Link, Zelda and Ganondorf have gone through many alterations over the years, rarely looking identical from game to game. However, some versions of the characters seem to stick around longer than others. In another revelation from the Zelda: Art and Artefacts book, the 3DS Link to the Past sequel was originally meant to star Toon Link. According to the franchise’s Yoshiki Haruhana, there was much debate over which incarnation of Link should appear in A Link Between Worlds. While they eventually settled on a traditional Link design, many believed the portable game should feature Toon Link. Interestingly, the same debate took place around the development of Tri-Force Heroes. Check out an excerpt from the interview below.
Haruhana: For this title there was a difference of opinion on which Link to use. Since it was for the Nintendo 3DS, some felt that it should be Toon Link, since it’s a title for a portable game system, but others said that this was a sequel to A Link to the Past, so it should be regular Link. We had a long debate over it.
Interviewer: The people who played the first game on SNES may have had an issue if the main character was Toon Link…
Haruhana: Exactly. Since A Link to the Past was the original, it only made sense to go in that direction. And since it’s been twenty-two years since the previous title, the expectation about the art style became what it is. I found myself thinking that the Zelda series certainly has a bit of everything, which keeps it interesting.
Interviewer: So it isn’t necessary for the main character to be Toon Link just because the game is on a portable system.
Haruhana: Yeah, that’s how it worked out.
Interviewer: But for Tri Force Heroes, the main character went back to being Toon Link.
Haruhana: Actually, we had our share of trouble for this title as well. For a while into production, the main character was the Link used in A Link Between Worlds. But one day, Aonuma made an announcement: “We’re going with Toon Link!”