Why can't Link be enby/genderqueer if his androgyny is why we have no gender option?

Hodgy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,529
UK
the Zelda series is a prime candidate for having a pretty in depth character creator for Link tbh. the Lore allows for it, theres nothing to say that he has to be a white, human male. Imagine a character creator where you have gender on a slider instead of a binary option, the ability to choose between the races of hyrule as well as variants such as skin color, then being able to choose hair color, facial structure. you could enforce certain styles to make it still look like a "Link" e.g pointed ears and clothing.

it would be quite a departure for nintendo and they would never do it but its something id quite like to see tbh.
 

McScroggz

The Fallen
Jan 11, 2018
2,621
One of my good friends is a lesbian whose partner also identified as a lesbian but after being married for a few years her partner realized he had gender dysmorphia and has partially transitioned (terminology can get confusing, hopefully everybody understands). One of the things she values is fiction that can properly portray the subculture of LGBTQ whether it’s lebsians (because that’s still what she considers herself) or the more broad spectrum - and she has talked about how important it is to have works of fiction created specifically about and for that subculture of people.

I say that OP because while I’m all for championing increasing diversity in fiction it is my belief that we should want thoughtful representations of the different minorities in America/The World and not shoehorning minority status onto existing characters where there is ambiguity - especially when it’s not even ambiguous. Link is a male character who is androgynous, but the assertion that any androgynous character can be retrofitted to be non-binary or genderqueer or what have you is not just unfair to the intent of the creators, but also not a healthy representation of LGBTQ people and could easily undermine the point of better exposure if the message being sent is feminine men = gay or genderqueer. And it just sets a bad precedent.

Now, I say this understanding many feel any increased representation that isn’t inherently offensive is a fundamentally positive step forward. Maybe I have a naive mindset when it comes to minority representation in fiction, but the idea of forcing new statuses onto existing characters to increase the amount of people a minority can say represents them in fiction just does not feel right. Like, I think it sends the wrong message.
 

VaanXSnake

Member
Jul 18, 2018
811
Regardless of likelihood, if they were to make a future Link (past BotW and sequel) non-binary couldn’t you just headcanon that one to be male.
If they say that Link is a non binary human ( and I'm not very sure what that even means ) so be it, if not, then I see him as a dude, plenty simple.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
5,945
If they say that Link is a non binary human ( and I'm not very sure what that even means ) so be it, if not, then I see him as a dude, plenty simple.
That's cool. I wouldn't want to see BotW Link changed with the sequel but I think Link is interesting in that it's different heroes of time and different Links. Which gives a little more scope to the possibility in a future title and why I don't think it's necessarily as hard-line as 'can't change established characters'.
 

dose

Member
Oct 29, 2017
373
the Zelda series is a prime candidate for having a pretty in depth character creator for Link tbh. the Lore allows for it, theres nothing to say that he has to be a white, human male. Imagine a character creator where you have gender on a slider instead of a binary option, the ability to choose between the races of hyrule as well as variants such as skin color, then being able to choose hair color, facial structure. you could enforce certain styles to make it still look like a "Link" e.g pointed ears and clothing.

it would be quite a departure for nintendo and they would never do it but its something id quite like to see tbh.
Link is an established character, he's a white male in all of the games. Having a 'Link creator' where you can change these makes no sense.
 

dose

Member
Oct 29, 2017
373
Ah yes, because something already exists, it should not change.
It shouldn't change if it has been defined and established, no. It would be like giving you a Lara Croft creator and letting you change Lara into a black male. Or a new Harry Potter book coming out where suddenly he was a girl. It's ridiculous.
 

