The title probably going to give some the wrong idea. I apologise. I’m not good at naming things. Trying to think of a short title that covers all my thoughts on the subject and that’s all I can think of.
I suppose the best way to start is to clarify that I am by no means against having female playable characters. In previous article I wrote about upcoming Star Fox game my biggest concern was a lack of female characters. Now you are probably wondering why I am against having a female playable character in Zelda series. Again I’m not against a female playable character. I am all for it. Now that you are suitably confused I will begin.
Gender swapping characters for fan art is fine. Link isn’t the only character that has been gender swapped through fan art. Nothing wrong with a bit of creative fun. However when it comes to the games themselves this isn’t that creative. In fact it feels like a cheap way of adding a female character. When you get a series like Legend of Zelda which has a nice selection of potential female playable characters deciding to ignore them and instead create a gender swapped Link doesn’t seem right.
We already got a lovely selection of female characters to choose from already. Most of them being playable would be far more interesting. The majority of Link’s helpers or companions have been female. In some of these cases you actually have limited control over said helper. There at times has been done in a way that Link and said helper control as a singular character. Of course this works only because how the game plays. Even if this were to be extended to having control of two or more separate characters. That’s been done before in the Four Swords games. The helper is more or less an explanation for a game mechanic. It won’t work for all the games. At least not in the same way and with the same character.
The most obvious choice would be Zelda but I also think she is potentially the worst. Due to her varying roles within the series it would only work within specific games. She’s not a character that you could simply add in as a playable to earlier games. If Nintendo were to add a female playable character option you want someone who could potentially include in a remake of a previous game. In that way she suffers from the similar pitfall of having the helper as a separate playable character. Both are too involved in series already for it to work for all the games.
The actual best choice would be one that most fans wouldn’t actually like. That would be having Lana as female playable character for the series. Storyline wise she makes the most sense. She already has a connection to the Tri-Force and experience battling Gannondorf. The major downside is she’s not a fan favourite character. Although if she were to become the series playable female character at last one major complaint would no longer be valid.
My second choice I would like to see would be Link’s sister in Wind Waker, Aryll. This wouldn’t really work in Wind Waker without a role reversal. It wouldn’t feel out-of-place for Link to have a sister who can use the sword. It’s cute to think of the adventures they would have as little kids. It would make some events even more depressing. An event separating them and forcing one to fight horrendous monsters. Of course that happened in Wind Waker. Only downside with her is she would end up a lot like a female Link would. At least she has a distinctive name.
Even though I mentioned those two in particular there are no shortage of other potentials. Even if it’s just for a singular game and then she gets swapped out. I would hope they would go with someone who could be more permanent. It would look better for Link. They could always create a new female character for that purpose. I just don’t want a female playable character to be simply known as a Link clone or Link to become known as male Link. She needs to be memorable and be different enough from Link. Plus it’s more fun to think of female characters we know beating up the big bad at the end instead of Link. So let’s be a bit more creative about who we want to be female playable character in the series.