype of an icon. Obama. PEOPLE THINK HE'S FROM KENYA. STILL. STILL.

That being said, Link being a female would be interesting, but I don't see why. Changing an ingrained icon just for the hell of it or to send a message doesn't really make sense. It doesn't add or subtract anything, it just makes things different. And innovation for innovations sake is just innovation. It'd be like if they made Samus suddenly into a guy. Alright. Cool. That in no way makes a statement or means anything. Its just weird that you'd change a character after, what, 4 decades?
 

Elberik

New member
Apr 26, 2011
203
0
0
I'd rather Nintendo just make a new IP rather than mess with established characters.