- "On a certain island, it became customary to garb boys in green when they came of age."
- — The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Prologue
The Hero's Clothes (勇者の服 Yūsha no Fuku?) is a recurring garb in the Legend of Zelda series. Specifically, it is the name given to the iconic outfit worn by Link in nearly all games in the series. Over the lifespan of the franchise, some design elements have shifted, but Link's famous green tunic and hat are features common to all of the outfit's incarnations. While earlier games imply little or no significance to these clothes, their recurrence has caused later games to explore their history and meaning behind them.
As they are Link's signature clothing, whenever he makes a cameo or playable appearance in game another franchise, he will likely be wearing these clothes.
History and design
The early version of the Hero's Clothes are characterized by little or no mention of their significance within each Legend of Zelda game. Because the technology of the time limited Link to a fairly small sprite, the games themselves could display few details of Link's clothes (aside from the fact they are green) and Link's outfit and character design is seen only in accompanying art as well as early animated productions. During this period, the brown portions of Link's sprite were interpreted as the long sleeves of a brown undershirt, and in most art from around the time, brown leggings as well. Some of the colors used were also not set in their modern forms. The early version of Link's clothes gradually evolved into the "Modern" version and disappeared after The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons.
However these clothes are referenced in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild where it appears a special armor set based on Link's classic Hero's Clothes from the early games. This set appears as a realistic take on the clothes worn by Link in official artwork for those early titles. Additionally, the design of Link's Breath of the Wild set of Hero's Clothes is partially based on Link's classic clothes, though with the addition of modern elements such as Link's blue earrings and more rugged looking design to fit with the wilderness theme of Breath of the Wild.
In the Hyrule Warriors sub-series, it appears in the form of Classic Tunic alternate costume skin which makes Link look resemble his classic design artwork and even features Link's original hair color.
Owing to the powerful mechanics of the Nintendo 64, the modern version of the Hero's Clothes was introduced in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the first 3-dimensional Legend of Zelda game. This version is characterized by a set of white leggings and undershirt beneath the green tunic, and a three-point belt where the scabbard of the Master Sword is strapped to Link's back. The brown sleeves are replaced by brown gauntlets. Along with the "Toon" version, more emphasis began to be placed into explaining the significance of the green outfit.
In games such as Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword, the Hero Clothes worn by the Hero of Twilight and Hero of the Sky feature the addition of chainmail to make it more realistic and make it appear more practical for a hero to wear. The Twilight Princess version is also a darker shade of green. Additionally the clothes are shown to realistically dampen when Link gets wet.
The Skyward Sword version also introduces the earliest origin for the hero's tradition garb, where it is revealed that it was the uninform worn by the Knights of Skyloft and senior cadets of the Knights Academy as a reward for passing their Wing Ceremony graduation test. It turns out that the tunics color changes each semester and that its green color was simply selected as the color for that year. The chainmail armor is also explained by the fact that it is worn as a uniform of the Knights of Skyloft, thus is designed to protect its wearer.
In Breath of the Wild, the Hero's Clothes no longer appear as Link's default or standard outfit as the game features a new more realistic armor system, allowing Link to change his clothes similar to the Outfits in The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes. However Hero's Clothes do appear in the form of several armor sets. Like all armor in Breath of the Wild these Hero's Clothes sets are separated into three armor pieces: Head, Body, & Leg armor. Caps appear as head armor, while Tunics appear as body armor, while pants, leggings, and boots are combined into leg armor. As a result, Link can choose to wear only pieces of a set or even mix and match sets. It is also the first game where Link can remove his cap or wear a Hero's Clothes cap with other armor (though only body and leg options). Like other armors in the game, these armor sets can be upgraded though they all grant the same set bonus when upgraded to Level 2 or higher and usually require some rare materials to upgrade. The main set for Breath of the Wild is completely optional as it can be obtained from a side quest received by completing all 120 Shrines, thus it is obtained late in the game, a first for the series as it is usually obtained very early on. In fact, Link is often depicted in official artwork for Breath of the Wild wearing the Champion's Tunic and Hylian Trousers. It is also the first game in the series to feature the ability to obtain clothing based on Hero's Clothes worn by various incarnations of Link. These include a realistic version of Link's classic clothes and the Hero of Wind's clothes, Adult Link's Hero Clothes from Ocarina of Time, and clothing from Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword. However unlike the Breath of the Wild version, these are all obtained randomly via certain amiibo and cannot be dyed, though can still be upgraded like the Breath of the Wild set. The entire set must be worn together to receive its set bonus and Link is unable to mix different set pieces together to receive the set bonus. The older sets are completely optional and require specific amiibo for them to appear, though Link can only obtain one piece at a time thus must use the amiibo several times to complete the entire set. Unlike the Breath of the Wild set they can be obtained early on even before leaving the Great Plateau, provided one has the correct amiibo to make it spawn and activates the amiibo rune. Each set piece feature their original design elements though with minor alterations to fit the realistic graphics style of Breath of the Wild and the addition of Link wearing the Sheikah Slate on his belt. The older sets' shade of green may also differ based upon the set. Additionally head options effect Link's hairstyle and may feature or remove his blue earrings, which are normally worn by default when Link isn't wearing any head armor. Certain leg options may feature the addition of a strap and belt when Link is wearing them without or with certain body armors which he uses to realistically carry his Sheikah Slate, Quiver, and other equipment.
