It’s International Women’s Day and it didn’t even cross my mind that maybe, just maybe, I should write something. I am a woman, after all. But then Megan from A Geeky Gal wrote a great post about Underrated Women in games and I remembered a post I wrote nearly 2 years ago about my favorite underrated woman in a video game. The one and only Zelda. So here’s a reblog of how I feel about Zelda and the potential for her story.
I wish more video games had strong female leads. Having said that, I’m definitely not one of those people who needs a strong female to take over every male role. In the immortal words of George R R Martin “To me being a feminist is about treating men and women the same” (Salter, The Telegraph, 2013). There should be, and needs to be, a balance. There are games that should be about male characters, and that’s okay! And there are games that should be about female characters, and that’s also okay!
What I don’t like is the trend of taking a male character, turning them into a female character, and calling it “good enough”. We don’t need yet another female who reminds us more of our brother than ourselves. What we need is a character who is a woman who was meant to be a woman. With that in mind, I don’t need Link to be a girl. I need Link to continue to be a boy (because he so obviously is) and I need a game from Zelda’s point of view.
Zelda is already the strong, intelligent, awesome female character we need in the Legend of Zelda series. She is brave, always fighting alongside Link, like she does as Sheik or Tetra. She is fleshed out, created as a person with thoughts, opinions, and struggles, as is so poignantly brought home in the memories of Link in Breath of the Wild. And, more importantly, she’s been there from the beginning. This is not some character Nintendo would create out of nothing to prove to the public that they, too, care about women. This would be a way for them to show that, from the beginning, they have cared about women. It would be a way to prove that, just because their main hero in this series is male, it doesn’t mean they had a completely chauvinistic point of view. I mean, these are the people who created Zelda’s Adventure, one of the few older games I have played from a female’s perspective!
And not only is Zelda already created, expanded, and real to the story, but she already has an amazing super power – the triforce of wisdom. How easy would it be to make more difficult, challenging puzzles focusing on the idea that Zelda has to use her triforce of wisdom to defeat them? Instead of the regularly-encountered boss, why not bosses with a big twist, requiring some serious forethought and skills to defeat them?
Don’t you guys agree that the absolute best remastered version of Ocarina of Time would be to include the original mode from Link’s point of view and a newly released mode from Zelda aka Sheik’s point of view? It’s not like she sat around doing nothing for 7 years while Link was sealed away! So what awesome shenanigans did she save Hyrule from? Or to have a new Skyward Sword utilizing her very particular role at the temples, with new maps, puzzles, and her own set of bosses?
So, in my opinion, we don’t need a new female, playable character in the Zelda series. We don’t even (in fact, please don’t!) need to make Link into a girl. Nintendo just needs to jump on the idea they’ve already started and use the amazing character they already have. Let’s make a new Legend of Zelda about Zelda.
So what do you guys think? Don’t be afraid to weigh in! I’d love to hear your opinions.