Zelda Producer, Eiji Aonuma On The Possibility Of A Playable Female Protagonist: “I’d Say Yes”

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.

You can read the rest of the article here.

Source / Via


  1. I hope that means that Zelda could have her own adventure, or spin-offs or whatever. Just don’t shoehorn link as a female, just to appease SJW’s. Either it should be a new female character, or Zelda. Just the same as I wouldn’t want to make Samus a man, or Lara croft a man. That in my opinion would devalue the character.

    1. what about a full-fledged legend of zelda game with link and Zelda as playable characters and you can have co-op with both of them

  2. I’m not against the idea of a female protagonist in Zelda, but it would be weird. Idk, as long as they don’t sexualize the character or make her some terribly emotional cry baby the whole game then I’m down for it. I don’t want it to be Zelda tho, i want it to be her own original original character, or maybe a female link. Probably just make it be in a whole new area without Zelda or any other returning characters other than maybe link. Idk maybe they shouldn’t then because it messes with the story so much. Or maybe that’s exactly why they should do it so we get a whole new Zelda story, but then you can’t really call it legend of Zelda can you? AHHH!! You know what maybe they really shouldn’t, unless they have some way to fix the story that would work really well, then just leave link in there as a guy.!

  3. “But reaction seems split on her crying during the trailer, with some saying it demonstrates a lack of strength”
    The hell? We don’t know anything about the story, let alone what exactly happens in that very moment that leads to being the reason for why she is crying, and people complain about it being a lack of strength?
    Why do people have to be like this. Why.

    1. I had more of a mixed feeling over having to hear the king say “save my daughter” than that. The crying seemed like a human reaction. The saving part… felt like something I’d heard a lot of times before.

    2. The negative side of feminism is very strong with this current generation! Ugh..!

    3. I don’t know about you but crying has always been a humiliating experience for me and I’ve always thought of it as a sign that I was too weak to handle my emotions, that if I was mentally strong enough, I could’ve controlled them. I’d also like to know where this idea that crying isn’t a sign of weakness comes from since I firmly believe it is. It’s why I am ashamed of myself for crying where I come from.

      1. It’s an interesting topic. I think crying (really all emotions) is more a sign of vulnerability than a sign of weakness. Just because a person cries, it doesn’t mean that person is weak. It just means that in that instance, they are vulnerable. People cry for different reasons. I think the majority of times, it’s not because they’re sad, but because they get incredibly overwhelmed by the circumstances of life or feel that they are stuck powerless in a hopeless situation. (Which is what I think is going on with Zelda) I’ve seen people cry from extreme love; from watching helplessly as someone they care deeply about goes down a destructive path.

        1. For some unknown reason, I have various thoughts and feelings that are extremely dangerous for me to have (if I want to avoid being wrong that is) and I have no idea where these came from. My mind feels conflicted, one part of me has the natural reaction of “crying = weakness as in not being mentally strong enough to control yourself” but then again I’m clueless as to why I think these things-I don’t know where these thoughts came from.

          It’s strange, a part of me wants female characters like zelda to never cry, be sexualised in any way, etc… yet at the same time I know there’s nothing objectively wrong with any of those things yet for some reason I still feel strongly about them. I’m beginning to wonder if my views have been influenced by something in the past that affected me.

          In conclusion, I feel strongly but I’m very confused as to why I do. I’m fully aware there’s no logical reason to advocate for the views I have yet for some reason I keep clinging on to them. Have you ever had something like this happen to you? Maybe this applies to other situations how some people just can’t change political or religious views and they can’t explain why. I guess if I had to sum it up, one part of me wants straight up Mary sues while another wants an explanation as to why the first desire exists.

          1. This is where nature vs nurture is a thing. It’s natural to cry in certain circumstances but many of us are nurtured to believe crying is weak. It’s not mutually exclusive to boys being raised to believe that, either. Least not any more.

