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Pretty Pretty Princess

Do You Have Strong Feelings About Princess Zelda Getting Her Own Game?

This is the second time I’ve received this question during this E3! I guess if people have strong feelings about it then it’s something to consider. I’ll keep that in mind! [laughs]Eiji Aonuma, overseer of the Legend of Zelda franchise since 1998, when asked if he’d ever consider giving the character of Princess Zelda her own game.

Considering that in Ocarina of Time, one of the most beloved Zelda games of all time, Zelda, after spending years in martial training with the Sheikah, actually rescues an actual princess, so that said princess will be around later to help Link on his quest… Yeah, I think there’s room in the Zelda setting for a story where a princess rescues a princess.

And if you’d rather not revisit the Ocarina well, Nintendo, Aaron Diaz has some ideas for you.

(via Dresden Kodak on Tumblr.)

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  • Emily

    Do I have strong feelings? Well this is one of my biggest desires in life. So yeah maybe my feelings are strong.

  • James Gardiner

    While I’d be interested in a game with Zelda as the player character, I’ve never really been that interested in the kind of pitch linked to in the article. The idea of swapping Link & Zelda’s roles that specifically seems a bit of an easy way out, and I’d be more interested in them finding a way to make a compelling Zelda starring game while letting her retain her princess role. It would probably be a bit more difficult, but would probably have more memorable results beyond “that time Link & Zelda’s roles were reversed”.

  • Adam Cross

    feelings? yes, all the feels. do it.

  • Nemitta


  • The Literary Omnivore

    How loudly can I shout yes at the Internet?

    I agree that it shouldn’t be a simple switch of Zelda and Link’s roles—then, you should just go ahead and genderswap them. Rather, I’d love to see either a game set during Zelda’s seven years as Sheik (I’m a lore freak and I love that game) or a game that’s, say, more puzzle and logic-based.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Since I have never ever been once inclined to play a Zelda game due to lack of interest and my deeply bred xenophobia (I hate elves), I’ll simply say…good luck.

  • Chris

    Can I play as Zelda and Sheik both, and the differing mechanics that implies? ‘Cause that’d be pretty great.

  • Anonymous

    Obviously a game starring Zelda must be called The Legend of Link.

  • Herbert West

    I’d be all up for it. Even more so if they went for different gameplay to account for the fact that she is entrusted with the Triforce of Wisdom. Not that I’d have anything against Zelda kicking ass, but I’d like to see her using magic, have power over the land and its inhabitants, and lead.

  • Mark Brown

    Hells yeah. In fact, why not take the opportunity to try a different format; as Triforce of Wisdom, Zelda would be a perfect RTS/RPG protagonist. She’d need to out-think her enemies.

  • Dryad

    I’d be all over that game like a Like Like on a shield.

  • Anonymous

    Something along the lines of Spirit Tracks, with Link and Zelda working together. Or the setup in Skyward Sword, where they’re both Loftwing riders—no particular reason why you couldn’t have Zelda go a-questing, or pick your player character of choice.

  • Nuuni Nuunani

    Im honestly curious on this one, how do you envision a Zelda RTS/RPG? Something reminece of Fire Emblem or Shining force? Or something more like Dynasty tactics? Or something else entirely?

  • Nuuni Nuunani

    I heard that in response to this alot of people are emailing Nintedo to let them know their interest in this

  • Hollyanna

    I’ve had lengthy fantasies about trans Link who turns out to be Zelda all along.

  • Megan

    I have been wishing for a game with Zelda as the protagonist ever since I realized that she wasn’t a playable character. I would buy a freakin’ console if a Zelda game was released that had her as the main playable character.

  • Anonymous

    Legend tells that once Retro asked to make an action/stealth game with Sheik … but Nintendo decled because Zelda is such a huge franchise that it needs to me made by a japanese company so the timezones can fit because of company meetings and stuff like that so that Nintendo can supervise the game on a tight leash

  • Travis

    An action/stealth game would be perfect for Zelda.

  • Gregory McIntyre

    that would be awesome.

  • Harrison Grey

    I liked a lot of Aaron Diaz’ ideas, particularly how he imagined playing the role of Wisdom instead of Courage, but I agree that the idea of making her less princess-y (and making Link the Prince) was off. You should play as Princess Zelda, saving her kingdom, who comes across a Hyrulian boy named Link living in the woods somewhere.

  • Gregory McIntyre

    unless it’s a mirror shield, they don’t eat the unique ones.

  • Harrison Grey

    So would playable Zelda get the Light Bow or the Master Sword? Link’s wielded both, so I think it’s only fair she does too, but I’m leaning towards the Bow as the primary weapon and the sword for the final boss.

