Ever since I saw the below image in 2002's The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, I thought that Link's hat had to go. Twilight Princess teased it again in 2006, but then #Nintendo did a backflip and gave us the hat again.
The Minish Cap justified the hat possibly better than any other game for me, with Ezlo and his central role redeeming the inclusion of this sartorial topper. But none of the other headwear was the magical talking hat #Ezlo, so no dice for them.
Skyward Sword at least had a pretty legit reason for the hat's inclusion, what with it being part of the knight's uniform. Still, hatless Link was better in my opinion.
Enter Breath Of The Wild
The hat is gone. Hurrah! I love Link's new default style. Nintendo is shying away from stagnant tradition and embracing a bold, new direction for the series. It adds a level of uniqueness to this Link instead of having him be another visual clone of the others who came before him. I also love how the outfit's blue color ties into the Sheikah lore we've seen permeating the rest of the game.
Yes, in the past Link has had a variation of his tunic. Yes, you can get different sets of armor in #BreathoftheWild outside of his default outfit. But #Zelda and Ganon, who get new designs with each entry, have always outclassed Link's subtle alterations to his familiar green attire. Not anymore. Now it's Link's time to shine.
Look, I know the hat and tunic are probably still in the game. But that's not the point. The Breath of the Wild version of Link is the one wearing the blue clothes. All of his artwork is of him in the blue tunic with no hat. All of the promo footage is of blue Link. Even his #Amiibo is blue Link. None of the other incarnations of Link are known by their alternate designs, if they start the game with one. This one is. The tunic, or any other piece of clothing or armor Link acquires, would essentially be the alternate design this time.
When people think "Link from Breath of the Wild," they're going to recall his original design before any eventual tunic he gets in the game. To me that's is awesome and a huge step forward in character design. It gives his character a sense of originality personality that #Ganon and Zelda have benefited from for several iterations, helping to differentiate him from Links past.
As can be seen above, the classic tunic looks pretty cool in Breath of the Wild's art style. But the point is that Link is an evolving character. He no longer has the uniform as a visual identifier, leaving the developers to rely more on how he moves and emotes. In many ways, his classic attire was a crutch — one that is now thankfully thrown to the wind. If he does obtain the tunic, it will be later in the game, after we've already come to know the character for who he is, not what he represents.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild launches March 3 for the Nintendo Switch and Wii U. Watch the latest trailer below and tell us about your favorite version of Link in the comments section.