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Zelda Gets A New Look In Fan-Inspired Concept Art

zelda clockworkEver fancied seeing Princess Zelda in her own hit game title? Well, this fan-inspired concept art by comic creator Aaron Diaz might just push all your Hyrule Hystoria buttons. Zelda takes on the role of Link, and Link looks very stately in his royal garments as Prince – though, a little sheepish. It even stars Ganondorf, chief advisor to the throne, though maybe this time he will refrain from riding into the distance with the prince.

The Legend of Zelda: Clockwork Empire is set in the tranquil Seline Mountains, where the Calatian Empire resides in blissful peace, and takes place 2,000 years after the events of Twilight Princess. You play as the protagonist Zelda, set out to save Prince Link, and destroy enemies with a variety of weapons, including a magical gauntlet which allows her to levitate objects from elemental power. As always, there are a number of different outfits to attain; you can disguise yourself as an airship captain, or dress yourself in the Sheika nomad robes and go in for a quick and quiet stealth kill. Should Nintendo take the hint and make a game where you get to play as Zelda?

116 thoughts on “Zelda Gets A New Look In Fan-Inspired Concept Art”

    1. No indeed. Zelda is not the hero, and female Link is not the answer. And the pic above, though good, is an ugly guy or girl and the hair style sucks. I would not want to play as someone who looked like the dude/chick in the pic. Changing the main character to a girl is not the way to bring something fresh to a series. I’m not against female heroes, but come on I wouldn’t want to make samus from metroid into a guy either. Changing the main character that everyone fell in love with is not the way to win points. Give zelda her own game like princess toadstool got, thats fine. But when it comes to the main series, no. No. NOOOO.

      1. I completely agree with you Steve.
        No. No. NO! :O
        With all apologies to the artist, I feel this is an abomination to the Legend of Zelda series! :(

        Link? A PRINCE?! No, no, no… That’s just wrong. I actually agree with Steve. I have nothing against female heroines in video games. But completely changing the gender of the character that we all know and love is just… Agh!! :C

        I mean, (again, in agreement with Steve) what if they made Samus or Lara Croft a man? Or if they made Mario or Sonic female?? :|
        I really don’t think those ideas would get very much support.
        You can’t change the game or characters THAT dramatically. It’s not a good idea.

      2. Or better yet, how about a co-op game on Wii U where one person play as Link while the other plays as Zelda. It could be Legend of Zelda: The Twin Blades. Personally I think the direction they need to go in is Old Man Link then the Zelda game.

    1. I thought the art was ok, but the concept good. I like the idea of having no shield but using magic and evasion against enemies. The details in some parts are a bit iffy, and clockwork empire? no. but idea of combat with zelda is an interesting one.

  1. It looks great. I’m happy for all the female Zelda fans. I hope they make a game like that, or even have two protagonists instead of one, mainly because I love Link so I’d hate not being able to see him majority of the time. Zelda Williams (I think that’s her name) would be so proud!

      1. Who says Zelda can’t be the chosen one? Why does the chosen one have to be male? Couldn’t a reincarnation of the original warrior be a female? Why not?

        1. Shoo femmenist, get out, who let you out of your cage? Her haircut is stupid and makes her look like a lesbo, and everyone is right, Link is the Hero Chose By the Goddess, Zelda is the Goddess reincarnated, kind of defeats the purpose of the whole Universe that Nintendo has created by putting Zelda as the one who wields the Master Sword and Link as a blushy delicate prince doesn’t it?

          1. You got it right Totoro. Why can’t Zelda be the chosen one? Cause every damn game in the series according to legend says that Link is the chosen hero of time. Thats why. Its nothing about guys not wanting to play as a girl. Its fans not wanting a legend to be ruined. Like I posted above, changing the main characters gender is not a way to freshen a series. Make it its own series maybe. And yes she looks like a total dyke with that hair as stated by Totoro. The face is ugly too. She kind of looks like an ugly Gadget from Chip N’ Dales Rescue Rangers.

