Character art for Zelda in The Legend of Zelda: Echoes of Wisdom

Nothing Sums Up the Internet’s Excitement for Playable Zelda Like This Awesome Fan Art

This week’s Nintendo Direct was way stronger than it had any right to be, considering it was likely the final Direct focusing solely on the Switch.

Recommended Videos

We learned about Marvel vs. Capcom 2 coming to the Switch, the biggest Mario Party ever, an adorable-looking new Mario and Luigi game, Donkey Kong Country Returns in HD. Even Metroid Prime 4, which was announced seven years ago, got a trailer and a release date.

But if you’re like me, the most exciting announcement was The Legend of Zelda: Echoes of Wisdom. It was a triple gut punch that made me—and plenty of other gamers—scream and cry within the span of the five-minute announcement. Firstly, because Tears of the Kingdom came out barely a year ago, absolutely no one was expecting the announcement of a new mainline Zelda game. Secondly, that blindsided punch gained heft with the subsequent announcement that this game is coming out in September. Of this year!

But thirdly, the game’s central conceit revolves around one of the greatest wishlist items of the Zelda fandom: The playable protagonist in the game will be Zelda. Link’s sinking in a hole of nothingness somewhere. Our girl’s gotta go save him.

Social media erupted in delirious joy after the announcement. It’s hard to articulate just how much the words “playable Zelda” mean to people, and how unbelievably excited it makes us. But they say a picture is worth a thousand words. And in the 24 hours since the announcement, a cavalcade of Echoes of Wisdom fan art has erupted on social media.

The best way to grasp exactly how deliriously happy people are is to look at the fan art.

Delightful fan art for a delightful game

The trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Echoes of Wisdom shows Link running into a cave to fight Ganon and save a crystallized Zelda, but sinking into a mysterious void. Before he disappears, however, he shoots an arrow to break Zelda’s crystal. So now, finally, Zelda must go save Link.

Technically speaking, this is now the second Zelda game in a row where one of our two heroes has fallen into a mysterious void. Link reaching out after a falling Zelda at the outset of Tears of the Kingdom has become iconic. While Echoes of Wisdom‘s Zelda doesn’t get to replicate that gesture, the image is still there.

For better or for worse, Zelda won’t be fighting with a sword. One recourse you have is simply to throw rocks. It’s not your only option, but by god, it’s there.

In the absence of Link’s signature sword swing, the production team is trying a completely new mechanic. In some ways, that mechanic feels like another iteration of Tears of the Kingdom‘s experiments with emphasizing creativity in gameplay. With the help of a spirit named Fi, Zelda procures a staff that is able to make “echoes” of any object she encounters. The trailer uses boxes and tables as an example. You can use these objects any way you please to overcome obstacles, navigate the map, and fight monsters.

Fighting using everyday household objects is fertile ground for humor. And wrestling jokes.

Of course, Zelda doesn’t just fight with repurposed furniture. You can also create echoes of monsters. Or of anything you see in the world. Which caused some fans to wonder what the limits could possibly be. Like … Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom‘s Blood Moon could have nothing on Zelda’s monster army.

Alongside all the jokes about summoning and fighting with boxes, “The Legend of Link” was trending yesterday on Twitter/X. After all, the game has been called The Legend of Zelda for all these decades we’ve been playing as Link. It’s only natural. And what’s more, in recent years, we accepted Link as our sweet babygirl.

I love my babygirl Link. I do feel a little guilty that I was so excited as I watched that babygirl sink into a very alarming void of nothingness. But my god, a mainline Zelda game where you actually play as Zelda is so wildly overdue, by a decade or two, at least. No wonder everyone is giddy.

The aftermath of the Echoes of Wisdom announcement feels like one of those increasingly rare, beautiful moments where the internet comes together over shared excitement and joy. Sure, there’s sticks in the mud, but we’ve tuned them out. This is a moment Zelda fans will remember forever. That’s the power of playable Zelda.

The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Kirsten Carey
Kirsten Carey
Kirsten (she/her) is a contributing writer at the Mary Sue specializing in anime and gaming. In the last decade, she's also written for Channel Frederator (and its offshoots), Screen Rant, and more. In the other half of her professional life, she's also a musician, which includes leading a very weird rock band named Throwaway. When not talking about One Piece or The Legend of Zelda, she's talking about her cats, Momo and Jimbei.