Why Isn’t Link Female in the New ‘Zelda’ Game?

Nintendo producer Eiji Aonuma says that the Triforce is the reason why “Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” won’t have a female playable character

Nintendo has made enormous waves at E3 with its unveiling of the next “Legend of Zelda” game, “Breath of the Wild.” Fans of the venerated fantasy series will get to explore Hyrule as never before in an open-world RPG that offers more possibilities than ever.

But some gamers have been left wondering: What happened to rumors that this game would allow you to play as a female Link?

In interviews with Gamespot and Kotaku, Nintendo producer Eiji Aonuma was asked about the Lady Link reports, which first emerged when footage of the game featuring an androgynous version of its lead character appeared in 2014. Aonuma said they were aware of the rumors, but insisted that they never intended to mislead fans into thinking Link was undergoing gender reassignment.

“You know there’s the idea of the Triforce in the Zelda games we make,” Aonuma said. “The Triforce is made up of Princess Zelda, Ganon and Link. Princess Zelda is obviously female. If we made Link a female we thought that would mess with the balance of the Triforce. That’s why we decided not to do it.”

An idea that did get more consideration was the possibility of making Princess Zelda a playable character. Ultimately, this idea was also dropped because, as Aonuma explained, “If we have Princess Zelda as the main character who fights, then what is Link going to do?”

This explanation might not satisfy gamers who were interested in playing a re-imagined Link, particularly after the inclusion of a female version of the character named Linkle in the spinoff “Hyrule Warriors.”

Still, there’s a lot to look forward to in “Breath of the Wild,” which promises to immerse players in the largest world of any “Zelda” game ever made. The visual style blends the bright cartoon world of “Wind Waker” with the darker, more detailed environments of “Twilight Princess.” Finding hearts in pots and grass has been replaced with cooking food to replenish health, while weapons will break after excessive use, requiring players to find more from fallen enemies.

“The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” is set to be released in 2017.