Why is attach named Link? The surprisingly facility answer to that question entails time travelling and electronic chips.




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By Matthew Byrd | might 24, 2021 | | comments count:0
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Photo: Nintendo

A few years ago, Shigeru Miyamoto controlled to troll the web by “revealing” that Link’s full name is “Link Link.” it may have just been a cute nod come the truth that Mario’s name is reportedly Mario Mario (a joke created by the notorious 1993 Super Mario movie), yet considering that there is therefore much about Link and the Zelda world that remains mysterious, fans have tendency to be invested in anything that Miyamoto says about the franchise.

If girlfriend ask me, though, Link’s an initial name has constantly been an ext interesting than his critical name. After ~ all, why go Nintendo chose to surname Link…well…Link in the first place?

What’s makes that question even more fascinating is the the beginnings of most other significant Nintendo characters’ names space pretty well-known. Because that instance, Mario was called after one old Nintendo of America landlord, and Donkey Kong’s name is really simply a means to call American audiences the he’s a “stubborn ape.” even Zelda is called after Zelda Fitzgerald. When it concerns Link, though, you hardly ever hear Nintendo comment on the beginnings of the character’s name and also even hardcore franchise fans would most likely struggle to explain it.

As it transforms out, though, Nintendo has previously defined why connect is named Link, and the factor for his surname reveals some surprising information about the development of the franchise itself.


In a mostly forgotten 2012 interview in between Shigeru Miyamoto and Game Kult, Miyamoto talked around Link’s design and also shared this fascinating historical tidbit in the process:

“Link’s name originates from the fact that originally, the pieces of the Triforce were supposed to be digital chips. The video game was come be set in both the past and also the future, and as the key character would travel in between both and also be the link between them, they dubbed him Link.”

First off, i should mention that it’s entirely possible that Miyamoto to be misquoted or the the interview itself to be mistranslated in part way. I’ve even seen some alternative translations of the interview, despite the one above appears to it is in the most popular. That said, the thing that really renders that quote so monster is the an easy fact I’ve never ever heard anyone rather closely connected with the Zelda franchise talk about this mysterious duration in the initial game’s breakthrough when the series’ plot involved science fiction or a variation of the Triforce do of digital chips.


Still, the part about link traveling between the past and also future does do sense offered that later Zelda games featured a similar mechanic. Miyamoto’s quote suggests that time travelling was an alleged to be introduced in the an initial Zelda game, albeit in a much different way.

However, it should also be provided that Miyamoto himself has “contradicted” that quote somewhat in other interviews. For instance, in the 2011 book The Legend that Zelda: Hyrule Historia, Miyamoto stated that link was named Link because “he connects civilization together” and that “he was an alleged to spread out the scattered energy of the people through the ages.”

While that idea type of works with the moment travel concept, Miyamoto virtually makes it sound choose the name attach was always meant to convey the idea that link is a hero that exists transparent the ages in one type or another and wasn’t simply a character who initially jumped between the past and also present.




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If pressed to guess, I’d say the Nintendo dropped the time travel aspect of the very first game at an early stage on but decided to store the name link simply because they preferred it. I’d additionally guess the Miyamoto come up v that “spread the scattered energy” explanation at some time after the fact, though it certainly makes sense if he just felt choose he want to revisit that time travel principle sometime under the line and decided to store the name attach just in instance he ever before actually gained the possibility to carry out so.


There space a pair of various other explanations for Link’s name that are fairly popular yet don’t seem to be entirely true. Because that example, some fans have actually pointed out that the German word because that “left” is “link” or “links.” Considering that attach is among the most infamous left-handed heroes in gaming (at the very least some of the time), I understand if you feel that there’s no way that’s just a coincidence. Shot as i might, though, i can’t discover a explain from any kind of member of the Zelda design team throughout the years the has shown that Link’s name remained in any way chosen to educate the player the he was a left-handed character.

The various other explanation you sometimes hear for Link’s name is the idea the he is an alleged to represent the link between the character and the player. That appears to be based on an old quote from Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma in which he says that the fact link doesn’t speak is a “precious component of the individuality of his character” and helps do him much more of a blank slate that can’t quickly lose the player by saying something they will not agree with. However, the name attach doesn’t seem to have been preferred specifically to convey a similar idea.