By David Ruiz
January 9, 2019

 
Nintendo’s “The Legend of Zelda” franchise is one of the most renowned franchises in all of gaming. The series has withstood the test of time — no pun intended — and has continued to reinvent itself in a way that few franchises have been able to over the last three decades.

The stories have been compelling, the action is imaginative and at its center, you can find just as equally impressive in its main character simply named: Link.

Ask any gamer — and I’d wager that non-gamers could recognize him — on who and how important Link is to the world of gaming and the answers would be every extreme you could think of.

And why not? Link, in my opinion, is one of the most versatile characters in the world of video games today. The ever-evolving silent protagonist has improved to the point where one could argue he’s just broken.

Can Link pick up boulders three times his body mass? Yes. Can Link traverse any terrain in Hyrule? Yes. Does Link know how to use every weapon he comes across? That’s a super yes.

Link is one of those characters where he’s instantly relatable because of the power he gives the player to insert themselves into the role. And that has been one of the strong points the “Zelda” series has always offered players across the globe.

But I had an interesting thought occur to me when I was thinking about Link: Could Link survive in other gaming franchises?

I remember watching Screw Attack’s “Death Battle” series where Link was pitted against Cloud Strife from “Final Fantasy.” Spoiler alert — Link was victorious against another like-minded character who has had his own incredible accomplishments as well.

Could Link really survive as an adventurer in other franchises? Well, let’s take a look at a few and you be the judge.

DARK SOULS: I think anyone who hasn’t played this franchise would immediately say that it would be “impossible” or the world is too “unforgiving” for Link. And you’d be dead wrong. An avid player of the “Souls” series could easily tell you that Link would not only survive in this world … that he wouldn’t be as challenged as the people living in it. Link is no stranger to mythical beasts no matter how big or small. He has the gear to venture into the darkest depths — yes, even Blighttown — and make it out alive. The thing about Link is that he is the perfect RPG character. The world of “Dark Souls” would be tough, for sure. But, really, it’s nothing he hasn’t seen before. Ruined temples? Check. Demon monsters? Check. Otherworldly gear? Check. Sorry, Ornstein and Smough, as tough as the two of you are, you’re not slowing down Link.

FINAL FANTASY: The series just as old as “The Legend of Zelda,” there’s no evidence that Link wouldn’t be able to handle any story from this long-lasting series of stories. The easy route? Link beat Cloud. Therefore, Link could handle the entire story of “Final Fantasy VII.” He would go toe-to-toe with Sephiroth no problem and the entire Shinra corporation. I think the more interesting battles would be Link versus the Weapons of the game. Emerald, Ruby, Diamond. Now those would be gigantic, entertaining fights to behold. Link has fought pretty impressive bosses before in his own games, but this I think would be tough for him to overcome. But again, if you’re going the easy route and assume that Link could beat Cloud, then, of course, he can beat the Weapons, too. Still, fun to think about, isn’t it?

GRAND THEFT AUTO: I thought I’d go a little off rails with my next selection of a franchise. While, obviously, the GTA series isn’t known for its epic storytelling, could Link survive as an ordinary Hylian in the mean streets of Liberty City? Probably. Link has shown to be a master of weaponry over the years, and learning to use a gun is probably a lot easier than any magical sword. Plus, Link knows how to wield and aim a bow, so is there any real difference he couldn’t master, say, a sniper rifle? While I don’t want to imagine Link committing heinous acts of violence, he’d be pretty good at it. All that pent-up rage against Ganon has to come out somewhere, right?

ANY FIGHTING GAME*: While we’ve never seen Link handle his opponents with his mere fist — not including the Goron mask from “Majora’s Mask,” you have to wonder what his hand-to-hand skills would be like. Link has been trained by a martial artist before in his series, so you could assume he would handle his own in a bare-knuckled fight. However, Link does have fighting game experience in both “Super Smash Bros.” and as a guest character in “Soul Calibur II.” But if we’re talking true hand-to-hand combat against the likes of Ryu from “Street Fighter” or even as crazy as Goku from the “Dragon Ball” universe, I think it’d be a real treat to see the Hero of Time throw down.

What games would you like to see Link thrown into and see if he would come out alive? Let me know by hitting me up on Twitter with your gaming choices!