ByKen McDonnell, writer at Creators.co
Now Loading's sentimental Irishman. I can't stop playing Overwatch, please send help.
Ken McDonnell

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 '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

Cut that grass! [Credit Nintendo]
Cut that grass! [Credit Nintendo]

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...

[Credit: Nintendo]
[Credit: Nintendo]

That.

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?

Johnny Depp

'Cry-Baby' [Credit:	Universal Pictures]
'Cry-Baby' [Credit: Universal Pictures]

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!

Tom Cruise

'Jerry Maguire' [Credit: TriStar Pictures]
'Jerry Maguire' [Credit: TriStar Pictures]

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?

Brad Pitt

'Legends of the Fall' [Credit:	TriStar Pictures]
'Legends of the Fall' [Credit: TriStar Pictures]

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!

Leonardo DiCaprio

'Romeo + Juliet' [Credit: 20th Century Fox]
'Romeo + Juliet' [Credit: 20th Century Fox]

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

Bill Murray

'Groundhog Day' [Credit: Columbia Pictures]
'Groundhog Day' [Credit: Columbia Pictures]

Anthony Hopkins

'Silence of the Lambs' [Credit: Orion Pictures]
'Silence of the Lambs' [Credit: Orion Pictures]

Bruce Willis

'Twelve Monkeys' [Credit: Universal Pictures]
'Twelve Monkeys' [Credit: Universal Pictures]

Jeff Bridges

'The Big Lebowski' [Credit: Gramercy Pictures]
'The Big Lebowski' [Credit: Gramercy Pictures]

Joe Pesci

'Goodfellas' [Credit: Warner Bros.]
'Goodfellas' [Credit: Warner Bros.]

Paul Giamatti

'The Truman Show' [Credit: Paramount Pictures]
'The Truman Show' [Credit: Paramount Pictures]

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 ;)

(Source: The Legend of Zelda: Art & Artifacts, Kotaku)

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