Since last years E3, fans over the world have cast multiple theories about Link’s gender with many calling for a female to take a lead role. Eurogamer got the chance to sit down with Eiji Aonuma to discuss all things Zelda where he offered his thoughts on the publics reaction to Zelda: Breath Of The Wild and the much talked about gender of Hyrule’s saviour:
Eurogamer: Going back to where we started, and the new footage, let’s talk about Zelda. Fans seem to love her design in Breath of the Wild – there’s already a lot of fan art. But reaction seems split on her crying during the trailer, with some saying it demonstrates a lack of strength, others saying it’s good she’s showing emotion. I wondered what your take on that was.
Aonuma: Regarding how Princess Zelda is portrayed in the trailer, obviously everyone has their own ideas of exactly how they would expect a female character to act or behave. What I would particularly like to emphasise is that the scene of her crying in the trailer is just one scene from the game – within the trailer itself it forms a dramatic high point, but that shouldn’t be taken too much out of context.
Princess Zelda as she appears in the game as a whole is very complex and multi-faceted, and it’s not as if she’s crying all the time in the game [laughs], so I would ask fans not to read too much into just that one scene from the trailer, and to please play the game and appreciate Zelda as she is in all her aspects.
Eurogamer: Zelda fans continue to show interest in having Zelda as a playable character, and I wonder if that was something that was considered for Breath of the Wild?
Aonuma: I seem to remember three years ago when we showed the first trailer at E3, I said something along the lines of “I never said that Link would necessarily be male” or something along those lines, and that got taken out of context and turned into a rumour that took on a life of its own. Link has always been portrayed as a male character as the protagonist of the games.
After that happened actually, we did discuss in the team about whether or not we should have a female protagonist. I spoke to Mr Miyamoto about it and the whole team talked about it, but in the end, it just didn’t happen.
On Wii U of course there’s already Hyrule Warriors where Princess Zelda is a playable character, and there’s actually quite an assortment of characters including several female ones. And that title is already available of course. So looking to the future, talking about the possibility of having a playable female protagonist, I’d say yes, it’s a possibility.
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