Link_and_Aryll__s_Parents_by_BeagleTsuinThroughout the Legend Of Zelda franchise, we have seen many back stories regarding Link. An example of this would be in Ocarina Of Time when the Deku Tree Sprout tells us about how Link was taken to the Kokiri Forest and we learn that his mother brought him to the Great Deku Tree during the events of the Hyrulean Civil War. The absence of family in most games in the series leaves us thinking about how Link came to be an orphan. Did his parents pass away? Was he abandoned? In most games these questions are never answered.

In this week’s Zelda Dungeon Talks, various staff members will give us their opinion on the absence of Link’s family, as well as why they are missing.

Question: Do you think that lacking parents adds to Link’s story or mysterious past?  Is it necessary in order to have an emotional connection or sympathy for Link as a young lost boy who goes on to become a hero? Or is it just tradition for the ‘heroic’ character and requires less work on backstory?  Would you like to see Link with more family in future games or are you content with his independence and occasional extended family?

Catty Greentree – View Profile

At first I thought Link should have a family just to change things up – I mean, the hero is an orphan in so many stories that it gets dull and repetitive. But, the whole point of an adventure game is for the main character (and thus you the player) to go out and have an adventure. Sounds overly simplistic, right? But how could Link answer the ‘call to adventure’ if he was saddled with an aging parent to care for, or a younger sibling to raise? Making Link an orphan avoids this issue entirely and leaves Link free to save the world.

Jon Lett – View Profile

I am less inclined to have Link’s adventure involve actual parents, than I am for him to have a sibling. In The Wind Waker, it was nice to see his ambition to save his sister, rather than simply another princess, since it felt much more personal. And in the Hyrule Warriors art book, Link was shown to have a sister in development that would have fought along with him, and that sounds amazing. Parents, on the other hand, I cannot see being implemented quite as well. I can only see Nintendo using them as stay-at-home people that you gain wisdom from, that you can go and visit if you want, and not much more, like Link’s Grandma in The Wind Waker, or Smith in The Minish Cap. They seems less appropriate to act as a partner or person Link must save.

Josh Tasaico – View Profile

Personally, I believe that Link shouldn’t have relatives present in the game, unless they are like Link’s grandma in The Wind Waker. Having little or no family lets Link do all his hero work, without the restraints of having a relative at home to worry about. However, if Link had family before the events of a game, then that would open the door to a back story on how he became an orphan.

Andrew Kiser – View Profile

While being an orphan makes it easier to go off on adventures uninhibited, I do like there being a tragic tale of why he’s been orphaned. Only one game even mentions his parents and it comes as an emotional creciendo to help Link (and the player) understand where he came from and what he is meant to become.

“Some time ago, before the King of Hyrule unified this country, there was a fierce war in our world. One day, to escape from the fires of the war, a Hylian mother and her baby boy entered this forbidden forest. The mother was gravely injured… Her only choice was to entrust the child to the Deku Tree, the guardian spirit of the forest. The Deku Tree could sense that this was a child of destiny, whose fate would affect the entire world, so he took him into the forest. After the mother passed away, the baby was raised as a Kokiri. And now, finally, the day of destiny has come!” — Deku Tree Sprout (Ocarina of Time)

Alasyn Eletha – View Profile

I feel as if in every game, Link finds himself a family whether he’s an orphan or not. In Twilight Princess, he’s revered by the children and cherished by the adults in Ordon Village. In Ocarina of Time, he’s friendly with all the Kokiri- with the exception of Mido perhaps- in Kokiri Forest. For the most part, this is similar in all the games, and this is even before Link goes out on his adventures and makes new friends. I believe that in order for Link to create these bonds and make a family for himself, he has to start out as an orphan. However, I’ve always wondered where he came from or what happened to his parents in each new game. At least in Ocarina of Time we got a bit of a backstory. I suppose I’d like to see more explanations in future games as to why he’s orphaned, but I’m content with Link finding a family of his own as the stories progress.

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