is a fictional character and the main protagonist in Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda series of video game. Created by Japanese game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, The Legend of Zelda is one of Nintendo's core franchises, and has sold over 47 million copies worldwide as of 2007. The series' enduring popularity has led to many incarnations of the story and Link himself; the character's first appearance was in the game The Legend of Zelda. Link has been featured in other video games from Nintendo, including its merchandising, comic book, and an animated television program. Link was awarded with a star on the Walk of Game in 2005, alongside Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog.
Link is depicted in some games as a human and in others as a Hylian boy from the fictional land of Hyrule. His age varies in each game, usually varying from pre-teen ages to a young adult. Link often travels through Hyrule, defeating creatures, evil forces and the series' primary antagonist, Ganon, while attempting to save Princess Zelda and her kingdom. To defeat him, Link usually requires the mystic Master Sword and Light Arrows, or a similar legendary weapon, obtained after many trials and battles gathering magical objects or using other items such as musical instruments and weaponry. Each Zelda storyline (normally) contains a different incarnation of Link, as whenever a new threat emerges in Hyrule, a new hero must arise.
Link has almost no spoken dialogue in the game series outside the CD-i series of games from The Legend of Zelda. Facial expression has only been visible since the series appeared on the Nintendo 64. Miyamoto has said in interviews that his conceptualization of The Legend of Zelda, and of Link, was based on his childhood memories of books, movies, stories and personal experiences. He tried to make people identify with Link and have the opportunity to be heroes like the character. Although at the end of some games Link becomes vastly talented in physical and magical arts, he usually starts off the game as a regular boy.
There have been several iterations of Link in the history of Hyrule. The existence of multiple Links is made obvious on many occasions in the games; for example, the introduction sequence of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker refers to an ancient, legendary champion who is identical in appearance to Link, and directly mentions the "Hero of Time" (a title given to Link in Ocarina of Time) as a historical entity. Miyamoto has stated, "For every Zelda game we tell a new story, but we actually have an enormous document that explains how the game relates to the others, and bind them together. But to be honest, they are not that important to us. We care more about developing the game system ... give the player new challenges for every chapter that is born." However, the exact chronology of the Zelda series and the lineage of the various Links, though written down by Miyamoto and his team, has never been released in detail. After the release of Ocarina of Time, Miyamoto stated it was the first story in the timeline, then The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, and finally The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, with The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening occurring sometime after A Link to the Past.
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Official Site: Nintendo
Links: Zelda Universe Zelda Legends (fanpage) Link wiki page