Should "Link" from the "Legend of Zelda" series have a female option in future games?
In the Classic video game series, "The Legend of Zelda", in a sentence, is a game where a young boy must embark on a quest to save the land and usually to save the princess frm her captive. Today, I'd like to question the "boy" part of the summary. It is my beleif that the "Legend of Zelda" series (LoZ for short) should have a female option for future games.
The series, which started roughly 29 years ago, had a simple story; Link must save Hyrule and the princess Zelda from the evil of Ganon. 29 years later, with many installments later, the general formula is generally the same; Link must save Zelda from an evil force. Since it has always been Link, a male, who saves Zelda, they are often paired together, and in some games, the evidence is clearly there. Because of the constant pairing, the dynamic between them would surely change if the protagonist was a female instead. And I find that this is one part on why some fans oppose the idea of a girl Link. But here is a counter argument; a change in the dynamic can be a good thing, Just because someone saves someone else from peril, it doesnt mean that there is any romantic relation between them at all. A female link could easily have a desire to rescue the Princess, and would add an interesting part of story deveolpment.
Prosecution, I now give you the chance to argue this point AND/OR create a different point.
Firstly, the pro-debater would have us believe that Princess Zelda is always the damsel in distress, being kidnapped by the evil green guy that terrorizes the fields of Hyrule. Unfortunately, I think this fact is confused with the LoZ franchise's developmental sibling, Super Mario Brothers. Compared to the prim and pink princess peach, Zelda can hold her own much more efficiently. An example of this is evident in the game "Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time" where Zelda turns into Sheik, her ninja-like counterpart, to avoid Ganondorf's forces of darkness. I'd like to draw attention to the manga series for this game. In that series, it is revealed that Sheik actually poses as one of Ganondorf's minions, and is favored among them. This is for good reason as she is a skilled combatant who ca take out hordes of minions at a time. (This is partially evident in chapter 6. I took the liberty of adding this to the "court record" via hyperlink http://mangafox.me... ). Before you dispute that Sheik is portrayed as a boy as believed since 1998, Nintendo's Bill Trinen has gone on record saying "The definitive answer is that Sheik is a woman " simply Zelda in a different outfit." Furthermore, Zelda (in and out of her sheik form" has been able defeat many a foe in installments throughout the franchise, such as the recently released "Hyrule Warriors".
To revoke Mr. Nite's statements about the "romantic dynamic", Link does not always have a romantic interest. Really, the only games I can think of off the top of my head that have Link directly pitted towards a specific lady-lover are Skyward Sword (The First Zelda) and Twilight Princess (Ilia) (in ocarina of Time, there are many women that have a thing for Link, leaving open possibilities for all you shippers out there.) The base dynamic for every Zelda game always comes down to defeating Ganon and saving Hyrule.
I think adding a female Link option would only put strain of Nintendo's executives. Every installment of Super Smash Bros forward would have to have to have the female option as playable, lest angry female players stage a revolt. I believe a better alternative would be to make a game where Zelda is the main protagonist.
That's all I'll dispute for now, but this is just the hilt of my Excalibur of points to be made.
But back to the topic at hand, another point I'd like to make is that there is almost an over-abundance of important female characters in the game that, if added to, might just "tip the scales" of equal gender roles in the LoZ universe. Let's face it, the female roles really are more important than the male ones, Link being the exception (For instance, there were three goddesses that created Hyrule. In Ocarina of Time, five out of the seven sages that protect Hyrule from Ganondorf are female. Impa serves as captain of Zelda's guard. Etc.).
Traditionally, in the Zelda lore, the world is always saved by a HERO wearing green. The word "hero" stands out here because of it's gender-specificness. They could have used a word like "savior" or "warrior", but they used a word specific to men (the female term for hero is heroine, in case anyone has forgotten). Thus I conclude that in Zelda lore, the hero cannot genetically be born female, lest tamper with the prophecy read in each game from the 80s to now, and Nintendo probably doesn't have any plans to add this option in the near future, based on this theory.
Again, if anything, I think Zelda should be offered up as a playable character in a future LoZ installment to avoid over-inflation of either gender side.
Yes, I admit that many sages and other important characters are available in the games. However, there is a difference between an important supporting character and a protagonist. Now, I will say that the likely reason for the inclusion of a large amount of female supports is because Link himself is male, and they wish to balance he roles in the games. In a game where a Link would be female, I feel there would be a high possibility o more supporting male cast alongside of the female supporting characters.
I'd like to place one last thought into the reader's head for a moment. I'll be frank, there isn't a lot of need for a female option in the Legend of Zelda series, and I don't believe the majority of the fandom cares. We've played the LoZ games for 29 years now, and if there is gonna be a change, it should be in something more relevant. Character customization is such a common thing, I'd be surprised if the Xbox and Sony fans don't jump on it as "Nintendo grasping at straws" and "running out of ideas". It's not that it's not possible, or probable, but that it's unnecessary. A small detail that really doesn't NEED to be tweaked. We certainly aren't afraid of change (it's certainly a brave new world, the 21st century is THE century of change!), but do we need change JUST for the sake of change?
Now before anybody says "Dude, what if the girls wanna play as girls?". There ARE games where we don't have male counterparts to the female we play as (i.e. Metroid, Lara Croft, Super Princess Peach, etc.) so gender-equality certainly isn't the issue here. Sometimes it's fun to play as a woman, but the choice doesn't have to be implemented into every game.
Overall, I think Nintendo has bigger fish to fry than gender-changes, such as new, innovative weapons and the like to boost the Legend of Zelda series into a new era!
But hey, that's just a debate....
A GAME DEBATE!
Thanks for reading!