Link is the main protagonist of the The Legend of Zelda series created by Nintendo. Over the course of the series, many different incarnations of Link have existed, chosen by the Goddesses of Hyrule to protect the land from evil. Each incarnation of him bears the Triforce of Courage, and usually has to fight Ganon and save Hyrule and its ruler, Princess Zelda. Being one of the most popular Nintendo video game characters alongside Mario, Link has had several crossover appearances within the Mario franchise.
Super Mario Bros. & Friends: When I Grow Up
Link's first appearance in the Mario franchise is the coloring game Super Mario Bros. & Friends: When I Grow Up. He first appears on the "Chef" page, where he is shown waiting for a pasta dish cooked by Mario. He later appears on the "Travel Guide" page, which depicts him owning a travelling agency. Several enemies from The Legend of Zelda series also make appearances in the other career pages.
Link also makes several appearances in the Mario-based comics within the German Club Nintendo magazine, his appearance based upon that in the original The Legend of Zelda. He debuts in "Super Mario: Die Bescherung", celebrating a Christmas party in the Mario Bros.' House. His role in this story is minor, though he has a brief speaking part at the end, mistrusting the realness of Santa Claus.
In "Mario in Mariozilla", he is seen in the Empire State Building, studying a map together with Dr. Light, who lives there. Link's actual role is unknown, though it appears that he works as Light's assistant. He also comments on a "magic cap" Light gave to Mario in order to make him incognito - actually a simple paper bag pulled over his head - in the way that it "becomes" him.
Link, alongside Kirby, is Mario's ally in the comic "Super Mario in Die Nacht des Grauens". During the events of this story, he lives in a Brooklyn skyscraper and fights against Abigor and his demonic fellows who plan to take over the building. He does so by making use of a magic serum which turns him and his allies into aggressive ghostbusters. In this form, he has green skin, black armor and a fire sword.
The Legend of Zelda
Link received his own television show with The Legend of Zelda, produced by DiC Entertainment. It aired under the The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! syndication, with the animated Mario segments running Monday through Thursday, and being replaced by Zelda segments on Fridays. The Zelda segments still received an accompanying live-action Mario and Luigi short. The series revolved around Link and Princess Zelda protecting the Triforce of Wisdom from Ganon. Jonathan Potts voiced Link in the series.
Captain N: The Game Master
Link and Zelda appear in Captain N: The Game Master, borrowing their appearance and personality from the aforementioned Legend of Zelda cartoon. Jonathan Potts returned to voice Link in the series. Link was also a major character in the Valiant Nintendo Comics System line of Captain N: The Game Master.
Donkey Kong franchise
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest / Donkey Kong Land 2
In Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, Link is by default ranked third on a podium at Cranky's Video Game Heroes, with Mario coming in first and Yoshi second. He can be removed from the podium by collecting nineteen DK Coins, which replaces him with Diddy Kong. By doing so, Link's tunic will appear in the trash can next to the "NO HOPERS" sign.
Link also appears in the Video Game Heroes in the ending for Donkey Kong Land 2, where he has the same number of DK Coins collected as before.
In the Game Boy Advance port, Link and Yoshi's positions are swapped; additionally, Link has obtained 50 DK Coins in total. This means that Diddy can only shift Link down to third place, therefore removing Yoshi from the podium.
Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!
In Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!, if the Kongs ask Bazaar who owns the castle in the Northern Kremisphere, Bazaar tells a short story of when Link visited his General Store the week before. Link also asked Bazaar for information regarding the castle even though he had insufficient Bear Coins, but Bazaar thought him nice enough that he accepted a payment of 500 rupees instead. After being told the information, Link left, grumbling about the seashells being the wrong shape (a nod to the Secret Seashell sidequest in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening). This dialogue was removed in the Game Boy Advance port, where Bazaar instead discusses what he personally saw at Kastle KAOS.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
In Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, Link can be found resting at the Rose Town Inn. He does not awaken when spoken to (likely a nod to Link's constant portrayal as a silent protagonist), but rather a melody from Zelda series will play, the same melody as when a player uncovers a secret.
Link appears in all released Super Smash Bros. games as a default playable character. Most of Link's standard attacks make use of the Master Sword, while his specials are all attacks or items from The Legend of Zelda series.
Super Smash Bros.
In Super Smash Bros., Link is one of the default playable characters. Specifically, he is the "Hero of Time" from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time; as such, he is voiced by Nobuyuki Hiyama, whose voice clips are recycled from Ocarina of Time. Link is the first character fought in single player mode, on Hyrule Castle.