NecroTechno

Member
Oct 25, 2017
273
geohell
It shouldn't change if it has been defined and established, no. It would be like giving you a Lara Croft creator and letting you change Lara into a black male. Or a new Harry Potter book coming out where suddenly he was a girl. It's ridiculous.
Things Link Can Be:

- a child
- a teenager
- blond-haired
- brown-haired
- pink haired
- split into four colour-coded versions of himself
- partners with two other seemingly-indentical but also colour-coded Links
- a train conductor
- a rabbit
- a wolf
- a fish-man
- a rock-man
- a god
- an octorok
- a moblin
- a ghost inhabiting a suit of armour that teaches his future incarnation skills
- partners with an alternate-timeline wolf version of himself

Things Link Can Never Be:

- a woman
- non-binary
 
Oct 27, 2017
13,417
Things Link Can Be:

- a child
- a teenager
- blond-haired
- brown-haired
- pink haired
- split into four colour-coded versions of himself
- partners with two other seemingly-indentical but also colour-coded Links
- a train conductor
- a rabbit
- a wolf
- a fish-man
- a rock-man
- a god
- an octorok
- a moblin
- a ghost inhabiting a suit of armour that teaches his future incarnation skills
- partners with an alternate-timeline wolf version of himself

Things Link Can Never Be:

- a woman
- non-binary
Ah, so we're at the point in the thread in which different ages, hair colors and transformations are equated to gender
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
5,945
It shouldn't change if it has been defined and established, no. It would be like giving you a Lara Croft creator and letting you change Lara into a black male. Or a new Harry Potter book coming out where suddenly he was a girl. It's ridiculous.
Having a future Link be non-binary isn't close to making Lara Croft a black male. What are you even on about?
 

dose

Member
Oct 29, 2017
373
Ah, so we're at the point in the thread in which different ages, hair colors and transformations are equated to gender
Lol this.
Having a future Link be non-binary isn't close to making Lara Croft a black male. What are you even on about?
Hodgy talked about having a Link creator because 'theres nothing to say that he has to be a white, human male'. It is quite clear that Link is a white male as that is how he traditionally appears in ALL Zelda games.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
5,945
Hodgy talked about having a Link creator because 'theres nothing to say that he has to be a white, human male'. It is quite clear that Link is a white male as that is how he traditionally appears in ALL Zelda games.
Each Link is different, so I'm not understanding how a future iteration being non-binary (or anything honestly) is akin to making Lara Croft a black male.
 

Lexad

Member
Nov 4, 2017
987
Here's Aonuma's quote regarding this

So yeah, why is Link still locked onto one side of the binary if he's meant to be BETWEEN male and female? I'd appreciate some sort of "coming out as nonbinary" story beat in BOTW2, come to think of it.
i am going to say this as lightly as possible but what kind of game do you think zelda is? there will never be a scene where he sits down with zelda and impa to come out like that. that isnt the type of storytelling done in these games
 

Dice

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,890
Canada
I always thought Link as male (even though id love the option) since at least 5 women in each game seems to want to fuck him.. :/


Here's Aonuma's quote regarding this

So yeah, why is Link still locked onto one side of the binary if he's meant to be BETWEEN male and female? I'd appreciate some sort of "coming out as nonbinary" story beat in BOTW2, come to think of it.
While I love your enthusiasm I agree with the post above. The personal story for Link in these games barely get more out of his character other than a new fancy way to say "you're the fated orphan of courage 🎉... Now hurry and Go save your magical waif". A whole coming out plot sounds like something for a whole other hero in a whole other series..

Don't get me wrong, I'd love Nintendo to flex here, but going at their rate who knows how long that might take. :(
 

Rotobit

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,158
It shouldn't change if it has been defined and established, no. It would be like giving you a Lara Croft creator and letting you change Lara into a black male. Or a new Harry Potter book coming out where suddenly he was a girl. It's ridiculous.
Link reincarnates, those characters don't. I'd agree if people wanted to change, say, Ocarina of Time era Link, but there is literally nothing stopping the next Zelda game from having a non-binary or female Link.

The arguments against it honestly make me think of the contingent of fans who were deadset against a female Doctor Who and then it happened and no one really minded because the core of the character remained the same.
 

ColonelForbin

Member
Oct 28, 2017
371
Why not just leave it ambiguous. It’s not like he’s over masculine or feminine. Everyone can imprint their own sexuality on the character. Not everything needs to be a political statement? Don’t get me wrong either. I’m all for gender equality but maybe it’s better for everyone to have link how they think he/she/them is.

