Link is known as a quiet and courageous hero. He is the picture of health; fit, athletic, and a solid mind. We know quite a bit about our favorite tunic-clad hero. This series’ intent is to break down the major elements and explore them with an in-depth look. Ready? Let’s jump in.
Creation of a Legend
For the first editorial in a series of many, I have chosen to talk about how Link connects with the player. Coincidentally, we’re going to be talking about the first game in the series. Here’s a question for you to chew on: How does Link connect to the player?
When Shigeru Miyamoto was much younger, he created Hyrule Fantasy: The Legend of Zelda, or as we know it, The Legend of Zelda. The main protagonist was Link, but why Link? Many of us would answer, “because Mr. Miyamoto wanted to establish a connection between the player and the main protagonist!” Many of us would be correct with that statement.
Oh, Shigeru! You’re so clever. The name Link has symbolic meaning behind it. It’s a non-physical link, an emotional link. I’m not going to spend too much time on this, because it’s sort of a given to invested Zelda fans, so let’s move on.
Oh, and I’ll be using an unnofficial point system, too. Shiegru Miyamoto gets one point for cleverness!
The Deep Symbolism Behind the Silence of Link: Part 2
Looking at the header, you may be confused. Those of you that read a previous flawed editorial of mine, The Deep Symbolism Behind the Silence of Link, know it is a reference to that article. Why do I say flawed? Because I was wrong.
You helpful commenters were more than delighted to correct me, and bring to my attention that Link does in fact speak. Quite a lot, actually. For this segment of my editorial, I decided to correct myself with a little “mini-sequel” to my flawed article.
Aside from Link uttering two words in The Wind Waker, I can’t find or recall any more examples of audible sounds coming out of Link’s mouth; besides battle crys and, “Hyaaahh!” Link does speak. You can see his lips moving, you can choose his responses in Skyward Sword, et cetera.
Zelda producers and directors up to this current point in time have chosen not to give Link a speaking voice, only hiring voice actors for his grunts and yells. Why, you ask? It is because Link is once again meant to be a connection between the player and him, as well as the game itself.
If Link spoke, it would hinder the established connection, or link, between the player and Link. One of the elements that give the Zelda series its charms and appeal is that very connection, to feel that you are the main protagonist. Score two for Mr. Miyamoto!
Personality is Like a Banana, it’s Appealing
We all know what Link’s personality is, right? It is an established fact. It’s not disputable, and if you try and argue, you will be laughed out of the community. Oh, wait, we don’t really know the personality of Link, because Nintendo hasn’t given him one. Score three for Shigeru!
Remember what I said two paragraphs ago? Whether you know it or not, you are the main protagonist. You are connected with Link. The third way this connection is established is through Link’s lack of personality.
Something must be substituted for the absence of a personality. Something must fill the void, and it is your personality. If you are one and the same with the protagonist, Link, isn’t is logical that Link share your personality?
If you’re fighting an enemy, and you become mad, you’re going to strike at that enemy with rage. Subconsciously, you’re willing Link to fight with rage as well. You’re sharing your personalities.
Another way to describe it would be giving Link your personality. You make Link what you want him to be. This is another major element that connects the player to the Zelda series.
There you have three major reasons why Link connects to the player. That’s why this editorial is named “A Link to the Player,” after all. Oh, you are the clever one, Shigeru, creating an in-game link to to the player. Touchdown for Miyamoto!