  • Anonymous

    Oooohh nice! I never thought of that… Saving a version of herself that society prefers? Then dumping it for the version that she/he she/him-self prefers? I’d play the shit out of that…

  • Hollyanna

    I love that subtext! I was thinking major memory loss, with small snippets of a damsel in distress that Link feels compelled to save. But zie’s* remembering hirself as Zelda. Gameplay could be collecting, say, aspects of a spell to reveal Zelda’s whereabouts. Ganon thinks Zelda is dead but begins to suspect Link when the spell “goes wrong.” In the ultimate battle, almost at the last minute, Link/Zelda realizes zie has both wisdom and courage. They could do some really cool and trippy things with the memory aspect. In my ideal game, Zelda remains two-spirited, keeping aspects of Link. Even if it’s just training scenes in Kokiri green, which wouldn’t be too radical for developers.

    * I tried not to use a gender neutral pronoun, because it annoys me that we, as the internet, haven’t agreed on just one. But I confused myself without it. lol

  • totz the plaid

    I hate hate HATE Aaron Diaz’s ideas for rebooting series, whether it be Zelda or X-Men, or whatever else!

    Playing as Zelda could be truly awesome, though! I’d definitely give it a try if I had the money for a Wii U!

  • totz the plaid

    Also, Nintendo seriously needs to disown “Metroid: Other M” the same way they did those CD-i games…

    Samus should be an independent badass, not cowtowing to some random guy’s whims!

  • Cranium Rinse

    Right? They only named the entire series after her, why wouldn’t I think she was a playable character? Is there any other video game series named after an NPC?

  • Mark Brown

    Actually, my mental image was more akin to Star Control II: Zelda starts out alone and on the run (after Ganondorf conquers Hyrule), then has to forge alliances (using diplomacy, fetch-quests, and the occasional trial-by-combat) with the Zora, Gorons, Kokiri, etc, and mix-and-match different party members in her entourage. As her army grows, she gains the ability to dispatch Heroes (Link, Darunia, Saria, Ruto, etc) across the map to fight a kingdom-wide campaign.

    All the while, she is training to upgrade her own magic/fighting skills (signified by costume changes that end up with her looking like Sheik).

  • Lady Viridis

    I don’t know; I like the idea that Zelda is Zelda and part of an important trio in Hyrule’s mythology, regardless of her actual standing. Sometimes Link comes from a line of knights/servants of Hyrule, sometimes he’s just a boy who tends the goats, but he’s always the Hero. I don’t see a reason why Zelda couldn’t be a destined Hero whether or not she is a princess. But then, my favorite incarnation of Zelda was probably Tetra on her pirate ship.

    (It occurred to me yesterday that there’s no guarantee Tetra actually IS of the royal line of Hyrule. She is a pirate, and possibly her parents were too. Who’s to say they didn’t pick up that shard of Triforce somewhere and keep it as treasure? Tetra is for sure Hylian because of the ears, but there were plenty of Hylians who weren’t royalty.)

  • Mordicai

    I hope they just hire Aaron Diaz. ‘course, that is what I said about Marvel when he did his X-reboot…& about his Star Wars ideas…

  • Anonymous

    I would love a Zelda game starring Zelda. I mean, Tetra or Sheik are easy places to start. I just hope they would make her recognizably Zelda.

  • Ashe

    Agreed. I’m kind of horrified at all the support of his, frankly, boring and uninventive idea.

    I guess we’re so desperate for girl power we’ll accept anything thrown at us.

  • Ashe

    Aaron Diaz’s ideas are really awful. There’s much better stuff circulating Tumblr.

    Hell, the original games already hold mounds of potential. Sheikah? Ghost? Pirate? Transformations and magic and stealth in the gameplay? Yes please!

    It’d be a good breath of fresh air for a franchise that’s been hiccuping a little in terms of creating something new (Twilight Princess struggled to follow through with a lot of its introduced concepts, Skyward Sword overrelied on nostalgia, etc), as well as a big finger to all the people who are so sure that women can’t sell a videogame.

    Another thing I’d really appreciate is a big cast of supporting characters who are also women: Zelda has always been particularly good at having women just…EVERYWHERE, from goddesses to fairies to townsfolk to enemies to major players. Hopefully, if we do get a Zelda game, they won’t desperately try to ‘balance’ it by having her neck-deep in men.

    This is a good thing and hopefully we will get this good thing…

  • Ashe


    We’ve already had a bunch of games with Link. When the idea of a Zelda-led game is introduced, all Aaron can think of is to make her…another Link.

    She already has engaging stories and brilliant identities that haven’t been explored.

    Like, what the fuck.

  • Nuuni Nuunani

    *watches a lets play*

    Well that is an interesting idea.
    How do you propose they approach the combat portions in your scenario?

