In each installment of Nintendo's Legend of Zelda series, the main character is the young swordsman Link. However, there is more than just one Link. The heroes of the games live in different periods of history and are therefore different people, but they possess similar traits and look alike. Thus in a way they are all a single character. Though the player can name him anything at the start of each of the games, instruction manuals and other documents call him Link.
The original Zelda in 1986 revealed little detail as to the characteristics of Link, though it outlined the hero's appearance that has been maintained throughout the series. He wears a green tunic, has dark hair (though this has changed in later games to blond), and usually handles a sword and shield. His weaponry often extends to include arrows, bombs and various magical items. To save his homeland of Hyrule, he sets out to find the shards of the mythical Triforce, overthrow the pig-like tyrant Ganon, and rescue the princess Zelda from captivity.
Since the inception of the series, Link has demonstrated a courageous nature. In several of the games, the hero obtains one of the parts of the Triforce, the one that stands for courage. His age is always that of a boy or young man, supporting the theme of maturity that Shigeru Miyamoto, Zelda's creator, has strived to present onscreen. Like many other main characters in this style of game, Link rarely speaks, instead using facial expressions to convey his feelings.
Apart from the main Zelda series, Link has starred in spin-off games and even other media. The Legend of Zelda TV series in the late '80s portrayed Link in a way quite at odds with the Link of the games: an outspoken teenager who helped save Hyrule to win Zelda's favour. The hammy line "Well excuse me, Princess!" has become infamous among Zelda fans. His appearance in Super Smash Bros. allowed those playing as him to get an edge over their opponents by using various projectiles from his arsenal of items.
Selected game appearances
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)
- Super Smash Bros. (1999)
- The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (2000)
Game Boy Color
- The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages (2001)
- The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons (2001)
- Super Smash Bros. Melee (2001)
- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (2002)
- Soul Calibur II (2003)
- The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures (2004)
Game Boy Advance
- The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (2004)