"Whoever it is you fall in love with for the first time, not just love but be in love with, is the one who will always make you angry, the one you can't be logical about."– Jeanette Winterson
This week, amid E3 hype, reveals, theories, and arguments, the above quote has never rung more true. I certainly can't forget my first love. When I was only seven years old I fell in love with a taciturn young man with an angelic face and a determined gaze. He could conquer any challenge and adapt to any situation life threw at him. He was my hero. To this day, talking about him can still reliably get my jimmies rustled. All these years later, he's the one I can't be logical about.
I'm talking about Link. Specifically the Hero of Time, but every iteration of the Zelda series contains a bit of what I first fell head over heels for. It's a common complaint that Link has no personality. Maybe it's because I was a child with an overwhelmingly wild imagination, but Link has always been a fleshed out character to me. Not a blank slate, not a proxy for myself, but someone with feelings, motivations, and a personality all his own. Because I can't be rational about Link, I genuinely feel sometimes that I carry a lonely burden of treating him with the gravitas he deserves. This is none more apparent than in the wake of the E3 Wii U Zelda teaser.
In the gorgeous teaser for a Zelda that's coming in 2015, a badass but rather epicene figure was shown. Link, right? Well, Nintendo's Eiji Aonuma coyly remarked "no one said that was Link." And the internet went crazy. Aonuma has since confirmed that yes, it is Link, but he explained that he didn't want viewers to get too hung up on the character since "Link represents the player." The most popular theories before this reveal were that if this blue-clad hero is not Link, than he or she is either Link's kid or a version of Princess Zelda. A friend (ok, it was Steve) brought up the possibility of future Zelda games having a female protagonist, or even character creation. I promptly flailed in protest.