- For fighter info, see Young Link (SSBM).
|Young Link (OoT version)|
Official artwork of Young Link from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
|Universe:||The Legend of Zelda|
|Debut:||The Legend of Zelda (1986)|
|Console of origin:||Nintendo 64|
|English voice actor:||Fujiko Takimoto|
|Japanese voice actor:||Fujiko Takimoto|
"Young Link's" exact first appearance is arguable. The first clear appearance of a prepubescent Link was in the beginning portion of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time in which the "Hero of Time"* begins his quest as a young boy. Prior to this, all other Links appeared to be portrayed as being post-pubescent in each game's official artwork. However, the trophy description for Young Link in Super Smash Bros. Melee refers to the original hero from The Legend of Zelda as being a "Young Link" and indicated most subsequent titles feature Links as youths as well. While use of the term "Young" can be a matter of interpretation, it has been seen to many as a possible attempt by Nintendo to rewrite history, since according to Nintendo's official game materials, the original Link is 16 years of age in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link which takes place one year after the original game, in which he would be 15.
While no age was ever specified for the Link featured in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Link's Awakening, nothing from either the original artworks or in-game texts ever indicated that he might be a child, but the Game Boy Advance remake of ALttP featured him with the Hero of Time's younger voice in the game. Also, the official artwork was modified from the original version giving the hero larger, more youthful looking eyes. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is the first installment in the series to put the differences between the child and adult forms of a Link. The young Link in Super Smash Bros. Melee is based on the Hero of Time. Though other kid incarnations of Link have appeared in The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords, Four Swords Adventures, The Wind Waker as well as its sequel Phantom Hourglass, and The Minish Cap, they are generally referred to as "Toon Link".
In Super Smash Bros. Melee
Young Link appears as a playable character separate from Link. In general, he is smaller and less powerful, although he greatly makes up for it in terms of faster speed.
Absence from Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Young Link is speculated to be replaced by Toon Link, though it can be said that they are essentially the same character because of their appearance and age, although Young Link in Melee is based on the Hero of Time where as Toon Link in Brawl is based on the "Hero of Winds" (the hero from The Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass, but not from Spirit Tracks, which takes place 100 years later). This mirrors how the Zelda in Melee who is based on the one from Ocarina of Time was replaced by a different Zelda who is based on the one from Twilight Princess in Brawl, except there wasn't a name change. The Link in "SSB" and "Melee" was replaced by another incarnation as well, being more closely based on the hero of Twilight Princess. Nevertheless, the motif of Link as both an adult and an younger adolescent is maintained in both Melee and Brawl.