When you purchase a new Zelda game, you can usually be guaranteed a few things. You will be flicking switches and pushing boxes, finding keys in treasure chests, and gathering items to complete dungeons and fight bosses. There will be grass to cut and pots to break. Link, a fair-haired lad clad in green, will be the main hero; Zelda a princess in distress; and some villain, 90% chance it’s Ganondorf, the one behind the trouble.

We have questioned the longevity of Zelda conventions in Daily Debates before, and this time, we’re going to consider the Link / Ganondorf / Zelda triad. Is this aspect of the game overplayed and holding developers back from innovating? After all, Shikata just went out of his way to assure fans we won’t be playing a new character but our familiar hero Link in Tri Force Heroes. Then again, this new game deviates from the triad to some degree: Zelda isn’t princess in distress this time, and it’s unlikely Ganondorf would be behind a curse to ruin a princess’ fashion. But though there are exceptions to the rule, overwhelmingly, the games do stick to this trio, and those that don’t tend to be excursions from the main narrative (i.e. Majora’s Mask and Link’s Awakening), and even in those games, it’s always Link taking center stage.

Is it time for a change? Some gamers have brought up the possibility of making Zelda or even Ganondorf a player character. It also might be interesting if a player character wasn’t Hylian, but instead Zora, Goron, Gerudo or Sheikah. Think about what new powers and abilities you could explore! And what if Zelda or Link were to be the villain in a game? What if a new set up brought into question some of the fundamentals of the Zelda universe, i.e. Hyrule being a land of good and Ganondorf being inherently evil? There are so many possibilities. I know people are going to mention how Skyward Sword establishes that Demise, Link and Hylia will be reincarnated for eternity in their roles, but there isn’t any particular reason they have to be reincarnated in the same forms every time.

Then again, some fans might argue that making the player character someone else, breaking up the triad, or significantly changing their designs or personalities would make a game cease being a Zelda game. After all, these three represent the three Triforces and themes in the series.

So what do you think? Should Nintendo stick to the tried and true Link / Ganon / Zelda formula or try something new? What would you like to see in the games if they changed this set up? Let us know in the comments.

Art Credit: Melissa Somerville

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