From Zelda Wiki, the Zelda encyclopedia
- For the other Links featured in the series, see Link (disambiguation).
|Title(s)|| Hero of Hyrule|
Hero of Time
Hero of the Essences of Time and Nature
Hero of Winds
Hero of Light
|Family|| Ocarina of Time:|
A Link to the Past:
The Wind Waker:
The Minish Cap:
Oracle of Ages (manga):
Lord Raven (ancestor)
Hero's Spirit (ancestor)
|Voice Actor(s)|| Hikaru Midorikawa
Link is the name every protagonist in The Legend of Zelda series is known by. There are many incarnations of Link, each possessing the Spirit of the Hero, with some of them being blood related as well. They are chosen by the Goddesses to protect the land from evil whenever deemed necessary. In the majority of Zelda games, their adventures take place within Hyrule, traveling through the land, collecting important items, and defeating a wide variety of enemies while trying to save both Princess Zelda and her kingdom from the clutches of Ganon, Vaati, or other villains.
The first Link was introduced as a young sword-wielding boy, but since The Adventure of Link, the identity, appearance, and role of each incarnation of Link has varied from game to game. Many of the Links are given titles to identify them, such as the Hero of Time in Ocarina of Time and the Hero of Winds in The Wind Waker.
Common attributes of all Links
In almost all the games (with the exception of The Adventure of Link, Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword), Link starts his journey as a child or young adolescent Hylian and has not yet been depicted as being older than his late teens at any point of the series. Moreover, he is usually portrayed as having been orphaned at an early age: the only game that mentions Link's mother is Ocarina of Time, who died after she escaped to the Kokiri Forest with Link as a baby from a fierce war in Hyrule, leaving him in the care of the Great Deku Tree. In games such as A Link to the Past and The Wind Waker, Link lives with his uncle and grandmother, respectively, but leaves his home in order to fulfill his destiny as the savior of Hyrule or another land.
In all games thus far, Link has been descended from the Hylians (though the ambiguous canon Valiant Comics state that the incarnation of Link in the first two games was born in a land west of Hyrule, called Calatia), and due to that, appears as a young man with elf-like pointed ears. Link's incarnation of A Link to the Past mentions how he is the last descendant of the Knights of Hyrule, and as such is destined to rescue Princess Zelda. In many games, he has or earns the Triforce mark on the back of his left hand, either to signify possession of the Triforce of Courage or, in some cases, to simply signify his exemplary courage.
Because all the Links bear the Spirit of the Hero, they each possess an unbreakable spirit. One feature in Link's personality that is greatly emphasized is his courage. He is often depicted as a humble yet brave and courageous boy who steps up to the task of saving the kingdom of Hyrule (and many others), a task to which he seems destined. As such, he is often associated with the Triforce of Courage and the goddess Farore: in Twilight Princess, the Triforce of Courage activated when Link stepped into the Twilight, and it protected him from becoming a lost soul, instead turning him into a wolf. He rarely shows signs of cowardice and is always willing to use his strength and valor to save and help those around him, as seen in The Wind Waker where he asks Tetra and her pirate crew to allow him to go with them on their ship in order to save his sister Aryll.
Link does not speak or have any written dialog, which has led some people believe him to be mute; his voice actions are limited to shouts and grunts. In addition, Link does not show signs of a strong and deep personality, nor does he present much of his personal motivations. However, the idea that Link is mute is disproved by his ability to interact with other characters in conversation; for example, in Twilight Princess, Jaggle once states that Link's voice carries well, and in The Wind Waker, Link can be heard using short phrases such as "Come on!" at certain points throughout the game. The true reason for this blankness and apparent muteness lies in Link's own essence: He seems to be the personification of the immersion experience, and in that way he is an extension of the player, a "link" between the player and the Zelda universe. Miyamoto and Nintendo designers themselves pointed out several times that the focus of the series lies in the player's personal experiences and in the concept of "the player being the hero," with Link as his/her avatar.
In that way, he was made blank so the human player can fill him with his/her own characteristics, experiences, motivations, feelings, thoughts and emotions. While he is traditionally known as Link, even his name is chosen by the player. This is in order to allow the player to enter this fantasy world and to have an intimate experience with it, and with those who live in it. So, the intention is for his role in dialog and plot to be filled by the words and thoughts of the player, to some extent. His speech is usually replaced with simple and concise answers that the player can pick.
Link also seems to have a particular fondness for sleeping. Most of the games begin with him oversleeping and having to be woken up by some other character. This seems to be done to show that at the beginning of the game he is a regular boy, while by the end he is a true hero.
Invariably, every Link wears a green tunic and a long, floppy green cap, at least for part of each adventure, although the shades of green vary. He also wears different clothes during parts of some Zelda games, most often color variations on his basic outfit (except for the Magic Armor and Zora Armor in Twilight Princess). Physically, all Link have light-colored hair ranging from light brown to blonde, large eyes ranging from blue to dark, and a medium build. Furthermore, Link dons special gauntlets or bracelets that help him boost up his strength, such as the Power Bracelet or the Golden Gauntlet. In several games, various female characters often comment on Link's physical attractiveness, calling him "cute" or complimenting his great eyes.
Link is also depicted as left-handed in almost all games, except for the Wii version of Twilight Princess and in Skyward Sword, which depicts him as right-handed, the same hand most people use to hold the Wii Remote. There is no option for left-handers, but in the GameCube version of Twilight Princess, Link is a traditional left-hander. Arguably, Link is still left-handed in Twilight Princess and it is only that the camera is somehow reversed; this is supported by the fact that the entire Wii version of Twilight Princess is the complete reverse of the GameCube version. Currently, Link's "canonical" appearance in Twilight Princess is still as a left-handed version. However, Skyward Sword depicts Link as right-handed and is the only option available in-game.
A peculiarity which Link shares with many video game characters is the uncanny ability to effortlessly carry around many cumbersome items. The concept is known as Hammerspace and allows Link to carry an enormous array of large and heavy items, without the use of a bag of any kind. For example, where does he store the Biggoron's Sword when not in use? And how can wearing the Iron Boots make him any heavier, if he was already carrying them with him? This is addressed in the non-canon cartoon series, The Legend of Zelda, in which in a couple of scenes Link is seen taking items out of a bag, which then "grow" to normal size when taken out so he can use them, and "shrink" when he puts them back into the bag.
