Naked Link – For further Immersion

Recently i thought about Starfox Adventures and how it, despite being a horrible game, is still better than any adventure-game nowadays. That, of course, lead me to thinking about my favourite series, The Legend of Zelda. I thought how nice a real epic, nice, explorative adventure would be. Then i had some crazy ideas as always, but after that, i realized what “small” change (small depending on how one looks at it) could perfectionize the “adventurous” feel of the Zelda-series.

I´m one of those that want a new 3d-Zelda in the vein of the the very first Zelda-game on NES. Non-linear exploration par excellence. As such i always think along the line of how the game could become more involving, more immersive, more adventurous. Let me tell you that there surely are many more, probably more important elements to look at, but the one that, especially in recent times, annoyed me particularly is Link´s outfit.

Yeah, we all know Link. No, it´s not even always the same Link. But all Links in all Zelda-games have it in common: Green tunic, green hat. I think that was perfectly fine for the 2d-Zelda-games, and it also was ok for the first two 3d-Zeldas and the cel-shading one. But to be honest, it has become a distraction, an immersion-breaker by now. I try to remember why exactly the Link from Twilight Princess had the green tunic and the green hair, but i cannot remember anything. Even if there was some  explanation, it was still silly. Noone else in the world of Twilight Princess wore such an outfit.

But it´s not just some missing explanation that would make it alright. I think that the design of this long, green hat and a green tunic is out-dated. It´s just….”old”. Old-fashioned, you could say. It doesn´t look “cool”. But even moreso, it´s nothing like an outfit i´d think of, if i had to go on an adventure. That´s why it breaks the immersion…the “game reality”, one could say.


When i´m on an unknown adventure in a medieval world, i´d choose a more plain set of clothes. What comes to my mind instantly is something like a bright brown shirt, grey or white trousers, and maybe a dark brown cape. No hat, though. The boots could remain the same. Like that Link would become even more the “link between game and player”, as he´d be only a boy on an adventure now, instead of the well-known hero Link in his holy green tunic and hat. Maybe it would be different if one was new to the Zelda-series, but as a long-time Zelda-fan, i cannot take the typical Link-design as “an innocent boy setting out for adventure”-figure anymore.

In short, i´d like Link to look more plain, more “realistic” in terms of clothing, not visual design. And the green tunic could always be optional, the heck, it could even become the bonus of an epic sidequest. But whatever, what do you think? Is the green tunic still great looking or would you prefer playing a plain, simple looking boy?


16 Responses to Naked Link – For further Immersion

  1. jesus says:

    jesus christ, please just stop trying
    i don’t even know what’s worse, your whiny articles or how your friends pathetically try to get you some attention @ neogaf
    oh wait, the latter is even worse…no one there gives a shit, yet they keep making threads about your articles

    • mfauli says:

      There´s nothing whiny about those articles, eh?
      If you´re not interested in my takes on unusual aspects of gaming, don´t read. But when you´re already here: Tell “your” guys that my Finalgame-website ist from 2003, so maybe they shouldnt run around saying “this is what that guy thinks”. My perfect Zelda has changed, ya know.

  2. Greenyz says:

    Why would you want more plain and realistic? The wording right there just makes it sound bad.

    Plain and realistic sounds boring. No offense but I don’t want Link to look like some generic person in a medieval setting.

    He’s the freaking Hero. Let him stand out.

    There’s also a reason why no one else wore the same clothes as the Link from Twilight Princess. It’s because it was the clothes of the previous Link.

    I’d say it’s better to complain about the Link in A Link to the Past because there’s no reason at all why he dresses the way he does in that game.

    • mfauli says:

      See, i stated in the article that Link´s clothing surely isnt the most important thing to think about. But noone does, so why should i write about all the usual things, haha. And in my opinion, Link is the innocent boy, the unrelated avatar of the player. And i simply don´t feel this “innocence” anymore. When i see him in his green tunic, i instantly think of him as the great hero that´s going to fight and defeat all those monsters. A less attracting outfit would make him return to being innocent. Thats what i think, at least.

  3. b says:

    Nice article, sounds ambitious who knows maybe will happen

    But the tunic is a staple of the Zelda series.

    If link wasn’t wearing it, it would be like Mario not permanently having his traditional blue/red attire (even though there have been variations, its how u know its mario!)

    Who knows. Zelda team has been known to be drastic at times!

  4. EmeraldDragon says:

    *sighs and rolls her eyes*

    Please leave my fandom. I am so tired of the “more realistic” Zelda tripe that is going around. We are talking about a series that has bird people, fish people, and rock people. This along side an assortment of monsters that include pre-cambrian sized spiders, bipedal-sword wielding lizards, and magical hands.