Link's standard special move in this game is the Boomerang, in which Link tosses a boomerang to damage opponents. His up special move is the Spin Attack, in which he spins around rapidly to deal damage; and his down special is Bomb, in which Link pulls out a bomb to throw. In addition, Link's grab move uses the Hookshot, an item also taking its appearance from Ocarina of Time that can also be used as a wall grapple. Link's up and down aerials are the Jump Thrust and Down Thrust, both of which originated in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.
Two of Link's alternate colorations in this game are based upon the Goron and Zora Tunics from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, while his final coloration is based upon his outfit after collecting the Blue Ring in the original The Legend of Zelda.
Super Smash Bros. Melee
In Super Smash Bros. Melee, Link returns as a playable character, though some of his moves have been changed. His standard special attack has been replaced with the Bow, which lets Link shoot an arrow that can be charged; the boomerang has instead been made his side special move. His other specials are kept the same, as has the Hookshot. Melee is also the first game to feature Link's ability to use his Hylian Shield to defend himself from projectile attacks while standing still.
In the game's Adventure Mode, Link is fought in the Underground Maze stage. He can be found at fake pedestals for the Master Sword (wearing a different tunic each time) as fighters search for the Triforce to end the level. Young Link, the Hero of Time's childhood self from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, is also a separate playable character, much in the same manner that Mario and Baby Mario often appear in the same games.
Additionally, a doppelganger of Link, known as Dark Link, appears in Super Smash Bros. Melee as the opponent in Event Match 18: Link's Adventure. In the battle, the player controls a red-clad Link, who has two extra lives. The fighter must defeat Dark Link, who also has two lives. The two swordsmen are fought at the Temple, with no time limit. This Event Match is a reference to the ending of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, where a similar Dark Link served as the game's final boss.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Link was the first character to be announced for Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Unlike in previous installments, this Link is the "Hero of Twilight", the descendant of the Hero of Time and the protagonist of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. This Link's moveset also references Twilight Princess in a number of ways. The bow (now called "Hero's Bow") and bombs have been aesthetically updated to match their Twilight Princess designs, while the boomerang has been replaced with the Gale Boomerang, which generates a whirlwind that can drag in opponents as it returns. The Hookshot has also been replaced with the Clawshot from Twilight Princess, which, when used offstage, can home in on edges and grab them unlike the Hookshot; however, it is now a tether recovery, as opposed to a wall grapple.
Link has a new voice actor in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Akira Sasanuma, who voiced him in Twilight Princess. Dark Link is also in the game, both as one of Link's alternative colors and as an opponent in an Event Match. The "Hero of Winds" from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker also appears in the game as a playable character under the name Toon Link, complete with a moveset very similar to Link's.
Dark Link also reappears in this game, where he returns in two Event Matches. The first, Event Match 18: Dark Link Duel, is similar to the match from Melee, but it is fought on the Bridge of Eldin instead, and is a stamina match rather than using lives. The second, Co-Op Event 7: Battle of the Dark Sides, is the same as Dark Link Duel, but with the addition of Samus Aran and Dark Samus assisting Link and Dark Link, respectively.
Versions of Dark Link also appear as palette swaps for both Link and Toon Link. Link's is based off the "interlopers" from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, whereas Toon Link's is based off Shadow Link from The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures.
Role in the Subspace Emissary
While walking through a forest, Links finds the Master Sword. Taking it in hand, he meets up with Yoshi, forming an alliance. They later meet Mario and Pit, though under circumstances where Mario/Link defeats an evil copy of Zelda/Peach, leading to a fight. The two groups come to an understanding (and Kirby joins up as well) and unite as they see King Dedede driving off with Ness, Luigi, and the captured Princess.
They come to Dedede's base, only to find that Bowser has beaten them to it, taking the Princess off in his Koopa Clown Car. The team grows in size as they meet with Ike, Marth, Lucas, the Pokémon Trainer, and the Ice Climbers. The remaining heroes join them as they enter Subspace. Link is among the many that falls to Tabuu's Off Waves, only to be revived by Kirby. He and Zelda come across Ganondorf's trophy and revive him, forming a temporary alliance as everyone teams up to defeat Tabuu.
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U
Link reappears in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U as a playable character along with Toon Link. Due to these games' more vibrant aesthetic, the Hero of Twilight has a noticeably brighter color scheme unlike in Brawl and Twilight Princess. Link retains much of his moveset from the previous game, though some of his non-special moves have been altered, such as his down aerial gaining a meteor smash effect and gaining the Jump Slash as his new dash attack. Link's Hylian Shield can also now block projectiles while crouching and walking.
