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Nintendo was so tight lipped on any details about the new Zelda title at its teaser reveal last Tokyo Game Show that a lot fans who've been wanting a female Link as an option had become really hopeful that it'd happen for the franchise's newest installment. With the hope combined with the new Link having feminine features, longer hair than their predecessors, and Nintendo's constant talk about wanting to push the Zelda franchise to do things that it's never done before, how can one not think there was a chance it might happen? The fact that Linkle in Hyrule Warriors exists from fan popularity after her design was revealed in an art book that came with the Japanese limited edition of the game showed that it was possible.
Some could argue that Linkle is female Link, but I couldn't ever agree to that. For one, I just can't count Hyrule Warriors as a "cannon game." It's a cross-universe spin-off title similar, to me, how Mario Tennis and Mario Party don't count as games of the main universe or franchise. Second, she's already given a name that's not "Link". XD Third, I don't think she's the kind of character who'll ever wield the Master Sword. Some might say "Why would the sword matter? She has two crossbows!" But the sword as a weapon isn't what's important, it's the image, the symbolism; it's what followers of the franchise affiliate as a symbol of its lineage, who the protagonist is and their ability to cleave the darkness that looms. =D Heck, it's even in the logo design for most titles! I'm sure I'm not the only fan who's started a new game, getting giddy in anticipation about the point in which you'll pull the legendary sword out of the stone. XD
I know it doesn't really matter to a lot of people whether or not you'll ever be able to play a female Link in a main game and some don't even get why it's a deal to anyone. It's simply a personal preference of expression. It hasn't bugged me that Link has always been a guy in past games, but sometimes it's the little things that are nice, just as there are a lot of guys out there who don't like playing as girls, and some girls who don't like playing FPS's in which you have big hairy hands. >.> -not that playing Link is bad or that he has hairy hands XD, it's nice that his design is mellow enough to appeal to a wide audience. It's just that, Link being a silent protagonist and his gender never being relevant to any in-game events or story, making a female option sounds like such a simple thing to add; it's almost like, why not? '_' -especially if they use the same skeleton as guy Link so they don't have to do much work reanimating. It's not like they have to go into boob physics and make alternate outfits either. Breath of the Wild's teaser already had people convinced that he was a girl from how he naturally is without all that. XD