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Breath of the Wild A Main Playable Character Besides Link?

Nov 25, 2012
Monkey Island
Now, I know this idea sounds absolutely terrifying to most of you, and you won't even stop to consider it. But I think it would be rather interesting, and if they pulled it off right, it could be really cool.

Link would still have a prominent role in the story as an NPC. He could be the great hero or warrior that inspires the main character, he could be the main character's best friend, he could be the main character's sword-teacher, heck, he could even have the role of sidekick/companion as a turn of events. Maybe, towards the end of the story, he sacrafices his life for some great, tear-jerking cause. I remember there was a lot of talk about "what if Link died?" and really that wouldn't be possible if he were the main playable character because then you couldn't move on in the story, but if he were an NPC, it would work, and as long as they didn't totally screw up the execution, it would have an extremely profound emotional effect on players. Plus, we would finally get to see (hear?) Link talk.

Another idea: what if we switched up the gender roles a bit? The main playable character is a girl (possibly Zelda) who ends up having to save Link? Because honestly, after having known and loved Link for 25 years, who wouldn't be in a rush to save him? And if some evil cackling villain did hurt/kill him, who wouldn't feel actual fury towards the villain such as we've never felt for Ganondorf? That's what I mean when I think there's a lot of potential with Link as an NPC.

What do you guys think of a female lead in Zelda? Or are you totally repulsed by the idea of a main playable character besides Link in the first place? Please comment.


trollin for booty
Sep 29, 2009
hm, that's an interesting topic. those are some good points. i would have to play it before i'd be able to judge it, but i don't think nintendo would change their hero at this point. it would be intriguing to see how they would make that work.
if i were going to play as anyone besides Link in a Zelda game then it would need to be a character i already know like Impa or Zelda herself. We've played as Zelda rescuing Link before if you count the CD-i games. In Valley of the Flood which turned out to be a (wholly interesting) fake, we were going to play as someone who was very much like Link who would ultimately fail at game's end so its not like not playing as Link can't be done, its just more against Nintendo's stand point on Zelda to have you play as someone else, even the small synopses that you described in your OP are already too much character background for a playable character that Nintendo likes to give.

At this point in time I'm just waiting for Nintendo to get the next Zelda right, i believe they haven't gotten a single Zelda right since Majora's Mask and while I'd love to play as Impa and Zelda for a game or even Malon and I'd love Link to be female just for once I'm gonna be happy playing as Link for the 17/18th (depending which comes first Zelda3DS or ZeldaU) if they can get the game right and make it as good as they can unlike the last decade of games in the series.


Apr 22, 2011
I wouldn't do this if I were Nintendo, I'd rather just add a customization tool to the game so we can totally change Link's appearance but not his character, even if he doesn't have one since that's the point of Link, to not be anything more than a link between our world and the game's. It wouldn't feel to me as a Zelda game if I play as Zelda or any other character (ironic I know :p), while it would still feel like the same series if I kept on playing a character that's almost a blank even if his appearance or even gender is changed. Your idea about a retired warrior NPC who inspires us sounds cool, something like the Hidden Skills Dude in TP but expanded I guess without him just being a ghost.


default setting: sarcastic prick
Dec 17, 2012
As the main character? No. Having a playable NPC that factors heavily into gameplay, even if only for parts of the game? Sure.


Jul 1, 2012
Tbh I would like to have this feature.....

Not throughout the entire game, but certainly in Dungeons, Wind Waker used this feature and in ways it was effective but overall it didn't really work effectively! One game were this feature did work was in Phantom Hourglass. In PH I think it was the Goron Temple were you controlled the Goron as well as link to solve puzzles and defeat the boss, this was very fun and made for some good puzzle solving.

Saying this the feature of having another playable character needs to be done right! Otherwise fans won't be happy. One thing I have always wanted to do is play as Zelda and actually see her powers.....Like imagine using teleportation, using sheiks powers Ect. So yes I would love to have this feature as long as it isn't overused and is done right :)


no text
Dec 16, 2011
I agree with Spirit. Nintendo would be stupid to think that fans of LoZ would enjoy the game, if the Main Character was someone we'd never seen before. The idea of reversing roles and having Zelda rescue Link, would kind of muck up the whole Wisdom and Courage traits. Could be interesting, or it could just be silly.


Swag Master General
Aug 1, 2012
The End
Apache Helicopter
The Legend of Zelda without Link as the main character would be like taking Mario out of a Mario game. There is no point of playing it at that point.


Mad haters lmao
May 26, 2010
Hylian Champion
The only other characters we've seen fully playable in the typical gameplay format within Zelda history are Mascot, Mascot (F) and Princess Zelda.

Naturally, I think those three characters would be fit for "main playable character", but both Mascot and Mascot (F) are functioning Links...just with a different palette swap and of course a hat for the male.

