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Blasian Link?


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#1 Sir Turtlelot

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 09:05 PM

So I just finished reading a rather interesting article, and I figured I would share with you guys, considering it's Zelda related. The article essentially bring up the question of what would happen if Nintendo decided to give Link's appearance an overhaul and make him Blasian in the next game. It's a pretty good read, and I think their prediction of how the internet would react is rather spot-on.

 

http://www.destructo...n--264202.phtml

 

 

Personally, I don't see why not. I actually think Link would be the perfect character to go through this sort of change, considering that most of the Links are rarely ever the same person. It would certainly generate a lot of attention, that's for sure.

 

What do you guys think?



#2 Twinrova

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 11:06 PM

I'd be cool with it, but I really don't see it happening :/ Somehow drastically changing an iconic character's appearance doesn't seem like a move Nintendo would make, especially since it could end up being 'controversial'.. 'cause yeah, somehow, in 2013, the subject of black people can STILL illicit shitty racist attitudes in some people. :| So yeah, as open as I am to including other races in popular media, I can't imagine they would actually do it. :(



#3 Sir Turtlelot

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 11:17 PM



Somehow drastically changing an iconic character's appearance doesn't seem like a move Nintendo would make

 

Ahem.

Spoiler

 

:P

 

 

Anyways, yeah I don't see it happening either, although it certainly would an interesting idea.



#4 Ikiosho

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 11:22 PM

I didn't read the article. Don't have to.

 

There's no reason that they would take that kind of overhaul to one of their main characters. It's a stupid idea. What advantage would they gain, or what kind of different image would they be seeking by changing Link's race? I'm hoping that if they were to do that, there wouldn't be any changes made to the featured game, unless it's some kind of culture reference/theme. Making this change only places emphasis on the race of their characters, which ideally, doesn't matter anyway. I have never encountered a conversation in which someone has mentioned anything along the lines of, "Hey, have you noticed how little diversity exists in Nintendo's characters?" or "Hey man, why does link have to be white?" Nobody cares what color he is, and it's not an issue until emphasis is placed on it and the public makes it an issue. It would stir up unneeded controversy, with nothing to achieve.



#5 Selena

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 11:55 PM

 



Somehow drastically changing an iconic character's appearance doesn't seem like a move Nintendo would make

 

Ahem.

Spoiler

 

:P

 

 

Anyways, yeah I don't see it happening either, although it certainly would an interesting idea.

 

 

That's a different art style; complexion and "identity" are still the same.

 

 

 

In any case, the industry needs more ethnic/gender/sexual orientation diversity. As does all media. But this wouldn't be an effective way to do it. It wouldn't really "bother" me, but it would be a fairly shallow approach. It's just shifting the appearance of a traditional character that's been around for ages. If you're going to add diversity to games, and have it be substantial, then they should be unique characters -- designed from the ground up -- with their own independent history and development.

 

Games aren't quite like movies or TV, in which different actors have played the same classic characters. We're used to having different faces there, and sometimes that includes actors of different ethnic backgrounds playing roles that were originally assigned to another race (example: Guinevere on that Merlin show being played by a black lady).

 

Video game characters are effectively immortal and unchanging, apart from graphic updates. So any major changes like that come across as superficial. Like they did it to "tick a box" and that's all. It's good to want to see characters of color and whatnot in games. But they deserve to be their own people. Not just an existing classic character with their skin brightness turned down.



#6 Hana-Nezumi

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 06:11 AM

Somehow drastically changing an iconic character's appearance doesn't seem like a move Nintendo would make

 
Ahem.
Spoiler

 
:P
 
 
Anyways, yeah I don't see it happening either, although it certainly would an interesting idea.

 
That's a different art style; complexion and "identity" are still the same.
 
 
 
In any case, the industry needs more ethnic/gender/sexual orientation diversity. As does all media. But this wouldn't be an effective way to do it. It wouldn't really "bother" me, but it would be a fairly shallow approach. It's just shifting the appearance of a traditional character that's been around for ages. If you're going to add diversity to games, and have it be substantial, then they should be unique characters -- designed from the ground up -- with their own independent history and development.
 
Games aren't quite like movies or TV, in which different actors have played the same classic characters. We're used to having different faces there, and sometimes that includes actors of different ethnic backgrounds playing roles that were originally assigned to another race (example: Guinevere on that Merlin show being played by a black lady).
 
Video game characters are effectively immortal and unchanging, apart from graphic updates. So any major changes like that come across as superficial. Like they did it to "tick a box" and that's all. It's good to want to see characters of color and whatnot in games. But they deserve to be their own people. Not just an existing classic character with their skin brightness turned down.

This.

Also, it wouldn't be marketable in Japan.

And Link has always been a Hylian, who as far as I can remember, always have fair skin. That's his race. All of the "kind of black looking" people in Hyrule tend to be round-eared humans or Gerudo.

Link already has mixed asian and caucasian features, anyways.

#7 Masamune

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 06:25 AM

On the other hand, a Final Fantasy game with a new Blasian protagonist as the main character would be entirely legitimate.



#8 Wolf O'Donnell

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 08:43 AM

Well, I'm glad the article explained what a Blasian was. Strange term, though. If Obama who is mixed race is called a black President, then why should a so-called Blasian Link be called Blasian?

