Link is the main protagonist in The Legend of Zelda series of games. Link is not a single character, but many characters who belong to a line of heroes. It is believed and confirmed that certain Link personas are the same physical character in more than one game, for example, the Link in Ocarina of Time is the same Link depicted in Majora's Mask, and the Link in The Wind Waker is the same Link seen in Phantom Hourglass. Link is entitled to one of the pieces that pertains to the Triforce, possessing the Triforce of Courage whilst Princess Zelda holds the Triforce of Wisdom, and Ganon, the Triforce of Power.
Link does not have a detailed personality, as it was meant for the player to implant their personality into the character. Effectively, Link is named so is because he serves as the player's "link" to the game's world.
It is known, however, that Link is brave and humble, traits that make him worthy of having the Triforce of Courage. Link rarely shows signs of cowardice and is resolute in using his strength and valor to save millions of people from Ganondorf's destructive forces and any other villains.
Link first appeared in The Legend of Zelda for the NES. This game was one of the first games to have a battery-backed cartridge, allowing players to save their progress, something not natively supported by the console.
The Legend of Zelda
Out of the legends in Hyrule, Link is the chosen hero of land, summoned by the royal family to bane the evils from the fields, and save the Princess Zelda from the clutches of the wicked King of Evil, Gannon, seeking out scattered shards from the Triforce of Wisdom. As Link ventures he encounters each pieces along the way before Gannon retrieves them to increment his own power, thus leading Link to Gannon's demise and ending the reign of darkness delivering the final blow with the Silver Arrow.
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
Link appeared as the protagonist of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, a game that alternated between bird's-eye-view overworld segments and side-scrolling dungeons.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Link's debut appearance on the SNES began in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. This game returned to the entirely top-view system of the original game, and proceeded to be hailed as one of the best games on the SNES. It was later remade for the Game Boy Advance.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Link is the main protagonist in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, considered one of the greatest games of all time.
Entwined between the broadened wars of Hyrule, a predecessor of Link fled the enflamed fields and entered the Kokiri Forest managing to save her child from the wars. The Great Deku Tree becomes the entitled guardian to the child, raising the Hylian boy as a kindred to the Kokiri. Link manages to gain age of recognition to possess a personal Fairy, but unlike the Kokiri, becomes a considerable outcast to others in the Kokiri Forest as Link lacks the factor for possesing a Fairy.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
Shortly after the release Ocarina of Time, Nintendo created another game from the same engine called The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. This game featured the new mechanic of a 72-hour period that repeated itself. This system was so detailed that certain events occurred at certain times, whether or not the player was there to witness it. Fortunately, the player was able to slow down time to a degree, and restart the time loop whenever they wanted.
The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker
After this, Nintendo went on to create the GameCube game; The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker. This game featured a cel-shaded cartoon style rather than the realistic look featured in the previous games. Although originally considered a mistake, the graphical style was widely accepted, particularly after the game itself was proven to be a stellar title.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Link then went on to star in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. This game featured a return to the more realistic art style of Ocarina of Time. This game was developed for the GameCube, but then was ported to the Wii . Due to most players being right handed, the Wii version of Twilight Princess was a 'mirror image' of the GameCube version. Many people have different preferences about the controls, but while the majority of people preferred the Gamecube layout, there were some who preferred the waggle controls. Matt Casamassina at IGN even went to say, "you won't want to go back [to the old control scheme]", though this was hyperbole.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Link finds himself in Skyloft in The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword. Skyloft is a land above the clouds and the place in which Link was born and raised. Link in this game has been Zelda's best friend since they were children. Link is training in the Knight school and is apparently quite a lazy student, who has never really tried that hard. Link has not only a strong connection with Zelda but a strong connection with his Loftwing. Link manages to become a Knight after winning a race, unfortunately Zelda is swept away down underneath the cloud, Link then sets off to find her.
Nintendo protagonist Link, along with Samus Aran, were planned to appear in the Marvel: Ultimate Alliance but were scrapped from the story and removed from gameplay.
Several of Link's paraphernalia have appeared situated within various games. Among these are the Master Sword being the most commonly known, appearing in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and Animal Crossing, and the warp whistle used as a route for teleporting in Super Mario Bros. 3.
In every Zelda title, Link adorns a green tunic throughout most of each game. Link also occasionally adorns alternate-colored tunics to aid him, such as the fire-resistant red tunic used to protect him from the blazing heat of Death Mountain, or the Zora-inspired blue tunic, which allows Link to breathe underwater. In addition to his tunics, Link often wears gauntlets, tights, boots, a belt, and a long stocking-like hat. In later games he wears clothing different than his trademark tunic at the beginning. In The Legend Of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, Link's outfit is merely a Hyrule Castle guard uniform; the soldiers of Hyrule wear green tunics and stocking caps, and although the reason has been forgotten in time, it is to pay tribute to the heroes who have come before.