Dark Link version
Additionally, Breath of the Wild features an armor set based on Dark Link which is apparently based on Dark Link from Ocarina of Time as its design is nearly identical to the Hero of Time set, implying that it is based the spurious replica of the Kokiri Tunic and Kokiri Boots worn by Dark Link in Ocarina of Time due to the similarities between their models. It also fits with Breath of the Wild taking place after the events of Ocarina of Time. The only differences between them are the clothes dark coloration, glowing red eyes, and alters Link's skin tone to match Dark Link. The game also implies that the incarnations of Dark Link wear spurious replicas of the Hero's Clothes which makes sense given that Dark Link wields what appear to be dark spurious replicas of the Master Sword and Hylian Shield in Ocarina of Time.
The "Toon" version of the Hero's Clothes debuted with the distinctive cel-shaded graphics of the The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and is an alternative style to Link's outfit in more "realistic" Legend of Zelda games in the series. This style accounts for the majority of newer Legend of Zelda games, such as The Wind Waker, The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords, The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, and so on. Aside from the obvious "Toon" style, it is characterised by white leggings, light green undershirt, and a spiral design on the belt buckle. There are no gloves or three-point belt, and the anime chibi style of the character design causes Link's boots to become quite minimized.
In Breath of the Wild, the Hero of Wind Armor set based on this version retains most of the original Toon version's design elements though slightly altered to match the game's realistic graphics style, however it does retain outfit's simplistic design and the tunic lacks any upper body strap for Link's equipment, though the Sheikah Slate does appear attached to its belt. The cap also alters Link's hairstyle to match Toon Link's though he retains his original hair color and causes his default blue earrings to be removed while it is worn.
The design of the Hero's Clothes are no longer considered unique; all Kokiri wear green tunics with green hats, and so, Link, who had been raised among them, wore them as well. This was the first appearance of the "Modern" version of the Hero's Clothes. While the Kokiri Tunic that Link wears as a child is similar to the "Early" version, the brown sleeves seen on extra-game art of the latter are not included in the game. Adult Link's outfit however, introduces numerous new features such as white leggings, white undershirt sleeves, brown gauntlets, and expands the tunic's belt into a three-point belt for the scabbard of the Master Sword (which did not appear on his in-game model, only appearing in official artwork) to be strapped to his back (leaving the question as to how the Kokiri Sword or Master Sword stayed in the same position without it). This was later rectified in Ocarina of Time 3D as both Child and Adult Link forms wear a three-point belt just as he did in the original artwork for Ocarina of Time. In Majora's Mask, the Child Link continues his adventures and continues to wear the same clothing, though now with the three-point belt. When Link transforms into another creature with one of the masks, he wears brown gauntlets, which could be a reference to Adult Link wearing brown gauntlets in Ocarina of Time.
The final appearance of the early version. Link's outfit includes the white leggings introduced in Ocarina of Time but retains the brown sleeves of the early version.
During the beginning of The Wind Waker, Link is wearing blue islander-style clothing with a recognizable crawfish design and khaki pants. It is considered tradition on Outset Island to dress boys in a green tunic and hat like the Hero of Time when they come of age, and the apparel is given to him by his grandmother. Link is still wearing the clothing when he suddenly finds himself forced to go out to sea to save his sister, Aryll. During the Second Quest, Link receives the Hero's New Clothes instead, a set of invisible clothes that can only be seen by those who are honest; for the duration of this playthrough, Link is thus seen wearing the default islander clothing.
Link starts with green clothes but has no cap. He eventually finds Ezlo, a Minish sage who has been transformed into a shape similar to a hat. The two team up, and Ezlo positions himself on top of Link's head; effectively a make-shift cap. After Link has defeated Vaati, Ezlo, now having been returned to his true shape, presents Link with a hat similar to what he looked like when he served as Link's hat.
Link is magically separated into four pieces by the Four Sword, and the four go on an adventure to find the six maidens and Zelda. They wear a two dimensional style of the "Toon" tunic. There are four colors of the tunic; they are green, red, blue, and violet.