Link is depicted throughout the series as an impressive swordsman. He usually begins his adventure as an average boy with little to no swordsmanship skills. When trouble arises, however, Link demonstrates a natural aptitude for the ways of the sword and is able to best his enemies easily: in The Wind Waker, Link goes to Orca to learn how to wield a sword in order to help Tetra from the Forest of Fairies. It is further noted by Orca himself that Link's ability to use a sword is firmly present in his veins. As the game progresses, Link becomes known for his swordsmanship as well as his ability to quickly adapt to a wide variety of items and skillfully wield them, such as the Boomerang, the Bow, and the Grappling Hook, among others.
In some games, Link can learn advanced sword techniques and complicated move-sets: in The Minish Cap, the Blade Brothers teach the young hero various sword skills by using Tiger Scrolls, and in Twilight Princess, the Hero's Shade shares his knowledge of the sword by teaching Link seven Hidden Skills to help him become more powerful and save Hyrule.
Additionally, Link is portrayed as having an excellent physical condition, performing backflips easily as well as being able to best others in sumo-wrestling, as seen in Twilight Princess. However, despite this, Link is usually defenseless without a sword or an item. This is depicted in The Wind Waker, where Link loses his sword after being launched into the Forsaken Fortress and must use his stealth abilities to get it back: if he is spotted by an enemy, he quickly surrenders due to his inability to fight back. Although in some games Link is easily able to pick up large stones or push blocks many times his size, other games require him to use special bracelets or gauntlets to further increase his strength, such as the Power Bracelet or the Titan's Mitt.
As seen in The Adventure of Link, A Link to the Past, and Ocarina of Time, Link is capable of using magic spells such as Din's Fire provided that he possesses a Magic Meter, which is usually granted to him by a Great Fairy.
Link is also talented in playing a wide variety of instruments. This is first shown in the original The Legend of Zelda, in which the young hero plays the Recorder to open up secret entrances or transport him to various parts in the overworld. Since then, Link has competently played other instruments such as the ocarina, a pan flute, a guitar, the drums, and a harp, all of which play a major role in each of the respective games in which they appear. Not only is Link a proficient instrument player: he is also adept in using a conductor's baton to conduct other players.
The Link in Skyward Sword is the tenth Link appearing in the The Legend of Zelda series, and currently the earliest incarnation of Link chronologically.
In Skyward Sword, Link has lived his entire life in an island above the clouds known as Skyloft. He is childhood friends with Zelda and they attend the Knight Academy together, where he is often bullied by Groose. After playing the role of the goddess's hero at the Wing Ceremony, Link and Zelda go for a flight together, when suddenly a twister pulls Zelda and her Loftwing below the clouds. After withdrawing the Goddess Sword from its pedestal and meeting Fi, Link sets out to The Surface to search for Zelda.
Eventually, Link catches up with Zelda and Impa at the Temple of Time, but their reunion is cut short when Ghirahim attacks the duo. In the frenetic action going on, Zelda gives Link the Goddess's Harp before Impa and her escape through the Gate of Time, with Impa destroying the gate so as to escape Ghirahim's grasp. After passing the three trials of the goddess, gaining spiritual growth, and transforming the Goddess Sword into the Master Sword, Link manages to activate a second Gate of Time and meets with Zelda, who explains that Link is the goddess's chosen hero before telling him that she, as Hylia's mortal reincarnation, must remain in a deep sleep to keep Demise imprisoned within his seal. She then informs Link that he must find and use the Triforce to destroy Demise so that she will be able to wake up in their own time.
Link sets out to the Sky Keep and obtains the Triforce, using its might to wish for the eradication of Demise. Despite this, Ghirahim kidnaps Zelda upon her awakening and takes her through the Gate of Time, where Demise is still sealed. Link, after defeating Ghirahim and Demise, seals the remains of the demon king in the Master Sword, but not before Demise warns him that it was not over, and that his hatred would be reborn as a being to pursue domination of the world, as well as those with the blood of the goddess and spirit of the hero, in a cycle without end. Zelda as well as the young hero return to their own time, where she mentions to Link that she wants to remain in the surface and watch over the Triforce. She asks what Link's intentions are for the future, and Link smiles at her, with the camera panning to show both his and Zelda's Loftwings flying back into the sky, implying that Link chose to stay with Zelda.
The Minish Cap
The Link in The Minish Cap is the seventh Link appearing in the The Legend of Zelda series, and the second Link chronologically.
In The Minish Cap, Link is the grandson of Smith, the blacksmith for Hyrule Town. He lives just outside the town with his grandfather, and goes to the Picori Festival with his childhood friend, Princess Zelda. During the award ceremony for the festival's sword tournament, the winner, Vaati, shatters the legendary Picori Blade and releases the monsters that had been sealed in the Bound Chest. Princess Zelda uses her power to send the monsters away, and despite Link's attempt to defend her, Vaati turns the princess to stone to prevent her from interfering with his plans. Afterward, the King of Hyrule sends Link to Minish Woods to find the Minish, in the hopes that they can reforge the broken Picori Blade so that it can be used against Vaati. As he travels though the woods, Link meets Ezlo, his companion throughout the game. Ezlo sits on Link's head throughout his adventure to defeat Vaati and restore Zelda. Aside from his frequent advice and sarcastic comments about Link's quest, Ezlo grants the hero the power to shrink down to Minish size.
The Link in Four Swords is the fourth Link appearing in the The Legend of Zelda series, and the third Link chronologically.
In Four Swords, when Link takes the Four Sword, he is divided into four different Links (Green, Blue, Red and Purple), each with their own style and personality. Working together, the Links must find 3 keys that lead to Princess Zelda, who was captured by Vaati the wind mage. Link travels with Princess Zelda to check on the Four Sword, an ancient blade said to seal Vaati, a powerful wind mage. As the two enter the Four Sword Sanctuary, Vaati breaks his seal, absconding with Zelda in order to make her his bride. As Link comes to, he is instructed by three Fairies to draw the Four Sword, which splits the hero into four copies of himself: one green, one red, one blue, and one purple. Together, the four Links journey across Hyrule to meet three Great Fairies, each of whom gives the Links a key necessary to enter Vaati's Palace. Inside, the four Links defeat Vaati after a fierce battle, sealing him inside the Four Sword once more. With Hyrule saved, the four heroes return the Four Sword to its pedestal, thus merging back into one being.
