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Is Link a Person or a Link?

Zorth

#Scoundrel
Joined
Apr 22, 2011
What do you think?
Is he a guy with a personality or nobody at all?
What do you think the developers intended him to be?
 

Zorth

#Scoundrel
Joined
Apr 22, 2011
Well, technically he is a person/character, but he does link to other Links that link to other Links -- It's complicated.
Hmm, well according to Mr. Kondo he's a link to the game world.

The most important thing about the Zelda series is that the player becomes Link. One of the challenges with full voice is that if we're trying to convey the player's emotion through Link, but you hear Link talking in somebody else's voice, that creates a disconnect between you and the role that you're taking on. ~ Koji Kondo
 

Linknerd09

Luigi Fan
Joined
Apr 20, 2010
Location
Hyrule Castle
Gender
Hylian
I would say both. In the Zelda games, he's a Link to us connecting to him as the player and him as the character. We can see how he portrays his life as it goes. As himself, he a character going through life as the Hero of Time and such. Also seeing him as an ordinary character living his life at ease them becoming a hero.
 
Joined
Jun 14, 2011
It really depends on how YOU portray him. People may think he is his own character, others think he is a projection of you. regardless of what Nintendo says, Link is who you choose to see him, there is no right or wrong.
 

Dan

Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Gender
V2 White Male
What do you think?
Is he a guy with a personality or nobody at all?
What do you think the developers intended him to be?
To be honest I always saw link with a bit of character. I thought of him as a shy kid with a heart of gold :P I think he has quite a bit of personality in ooT, seems to be your typical shy kid. I always found it funny how he runs off screaming when ruto offers herself. The expressions he shows generally towards ganon and any other evil doer also gives him personality to me. I don't think I can ever see Link as a link for me. In games like fallout or oblivion it's a lot easier to feel more connected to my character. Not only am I given choices but I never really see my character show off their face and expressions. Link we see how he reacts to certain situations and people quite a lot in oot. That for me gives him personality and makes him a character of his own.
 
Joined
Jun 14, 2011
link doesnt have a character because he doesnt talk
that's quite a weak observation. Just because you don't or can't talk, doesn't mean you don't have a personality. Vocals alone don't determine people's personality, it's what people do that also helps reveals a person's personality .
 

Hanyou

didn't build that
If Link was ever just a "link," that clearly went away with Link's Awakening. He has his own motivations, his own responses to the challenges he faces, etc. The best versions of Link, by far, are the ones with an individual character.

You can't tell me The Hero of Time, The Hero of Winds, or Skyward Sword's Link don't have their own motivations or at least their own convictions. That's patently false.
 

Azure Sage

Spread Smiles!
Staff member
ZD Legend
Comm. Coordinator
I like to think of Link as a character with personality more than a blank slate or avatar for us to fill in. I actually like it better when he has more of a personality, like in The Wind Waker and Skyward Sword. If Link didn't have feelings and emotions, the stories of the games wouldn't be nearly as moving. For example, when Aryll is kidnapped in the beginning of The Wind Waker. I don't know about you, but the expression on Link's face really made me want to save her. In Skyward Sword, Link's actions in certain cutscenes really showed how much he cared about Zelda. The broad spectrum of emotional expressions he had in Skyward Sword also enhanced the game for me. If Link were to remain a blank slate, the games would be a little less enjoyable.

As far was what Nintendo intended Link to be, I think they originally intended for him to be little more than a "link". But it's obvious how that has gradually developed into a more emotion-oriented Link in recent installments like Skyward Sword. I prefer it that way, too. An emotionless, blank avatar of a character is extremely boring in my opinion. I get that we're meant to "project our own emotions onto Link", but personally, I think that leaving the protagonist's emotions entirely up to the player like that is a little lazy, and also not a very good idea. I don't really think it's very immersive, either. It would be more immersive if Link had more emotions and more personality. I'm not saying Link needs to have dialogue in order for the game to be good; I definitely wouldn't take it that far, since he works just fine without dialogue. However, I do think that Link should have his own emotions an personality, because it enhances the experience. Seeing Link care about Zelda the way he did in Skyward Sword made the game a more enjoyable and immersive experience, in my opinion. I think Nintendo should continue down that route as far a Link is concerned.
 

izi

Not A Wizard
Joined
Nov 30, 2012
Location
Los Angeles
There's a big reason Link doesn't talk or have any real defined personality, and that's so fan can see Link as whoever they want him to be, as previous posts have said. Link is a character, but depending on the player, is much more than that: a symbol, an actual link between the player and the game world, etc. Link is link is Link.
 
Joined
Nov 29, 2011
Location
New Jersey
The Hyrule Historyia states that nobody know if his real name is Link or not, or that he is male or female. "The heroes that appear in this chronology are all known as Link. It may have been their true name, but perhaps they were called something different." it says "their, and they" instead of he him or her. But we do know that they are human.
 

bunny

birb overlord
Joined
Sep 16, 2011
Location
Indiana
Gender
¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Link is most definitely a person. While he's meant to be a connection to the player, he clearly has his own life, his own story, and his own ambitions. Yes, I agree that Link is a "link", but I personally think that the link is to make the player feel like they're involved in the story, which is basically part of Link's life.

If Link had no emotion, there would be no motivation to get anything done. For example, in Majora's Mask, when Skull Kid transforms Link into a Deku Scrub, it's obvious that he was horrified. His face alone was enough to make we want to strangle Skull Kid right there. If Link just looked like, "Meh. Whatevs." I probably wouldn't have cared much, if at all. In the Wind Waker, when Aryll was kidnapped, Link didn't plan on saving Aryll when he got around to it. She was his sister and he loved her. As she was carried away, Link almost ran off a cliff chasing after her. He wanted to save her now. In Twilight Princess, after Link and his friends had been attacked by the bokoblins, you could see the terror in his eyes. He was scared for his colleagues. It's clear that Link has emotion, therefore, he is his own character; he is a person.

As for what the developers intended, I would have to say I think they were going for both. I think that Link's emotions and ambitions were meant to connect with the player. The player controls Link and experiences what he does. Because the player is "in Link's shoes", it almost makes us feel how he would. In my experience, when Midna made her snotty remarks to Link, it made me mad at her. It felt like she was insulting me. When Miaku died on the ocean, I felt like it was my responsibility to carry out his last wishes. I think the developers wanted Link to be a person, but I think they also wanted to link the player to his experiences. Like they wanted us to feel how he would if he were a real person.
 

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