A 343 Industries render artist shows us what Link might have looked like if The Legend of Zelda had been in a western developer’s hands.

The cutesy, adolescent Link of The Legend of Zelda fame is very much a product of his home country. The character reached his adorable apex in the smash hit GameCube game, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker. While that design was controversial prior to the game’s release, the cell-shaded, doe-eyed Link of that game quickly gained fan adoration after the title hit shelves. It kind of makes you wonder what kind of character Link could have been if a western artist had designed him.

“Cute” isn’t exactly a word you’d use to describe the macho world of western action games and first-person shooters, which often feature hulking, muscle-bound men wielding ludicrously huge weapons. So, what would Link end up looking like if he’d been designed by, say, a render artist from the renowned Halo series of first person shooters?

A lot like this, apparently:


This is the work of Halo render artist and 343 Industries designer, Kyle Hefley. According to Kyle’s LinkedIn profile, his body of work consists almost exclusively of action and FPS games, including past work as lead character designer on a bunch of Call of Duty titles, and his background certainly shows in this more mature, rugged-looking Link.

It’s definitely a cool take on the classic character, and Hefley’s talents are obvious in the work, but at least some Internet commenters appear to be critical of the design, calling it “too much” of a departure from the Link we all know and love. For our part, we’d definitely play a Zelda game featuring this more adult Link, but what do you guys think?



Source: Hachima Kikou
Images: Kyle Hefley via Tumblr