Legend of a Great Hero

The Legend of Zelda is a video game series created by Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka and published by Nintendo. Most games star a hero, typically dressed in green, and a beautiful princess and their journey to vanquish an evil from their world, and it consists of combat and dungeons that require some puzzle-solving ability. The series currently consists of a total of 17 games. For the purposes of this shrine, I am going to focus on Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, and Twilight Princess.

Ocarina of Time

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was released in 1998 on the Nintendo 64 as the fifth installment in the series. Starting in the magical Kokiri Forest, guarded by the Great Deku Tree, the game quickly introduces the protagonist, Link, as the boy without a fairy. A great evil threatens the peace of Hyrule. Navi, his fairy, is to assume the role of his guardian and companion in order to ensure that Link fulfills his destiny as the hero of Hyrule.

In order to seal away Ganondorf, Link must awaken the seven sages who protect the Triforce in the Sacred Realm. Unbeknownst to Link, the sages are people that he had befriended as a child. With the help of these sages, the Hero of Time eventually is able to vanquish the King of Evil and return to his childhood that he had lost. This is crucial to the series because these actions introduce a split in the series timeline.

Majora's Mask

Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is the sixth game in the series, released on the Nintendo 64 in 2000. The game takes place a few months after the events of Ocarina of Time when Link embarks on another journey in search of Navi, his friend that left at the end of the previous game. Tormented by the corrupted Skull Kid, he ends up in the strange, despaired world known as Termina, a land parallel to Hyrule. Due to Majora's Mask, Skull Kid loses control of his own free will and is the driving force behind the impending doomsday that threatens the citizens of Termina. Once again, Link is needed to rescue this world from destruction. Since the moon is going to fall in exactly 72 hours from when Link first enters Clock Town, he is stuck in a repeating three-day cycle. Playing the Song of Time resets the three-day cycle, erasing everything Link had accomplished.

This game is my favorite video game that I've ever played, even though, admittedly, I didn't fully appreciate it at first. It goes outside of the standard Legend of Zelda formula to create a much darker environment, but it also pulls other traditional Zelda elements together beautifully. Featuring a similar combat style to Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask reuses many of the same weapons Link used previously, such as the arrows and hook shot, but he is now able to wield them as a child which introduces an entirely new dynamic to the character and game. One of the my favorite new gameplay mechanics is the inclusion of transformation masks that grant Link with new powers that represent those spirits that reside in the mask. It really is a wonderful game, and I think it beautifully concludes the legend of the Hero of Time.

Twilight Princess

Released in 2006, Twilight Princess is the thirteenth game in the series and takes place hundreds of years after Ocarina of Time. After his defeat, Ganondorf had been sealed away in the Sacred Realm, along with the Triforce of Power. On the day of his execution, he was able to survive due to his Triforce piece and killed one of the sages. The surviving sages locked him in the Twilight Realm where he began to plot his revenge by using Zant as his pawn.

Unlike the two previous titles on this page, the Hero of Time is not the main protagonist here, but he does appear in the game. Though it may not be obvious at first, the Hero of Time is an ancestor of this Link. His spirit also physically appears as an entity known as the Hero's Shade, the spooky spirit that passes down his secret sword techniques to Link. This is an explicit instance where the main hero is a direct descendent of a previous hero, and one of the few games with more than one Link present.

Non-Canon Appearances

The following appearances are non-canon in the Legend of Zelda series since they are spin-off titles. However, the Hero of Time is a playable character, separate from Link, and features some small references to his games!

Super Smash Bros. Melee

In Super Smash Bros. Melee (SSBM), Young Link is my favorite fighter. He can be unlocked either by playing 500 VS. matches or completing Classic Mode with 10 different characters, including two Legend of Zelda characters such as Link or Zelda. He is unlocked along with the Termina: Great Bay stage which takes place in the Great Bay region from Majora's Mask which is actually my favorite stage in the game! The background music is Saria's Song from both Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, which is also his theme song in this game, and Tingle and the Giant Turtle both make appearances in the background and as part of the stage, respectively.

His moveset is identical to his adult counterpart even though he is faster, lighter, and weaker. However, he has a further range and can stun opponents with his fire arrows, and he moves a lot faster, allowing for more hits in a shorter time frame.

Hyrule Warriors

Young Link is added as a playable character to Hyrule Warriors (Legends) in the Majora's Mask downloadable content pack along with Tingle. His initial weapon is a large two-handed version of his Kokiri sword, but his more powerful swords are replicas of the Fierce Deity Sword that he wields when he wears the Fierce Deity Mask in Majora's Mask.

He still wears his iconic Kokiri tunic and carries the Keaton Mask and the Fierce Deity mask on his back. The Keaton Mask is all for looks because it has no use in combat. It is probably the most popular mask from the series though so, and the Keaton character is very popular amongst children so it would make sense for him to carry it. However, the Fierce Deity Mask plays a large role in Young Link's combat.

Young Link is weaker compared to the other characters and has more vunerability to attacks, but when he transforms into Fierce Deity Link using his Focus Spirit ability, he is a force to be reckoned with. He's significantly more powerful and considered by players to be "broken" because it's easy to exploit his fighting mechanism. Just like in Majora's Mask, his magic meter depletes as he wears the Fierce Deity Mask. However, he is able to infinitely fight as Fierce Deity Link by converting his Special Attack Meter into his Magic Meter. To accomplish this, he plays the Song of Time on the Ocarina of Time. It seems that he travels back in time to the point where his magic meter was full.

He has no role in the story mode of the game so there is no associated lore with him. Sometimes he appears in the place of the adult Link in the game, and his badges require the same materials to unlock.