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The Hero of Time is the title given to the Link who appears in Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, and later in Twilight Princess as the Hero's Spirit.[1] Link is bestowed this title upon awakening from his seven-year slumber after retrieving the Master Sword from the Pedestal of Time.[1] By traveling through time to awaken the Six Sages and stop the King of Evil Ganondorf from conquering Hyrule, the Hero of Time's tale becomes a legend that is passed down through many generations, proving to be of great relevance to both the Mythology in The Legend of Zelda series as well as the timeline in which the games take place.[2] The Links from Twilight Princess and The Wind Waker, known as the Hero of Twilight and the Hero of Winds, respectively, are his descendants.

Biography[]

Childhood[]

Tree

The Great Deku Tree telling the young Hero of Time about his future density to save the land of Hyrule

As a child, the Hero of Time grew up in the Kokiri Forest believing that he was a Kokiri, but in reality he was an orphaned Hylian, due to his dying mother left him under the guardianship of the Great Deku Tree as a baby during the Hyrulean Civil War. Because the Hero of Time was not a Kokiri despite being raised as such, Link did not possess a Fairy companion, which led to him being ostracized by the majority of the Kokiri tribe, with the exception of his close friend Saria and the Deku Tree. He himself had been plagued with nightmares about a princess on horseback fleeing from a wicked man dressed in black (which would soon become a reality). Eventually, the Hero of Time was bestowed with a Fairy named Navi by the Great Deku Tree to help guide him on his grand quest to save Hyrule. At the beginning his adventure, Link managed to save the Great Deku Tree from a dangerous parasite inside and earning the Kokiri's Emerald, the first of three Spiritual Stones, but the Kokiri Forest guardian dies as a result after the Deku Tree tells his destiny to meet Princess Zelda and save the land, in which he must leave the forest.

The Legend of the Hero of Time[]

Castle Courtyard OoT

Young Princess Zelda shares the Hero of Time about her dark dreams of Ganondorf's plan to enter the Sacred Realm to take over Hyrule

OoT Pedestal of Time Artwork

As he was too young to bear the title, Link was immediately sealed for 7 years upon pulling the Master Sword

In the land of Hyrule, with a little help by a girl named Malon, upon meeting Zelda inside Hyrule Castle (who also shares dreams of the man in black) for the first time, she tells Link the legends that speak of the Triforce, the mythical Golden Power said to reside in the Sacred Realm which has the power to grant any wishes of its holder, good or bad.[3][4] Ganondorf, the King of the Gerudo tribe, schemes to enter the Sacred Realm to claim the Triforce, and thus rule the world.[5][6] Knowing the villain's plan, the duo agreed to stop him and save Hyrule with all their power. However, with the unwitting assistance of a young courageous boy named Link and Hyrule's Princess Zelda, after the former collects the remaining Spiritual Stones - the Goron's Ruby and Zora's Sapphire, and meeting more new friends along the way such as Darunia and Princess Ruto after solving their troubles, Ganondorf attacked Hyrule Castle, with the young princess escaping on horseback with her assistant Impa - exactly like in his nightmare, but Zelda herself quickly throws the Ocarina of Time toward him as she entrusts him to finish his duty of protecting the Sacred Realm. Link then meets Ganondorf in person and although the boy boldly tried to challenge him, he was no match for the Gerudo King and then Ganondorf seemingly chases after Zelda and Impa again. Link soon after enters the Temple of Time to open the Door of Time using the Spiritual Stones, which inside lies the Master Sword, a legendary weapon with the power to repel evil. What the young hero or Princess Zelda does not know, however, was that Ganondorf had been following him as he entered the Temple, as he quickly realized Link has the Royal Family's Ocarina given by Zelda. When Link retrieves the Master Sword from the Pedestal of Time, he was suddenly sealed by the blade without warning, as he was too young of age to bear the title as the Hero of Time. In addition, the Sacred Realm was opened as he pulled the Master Sword, as it is also one of the keys to the secret place like the Ocarina of Time. Consequently, he helplessly watches Ganondorf entering it (before thanking the hero for letting him reach his ultimate goal) and touches the Triforce.[7] Although the King of Thieves was successful at reaching the sacred triangle and things are not going according to plan for Link and Zelda, their mission of stopping and defeating him were not entirely in vain, however; Because Ganondorf's heart was not in balance due to his wickedness, the Triforce itself separated into three parts upon being touched by the Gerudo leader, leaving him with only the Triforce of Power and transforming the Sacred Realm into a corrupt world of evil.[8][9] The Triforce of Wisdom was then bestowed upon Princess Zelda and the Triforce of Courage upon Link, respectively. Therefore, although he became incredibly powerful by the Triforce piece he ultimately acquired, Ganondorf was not satisfied and is determined to search and obtain the other two pieces chosen by destiny in order to gain complete control of the world and truly become invincible.[10] Link was then put into suspended animation within the Chamber of Sages for seven years until he matured enough to properly handle the Blade of Evil's Bane.[1] Meanwhile, throughout this near-decade long gap in time, Ganondorf used the Triforce of Power to take over Hyrule to become the Evil King, transforming the entire kingdom into a dark age and forcing Zelda into hiding as a member of the Sheikah named Sheik, patiently waiting for the hero's late return.[11][12]

