Hyrule Warriors had designs for a female Link
Could we choose our hero's genders for the next Zelda?
While The Legend of Zelda protagonist Link has always been a male character, Nintendo - or possibly Koei - toyed with the idea of a female variation of the Hero of Time in developing Hyrule Warriors.
This potential character design was revealed in scans of the game's Japanese art book (thanks, GoNintendo).
The label next to this lady Link labels the character "Rinkuru," which Kotaku suggests would be translated to "Linkle" in English.
Kotaku also noted that this lady Link appears in a page labelled "previously unseen rejected characters," and she's described as a "girl version of hero Link." The art book said that she was "devised as being sister-like" - specifically like a little sister, as younger and older siblings have different words in Japanese. It's a fun language.
It's unclear if "Linkle" will actually be in Hyrule Warriors, but she represents a willingness on Nintendo's part to explore a different gender for Link, so perhaps the next proper Zelda adventure will give players a choice between male or female Hylian heroes.