            1. “There are many incarnations of Link, each possessing the Spirit of the Hero.” Spirit is not tethered to the limitations of body and mind. Spirit has no gender. A good example of this would be the television show Avatar: The Last Airbender. Who is to say that this Spirit of the Hero cannot be reborn as a woman? “Early on in the timeline of the series, the original Zelda, while born as a Hylian, is the mortal incarnation of the Goddess Hylia.” Maybe in the same respect, the Link in this title could be the reincarnation of the goddess Hylia. Why not? Maybe Zelda could be a combined version of both spirits. Lineages can intertwine, we know this from simple genetics. There are many routes that this story could take, all of which would be superior to, lets say, Link as a railroad engineer, and all of which would not “break” the currently running series.

              1. They link and Zelda individually are being reborn, they are always going to be male link and female zelda regardless of anything. link will always have the link to the triforce of courage and zelda to wisdom. just how it is. evil will always be reborn in other forms as insinuated by Demise and have its link if any to the triforce of power.

                1. and the sword is tied to link because link reforged hylias goddess sword and it is attuned to him and his reincarnations. hell even Fi was programed to dedicate herself and help to the chosen hero, aka link.

    1. Ehhh….. Nobody said it HAS to be Link who pulls the Master Sword, It could be for anyone who IS the chosen ones. The Goddesses of Hyrule dictate who can use the Master Sword.

      1. The Sword is meant for Link that’s the whole point of the Master sword :/ .

        Ganondorf or Zelda can’t just pull it out and have a go. It’s stuck with divine power until the bearer of the tri force of courage removes it.

        1. who says that zelda has to use the master sword???????
          this is just some fan art, but if nintendo did make zelda playable, then wouldnt it be neat to see her perspective/active role in the hyrule story??

    2. Ehhh….. Nobody said it HAS to be Link who can pull the Master Sword, it can be anyone who IS the chosen one. The Goddesses of Hyrule dictate who can and can’t use the Master Sword.

  2. The art is really well done, but the concept of it…ugh. I think it would be SO WEIRD just playing as Zelda. I’m already used to Link. I wouldn’t want to replace him with any character!

    1. I agree, giving a female all of that power and time in the spotlight? No way. Women need to be dressed in pretty pink linens and hold away in a castle, waiting to be rescued by the obviously superior male protagonist.

      1. How about metroid. Its not about people not wanting Link as a girl because they don’t want to play as a girl. Its cause it would ruin the story that has gone on. Stop assuming that because are against women having power because they don’t want a character already set up as a guy being changed to a girl. That works both ways. Nobody wants a male metroid, a female donkey kong, a male Lara Croft, so on and so on.

        1. Wow I really messed that one up. What it should say is “Stop assuming that people are against women having power because they don’t want a character already set up as a guy being changed to a girl.”

        2. You are forgetting that in the Zelda timeline we are talking about reincarnations of previous characters. This is not changing the current Link’s gender or role in any of his respective titles. Changing Samus or Donkey Konk to another sex is not the same as being reincarnated as a different sex.

  3. Why is it named The Legend of Zelda: Clockwork Empire…

    It clearly should be named The Legend of Link.

  4. The best and really only way they should make a dual character zelda game would be to actually be able to swap between the two and both get unique things to help in puzzles and fights. Zelda getting new spells, link with the tools. I mean imagine, Zelda gets a repelling force field as one of her defensive spells. When you switch to link and shoot an arrow at it, it will curve. so that sets up a nice puzzle of having to get Zelda to a specific spot then use her barrier to swing an arrow around to hit a switch.

  5. Playing as Zelda — ok, but not in such an alternative universe. Not saving prince link, and especially not with the Master Sword. But playing as Zelda who can transform into Sheik in another plot, why not? Like, exploring things on her own, learning new techniques and maybe meeting Link once in a while, all from another angle.
    Btw very nice art!

    1. Why would it have to be set in an alternate timeline? The avatar of the original warrior can’t be reincarnated as a female? The reincarnation of the goddess Hylia can’t be a dude? What if they were somehow intertwined and both were in a single body?