Link retains all of his alternate costumes from Super Smash Bros. Brawl, while gaining two more: one based on the clothes worn by the "Hero of the Skies" during the beginning of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, and another based on Fierce Deity Link, a transformation the Hero of Time can obtain at the end of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Link returns as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, alongside Young Link and Toon Link. This time, the Hero of Twilight has been succeeded by the "Hero of the Wild", the protagonist of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. As a result, Kengo Takanashi reprises his role as Link's voice actor. For the first time in the series, Link joins Mario himself as one of the co-mascots of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, as the two are frequently marketed and paired together to advertise and showcase the game.
Compared to his predecessors, Link takes on many different stances during battle. While this is purely aesthetic in some instances, he also leans further when performing attacks, giving them greater range, yet making his hurtbox more vulnerable to attacks. On a related note, the blade of his Master Sword is longer, increasing the range in his attacks, and his forward smash's first hit is capable of firing a Sword Beam while his damage is at 0%. Like his fellow The Legend of Zelda fighters, Link's victory theme has been changed to a new arrangement of their home series' main theme.
The Wild Set of clothes from Breath of the Wild, which resembles Link's classic design, also appears an alternate costume. Although Link uses a regular Boomerang like the Hero of Time does in SSB and Melee, his other special moves noticeably deviate from his predecessors': his bow is capable of firing two arrows at once, he uses the Remote Bomb Rune instead of his Bombs as his down special, and his Final Smash uses an Ancient Bow to fire an Ancient Arrow.
Some of Link's normal moves are also different compared to his predecessors. Due to neither the Hookshot nor the Clawshot appearing in Breath of the Wild, Link's grab consists of him quickly putting his Hylian Shield on his back in order to reach out with his left hand. Although this makes his grab much faster overall, it also results in his grab having much shorter range and lacking a tether recovery compared to his predecessors. As another reference to Breath of the Wild, the first hit of Link's forward smash is capable of firing a Sword Beam while his damage is at 0%, granting him yet another projectile (aforementioned above).
Compared to his predecessors, Link sports better mobility, higher jumps, faster short hop timing, less landing lag for his aerials, and a higher overall damage output. The reintroduction of the directional air dodge, the ability to use aerials on ladders, and the improved dash cancel mechanic also indirectly benefit Link to varying degrees. Link's dash attack, up aerial, and down aerials are now referred to their names in-game, while his forward smash is now called Sword Slice.
Classic Mode route
By completing Link's Classic Mode route, it is possible to unlock King K. Rool, the Ice Climbers, Simon, Meta Knight, Snake, Young Link, Richter, or Toon Link. Link's Classic Mode route pits him against characters that are in some way associated with darkness, with the fight against the dark-costumed Link being a reference to Dark Link.
The Boomerang is a recurring item throughout The Legend of Zelda series that appears as Link's standard special move in Super Smash Bros., and as his side special move in Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Originally designed after the Boomerang in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, in Super Smash Bros. Melee, the move is also used by Young Link, who uses the same Boomerang. In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Link's Boomerang is the same one from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. When the move is used, the player throws a Boomerang at opponents that can damage them, automatically returning to the player once it hits an opponent or wall. The player can hold the control stick to make it fly farther, and can also be thrown diagonally. The Boomerang can also fly up or down while it is active by tilting the control stick just before throwing it. In later games, the move is used by Toon Link, whose design of the Boomerang is based on that in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.
The Hero's Bow (simply referred to as Bow in Super Smash Bros. Melee) is Link's standard special move from Super Smash Bros. Melee through Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U, replacing the Boomerang from Super Smash Bros. The move is based upon the recurring Bow item throughout The Legend of Zelda series. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, Link's Bow is based on the Fairy Bow in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time; in the later games, Link's Hero's Bow takes its design from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. When used, Link fires an arrow from the bow at opponents to damage them. The player can charge the attack to increase the distance the arrow travels and its damage output by holding down the special move button.
In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Link's first custom variant for this move is the Power Bow, which has less range than normal but increases the power of the arrow. His second is the Quickfire Bow (parsed Quick-Fire Bow in the British English version), which allows Link to fire arrows more quickly that can travel through opponents.
Bow and Arrows
The Bow and Arrows are Link's standard special move in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, replacing the Hero's Bow from previous games. For this move, he uses the Traveler's Bow from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild instead, which functions the same as the Hero's Bow, except this time, after an arrow is fired and it lands on the ground, it lingers rather than disappear after a period of time. Link can then pick it up and throw it at opponents, or press the special move button again to draw two arrows at once, which deal double damage.