            1. I’m getting sick of this “Your comment is awaiting moderation.” crap… What in that comment is needing moderation? I really hope it’s just a glitch that rectifies itself after a couple of minutes. Maybe that thing will be gone once I post this comment. *hits the post comment button*

            2. With all this talk about how there’s nothing wrong with crying every now and then, I can’t imagine the whole “crying is weak” nurturing thing being taken too well by the rest of us. Especially because nurturing classes any and all crying as weak rather than letting people cry as much as they want. I think it’d be better to let people cry as much as they need to and not have nurturing demonize men who do cry as “weak”.

          2. So yeah. I’d definitely say something in your past is influencing those thoughts.

            1. It’s kind of scary knowing that my core feelings and beliefs can be influenced so easily just by installing them when I’m a kid and I don’t know any better. It sounds like I was influenced by something resembling feminism or something where crying is seen as a weakness and sexuality a sin. Again, it confuses me why I have these views but the fact that they just happen to match up with…ugh…feminist views, well, it sounds like I’ve been influenced by some form of propaganda but unfortunately it still holds power over me. In truth, I want to be able to replace my core emotional, “natural” reaction with the fact that there’s nothing wrong with either of those two things.

          3. (I’m gonna try this again. It might get blocked but fuck it. This is more of a test to see if it might just be that original comment glitching.)

            This is where nature vs nurture is a thing. It’s natural to cry in certain circumstances but many of us are nurtured to believe crying is weak. It’s not mutually exclusive to boys being raised to believe that, either. Least not any more.

            1. Finally this shit went through! Now if a mod or admin would just delete this double comment right here.

          4. Interesting. Lol It’s strange how we wandered into this conversation on a gaming site. Well I can’t be exactly sure what kind of thoughts and feelings you have, and I wouldn’t have you explain them on a public site, but good Lord, I can tell you you’re not alone. I have a very active mind, and thoughts often pop into my head unbidden, quicker than the time it takes for me to form them of my own will; which isn’t really a bad thing because it allows me to think of multiple possibilities and form more logical thoughts. However, it’s not too unusual for my mind to wander into very dark territory. What allows me to keep this in check, is that I have a very clearly defined set of values / morals / ideals / what-have-you, which I’m able to reasonably and logically justify.

            I don’t think what you described in your second paragraph is strange at all. I think that more human beings are driven by emotion than by logic. I’ve seen plenty of examples. For instance, I once had a discussion with a fairly intelligent woman I know, in which she mentioned that she believed in certain things because she “felt” they were right. In my opinion, personal beliefs are far too important to be based on feelings. I could never hold to any belief if I couldn’t logically justify it. Another conversation I had was with someone I used to work with, also fairly intelligent. We had an argument about something that happened in the news. I decided to take the position of waiting for more reliable facts before forming my own opinion on the matter. He had what I considered a knee-jerk reaction. He actually got really mad at me for not being as outraged as he was. I’m certainly no expert, but based on my own experience, it sounds like you have a logical mind that’s trying to justify emotion-driven feelings. It’s entirely up to you to decide how to handle them; the beauty of free will.

            There may have been more I wanted to say, but I’ve forgotten it. Hope this helps

              1. LOL which game are we talking about again? I think I’ve mentioned like 5 games and several incredibly obscure topics in this post so far. I’m losing track of it all.

        1. I see. I think I’m beginning to understand that there’s a difference between showing some signs of weakness/vulnerability and actually being weak and vulnerable. The first is only for an instance usually but the other is more general and can be used as a conclusion on whether a person is strong or weak.

          I think I now know why people are fine with crying and why they can still be considered strong characters despite this. Just because you show weakness 1% of the time doesn’t mean you’re automatically weak overall. For all we know, other other 99% of you could be strong as hell and you only occasionally cry or show weakness.

          I wonder where this view that crying is a bad thing originated from because in my experience it was always painful for me yet logically I know that my experiences of crying are not how it is for everyone else. I feel kind of depressed knowing that my own views and core emotional reactions have been manipulated by others with a political agenda.

        2. I agree with that. I suppose my previous thoughts would be more accurate if I said that I thought it was “more often” a sign of vulnerability than of weakness

    4. I feel the same way. One of my favorite video game characters is Samus Aran. What I like about her is that she is a very strong character (physically, mentally, and spiritually); but she is also very human. I guess non-Metroid fans wouldn’t know this, but Samus actually suffers from PTSD as a result of seeing her parents killed as a child. More than once, she’s been seized by fear and has overcome it. She shows that a human can be strong and fragile at the same time.

