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Frogmarch 2002 - Whitby
I read with delight that a gamer had created a modified version of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker to play with his young daughter, rewriting the game text to cast Link as a girl rather than as a boy.


Game players develop a close identification with Link, perhaps more so than with any other Nintendo character. Instead of playing as Mario or Donkey Kong, a player becomes Link, so it strikes me that this is the Nintendo character ripest for personalisation. And the young Link, portrayed in cartoon style in The Wind Waker, can work visually just as well as a girl child than a boy child.

There are few strong female characters in computers games, even in games explicitly aimed at younger children. I applaud the move to recreate one of the greatest video-game characters as a girl, in a way that doesn’t lose any of the charm or character of the original.

Beth has enjoyed playing the Zelda games; she has played The Wind Waker a bit on the Wii, but mostly has played Phantom Hourglass on the DS, which shares a similar visual style. She identified so closely with Link that kateaw made her a costume to wear; in the past year she has dressed up as Link for a couple of fancy-dress parties, and for her school fun run. (Although she was somewhat miffed that several people misidentified her as being Zelda… so near, yet so far!)
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Thinking that Link is Zelda seems to be a very common misconception amongst people that haven't played any of the games.

I'm glad that more modern games have options over gender - I played Mass Effect 1 & 2 as the female commander Shepherd, because I'd been told the voice acting was better.

After decades of playing Nintendo games, I still see the name Zelda and think of the villain in Terrahawks.

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