The Gale Boomerang is Link's side special move in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, based on the Gale Boomerang item from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and replacing the Boomerang from the previous games. When used, the Gale Boomerang generates a whirlwind; the attack hurts opponents when thrown, and the whirlwind draws opponents and small items in as it returns, though it deals no damage. Like the previous Boomerang, it returns to Link automatically once it hits an opponent or a wall, and the Gale Boomerang can also be thrown at an angle.
In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Link's first custom variant for this move is Boomerang, which gives it similar properties to Link's previous Boomerang move, meaning that it does not pull in opponents. The second is Ripping Boomerang, which makes the attack slower and gives it a shorter range, but allows it to pass through opponents as it flies out and deals multiple hits rather than having the whirlwind property.
The Spin Attack is Link's up special move in every installment of the Super Smash Bros. series. The move is based on the Spin Attack move recurring throughout The Legend of Zelda series. When used, Link spins around rapidly with his sword to deal damage. When used in the air, the move also gives Link some vertical and horizontal distance. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl onward, the move can be charged by holding down the special attack button when used on the ground to deal more damage.
In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Link's first custom variant for this move is Shocking Spin, which gives the attack more power and an electric effect, but it covers less distance than Spin Attack, and its ending lag is longer as well. Link's second variant is Whirling Leap, which greatly improves Link's recovery by giving him more vertical height, and his horizontal mobility is increased drastically during the move's duration as well. However, the move does not deal any damage, nor can it be charged, so its only use is for recovery. When used on the ground, Link leaps up to perform the move.
The Bomb is Link's down special move throughout the Super Smash Bros. series up until Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and based on the item recurring throughout The Legend of Zelda series. When used, Link pulls a Bomb out that can then be thrown at other characters to do damage, exploding on impact. Like other explosives, the Bombs also deal damage to the holder; it can also be caught and thrown by opponents, or detonate in the player's hands. The player cannot use the move while holding another item, as the Bombs count as an item.
In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, the first custom variant for this move is Giant Bomb, which gives Link a larger Bomb that deals more damage and has a larger blast radius, but does not automatically explode upon impact. The second is Meteor Bomb, which lessens the time that the Bomb will explode and weakens it, but gives it a meteor smash property.
In Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Melee, the Bombs used by Link and Young Link are based on the ones from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, however, the Bombs used by Link are based on the ones from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. In all Super Smash Bros. games since Brawl, Toon Link's Bombs are based on the ones from The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker.
The Remote Bomb is Link's down special move in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, based on the Remote Bomb Rune from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and replacing the Bomb from previous Super Smash Bros. games. When first used, Link produces a spherical Remote Bomb, which can then be thrown. After doing so, it can then be picked up again by Link or other fighters like an item, or knocked around with attacks. If the player activates the move again, Link detonates the Remote Bomb with his Sheikah Slate, damaging any fighters caught within the blast radius. Only one Remote Bomb can appear at a time.
Triforce Slash is Link's Final Smash in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, as well as Toon Link's since Brawl and Young Link's in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. When activated, Link's Triforce on his hand glows and he fires a beam of light directly in front of him. If an opponent is in the line of fire, they will be trapped between two Triforces as Link rushes forward to deliver several sword blows. After fifteen slashes, the character rushes through the trapped opponent, launching them. If the beam of light does not reach an opponent, the attack fails.
Ancient Bow and Arrow
The Ancient Bow and Arrow are Link's Final Smash in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, replacing the Triforce Slash. When activated, Link draws an Ancient Bow with an Ancient Arrow, which launches any opponents in front of him away; the Ancient Bow functions very similarly to Zelda's and Sheik's Light Arrow Final Smash in previous games.
Game & Watch Gallery 4
In WarioWare: Twisted!, Link appears in another microgame also titled The Legend of Zelda, once again based on the original game. The object is to rotate the handheld to deflect projectiles by red Octoroks with the shield.
In WarioWare: Smooth Moves, two incarnations of Link appears. In the Ocarina of Time microgame, Young Link must draw his sword from its pedestal. This turns him into Adult Link on Level 1, old Link (with a grey beard) on Level 2, and a Cucco on Level 3. In addition, in the microgame The Wind Waker, Toon Link must glide over the sea to a safe landing point with the Deku Leaf. Both microgames return in WarioWare Gold.