Ocarina of Time
In Ocarina of Time, a young Link has been raised as one of the Kokiri, the children of the forest. Unlike the other Kokiri, Link does not have a fairy companion and is thus shunned by their self-proclaimed leader, Mido. Link's life changes one day when the Great Deku Tree, the forest's guardian, sends Navi the fairy to Link with instructions to bring him immediately. A curse has been cast on the Deku Tree, and he asks Link to break it. While Link is successful in defeating the monsters inside the Tree, the Great Deku Tree was doomed to die before Link started. Before passing away, the Deku Tree tells Link of the Triforce and directs Link to Hyrule Castle where he encounters Princess Zelda.
Zelda sends Link on a mission to collect three Spiritual Stones and save Hyrule. Once Link obtains the Stones, he travels to the Temple of Time and opens the Door of Time with the Stones and the Ocarina of Time. He then draws the Master Sword from the Pedestal of Time. This action imprisons Link in the Temple of Light in the Sacred Realm for seven years so his body can mature, while Ganondorf takes control of Hyrule and seizes the Triforce of Power. Seven years after drawing the sword from the pedestal, Link is awakened as the Hero of Time by Rauru, Sage of Light. He sets off on a quest to cleanse the land of Ganondorf's evil by awakening the Sages, who can seal Ganondorf in what used to be the Sacred Realm. Returning to the Kokiri Forest, he finds that none of his friends have grown up, and most now no longer recognize him.
After Link defeats the evil in the Forest Temple, the Deku Tree's successor, the Deku Sprout, reveals the hidden story of Link's past to him. The Kokiri never grow up. The reason Link has grown, while his Kokiri friends have not, is that he is actually a Hylian, orphaned in the wars that raged before Hyrule was united. When Link was a baby, his mother fled with him to Kokiri Forest, and, mortally wounded, left him under the Deku Tree's protection. He was brought up as one of the Kokiri and knew no differently. Through the rest of the game, Link travels back and forth between the two time periods using the Master Sword and the Ocarina of Time in order to awaken the Seven Sages and return peace of Hyrule. At the end of the game, Link climbs Ganon's Tower and engages Ganondorf in battle. After he has been defeated and sent to the Dark Realm, Link is returned to his youth by Princess Zelda, and Navi soon departs from him. He is last seen when he encounters Princess Zelda again in the Castle Courtyard to warn her about Ganondorf and the future events that would unfold.
The Downfall Timeline is the alternate timeline in which Link, the Hero of Time, despite his best efforts, was defeated by Ganondorf in the final battle. This turn of events created the timeline containing A Link to the Past, the Oracle series, Link's Awakening, The Legend of Zelda, and The Adventure of Link.
A Link to the Past
The Link in A Link to the Past, Link's Awakening, Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages is the second Link appearing in the The Legend of Zelda series, and the first Link chronologically in the Downfall Timeline.
In A Link to the Past, Ganon and his army of evil were banished into the Sacred Realm, the realm of the Triforce, by the Hylians at the price of countless lives. The portal to this world was magically blocked by seven sages, and the lands behind that seal, which Hylians hoped would never be broken again, became known as the Dark World as they were corrupted by Ganon's malice. One day, when the Imprisoning War was all but forgotten, the land was plagued by sudden disaster, until the wizard Agahnim appeared at the court of the King of Hyrule and quelled the upheaval. Named chief adviser to the throne, he soon seized power from the king and kidnapped six Maidens, descendants of the sages who had sealed the entrance of the Dark World. The maidens were taken to the castle tower and never seen again. Agahnim then began a dark ritual to break the seal on the Dark World and unleash Ganon's fury upon Hyrule. At this time, Link lives with his uncle in a house near Hyrule Castle. One night, Link receives a telepathic message from Princess Zelda, herself descended from the seventh sage, before being taken away. Link awakens to find his uncle preparing to come to Zelda's aid, and is told to remain in his bed. After his uncle's departure, however, Link ignores his command and follows after him to Hyrule Castle. But Link's uncle was quickly dispatched and left Link his sword and with his last breath imparted the Spin Attack. The young hero rescues Zelda from the castle dungeons then begins a journey to collect three magical Pendants of Virtue, and claim the Master Sword as his own before finally facing Agahnim, and later, his alter ego Ganon.
Oracle of Seasons
In the Oracle of Seasons soon after A Link to the Past, Link is summoned by the Triforce to save the land of Holodrum. Upon his arrival, he is cared for by a young girl named Din who takes him to meet the troupe of performers that she's a part of; however, soon after, General Onox appears and captures Din, revealing that she is actually the Oracle of Seasons who was just disguising herself as a dancer. The seasons soon begin to go out of control now that Din has been kidnapped, and it is up to Link to return Holodrum back to normal. With the help of the Rod of Seasons, Link acquires the eight Essences of Nature scattered all over the land in order to restore the Maku Tree's power and enter Onox's Castle. After the young hero defeats the evil menace and rescues the Oracle of Seasons, peace returns to Holodrum and the order of nature is back to its normal state.
Oracle of Ages
In Oracle of Ages, soon after Oracle of Seasons, Link is again summoned by the Triforce to save the land of Labrynna. Upon landing, he hears a cry for help, and he soon finds that Impa, Zelda's caretaker, is being surrounded by monsters. Link easily scares them off, and Impa asks that he help her search for a woman named Nayru. After finding Nayru, it is revealed that Veran, the Sorceress of Shadows, possessed Impa in order to manipulate Link into leading her to Nayru, who turns out to be the Oracle of Ages. Veran quickly takes over Nayru's body, which she uses to alter events in the past to ruin the future. It is Link who, with the help of the Harp of Ages, travels through time in order to rescue the Oracle and restore the ages back to normal. After Link frees Nayru from Veran's possession, the Oracle of Ages teaches the young hero a song crucial to his quest in collecting the eight Essences of Time scattered over the land of Labrynna. Unfortunately, soon after, the Sorceress of Shadows possesses Ambi, the queen of Labrynna in the past, and takes refuge in the Black Tower. Link, with all the Essences in hand, heads over to the sinister tower to defeat Veran once and for all. After this adventure, Link sets sail to an unknown destination aboard a ship.