 

I would understand why somebody would want to use a well-established franchise to push this particular idea along. It's a well-established franchise. People already know it. There's already funding going into it. You've already got a dedicated fanbase that will automatically buy it. Sure, your change might alienate a sub-section, but you've already got a fraction of your audience for your product. Legend of Zelda might not be the right franchise to use. Pokémon on the other hand, where the protagonist has no established look, is probably going to be a better choice.

 

Also...

 

No one would want to miss out on the experience of praising, damning, or typing "WHO CARES" in all caps at the reveal that the new Zelda is overweight, or that the new Ganonodorf turns out to be Trans. 

ALBWVillain-620x.jpg

 

So, the article is judging a character from its appearance? Cheap shot.



#9 Egann

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 08:54 AM

My initial reaction was as follows:

 

Blasian protagonist: Because representing one minority isn't enough anymore. 

 

My major problem is that the source material doesn't actually *have* these races. Hylians are consistently portrayed as WHITE. Arguably Renado from Twilight Princess had a touch of Native American to him, but he's still basically white. Races are shown via the races of Hyrule, meaning the Gorons, Zora, Deku, and Gerudo REPLACE blacks, asians, and all the rest. Only the Gerudo are recognizable as humans with a different skin color. Ironically, what little racial tension there is in Hyrule is between the two most similar races: the Hylians and Gerudo.

 

This also explains why we seldom see mixed races in Hyrule: it's basically literally impossible.

 

And, in it's defense, that's actually a remarkably progressive message if you consider it in its own terms. Our world's differences between skin colors comes out as a trivial affair indeed when you're interacting with side characters who eat rocks or are literal fish people. In this universe, humans are almost exclusively white because having a lot of racial variety within humans isn't the point, so as long as Link is recognizably human he will be recognizably white, too. 

 

In universe, if you were GOING to make Link another race, it would be one of Hyrule's native alternate races. That won't happen, in part because players would feel very odd playing Zora Link for an entire game, but mostly because humans are balanced to be able to fully explore the world of Hyrule. Most of the other races have places they can't go. That argument from gameplay alone will Drumpf any political message.



#10 Sir Deimos

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 10:00 AM

Then why not a Gerudo Link..? That's another race that CAN go everywhere and still brings diversity to the roll.

#11 Sir Turtlelot

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 10:06 AM

 

And Link has always been a Hylian, who as far as I can remember, always have fair skin. That's his race. All of the "kind of black looking" people in Hyrule tend to be round-eared humans or Gerudo.
 

 

My major problem is that the source material doesn't actually *have* these races. Hylians are consistently portrayed as WHITE.

 

 

 

GondoSS.png

 

To be fair though, I would have agreed with those points prior to SS.



#12 Masamune

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 03:06 PM

I think it's important to note that Nintendo is a Japanese company at heart. This is a country without a whole lot of racial diversity, unlike the States or the UK. Why should they feel pressured to diversify? I mean, chances are, the Hylians are meant to be seen as Asian anyway. There's not really any reason why they should feel any particular pressure to be racially diverse than, say, Bollywood. 

 

With American entertainment, it's different. This is a very racially diverse country, so American creators that write in a white only world are something of a problem. But that's our problem to deal with.



#13 Egann

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 09:45 AM

 

 

And Link has always been a Hylian, who as far as I can remember, always have fair skin. That's his race. All of the "kind of black looking" people in Hyrule tend to be round-eared humans or Gerudo.
 

 

My major problem is that the source material doesn't actually *have* these races. Hylians are consistently portrayed as WHITE.

 

 

 

GondoSS.png

 

To be fair though, I would have agreed with those points prior to SS.

 

Yes, but they are few, far between, and almost exclusively from Twilight Princess or later. I don't remember when skin color between human characters was relevant for anything: even if they are recognizable minorities to us, fact is the source material doesn't treat them like it.

 

Although if you're wanting to deal with real world minorities in Hyrule you have to explain how this (kinda sorta black) lady

Iza.png

Is this (white) girl's sister:

Hena.png

And no, I don't just refer to the hair color. Hena's eyes make her definitively a tanned white girl. Hyrule just doesn't treat races like the real world.



#14 Hana-Nezumi

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 10:48 AM

Coro, Hena, and Iza from Twilight Princess are the round-eared humans I was talking about. So that makes Gondo and his mother from Skyward Sword the only "black looking" Hylians we've seen. But you are right that Hyrule doesn't treat races like the real world. There are no white people, no asian people, and no black people. Just Hylians and humans, who can look sort-of-white, sort-of-asian, or sort-of-black depending on their character design.

Not to mention, Japanese companies making games for the international market have an incentive not include black characters at all: if they are not portrayed in JUST THE RIGHT WAY, Americans are very easy to get offended and shout "racist"! It is a culturally sensitive thing and I am quite sure that the reason Nintendo has taken so long to include black people in their games is because they don't want another Jynx incident. I recall reading that the reason Brock was written out of the Pokemon anime for the second season was because they thought that Americans might view the character as being some sort of racist portrayal, but to their surprise they didn't, so they wrote him back in.




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