Nintendo Finally Decided Princess Zelda Should Be the Hero

Nintendo Finally Decided Princess Zelda Should Be the Hero

The Legend of Zelda franchise has dabbled a few times with letting players actually get to play as Zelda herself—she’s been a playable character in spinoffs, fighting games, and, somehow, two of those awful Phillips CD-i games. But, at long last, Zelda is going to star as the hero of a classically-styled Zelda game… with a few twists.

This morning, Nintendo revealed The Legend of Zelda: Echoes of Wisdom, the latest mainline entry in the franchise. Styled after the toyetic art design of the Link’s Awakening remake for Nintendo Switch, Echoes of Wisdom opens as many Zelda games do: Link marching off to save Princess Zelda from Ganon’s evil clutches. Except, this time, it’s Link himself who needs saving: pulled into a strange shadow world, with a final shot from his bow, Link manages to free Zelda… and leave her alone to solve the latest crisis facing Hyrule.

 

The Legend of Zelda: Echoes of Wisdom – Coming September 26th (Nintendo Switch)

Echoes of Wisdom certainly looks very cute, even if some may bristle that Zelda’s first time as the defacto protagonist of a main Zelda game is both in the series current go-to for “cute” isometric 3D aesthetics, and with a new mechanical system that avoids letting her be a traditionally martial character like Link. Instead of fighting with weapons or offensive magic, Echoes of Wisdom sees Zelda wield a new staff that lets her create echoes of objects and other creatures in the world around her.

Tables to help her climb new heights, copies of monsters to use various abilities in battle, items she can use as distractions… it’s a clever way to utilize Zelda’s magical abilities that feels very in line with the opened-ended mechanical gameplay pioneered in Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom. But one that will inevitably see some people ding that she’s not starring in a “real” Zelda game because she’s not running around with a sword and shield. Regardless of whether or not Zelda’s running around slicing bokoblins up, we’ll have to see how fun Echoes of Wisdom’s gameplay shakes out to be when it hits Nintendo Switch on September 26.


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