OoT Ganondorf Dead Man's Volley

The grown Hero of Time in his ultimate showdown against Ganondorf, the King of Evil

OoT Ganon's Defeat

Ganon climactically defeated by the Hero of Time's hand during the final battle in Hyrule

Now a young adult, Link eventually awakens as the Hero of Time, and, using the Master Sword and the Ocarina of Time plus instructions by Sheik, travels through time and across Hyrule to seek the Six Sages (most of which were his childhood friends), who were said to have the power to bind Ganondorf and return peace to Hyrule.[2][13] When all Sages are awakened and returns back to the Temple of Time, Sheik tells Link about the meaning of the Triforce and why it split, who are the three bearers, and ultimately reveals himself to be Princess Zelda in disguise (who is also revealed to be the seventh Sage and their leader). The princess is happy to see her partner in person after 7 years and gave him Light Arrows to help weaken Ganondorf's defenses, but their reunion was cut short when Ganondorf himself, who have been waiting for such a time to come of Zelda exposing herself to Link, suddenly captures her, and the Evil King tells the Hero of Time to enter his castle where Hyrule's once stood for a final showdown. With the assistance of the Six Sages, Link was able to storm the stronghold and challenge his archenemy at the inner sanctum once and for all. Upon reaching the top of the tower where Ganondorf is waiting and Princess Zelda hostage, all three of their respective Triforce pieces begin to resonate and attempt to become whole again. After a brutal battle to the death in his human form and soon after as the vicious Ganon - his true form, destroying Ganon's Castle in the process, the villain was ultimately wounded by a finishing blow via Link slashing his face several times then thrusting the Master Sword straight into his mouth, resulting in Ganon, not killed by the sacred blade, somehow, but roaring and flailing in agony. Nevertheless, this gave Princess Zelda and the Six Sages the chance they desperately needed to finally bind the monster and throw him back into the void of the Evil Realm.[14][15] Defeated by Link's hand, the King of Evil, with the Triforce of Power still in his hand and in a fit of rage and shock, threatens to return one day to exterminate the descendants of the Hero of Time and the Sages to make them all pay for his defeat and imprisonment once the seal is broken (foreshadowing the events of The Wind Waker).[16]

Zelda with the Ocarina of Time

Their mission of saving Hyrule completed, the Hero of Time and Princess Zelda say their goodbyes

With Hyrule now finally at peace, while saying their goodbyes, Princess Zelda uses her power as a Sage to send the Hero of Time back to his original age in order to regain his lost childhood, as compensation for his heroic role of taking down Ganondorf, and with guilt, claiming the tragedy that had befallen Hyrule was her own mistakes as a child and dragged Link into the ordeal.[17] The Master Sword is also left in the Hero's wake, being returned to its pedestal in turn, sealing the Sacred Realm and therefore closing the road between times. His fairy companion, Navi, with her mission completed, suddenly flies away and utterly leaves Link without a word to spare. With this act by the princess in the future, the Hero of Time vanishes completely from this branch of Hyrule's history, leaving only his legend behind, as she unknowingly split the timeline into two and thus created new history, called the Child and Adult Timeline. With Link being sent back to his childhood, the Triforce of Courage in this particular timeline also shatters into eight fragments and are scattered throughout the land, which would be found again one day by another Hero that would have need of its power at his own adventure.

The Legendary Hero's Fate[]

OoT Ending

After being sent back to his original time by the future Princess Zelda, the Hero of Time quickly returns back to Hyrule Castle and warns her current self about Ganondorf's true plans as he learned from his adventure

Now back to his original time permanently, with the memory of his adventure still intact, the Hero of Time returns to the Hyrule Castle courtyard, and warns Princess Zelda and the King of Hyrule about Ganondorf's conspiracy and what the future would unfold if the Gerudo King was not immediately stopped, in order to prevent the previous events from ever occurring again, well-aware of their archenemy's coming assault, and using the Triforce of Courage remaining in his hand as evidence.[18] He gains the Royal Family's trust and stayed in the castle for a short time. The princess entrusts Link with the Ocarina of Time and instructs him to head far away, to permanently thwart Ganondorf from entering the Sacred Realm and have himself ultimately imprisoned (and eventually executed and cast away in the Twilight Realm in the events of Twilight Princess) by the King. After saying goodbye (again), the young hero then departs from Hyrule, riding on his horse Epona with the magical Ocarina in hand to seek his missing fairy companion, Navi. Upon Link's departure from the kingdom, however, the Triforce of Courage in this part of the timeline, due to himself being separated from the "elements that made him a hero", ultimately vanishes from the Hero of Time's hand, therefore losing the great mystical powers bestowed upon him by the essence of the goddess Farore.[19]

MM Link Riding Epona

Link riding on Epona searching for his fairy friend Navi after his departure from Hyrule, a scene which would repeat again after saving Termina, as seen in Majora's Mask

MM Clock Town Artwork

The Hero of Time in the land of Termina, where he must stop the Moon from crashing in three days during his second journey to defeat Majora's Mask

No longer protected by the power of the Triforce and months later in the process, in a distant forest at the very outskirts of Hyrule, the Hero of Time was suddenly ambushed and stumbles into a parallel universe known as Termina, which was being threatened to be destroyed by its sinister Moon in three days, by the Skull Kid, under possession of a powerful evil entity called Majora's Mask. He was then instructed by the Happy Mask Saleman (who knows him from Hyrule) to take the ancient mask from the Skull Kid as soon as possible, resulting in Link forced to put his search for Navi on hold and do another adventure within this mysterious Hyrule-like world, which turned out be even darker than the last. With the aid of the Ocarina of Time, transforming Masks including the notorious Fierce Deity Mask - a deadly mask said to be as dangerous as Majora's Mask itself, a new fairy partner named Tatl, and the Four Giants, Link eventually defeats Majora in a harsh battle, destroying the monster and the Moon, and saves Termina from its imminent destruction. The now-freed Skull Kid gave thanks and recognized him as the one who taught him "that song" in the Lost Woods. Soon after, he leaves the land to resume his original quest of searching for Navi, though he notices a tree stump in a band of light in the same place where he was originally ambushed, showing a drawing of himself, Skull Kid, Tatl, Tael, and the Four Giants waving, by the Skull Kid himself as a remembrance. However, as soon as Link left Termina and seemingly returns back to Hyrule, the universe itself ceases to exist due to Majora's Mask's ultimate defeat, causing the young hero's history of rescuing it to erase entirely - just like in the end of his previous adventure in Hyrule after defeating Ganondorf. Consequently, the Hero of Time is once again back to square one, with no lasting evidence of himself saving either world. At this point, Link's future whereabouts and activities are unknown.

TP Hero's Spirit Model 2

Although the Hero of Time proved himself a legendary hero, Link's regrets from his adventures ultimately reduced him into a Stalfos-like ghost later in the Child Timelime

Despite he indeed rescued his homeland as well as Termina from certain doom and his legend forever lives on in the Adult Timeline, unfortunately, as Link now lives in the Child Timeline - a completely different universe from where he started his adventure, with no memory of his title and virtually all of his friends were lost, the Hero of Time continued to lament the fact that he was not remembered as a hero at all after he was returned to his original time by Princess Zelda upon defeating Ganon in the events of Ocarina of Time in spite of her good intentions, and his great heroic achievements were tragically unrecognized to the world even after warning the princess and stopping Ganondorf entirely. In addition, he never found Navi after the events of Majora's Mask, a beloved friend who simply abandoned him without saying goodbye, and, when he eliminated Majora, the Happy Mask Salesman and Tatl did not gave Link a proper thanks for his hard efforts. Therefore, with his two traumatic journeys apparently all for naught, Link, sadly, was never in relative peace, and is filled with complete regret of his actions for the rest of his life and remained isolated from the many hardships, ironically like how Zelda in the seven-year future felt about Hyrule falling under Ganondorf's rule due to her own actions.[20] Even after his death, the Hero of Time was unable to go to the afterlife because of the non-stop regrets that kept him tied to the world of the living, feeling that he was unable to pass on the lessons of his life to the younger generations. In order to finally ease his inner demons and at last pass on his long-lost knowledge of the arts of the sword, the Hero of Time teaches the seven Hidden Skills to his descendant, the Link of Twilight Princess, known as the Hero of Twilight, in the form of a ghostly Stalfos-like swordsman and pale golden wolf known as the Hero's Spirit, taking place over a century after his time as the chosen hero by the gods.[20][21]

Legacy[]

The statue of the Hero of Time found in Hyrule Castle in the Adult Timeline (The Wind Waker)

The legend of the Hero of Time becomes of great significance in the development of the Zelda Timeline and the mythology in The Legend of Zelda series. His climactic battle against Ganondorf marked the point in which the timeline split into three branches: the Downfall, Child, and Adult Timeline. Princess Zelda's plan with Link to save Hyrule by retrieving the Triforce before the villain resulted in the King of Evil ultimately obtaining the Triforce of Power,[22] leading eventually, in one continuity, to Link's tragic defeat by Ganon's hand and the formation of the Downfall Timeline.[23] In the alternate continuity where Link succeeds in defeating Ganondorf as seen in the ending of Ocarina of Time, the princess sends the Hero of Time back to his original time, creating two timelines; the Child Timeline and the Adult Timeline. In the latter of the two, the Triforce of Courage is shattered and the Link in the Adult Timeline vanishes from existence due to the time paradox, resulting in Hyrule eventually being flooded since there was no hero whatsoever to defeat Ganon once the Sages' seal broke.[24] In the former, the Hero of Time becomes filled with regret by not being remembered as the legendary hero that saved Hyrule from Ganondorf or Termina from Majora's Mask, eventually leading him to linger on as the Hero's Spirit in the Era of Twilight.[20]

Although Hyrule was flooded in the Adult Timeline and the memory of the kingdom vanished, the legend of the Hero of Time transcended through time. In Outset Island, it became a custom to clothe boys in green once they came of age.[25][26] A statue depicting the Hero of Time is also prominently displayed in the sunken Hyrule Castle, demonstrating how meaningful the legend of the brave boy clothed in green was to the citizens of Hyrule. When the Hero of Winds, the Link from The Wind Waker, defeats Puppet Ganon, Ganondorf compared this particular hero with the Hero of Time, his predecessor, who had defeated him hundreds of years ago, claiming he is that Link reborn.[27]

Relationships[]

OoT Zelda Link Artwork

A young Hero of Time sitting peacefully with Young Princess Zelda and Navi, in an artwork of Ocarina of Time

In his childhood, the Hero of Time establishes the relationships of certain individuals that will come to his benefit in his adult years, after pulling the Master Sword from the Pedestal of Time. Link is the one to establish his beneficial and plot-necessary relationship with Saria, and Mido's dislike for him can be attributed to this in addition to the Great Deku Tree's favor for him over anyone else, namely Mido himself.[28] The young hero also strikes up a friendship with Princess Zelda, and indirectly with Impa as well, while conversing with her about Ganondorf and the fate of her kingdom in the Hyrule Castle courtyard, after vanquishing the parasite from the Great Deku Tree. In helping Darunia reopen the Dodongo's Cavern (who calls him his Sworn Brother), and saving Princess Ruto from the depths of the stomach of Lord Jabu-Jabu (who claims she is engaged with him after giving the Zora's Sapphire), Link had, unbeknownst to him, met and aided almost all of the future Sages who would, in turn, ultimately help him in his quest to save Hyrule from the Evil King Ganondorf in the young hero's adult years.[29][30] Even after returning to his childhood for the second time to enter the Spirit Temple, he continues this by befriending Nabooru by agreeing to aid her in overthrowing Ganondorf. He is also the one that forms the initial bond with Epona and Malon. In addition, he also met and befriended the scarecrows Bonooru and Pierre, which the latter would aid him controlling the flow of time in Termina. The Skull Kid, once freed from Majora's Mask, remembers Link as the one who taught him Saria's Song.

Personality[]

OoT Link Portrait

The Hero of Time is shown to have a more no-nonsense personality compared to other incarnations of Link, despite being equally pure of heart

MM3D Cremia and Link on Wagon

The Hero of Time accompanying a lonely Cremia delivering her milk as seen in Majora's Mask 3D, a testament of himself eager of helping others

Like with most other Links in the series, as he is known as a "silent protagonist", the Hero of Time is not seen speaking or emoting to a large degree in the games where he is playable, although the optional texts the player can choose when talking to certain characters implies he is not necessarily mute. He is a benevolent, intelligent, highly brave, courageous, and selfless individual with a pure heart, even though Link often appears serious or stoic (especially as adult) in the original N64 versions of Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, a few spin-off games, and some offical artwork. Twilight Princess and Hyrule Historia serve as the only real look into his thoughts and feelings. Even at a young age, the Hero of Time displayed an immense amount of bravery and skill that only grew further when he became an adult, proving himself an expert warrior. Link is also shown to be very helpful and caring to others throughout his journeys in both Hyrule and Termina, even if it wasn't related to his main quest, willing to sacrifice his own personal deeds no matter the outcome.

As the Hero's Shade, where he does actually speak (likely due to the fact he's no longer controlled by the player), he is shown to be much sterner and blunt, telling his descendant, the Link from Twilight Princess, that the latter's current skill level dishonors their bloodline upon first meeting him. He also reflected on his former time as a hero, saying that the path to becoming a true hero is a long one, and that while he accepted the tough life as a hero, he regretted that he couldn't pass on the lessons he had learned. As he trained the Hero of Twilight in the long-lost arts of the sword, the former Hero of Time reminded the latter that he must continue to improve his skill and courage himself so that he could become the savior Hyrule needed to defeat Ganondorf, as he saw his former self fully reflected in his descendant. Once the Hero of Twilight mastered all of the Hidden Skills, the shade proudly told his successor that he now knew all of what it took to be a true hero, and could now march forth with his vision unclouded at last. Even as a ghost, the Hero of Time continued to aid the land of Hyrule and its people with the best of his ability just like when he was alive.

Other Appearances[]

Super Smash Bros. Melee[]

Main article: Young Link
See SmashWiki's article on Young Link for more information.
SSBMYoungLink
SSBM Link Artwork

The Hero of Time appears in both his child and adult forms in Super Smash Bros. Melee. His adult form is a default character while his child form has to be unlocked. There are two ways to unlock his child form, including by playing 500 Vs. matches, or Completing Classic Mode with 10 different characters, including Adult Link and Zelda. The player will then be challenged by Young Link, and upon defeating him, Young Link will become a playable character. His appearance is based on his younger and older counterparts as seen in Ocarina of Time, since he wields the Kokiri Sword and the Deku Shield during combat as a child, and the Master Sword and the Hylian Shield as an adult. Young Link is more agile, but weaker while Adult Link is slower, but stronger. Young Link has some of the same weaponry and moves as his adult counterpart, but they are usually accompanied with a few changes, like his Hookshot and Boomerang having a shorter reach. Great Bay serves as the home stage of Young Link, and Hyrule: Temple is the home stage of Adult Link.

Both Adult Link and Young Link can choose different color tunics, including the Goron and Zora tunics, and a black tunic. When the Young Link taunts his foes, he drinks a Bottle of Lon Lon Milk, then wipes his mouth.

Young Link's special moves are the same as the adult version. He wields the Fairy Bow from Ocarina of Time as his neutral special move; however, instead of it shooting normal Arrows like Adult Link's, Young Link shoots Fire Arrows, although they do not travel as far as Adult Link's and inflict less damage. Young Link's side special move is the Boomerang. Bombs function as both Link's down special move, while the Spin Attack is their up special move as well as his Template:Ssb:recovery. Young Link's Spin Attack is weaker than Adult Link's, but it can trap nearby foes in a cyclone of slashes upon performing this move.

The Hero of Time is replaced by Toon Link and a Link resembling the incarnation in Twilight Princess in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U, for his child and adult forms. Both appear as Trophies in Super Smash Bros. Melee.

# Trophy First Game / Move Description How to unlock
7 SSBM Link Trophy Model
Link
The Legend of Zelda
07/87
Even in his youth, Link was already becoming the warrior who would carry the destiny of Hyrule (and many other lands) on his shoulders. His epic struggles against the forces of darkness are written in legend, and he is bound to the Princess Zelda and the archfiend Ganondorf by the awesome power of the Triforce. Complete Classic Mode as Link
8 SSBM Link (Smash) Trophy Model
Link [Smash]
B: Bow
Smash B: Boomerang
Burdened with a shield, a heavy sword, and plenty of equipment, Link is not a very mobile character. Nevertheless, he's skilled with the blade, and his varied supply of missile weapons makes him a powerful fighter. To master Link, you must control the pace by balancing your long-range attacks with head-to-head swordplay. Complete Adventure Mode as Link
9 SSBM Link (Smash) Trophy Red Model
Link [Smash]
Up & B: Spin Attack
Down & B: Bomb
Link's Bow, Boomerang, and Bombs all take time to wield, so you may want to try drawing them in midair to prevent your foes from attacking you while you're vulnerable. The Spin Attack can score consecutive midair hits, and the final slash is very powerful. Link's Bombs are his trump card, but he can't pull one out if he's carrying another item. Complete All-Star Mode as Link


70 SSBM Young Link Trophy Model
Young Link
The Legend of Zelda
07/87
Link's younger incarnation is often considered to be the true Link: he was a young boy in the very first Legend of Zelda game, and he has appeared as a youth in most of the subsequent games. Since his debut on the original NES in 1987, Link's appearance has changed over and over again, each time adding to the mystique of his incomparable story. Complete Classic Mode as Young Link
71 SSBM Young Link (Smash) Trophy Model
Young Link [Smash]
B: Fire Bow
Smash B: Boomerang
Young Link is lighter and faster than his older self, and his Kokiri sword packs less punch. Even though his Boomerang has a shorter range, he has greater control over it. He's a smaller target, and while his Hookshot has less reach than older Link's, you can still use it in midair as a last ditch attempt to grab a ledge. Complete Adventure Mode as Young Link
72 SSBM Young Link (Smash) Trophy Blue Model
Young Link [Smash]
Up & B: Spin Attack
Down & B: Bomb
With a youthful spring in his step, Young Link can perform amazing wall-jumps. Once he hits a wall, tap the Control stick in the opposite direction to send him leaping upward; you can practice to your heart's content in Target Test. His Spin Attack can strike multiple times even on the ground, and although it's hard to discern, so do his Bombs. Complete All-Star Mode as Young Link

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[]

Main article: Young Link

Although his adult form remains absent from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (being replaced by the Breath of the Wild incarnation of Link) the Hero of Time reappears as Young Link. His moveset is almost identical to how it was in Super Smash Bros. Melee, with slight changes.

Trivia[]

OoT Cast Artwork

Artwork of Ocarina of Time, featuring the Hero of Time in both his child and adult ages alongside several other main characters

  • In spite of his highly unfortunate story as a tragic hero, the Hero of Time is widely the most popular and iconic Link in the The Legend of Zelda series community, not only due to the revolutionary success of Ocarina of Time and its sequel or his major importance in the mythology and timelines according to Hyrule Historia, but also having a unique, very powerful transformation, the praised voice performances of Fujiko Takamoto and Nobuyuki Hiyama for his child and adult self, respectively, and setting the standard for most other Links since.
  • The opening cutscene of The Wind Waker shows the Hero of Time defeating Ganon as a child, when he was in fact an adult in Ocarina of Time during the final battle. In the same scene, Link also fought him without a shield while Ganondorf battled only in his beast form, unarmed.
  • According to Hyrule Historia, it is possible that the Hero of Time was once a Hylian Knight himself.
  • Although the Hero of Time is technically his adult self, as explicitly explained in Ocarina of Time, a few games, specifically The Wind Waker, claimed Link's title as a child.
  • As it is never explained by Nintendo what happened to the Hero of Time after the events of Majora's Mask and before becoming the Hero's Shade in Twilight Princess, fans have created many unconfirmed theories about the character, such as Link dying in a very intense war as a knight at Hyrule in his adulthood or inside the Lost Woods while searching for Navi due to the decayed skeletal appearance wearing swordsman armor, as well as the loss of his Triforce of Courage.
  • Although Link's exact height is unknown, when compared to the corrected measuring graph in the pool in the Lakeside Laboratory via the Iron Boots in Ocarina of Time 3D, the Hero of Time stands 1.7m (5'7") tall in height as an adult, which is around the average for a man. Interestingly, Princess Zelda (and Sheik) is slightly shorter than Link, but Impa stands taller than him.
    • His Fierce Deity Link form in Majora's Mask is extremely tall, likely the same as Ganondorf, who himself measures 230cm (7'6½") in Ocarina of Time according to Hyrule Historia.
LinkRuto2

Unique among Links in the series, the Hero of Time is famously known for being the love interest of multiple females such as Princess Ruto, whom he is unintentionally engaged to, as seen in Ocarina of Time

  • Unlike all other incarnations of Link in The Legend of Zelda series, the Hero of Time in Ocarina of Time, despite destiny ultimately separating them and none gave direct affection, shares a somewhat romantic relationship with four different female characters, three of which whom are also Sages: Princess Zelda, Saria, Princess Ruto, and Malon. Because of this, many fans strongly considered this particular Link to be a ladies' man or in a love triangle. Story-wise, however, he is technically engaged with Ruto, as the Zora princess vows the Hero of Time her husband when obtaining the Spiritual Stone of Water, as it is also called the "Zora's Engagement Ring", even though Link himself was not aware of the proposal due to his goal of helping Hyrule's princess, Zelda, and, more likely than not, the fact he was still at a young age.
    • In the Ocarina of Time (Himekawa) manga, Kaepora Gaebora, the owl form of the Sage of Light, Rauru, indeed directly tells Link that he is popular with the ladies after meeting Saria, Zelda, and Malon, but not yet Ruto, in which the young hero's response was to hush up, suggesting he is relatively aware of his relationships. Earlier in the same manga, Zelda can be seen giving Link a kiss to his cheek after agreeing to stop Ganondorf.
    • Nabooru, the Sage of Spirit, also shows interest in Link when she realizes how handsome he is as an adult, and regrets that she should've kept the promise of "something great" she said to him as a child.
    • Although not confirmed by Nintendo and despite the aforementioned possible marriage with Princess Ruto, some fans speculated that Malon may have ultimately won the Hero of Time's affections among the four girls in the events leading to becoming the Hero's Spirit well after Majora's Mask, due to the fact that her wish was to have a knight in shining armor wiping her feet one day according to a Gossip Stone in Ocarina of Time, as well as that Link himself could be one himself according to Hyrule Historia. His descendant in the Child Timeline, the Link from Twilight Princess, initially a rancher, knows Epona's Song, the song Malon herself teaches the Hero of Time.
      • Even Navi has a slight fondness for Link, as according to Shigeru Miyamoto in an interview, she is jealous of Princess Zelda and feels something for the young hero. In the manga adaptation of Ocarina of Time by Akira Himekawa, the Fairy tells Link she loves him before parting ways with him at its climax.
  • In addition to Ocarina of Time/Majora's Mask and their remakes, as he is featured in Twilight Princess (as Hero's Spirit), three of the Super Smash Bros. series (original, Melee, and Ultimate), Hyrule Warriors (Young Link), the critically acclaimed 2002 Namco fighting game Soul Calibur II (as a guest star), and likely the 2000 SpaceWorld tech demo, the Hero of Time made more appearances than any other incarnations of Link.
  • The Hero of Time is the only incarnation of Link to be hugged by another character, based on the events of Majora's Mask. If Link were to help Cremia, the Terminan adult counterpart of Malon, deliver her Chateau Romani milk to the Milk Bar after protecting her from the Gorman Brothers' ambush during the night of the Second Day, and the Romani's Mask was already obtained, there is a 50/50 probability for himself to receive a Huge Rupee (even if the counter is full) or an affectionate hug from her.
  • According to Hyrule Historia, the Hero of Time's age is 10 as a child and 17 as an adult, though it is debated in other sources.
  • In the post-credits cutscene of Link meeting Princess Zelda in the Hyrule Castle Courtyard for the second time in Ocarina of Time and Ocarina of Time 3D, the Triforce of Courage can be seen resonating on his left hand.
  • Although sometimes falsely assumed as such by fans, the Hero of Time is not the first instance in the franchise to feature an older Link, as this debuted in The Adventure of Link. However, his appearance in Ocarina of Time has become a trademark image for the character to many, despite the majority of the games in the series depicted Link as a child.
  • Although the Hero of Time has no direct counterpart in Termina, Kafei in Majora's Mask is remarkably similar to Link in that he shares the same personality and animations as himself, and during a part of the Reuniting Kafei and Anju sidequest where they must acquire the Sun's Mask, he can even be controlled by the player (a first for the series) and can also punch.
  • The Hero of Time's encounter with his descendant in Twilight Princess as the Hero's Spirit marks the first time in the franchise where a Link directly speaks with another incarnation of himself.
  • Link's model in Majora's Mask is slightly taller than how he appears in its prequel. This implies the Hero of Time had gained a small growth between the games' events.
  • Interestingly, in his crossover appearance in Soul Calibur II exclusively for the GameCube version, although not canon to The Legend of Zelda or Soul Calibur series whatsoever, the Hero of Time's in-game story not only references his two adventures in Hyrule and Termina, but also A Link to the Past as well. In this game, Link pulled the Master Sword in the Lost Woods as opposed to the Temple of Time, and he had already rescued Hyrule from an evil magician (possibly Agahnim) before entering the Soul universe as he learns the controlling force behind the wizard was by a deadly evil entity sword called Soul Edge, where he must destroy it. When he eventually succeeds in his quest, therefore saving the world, he quietly leaves to return back to Hyrule, like in the ending of Majora's Mask. Although most of his available arsenal in Soul Calibur II are from the N64 games where he is playable such as the Biggoron's Sword or Great Fairy's Sword, a few of such are also items predating Ocarina of Time, specifically the Magical Sword/Shield (named "Magic Sword" in-game), Cane of Byrna, and even the Bug Catching Net. He can even wield Soul Edge itself in the shape of his trademark Master Sword and Hylian Shield weapons. In addition, like in the Super Smash Bros. series, the Blue Ring tunic from the original The Legend of Zelda is also available as an alternate costume.
  • Despite the Link from The Wind Waker, known as the Hero of Winds, is the Hero of Time's successor in the Adult Timeline and is likely his descendant, he is said to be unrelated to the legendary hero in-game according to the King of the Red Lions, likely due to the fact centuries have passed since Ocarina of Time.
  • In the Akira Himekawa manga adaptation of Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, Link can be heard saying minor profanities, often "Damn".
  • The Hero of Time is the only incarnation of Link to switch between ages within one mainline game - Ocarina of Time, although he was originally going to do this in Majora's Mask as well by a transforming Mask resembling his face but was scrapped during development and was replaced by the Fierce Deity's Mask to become Fierce Deity Link instead. Concept artwork of his adult self can be seen in Hyrule Historia's section of the latter game (see gallery).
    TPG Link Navi Cameo

    The Hero of Time's homage in The Powerpuff Girls

  • The Hero of Time, alongside Navi, has a pop culture appearance in the popular 1998 Cartoon Network superhero TV series The Powerpuff Girls, in the season three episode "Child Fearing", where the character Mayor plays a Zelda game on his Nintendo 64. Based on the then-new Ocarina of Time, Link, without a shield, repeatedly runs directly into walls with Navi saying her infamous line "Hey!", before suddenly being crushed by a block and even kills the fairy with a single horizontal slash with his sword (presumably the Kokiri Sword), which both incidents has him taking three Hearts in damage, despite the latter not actually taking hits. Consequently, he gets a Game Over, in spite of having one Heart Container remaining.
  • The Hero of Time's earliest appearance was possibly the Zelda 64 Spaceworld 1995 tech demo, where the demo was an early test of the N64's capabilities for a Zelda game. Although in 3D, Link's appearance is based on A Link to the Past rather than his final design in Ocarina of Time.

Nomenclature[]

TMC Forest Minish Artwork Names in Other Regions TMC Jabber Nut Sprite
Language Name Meaning
Japan Japanese 時の勇者 (Toki no Yūsha) Hero of Time
People's Republic of China ChineseSI 时光之勇者 (Shíguāng zhī Yǒngzhé) Hero of Time
ERROR: You must enter a country code. ChineseTR 時之勇者 (Shí zhī Yǒngzhé) Hero of Time
Canada FrenchCA Héros du temps (OoT3D)
Federal Republic of Germany German Herr der Zeiten (OoT), Held der Zeit (OoT3D) Lord of Times, Hero of Time
Community of Latin American and Caribbean States SpanishLA Héroe del Tiempo (OoT3D)

Gallery[]