  • Fisty

    Yes, I want to see this. I also want to see Old Man Link from Genzo

  • LifeLessons

    I say YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ms. Sunlight

    My favourite incarnation of Zelda is Tetra from WInd Waker. She’s a pirate captain! That said, I could easily get behind a Zelda who transforms between Zelda and Sheikh, like in the Smash Bros games.

  • LyonessofAvalon

    This is an awesome idea. I want it.

  • LyonessofAvalon

    While I love the ideas posted here, I also liked Aaron’s ideas, especially the setting. I would love it if we didn’t have to settle for just one of these options and that Zelda could go on many adventures as the princess, warrior, pirate, magician, assassin.

  • Ashe

    This is badass.

  • Amber Barnes

    No thank you. If Zelda gets her own game, it should be her and her alone headlining it, not having to share with Link.

  • Amber Barnes

    I don’t get where people are getting the “making Zelda into Link” thing is coming from, re: Aaron Diaz’s concept art. The similarities begin and end with their costumes. Gameplay concept, mechanics, and everything else is completely different and she can still be Princess of Hyrule (though I’m getting mightily sick of Every Heroine is a Princess in the fantasy genre and would welcome more “everywoman” protagonists). Putting on adventuring gear doesn’t have to strip her of her crown any more than keeping her in a dress or robes makes her a princess in the first place.

  • Harrison Grey

    I guess I’m coming from a point of view that a game where Zelda is the protagonist ought to play different from a game where Link is the protagonist. What’s the point of playing as Zelda if it’s little more than a palette swap. I also love princesses, and wish more people would go to the trouble of showing off how cool and powerful a princess can be without just making her the same as another action hero.

    That said, I was not thinking about Tetra. Now that I am thinking about Tetra, I’m actually more confused. I’ll admit right now that despite Wind Waker being my favorite Zelda game, I still don’t understand where she comes from exactly, and where does the Hyrulian King fit in with her in that game.

  • Anonymous

    Philips CDi

  • HeroOfGames16

    Well, Samus is not the ‘independent badass’ a lot of people hold her in regard. In the Metroid manga, Samus witnesses the death of her parents by the hands of Ridley. It’s the canon backstory, basically. She may seem tough and badass at all times, but deep down she still struggles with her own psychological, inner demons (hence why she suffered from a ‘Heroic BSOD’ when she confronts Ridley in the game).
    It was never shown in previous games because the games themselves kept Samus’ interaction with the plot and such to a minimum.

  • totz the plaid

    No, I knew all that about Samus already.

    Being badass doesn’t mean being constantly stoic and emotionless.

    Badass is still doing the shit that needs doing and kicking ass anyway!

  • HeroOfGames16

    So you mean like “Battling demons within while battling demons outside”?

  • totz the plaid


    I mean, isn’t that true of many badasses? You know, like, Batman, Wolverine, Brock Samson, River Tam, etc.

  • Lady Viridis

    The Hylian King/King of Red Lions is presumably the King of Hyrule from before it sank, several hundred years prior. The game seems to say that Tetra is a descendent of that family– presumably there were other family members that were sent to safety on the mountaintops, and eventually it led to Tetra, pirate captain.

    However, all we really know for sure is that Tetra is Hylian, like Link and many of the other denizens of the Great Sea, and that she has a fragment of the Triforce. It’s up for interpretation whether she was actually of royal descent, or whether being Hylian and having that Triforce piece was good enough for the gods to say ‘sure, you’re Princess Zelda.’

    As far as Zelda being the protagonist, while I agree the game should be a little different gameplay-wise, I don’t really care as long as it still feels like a Zelda game, focusing on exploration and adventure. I thought Aaron Diaz’s ideas were a really clever way of implementing that and giving us more magic-focused abilities instead of Link’s item and swordplay focused tactics. (But I would be open to other ideas too.) As far as the “palette swap” goes… all I have to say on that is that an adventuring Zelda would presumably dress more practically than a diplomat/princess, and that probably means tunic and boots. I sure as hell do NOT want to be forced to play a Zelda who runs around Hyrule fighting in an impractical dress.

  • Harrison Grey

    The dress thing was actually one of the things I’ve been wondering about. I totally agree that a dress would be totally impractical (although to be fair to the dress, in Smash Bros. I find the power of Zelda’s magic attacks to more than offset how slow the dress makes her, but Smash Bros. logic doesn’t necessarily apply here). My complaint was that Aaron Diaz’ designs were basically Link’s outfit with purple instead of green, making Zelda look just like link, down to the short hair, the hood mimicking his normal hat, the white pants and everything. Her outfit would need to be changed, no doubt, but I’d like to see way more of Zelda’s design show up in the altered look, ie: hair braids, gold shoulder pauldrons, maybe even that design down the front of her skirt, and personally I’d like Link to remain blonde and Zelda to be brunette (I just think it differentiates them more).

