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In the Legend of Zelda series the protagonist is always named Link. We know Zelda's name was based on a real world thing from What is Princess Zelda's full name?.

Why/how did the creator come up with such a weird name?

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  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Null Aug 30 '16 at 17:48
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In a 2012 interview, Shigeru Miyamoto said that the name came from the fact that the character was supposed to be a literal "link" between two different time periods:

It's not a very well known anecdote, but when we started designing The Legend of Zelda, we imagined the Triforce fragments to be electronic chips! It was supposed to be a video game that would take place in both the past and the future. Because the hero was the link between them, we called him "Link". But in the end, Link never went to the future and it stayed a game of heroic fantasy. We can even say that there was never anything futuristic about it!

In his foreword to Hyrule Historia, he gives a slightly (very slightly) different explanation:

We named the protagonist Link because he connects people together. He was supposed to spread the scattered energy of the world through the ages.

The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia On the 25th Anniversary of The Legend of Zelda

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    Then in another interview, he explains that Link is the link between the game and you, the user. TLDR: Miyamoto makes it up on the fly. – Slacklord the Terrible Aug 30 '16 at 18:03
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    @Axelrod Kind of surprising he hasn't gone to the 'Link is a legendary hero of time, so he's a link in a chain.' type explanation yet. ;) – Williham Totland Aug 30 '16 at 18:07
  • @Axelrod Do you have a link for that interview? I remember reading that when I was a kid (in the Ocarina of Time strategy guide, I think), but I haven't been able to find a source today – Jason Baker Aug 30 '16 at 18:08
  • That sounds a lot like what they ended up doing in the third game, A Link to the Past. – Mason Wheeler Aug 30 '16 at 18:43
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    Possibly worth a comment: the Japanese name 「リンク」"rinku" is literally just the English word "link", borrowed into Japanese with the same meaning. So this is a rare case where there's no ambiguity in the translation. – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Aug 30 '16 at 20:35

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