      1. She’s a godess and not a god for a reason. I dont believe reincarnation would work the same way as having babies. When you have babies, the offspring could be both male or female, depending on the chromosome carried by the male’s sperm. However, reincarnation does not involve uniting DNA chains or chromosome reactions, therefore I would assume that reincarnation would simply be the placement of the soul in a new body. Theoretically, Link’s soul could be placed in a woman’s body, and maybe Hylia’s into a male’s body but is that what you really want? I believe it would be rather gross.

  6. She should get her own game but she sets out on adventures where she’s looking for a treasure and its a way for her to find herself.

  7. I have an idea ,, how about making some parts in the game where u play as zelda and try to escape from ganondorf castle and then once she does she set to find the hero link and when they meet the final battle begins against ganondorf . I guess this will make an excellent idea for the game ;)

  8. They should make a ganon game that has the gameplay of kingdom under fire( im tyre of waiting for t Microsoft ).

  9. I pitched this idea years ago. So have a few other people. Not that original.
    Zelda had a horrible run on the CDi with her own games, lol.
    Let’s leave it at concept art and that’s all.

    1. Yes, there was one failed attempt on a discreet system that never left Japan so lets never try this concept again.

  10. I would actually like a modern Zelda game where I got to play as the titular character. I did when I played Wand of Gamelon when my friend’s uncle thought it would be funny to buy it. Plus she’s designed in a way that she’s dressed in a practical manner for the kind of adventures Link would go through. She’s not scantily clad, in a school girl uniform, or in some sort of Hylian spandex knowing she’ll have to face enemies with spikes, wings, fangs, claws, talons, fire, able to poison, able to immobilize, made of stone or iron, undead, brave different climates, avoid traps, and fight bosses that don’t fuck around.

    She’s prepared for an epic adventure. No explanation has to go into why her spandex or whatever initially impractical gear would provide something resembling protection.

    Design aside, it would actually put the “Zelda” in “Legend of Zelda” as opposed to a little Zelda or just about enough Zelda if she was the lead. Or for chuckles it could be called “Legend of Link” and put as little Link as possible in there…give it the Mario Is Missing treatment in spirit that Zelda usually had (only there was more Zelda in the games than there was Mario in that particular game).

    Besides if Nintendo went though with this, it would be cool to play with Zelda in ONE modern game in the series. It’s not as if they would do away with Link.

    1. She is a spell caster and while I hate the typical robes the “Link” look would do her no justice. I am not saying make her scantily clad, instead combine this with her typical White and purple. Practical looking while pleasing aesthetically and not ugly and mannish like the concept art which makes her look male.

  11. I’d totally go for a Zelda game where you play as Zelda with Shiek like moves an abilities, and magic, that would he rad as fuck

    1. ugh just no. that should never exist. A cyberpunk style Zelda while crazy could actually work, but a nuclear wasteland would kill the series. Besides. two of the games are pretty much post apoc already, Wind waker and to a certain extent, Skyward sword.

      1. Actually half of A Link to the Past is set in a post apocalyptic wasteland. A hd version would fit with this artwork.

      2. Lol, Skyward sword would actually be pre-apocaliptic, It’s before Hyrule even existed. In any case it would be Wind Waker and Spirit Tracks.

  12. The artwork is wonderful. But I feel that the story should tailor to Zelda, because all I feel is it’s all the same except Link is the one need saving and Zelda is the heroine. What I would like to see where Zelda is the main-person is that it takes place when Hyrule is just forming, and Zelda is expanding her borders through a series of conflicts and wars with her wisedom to see the survival of her kingdom. Link can be there as support to help her goal.

    I do support Zelda being playable, as she gets a more pro-active role in recent years (Wind Waker, and Spirit Tracks come to mind.) It’s that I don’t want to see it as a mere role reversal.

    1. I shall point you in the direction of Hyrule: Total war as well. sure it is a fan story and has a kind of twisted look at zelda lore. but damn it is just awesome. The game basically encourages you to play The Hylians as religious crusaders. “We worship the goddesses so we are just and right in everything we do. if you shun them, then you are evil.”

