Hello and welcome to our first (and hopefully not only) edition of Super Debate Bros! This is a segment dedicated to debating things.
Here’s how it works. I’ll pose a question and get you all started by setting up some of the arguments. After that, the ball is in your court. Leave comments in defense of your favorite argument – or even post your own idea that I never suggested! The ultimate goal is to have some fun standing up for our favorite parts of our favorite games. Keep that spirit in mind, and don’t start posting anything offensive or vindictive. Because at the end of the day, no one is really right. That’s why these are opinions.
One last thing: I’m just gonna go ahead and say SPOILERS, because there probably will be some.
The Premise: At the end of Skyward Sword, the final boss casts a terrible curse on Link and Zelda – as long as people like them exist, his spirit will live on to torment them and try to obtain the Triforce. Their descendants will be plagued by an entity filled with his rage. This curse begins a cycle of reincarnation: the hero, the princess, and the rage, all constantly embattled and doomed to repeat the cycle again and again. Because of this curse, there is not one Link but many, spread across three (highly controversial) timelines. With so many incarnations of the great hero, one question must be asked.
The Question: Which Link is the best?
The Arguments: I’m going to argue for a few Links that I think could be deserving of the title. First, the Link of Skyward Sword; then the Link of Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, and making an appearance in Twilight Princess; after that, the Link of Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass; and finally, the Link of A Link to the Past, Oracle of Seasons, Oracle of Ages, and Link’s Awakening.
Skyward Sword: This Link is the original (story-wise), the one who started it all. He sets the stage for how awesome all the other Links will be, and boy does he set it. Beginning his adventure, he struggles to keep up with the forces of evil, Impa constantly telling him he is in over his head and that he is constantly too late to make a difference. When Zelda enters a deep sleep, Link is told that if he truly wants to help her, he must rise to the occasion and become the hero she deserves.
In the interest of accomplishing that feat, Link sets out to be deserving of the Triforce of Courage. And only that one. No other Triforce piece. WRONG. Unique among all Links, this one goes out and proves himself not only courageous, but also wise and powerful, passing everyone test the goddess throws at him and overcoming terrible enemies in order to forge the Goddess Sword into the iconic weapon we now know as the Master Sword. This Link is the only one to earn all pieces of the Triforce himself, to put it together and to wish upon it to save the world. And when the enemy proves too wily for that to be enough, he goes back in time to hand the dark god a personal beatdown.
This Link is worthy of the title because he has proven himself to be a true hero of the goddess, deserving of every Triforce piece and worthy to wish upon it. He has also proven himself to be a capable warrior by defeating a god in combat. His actions bring humanity (Hylian-manity?) down from the sky and allow them to walk the earth again.
The Hero of Time: Perhaps the most controversial Link of all, this is the Link who splits the timeline. Living among the Kokiri tribe as something of an outcast, the boy without a fairy is nevertheless chosen to save the Great Deku Tree from a terrible curse by a wicked man called Ganondorf. Link then sets out on a great journey to defeat Ganondorf that leads him through time itself, launching him seven years forward into his adult body. After defeating Ganon, he returns as a boy and sets out on a journey of his own, arriving in the world of Termina and stopping the evil Majora’s Mask from blowing the world to smithereens with the moon. Even after all that, this Link STILL feels as if he has not accomplished enough in his lifetime, all because he never trained a successor. In an effort to make up for this perceived wrong, his spirit lingers behind to train the next Link in the timeline, the Link of Twilight Princess.
That’s a lot of stuff, right? The Hero of Time keeps busy and accomplishes a lot of things, not just for Hyrule but for the land of Termina as well. This Link is up for consideration not only for all of his accomplishments (and the fact that his death is so significant that it creates an entire timeline of darkness and suffering), but for the emotional trauma this poor kid has to go through.
Think about it. Link rises up to become the Hero of Time as an adult, but then has to return to the child timeline where nobody knows what he has accomplished or how hard he worked to save everybody. The boy without a fairy finally meets a fairy companion, and she leaves him when his journey is done. When he sets out to find her, he instead finds an alternate world where his body is transformed, he has to live the same torturous three days over and over again, he traps the souls of the dying into masks that he then wears to inhabit their bodies, all while a malicious grinning moon dangles over his head and the creepiest child ever born taunts him with his unholy mask. And even after living through that, he dies regretful and his spirit must live on until he can train the next hero.
