Genderswapped Zelda -- rescue Link!

Inspired by the Damsels in Distress episode of Tropes vs Women in Video Games, and by the Dad who genderswapped Donkey Kong for his daughter, Kenna swapped the Link and Zelda sprites on a Zelda ROM, so that Zelda rescued Link:

Tiles are the blocks of pixels that make up each sprite. Animation happens when the tiles are swapped for other tiles. So, to create new animation, you just have to edit the appropriate tile.

Some tips! Make sure that tile goes back in the same place where you found it, or you might end up with random legs and arms sticking out of scenery. When you open up your ROM in Tile Layer Pro, you'll see a grid with all of the ROM information displayed as pixels. It shows *all* of the rom information, so you're going to see a flaming hot mess -- at first. Keep scrolling down until you find something vaguely sprite-shaped and use the "+" and "-" keys on the keyboard to align them. But beware -- the tiles will go back to their starting alignment when you scroll and not all parts of the code use the same alignment. We spent hours hunting down the princess tiles because we didn't realize that the alignment changed from section to section.

Kenna's made the patch available.

Zelda Starring Zelda: The Story (via Neatorama)


  1. This doesn’t make any sense.  Is her girlish frame even strong enough to carry a sword, a shield, a bag of head-sized bombs, a giant boomerang, a bow and arrow, a magic book and wand, a ladder, a raft, and 4 bottles of red potion?

  2. The failure to swap the fairy’s sprite for that of some guy implies that men are not entitled to be magical healing fairies if they choose to be.  Or something.  Or not.

    1. People keep ironically requesting this. I gotta wonder if most people just can’t name another female main character off the top of their heads. lol

  3. are the anti-feminist jerks flaming this? my current hypothesis is that some part of the hate of anita sarkeesian is that she represents (to them) old media: communications degree; polished editing and presentation of superficial, kind of condescending analyses of carefully selected excerpts; and so on. similarly for rebecca watson. it can’t be just their positions that are stirring up this hate, nor do i think it’s just misogyny. there’s more to it.

    by contrast, i would expect either begrudging tolerance or praise of this kind of pro-active `hacking,’ representing geekiness, creativity and empowerment.

    1. I’m guessing that a lot of the hate toward Sarkeesian is just hateful jerks.  Some of it is that she cherry-picks, sure, but a lot of it is just hateful jerks who don’t want to see anyone messing with their games. Those games need to be messed with.

      I won’t touch the Rebecca Watson debate.  I don’t know much about her, but I have seen people who argue that she tends to be…abrasive.  I’ve seen the allegations that she picks fights in talks.  Inserts feminist, but unrelated, arguments for the sake of shaking things up.  Maybe it needs to happen, but what little I know about her I find her to be as irritating as one of her arch-nemeses, the Amazing Atheist.

      1. i agree, they are hateful jerks with petty quibbles. but why the spasm of hate, and why her?

        this item is going around the blogosphere, and at least as feminist (imho) as sarkeesian, but i’m guessing it won’t get the hate.

        anyway, to me, the whole thing, elevatorgate, ftb, etc. is a train wreck in slow motion. the oh-so-elite atheist community, who would never stoop to such things as watching jersey shore, is currently acting out their own reality drama. i love it all, in the most depraved way. make of that what you will.

    2.  “are the anti-feminist jerks flaming this”

      A bit, but not as bad as you’d think. I think their reputation is scarier than they actually are. Almost everyone has been really supportive, and I’m mostly only engaging people with serious questions about my project who have taken the time to read my posts. This isn’t just a random gender swap, afterall. (not that I’m opposed to that. lol) :)

      Personally, I think the flamers are mostly just people that haven’t played a lot of Zelda games and don’t understand Zelda’s typical role in the series (for example, a few people keep posting “WHAT’S THE POINT” … and I seriously can’t help you there, dude. Go find a philosopher.) A few have had knee-jerk “ermaigherd feminazis ruinin’ mai games” responses, but mostly they just post and run away. They get jumped on pretty fast.

    1. Considering how many people thought “Zelda” was the guy wandering around with the sword, I’d say this mod makes the original title more correct.

  4. Daughter 1 sez: why don’t they just give you the option to be male or female?  I think she has a point. I mean, I’m more butch than Link. All you’d have to do is put him in a dress and tights. Oh. Wait. :/

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