Also, I feel that there is this new desire that everything needs to be in its box or it doesn’t make sense.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
6,382
Link reincarnates, those characters don't. I'd agree if people wanted to change, say, Ocarina of Time era Link, but there is literally nothing stopping the next Zelda game from having a non-binary or female Link.

The arguments against it honestly make me think of the contingent of fans who were deadset against a female Doctor Who and then it happened and no one really minded because the core of the character remained the same.
Forget the lore, at this point after 30+ years is branding.
 
Oct 27, 2017
13,417
The arguments against it honestly make me think of the contingent of fans who were deadset against a female Doctor Who and then it happened and no one really minded because the core of the character remained the same.
It's really not similar. They've never tried to maintain a certain look for the Doctor other than him wearing a trencoat. The actors have all looked decidedly different besides being white dudes before the latest one. Meanwhile people in Zelda threads keep being disingenuous by acting like Link hasn't always had a fairly set look aside from minor age/hair color variations. Hell, removing his green tunic in BOTW was touted as a "major" change that they had to think over. The same goes for Zelda.

Reincarnation in Zelda has always just been used as an excuse to change the time period/origin/story of Link and Zelda, while loosely maintaining continuity, but they very much have distinct designs

If you asked someone familiar with the series to draw Link or Zelda, 99% will never ask "Which game?" because they always look largely the same
 

Wamb0wneD

Member
Oct 26, 2017
14,633
While I'm not opposed to the idea, I just think we aren't at a point where we can expect a company (and a conservative and slow moving one at that) to make drastic changes like this to such a longstanding franchise. And I say drastic because that's what it would be for most people. While progressive change needs to happen and I'd like it to happen sooner than later, some ideas are just too fast and sudden for society as a whole. Like, 95% of the population probably never even heard the term enby or about the concept of being genderqueer.

I'm not saying "don't strive for representation", mind you, because progressive change only happens when it clashes with old ideas, just saying some demands or wishes are kind of unrealistic when seen through the lens of society as a whole instead of your circle of progressive friends and online-acquaintances.

Sometimes it feels like putting the cart before the horse. In this case expecting Nintendo of all companies to do what the OP suggests with one of their biggest IP. The crossdressing section in BotW was already seen as kinda revolutionary. They are making babysteps, with female and PoC representation getting better and better in their games for example. Slowly but steady. Give them time.
 
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Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
5,945
Meanwhile people in Zelda threads keep being disingenuous by acting like Link hasn't always had a fairly set look aside from minor age/hair color variations. Hell, removing his green tunic in BOTW was touted as a "major" change that they had to think over. The same goes for Zelda.
You're not wrong, but now we have Link without the green tunic, able to wear an abundance of outfits including women's clothes.

So I'm not sure why we're constantly appealing to the past when it's clear with BotW they're more willing to draw outside of the lines when it comes to what 'Link' looks like.

Sure you can still recognise the character as Link in the game, but then I don't think any of those remaining traits contradict having a non-binary Link in a future iteration.
 

Shivers

Banned
Oct 29, 2017
129
User Banned (Permanent): Hateful and Exclusionary Rhetoric; Account in Junior Phase
yuck, no thanks hes fine as he is.
 

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
Member
Oct 25, 2017
29,987
You're not wrong, but now we have Link without the green tunic, able to wear an abundance of outfits including women's clothes.

So I'm not sure why we're constantly appealing to the past when it's clear with BotW they're more willing to draw outside of the lines when it comes to what 'Link' looks like.

Sure you can still recognise the character as Link in the game, but then I don't think any of those traits contradict having a non-binary Link.
How would it even be expressed in-game, though? Link doesn't have a distinct personality and doesn't speak. If Link can already dress in women's clothing with no ill effects, what's the difference?