Link’s job is utterly thankless, his trials far beyond anything a child should have to endure. But he does it anyway, because he’s courageous and because it’s the right thing to do. And that’s what makes deserving of the title.
The Hero of Winds: I said the Hero of Time was controversial? I forgot about this little guy. His wide, brightly-animated eyes caused a knee-jerk reaction from the public that turned a lot of people off to Wind Waker before they ever picked it up. “Those cutesy graphics are garbage! Where’s the adult Link from Ocarina of Time, in full 3D realistic graphics with blood and guts and skjvnkejfnvlkmsjcjs?!?!?!?!?!” But for those who decided not to be graphical elitists and actually gave this game a chance, the Hero of Winds proved to be one of the greatest yet.
When Link’s sister Aryll is kidnapped by Ganondorf, he sets out with a band of pirates across a dangerous ocean to find and rescue her. Of course, it isn’t as easy as all that – Ganondorf is a powerful dark sorcerer who can only be defeated by the Master Sword. So Link goes and earns that – except it isn’t as powerful as it used to be, so Ganondorf still knocks Link around like a sock monkey. So Link sets out to find new sages to give power to the sword so that he can slay Ganondorf good and proper. Their final battle takes place in the submerged ruins of Hyrule, where Link plunges the Master Sword INTO GANON’S FACE and then sets out with Zelda (one of the aforementioned pirates) to find a new Hyrule. Which he does, after going on an adventure to rescue the Ocean King from a devilish monster called Bellum.
This Link deserves the best hero award for proving that great graphics don’t have to be photo-realistic graphics. You want an example? Bust out your Gamecube and play twenty minutes of Wind Waker followed by twenty minutes of Twilight Princess and tell me which game has aged more gracefully.
Sorry, got on my soapbox for a minute there. Seriously though, this Link is awesome because he resolves the struggles of the past generation of Hyrule, putting an end to Ganondorf and then setting out to find a new Hyrule, the land of the next generation. You know how hard it is to start a country? Me neither, but it’s probably pretty hard.
Did I mention he stabs Ganondorf in the face?
The Hero of the Wind Fish: The Link who pretty much saves the entire Fallen Hero timeline single-handed. When Ganon kills the Hero of Time, there’s a massive war to stop him. This war eventually ends with Ganon being sealed into the Sacred Realm, which under his evil influence becomes the Dark World. It falls to this Link to open the Dark World, rescue the seven maiden-sages, and defeat Ganondorf in order to save Hyrule and the Sacred Realm. After that, he is summoned by the power of the Triforce to the magical lands of Holodrum and Labyrnna (yes, I’ve played these games, no, I don’t remember any of this; if you too need some reminders about the various Links, check out their info here). In each one, a powerful Oracle has been kidnapped, one controlling the four seasons and the other controlling past, present, and future. After saving them both, there’s some kind of crazy time loop evil plan thingy by Twinrova to use the power of both worlds to bring Ganon back – again. So for the second time, this specific Link defeats Ganondorf. That’s twice now. After that, Link decides to go sailing and ends up on the island of Koholint, which is actually a dream island created by a sleeping god-like creature called the Wind Fish that’s being plagued by monsters called Nightmares…it’s confusing. But anyway, Link kills those things dead and wakes up the Wind Fish, saving it from its nightmare-ridden slumber.
This Link deserves the title of best hero because of all of his incredible accomplishments. Defeating Ganondorf twice? Saving not only Hyrule, but also Holodrum, Labrynna, and the Wind Fish? This guy heroically wields the Triforce of Courage, the Rod of Seasons, the Harp of Ages – out of seven games in the Fallen Hero timeline, this Link is the champion of four of them. Making him the hero of more than half of that timeline, and also the Link to have been on the most adventures throughout the series. And that is pretty heroic.
So what do you think, readers? Which of these mighty heroes deserves the title of Best Hero the most? Is it a Link I haven’t even mentioned? Be sure to comment either on Facebook or WordPress with your thoughts. And remember to observe Multiplayer Week by sharing this with a friend, either in person or on social media. Spread the debate around so Zelda fans all over can put in their two cents!