So, instead of Link, Mascot (F), I nominate Zelda as the main playable character. Why? Well, look at it this way: Zelda has tons of character, right? She's strong-willed, righteous (or so we say), has a lot of zeal (sometimes is overzealous as in Ocarina of Time), and we could even call her shy in some respects (like in The Wind Waker). Why not have a playable character have, well, actual character? If Link is destined to be an NPC, the notion of which I can't fully comprehend as he has had, what, two lines in his entire existence as far as I know, we should have the next best character which is in fact Tingle Princess Zelda herself.

That's my take. ;)

EDIT: A female lead is actually what I've been waiting for in the series for oh so long. Doesn't have to be an entity that isn't Link; I'm desiring a female Link at this moment, not a female character the likes of which we either have never seen or have only seen in NPC role. I'm in no way opposed to a female main playable character (all of my characters in this MMORPG I'm playing are female lol)...it's just Nintendo's fanboys and fangirls will be like "ARGH WHERE IS MY LINK?!!!?"
This is very intriguing. I, personally, would like to play as Sheik. I think that Link would still have to have a major role in the game, though. It would work, but it would have to be done right.

Link being a girl is another interesting one. It's something that I'd like to see, but when you think about it in detail it becomes awkward on at least one level. For an example, I'll use my personal dilemma with the idea. I (being my somewhat perverted male self) would probably have the following thought at some point: "Link is... hot... I don't know how to deal with this information". That is a thought that would mess with me a bit throughout the game. In summary, I would like it to happen, but it would take getting used to.

As for a new main character, that one's a bit more tricky. In that case, I would have to have a reason to not play as Link. In my mind, Link would have to die for this to work (being dead is a good reason to not play as a character). I think that we should take control of Link in the beginning of the game, then watch him die 15-20 minutes in (that amount of time includes tutorial stuff). At that point, we should gain control of a childhood friend or his companion character, possibly recieving Link's sword and shield. These items would carry new meaning with them after this event, becoming not just your main weapons, but also your last link to the hero we've known for so long.


The Notorious M.O.P.
Mar 8, 2012
If I were to play as a different character, I'd have to know him/her/thing. I wouldn't buy a brand new Zelda game and start playing as the little booger-boy from TWW. I still prefer to play as Link. He is the main character after all. I think it would be weird for Zelda to go on a big, huge quest to save Link, especially in those dresses.
Aug 25, 2012
Indiana, USA
I would love to see a Zelda game where the main character is completely and thoroughly customizable. This would work better as a spinoff or some side function in the main game, but we'd all love to go to Hyrule, right? By creating a character from scratch, we can do that better than we normally would through Link. This would be my preferred method of using a lead other than Link.

I don't see a lot of point in the lead not being Link otherwise, though. As a spinoff, yes, it could work, but if the new main character still has the limitations of Link (complete reticence, vague background, etc.), there's not much point in making that change. Either the new lead is a character in full with dialogue, background, and ambitions, or we use Link. Otherwise, giving Link the boot is kind of redundant and invites unnecessary controversy.

I wouldn't be averse to seeing a version of Link appear as an NPC, though. We kind of saw that in Twilight Princess with the Hero's Shade, and it worked well. Perhaps it could work if the NPC Link was from a different time period (perfectly legitimate), was a retired hero of old, or was actually the lingering spirit or memory of a past Link.

I wouldn't be averse to a female lead, either, but the same viewpoints as my second paragraph still apply. Full character, customizable character, or nil.


Mrs. Austin
Dec 6, 2009

Let's petition Nintendo to release Tingle's games in the US =P

In all seriousness though, I'd be happy to see Zelda games where the protagonist isn't Link, but only in spin-offs, which the Zelda series seems to have an unfortunate lack of. I can't see it working in anything other than a spin-off honestly.
Jun 14, 2011
I think Link should be the main Protagonist throughout like he has done for 25 years. I wouldn't mind it if you could play as another character temporarily like Kafei in Majora's mask and Medli and Maker in The Wind Waker, but throughout an entire game or a huge bulk of the game, I'm not really keen on that. It won't feel like a Zelda game if you can't play as Link. I think a Spin-off Zelda game would suit that sort of thing more then a main installment.

Lord Carlisle

He Who Shall Not be Named
Sep 9, 2012
I don't really think a different main character is a smart move. Although I can see switching view points occassionally to accomplish a task as being acceptable. Think Kafei in MM... you spend all this time helping him, and at the end you control both him and Link to get the Sun Mask. Or how about a system similar to Zelda's spirit in Spirit Tracks?

I'd like to see ZeldU(that's what I'm calling it) take on different characters for different forms of gameplay. Link couldn't climb buildings or jump across rooftops easily, but Sheik or Impa sure could.
The same thing should happen with sidequests... instead of Link having to settle some family crisis, why not take on some other character to handle the crisis themselves?

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