In Link's Awakening, taking place after Oracle of Ages, Link is seen aboard his ship after leaving the land of Labrynna; however, he is soon caught in a deadly thunderstorm which results in the destruction of his ship. His unconscious body is later found by Marin on a faraway island's shores. When he awakes, he discovers that he had miraculously been washed ashore on Koholint Island and makes preparations to leave the island by first finding his missing sword. A mysterious owl then approaches Link and explains to him about a sleeping being on the island, The Wind Fish, and that Link can only leave the island once The Wind Fish has been awoken from its eternal slumber. To awaken The Wind Fish, Link was forced to embark on a long journey and go through many dungeons to retrieve the Eight Instruments of the Sirens.
Link is eventually instructed by the owl to go to the Southern Face Shrine where he discoveries a startling truth about the island. Koholint Island is but a dream of The Wind Fish, whose dreams had been invaded by Nightmares and who is unable to awaken. If The Wind Fish awakes, the whole island shall disappear. Link had apparently been pulled into The Wind Fish's dream world and was now a part of it, and only he can awaken the dreamer. He eventually acquires all eight of the instruments and defeats all of the Nightmares, thus freeing The Wind Fish from their terror. Link is then named the hero of The Wind Fish's dream world by the owl before it disappears, and Link finally awakens The Wind Fish. As the island fades away, Link is forced out by a stream of water and awakens to find himself on a wooden board, back in the ocean. When he looks up, he sees The Wind Fish flying in the sky and smiles. It is unknown what happens to Link afterward, as he no longer has a ship.
The Legend of Zelda
In the original The Legend of Zelda, Link is a young swordsman who is asked after rescuing Impa, the royal nursemaid, to save Hyrule and Princess Zelda from the evil Prince of Darkness, Ganon, who is seeking out the shards of the Triforce of Wisdom. Link collects the pieces of the Triforce of Wisdom and enters Ganon's lair in Death Mountain. He defeats Ganon with a Silver Arrow, secures the Triforce of Power, and saves the princess from Ganon's clutches.
The Adventure of Link
In the sequel Adventure of Link, set six years after The Legend of Zelda, Link is now fifteen years old, approaching his sixteenth birthday. Although Link has defeated Ganon, the remnants of Ganon's army are still scattered across Hyrule. They plan to revive Ganon by spilling the blood of his murderer, Link, onto his ashes. Impa finds a Triforce mark on Link's hand as he approaches his sixteenth birthday, and explains that he is the hero chosen to awaken an ancient Princess Zelda from a potent sleeping curse by seeking out the Triforce of Courage. This time, Link places a crystal in each of Hyrule's six palaces, ultimately destroys Dark Link and receives the Triforce of Courage in the Great Palace, and awakens Princess Zelda.
The Child Timeline is the timeline that follows Link after being sent back to his original time after defeating Ganon in the Adult Timeline. He warns Princess Zelda about Ganon's actions in the Adult Timeline, which creates the timeline containing Majora's Mask, Twilight Princess, and Four Swords Adventures.
Majora's Mask occurs after Ganondorf's defeat in Ocarina of Time and Link has been sent back to his childhood in the Child Timeline branch. After having been sent back to his childhood by the adult Princess Zelda of Ocarina of Time, the Hero of Time began a new history in which Ganondorf never destroyed Hyrule Castle and failed to take over the kingdom for 7 years. He leaves Hyrule to search for his lost friend Navi. While riding deep in the Lost Woods, he is ambushed by a Skull Kid who is possessed by an evil artifact, Majora's Mask, and his horse, Epona, is stolen along with the magical Ocarina of Time. Chasing the Skull Kid, Link falls into a crevasse and arrives in a world called Termina. He must save this land from the evil of Majora's Mask, which has drawn the moon into a decaying orbit, causing it to crash into Termina's capital city in just three days. Link uses the Ocarina of Time (reclaimed early on) and the Song of Time, which sends him back in time and saves the game when he plays it, to relive these three days again and again in order to prevent the disaster. Along the way, Link finds many magical masks of his own, a handful of which allow him to transform. Those masks can turn him into a rock-like Goron; a petite, plant-like Deku Scrub; a graceful aquatic Zora; or the Fierce Deity allowing Link to assume a powerful form, Fierce Deity Link.
Eventually, Link succeeds in freeing the Four Giants, enigmatic deities who can halt the Moon's descent, and confronts the Skull Kid. At this point, Majora, the evil entity residing inside Majora's Mask, abandons its now useless host and retreats into the Moon. Link chases after it into the strange core of the Moon, and after a long and heated battle against the three incarnations of Majora, the entity is finally defeated and the menacing Moon disappears. Upon returning the now lifeless mask to the Happy Mask Salesman, Link leaves his new friends and continues his journey, while the people of Termina once more celebrate the dawn of a new day. During his lifetime after Majora's Mask, he lamented the fact that he was not remembered as a hero. In addition, he wanted to pass on the "lessons of his life to those who came after him" but he was unable to do that and was filled with regrets after his death. In order to ease his regrets and finally pass on his knowledge, he teaches the seven Hidden Skills to his descendant, the Link of Twilight Princess.
(This Link is the same one from Ocarina of Time)
The Link in Twilight Princess is the eighth Link appearing in the The Legend of Zelda series, and the second Link chronologically in the Child Timeline branch.
In Twilight Princess, Link is a teenager who has been raised as a wrangler outside of Hyrule territory in Ordon Village. His friend, Rusl, requests that Link go in his place to deliver a sword he has made for the Hyrule Royal Family. Before Link can go on this journey, his village is attacked by King Bulblin. Link is knocked unconscious and all the children are kidnapped. When Link awakens, he wanders into a darkness and gets pulled into the Twilight Realm. Once in the Twilight Realm, rather than becoming a spirit like everyone else, he transforms into a wolf. He is captured until a creature of the Twilight, Midna, comes to his aid. She helps him escape and get back to the world of light, however Midna is only using Link to change the Twilight Realm (her home) back to normal, as she has no care for what happens to Link and the light world. Link must journey to save the children of Ordon Village and eventually save the entire land of Hyrule from the mysterious Twilight. Link, in searching for the Ordon children, saves the Spirits of Light, and becomes the Hero Chosen by the Gods. He then sets off with Midna to find the Fused Shadows and stop the main antagonist, Zant. After finding out that Zant was just a mere puppet of Ganondorf, the duo set off to defeat him and bring back peace to Hyrule. In the ending credits scene, Link - equipped with just his shield - rides away from Ordon Village, while his childhood friend, Ilia watches his departure.
