The Legend of Zelda does something unique when compared to other gaming franchises. As opposed to having the same protagonist head each and every adventure, the world of Hyrule instead has multiple heroes to protect them. While they're all reincarnated versions of the same spirit, each Link is a different character (regardless of whether the games portray them with personality or not).
Despite their nuances, the job of these different Links remains the same: destroy Ganon and save Hyrule. That said, the circumstances of Hyrule throughout the ages requires each Link to go to different lengths in order to accomplish this task. One of them had to sail the seven seas. Another had to travel through the use of a train. One even had to jump across time itself.
There's no doubt that saving Hyrule is a daunting task and many Links have gone to great extremes as a result. When playing through the series, many players have taken a step back with their jaws dropped at some of the acts Link has performed. While he never compromises his moral compass, he's found himself in many ridiculous situations over the years.
A fan of the series may be aware of many crazy things that our favorite green tunic wearing swordsman has had to do, but most of you may not be as familiar. Without further ado, read on to discover 15 WTF things Link has done in his many reincarnations.
15 Transform Into A Painting
Nintendo tries to differentiate each Zelda game by introducing some new gimmick or mechanic each time. Twilight Princess had Link transform into a wolf, Majora's Mask had Link transform into everything, and Wind Waker had the whole seven seas thing going for it. In A Link Between Worlds, Link is cursed by Yuga and can, from that point, transform into a painting at will.
While this seems extremely pointless, this new form allows Link to traverse certain gaps and reach certain areas that he couldn't before. It also enables him to travel to the mirror dimension of Lorule. While not the most exciting thing on paper, Link's transformation into a painting led to some creative dungeons and overworld design in A Link Between Worlds. And to think that the game was almost a remake of A Link To the Past.
14 Drove A Go-Kart
One look at Link in a go-kart, and you realize that there's something ridiculous and charming about it.
The biggest announcement when Mario Kart 8 came out was not that DLC was coming to the game, but the fact that characters from other Nintendo franchises would be crossing over to race in the Mushroom Kingdom. The first of these crossovers was Link complete with a motorcycle based on a horse with a Tri-Force logo. This isn't any particular Link from any game or point in time, but rather a universal design that anybody can recognize.
On top of Link getting into the game, owners of Mario Kart 8 also had the Hyrule Circuit racetrack to get their hands on. Nintendo went all out when designing the course, swapping out coins for Rupees, and even having a Master Sword rise from the ground that you could use for an anti-grav boost.
13 Travel Inside A Monster
The biggest reason why people love the Zelda series is for its dungeons. At the end of the day, the overworld can be drab, but as long as the dungeons are top notch and full of challenging puzzles to solve and tough enemies to beat, many people will buy the games anyway.
Because of this, Nintendo has taken a pretty unique approach to dungeons before. They've tried all kinds of environments for Link to traverse, but arguably the craziest one comes from Ocarina of Time. The legendary Jabu Jabu wasn't feeling so great at the time, so when Link goes up to see him, he gets swallowed in. From there, he has to walk around through the monster's intestines because Jabu Jabu's insides are a full dungeon, complete with a boss and special items to find. Even the Princess of the Zoras is hiding out there and must be rescued by Link.
12 Harvested A Dragon
When creating any open world game, there has to be a lot of things to do, and those actions must be different to encourage players to keep playing. Breath of the Wild accomplishes this in spades, combining both a visual wow factor with unique tasks to finish.
One perfect example of this are the three dragons that fly around the world. In your playtime, you'll encounter each of them before you know it. While you can't fight them (as they are not malicious monsters), you can instead glide close to them and hit them with arrows to get scales and horn shards, essentially harvesting a dragon. If you want the best armor in the game (a fully upgraded Champion's Tunic), you will find yourself hunting these beasts down so you can harvest them for a lot of their respective shards.
11 Journey Through An Entire Dream
After the events of Oracle of Ages and Seasons, Link decides to take a voyage on the high seas so that he can train and better himself in Link's Awakening. However, he runs into a snag and crash-lands on a mysterious shore. From there, he meets a lot of new faces and journeys across the island of Koholint. Apparently, they are having some issues with the legendary Wind Fish, whom you don't encounter until the end of the game. Spoilers for Link's Awakening are ahead.
Once you encounter this gentle giant, he explains to you that he and Link have both been sleeping this entire time. Once the Wind Fish wakes up, the entire realm of Koholint Island will be nothing more than a memory that never existed. Nonetheless, Link still finishes his quest, wakes up the Wind Fish, and finds himself floating on a wooden plank far out at sea.
10 Steal A Horse
Ocarina of Time has one of the most peaceful locations in the entire franchise: Lon Lon Ranch. The place is run by Talon and his young daughter, Marin. The two are very welcoming folk and take great care of the horses they have. However, there is a worker named Ingo, who feels that Talon is ineffective at leading the ranch.
When Link travels forward in time, he visits Lon Lon Ranch again only to find that Ingo has taken over. While there isn't much he can do for Talon and Marin, Link can instead save the horse that he bonded with as a child: Epona. Unfortunately, Ingo won't give up the horse unless Link beats him in a race. After he does this, Ingo locks up Lon Lon Ranch to prevent Link from getting out. But with the courage of Epona, the two escape and Link steals the horse from Ingo.
9 Stand On Top Of Other Links
While this isn't anything major, the sight of something like this alone is more than enough to garner a mention. Tri-Force Heroes is a Zelda game designed to emphasize co-op play. You team up with two other players who each control different colors of Link. Together you tackle dungeons designed for multiple people and then some.