Obviously this would be a very different situation if Link was an actual character with desires and an inner monologue and the ability to converse with people, but when we're talking about a character with no actual mind or personality of his own it's hard to really express gender dynamics in any real way.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
5,945
How would it even be expressed in-game, though? Link doesn't have a distinct personality and doesn't speak. If Link can already dress in women's clothing with no ill effects, what's the difference?
You use they/them pronouns and have it be normal for the next iteration of Link. What's the issue in having that for the next iteration after BotW?

I'm genuinely not sure how you can't see the difference between having characters that are non-binary in things and just "pretend in your head". Come on.

Goes past the fact that we're relating "wears women's clothes" to being all that non-binary is for some reason, when it has nothing to do with it. The point was a response to the "Link has a very rigid image" section.
 

Wamb0wneD

Member
Oct 26, 2017
14,633
You're not wrong, but now we have Link without the green tunic, able to wear an abundance of outfits including women's clothes.

So I'm not sure why we're constantly appealing to the past when it's clear with BotW they're more willing to draw outside of the lines when it comes to what 'Link' looks like.

Sure you can still recognise the character as Link in the game, but then I don't think any of those remaining traits contradict having a non-binary Link in a future iteration.
I think the point was that even such a minor thing like clothing took ages and had probably very long internal discussion about it. And when you have that in mind, requests like in the OP about gender identitiy are just not something a company will decide on in any timeframe that is expected by some folks here. I think the women's clothes is a clear sign that Nintendo is willing to adapt to progressive ideas, but that doesn't necessarily mean they will make any change or that these changes will happen over night.

Changing clothes isn't the same as changing the pronouns a character uses.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
5,945
I think the point was that even such a minor thing like clothing took ages and had probably very long internal discussion about it. And when you have that in mind, requests like in the OP about gender identitiy are just not something a company will decide on in any timeframe that is expected by some folks here. I think the women's clothes is a clear sign that Nintendo is willing to adapt to prgoressive ideas, but that doesn't necessarily mean they will make any change or that these changes will happen over night.
Who is asking for this change overnight?

What are you even saying lol. "Won't happen in the next game" - of course not. I don't see why that should dismiss and curtail any discussion about where we might like to see the character go now that it's clear they're open to being more creative with Link.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
5,945
Changing clothes isn't the same as changing the pronouns a character uses.
This is so bizarre. Like we should only discuss the elements that they've changed currently, instead of taking that new progressive attitude and discussing what might be possible with it down the line.

Link is more outside the lines than the character has ever been. Let people explore where that could lead without feeling the need to stamp on it because it might not happen soon or at all.
 

Wamb0wneD

Member
Oct 26, 2017
14,633
Who is asking for this change overnight?

What are you even saying lol. "Won't happen in the next game" - of course not. I don't see why that should dismiss and curtail any discussion about where we might like to see the character go now that it's clear they're open to being more creative with Link.
Literally one post above mine you say: "You use they/them pronouns and have it be normal for the next iteration of Link. What's the issue in having that for the next iteration after BotW?"

So do you expect and want it for the next game now or not? I already said I don't mind people striving for progressive change, if you wouldn't strive for it it would never happen after all, but asking Nintendo to make Link a genderqueer character when they took decades to make Zelda not a damsel and even more decades to make Link wear women's clothes then that's just unrealistic for me at this point in time.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
5,945
Literally one post above mine you say: "You use they/them pronouns and have it be normal for the next iteration of Link. What's the issue in having that for the next iteration after BotW?"

So do you expect and want it for the next game now or not? I already said I don't mind people striving for progressive change, if you wouldn't strive for it it would never happen after all, but asking Nintendo to make Link a genderqueer character when they took decades to make Zelda not a damsel and even more decades to make Link wear women's clothes then that's just unrealistic for me at this point in time.
How is me saying that I don't see an issue with it being possible in the next iteration mean I think it's likely or expect it to happen in the next iteration?
 