This Link sometimes is given the fan nickname "Hero of Light," because his deeds involve restoring light to the land as well as the "Hero of Twilight" as he is spoken of in Twili prophecy as noted by Midna. Despite this nickname, this incarnation of Link is given the title "Hero Chosen by the Gods".
Link's Crossbow Training
|Ambiguously Canon Content||hide|
Four Swords Adventures
The Link in Four Swords Adventures is the sixth Link appearing in the The Legend of Zelda series, and the third Link chronologically in the Child Timeline branch.
Concerned that the seal which keeps Vaati in the Four Sword may be weakening, Zelda and the rest of the Seven Maidens summon Link and open the way to the shrine of the Four Sword to investigate. However, Zelda and the other maidens are captured and imprisoned by Shadow Link. Despite the fact that it will release Vaati, Link is forced to draw the Four Sword from its pedestal in order to split himself into four and have the strength to go and rescue the maidens. The Links save all seven of them and collect the four Royal Jewels, which they use to reveal the Tower of Winds. When he followed Shadow Link down to the Four Sword Sanctuary, he pulled the Four Sword splitting him into four like in the original Four Swords, but when he pulled the sword Vaati was released from the seal once again. After the Links saved Zelda and the maidens, got the four Royal Jewels from different heroes of Hyrule, and defeated Vaati, Zelda and the Links fought against the dark lord Ganon and, with the help of the Seven Maidens, seal him within the Four Sword and restored peace to Hyrule. The sword is then returned to its sanctuary and sealed there, and the Links are combined into one again.
This incarnation of Link is given the title "Hero of Light", due to the hero's courage and being the only one who can free Hyrule from darkness.
The Adult Timeline is the timeline that follows Link being sent to the Child Timeline after the Hero of Time defeats Ganon in the final battle. Ganondorf is sealed within the Sacred Realm by the Seven Sages but, with Link sent back in time, the world is left without a Hero. This turn of events created the timeline containing The Wind Waker, Phantom Hourglass, and Spirit Tracks.
The Wind Waker
The Link in The Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass is the fifth Link appearing in the The Legend of Zelda series, and the first Link chronologically in the Adult Timeline branch. Link appeared similar to the Four Swords and The Minish Cap incarnation with blonde hair, dark eyes and an infantile face.
After the valleys of ancient Hyrule are flooded in a deluge, Ganondorf's power is mysteriously tamed for ages before his dark energy begins to be felt over the Great Sea. Link lives on Outset Island on the Great Sea, the region above Hyrule after it was flooded by the gods to prevent Ganondorf from conquering it. Link is given the green tunic and hat on his birthday to commemorate the Hero of Time, but an attack by the Helmaroc King in which his sister is kidnapped starts him on a whirlwind adventure. Link quickly sets sail and acquires the King of Red Lions in his quest to recover Aryll after she is kidnapped by the Helmaroc King and taken to the Forsaken Fortress. Instead of simply rescuing his sister, Link is drawn into a sequence of events that eventually puts the fate of all the islands of the Great Sea in his hands. Once again, Ganon has appeared with limited power. Link is pulled into the conflict between the island inhabitants and Ganondorf's increasing presence as he, with the help of the Wind Waker, races to recapture the ancient power of the Triforce and the Master Sword before Ganondorf's true power is realized.
Eventually the King of Red Lions sees fit to grant Link the title Hero of Winds in honor of his ongoing struggle with the forces of evil. In the final showdown Link defeats Ganondorf for good, stabbing him in the head with the Master Sword. The King of Hyrule's wish with the Triforce was to give Link and Princess Zelda a future, and at the end of the game they set out to find a new land to be the next kingdom after Hyrule.
The events of Phantom Hourglass takes place months after Ganon's defeat at the end of The Wind Waker. Link is a child sailing with Tetra and her crew in search of the Ghost Ship. When they find it, Tetra jumps aboard but is kidnapped, so Link goes after her but instead falls into the sea. Link is awakened on Mercay Island by a fairy, and they set out on a journey to find Tetra. Link and Ciela traverse the World of the Ocean King, rescuing the Spirits of the Ocean King and Tetra, and forging the Phantom Sword which can slay Bellum, the devil behind all this misfortune. At the end of the game, Oshus returns Link, Tetra, and Linebeck to their world, thanking them for their help.
The Link in Spirit Tracks is the ninth Link appearing in the The Legend of Zelda series, and the second Link chronologically in the Adult Timeline branch.
In Spirit Tracks, taking place many years after the Hero of Winds found the new Hyrule, Link is a child who lives with Niko in Aboda Village. He is an apprentice of a master engineer, named Alfonzo, who has helped him in order to become a Royal Engineer. When Zelda presents Link with a certificate for this achievement, she also gives him a letter, telling him to meet with her, to discuss her suspicions over the mysterious Chancellor Cole as well as the disappearing Spirit Tracks. When Link sneaks Zelda out of the castle, they meet up with Alfonzo, who escorts them to the Tower of Spirits by train. However, as the Spirit Tracks begin to fade, they crash, and are then ambushed by the chancellor, who attacks the trio. Link and his master are knocked unconscious while Zelda's spirit is separated from her body, which is seized by Cole's apprentice, Byrne. Link awakes back in Hyrule Castle to discover that Zelda is now a ghost and that Link is the only person who can see her. After visiting Anjean in the Tower of Spirits, he agrees to help her in defeating Chancellor Cole and recover her body in the process.
After Link and Zelda travel up to the Tower of Spirits to recover a Rail Map, a Phantom Knight attacks him, but Zelda charges at the Phantom just in time to take control of its body. After this, Link and Zelda begin their journey to restore the Tower of Spirits and the Spirit Tracks, traveling across the overworld using the Spirit Train that is granted to Link by Anjean. Whenever Link returns to the Spirit Tower to obtain another Rail Map, Princess Zelda possesses a Phantom's armor in order to aid the young hero. As the pair continues to travel, Link and Zelda establish a close friendship as the two get to know each other better.