During the beginning of the game, Link is wearing simple Ranch Clothes, very similar to the clothes used by everyone else in Ordon. Further in the game, Link is transformed into a wolf by the power of Twilight. The only thing keeping him from turning into a wandering spirit, like nearly everyone else when Twilight appears, is the Triforce of Courage. After a short while, Link meets Faron, one of the Light Spirits. Faron tells him that the only way for him to return to his normal form, is to fill a Vessel of Light with Tears of Light, effectively dissipating the Twilight infesting the Faron Province. Once he has completed this, the Faron Province is returned to the light, and Link is returned to his human form; however, he now wears the green clothes once worn by his ancestor who was the Hero of Time. Faron explains that since Link is a successor to the ancient Hero he also granted him the clothes. These clothes were noted by it's original wearer when he first encountered his descendant. Interestingly, these clothes look different to the ones Link wears in Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, in terms of size and design.
The most significant development of the Hero's Clothes in Twilight Princess is the inclusion of a layer of chain-mail between the tunic and the undershirt. This actually gives the Hero's Clothes a significant defensive advantage over Link's Ordon clothing or his wolf form, halving all damage taken.
This green three-piece outfit, complete with a green hat, is worn by recruits for the Hyrulean Soldiers until they are promoted to the rank of soldier. After summoning Link to her personal chambers in Hyrule Castle, Princess Zelda gives one to the hero for him to use as a disguise. With the help of his disguise, Link successfully sneaks Zelda out of the castle. The Recruit Uniform is identical in appearance to the Hero's Clothes, the green garb worn by Link in other games in the series, and is thus potentially based on the clothes worn by the Link who first discovered New Hyrule. Strangely, the Recruit Uniform worn by the recruit in the castle has a simple silver belt buckle, as opposed to the yellow swirled belt buckle on Link's set of clothes.
Despite there being no real need to wear the Recruit Uniform after Zelda's escape, Link continues to wear it rather than his engineer's uniform. The Recruit Uniform can be switched out for the engineer's uniform later in the game if fifteen stamps are shown to Niko.
Link's Recruit Uniform is taken as proof that he is a soldier of Hyrule, but interestingly, an Out-of-place Soldier in Disorientation Station sees Link as a soldier even if Link has chosen to change back to his Engineer's Clothes.
The Hero's Clothes make an appearance. They are actually one version of the uniform worn by the Knights of Skyloft, and Link's peers at the Knight Academy can be seen wearing alternate versions of the outfit. While Link's version of the uniform closely resembles the Hero's Clothes worn by Link in Twilight Princess, in terms of style and design, it does feature some noticeable changes: Firstly, the belt buckle is now silver colored rather than brass, and has a slightly more circular shape than the rectangular brass buckles. Secondly, the chain mail worn between the tunic and undershirt is now also of a silver color, as opposed to a golden color in Twilight Princess. Lastly, Link's leggings are a darker brown color instead of almost pure white, and are noticeably baggier than previously, which were often seen as being skintight or slim-fitting.
It is an obtainable outfit that Link can equip and is the first outfit Link obtains from Madame Couture, to replace his unfashionable Bear Minimum Digs. It is made with the Hytopian Silk that Link receives from Sir Combsly and costs zero Rupees. It has no other abilities. The Hero Tunic is based on the Hero's Clothes worn by Link in cel-shaded games, beginning with The Wind Waker.
Unlike past games, the Hero's Clothes are not Link's default outfit. Link wears essentially various armors instead of his traditional green tunic. He is often depicted wearing the Champion's Tunic obtained from Impa in promotional material for Breath of the Wild. However a few armor sets refer to and depict the famous Hero's Clothes of the previous games.
Once all 120 Shrines are cleared, the first one is obtained as a reward from the Sheikah Monks after completing the side quest "A Gift from the Monks". Link receive the "Wild" armor set specific to Breath of the Wild and comprising the Cap, Tunic and Trousers of the Wild. When worn, the set depicts a new version of the Link's classic tunic of The Legend of Zelda, but with the additional blue earrings, and it increases the power of the Master Sword's Sword Beams via its set bonus. This "Wild" armor set serves as the Breath of the Wild version of the Hero's Clothes. Each piece of this set can be dyed different colors at the Kochi Dye Shop.
- The 8-Bit Link amiibo from the The Legend of Zelda: 30th Anniversary series unlocks the "Hero" set, comprising the Cap, Tunic and Trousers of the Hero, and depicts Link wearing the original clothing from The Legend of Zelda.
- The Link Ocarina of Time amiibo from the The Legend of Zelda: 30th Anniversary series unlocks the "Time" set, comprising the Cap, Tunic and Trousers of Time, and depicts Adult Link wearing the Kokiri Tunic and Kokiri Boots from Ocarina of Time.
