Legend of Zelda

In a world where both male and female characters in video games are frequently over-sexualized, I find that the entire Legend of Zelda series is a refreshing break. Link, the main protagonist throughout the cross-console series, is not a “manly” man. He has many traditionally feminine features, and does not have the sheer muscle mass usually associated with male protagonists. He looks like a traditional elf, with pointed ears and defined cheekbones.

In addition, instead of using his strength, Link uses his intellect and agility in order to navigate the various temples in each game. Growing up, while I found it difficult to identify with most portrayals of males in video games because they were not in any way realistic. Link, however, was relatable, he was real. I guess the fact that I was never that big or that strong helped me relate, but I think the idea holds true for most.

Link gave me something to aspire to be: a true hero who doesn’t need to have unrealistic strength or supernatural abilities in order to be successful. While I’m sure there are many games that are similar to the Legend of Zelda, I found this series to be particularly opposite the norm. Even the “heroine” of the series, Zelda, periodically transforms into Sheik, a badass warrior who saves Link countless times. For this reason, and many others, I think that the Legend of Zelda is a terrific game series.

0 thoughts on “Legend of Zelda

  1. To add on, I love the fact that Link is mute. Other than the occasional “hyuhhhhhhh”, Link never speaks in any of the games. That kind of choice, especially to a nine-year-old with a bowl cut, emphasizes the fact that a boy can be silent and meek while still being confident and strong.

    My favorite incarnation of Link is the “Wind Waker” design. He’s that right blend of silly and serious; and our princess is a pirate named Tetra. This game is a great example to children who aren’t traditionally feminine/masculine because it reverses those gender roles but still holds true to the video game formula. There’s a lot to be said about TLoZ, but generally, it conforms to the structure we’re used to in gaming (be the strong man, save the girl, love at the end) but puts in very enticing twists that implode that idea.

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