Dad changes Link's gender in Zelda for daughter's sake

Mike Hoye, I salute you.

The father of three and half year old Maya painstakingly edited the data files of Nintendo's Wind Walker so that every reference to Link would be changed from male, to female.

Hoye had been playing the game with Maya in attendance, and been reading the story to her as they went along, changing Link's gender on the fly as he read aloud. However, he decided to take things a little further, and took a hex editor to the original files to alter the text in the GameCube game itself. Mike blogs:

It’s annoying and awkward, to put it mildly, having to do gender-translation on the fly when Maya asks me to read what it says on the screen. You can pick your character’s name, of course – I always stick with Link, being a traditionalist – but all of the dialog insists that Link is a boy, and there’s apparently nothing to be done about it.

Well, there wasn’t anything to be done about it, certainly not anything easy, but as you might imagine I’m not having my daughter growing up thinking girls don’t get to be the hero and rescue their little brothers.

Ever since having kids (both girls) I've become much more sensitive to the prominence of female role models in TV, and female protagonists in gaming. They are few, and add to that the difficulty of finding Asian female heroic protagonists, my hat goes off to Hoye for going the extra mile for his young daughter.

Posted on November 8, 2012 and filed under News.