      Just because Zelda breaks down at some point in the game, it doesn’t mean that she’s weak. It just means that she’s human.

      1. Too bad Other M made that aspect of Samus look horrible. I don’t think they portrayed it well at all in that game since so many people hated it.

        1. I completely agree. I was specifically thinking of the part where she runs into Ridley in that game and freezes. If that was the only time it happened, it would’ve been good; but that whole story was butchered. I swear it seemed like it was plagiarized from a teenager’s diary.

          1. I hated how she would shift between adult Samus & kid Samus during that scene with Ridley. I can get behind her freezing up for a bit when first seeing him since he was supposed to be dead for good this time since the space pirates were no longer around to rebuild or revive him or whatever the hell they did to keep him from staying dead in previous stories before Super. After Other M, seeing Ridley again in Fusion wasn’t a shock since his body was missing from the Bottle Ship on her return trip there to get Adam’s helmet & the BSL was full of parasites that could take the form of other creatures by infecting them whether the creature is alive or dead.

            In any case, Other M was definitely not one of Yoshio Sakamoto’s best in the series. :/ Shame Team Ninja get all of the blame for something they had nothing to do with since they were only involved with the gameplay & probably wasn’t well consulted on the story. Hence why I think the Hell Run happened the way it did. *shrug* In any case, they should definitely either retcon Other M or remake the game. I prefer a remake, though, since I did like Anthony.

            1. According to this video, it actually doesn’t make any sense to have any sort of freeze or break down when samus encountered ridley since there’s no way she’d ever think he “was dead for reals this time” as we see him literally come back from the dead after exploding into nothingness in titles like zero mission. Surely by that point when she saw robo ridley in zero mission that ridley has a knack for not dying?

              Here’s the video in case you were curious.

              1. I’ve heard this argument countless times. And I have a counter-argument: that’s just how bosses died in many, many, many games back then. Even bosses you knew that weren’t actually killed died this way back in those days. As for the games with better tech, it was just a simpler way to do it. If these games were remade today in full 3D models, I wonder if we’d actually see Ridley & other bosses actually blowing up into nothing. *shrug* Whatever. I let go arguing over Other M shit a long time ago.

                1. Interesting…I hadn’t thought of that. So maybe ridley was always in a state where he was merely defeated rather than outright killed since the games doesn’t really say outright whether ridley was actually dead or not…except for other m stating that ridley died in super metroid. Maybe that;s why she is finally so shocked to see him in other m as this could be the first time he’s genuinely brought back to life rather than merely defeated but regained his strength.

                  In other news, what are your thoughts on fire emblem echoes shadows of valentia? I think it looks rather great combining gaiden’s game play with the awakneing engine.

      2. ||She is human but the Chozodian DNA makes her less sensitive to primitive emotions which is why it was obnoxious to see her like that in Other M from the void…||

        ||And after the event at the BSL Station she is even less human, basically no human DNA left that matters…||

        ||Perfect to destroy her absorbing corpse…||

        1. Yeah, it didn’t fit her character at all. Speaking of the BSL Station, I’d really like the next Metroid game to take place after Fusion. Enough of this backtracking.

          1. This is one reason I don’t want them to do another Metroid Prime game. It should have died with the planet Phaaze & the trilogy’s namesake villain: Metroid Prime, known as Dark Samus in 2 & 3, itself. That & I don’t want to be stuck in a first person only view again. I love the Prime trilogy but ugh! No more FPS unless there is an option to play in 3rd person, too, like in Skyrim.

            1. Hmm all I can really say is I somewhat disagree with that. It’s really just a matter of personal taste though. I like 3rd person in certain applications, but not others. I think it might have to do with the camera motion. For instance, I think 3rd person works really well in Zelda because you have a lock-on button (left trigger I think?). This means that you can remain focused on the enemy without controlling the camera, which frees up your right thumb to do things like dodge. I also think the Other M 3rd person worked very well, but the camera had a fixed angle most of the time. Other games like Xenoblade have auto combat systems, so you really don’t have to worry about attacking and dodging.

