The hero of Hyrule in Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda series; Link, not Zelda; has been around since the NES days. Yet many gamers are in the dark regarding his origin. Luckily, longtime game designer Shigeru Miyamoto recently shed some light on the warrior’s backstory in an interview with French website GameKult.
According to the conversation, Miyamoto recalled that the original designers of the Zelda series thought of the fragments of the Triforce as computer chips. Since there was a general idea that the series would eventually span both the past and future, they thought of the protagonist as being a link between the two timeframes; therefore, the name Link was born. Though Nintendo never explored the future aspect of the Zelda series, the name had already stuck and was too clever to pass on.
Furthermore, the interview also delved into Link’s initial design. According to Link’s designer, Nintendo producer Takashi Tezuka, the NES had limited processing power, so it was hard to make objects distinct from one another. Link’s creator had to make his sword and shield big to help him stand out among the different enemies onscreen. Additionally, Tezuka gave Link a large hat and ears to differentiate him from his weapons and tools. Miyamoto fell in love with the elf-like ears of Link, which led to Peter Pan comparisons. Since Pan has a green tunic, Link got one, as well.
It’s always fascinating to hear about the history behind famous characters. Inspiration comes from myriad places, and the smallest little detail can go a long way in creating a lasting figure.
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