Village

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,410
Things Link Can Be:

- a child
- a teenager
- blond-haired
- brown-haired
- pink haired
- split into four colour-coded versions of himself
- partners with two other seemingly-indentical but also colour-coded Links
- a train conductor
- a rabbit
- a wolf
- a fish-man
- a rock-man
- a god
- an octorok
- a moblin
- a ghost inhabiting a suit of armour that teaches his future incarnation skills
- partners with an alternate-timeline wolf version of himself

Things Link Can Never Be:

- a woman
- non-binary
-Not white
You missed one
 

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
Member
Oct 25, 2017
29,987
You use they/them pronouns and have it be normal for the next iteration of Link. What's the issue in having that for the next iteration after BotW?

I'm genuinely not sure how you can't see the difference between having characters that are non-binary in things and just "pretend in your head". Come on.

Goes past the fact that we're relating "wears women's clothes" to being all that non-binary is for some reason, when it has nothing to do with it. The point was a response to the "Link has a very rigid image" section.
I suppose the issue for me is simply that I don't see Link as a character. Like I said, if Link actually had a personality or a mind or thoughts or feelings it would be one thing, but he just...doesn't.

This isn't a character with an identity that they can claim or champion or wrestle with or try to explore, which is why I find it hard for the concept of non-binary gender to be expressed around him. Is every NPC in the game world supposed to intuitively know what pronouns this dead-eyed stabbing robot prefers? Or are we thinking Hyrulian society should evolve past the concept of binary gender on a general level to the point at which everyone is nonbinary and everyone uses non-binary pronouns? That would certainly be a way to tackle the situation, though I don't think Nintendo will ever be progressive enough to try it.

Like I said before, if Link was an actual character this wouldn't even be a discussion. Go for it! My issue lies solely in the fact that it's hard to communicate something like that when the character has no agency or identity of their own.
 

Bit_Reactor

Member
Apr 9, 2019
1,392
Here's Aonuma's quote regarding this

So yeah, why is Link still locked onto one side of the binary if he's meant to be BETWEEN male and female? I'd appreciate some sort of "coming out as nonbinary" story beat in BOTW2, come to think of it.
I'm 100% okay with them not even giving Link a gender. I think going out of their way to make a "coming out" story for Link is kind of ridiculous though.

Nintendo makes mostly kid games because their writing is normally pretty shallow. It would require a completely different type of game for that type of quest/story to be handled as well as people on this forum would want of it.

That being said I can't even get playable Zelda and still hoping I can finally play with my GF in BOTW2 with Zelda and Link so we're a long ways off from anything.
 

Westbahnhof

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
5,499
Austria
I still think that Link/the Zelda IP in general isn't really the most natural place to look for non-binary representation. And if it happens at all, it sounds more like it'd be about a side character you gotta help, not the main character, who honestly gets little depth in general.
If anyone disagrees, I'd be very curious to read a "what if" scenario that outlines how you think the devs could incorporate Links non-binary-ness into a new game.

Also, this topic got me thinking: What series do you think would work well/better/perfectly with a non-binary protagonist?
I personally think it shouldn't be anything with a character creator. Making the choice for the character seems much less meaningful than having a pre-set main character who just is that way, regardless of what the player does or chooses.
 

BDGAME

Member
Oct 27, 2017
622
Brasília
Gender option in a Zelda game? Choose what exactly? And for what necessity? These games are almost zero romantic interaction.
 

Wamb0wneD

Member
Oct 26, 2017
14,633
This is so bizarre. Like we should only discuss the elements that they've changed currently, instead of taking that new progressive attitude and discussing what might be possible with it down the line.

Link is more outside the lines than the character has ever been. Let people explore where that could lead without feeling the need to stamp on it because it might not happen soon or at all.
I'm not stamping on anything. I'm saying that when OP likes to see a coming out as non-binary story for Link in the BotW sequel they are just setting themselves up for disappointment, because it's too much too soon, especially for a company like Nintendo.
How is me saying that I don't see an issue with it being possible in the next iteration mean I think it's likely or expect it to happen in the next iteration?
Maybe I just mixed up OP's wording with yours then, sorry for that. I just think it's not possible for the next iteration, at all. This is a very slow company we are talking about here. If we are lucky we get a sidequests that makes a tounge in cheek about Link's possible gender identity and that's it. Certainly not what OP is proposing.