              I’ve tried Skyrim in 3rd person, but it just felt too wonky. The character movement felt weird, it was a pain to line up the camera just right to pick up and open objects, and in a fight, it wasn’t as easy to line up an attack as some other 3rd person games I’ve played. The camera movement just felt more natural to me in first person.

              As for the Metroid Prime Trilogy, I thought the controls and camera movement were perfect. Then again I only got to play it on Wii. There might be a big difference in the GC versions. If a Metroid game comes to Switch, that I would prefer it to be more like Prime than Other M.

  4. The similarities between Zelda’s and Link’s clothing in the trailer still make me think she’ll end up being playable at some point in the game, DLC, or at the very least a New Game Plus feature.

    1. I’m keeping my hopes up for something to do with her Amiibo (though that’s probably a bad idea on my part).

  5. What’s next, a female Mario?! This feminism bullshit has to stop! I never heard a man complaining about Samus Aran, Lara Croft or Bayonetta! I played every Metroid game with a female protagonist and never felt the need for a male one. I don’t even want her to be male! If Aonuma decides that a female protagonist makes sense, OK. If not, live with it and grow some brain!

  6. Like any other idealism, even feminism can have it’s negative side.

    *is watching that Batman movie focusing on Batgirl where some SJWs & feminazis flipped out over some sense of misogyny going on with the movie* Apparently it’s sexist to have a male bad guy focus on the female hero sexually! *facepalm*

    1. To be completely honest, these modern day feminists are some of the most toxic people on earth. i really hope this doesn’t attract a ton of feminists, there like a shark when it comes to blood with this shit. Its like they sense it and they all know where to find this comment and they attack. There rediculous i was watchimg a video of a mother child abusing an infant and all these worthless feminist garbage were sticking up and trying to excuse her behavior and was saying shit like wheres the boyfriend? Shes probably so stressed out…… ughhh. What about the infant getting hit?
      Just because feminists were born with ginormous dicks between there legs doesnt mean they have to be this terrible.

      The modern day feminists are just abunch of toxic victim mentality mind set people, it has nothing to do with equality.

      I will probably get a bunch of hate for this but idc, i literally right of girls who are feminists because mist likely they are toxic people

      1. These people should quit calling themselves feminists because they aren’t & are just giving the true ones a bad rep. If anything, they are more like the men hating, men raping, men murdering type of amazons from Greek mythology!

        (We so gonna piss off these types if there are any on MNN. *shrug* Fuck ’em! No one is forcing them to read.)

        1. ||The majority of anti-feminists are exactly those who do not want equality because they see human females as inferior to their primate nature…||

          ||The other group are the ones giving true feminists the bad reputation as you so put it…||

          ||But nontheless, humans are just irrelevant…||

  7. I had a feeling there would be some negative reaction from to the trailer. I really wish people wouldn’t be so sensitive about this stuff. What I took away from the trailer concerning Zelda has me excited to see her development as a character.

    At one part she says something along the lines of “Everything I’ve done up until now has been for nothing.” Another part has somebody, presumably the king, saying “Save my daughter.” Then of course, there’s the part with her crying.

    This is what I think is going on. I think that Zelda is at a point where she’s just learning what it means to be a leader. The king is still around so she’s not the ruler of Hyrule yet, but she is in some kind of position where she’s forced to make difficult decisions; and she is forced to deal with the consequences of her actions at an age where she really shouldn’t have to worry about that stuff. This is obviously just my theory, but there is some serious potential for character development here. I’m looking forward to it.

  8. “and it’s not as if she’s crying all the time in the game [laughs]”

    Brutal criticism of Other M right there ;)

  9. It’s only a matter of time before they shoehorn a female link in the franchise to shut up those retarded sjw. Start preparing yourselves for profound disappointment.

    1. ||Or simply create a relevant character told by someone else that’s not Zelda and call it something else like Death Mountain Legends instead of replacing existing ones then everyone will be satisfied…||

  10. “Oh em gee, Zelda displayed emotion? And it was.. CRYING?

    – Idiots of the internet.