- The two Toon Link amiibo from the The Legend of Zelda: 30th Anniversary and the Super Smash Bros. series unlock the "Wind" set, comprising the Cap, Tunic and Trousers of the Wind, and depicted the Hero of Wind from The Wind Waker.
- The Link Twilight Princess amiibo from the The Legend of Zelda: 30th Anniversary series and the Super Smash Bros. Link amiibo unlock the "Twilight" set, comprising the Cap, Tunic and Trousers of Twilight, and depicts Link wearing the original Hero's Clothes from Twilight Princess.
- The Link Skyward Sword amiibo from the The Legend of Zelda: 30th Anniversary series unlocks the "Sky" set, comprising the Cap, Tunic and Trousers of the Sky, and depicts Link wearing the original Hero's Clothes from Skyward Sword.
All of these sets increases the damage of the Master Sword's beams. Breath of the Wild is also the first one of the main The Legend of Zelda series to propose past references of the Hero's Clothes as obtainable outfits furthermore divided in three pieces of armor set. Link can thus match or mix the Hero's Clothes types. All of these sets, except for the "Wild" set, are made of a fabric that prevents dying at the Kochi Dye Shop. However Link can still upgrade them via Great Fairies but they tend to require rare materials such as Star Fragments and Dragon parts. Also amiibo only unlock a Treasure Chest containing randomly a single piece of armor set requiring to use the amiibo multiple times to complete each set. All these armor pieces can be sold to shops and merchants. Unlike the "Wild" armor set serving as the Breath of the Wild version, other Hero's Clothes featuring sets in reference to previous episodes cannot be dyed different colors.
A reference to the Hero's Clothes appears through the "Dark" armor set obtained from the Fang and Bone and comprising the Dark Hood, Tunic and Trousers. According to their description, they are based on the clothing worn by Dark Link suggesting that the tunics worn by the various incarnations of Dark Link are spurious replicas of the Hero's Clothes. The "Dark" armor set was created by Kilton based on his research of a monster born of shadow which may be Dark Link or an incarnation of him, and thus the set is a replica of Dark Link's clothes that makes Link resemble Dark Link when worn.
A version of Link's Hero's Clothes appears in Hyrule Warriors. It is first seen on a table near Zelda bed in her bedchamber after being woken up by a prophetic vision of darkness descending on Hyrule. After a young Hyrulean Forces trainee named Link helps the Hyrulean Forces defeat Volga and King Dodongo, Impa recognizing Link as the reborn Hero of Legend, gives him the Hero's Clothes hoping he proves to be a Hero worthy of wearing them. This version of Link's outfit features chainmail underneath his green tunic and a metal pauldron armor covering his left shoulder (likely to protect his sword wielding arm).
Its most recognizable addition however is a long blue scarf that features the seal of the Royal Family of Hyrule at the end. This serves as Link's Standard outfit and replacing his Trainee Tunic (which acts as a selectable alternate costume from then on) and wears them for the rest of the story. There are also several recolors of this outfit that can be unlocked which for the most part change the overall coloration of the Tunic. Interestingly, Link's Scarf and Link's Boots which are worn as parts of his Hero's Clothes, also appear as Link's Gold and Silver Material drops. The DLC Hero's Tunics from Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword appear under the names Era of Twilight Tunic and Knight of Skyloft Tunic respectively. The Hero of Time DLC Hero's Clothes appear under the name Kokiri Tunic. Young Link also wears his Kokiri Tunic from Majora's Mask as his default outfit. Link's original tunic from the first three Legend of Zelda games, appears under the name Classic Tunic.
The Hero's Clothes also appears as a Fairy Clothing option for Companion Fairies. There are five versions of the Hero's Clothes:
- Hero's Clothes (Red) - Fire Elemental Attribute
- Hero's Clothes (Blue) - Water Elemental Attribute
- Hero's Clothes (Yellow) - Lightning Elemental Attribute
- Hero's Clothes (Green) - Light Elemental Attribute
- Hero's Clothes (Purple) - Darkness Elemental Attribute
Because the Link in Skyward Sword was the first hero chosen by the Gods, and the knights are seen wearing the Hero's Clothes, it is possible that this is where they originated from, and from this Link they have been passed down. It is more likely however, that the Hero of Time was the one who passed down the idea as shown in Wind Waker and Twilight Princess.
The Hero's Clothes in Twilight Princess may be the Kokiri Tunic and Boots once worn by the Hero of Time, as the Twilight Princess Hero's Clothes have a darker coloration which may be a sign of age or wear as the Kokiri Tunic has a much brighter shade of green, probably faded over time. Other differences between the two could be explained as alterations made to them by either the Hero of Time, before switching from the Hero's Shade, or the Light Spirits.