There are plenty of main characters in video games we go completely bonkers over and for good reason. Whether it be due to them having an exceptional amount of sexiness above that of the average individual or their badassery makes us wish we were the recipient of their beatings, some protagonists are just blessed all around. The issue is some of them flip-flop as the years pass when they endure character assassination or reassignment due to a number of reasons. The game got new writers, they wanted to try something new and things didn’t go too well, or some other nefarious reason.
With that being said, there is one main character that has remained in our good graces for almost 40 years without him saying a single word. How about that? Relying solely on his actions and overly dramatic exclamations to catastrophes he should be used to by now, Link (The Legend Of Zelda) is the GOAT in the gaming world and I think most would agree with me. There are some reasons for this and I would like to get into those today.
Silence is a Superpower…Sometimes:
I’m convinced Link has some kind of speech impediment because he never says a single word…to anyone …for any reason. And the funny thing is, no one ever seems to have an issue with this. In reality, if you read out a whole dissertation to someone with a tear-inducing speech to top it off and they didn’t respond, just looked at you awkwardly and smiled, naturally, you would think something was wrong with them. That’s not a normal response when someone’s trying to verbally communicate with you, yet Link always gets a pass for some reason.
No, I know what the reason is. It’s because he’s hot. That’s all there is to it, I guess.
Upon conducting further research, it’s come to my attention that there are some…interesting theories as to why Link doesn’t speak. Some believe it is due to a speech impediment which makes the most sense in the scheme of things. Another theory was his belief that he should be strong and suffer in silence. If this is the case, then essentially he’s a lone samurai who insists on bearing any and all burdens on himself so others don’t have to. A noble attitude, if that truly is the case.
Another theory I came across was that he can speak but the developers didn’t give him a voice because they wanted us to give him a voice inside of our heads whenever he’s conversing with someone. Regardless of what the actual reason is, his silence speaks volumes and manages to get the point across without anyone ever hearing his voice.
Why is silence such an attractive trait though? Well, my belief is that silence often speaks louder than words, just like a soft-spoken individual has more influence over someone who tries to speak over others in order to garner attention or status. We automatically label Link as humble since he regularly performs difficult tasks without complaining, expecting no praise or acknowledgment in return. We can create dialogue for him, imagining what he would say in a situation if he could, or chose to, speak. In a world that talks a lot in an attempt to be heard, an individual that is comfortable in silence is a welcome reprieve from what we’ve come to know.
Bravery and Courage:
We all know Link is exceptionally gifted but, more often than not, the foes he faces are otherworldly and require outside forces or else he can’t compete. Link is a victim of destiny, yet he could easily pass the reigns to someone more qualified under the guise of being too weak or fearful. At least, I think that’s what many of us would do. Even with powerful forces on his side, he has to constantly place himself in extremely dangerous situations where his life is at stake.
Sure, he receives help along the way but he fights alone. We all know he’s trembling on the inside but he never allows anyone to see that. He understands he has a mission to complete. Cowering in the corner isn’t going to save everyone. He probably wouldn’t want to live with himself if he tried to take the easy way out, anyway.
As a society, no matter what characteristics we’re upholding at that time, some will always be universal. We’re instinctually drawn to those who push forward through insurmountable odds, foolish as they may appear. Coming out victorious in the end isn’t what people praise, it’s getting up over and over again after falling flat on your face.
A Gentleman Through and Through:
No matter how comical it may be to watch characters roast others and behave in a risque fashion, there will always be something attractive about someone who has good manners when everyone else is acting up. It’s easy to follow the crowd in order to blend in but that’s not very respectable, is it? Sure, some may laugh at you while you do your own thing but, I guarantee you this, they will be the first ones to respect you.
People tend to gravitate towards authenticity, even if they’re the polar opposite of who they are. Link is always willing to help those who ask for it, going out of his way when it’s not even necessary. And it feels sincere. I don’t get the sense he’s doing it for his own gratification or so he’ll get something in return. He genuinely wants to help. That always leaves me with a warm and fuzzy feeling.
Link never seems to falter in whatever he’s doing. He fully believes in what he’s doing and aims to see it to the end. How often have we questioned ourselves? Wondering if what we’re doing is the right thing? What’s the point of doing any of this? Even the strongest of individuals with sound minds will question their motive in the thick of it.
He’s steadfast in his mission, no matter the obstacles he will encounter or the pain he will have to endure. Achieving that level of faith is almost unheard of. Regardless, we aspire to be like that and apply that unwavering dedication to our own lives.
In the end, Link is just a solid character all around and gives us something to look up to when we feel defeated or lost. Even though he’s not physically real, he will always live in our hearts and inspire us to be more and always fight for good, no matter the odds.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is available now on Switch.
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