Despite having fewer new major games to show off than almost any big-name developer at the recent E3 expo (possibly owing to a decision to delay the release of the top-secret new NX hardware to 2017) Nintendo managed to make a big splash with the unveiling of the next Legend of Zelda title, Breath of The Wild. However, many fans came away from the well-received presentation disappointed by at least one aspect: Nintendo remaining committed to sticking with the traditional male-only identity for the player character, despite many gamers having asked for years for the games to adopt the gender-choice model seen in other titles.
Now, Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto is raising hopes again, revealing that Nintendo has considered a spinoff title featuring the female hero Sheik - a.k.a. Princess Zelda herself.
Speaking to Game Rant, Miyamoto explained that the decision to stick with the traditional incarnation of Link in Breath of The Wild was mainly made in the name of consistency with the franchise. However, he elaborated the discussions regarding a female-led game set in the Zelda universe featuring the titular princess' masked alter-ego have already taken place to some extent:
“Within the development team, too, there have been talks about how it might be cool to have a game that features Sheik as a protagonist. It’s having maybe a Zelda spin-off with Sheik as a protagonist, for example, I don’t think that’s an impossibility.”
Introduced in the Nintendo 64 title The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, "Sheik" originally appears as a mysterious, ninja-like masked figure who at first looks to be male. Entering the story after Link has awakened as an adult after having been placed in a magical trance as a child, it is not revealed until later in the story that Sheik is actually the presumed-to-be-missing Princess Zelda in disguise. Since then, the iconic Sheik costume has become a fixture of the Zelda mythos, and frequently appears as an alt-mode skin for Zelda herself in the Super Smash Bros titles.
While the Zelda games have all featured a similar-looking character named Link as the lead of the story, unlike the Mario or Metroid sequels they are not technically all supposed to be the same person; 1991's Super Nintendo sequel A Link to The Past introduced the idea that series mainstays Link, Zelda, and Ganon/Ganondorf are legendary figures who reincarnate endlessly throughout various eras in the kingdom of Hyrule, which has since led many fans to hypothesize that the Link "mantle" could hypothetically be assumed by a female descendant just as easily as a male one. Then, 2014's Nintendo/Team Ninja collaboration Hyrule Warriors fueled speculation of a female or gender-optional Link in future titles with the inclusion of "Linkle," effectively a female version of Link, in its roster of playable characters.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild is due out for the Wii U and NX platforms in 2017.
Source: Game Rant