    If you want realism go play one of the million WWII FPS.

  5. Amused says:

    If he isn’t wearing a green tunic and green hat, then he isn’t Link.

  6. Ninjinister says:

    I’m all for switching up Link’s look a bit. Maybe not to the extreme that you have, but I’d like to see him with a tri-corner hat and maybe some chain mail. Bulk him up a bit while they’re at it.

  7. Gabby says:

    But there _is_ an explanation for the green tunic – two, in fact.

    First, it’s the idea that the green tunic is an heritage of the hero of old, as was explained both in Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. It is so important, in fact, that in WW every single boy is forced to don it for a day to celebrate his coming of age, and so important than the spirits of light decided to keep it safe for centuries to give it to a new hero.

    Second, as the keeper of the Triforce of courage, green is in fact the color that represents him – just as in OoT, Zelda’s magic was blue and Ganondorf had a red glow.

    Finally, I don’t see what the problem is in Twilight Princess. The tunic is not just any old tunic, it has a chainmail underneath, and the leather looks appropiately old and rugged. Sure, the style isn’t worn by any other character, but since Link inherited the tunic from one of the light spirits, I don’t see why they should.

    I’m not totally against a change in his outfit, in fact I wouldn’t care if he lost the hat, for instance, but I think you haven’t really analyzed your points too well. It boils down to this: as long as the game maintains its medieval background, Link will have a tunic, green or otherwise (what he wears is actually rather accurate, for medieval clothing!).

    Finally, take this as a suggestion for your blog and work on your grammar, please. You have many simple errors, and that only diminishes the quality of your article.

    • mfauli says:

      Thanks for this long comment.
      Of course, i know of these explanations given in past Zelda-games. Actually, and i mention this as the most important matter in the article, the hat is my biggest gripe. Green isn´t bad per se, but that long hat looks silly…too silly, imo.

      I think Nintendo could even leave the whole green tunic+hat in the game, but give it to Link at the end of the game. As you mentioned the green tunic has high value because of being an old heritage to the hero of the triforce of bravery. It would, though, even look more important if it was some special, final item, that you only use when fighting Ganon at the end of the game.

      Please feel free to tell me what grammar errors exactly i do. I´m not native English speaking, so i don´t notice them that easily. Thanks in before.

      • Gabby says:

        English isn’t my native language either, so I can understand where you’re coming from 🙂 But you have a good understanding of the language, so with a little practice you’ll do fine. The biggest problem here was this line, in the second paragraph – “but the one that, especially in recent times, annoyed me particularly is Link´s outfit.” The middle bit (especially…) is out of place and interrupts the flow of the sentence. It should probably be “but the one that annoyed me particularly, specially in recent times, is Link’s outfit.” That’s the one that stands out the most for me.

        On the clothing theme, I agree that it would be cool if the outfit was in fact so special that you could only wear it towards the end of the game. I would even make it magical, or the only clothing capable of withstanding Ganon’s magic. Perhaps you could obtain it at the last dungeon, or something like that.

        Now that I think of it, I enjoyed playing Wind Waker with Link in his pajamas, and wouldn’t have minded TP with the wrangler clothing… yeah, a change of outfit in that vein would be nice, but I don’t think it’ll happen anytime soon.

  8. you could always play windwaker the second time around, when they give you that option of just keeping his other clothes on instead of switching to the tunic. and see how you feel later.

  9. kurokotetsu says:

    I don’t agree. Yeah it is silly, but it is a staple of the series. And it isn’t that it’s silly know, it has always been. And yet you could say the same thing about a lot of gaming clothes. But it is like an identifier. It is “Here is Link”, no matter how the world around him changes (yes, I know they are several too, it is a way of speaking) he is pretty constant. I feels reasuring. While I would mind playing a game with other type of clothing for the hero, it would feel like a different game, the link wiht the rest of the franchise would feel weak, in name only. Also, it is not about the innocence, it is about the courage of the young man facing the great evil of his world, and the clothes are a way to express that,a lthough a different person he is always a very courageous fighter.

  10. you cant take Links tunic away! Thats like giving mario a wizards hat or making Barney orange! Just cuz kids are brainwashed today by icarly and 4kids, doesn’t mean we need to go changing things around, leave the classics the way they are. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, and the only thing that’s broke in the zelda universe is that we haven’t seen any romance between Link and Zeda yet (am i right?)

  11. charming post. upright one detail where I quarrel with it. I am emailing you in detail.

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