From replicating action sequences to recreating haunted towns, video games love to rob sh*t and I mean that in the nicest way possible. We all draw inspiration from other sources for our creative endeavors, and, as Yusuke Nakano, Satoru Takizawa and Yoshiki Haruhana reminded us, some of the greatest gaming minds are no exception.
For The Legend of Zelda: Art & Artifacts, a newly released art book celebrating the legacy of #Nintendo's franchise, the three artists sat down for a chat about the world they helped create. But one interesting segment saw them reminiscing about the inspiration for Link. Turns out he was pretty hot.
The Legend of Zelda's Link Is Based On A Hollywood Hottie
Asked about how they contributed to the formation of Link's flesh prison—namely his face—the three artists enjoyed this little exchange (the sentences in bold represent the interviewer):
NAKANO: It was this picture [top of page 157]. I created it as a design proposal for Link’s facial features, as an attempt to realize Koizumi’s desire for a “handsome, cool Link.” When it got a thumbs-up, I raised my hand and said, “OK then, I’ll do all the art just like this!”
Not just Link, you said you would do all the artwork, right?
NAKANO: That’s right.
So when you were illustrating Link, was there an inspiration for the character?
NAKANO: Yes. A rather world-famous Hollywood actor . . .
TAKIZAWA: Huh? You mean that actor?
HARUHANA: He is one good-looking guy.
NAKANO: Yeah. At that time, if you were to talk about a really good-looking actor, people immediately thought of this guy. So I recall keeping in mind the point of his nose and that strong-willed look in his eyes when I was drawing.
So there you have it, Link is based off of a "rather world-famous Hollywood actor". A good-looking one no less! However, the writers failed to expand on this intriguing point. Who could it be? Who was popular around the time that could have inspired them? We're talking about the Link from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time here by the by, because before that he looked like... well...
The Handsome Face Behind Our Beloved Link
So, with this in mind, let's start guessing! Do you think any of the following were the inspiration for Link's striking features?
Though the hair isn't exactly the same (they had to employ some form of poetic licensing here, people) that jawline is unmistakable. Perhaps the lad with scissors for hands was the inspiration after all!
The scientologist heartthrob was all the rage in the '90s and is, of course, still doing well for himself today. So there's no reason why Nintendo wouldn't have considered him when looking for inspiration. Haven't we all?
How could Link not have taken inspiration from the golden locks attached to Brad's chiseled head. I mean, look at him in Legends of the Fall!
What with everyone fawning over him in Romeo + Juliet and Titanic it wouldn't surprise us if the developers modeled their handsome tunic-wearer after this talented youngling!
Some Potential Contenders
So, who do you think was the inspiration for Link? Be sure to check out the latest trailer for Breath of the Wild on your way out ;)