- For fighter info, see Link (SSB), Link (SSBM), and Link (SSBB).
- For other variations of Link, see Toon Link and Young Link.
Link's first appearance was in the original The Legend of Zelda, which depicted his quest to rescue Princess Zelda and the land of Hyrule from the evil Ganon. Link was designed with a green tunic and a green hat which (like Mario's design) was due to limitations in the NES hardware. This appearance has since been traditional for Link.
It is worth noting that while there have been many Zelda games, it has not always been the same Link who the player controls. This is because the Zelda series timeline depicts that many years pass between the last adventure and thus, whenever a new evil rises, so too does a new hero.
One thing that has varied with Link is his age. In some games such as The Wind Waker and the first part of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Link is a young boy whereas in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and the second part of Ocarina of Time, Link is depicted as a young adult.
Because the Zelda series does not use full voice acting, we do not have much insight into Link's personality. However, it has been shown that Link is a brave and polite young man and is very "humble". Link has also received many titles throughout his adventures. Sometimes he is called the "Hero of Time" (Ocarina of Time), "Hero of Winds" (The Wind Waker), or "Hero Chosen by the Gods" (Twilight Princess).
Because of the different Links, Link's origins can vary, but almost always, he is a young boy (or man) who starts out as a normal person until learning of his destiny to save Hyrule and Princess Zelda from the evil Ganon (or Ganondorf) and as his journey presses him, he becomes a hero. In Ocarina of Time, he is a young Hylian, whose mother, before dying, entrusted him into the care of the Great Deku Tree. In The Wind Waker, he is a young boy living on Outset Island, given the legendary Hero of Time's clothes. In Twilight Princess, he is an ordinary young man working at Ordon Ranch until several of the villagers' children are kidnapped by monsters which starts his adventure.
However it is said that the true and original story is from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, which is then followed by The Wind Waker (which shows many things from Ocarina of Time) and then Twilight Princess
Link made his first fighting appearance (and first official appearance) Nintendo game outside the Zelda series in Super Smash Bros., and has traditionally appeared in all installments of the series since.
In Super Smash Bros.
As a playable character
- Main article: Link (SSB)
Link's in-game character description says:
- Link is the valiant boy hero of "The Legend of Zelda" series in which he fights against the evil Ganon to recover the Triforce. Though his tools may change with each adventure, his strength and righteousness remain constant. With his trusty sword and a variety of weapons, he takes adventure head on!
In Super Smash Bros. Melee
As a playable character
- Main article: Link (SSBM)
By tradition, Link as a playable character is featured on his personal 3 trophies. His normal trophy is acquired by beating the Classic mode with Link on any difficulty, and his Smash Red and Smash Blue trophies are acquired the same way by beating the Adventure and All-Star modes, respectively.
Link's normal trophy reads as follows:
Even in his youth, Link was already becoming the warrior who would carry the destiny of Hyrule (and many other lands) on his shoulders. His epic struggles against the forces of darkness are written in legend, and he is bound to the Princess Zelda and the archfiend Ganondorf by the awesome power of the Triforce.
- The Legend of Zelda, 07/87
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl
- Main article: Link (SSBB)
In a maneuver both traditional and expected, Link is featured as a starting character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. He has undergone a visual update, (so that he appears in his Twilight Princess incarnation, rather than his Ocarina of Time one) but he is essentially the same fighter as he was in Melee. Some of his moves have been slightly tweaked, though. His boomerang returns as the Gale Boomerang so it has an effect of pulling opponents and items in a small tornado. His Bow is now referred to as the Hero's Bow. It has a slightly different arrow design, and the arrows disappear after a distance. His Spin Attack is now chargeable. His Bombs appear relatively unchanged aside from design. Also, for his grab move he now uses the Clawshot in place of the Hookshot, which can also latch onto ledges, but unlike the Hookshot in Melee, it now automatically homes in on the nearest ledge and can not grab plain walls. Like all of the game's returning characters, he now comes equipped with a Final Smash attack that he obtains when he collects a Smash Ball. His final smash is the Triforce Slash, in which light from the Triforce of Courage on Link's hand shoots out and traps an opponent in between two large Triforces. Link then dashes at the opponent, unleashes a barrage of sword slashes, finishing with a powerful blow with enough knockback to OHKO the opponent if nothing gets in the way.
A young man who emerged to rescue Hyrule from peril. He's the bearer of the Triforce of Courage who fights to keep Ganondorf from conquering the world. His green outfit is a constant throughout the series. He's a skilled swordsman, horseman, and archer. He's also proficient with bombs and boomerangs.
- Legend of Zelda (1987)
- Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2006)
- Link, Snake, Sonic, and Donkey Kong are the only characters to be playable in a different fighting game other than the Smash Bros. series. Link appeared in the Gamecube version of Soulcalibur II. Most of his moves in the game are heavily based on his move set in Super Smash Bros. Melee.
- While Link has always been a somewhat sluggish and slow character in the smash games, he is canonically very quick on his feet and nimble, in addition to being strong. This was done to balance out the range he has with his projectiles, and his disjointed hitboxes. As is such however, exchanging speed for power often results in a lower tier position, and Link is currently not higher than the Low Tier in any of the three Smash games.
- Link has the lowest average tier position out of every one of the original twelve characters (his average tier position is 21).
- For some reasons, Link has always had the exact same weight as Captain Falcon in each of the Super Smash Bros. games.