There Won't Be a Female Hero in the New 'Legend of Zelda' Because What About the Men?

opinion
Mic invites contributors and staff to offer commentary and context about news and timely issues.

At some point in the development process for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the newest installment in Nintendo's wildly popular Legend of Zelda video game series, there was talk of a potential female hero. This hero would be a gender-swapped version of iconic series protagonist Link.

This was scrapped in the idea stage, according to a new Gamespot interview with Nintendo producer Eiji Aonuma, whose answers were translated by a Nintendo interpreter. Instead, the game's production team considered making the titular princess, Zelda, the protagonist.

"[We] decided that if we're going to have a female protagonist, it's simpler to have Princess Zelda as the main character," Aonuma said. Yet that idea was shot down, because according to the Gamespot interview, "If we have princess Zelda as the main character who fights, then what is Link going to do?"

The response online was vocal, to say the least.

There are myriad ways for a character, even a former main character, to be involved with a story despite not being the lead. Make him the victim! Make him a sidekick! But really, more importantly: Who cares what happens to Link? 

Link has been the lead character in over a dozen titles just in the main series. He will be the lead in plenty more. He is the series' mascot. He is not going anywhere. No one needs to worry about Link.

So why not make Zelda the protagonist for one game? The series is literally named after her. It is, as some Twitter users noted, her legend.

There's a possibility that Nintendo's translation of Aonuma's answer stripped it of some context — but it's Nintendo's interpreter. This is the message the company wants to share. Putting Link out of the spotlight, even just for one game, is too much to consider. For the foreseeable future, Zelda's legend remains out of her hands.

Read more:
'The Sims 4' Update Just Introduced Gender Fluidity to the Game — And It's Beautiful
Nintendo's New Game 'Fire Emblem: Fates' Is the First to Feature Queer Characters
These 4 Charts Reveal Exactly How Terrible Hollywood's Diversity Problem Is

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Kevin O'Keeffe

Kevin is the arts editor at Mic, writing about inclusion and representation in pop culture. He is based in New York and can be reached at kevin@mic.com.

MORE FROM

The best Mac OS deals from the Steam Summer Sale

Despair no more: there are Mac games you can buy during the Steam Summer Sale. Here's out day 5 recap.

Why we need a new Bellator MMA video game

Here's why we need a Bellator MMA video game.

The ultimate guide to 'Pokémon Go' raid boss battles

Check out our roundup of every Pokémon you'll find during a raid in this 'Pokémon Go' raid boss list.

Here are five fantastic games that should have made their way onto the SNES Classic

The list of games coming to the SNES Classic Edition is missing a handful of truly amazing titles.

Here's why everyone is freaking out about 'Star Fox 2' on the SNES Classic

If you're not sure why the release of 'Star Fox 2' for the newly announced SNES Classic Ed is such a big deal, here's some context you may not be aware of.

There are some big changes for assassins in the 'League of Legends' PBE

This is a good update for assassins with crowd control abilities.

The best Mac OS deals from the Steam Summer Sale

Despair no more: there are Mac games you can buy during the Steam Summer Sale. Here's out day 5 recap.

Why we need a new Bellator MMA video game

Here's why we need a Bellator MMA video game.

The ultimate guide to 'Pokémon Go' raid boss battles

Check out our roundup of every Pokémon you'll find during a raid in this 'Pokémon Go' raid boss list.

Here are five fantastic games that should have made their way onto the SNES Classic

The list of games coming to the SNES Classic Edition is missing a handful of truly amazing titles.

Here's why everyone is freaking out about 'Star Fox 2' on the SNES Classic

If you're not sure why the release of 'Star Fox 2' for the newly announced SNES Classic Ed is such a big deal, here's some context you may not be aware of.

There are some big changes for assassins in the 'League of Legends' PBE

This is a good update for assassins with crowd control abilities.