The warrior of Hyrule

One of the greatest discussions when it comes to the Legend of Zelda series is it’s timeline. Most of these theories were put to rest with the official announcement in the Hyrule Historia confirming the split timeline theory but taking it further stating that there were 3 paths from Ocarina of Time. This thankfully left the other big discussion still wide open, realistic versus cartoon graphics. One that still has a lot of drive in it and will probably go on as long as people have opinions, or in other words, forever.

 

But there is another discussion that hasn’t been really covered before, the prospect of a hero that isn’t Link rising up to save Hyrule. I know that sounds like a totally outlandish suggestion, but hear me out.

Link has been the muted protagonist of the Legend of Zelda since the very beginning. Albeit it hasn’t been the same Link between every title (although some titles share the same Link; Ocarina and Majora are a good example), but he has always been one of the constants throughout the series. But, surely this would give Nintendo the perfect opportunity now (even if a very risky one) to shake things up.

There are two logical ways I could see this going, if it were to ever happen, firstly the pressure being shifted onto Princess Zelda. The closest we have ever been as gamers to actually playing as Princess Zelda in a main title was in Spirit Tracks, and then she was relegated to a support character. There was so much potential in that title for the player to use Zelda’s new-found powers in unusual ways that weren’t factored in. Also, on a related note, we have already seen how much of a badass she can be in Smash Bros and even a little at the end of Twilight Princess.

How she would be incorporated into a Hyrulian legend as a hero is up to your own imagination, but I think that having Zelda as the primary protagonist in one of the titles would allow for the forging of a very different Legend Of Zelda without taking the series too far away from it’s roots. After all, could you imagine if Zelda herself was the hero and Ganon still remained as the villain? Seems, and probably is, next to impossible but it would make for a very interesting final battle.

The other option of course is a new character entirely, this is even less likely but is the infinitely more fun to think about option. A new protagonist in the Legend of Zelda could open up some very different mechanics in the title. The combat would have to change if say he/she didn’t have the traditional sword and shield set up that Link has. The gadgets the player could find and use could drastically differ, the complexity of the dungeons could change too, opening up new challenges for the player. What’s more, they could give this new character the voice that Link never had without messing with the intergral Zelda experience too much.

Of course, these hypothetical arguments are pretty much impossible, Link is the constant protagonist of the Legend of Zelda, to remove him would probably change the series to a point that it would appear to be just another generic dungeon crawler. But still, it could be done (and very well at that), it’s just all about taking risks. But maybe it’s a little too late on in the series to be taking such massive risks.

What do you guys think? Do you think that another hero besides Link would mess with the Zelda experience too much, or add something new and exciting?

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