Coincidence: Forget Fat Pikachu – we’re all about Wide Link

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What you have there? A triangle? Well done! (Image: Nintendo)

If you ever have a day off, can we recommend looking through the old Zelda key art? Whether you have a few manuals from the old games or you just want to browse the Zeldapedia galleries, it’s something that always cheers us up.

This is Link and Ganon before their big fight.  Link is the green spot;  Ganon is the ... legThis is Link and Ganon before their big fight. Link is the green spot; Ganon is the … leg (Image: Nintendo)

In the 80’s and 90’s, the conceptual art and key art provided as promotional materials or art for the game guides were inspired by books where kids could choose their own adventures, and that was all more charming for that.

Haha the sameHaha, same (Image: Nintendo)

When you look back at these works of art at a time when everything Zelda-flavored is meticulously crafted with the same craftsmanship you see from a chef pinching microgreens on a plate, it’s just nice to see how nervous Zelda used to be was and how things were before Nintendo I really started cracking down on the Link Style Guide. Do you remember when his hair was pink ?!

Arrrghhh noooo kill it with fireArrrghhh noooo kill it with fire (Image: Nintendo)

We use a lot of these images in our plays, mostly because they’re a lot funnier to look at than boring old screenshots (especially of the really old games), and they usually exist in much higher resolutions than NES and N64 screens. Damien especially likes the creepy Zelda II art, which makes Link look a bit like he’s throwing a fit on a Starbucks, and Zion and Gavin are pretty partisan about the chaotic Majora’s mask art, where Link is presumably looking straight at the camera The Curb Your Enthusiasm theme will play. Plus, this iconic 3D piece from Ocarina of Time is always a favorite, and for good reason.

Nice?  For sure.  But isn't beauty sometimes boring?Nice? For sure. But isn’t beauty sometimes boring? (Image: Nintendo)

But the greatest of all is the art we affectionately call “Wide Link”: an appealing chibi version of our hero who looks more like a kid who just found a massive Toblerone than the savior of the world. This link is in the Japanese Famicom manual for the original Legend of Zelda, a scanned copy that Zelda Dungeon kindly uploaded to the internet for you to read for yourself.

Mmm, old manuals.  We can almost smell the paper soaked in children's finger fatMmm, old manuals. We can almost smell the paper soaked in children’s finger fat (Image: Zelda Dungeon)

Wide Link is the fat Pikachu from The Legend of Zelda: a long-forgotten but beloved version of the series mascot, before he went slim and underwent a million artistic determinations. And he’s beautiful. He looks more like a kid half-heartedly auditioning for a role in a low-budget fantasy film than a hero. He could be a character from Pigeon Street with those chunky little hands.

A selection of wide linksA selection of wide links (Image: Nintendo)

Cor, we wrote a lot of words to tell you that Wide Link is the best, right? Well he deserved it. He should get his own amiibo. He could be in the sequel to Breath of the Wild while we’re at it. If Fat Pikachu can reappear in the newest Pokémon, we’ll say, why not?

Please leave your love and adoration for Wide Link in the comments below or tell us about your favorite Zelda key art. Do you have one of the old manuals? Old posters? Game instructions? Janky Art commissioned for 90s magazine? Let us know!

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