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Zelda Being Playable and Character Contradictions
Editorial by 
July 25, 2020, 18:53:51
Amidst the discussion of Breath of the Wild 2, Zelda's shorter haircut and role in the trailer has had fans wondering if she might be playable this time. Which naturally moves into the realm of whether a female Link should be a thing too. From what I've read, pretty much no one shares my opinion on all this which is: no to playable Zelda, yes to female Link, no to picking your gender of Link at the beginning of the game.

To elaborate, it's gotten me wondering about the nature of video games a little bit. Where established characters can be expected or even demanded to be playable solely because they're major characters. Personally, I don't want playable Zelda. At least, if she's doing what Link is normally doing. I actually think Zelda is a great character. She has a distinct part in most of the stories as both a tactician and a selfless ruler, and I think having her playable would be as strange as, say, having Tom Nook playable in Animal Crossing. She's one of my favorite female characters in gaming largely because they haven't felt the need to make her just "Link in a dress;" you can have a strong character without needing to have them fight.

Maybe part of it is that it'd be weird seeing her catch fire, tumble violently off cliffs, etc?

The larger question on my mind is, why do so many people want a well-defined character to break character in order to become playable? I don't get it. Is it a video game thing? I consider other non-combative characters in media and pretty much no one is asking for Alfred to be Batman or C-3P0 to blast TIE Fighters in an X-wing.

That being said, I wouldn't mind female Link, though. The reason why this is different from just gender-swapping Mario (or Samus for that matter) is because Link is a fairly unusual character in that he's basically several different reincarnations of a hero. And with each passing game, those versions of Link have less and less in common; before ALttP, he had no family. Before OoT, he had no origin story. Before TWW, he was an only child. Before BotW, he wore green and a cap.

Lastly, I would hate to have it be an option between male or female Link. I think picking a sex would dilute the story of the game because even though Link isn't super active in the plot, there are often plot elements that rely on him being the sex he is. OoT's Ruto had a crush on him and that tied into the Zora's Sapphire story. TWW's Ganon was specifically kidnapping Hylian girls. TP and SS had romantic interests in danger that kickstarted their plots. BotW featured sneaking into an all-woman city, etc.

So there are my thoughts that no one asked for on the Zelda series and girls. :p My larger point is about playability inherently being tied to combat and characterization contradicting that. At the end of the day, it all comes back to LUDONARRATIVE DISSONANCE.

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Posted: 07/25/20, 18:53:51  - Edited by 
 on: 07/25/20, 18:53:21    
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Yeah, I would've preferred the voice aspect be cut from BotW, but that one doesn't bother me too badly since I have BotW taking place right after SS in my head canon timeline. (As that would explain why Hylia worship is only found in these two games, the Goddess statues are only found in these two games (if you ignore the AoL trophy), why both contain Sheikah that serve Hylia instead of the Royal Family, why the Breach of Demise is a geographical locale in BotW, and a bunch of other reasons.) So having Fi's consciousness stir just enough to speak to Zelda in the very next game after she falls asleep before losing all ability to formulate a consciousness ever again is fine by me. (Not ideal, of course, but all things considered...)

Of course I'm also of the mind that because the origin story, powers, and weaknesses of the SS Master Sword are SO incredibly different from the origin story, powers, and weaknesses of the sword as spoken of in OoT, TWW, TP, and ALttP's back story, I think it's quite possible that there have been two different Master Swords throughout the series. Which would make half of the sword's appearances inherently Fi-free if that's something I was looking for.

Posted by 
 on: 07/30/20, 06:55:37
I always kind of just accepted the idea that Fi's consciousness was pretty prevelant during SS, and faded over time as it just became one with the sword.

Posted by 
 on: 07/30/20, 07:15:39
By far my most-wanted feature in BotW2 is multiplayer, and if playable Zelda is a way to do that (in whatever form), I'm all for it.

Posted by 
 on: 07/31/20, 03:01:25
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