The Legend of Zelda first released in 1986. The game was a simple, top-down adventure that set many building blocks for The Legend of Zelda games today. Extensive worlds with themed regions, music tracks, enemy types, and a recurring protagonist link all appear for the first time in the original Zelda Game, and have appeared regularly since. That said, Link isn’t as straightforward a protagonist as it seems.
Link’s design is instantly recognizable: a blond boy with pointy ears like an elf and a green tunic. While key aspects of Link’s design have remained consistent, it has undergone many changes. Link becomes more mechanically advanced with each game, culminating with Breath of the Wild 2The next iteration of Link, which appears to be the most complex yet.
Downward evolution of Link
The Legend of Zelda has always been a technically impressive series. Regardless of the era, every game has strived to innovate. The first one The Legend of Zeldaalthough simplistic by today’s standards, was a marvel in 1986 thanks to the use of a unique game world at the time, and Link had several tools to help navigate beyond his sword , his bow and his bombs.
This style of Zelda game continued for a while with titles like A link to the past, The Minish Cap, and A link between the worlds, but each game brings its own technical twist to things. Link to the past gave Link more movement options and allowed him to jump into a dark dimension. Minish Cap grants Link the ability to shrink to explore new tiny areas. Link Between Worlds extends Link to the past, but also gives Link the ability to blend into walls. Link’s arsenal of moves and abilities also evolves with each playthrough.
Link changes in 3D titles
Just like the original The Legend of Zelda serves as the basis for any subsequent downward entry, Ocarina of time is the model for each 3D title. Ocarina of time takes whatever works from 2D Zelda titles and translates them seamlessly into 3D. The biggest change to Link is that he can shapeshift, swapping between a young and old version of himself throughout the game.
This shape-shifting mechanism is developed in the future Zelda Games. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask allows Link to don multiple masks to take the form of various species. Twilight Princess allows Link to transform into a wolf at will. That said, games like The awakening of the wind – and its consequences ghost hourglass and Spiritual tracks – neglect the shape-shifting mechanics and simplify Link’s movements, focusing instead on world-building and exploration.
breath of the wild represents the biggest change to Link in 3D. The game changes almost all traditional game conventions Zelda titles, introducing survival mechanics like crafting and a temperature gauge, exploration tools like rock climbing and a paraglider, and an improved stamina meter from skyward sword which limits Link’s actions. Link also has access to new powers like Polaris, which can manipulate metal objects; and Stasis, which can freeze objects in place. breath of the wild The sequel seeks to further develop these powers and give Link new powers, such as the ability to switch between objects.
Link’s appearance over the years
Link has undergone many technical changes over the years, but it has also received almost as many physical updates. Pre-linkOcarina of time looks are pretty consistent, except A link to the past pink hair iteration. This consistency was reflected in the first 3D models used by Ocarina of time and Majora’s mask. As these games represented Link’s first leap into 3D, a major change in the character’s appearance was not necessary.
After these titles came the GameCube era, in which a darker, more realistic tie-in was teased. Thanks to these teasers, Wind Waker the stylized, cartoonish graphics were controversial at the time. Then Twilight Princess fulfilled this promise, serving as the most serious Zelda Again. skyward sword combines the realistic proportions of Twilight Princess with the eye-catching colors of Windwaker, and breath of the wild adds to this a particular aesthetic.
breath of the wild goes further than just changing Link’s art style; this completely changes her default outfit. Gone is the traditional green shirt and hat, Link now dons a blue champion tunic. breath of the wild also has many different armor sets, so players can customize Link’s appearance however they see fit. breath of the wild The sequel delves more into Link’s base appearance, outfitting him in revealing ripped clothes that feature new tattoos.
The Legend of Zelda The series has changed significantly since its inception in 1986. Link has become more advanced with each passing game, and his appearance has changed just as much. The next sequel to breath of the wild seems like it will change Link even more in both respects. After Breath of the Wild 2 has been delayed, it will be some time before players see this link in action.
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