Amid Nintendo's flurry of fall news during the Nintendo Direct announcement today came the introduction of a long-awaited and much rumored new character named Linkle. Even non-Nintendo fans should be able to figure out that the dual-crossbow-wielding fighter "from a small village filled with Cuccos" is a female version of The Legend of Zelda's Link. Linkle will be an exclusive character for the upcoming 3DS spinoff Hyrule Warriors Legends due out in North America on March 25th, 2016.
While not officially part of the Japanese game maker's canon — Hyrule Warriors Legends is developed by Dynasty Warriors creator Koei Temco — Linkle marks a bold departure from tradition for Nintendo. The character was first introduced in an art book for the Wii U version of Hyrule Warriors back in the summer of 2014 as a "girl version of hero Link" on a page dedicated to previously unseen yet ultimately rejected characters. So Linkle never made the cut for the that version of the game, but it appears that Nintendo has taken the design and followed through for the handheld spinoff. The news arrives after months of heavy speculation from the Nintendo community after a crossbow was spotted in a leaked Hyrule Warriors Legends trailer back in June.