People aren't saying there's an issue with the idea, they are just saying it's not happening.
 

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
Member
Oct 25, 2017
29,987
I still think that Link/the Zelda IP in general isn't really the most natural place to look for non-binary representation. And if it happens at all, it sounds more like it'd be about a side character you gotta help, not the main character, who honestly gets little depth in general.
If anyone disagrees, I'd be very curious to read a "what if" scenario that outlines how you think the devs could incorporate Links non-binary-ness into a new game.

Also, this topic got me thinking: What series do you think would work well/better/perfectly with a non-binary protagonist?
I personally think it shouldn't be anything with a character creator. Making the choice for the character seems much less meaningful than having a pre-set main character who just is that way, regardless of what the player does or chooses.
Fire Emblem.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
5,945
I suppose the issue for me is simply that I don't see Link as a character. Like I said, if Link actually had a personality or a mind or thoughts or feelings it would be one thing, but he just...doesn't.
If he doesn't have a character then what's the issue with the change?

This isn't a character with an identity that they can claim or champion or wrestle with or try to explore, which is why I find it hard for the concept of non-binary gender to be expressed around him. Is every NPC in the game world supposed to intuitively know what pronouns this dead-eyed stabbing robot prefers? Or are we thinking Hyrulian society should evolve past the concept of binary gender on a general level to the point at which everyone is nonbinary and everyone uses non-binary pronouns? That would certainly be a way to tackle the situation, though I don't think Nintendo will ever be progressive enough to try it.
You have the video game use they/them pronouns because it's a video game. If being male doesn't require any additional concern in this fictional world I don't see why being non-binary would.

Again, come on.

Like I said before, if Link was an actual character this wouldn't even be a discussion. Go for it! My issue lies solely in the fact that it's hard to communicate something like that when the character has no agency or identity of their own.
It's not hard, people seem so adamant that Link is dead-set male that obviously you don't need all of that to communicate gender. If it was just a pronoun then what's the issue for a future version, but obviously people are taking more from Link than that.

The amount of reaching you're doing to explain how having they/them pronouns in the game instead of he/him would be a concern or issue is incredible.
 
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Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
5,945
I'm not stamping on anything. I'm saying that when OP likes to see a coming out as non-binary story for Link in the BotW sequel they are just setting themselves up for disappointment, because it's too much too soon, especially for a company like Nintendo.

Maybe I just mixed up OP's wording with yours then, sorry for that. I just think it's not possible for the next iteration, at all. This is a very slow company we are talking about here. If we are lucky we get a sidequests that makes a tounge in cheek about Link's possible gender identity and that's it. Certainly not what OP is proposing.
Fair, completely get where we got tied.

I don't think a large story beat would fit, but there are other ways of having a character be non-binary and I don't see why it requires all the additional hand-wringing when it comes to how that would be in game. It could be subtle but concrete and be just as rewarding to players.

Certainly nothing I expect to see soon if at all, but I think it's certainly in scope for a future iteration of him to be NB and would be happy if it ever came to pass.
 

Westbahnhof

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
5,499
Austria
Nintendo makes mostly kid games because their writing is normally pretty shallow. It would require a completely different type of game for that type of quest/story to be handled as well as people on this forum would want of it.
I think that Zelda games do have the kind of lore depth that could make non-binary characters feel like a normal part of the world. Side stuff, especially stuff not explicitly spelled out, can be quite mature, deep, and dark. There's room for many things that have never been there.
But Link is more of an avatar we see the world through, he himself really isn't too deep. His story may be, but he always felt very simple to me. No massive internal struggle, no deep characteristics or traits the games get into. He does stuff, and things happen to him. That's why any story about his gender identity, or sexuality, or even stuff like moral views wouldn't work well imo.

You have the video game use they/them pronouns because it's a video game. If being male doesn't require any additional concern in this fictional world I don't see why being non-binary would.
Like mentioned before, that doesn't work in languages like Spanish or German. That'd be an issue.