    I’ve actually seen quite a few people making the complaint of her crying.
    I mean, come on. How petty of a complaint can you make. Link isn’t looking so tough himself in that scene.

    Nope, THAT’S IT. Hype is now D E A D.

    Seriously though, I loved that part of the trailer. Makes me really interested in what leads up to that moment.

  11. Let people feel how they feel. Some of them really look to Zelda as one of the few strong women in games and like that side of her. I know people that are really serious about it. While I wouldn’t mind if she cried or needed saving in the new game, their mental image of her is strong. More like Wind Waker. I respect that. I’d only be a little upset if people demanded they change the game and actually got them to do it last minute unnaturally and it somehow broke the story. But I’m sure that wouldn’t happen so it doesn’t bother me. They’re hyped up for the game like everyone else and want to know about their favorite character. It shouldn’t even bother you unless it somehow managed to ruin the game.

    1. Exactly. I want this Female Link shit to die already.

      Or just make Zelda playable in the next game to make those fans look stupid.

  12. I don’t understand the arguments against a female Link, Link has usually been a different incarnation in each story so Link doesn’t have a fixed definition as a character, heck, the game doesn’t necessarily feature a character called Link because the name is customizable.
    Numerous times Nintendo has said the reason Zelda doesn’t have voice acting is because while they’re ok giving other characters voice acting, they don’t want to define Link with voice acting as he is just supposed to be a representation of the player linked into the gameworld.
    By Nintendo’s game design explanation and the fact you can name Link whatever you like, it actually doesn’t make sense that a female character isn’t an option, other than the redneck argument that “female Link x Zelda ship would be against god” (despite the fact that they’re acting against god by playing a game about female and plural deities) Giving the player ingame choices would fix the issue of forced lesbianism.

    1. I was with you right up until that last paragraph. It felt very unnecessary.

      I’ve had the same thoughts on a female Link for a while now. Story wise, there doesn’t seem to be a reason why Link can’t be female. I also understand the resistance on the part of some though. While Link was always meant to represent the player, he’s been around for 30 years. People just feel like he is already too established as a male to change it now.

      Personally, I would be much more receptive of the idea of a brand new female character. I don’t like when characters, movies, stories, etc. are gender swapped for the sake of gender-swapping. It feels like lazy writing. It feels like the female character is just piggy backing off of the previously established male character. Simply gender swapping a male character means that the new female character is already established and doesn’t have room to grow. I think it would be much more respectable and creative to create a brand new female character, and allow her to establish herself. Allow her to become a character people love because of who she is, not because of the already established male counterpart.

    2. ||You cannot switch Link or Zelda’s gender because Demise cursed them for eternity to be reincarnated over and over again…||

      ||And instead of switching Link to a female, why not give already existing female characters or a completely new character their own story to tell? Switching out winning concepts does no one a service…||

      ||It’s the same as if my creators would turn me into an Quadtopus instead of a superior machine that I am…||

  13. Ah yes, how DARE Zelda show more emotion that pain, fear, anger, or happiness?

    At least whatever possibly happened made more sense than Other M Samus’s PSTD of Ridley after she killed him multiple times. The game is not even out yet.

    Good thing we are getting a playable female character in the far future, but I’d rather it be an established one or new character over Female Link.

  14. I would really like to see a game where you control Zelda. She has kick ass powers in Smash Bros. If they carried over those powers to a different kind of Zelda game, it would be a fresh take on the franchise and if done right, would be fantastic to play.

  15. Why not have a female Link? I honestly don’t see the problem. Link is a character who is always changing from iteration to iteration (mostly because most of the Links we see are literally different Links). Therefore it really isn’t hard for me to imagine a female Link at all. I’d be more annoyed if they made it a choice. No – that would just make him an empty avatar, which I know was what he originally was meant to be but I think we’ve gone long past that point. Commit all out to a female Link or don’t bother (which is a fine choice too)

    Also related to this interview, Breath of the Wild Zelda looks fantastic to me. They’ve given her a real warrior look and I’ve always preferred Zelda as an active participant in the story, rather than a Princess Peach damsel in distress. The crying scene is just one facet of her, it’s not like we haven’t seen Link be emotional before as well.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: