No female protagonist for Zelda

Legend of Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma has confirmed that the character seen in the E3 trailer is Link, and he is male.

Michelle Starr Science editor
Michelle Starr is CNET's science editor, and she hopes to get you as enthralled with the wonders of the universe as she is. When she's not daydreaming about flying through space, she's daydreaming about bats.
Michelle Starr
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We're going to have to wait a while longer to play Princess Zelda or a female Link in a Legend of Zelda main series title. Series producer Eiji Aonuma has admitted he was only joking when he hinted that the character seen in the E3 trailer might not be Link -- although he also suggests that the gender of the character is meant to be ambiguous.

"It's not that I said that it wasn't Link. It's that I never said that it was Link. It's not really the same thing, but I can understand how it could be taken that way," he told gaming website MMGM. "It seems like it has kind of taken off where people are saying 'oh it's a female character' and it just kind of grew. But my intent in saying that [was humor]. You know, you have to show Link when you create a trailer for a Zelda announcement."

This is curious; as previously noted, the new Link wears blue and doesn't seem to have a sword or shield (although that may change later in the game). However, he is also right-handed. And, as previously noted, he appears more feminine than previous versions of the character -- and this may be intentional.

"I don't want people to get hung up on the way Link looks because ultimately Link represents the player in the game," Aonuma said. "I don't want to define him so much that it becomes limiting to the players. I want players to focus on other parts of the trailer and not specifically on the character because the character Link represents, again, the player."

The dream may not necessarily be over, however; in an interview with Game Informer, Aonuma was again oblique.

"That might be something that consciously we kind of did, but not to say anything specific - I am not saying anything specific - but, I am hoping people continue to comment, and I will continue to follow the fan comments and reactions to the trailer," he said of viewers thinking Link was female. "I am certainly curious, and I am sure there are things we as developers can glean."