A feminist criticism is thought of as something critiqued as though looking at it through a feminist lens, viewing it with specific advocacy for the women involved.

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This, is Zelda, princess of Hyrule. She is the main character from The Legend of Zelda video game series. Link is the male protagonist who you play as, and he is often guided by Zelda in a quest to save her and the kingdom. Through the series of games, her character is thought of as many Hylian women of the same royal bloodline named Zelda, but for the purpose of this post, I am going to be talking about her as just one heroine. She is fierce and powerful, wise beyond her years. When Link is sent out on an adventure, Zelda is able to use her keen senses keep him on the right path, and she can communicate with him using her psychic and magic powers. Bestowed with keen insight and judgement because she possesses the Triforce of Wisdom, Zelda is always more than willing to help anyone in need. She does not often fight, being too weak, other than to shoot a bow. Zelda falls damsel in distress more often than she should given her brains and is never given the opportunity to prove herself any more powerful than Link. She has so much potential to be fighting alongside Link, but that seems to be over shadowed too often because she is a women.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is a game in the series in which darkness consumes the land and Link is paired up with a female companion, Midna. She is able to help Link understand what is happening and deal with the darkness temporarily transforming him into a wolf. Although in this story Link is not familiar with Princess Zelda, Midna and him journey to find her, in search of her knowledge. When they finally meet her, Midna is not well, and begs the princess to help Link in his quest. Zelda reaches out and touches Midna, saying, “Midna… I believe I understand now just who and what you are… Despite your mortal injuries, you act in our stead… These dark times are the result of our deeds, yet it is you who have reaped the penalty. Accept this now, Midna. I pass it to you…“, at which time Zelda bestows her own energy to Midna and fades away. This scene represents Zelda’s selflessness and want for her people to be healthy and happy.

Zelda’s femininity prevents her from being able to show her true strengths and because of this, she must disguise herself. Her chosen identity is Sheik, the warrior who aids Link in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. This is the only game in which he appears, but is portrayed as a vital character who is really the only reason that Link has made it thda3a89a60140f3872116519b34dbe15erough the game.Why is it that Zelda must transform herself into a man to become heroic when she already is a heroine who has the potential to help Link in the way Sheik does. Sheik is trained in combat and uses deku nuts (an item featured in many of the series) to disappear mysteriously. Zelda and Sheik are the same person, but each possess different abilities, the stronger residing in Sheik.

This disparity between the two’s abilities is illustrated in Super Smash Brothers Melee, a fighting game containing characters from Nintendo. In the game Zelda is a selectable character, but by pressing the Z button before selecting her you can play as Sheik, the only difference being Sheik is miles better than Zelda. Sheik sits in the S tier, second from the top (with the only character in the higher tier being Fox). Zelda on the other hand sits eight tiers down from the top in the F tier, which does not sound too powerful. Not only can Zelda not be the strongest version of herself in her own series, but in SSBM you can literally beat up Zelda with Sheik. I find it unfair that even though Zelda is smart and cunning, she is still left to play second fiddle because she is a woman.

Although she is not given the exact credit which she deserves, Zelda is a heroine because she has skills that others could only dream of, and uses them purely for good. Zelda is not limited by her womanhood but takes an alternate route to make sure she performs at her full potential.

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Emily Coffin

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