With the recent release of a new title in the iconic Zelda series, we couldn’t resist delving into the captivating world of gaming characters. So we are now introducing our new blog series: “Character in the Spotlight.” While there is no shortage of remarkable characters in the Zelda universe, we’ve decided to shine the spotlight on none other than the legendary hero, Link, throughout the ages. So, dust off your ocarina and join us as we embark on a nostalgic journey through the timeless adventures of our beloved hero. Let’s begin!
The Legend of Zelda
In the vast realm of gaming history, one title stands tall as the origin of a legendary series that has captivated gamers worldwide. Back in 1986, Nintendo unveiled “The Legend of Zelda” for the NES, a game that, in comparison to today’s sophisticated releases, may seem humble. With its minimalist pixelated graphics and almost no explenations, “The Legend of Zelda” defied expectations and was a great succes. It’s legendary scene ‘It’s dangerous to go alone’ has since then become iconic. In the scene Link is given a sword to aid in his quest to defeat Ganon and rescue Princess Zelda. The story hasn’t changed much over time, but the game for sure has. And Link, our main character, has too.
Starting off his epic quest in 1986 on the NES, Link, our hero, didn’t have groundbreaking graphics. However, his distinctive appearance made him instantly recognizable. From the early days of pixelated art, one thing was clear: Link was not your average human. With his iconic pointy ears and trademark green hat, he stood out in the gaming landscape. While his visual representation has remained more or less the same, Link has indeed undergone a significant transformation over time. Though it has been speculated that Link is likely a teenager or adolescent, deduced from his daunting task of rescuing a princess, it wasn’t until the release of “Skyward Sword” for the Nintendo Wii that he finally looked like one. Join us as we delve into the evolution of our heroic protagonist and explore the visual journey that has shaped the timeless legend of Link.
How old is Link?
The answer to that question has been a subject of speculation and interpretation. According to “Hyrule Historia,” Link starts his earliest adventures at the age of 10. As we progress through the saga, we encounter variations in his age. In “The Adventure of Link” and “Twilight Princess,” Link is believed to be around 16 years old. “Ocarina of Time” presents a twist, with Link seamlessly transitioning between the ages of 9 and 16. In the world of “Breath of the Wild,” a memory scene depicts Zelda celebrating her 17th birthday, suggesting that Link is likely of a similar age. However, if we factor in the fact that Link also awakes from a 100-year slumber, he might actually be 117…
Progression in art
Of course, the graphics have been greatly improved since the release of the first game. Link has changed accordingly though. Where in the first game we had almost no clue what Link actually looked like, over time, we’ve come to learn Link has blond hair, pointy ears, blueish eyes. He used to wear green clothes, but that has changed over time as well, also depending on the game. The latest version of Link is clearly a more mature one, with a rather fit physique.
As the gaming industry has advanced, so too have the graphics within the Zelda series. With each new game, Link’s appearance changed as well. In the early days, we had no real clue what Link actually looked like besides his green outfit and pointy ears. However, as the saga unfolded, we’ve come to learn the defining features that make Link unmistakable. With his blond hair, pointed ears, and blueish eyes, Link has become an iconic figure in gaming culture. The latest version of Link is clearly a more mature one, with a rather fit physique.
Link’s appearance has been re-imagined for Link’s Awakening, Smash Bros, and Mario Kart as well. Smash Bros even has two versions: Link and Toon Link. If you want to know how to play Toon Link check out this page.
What is your favorite Zelda game? Or who is your favorite Link? Let us know in the comments.
And if you are into retro games, check out our other articles here too.