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God-Tier Dad Hacks Wind Waker So His Daughter Can Play A Girl Hero

Godtierdad.jpg

Little girls don't have a lot by way of female heroes they can look up to in video games. In fact, they're about as rare as Ponycorns. Thank goodness there are dads (and moms, of course) willing to go to just about any length to make the world more open for their kids.

Take, for example, Mike Hoye, a self-professed "inveterate Legend of Zelda fan" who has been playing through the Wind Waker with his little girl, dutifully reading out the text for her as she's not old enough for that yet. (Full disclosure: This whole story makes my biological clock bang away harder than a taiko drummer, and completely melts my heart; I can't even try to be objective on this account.) According to his blog entry on the matter:

It's annoying and awkward, to put it mildly, having to do gender-translation on the fly when Maya asks me to read what it says on the screen. You can pick your character's name, of course - I always stick with Link, being a traditionalist - but all of the dialog insists that Link is a boy, and there's apparently nothing to be done about it.

Well, there wasn't anything to be done about it, certainly not anything easy, but as you might imagine I'm not having my daughter growing up thinking girls don't get to be the hero and rescue their little brothers.

So what did he do? He hacked the Wind Waker. More than that, he's provided others with details of how to do it. Unfortunately it requires emulators and actual computer skills, but for one little girl, at least, the gaming world is a more inclusive place.

8 Comments

Forlork said:

" but all of the dialog insists that Link is a boy, and there's apparently nothing to be done about it. "

Could that be, maybe, perhaps, theres a slight chance that, Link could possibly, sorta be, a little bit of A BOY!?

=O


Seems a little excessive in my opinion. That little girl is gonna grow up constantly asking,

"Well, why isnt the main character a girl?! huh? What do you have against women?!"
"....maybe because we intended it to be a male character? Cuzzz thats what we want?"

Gumba Masta said:

Homestuck refference?

Radiant Sophia said:

Forlork, If the scales were even remotely balanced, you might have a point. Being unaware of how hard it is to find a female protagonist in a video game, especially one suitable for children, simply showcases your privilege.

Silver Phoenix said:

The Legend of Zelda should have a game based on Zelda as the player and Link can go fuck himself.

Atma said:

As a woman who was born just after the NES came out and as a woman who grew up very gay and clamoring for lady protagonists worth a damn her whole life and having to settle for just pretending the hero was a girl instead, this dad is pretty much a national hero in my eyes, and people like Forlork can get bent. This is a guy who lives his family, loves games, and knows exactly what kind of impact they will have on his daughter and is making sure she gets the most of it now. If only we had easy romhacking tools back then...

What's more, he picked something colorful and fun she can enjoy with a hero androgynous enough to pull the gender swap off. A mute hero who's voices in this game are childish enough they could belong to a girl, too. This guy clearly knows what he's doing on every level and my hat's off to him.

I can only hope that if I ever become a parent I am at least half as cool and caring as he is.

CPFace said:

This really touched me, and I'm not really sure why. Maybe it's just such a sweet gesture on the father's part. Maybe I'm intrigued by the idea of the Hero of Time reincarnating as a girl for a change. Maybe I'm thinking that, what with Choice of Games and everything, it's just time for us to start thinking about characters with mutable gender as the norm in interactive narratives.

Mittens said:

Let's be fair to Forlork--without context, this seems like a lot of work for an "assumed" goal. But if this is like what I see with little kids who want to play video games like this (that have androgynous and accessible characters), then she was probably playing pretend as Link and working his character into her imagination in lots of observable ways. So, with that in mind, Dad is awesome to keep that pathway open--to keep his daughter playing the hero instead of the gender-assigned distressed.

Lance said:

Wind Waker was average, though.

And girls who like girls who like rumble packs!

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Mittens on God-Tier Dad Hacks Wind Waker So His Daughter Can Play A Girl Hero: Let's be fair to Forlork--without context, this seems like a lot of work for an "assumed" goal. But if this...

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