  13. 1. The Godess in SS created the Master Sword formerly known as the Godess Sword…

    2. Link was destined to wield it and the curse put by Demise made Link the chosen one for all eternity…

    3. Zelda is the godess reincarnated human form and as she was the one who created the sword, she could wield the Master Sword aswell…

    There case solved…

  14. Case and point, playing in any game as Zelda would be awesome.

    I mean,if Peach has enough to get her own game, why not Zelda, who arguably has more potential to have her own style of fighting.

  15. SherlockWillFightBilbo

    I think it would be a disaster if Zelda became a playable character.

    UNLESS it was like what happened in Xenoblade. You switched to Melia’s perspective for 15 minutes in the High Entia Tomb and never played with only her again.

    No LoZ game will have Zelda as A or THE protagonist, but she could be playable for a select part of the game so you could see what’s going on through her eyes. I think it’d be a great idea.

      1. SherlockWillFightBilbo

        On my own opinion, considering that’s all this is? My own opinion?

        I think it would completely destroy what the franchise is by having Zelda be the protagonist. The game would be the Black Sheep of the franchise, it would ruin the mythology and ideas. It would be a waste of the developers’ musical score and puzzles implemented into a wasted game. It would lower the high standard everyone regards The Legend of Zelda with.

        “Zelda” would become the butt of Nintendo, whereas it sits at the top of their AAA franchises. Link would be regarded as the gay, helpless, fairy pansy who needs to be saved by his girlfriend, the tomboyish, masculine Zelda. It would destroy both of their characters and would be suicidal for Nintendo as a whole, as a company, to do.

        1. SherlockWillFightBilbo

          Once LoZ gets a bad entry into its series, it will be remembered and pointed out by haters FOREVER. Nintendo cannot afford to take such a franchise-altering, childhood-destroying risk with their most valuable franchise, ESPECIALLY on their console that needs POSITIVE SUPPORT, not disgraced software.

          1. I understand where you are coming from buuuut. Zelda 2 exists as do the CDi games. therefore everything you say is invalid.

  16. Ive always wanted Nintendo to make Zelda a playable character in the Legend of Zelda games. Also, they need to bring back her alter ego Sheik!!!! Its been missing in the last two games. I understand Skyward sword because Sheik wasnt created yet, but Twilight princess should definitely had Sheik in there. 💋

  17. If Super Princess Peach was any indicator, having a spinoff series staring the princess opens a lot of cool new gameplay opportunities. I love the idea of stealth with sheik.

    1. SherlockWillFightBilbo

      I feel like the person who made this was half-blind because there is no way someone could make Zelda this repulsive. Zelda shouldn’t look promiscuous or anything but she shouldn’t look like a tranny…

  18. Ugly ugly ugly!
    I’m OK with a female heroine… but not like this! This is just plain repulsive!

  19. Good image, but thing about link being a prince kidnapped and zelda coming to the resuce is a no no. But I think they should do something for the girl zelda fans, because there are alot of them who to playas a female in a zelda game. Maybe they could add link’s sister as sidekick to aid him on his adventure or just give zelda a playable part cause she has important roles to play too.

  20. Is it such a slow news day that you’ve no choice but to promote half-baked fanon? Then again, you didn’t have a problem doing that with Hyrule Historia…

  21. No. No. NO! :O
    With all apologies to the artist, I feel this is an abomination to the Legend of Zelda series! :(

    Link? A PRINCE?! No, no, no… That’s just wrong. I actually agree with Steve. I have nothing against female heroines in video games. But completely changing the gender of the character that we all know and love is just… Agh!! :C

    I mean, (again, in agreement with Steve) what if they made Samus or Lara Croft a man? Or if they made Mario or Sonic female?? :|
    I really don’t think those ideas would get very much support.
    You can’t change the game or characters THAT dramatically. It’s not a good idea.

    1. It is set 2000 years in the future. They are not the same characters. They are reincarnations. It is not the same as changing Samus of Lara Croft. It is the same as changing Aang to Korra.

      1. It isn’t an excuse.
        There’s a reason that the spirit that passes on between the main character in the Zelda games is called the Spirit of the Hero.
        The spirit, and all of its incarnations, are meant to be Male.
        That’s how the legends and the story are structured.
        Making Link a female so suddenly would be too jarring a change and would go against the grain of the series.
        Letting us play as Zelda in one official game some time would be fine, but out-right gender-swapping, of any sort, is a no-no for Zelda games in general.