One of the defining features of the game, and something Nintendo touched on frequently, was the Link Totem. In the game, each Link could stand on each other's head to gain access to higher areas, allowing them to shoot special switches and more. This was a means of changing up how players approached a dungeon as well as justifying the need for making a co-op Zelda. While the concept isn't bad per se, it is certainly a strange sight to look on and is a testament to a more cartoonish aspect of video games.
8 Launched Himself From A Catapult
Few Zelda games really nail the motivation for Link to embark on his quests, but Wind Waker nails it from the very beginning. In it, his sister Aryll is captured by the Helmaroc King, who works for Ganondorf. After that, he travels with some pirates to get to the Forsaken Fortress so he can save his beloved sister.
Unfortunately, he finds out that the Fortress is heavily guarded and there would be no practical way for him to get inside. The pirates talk among themselves and Tetra comes up with a brilliant plan (or so they say). They stick Link inside a barrel and place him on the end of a catapult. They prep him for launch, count down the numbers, and send him flying into the Forsaken Fortress. While the plan does work, it results in Link slamming into a wall and his sword shooting from his grip.
7 Toss A Goron With His Bare Hands
In the beginning segment of Twilight Princess, Link is tasked with stopping a rampaging goat and tossing it aside. From that point, it seems like that mechanic will be used later on in the game. Evidently, it comes into play when Link travels to Death Mountain and has to take on a Goron.
Gorons can roll into deadly wheels and spin right into their foes, so Link had to be prepared to face that challenge. With the help of his solid iron boots, he was able to stop the Goron as it charged and toss it aside with some impressive strength. What makes this point the most list-worthy (I'm coining that term) is that Link could stand his ground but shouldn't have been able to lift the Goron or be able to stop it mid-roll. I suppose being the Hero of Twilight has its perks.
6 Deal With Death
It's been several years now since Game Theory conducted a video on Majora's Mask about Link being dead. While there is ample evidence to confirm this, I will not be treating it as fact. If it isn't true, at the very least, Majora's Mask is a game about death, grief, and how time is an impending doom to all of us (pretty philosophical for a game article, don't you think?).
All existential hypotheses aside, Majora's Mask takes Link through the world of Termina- a much darker land than Hyrule. In it, he is faced with many spirits and characters who have yet to fully accept their deaths. Through that, Link then experiences the five stages of grief through these different spirits. All of this darkness takes place as the moon lingers above, ready to conquer the world. Could this be an allegory for actual death?
5 Conquer Divine Beasts
When Eiji Aonuma began discussing how different the dungeons in Breath of the Wild were, there was a lot of buzz going around. How would they compliment the open nature of the game? What kind of challenges would lurk within? For all of our speculation, I doubt that any of us guessed giant mechanical beasts.
The Divine Beasts were served as the dungeons in Breath of the Wild, and from the getgo, the sheer scope of that was ridiculous. In order to access them, Link had to learn to disable them Shadow of the Colossus style. After that was complete, he could then travel on each beast and slowly regain control of all of them. The payoff was worth the effort, as the beasts then fired a massive laser at Calamity Ganon during the final battle for Hyrule.
4 Fought A War Across Dimensions
While Nintendo openly stated that Hyrule Warriors isn't canon, the references and connection to previous Zelda games are enough to constitute a mention on this list.
Like all Zelda titles, Hyrule Warriors features another version of Link who finds himself on the path to become the hero that everyone has been waiting for. However, he doesn't travel through dungeons and collect boss keys this time around. Instead, he is a general in a massive army that has to travel through many different dimensions in Zelda lore. Battles have taken place in Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess, and Skyward Sword. Link was right there in the thick of it as well, learning to deal with each problem as it presented itself as well as command an army. It helped that he received support in the form of characters from each respective dimension, such as Darunia, Princess Ruto, Midna, and Fi.
3 Ride A Spinner
As Link travels through Hyrule, he acquires many useful items, like boomerangs and bombs, that help him climb through dungeons and beat numerous bad guys. However, there is one item in particular that stands out from the rest: the spinner from Twilight Princess.
If you're coming at this from a new perspective, the spinner functions like one of those old beyblades except for the fact that it's gigantic and Link stands on it. The purpose of the spinner is then to travel across specifically designed rails and rocketing across the desert sands. As strange as it is, the spinner does constitute one of the most well-executed and tension-filled boss battles of the entire series. The only reason it stands out is because it's so drastically different from anything seen in the franchise as well as directly contradictory to the tone of Twilight Princess itself.
2 Stab Ganon In The Head
With such big quests that come from The Legend of Zelda, there has to be an amazing final battle to go with them, even if it is often with the same villain. While the winner, in my opinion, still has to be Ocarina of Time, there is something to be said about the battle that took place in the old Hyrule at the end of Wind Waker.
Link and Tetra work together to fight Ganondorf with his double long swords. After jumping, dodging and slashing all kinds of attacks, Link then finds his opening. He rockets in the air and plunges the Master Sword through Ganondorf's head. Read that a few times if it didn't sink in. This is even crazier when considering that Link is just a child in this game. Nonetheless, it as a sweet ending to the villain and a beautifully climactic battle.
1 Fought Himself
Over the years he's been around, Link has engaged in some fantastic duels. He's battled monsters three times his size, he's fought warriors with ten times more protection than him, and he's even taken on a dragon or two. But the biggest and craziest battle he's ever been a part of is with a dark form of himself: Dark Link.
Dark Link first appeared in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. However, the conflict wasn't expanded upon until Ocarina of Time. While it's not explicitly stated, the battle between Link and Dark Link is symbolic of him fighting the darkness that lies within. While he may be the Hero of whatever needs saving at the time, Link has the potential to let all of that power go to his head. He very well could fail and Hyrule could be lost forever. Sometimes your greatest enemy is your own mind.