The Legend of Zelda Reimagined with Zelda as the Lead

The creator of the webcomic Dresden Codak, Aaron Diaz, has put together a series of illustrations of something called “The Legend of Zelda: Clockwork Empire.” Inspired by Anita Sarkeesian’s Tropes vs. Women webseries, Diaz decided to construct a concept for a Zelda game where Zelda herself is the hero, rescuing Prince Link.

In the first episode of the Tropes vs. Women webseries, Sarkeesian approaches the topic of the “damsel in distress”, a well-worn trope that’s been a core component of video games for decades. The “damsel in distress” trope has served only to marginalize female characters as objects to be rescued by male protagonists. As a result of their trophy status, they often have little in the way of personality or characterization beyond needing rescue.

Diaz’s Zelda game concept is an attempt to elevate the series above its tired old tropes by giving Zelda a proper character of her own by making her the protagonist of the game after which she’s named. Beyond that, Diaz also designed his concept to fit into the continuity of the setting instead of taking the easy way out by simply redressing any existing Zelda game with her as the protagonist.

Clockwork Empire is set 2,000 years after the events of Twilight Princess, isn’t a reboot, and is simply another iteration of the franchise.

“It just so happens that in this case, Zelda is the protagonist. I’m a very big Zelda fan, and worked hard to draw from key elements in the continuity and mythos,” wrote Diaz.

“This concept work is meant to show that Zelda as a game protagonist can be both compelling and true to the franchise, while bringing new and dynamic game elements that go farther than being a simple gender swap.”

Beyond making Zelda the story’s heroine, Zelda is trained in the use of swords and makes up for her lack of a shield with her magic-wielding ability, which she uses to her advantage in combat. To amplify her powers, Zelda equips an ancient Hylian artifact called the Gauntlet of Gamelon.

The Legend of Zelda: Clockwork Empires is a worthy effort from one so talented as Aaron Diaz, and something that could very easily begin a trend of creative endeavors to recreate, or reimagine popular games like Zelda with their female characters in the lead.

Join the Conversation   

* required field

By submitting a comment here you grant GameFront a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate or irrelevant comments will be removed at an admin's discretion.

14 Comments on The Legend of Zelda Reimagined with Zelda as the Lead


On April 11, 2013 at 5:47 pm

This is Effin Awesome.


On April 11, 2013 at 6:17 pm

I think Nintendo is (this shows what kind of gamer I am)

But this is AWESOME


On April 11, 2013 at 7:19 pm

This looks awesome. Is it going to be an actual game?


On April 11, 2013 at 8:11 pm

I really want to buy this. Please let this get made!


On April 11, 2013 at 11:19 pm

This is pretty darn cool and I would totally go for this.

I have to say though, the mention of Anita Sarkeesian here annoys me.

T Wal

On April 12, 2013 at 1:30 am

Why this wasn’t done from the beginning is beyond me. The series is named after her, after all.


On April 12, 2013 at 2:06 am

This actually looks very cool indeed.

I would love the next Zelda game to be in that exact style too.

Don’t care about it actually being Zelda who is the main character but it just looks cool.


On April 12, 2013 at 9:08 am

If this was an actual game it would make me start playing Zelda games again.


On April 12, 2013 at 10:58 am

This must happen! Someone get Miyamoto on the line!


On April 12, 2013 at 12:58 pm

I wonder what Link’s Ninja form would be, it said the Prince would be in disguise after all, I’m assuming ala Sheik.


On April 12, 2013 at 4:21 pm

Why does Zelda look like a 14 year old boy?


On April 12, 2013 at 5:41 pm

I’d definitely pay attention if this were made into a game. Unlikely, unfortunately.

It’s amazing the amount of negative feedback I’ve seen on some other websites though. Egads.


On April 13, 2013 at 3:57 pm

Maybe renamed Legend of Link?


On June 22, 2014 at 11:41 am

This is really cool but I dislike the motivation behind it. I don’t think this will ever be made into a game but it’s a nice AU.