Link. He’s a great guy, isn’t he? A hero so courageous that the Goddess Farore granted him the Triforce of Courage. Every so many hundreds or thousands of years an evil is awakened. Soon after, so is the reincarnation of Hylia and her hero. Link is the definition of a born hero but is often never aware of his destiny until it comes calling, in one form or another. As a hero, he displays certain attributes throughout the games to show us, the player, why he is the one deserving of the title Hero of Hyrule.
He’s an adventurer and a dungeon crawler, often mixing incredible physical feats with extraordinary problem solving prowess to defeat nightmarish monsters and solve seemingly impossible puzzles. Link’s journeys have always taken him through temples overpopulated with beasts. Each labyrinth is occupied by puzzles that are often complicated and usually require the use of an item found only recently. Dungeons such as the Water Temple, where Link reunites with his fiancee, or a prison in the desert where he defeats restless poes, might have the hero of Hyrule wanting to accept defeat but he always perseveres.
Link is always ready to set aside his dangerous quests, whether that be preventing Hyrule’s plunge into darkness or saving maidens, to help out the common folk with their ordinary troubles. He takes on these side quests without any expectation of being compensated, yet is often richly rewarded. Even with the impending apocalypse, Link willingly places the needs of his fellow Hyruleans first. He has helped with chores as simple as rounding up escaped cuccos (whose owner suffers from an unfortunate cucco allergy) to tasks that are more time consuming like collecting golden bugs for Agitha, the Princess of Bugs, or completing endless trading quests.
The most admirable feature of Link is his courage. No matter the distance, he will travel it. No matter the danger, he will face it. No matter the size or ferocity of the monster, he will fight it. The willingness to accept his calling as a hero, and the hardships involved, is commendable. Not everyone would readily leave their cozy home in the forest to save a damsel in distress. As far back as the first Legend of Zelda story to the more recent, Link is often minding his own business when he is called upon to save his home of Hyrule. One night he was awoken by a maiden’s voice in his dreams to find his uncle rushing off into a stormy night. Without a thought for his own well-being, he hurried to chase his destiny. Link ignored the consequences of his actions when he descended to the surface to save his best friend that was lost in a conveniently placed wind storm.
Did I mention Link is the quiet type? That’s true, to an extent. He communicates with his peers, which we know because of gestures, but the best part about Link is that the player gives him a voice. Whether you’re speaking for Link or yelling at him for climbing a tree when that’s not what you told him to do, claiming every accomplishment and victory along the journey, or swallowing your fear before battling the evil king, we love taking over the role as Hero of Hyrule. Courageous but not fearless, Link is a hero that all men and women can call a role model.