In WarioWare: D.I.Y., Link is the main character in the Zelda microgame, appearing in his The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass incarnation. The object is to defeat Chuchus with the sword by tapping them.
Though Link himself doesn't make a direct appearance in Captain Rainbow, there is a cameo of Link in the form of a portrait of him above Tracy's throne, next to a portrait of Mario. The Link picture is actually artwork from Twilight Princess. It is worth noting that Tracy is a character also from The Legend of Zelda series.
Super Mario series
Super Mario 3D World
In Super Mario 3D World, before the second Green Star in World Star-1, Rainbow Run, if the player walks around in a secret area, they will uncover an 8-bit image of Link, hidden as an Easter egg. An arrangement of the main theme of The Legend of Zelda will begin to play afterwards.
Super Mario Maker
Link appears as a Mystery Mushroom costume in Super Mario Maker. Link, Toon Link and Wolf Link's costumes can be unlocked by scanning their respective amiibo, or randomly by completing the 100 Mario Challenge. The Link Costume is the sprite off the original NES The Legend of Zelda. The Wolf Link Costume also includes Midna riding on top of Wolf Link.
A special Event Course titled "Tri Force Heroes" allows the player to play as, and unlock, a special Costume Mario called Totem Link, based off of The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes. As Totem Link, players play as all three Links from the game (red, blue and green), stacked up on top of each other. Additionally, there is also an Event Course titled "Twilight Princess HD", which is based off The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD, where players can unlock Wolf Link.
Super Mario Maker 2
In version 2.0 of Super Mario Maker 2, the player transforms into Link upon collecting the Master Sword power-up. His appearance is based on his sprite from the original The Legend of Zelda, albeit with the shield redesigned to be based on the Hylian Shield. While in this form, Link can attack enemies with his sword, block projectiles with his shield, perform a Dash Attack to charge through enemies, perform a Down Thrust to attack enemies from above, aim and fire an arrow in three directions to obtain distant items, and use a bomb to destroy Hard Blocks. Link can also drop bombs beneath him while riding a Koopa Clown Car. In multiplayer, if all four players obtain a Master Sword, they become the green, red, blue, and purple Links from The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords.
Mario Kart 8 / Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
In Mario Kart 8, Link appears as a downloadable playable character in the The Legend of Zelda × Mario Kart 8 downloadable content pack. This marks his first playable appearance of any kind in the Mario series. Link is one of the lighter heavyweight racers, befitting his much taller size, and he shares his stats with Rosalina, Donkey Kong, Waluigi, and Roy Koopa. Although this Link is the Hero of the Skies from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, his proportions have been altered slightly to fit the Mario series aesthetic: he has a slightly larger head and eyes, and is left-handed as opposed to right-handed like in Skyward Sword.
The Master Cycle, a bike based on Link's Master Sword and his horse Epona, appears as one of four additional vehicle bodies, along with a Zelda-themed set of tires, the Triforce Tires, and a Zelda-themed glider, the Hylian Kite. A Zelda-themed course called Hyrule Circuit also appears as part of the Triforce Cup. His kart symbol is the Hylian Crest. During his tricks, he wields the Master Sword and shows off the Triforce.
Link reappears in the port of Mario Kart 8, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, available as part of the core game. He is available from the start, and shares his stats with only Rosalina and King Boo. Deluxe's July 19, 2018 update also added the Hero of the Wild from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, alongside the Master Cycle Zero, Ancient Tires, and Paraglider parts. Upon being added, the Hero of the Wild will become the default Link, while the Hero of the Skies will be relegated to being an alternate character. Like the Hero of the Skies, the Hero of the Wild is left-handed despite being right-handed in his respective game; however, they also share the same voice actor.
Despite sharing some physical and the same part colors for items that change, the two Links have some noticeable differences. In regard to the Hero of the Wild, his kart symbol is the Crest of the Sheikah as it appears on the Sheikah Slate, and he uses a Guardian Sword++ instead of the Master Sword when performing tricks. Due to being two distinct incarnations of Link, the Hero of the Skies can also appear in a race if Hero of the Wild has already been selected and vice versa, while both can appear in a race if neither has been selected.
Profiles and statistics
Mario Kart series
Super Smash Bros. series
A sword-wielding hero who also boasts long-range attacks.
Red indicates the Trophy or description is exclusive to the Nintendo 3DS version.
Super Smash Blog bio
"Link has been redesigned to match his appearance in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. He can now pick up arrows he's fired, and his bombs have been upgraded to remote bombs, so you can set them off when the timing is just right!"
Mario series appearances
Name in other languages