In an in-depth interview with Game Kult legendary developer Shigeru Miyamoto has explained the origin of Link from the esteemed Legend of Zelda series. Miyamoto says that they wanted to create a character that was instantly recognisable, like Mario. They decided to give Link a long hat and long ears and went into the direction of an elf. Link’s name derived from the fact that the game is set in both the past and the future. As the main character would travel between both and be the link between them, they called him Link.
“Link sprite was designed by Takashi Tezuka. Like Mario, they wanted a character that would be recognisable from his sword and shield so they thought of a long hat and long ears and went into the direction of an elf. At the time, when you said long ears you thought of Peter Pan and as he’s a Disney fan, they drew inspiration from it.
Link’s name comes from the fact that originally, the fragments of the Triforce were supposed to be electronic chips. The game was to be set in both the past and the future and as the main character would travel between both and be the link between them, they called him Link.”