Once Princess Zelda recovers her body from Malladus with the aid of Link, the two together face up against the Demon King, who has now taken over Chancellor Cole's body. Together, Link and Zelda deal the final blow on Malladus using the Lokomo Sword, and shortly after, Anjean and the rest of the Lokomos depart towards the heavens. As they leave, Anjean entrusts Princess Zelda to watch over the land, asking Link to help her as well. Link and Zelda are then seen holding hands as they witness the departure of the Lokomos. Unlike other instances where Link departs from the land after having saved it, the young hero stays in Hyrule to fulfill Anjean's request, where he continues to be either an engineer or a warrior, depending on which Link chose. This is witnessed when Princess Zelda gets up from her seat in her office and waves out the window after having heard either a train's whistle or the clanking of swords.
Other Heroes of Hyrule
Besides the Links that appear in the games, the back story to some of the games feature additional unnamed heroes of Hyrule who have a similar appearance to Link.
- Main article: Hylia's Chosen Hero
In Skyward Sword, it mentions that there was another hero long time ago, who was Hylia's chosen hero. It is only known that Her Grace gave the Sailcloth to her chosen hero long ago. It is said that the Link from Skyward Sword possesses the spirit of the hero  and that he and later incarnations are named after him.
War of the Bound Chest Hero
- Main article: Hero of Men
The back story of The Minish Cap, tells of the War of the Bound Chest. During the War of the Bound Chest, the Hero of Men, a hero clad in green clothes but lacking Link's traditional green hat, arose to fight the demons attacking the world. This story of the War of the Bound Chest is depicted in a series of stained glass windows beneath the Elemental Sanctuary. One of the stained glass windows depicts the Hero of Men receiving the Picori Blade and the Light Force from the Minish, while in the other, it shows the hero confronting the monsters that were attacking Hyrule.
Hero of the Four Sword
- Main article: Hero of the Four Sword
The back story of Four Swords describes how prior to the events of the game, Vaati attacked Hyrule kidnapping young girls. The knights of Hyrule fought bravely against Vaati, but could not defeat him. A lone traveling boy appeared wielding the Four Sword. The boy's sword split his body into four and they defeated Vaati and sealed him away into the Four Sword. After defeating Vaati, the boy vanished into the forest, leaving behind his sword. The people of Hyrule built the Four Sword Sanctuary protect the Four Sword and its seal on Vaati.
According to Hyrule Historia, this hero is known as the Hero of the Four Sword and is not the same hero who appears in The Minish Cap or Four Swords, but is another hero who appears in between the two games. Hyrule Historia describes him as someone about whom little is known, but he appears to be the descendant of the hero who previously defeated Vaati in The Minish Cap.
Hero of Light
|Ambiguously Canon Content||hide|
- Main article: Link/Other Appearances
Link is also featured in other media, including comics based on the games, animated shows, and the Super Smash Bros. series. Unlike the games in the main series, Link has actual dialogue in most of these appearances instead of being a silent hero.
Link has also made several cameo appearances in various games and other media.
Link's age has been a major source of debate among some fans. The controversy stems from the fact that there had been little official acknowledgement of Link's age until the "Iwata Asks" feature for Ocarina of Time 3D was released. In this feature, Link's age in Ocarina of Time was revealed to be 9 as a child and 16 as an adult. This directly conflicted with the more well-known but unofficial information found in the original game's guide.  The same feature reveals Link from The Legend of Zelda to be 12 and Link from The Adventure of Link to be around 16.
The age of Link from The Wind Waker is also highly debated, as at the start of the game Link is given the Hero's Clothes to wear on his birthday, which are to be worn by the boys of Outset Island upon reaching the same age as the Hero of Time was when he set out on his journey. Taking into account the age of the Hero of Time revealed in the Iwata Asks interview, the Hero of Winds was 9 years old when he set out on his journey; however, the Toon Link trophy in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the Nintendo Power guide for The Wind Waker, and Zelda Box all state he is 12 years old.
It is possible that the various incarnations of Link share the same soul with their predecessors. The heroes appearing in Twilight Princess and The Wind Waker may constitute an exception to this; the former co-exists with the ghost of the Hero of Time, while the Hero of Winds is present in a different timeline (the "adult" timeline) from that of its predecessor (the "child" timeline), after the Hero of Time was returned to his original time at the end of Ocarina of Time.
- In The Adventure of Link, Link appears to speak when he finds the Mirror in Saria Town, he says "I found a mirror under the table."
- In A Link to the Past, due to the limited color palette of the SNES, Link's hair was shown as pink, although in official art it was originally a reddish brown.
- The Link of The Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass is a separate playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. In Brawl, he is known as Toon Link. He also appears as a Trophy wearing his pajamas. Furthermore, this Link is mentioned in Spirit Tracks by the aged Niko, who notes that the current Link of that game is the spitting image of one of his dearest friends, the Hero of Winds himself.
- In Ocarina of Time, the term "Adult Link" is used to differentiate between his child and adult forms. Following the completion of the Forest Temple, Link is able to pass freely between his child and adult stages to make use of different items and locations. Unlike his child incarnation, adult Link is taller, has donned gloves and white leggings, and generally looks more sincere. Adult Link is unable to make use of certain child-only items, such as the Slingshot, the Boomerang and the Kokiri Sword. Similarly, Young Link is unable to use items such as the Hookshot, the Fairy Bow, and the Mirror Shield. These equipment restrictions do not exist in other games, though. There are three other incarnations of Link of comparable age to adult Link in Ocarina of Time: the heroes in The Adventure of Link, Twilight Princess, and Skyward Sword. Most other games in the series do not cite or otherwise indicate an older character.
- Since the Hero's Shade in Twilight Princess is the Hero of Time, this makes Twilight Princess the first game to feature a Link having proper conversations on his own as opposed to simple responses chosen by the player. It is also the first time two Links have crossed paths and met.
- Early screenshots of Majora's Mask show Link with an item resembling a mask of his adult face. This has led many to believe that Adult Link was originally planned to be in the game. However, the mask is not present in the final version and was likely replaced by the Fierce Deity's Mask.