Link has pointed ears, signature of his Hylian ancestry, and blue eyes. He usually wears blue dot or circle earrings in both ears, as well. Link's age is often ambiguous, but he is generally considered to be a teenager or adolescent, depending on the game. In early Zelda titles, booklet art shows a primitive-looking Link with brown hair. Throughout the series, however, Link's hair has become increasingly lighter (except for the conspicuously pink-haired Link in A Link to the Past) until it became blonde, and is even colored a bright shade of yellow in the cel-shaded Wind Waker; his hair toning down to a dirty blonde in Twilight Princess. In general, Link can be described (and often is in games) as an elf or fairy boy.
Link is also left-handed. This detail goes unnoticed by most players, but Link holds his sword and uses most items with his left hand. A noticeable exception is in the Wii release of Twilight Princess, as the creators wanted Link to mirror the hand-preference of the majority of the players because of the gesture-based control.
Link has never had a line of speech in the official Zelda games, save shouting "Come on!" in Wind Waker, though it is sometimes hinted at during play that Link has spoken during conversation. The Legend of Zelda usually follows the premise of Link growing to become a hero from humble beginnings, for example in Ocarina of Time, Link was a boy without a fairy in Kokiri Forest who was picked on by the other inhabitants. In this sense Link is always the everyman who discovers that he has a great purpose and destiny. Link is also portrayed as extremely courageous and heroic, putting others before himself. This bravery is often referred to by Ganondorf as foolish, though in the series it is Link and the side of good that prevails over evil.
Link's name is defined by the linkage between the player and the introverted world in the game, stated by Eiji Aonuma through an interview statement:
"When a player is playing a Zelda game, my desire is for the player to truly become Link—that's why we named him Link, so the player is linked to the game and to the experience."
The Legend of Zelda has a massive number of items throughout the series. Some of the most popular ones are:
The Master Sword
The magnificent sword that Link wields through the second half of most of his games. The Master Sword is the only weapon that can fully vanquish Ganondorf. Abilities include firing energy when Link is at full health , and allowing the user to travel through time (Ocarina of Time). It is also referred to as the Sword of Time.
The Hero's Shield
Known as the Hylian Shield in its first appearance and the Hero's Shield from then on, it is the shield that Link uses for defense. In the top-down Zelda games, this shield automatically deflects most projectiles, but is vulnerable against sword attacks. In the full 3D Zelda games, the shield will block most attacks, but must be activated by controller input.
This item is typically among the first items that Link acquires. The boomerang will stun enemies, attach to items, and break pots. In Twilight Princess, it causes a mini-tornado that can put out fires and bring small items back to Link.
The Hero's Bow
Occasionally called the Fairy Bow, this is Link's most common ranged attack. Unlike the boomerang, which has limited effect, the bow and arrow can generally do damage.
The bombs are used to destroy certain objects, and also used in combat against certain enemies. Variations include the scurrying, mouse-like Bombchu and a similar one in Twilight Princess that resembles a bug.
The Hookshot, is the only item that simulates platforming in these games. This item can attach to certain objects in the environment, such as conveniently placed hooks, posts, and other objects of a similar nature. Twilight Princess offers a variation of the hookshot known as the clawshot.
Super Smash Bros.
Link is a playable character in all the Super Smash Bros. games. He is always available right from the start.
His appearance in the original Super Smash Bros. is based on his Ocarina of Time character model. He can use his famous weapons, such as bombs, the boomerang and a clawshot.
Link returns in Super Smash Bros. Melee, once again in his Ocarina of Time design. In this game, he can use the bow as well as the items featured on the original game. A secret unlockable character is Young Link, based on the child version of the Link featured in Ocarina of Time. Young Link is faster and more agile than the standard Link, but is also weaker.
His appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl was based on his Twilight Princess design. Link's Final Smash is the Triforce Slash, in which he traps an opponent in two Triforce symbols and deals out a quick series of sword strikes before an impressive final blow. Another unlockable character in the game is Toon Link, based on the Link featured in The Wind Waker.
Link will appear in the fourth Super Smash Bros. game. His appearance is a combination of the Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword designs.
Link is a playable character in the upcoming Hyrule Warriors; a collaboration between Nintendo and Tecmo Koei, the publisher of the Musou/Warriors franchise. In addition to the Master Sword, he fights will a variety of traditional subweapons and items. His design is similar to that of his Skyward Sword appearance, but with a blue scarf and a shoulder guard on his left shoulder. It is not yet known where in the timeline the game is set, if it is indeed a part of it.
The Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition 2011 published Link as the second best video game character voted in gaming.
- Link made cameo alongside with Navi in Powerpuff Girls as a video game character.
- A gravestone in Final Fantasy reads "Here lies Link. 837 - 866. R.I.P".
- The defined word for 'Links' in German is "left" which coincides with Link wielding his sword by his left hand.