  • Lady Viridis

    I wouldn’t mind an outfit for Zelda that incorporated more of her traditional designs in a more practical form (and I would probably have given her longer hair than Diaz did) but I think the point of Diaz’s design, at least for the tunic, was that Zelda starts off as a common adventurer with plain clothing and only much later discovers that she is part of the ancient Hylian race, since in his concept Hyrule was a long-forgotten, almost mythical land. In that context it doesn’t make much sense for her to be running around with a Hylian crest or anything else, at least not as a basic costume.

    I’m only vaguely familiar with Skyward myself, but I personally found the reincarnation thing to be kind of a cheap and lazy retcon. I mean, it was well understood that there were multiple Links and Zeldas that kept fighting whatever evil because of destiny, but to slap in a pair of gods we’ve never heard of before (Hylia and Demise) and make it the same souls reincarnated… I don’t know, I think it makes the story less interesting. Honestly I didn’t really like most of the concepts in SS, so… I’m kind of ignoring it for the purposes of my own headcanon. Of course, in my headcanon Tetra jumped right back on her pirate ship after finding out she was “Zelda’ instead of hiding in a basement… and she would have a better design, too.

  • Harrison Grey

    That’s a good point about

  • Lady Viridis

    Hm. I suppose I’m just less interested in Happily Ever After stories, or maybe it’s because I never shipped Zelda/Link. I do know the highschool romance aspect of SS was more irritating than charming to me.

  • Harrison Grey

    When you say it like High School Romance, I can understand irritating. I appreciated that for the 25th Anniversary they went to great lengths to create a fairy tale of the most classical sense they could out of Zelda and Link, and thus made the definitive romance between them. I thought it was fair, given none of the 3d games so far have ended with them together (save Wind Waker-ish, but they are still children, and maybe Twilight Princess which I still have not played. Don’t spoil, please). And that’s part of what I find appealing about the reincarnation: they can still be different people, considering they have different lives and identities each time they show up again, and they don’t necessarily have to get together (or have to do anything they’ve already done before, really). It exists as, I think, an elegant game mechanic to explain that, yes, you are playing as the same character, but no, he hasn’t already saved the world a dozen times in recent memory.

  • Lady Viridis

    Yeah, I dunno. I don’t really ship Link with *anyone*, and if I do, it’s definitely not Zelda, ever. I think the closest I’ve ever come is Link/Midna from TP and maybe a little of Link/Malon from OoT. So Nintendo being like ‘look Link and Zelda finally get together!’ for SS is just… something that I do not care at all about.

    I think the reincarnation bit bothers me more because… to me Link doesn’t need to be the same character, because Link is basically a non-character to begin with. He’s just an avatar for the player, so whether he’s the same soul or there just happen to be an abundance of heroic souls throughout Hyrule’s history, I don’t really care.

    But I’m a little annoyed that Nintendo, after seemingly not caring about continuity for most of the games’ history, felt compelled to force a ‘one true interpretation’ on us with the reincarnation stuff and awkwardly link everything together. Though that may just be because I’ve always favored the King Arthur style interpretation, where it’s the same basic story that just gets told lots of different ways throughout time.

  • Harrison Grey

    I’ve heard they had an official timeline that they’d been using internally for some time now, and several games have been confirmed to be some amount of time before or after other games, so I don’t think Skyward Sword introduced the idea of the timeline. They have been saying there were multiple Zeldas since Zelda II, and several in a row after were direct prequels to each other, so I don’t think the current timeline (or parts of it, at least) was just thrown together recently.

    Funny thing is, when I started playing Wind Waker (my first) I had no idea they weren’t just the same characters in all the games. So I took to the internet and read up on the in game chronology (what was confirmed of it) and I boiled it down to reincarnation right then. They would confirm that (and the timeline) a few years later. I didn’t even hear about the Legends of Zelda theory until after it was officially dead, but I find the idea pretty great. I personally just like the historical timeline better.

  • Anonymous

    I’m one of those people that emailed them. :) I want a Zelda game. Badly. So much potential.

  • Nuuni Nuunani

    Well Nintendo more than any other major developer I know are responsive to the fanbase so if we all continue to support Nintendo and make it known out desires to see an awesome game starring Zelda (Personally I really hope it ends up being called Legend of Link) Then there is a good chance that Nintendo will give us what we want. ^^

  • Anonymous

    Yes, I would like to play a game where Zelda herself is a protagonist. That above sales pitch would be fine, but I also agree with what James just said below: they don’t have to have a role reversal, and it might be really cool to examine a double-life with Zelda, as well as an adventure that might cause her to defend her realm herself.

  • LifeLessons

    Yes I have strong feelings. They are YES to this game.