        1. Even though I disagree with some of what you are saying, you make a good point. A simple gender swap would not be an effective way to bring about this title. The game would have to be tailored to Zelda, the Zelda, to make sense. I still see nothing in Hyrule Historia that explicitly states that all of the Hero incarnations are required to be male. Maybe I am wrong. But I have yet to find it. Maybe this Zelda could have an amalgamated version of both spirits of sorts. Or maybe she has neither but still fights for what’s right. Who knows?

          1. The reason it’s male is due to how it’s labeled.
            It’s the spirit of the HERO, not Heroin.
            Hero denotes a male, Heroin a female.
            A Hero’s spirit passing into a female form wouldn’t make sense, on top of being an uncomfortable turn for most of the fans of the series.

            Playing as Zelda, would be fine, but not as a gender-swapped Link.

            Also, keep in mind how wrong they could go with just the idea of playing as Zelda, by taking a look at the Phillip’s CD-I attempt at the concept.

            1. Right but keep in mind that the spirit is not bound to the physical world. Spirits have no gender. The spirit of a hero could easily be reborn as a heroin. But yes, if it is advertised as “featuring Zelda” then I would expect to be able to play as Zelda, not a fem Link.

              1. SherlockWillFightBilbo

                While I agree 100% that we would need to play as Zelda and not Girl Link, there’s still a big problem. The problem with playing as Zelda would be the huge difference in gameplay. Instead of collecting 12+ weapons and riding Epona some say she’d be a spellcaster or something like that. If the game becomes too different Nintendo could label it as a spin-off, but then it might not get treated with the same respect as normal LoZ titles.

                I’m just saying the game might become what fanfiction usually is (bear with me): what some fans want so badly but the maker(s) (writer) never makes because it wouldn’t be the same as the stories that everyone loves and enjoys.

  22. Love the art he made, but what i don’t like is that he turn Link into Zelda; that’s not what i would love from a spin-off of the series. I would love to see a Zelda game and with the style we love, always blonde/gold long hair, with participation of the most well known characters and Link of course. I would love to play as Sheik in a few missions.

  23. And now, a dramatic reading of half the comments section: “Short hair = mannish, adurrrrr! Femininity always means long hair, adurrrrrrr! Having short hair makes you a DYKE, adurrrrr! You look like a lesbian, as if being a lesbian is a bad thing anyway!”

  24. Erm, no. Just, no.
    I like the sub-title for the concept art, but as to playing as Zelda?
    For one, that just looks like a female Link, not Zelda.
    If we were going to play as Zelda, I’d rather it be in her Sheik incarnation.

  25. A woman as a hero? Lolololololol Please the only time the words hero and woman should be in the same sentence are when I ask her to make me a hero sandwich.

  26. Hey I’ve got a great idea! Let’s make link female and call him zelda, then make zelda male, completely redundant and pathetic and call him link. Then let’s ignore the entire lore base established over the series with a story that shits all over the franchise and actual fans and just pander to feminists for no reason.
    Because that’s better then utilizing the already established, interesting and powerful character that zelda is in the series to make a well thought out spin off.
    It would take a child 10 minutes to come up with something that makes more sense than this. Its just embarrassing people are taking this seriously because “omg female hero is so inspired!”.

  27. I kinda like the idea of telling the story of another character, but a complete role reversal? No. If zelda were to ever be the main character, she would most likely be strictly sheik.

  28. if they make like it’s said there it would be 2,000 years in the future so woudn’t be in the Medival Times like it’s sopposed 2 be

  29. As a lady gamer and a die hard Zelda-fan I can’t say that I like this… You don’t have to turn Link female to give the girls a positive, powerful role in the story. Wind Waker I think was one of my favorites because of how man strong female characters it had. TP too. With another game, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a female knight/hero, but I don’t know if you’d really be doing anyone any favors here: Zelda is masculinized, Link is a pansy, and nobody wins.

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