Links from Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Tri Force Heroes could have been swapped - Nintendo Everything

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Links from Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Tri Force Heroes could have been swapped

Posted on February 12, 2017 by (@NE_Brian) in 3DS, News

Toon Link began to be associated with portable Zelda games since Four Swords. The character was then featured in both Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks on DS, before going on to be included in Tri Force Heroes on 3DS.

Interestingly, Nintendo even considered Toon Link for A Link Between Worlds. Designer Yoshiki Haruhana revealed this nugget in the new Zelda: Art & Artifacts book, stating that there was “a long debate” about which Link should be in the game. Some members of the team carried the opinion that it should be Toon Link since it was a handheld game, while others felt it should be the original from A Link to the Past, which was ultimately selected.

That wasn’t all though. Originally, Link from A Link Between Worlds (and A Link to the Past) was originally going to be used in Tri Force Heroes. This suddenly changed when series producer Eiji Aonuma declared one day that Toon Link would be used instead.

Haruhana: For this title there was a difference of opinion on which Link to use. Since it was for the Nintendo 3DS, some felt that it should be Toon Link, since it’s a title for a portable game system, but others said that this was a sequel to A Link to the Past, so it should be regular Link. We had a long debate over it.

The people who played the first game on SNES may have had an issue if the main character was Toon Link…

Haruhana: Exactly. Since A Link to the Past was the original, it only made sense to go in that direction. And since it’s been twenty-two years since the previous title, the expectation about the art style became what it is. I found myself thinking that the Zelda series certainly has a bit of everything, which keeps it interesting.

So it isn’t necessary for the main character to be Toon Link just because the game is on a portable system.

Haruhana: Yeah, that’s how it worked out.

But for Tri Force Heroes, the main character went back to being Toon Link.

Haruhana: Actually, we had our share of trouble for this title as well. For a while into production, the main character was the Link used in A Link Between Worlds. But one day, Aonuma made an announcement: “We’re going with Toon Link!”

All: [laughter]

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  • AquaBat

    Pretty sure a screenshot from a very old build of ALBW (or 3D concept modeling) that was in a developer interview (Iwata Asks?) had a Link with a very Toon-like appearance.

    Didn’t they once mention that ALBW Link had some kind of connection to the Triforce Heroes Links? Were they emulating him or disguised as him or something?…

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    • Supporter

      Yeah, they did use Toon Link when they were making an early concept of the game using a DS and you’re right, it was an Iwata Asks developer interview.

      As for the Link connection, I do remember something about the Links from Tri Force Heroes being inspired by his journey or looking similar to him. Something like that at least. There was a more direct reference to Link from A Link to the Past.

    • Riku0493

      They were exact same Link, to be exact.

      • AquaBat

        Ah, that’s where it was brought up, thank you.

  • nemo37

    I honestly did not realize that the character models were different until I read this article and went to check for myself. I thought they were both based on ALTP’s Link design, I did not think Tri-Force Heroes used Toon Link.

    • Supporter

      He looks pretty similar to Toon Link design wise, though I didn’t think he actually was Toon Link since Tri Force Heroes in the timeline doesn’t exactly add up with The Wind Waker and DS games.

      • MagcargoMan

        “Toon Link” refers to the design, not only the Hero of Winds. Minish Cap Link is another Toon Link, for example.

        • Tlink7

          I love Minish Cap so much, wish the game was longer ;-;

        • Supporter

          Thanks. I’m not that familiar with the timeline details.

      • MoldyClay 64

        Toon Link is also before Ocarina of Time and after Twilight Princess. Toon Link is just a design name, not a specific character.

  • Supporter

    I’m really glad they went with regular Link for A Link Between Worlds. It seemed like the better choice to me instead of using Toon Link just because it was a handheld.

    It was nice for them to break away from Toon Link on the handhelds. At the same time, it was nice to see the Toon Link design again in Tri Force Heroes since it’s similar to the Four Swords games.

  • MusubiKazesaru

    This kind of goes against the comments of it being aLBW’s Link and the game still being canon and right after it.

    • Tlink7

      Nintendo doesn’t really care about the timeline 😛

      • MusubiKazesaru

        If they don’t then they shouldn’t bother commenting on it. We’re fine without one but if we have one they might as well think about it a bit.

        • Tlink7

          Well what I meant was Ninty doesn’t mind if big parts of the timeline get changed. Pretty much a given though, seeing as they’re going to constantly make new Zelda games

    • MoldyClay 64

      Its just the style. Their wording is way off.

  • MagcargoMan

    Further proof that the timeline (or this game) doesn’t really matter.

    • Tlink7

      Yup. Nintendo will discard it without a second thought if it gets in the way of creating a new Zelda title.

    • MoldyClay 64

      Using a different design for the same character doesn’t really have anything to do with the timeline. They have said numerous times the timeline is one of the last elements in development because gameplay and style come first.

      It has always been there, but people get hung up on details that literally have no significance. It is just the story and key elements that are ever part of the timeline.

      • MagcargoMan

        Uh… I’m talking about how it was originally gonna be set before it.

  • R.Z.

    I’m sad about Toon Link being relegated to handheld titles, that’s so much wasted potential …

    • Supporter

      I think most people expect realistic Link for the home console games. It would be nice to see Toon Link on home consoles again besides Wind Waker HD.

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