See Also[]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "The Master Sword is a sacred blade which evil ones may never touch.... Only one worthy of the title of "Hero of Time" can pull it from the Pedestal of Time.... However, you were too young to be the Hero of Time.... Therefore, your spirit was sealed here for seven years. And now that you are old enough, the time has come for you to awaken as the Hero of Time!" — Rauru (Ocarina of Time)
  2. 2.0 2.1 "This boy, who traveled through time to save the land, was known as the Hero of Time. The boy's tale was passed down through generations until it became legend..." — N/A (The Wind Waker)
  3. "For it is in that Sacred Realm that one will find the divine relic, the Triforce, which contains the essence of the gods..." — Great Deku Tree (Ocarina of Time)
  4. "The three goddesses hid the Triforce containing the power of the gods somewhere in Hyrule. The power to grant the wish of the one who holds the Triforce in his hands. If someone with a righteous heart makes a wish, it will lead Hyrule to a golden age of prosperity... If someone with an evil mind has his wish granted, the world will be consumed by evil...That is what has been told..." — Princess Zelda (Ocarina of Time)
  5. "This evil man ceaselessly uses his vile, sorcerous powers in his search for the Sacred Realm that is connected to Hyrule..." — Great Deku Tree (Ocarina of Time)
  6. "What Ganondorf is after must be nothing less than the Triforce of the Sacred Realm. He must have come to Hyrule to obtain it! And, he wants to conquer Hyrule...no, the entire world!" — Princess Zelda (Ocarina of Time)
  7. "Though you opened the Door of Time in the name of peace... Ganondorf, the Gerudo King of Thieves, used it to enter this forbidden Sacred Realm! He obtained the Triforce from the Temple of Light, and with its power, he became the King of Evil..." — Rauru (Ocarina of Time)
  8. "If the heart of the one who holds the sacred triangle has all three forces in balance, that one will gain the True Force to govern all. But, if that one's heart is not in balance, the Triforce will separate into three parts: Power, Wisdom and Courage. Only one part will remain for the one who touched the Triforce...the part representing the force that one most believes in." — Sheik (Ocarina of Time)
  9. "He went on to invade the Sacred Realm... Ganondorf had become the Evil King, and the Sacred Realm became a world of evil." — Princess Zelda (Ocarina of Time)
  10. "The one who holds the Triforce of Courage is... You, Link! And the other, who holds the Triforce of Wisdom... is the seventh Sage, who is destined to be the leader of them all... It is I, the Princess of Hyrule, Zelda." — Princess Zelda (Ocarina of Time)
  11. "His evil power radiated from the temples of Hyrule, and in seven short years, it transformed Hyrule into a world of darkness and monsters." — Rauru (Ocarina of Time)
  12. "But one day a man of great evil found the golden power and took it for himself... With its strength at his command, he spread darkness across the kingdom." — N/A (The Wind Waker)
  13. "The power of the Sages remains. When the power of all the Sages is awakened... The Sages' Seals will contain all the evil power in the void of the Realm... I, Rauru, am one of the Sages... And... Your power to fight together with the Sages makes you the Hero of Time! The Hero of Time, chosen by the Master Sword! Keep my spirit with you... And, find the power of the other Sages and add their might to your own!" — Rauru (Ocarina of Time)
  14. "I'm using my power to hold the Evil King! You use your sword and deliver the final blow!" — Princess Zelda (Ocarina of Time)
  15. "Ancient Creators of Hyrule! Now, open the sealed door and send the Evil Incarnation of Darkness into the void of the Evil Realm!!" — Rauru (Ocarina of Time)
  16. "YOU... CURSE YOU...ZELDA! CURSE YOU...SAGES!! CURSE YOU...LINK! Someday... When this seal is broken.... That is when I will exterminate your descendants!! As long as the Triforce of Power is in my hand...." — Ganondorf (Ocarina of Time)
  17. "Link, give the Ocarina to me... As a Sage, I can return you to your original time with it." — Princess Zelda (Ocarina of Time)
  18. "Link warned Princess Zelda of what the future would bring. Hearing his words, the princess entrusted the Ocarina of Time to Link and instructed him to travel far away in order to prevent Ganondorf from entering the Sacred Realm." (Hyrule Historia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 110)
  19. "When the Hero of Time was called to embark on another journey and left the land of Hyrule, he was separated from the elements that made him a hero. It is said that at that time, the Triforce of Courage was split into eight shards and hidden throughout the land." — King of Red Lions (The Wind Waker)
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 "Link, the descendant of the Hero of Time: [...] The spirit of Link's ancestor, the Hero of Time, teaches him his secrets. Ever since returning to the Child Era, the swordsman has lamented the fact that he was not remembered as a hero. This is the reason he passes down the proof of his courage and his secret techniques to the Link of this era, addressing him as "son"." (Hyrule Historia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 118)
  21. "Although I accepted life as the hero, I could not convey the lessons of that life to those that came after. At last, I have eased my regrets." — Hero's Spirit (Twilight Princess)
  22. "We must not let Ganondorf get the Triforce! I will protect the Ocarina of Time with all my power! He shall not have it! You go find the other two Spiritual Stones! Let's get the Triforce before Ganondorf does, and then defeat him!" — Princess Zelda (Ocarina of Time)
  23. "Ganondorf the thief obtained the Triforce of Power and managed to get his hands on Princess Zelda. The Hero of Time, Link, challenged him in a battle that would determine Hyrule's very existence, and lost." (Hyrule Historia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 92)
  24. "The people believed that the Hero of Time would again come to save them. ...But the hero did not appear." — N/A (The Wind Waker)
  25. "What became of that kingdom...? None remain who know. The memory of the kingdom vanished, but its legend survived on the wind's breath. On a certain island, it became customary to garb boys in green when they came of age. Clothed in the green of fields, they aspired to find heroic blades and cast down evil. The elders wished only for the youths to know courage like the hero of legend..." — N/A (The Wind Waker)
  26. "Today is a day to celebrate! It is the day that you become the same age as the young hero spoken of in all the legends." — Grandma (The Wind Waker)
  27. "Yes, surely you are the Hero of Time reborn..." — Ganondorf (The Wind Waker)
  28. "I, the great Mido, will never accept you as one of us! Shoot! How did you get to be the favorite of Saria and the Great Deku Tree? Huh?! Grumble...grumble..." — Mido (Ocarina of Time)
  29. "Thank you, Brother! I really appreciate what you did. I thank you on behalf of the entire Goron race! You turned out to be a real man, just as I thought you would!" — Darunia (Ocarina of Time)
  30. "Link... I would have expected no less from the man I chose to be my husband. Zora's Domain and its people will eventually return to their original state." — Princess Ruto (Ocarina of Time)
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