- ↑ "THANKS LINK, YOU'RE THE HERO OF HYRULE." — Princess Zelda (The Legend of Zelda)
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 "The Master Sword is a sacred blade which evil ones may never touch.... Only one worthy of the title of "Hero of Time" can pull it from the Pedestal of Time.... However, you were too young to be the Hero of Time.... Therefore, your spirit was sealed here for seven years. And now that you are old enough, the time has come for you to awaken as the Hero of Time!" — Rauru (Ocarina of Time)
- ↑ "Kid, I like you! How's about you and I become Sworn Brothers?! No, there's no big ceremony involved! Just take this as a token of our friendship!" — Darunia (Ocarina of Time)
- ↑ "May the divine protection of the Triforce be with the hero of the Essences of Time and Nature!" — Din and Nayru (Oracle series)
- ↑ "Surely, from this moment on, you shall be known as the Hero of Winds..." — King of Red Lions (The Wind Waker)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 "Only one of you can be the true Hero of Light! Don't let your friends grab the treasure, or you'll be left in the dark!" — US Boxart (Four Swords Adventures)
- ↑ "That's not much of a name, is it? How about I add a model number to your name like my friends have got? LD-Link-16... ?" — Lanayru (Skyward Sword)
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 "Link, the descendent of the Hero of Time: [...] The spirit of Link's ancestor, the Hero of Time, teaches him his secrets. Ever since returning to the Child Era, the swordsman has lamented the fact that he was not remembered as a hero. This is the reason he passes down the proof of his courage and his secret techniques to the Link of this era, addressing him as "son"." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books), pg. 118)
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 "Those like you... Those who share the blood of the goddess and the spirit of the hero... They are eternally bound to this curse. An incarnation of my hatred shall ever follow your kind, dooming them to wander a blood-soaked sea of darkness for all time!" — Demise (Skyward Sword)
- ↑ "Some are the same person, but most were Links of their time: either different people entirely or the descendants of their heroic ancestors." (Hyrule Historia (Shogakukan), pg. 68)
- ↑ "[Link], hero chosen by the goddesses..." — Lanayru (Twilight Princess)
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 "If a person who has an evil heart gets the Triforce, a Hero is destined to appear...and he alone must face the person who began the Great Cataclysm." — Maiden (A Link to the Past)
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 "You who have been sent by the goddesses... You should be able to gather the three pieces..." — Sage (Twilight Princess)
- ↑ "Oh! What is this? There, on your hand, the Triforce piece now dwells within you! It is the Triforce of Courage, proof that you are indeed the true hero. You have controlled the wind and crossed the seas, and here, near the end of your quest, the power of the gods has been bestowed upon you... Surely, from this moment on, you shall be known as the Hero of Winds..." — King of Red Lions (The Wind Waker)
- ↑ "Oh, chosen one... Accept this final challenge..." — Gohdan (The Wind Waker)
- ↑ "It was a sign that the powers of the chosen one rest within you...and that they are awakening. Look at your awakened form... The green tunic that is your garb once belonged to the ancient hero chosen by the gods..." — Faron (Twilight Princess)
- ↑ "Some time ago, before the King of Hyrule unified this country, there was a fierce war in our world. One day, to escape from the fires of the war, a Hylian mother and her baby boy entered this forbidden forest. The mother was gravely injured... Her only choice was to entrust the child to the Deku Tree, the guardian spirit of the forest." — Deku Tree Sprout (Ocarina of Time)
- ↑ "Only a person of the Knights Of Hyrule, who protected the royalty of Hylia, can become the Hero... You are of their blood-line, aren't you? Then you must rescue Zelda without fail." — A Maiden (A Link to the Past)
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
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- ↑ "To face Demise and bring hope back to the land, the goddess Hylia needed someone with an unbreakable spirit. That someone is you, [Link]." — Zelda (Skyward Sword)
- ↑ "What?!? You want to come with us on our ship?" — Tetra (The Wind Waker)
- ↑ "Hey, there you go! Over here! Yeah! Your voice carries well, as usual!" — Jaggle (Twilight Princess)
- ↑ "For awhile now, Miyamoto has been saying that he wants the player in a Zelda game to actually feel as if they were going on the adventure themselves, rather than just controlling a character down a path. With MotionPlus controls, you are actually doing real-life movements that match up perfectly with Link. He's acting like more of an avatar than a character, allowing the player an easier path to feeling closer to the experience. With each sword swing and arrow fired, you can see your real-life movements becoming an in-game reality. Surely, this type of control approach will help create memories of fights you took on, and puzzles you solved. One would expect you to better remember the experience as your own, rather than one of just guiding Link." — [gonintendo.com E3 2010 - Ten minutes with Shigeru Miyamoto], Go Nintendo
- ↑ "I think it's the feeling that you are actually taking part in the action, that the things in the game are really happening to you. It’s a game where, once you become absorbed in the adventure, you don’t feel like you’re merely controlling the character, but that it’s really you pushing those blocks around. You really feel like you have solved those puzzles in the dungeons. That strange feeling that it’s actually you in the game isn’t confined to puzzle-solving or battles; you get it when you meet and speak to characters in the game, or visit new places. Well, you could sum it up with the word "fantasy", but that sense of experiencing a world that doesn’t exist is different from the feeling you get watching a film. It all comes down to that feel which is totally unique to Zelda games. This is something which may not be that central to the game, but you also bump into all sorts of oddball characters, the kind that leave you thinking: "No game would normally have someone like that in it!" I think that might also be something you could call 'Zelda-esque'." — [us.wii.com Iwata Asks The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Part 4 - Always Striving to Stay True to the Spirit of Zelda], Nintendo's Wii Video Game console
- ↑ "The heroes that appear in this chronology are all known as Link. It may have been their true name, but perhaps they were called something different." (Hyrule Historia (Shogakukan), pg. 68)
- ↑ "Ohh. This is my first time meeting a foreigner... You're cute." — Romani (Majora's Mask)
- ↑ "This swordsman of ours has great eyes, honey. They're proud and wild...like a feral beast." — Telma (Twilight Princess)
