Nintendo’s explained to various outlets at E3 as to why the lead of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild couldn’t be a female.
“You know there’s the idea of the Triforce in the Zelda games we make,” Zelda Series Producer Eiji Aonuma said to Kotaku. “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.”
If you think the matter could be easily fixed by making Zelda a Prince instead of a Princess, Aonuma’s already thought of that too. And didn’t like the idea.
“If we have Princess Zelda as the main character who fights, then what is Link going to do? Taking into account that, and also the idea of the balance of the Triforce, we thought it best to come back to this [current] makeup,” Aonuma said to GameSpot in relation to having a male in distress and a female lead instead.
So the Zelda character must remain a female and the triad of male-female-male must also remain intact, according to Aonuma. Therefore, the character of Link shall remain consistent as a male.
It mightn’t feature in every Zelda game, but across the franchise, romantic love between the Zelda and Link characters is well–established. While not suggesting that Aonuma is homophobic — because, yeah, we’re reading the comments — it’s clear he’s uncomfortable with a female-female, Zelda and Link relationship inside Nintendo’s biggest series.
Linkle, a female version of Link, is currently available in Hyrule Warriors.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild heads to Nintendo NX and Wii U in March 2017.