I don't think a large story beat would fit, but there are other ways of having a character be non-binary and I don't see why it requires all the additional hand-wringing when it comes to how that would be in game. It could be subtle but concrete and be just as rewarding to players.
Could you come up with an example? I don't need anything perfect and I'm not trying to set up some kind of "Ah! So you don't have the solution" moment, but I genuinely can't imagine what those ways, in the context of a Zelda game, would look like. Link not really talking seems to be a huge hindrance.
 

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
Member
Oct 25, 2017
29,987
If he doesn't have a character then what's the issue with the change?


You have the video game use they/them pronouns because it's a video game. If being male doesn't require any additional concern in this fictional world I don't see why being non-binary would.

Again, come on.


It's not hard, people seem to adamant that Link is dead-set male that obviously you don't need all of that to communicate gender.

The amount of reaching you're doing to explain how having they/them pronouns in the game instead of he/him would be a concern or issue is incredible.
You're trying really hard to paint me as being against this when mostly I'm just saying I don't think Nintendo would do it.

Gender is a cornerstone of identity. Link has no identity. The only time Link's gender is really mentioned in-game is when NPCs reference it - as such, the only way to make Link non-binary would be to have the NPCs acknowledge that, and you would need to write a setting where gender is obsolete to have a slate of NPCs consistent enough to make that work. I'm not against the IDEA of that, but I don't think Nintendo is nearly progressive enough to go for it.

And this is only considering ENGLISH as the primary language. Some languages don't even use masculine/feminine pronouns to begin with.
 

Wamb0wneD

Member
Oct 26, 2017
14,633
Fair, completely get where we got tied.

I don't think a large story beat would fit, but there are other ways of having a character be non-binary and I don't see why it requires all the additional hand-wringing when it comes to how that would be in game. It could be subtle but concrete and be just as rewarding to players.

Certainly nothing I expect to see soon if at all, but I think it's certainly in scope for a future iteration of him to be NB and would be happy if it ever came to pass.
No disagreement there from me. I think for them being as conservative as they are, they made good steps in terms of representation this gen. Twintelle and Urbosa were some of the best designs they put out in a while. Looking forward to how far it will go in the future.
 

Renna Hazel

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,328
the Zelda series is a prime candidate for having a pretty in depth character creator for Link tbh. the Lore allows for it, theres nothing to say that he has to be a white, human male. Imagine a character creator where you have gender on a slider instead of a binary option, the ability to choose between the races of hyrule as well as variants such as skin color, then being able to choose hair color, facial structure. you could enforce certain styles to make it still look like a "Link" e.g pointed ears and clothing.

it would be quite a departure for nintendo and they would never do it but its something id quite like to see tbh.
Yeah, Nintendo wont do this with Link, and I really hope I'm right here. I don't mind Link being a female or leaving his gender up to the player, but I do like having an established character for the game rather than creating one. It's more iconic and allows the character to stand out more. Character creators are usually terrible in my opinion.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
5,945
Like mentioned before, that doesn't work in languages like Spanish or German. That'd be an issue.
This is interesting, but seems predominantly a localisation issue? Non-binary people exist within Spain and Germany so what do they use? Genuinely curious as I like languages (can get by in the latter) and know that others aren't even gendered at all. Not suggesting it's not an issue, as it's a valid one to raise. Just interested in knowing how it's resolved outside of games by the communities in those countries.

Could you come up with an example? I don't need anything perfect and I'm not trying to set up some kind of "Ah! So you don't have the solution" moment, but I genuinely can't imagine what those ways, in the context of a Zelda game, would look like. Link not really talking seems to be a huge hindrance.
Have the character referred to by a gender neutral pronoun or term was my suggestion which we're resolving above. An NPC could have a well constructed line in the general Hyrule tone about Link if you're disguised at the time - won't venture into the wording now but there are ways short of forcing Link into having a deep and compelling story with a hundred pages of script.