- ↑ "Oh! What is the matter, [Link]? You have an urgent look about you... Has something happened? Whatever it is, from the look on your face I suspect it is no laughing matter... What say you, [Link]? Do you wish to practice your skills with the sword?" — Orca (The Wind Waker)
- ↑ "You still have much to learn, but the skill to become a master is in your veins. Do not neglect your practice!" — Orca (The Wind Waker)
- ↑ "Listen up, Link... There's a monster running the searchlight up there! If you can slay the monster, then just maybe it'll shut the searchlight down. Oh...but you're unarmed, aren't you? All you have is a shield..." — Tetra (The Wind Waker)
- ↑ "You've been friends since you were kids? Big deal. It doesn't change the fact that you float through life with your head in the clouds." — Groose (Skyward Sword)
- ↑ "He's a student at the academy, like all of us." — Zelda (Skyward Sword)
- ↑ "This is the nature of places known as Silent Realms. They are domains of the spirit, accessible only to the goddess's chosen hero. This particular trial, Farore's Silent Realm, tests the limits of your courage." — Fi (Skyward Sword)
- ↑ "That is your Spirit Vessel. When this vessel is full, it will signify you have successfully completed the trial, allowing your spirit to grow." — Fi (Skyward Sword)
- ↑ "Ah, your sword! There can be no doubt. The sacred flames have purified this blade. Well done, [Link]. That sword holds tremendous power." — Impa (Skyward Sword)
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
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- ↑ "We must stop him from freeing himself from the seal that imprisons him. At any cost... That is why I intend to remain here in this time and place... To sustain the seal as best as I can. As long as I continue this vigil, we may be able to prevent the demon king from fully reviving himself in our own time." — Zelda (Skyward Sword)
- ↑ "When Demise is finally gone, there will be no more need for the seal that binds him, and then I'll be able to wake up." — Zelda (Skyward Sword)
- ↑ "Furthermore, I have detected the successful eradication of Demise. Your prayers to the Triforce have been heard." — Fi (Skyward Sword)
- ↑ "It's best for everyone if you forget about your friend. The little goddess is mine now! My master may have perished in this age, but in the past he lives yet! I'm taking the girl back through that gate to help me revive the demon king!" — Ghirahim (Skyward Sword)
- ↑ "Look around us! As a child, I always dreamed of a world below. I wanted to see the surface with my own eyes and feel the land's warm breeze on my skin. I... I think I want to live here. I always want to feel solid ground beneath my feet, see the clouds above my head" — Zelda (Skyward Sword)
- ↑ "Though your valiant efforts to break the curse were successful, I was doomed before you started... Yes, I will pass away soon... But do not grieve for me... I have been able to tell you of these important matters... This is Hyrule's final hope..." — Great Deku Tree (Ocarina of Time)
- ↑ "Hey, have you seen your old friends? None of them recognized you with your grown-up body, did they? That's because the Kokiri never grow up! Even after seven years, they're still kids!" — Deku Tree Sprout (Ocarina of Time)
- ↑ "Link warned Princess Zelda of what the future would bring. Hearing his words, the princess entrusted the Ocarina of Time to Link and instructed him to travel far away in order to prevent Ganondorf from entering the Sacred Realm." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books), pg. 110)
- ↑ "Although I accepted life as the hero, I could not convey the lessons of that life to those that came after. At last, I have eased my regrets." — Hero's Spirit (Twilight Princess)
- ↑ "Today is a day to celebrate! It is the day that you become the same age as the young hero spoken of in all the legends." — Link's Grandmother (The Wind Waker)
- ↑ "Surely from this moment on, you shall be known as the Hero of Winds... Link! Hero of Winds! Go forth! To Hyrule! To Zelda's side!" — King of Red Lions (The Wind Waker)
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
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- ↑ "Please watch over this land, my dear. And, [Link]... You must help her." — Anjean (Spirit Tracks)
- ↑ "You know, they say that the goddess gave the Sailcloth to her chosen hero long ago." — Zelda (Skyward Sword)
- ↑ "The Links of certain eras may also have been named after the legendary hero." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Comics), pg. 68)
- ↑ "Yes. When we decided to handle Link growing up from a 9-year-old child to a more mature 16-year-old, I wanted lots of characters to fulfill various roles. For example, Kaepora Gaebora is a grandfather figure who gives Link all kinds of advice and looks out for him. And since Link is a boy, I wanted girls besides Princess Zelda to show up." — Iwata Asks, Nintendo
- ↑ "Link is a boy. In the first game, The Legend of Zelda, he was about 12 years old. In Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, he was about 16, but I never wanted to make him just another cool hero." — Iwata Asks, Nintendo
- ↑ "Time certainly flies... I can't believe you're already old enough to wear these clothes. Don't look so disappointed, dear one! Just try them on. Today is a day to celebrate! It is the day that you become the same age as the young hero spoken of in all the legends. You only have to wear them for one day, so don't look so down. Be proud, child!" — Grandma (The Wind Waker)
- ↑ "His green clothes were worn on his 12th birthday and are the lucky outfit of the hero of legend." — Toon Link Trophy (Super Smash Bros. Brawl)
- ↑ "When a boy turns 12 years old on Outset Island, he receives a green tunic." (The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Official Nintendo Player's Guide (Nintendo Power), pg. 23)
- ↑ "プロロ島で平和に暮らしていたが、12歳の誕生日に妹アリルがさらわれ、冒険の旅に出ることに。" (Zelda Box (Enterbrain), pg. 18)
- ↑ "The Link presented here is a mere seventeen and a half years old. He was designed as such- "halfway grown up, not fully matured" -in order to strike a thematic balance between this and Twilight Princess. His armament and attire remain mostly unchanged (with perhaps only the absence of arm guards). The expressions on his face are portrayed as slightly more comical and lighthearted than before, so that regardless of what expression he makes, the expressions themselves seem relatable. Additionally, there is a lot of interpersonal interaction in this installment, so the expressions became much richer." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Comics), pg. 8)
- ↑ "Before I enter the sleep that calls me to the sword, I wish to relay to you words that I recorded many times over the course of our journey. Many have said them to you thus far, but I now wish to say them for myself... Thank you, Master Link. May we meet again in another life..." — Fi (Skyward Sword)
|Names in Other Regions|
|Korean||링크||Transliteration of Japanese name|