Legend Of Zelda Producer Won't Say If Link And Zelda Are Dating, Is "Up To Player's Imagination"
Nintendo's Eiji Aonuma says the development team doesn't want to spell things out.
The Legend of Zelda is (almost) always the story of Link and the titular Princess Zelda, but their relationship has never been explicitly spelled out in any of the franchise's many installments. According to Legend of Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma, the development team wants to leave the relationship between the two iconic characters up to the imaginations of players.
In an interview with IGN, Aonuma was asked if Link and Zelda are, in fact, a couple in the latest game in the series, Tears of the Kingdom. In an interview earlier this year, Zelda's English voice actress Patricia Summersett stated (before walking back her statements, claiming they were taken out of context) that Link and Zelda were in an "active" relationship, one with "a lot of care and a lot of listening." That led to a lot of fans wondering what kind of relationship, exactly, the two characters shared.
According to Aonuma, the goal of the development team was not to tell players, "This is what Zelda is, this is what the story is, this is what the game is," and that he wished to leave it up to the interpretation of players.
"Everything that the development team wants to convey has already been placed into the game," Aonuma said. "And the rest is up to the player's imagination, and their reflection of how they feel…what they've experienced in the game."
As for whether or not Zelda could become a playable character in future installments (it is, after all, her name in the game's title), Aonuma said "there's always room for thinking about this type of thing and Zelda's role" and that "there may be some sort of possibility for something like that in the future." Aonuma, who was speaking through a translator, then replied in English with "Maybe, maybe, maybe."
Whatever the role between the two characters will be in future installments, it sounds like fans can expect the next Zelda game to move on from the story of Tears of the Kingdom and Breath of the Wild. Aonuma in a different interview said that the Tears of the Kingdom development team built upon Breath of the Wild in order to "exhaust the possibilities of what we could put into that world." He went on to say he didn't think a "direct sequel" to Tears of the Kingdom was in the cards, saying a "sequel to a sequel" would be getting a "little bit wild."
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom recently took home the award for Best Action/Adventure game at The Game Awards 2023. Nintendo recently announced a live-action Legend of Zelda film is in the works, with the film's director wanting the project to feel like a live-action version of one of legendary Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki's films.