Hello fans, and welcome back to Character Spotlight! Today we look into the characters Shadow Link, Dark Link, and Ravio. Why three people you ask? Please, allow me to go into detail.
First, I should warn that THIS POST WILL SHOW SIGNIFICANT SPOILERS TO THE PLOT OF A LINK BETWEEN WORLDS. You have been warned.
So, the reason I chose to feature three people in today’s Spotlight is because technically, they actually are NOT three different people, but the same person. I’m sure most fans would disagree, mostly due to their appearances and different roles in various games (as shown below), but hear me out.
So, these three look different, act different, and have very different roles in-game(s). Shadow Link, from Ocarina of Time, acts as a simple mini-boss in the Water Temple and is never seen again.
Dark Link acts as one of the main antagonists in Four Swords (at least, in the manga), and until his major act of defiance in the end, he is considered public enemy No. 2.
Finally, Ravio acts as a simple merchant in A Link Between Worlds, and he actually has no real significance until the end of the game, the only important thing before then that he does is give Link his magic bracelet that let’s him turn into a painting. (It is later revealed that: Ravio is to Link as Hilda is to Zelda.)
So how could three characters who have the above-mentioned differences be the same person? I answer that with two simple words:
In every instance in-game(s), one of these three are supposedly the “opposite” of Link. That means, that technically with every re-incarnation of Link, there is a re-incarnation of Anti-Link (to sum it up). In A Link Between Worlds, Link becomes a true beacon of courage, and travels across parallel worlds just to do what is right. However, Ravio is a craven coward and fled to Hyrule to save his own skin, willing to leave everyone else over in Lorule to die.
Shadow Link is “what Link might have become had he chosen to fight along side Ganondorf”. Link chose one path, which meant his shadow chose another. Why was Link able to defeat his shadow counter-part if he was stronger? Because over all, power is nothing over the strength one gains through the heart.
And Dark Link? He was always under constant control of both Vaati and Ganondorf, not that he was unhappy with his orders. He was upset that he merely played the role of a shadow who always follows and is never noticed. Meanwhile, Link was controlled by no one and was never upset at being over-looked, because he never was.
In all of these cases, the Anti-Link incarnations all had something making them the opposite of the current Link incarnation (other than being evil). With Ruto, I was able to look back into her past and fill in some blanks, and technically I have also done so with Anti-Link. Throughout the thousands of years, all the way back to The Legend Of Zelda, there has always been an Anti-Link, and as everyone changes, so did he. At times he was strong, important, trusted with everything, at others, he was barely anything remotely related to a hero. Whether he was silent or silver-tongued, he always made known what his intention where in the end.
Though it destroyed him in the end, Dark Link fought back against Vaati and Ganondorf by destroying the Dark Mirror, the only way for shadow people to survive in the world of light. He proved that even someone with a dark heart can make things right.
Sadly, there is no happy ending for Shadow Link. He was a mere mini-boss, given no story, and even what I assumed was sad. As I said before, he was a manifestation of what Link could have been, had he chosen the side of evil. His heart likely turned dark during the Sleeping Period, and unlike Dark Link he remained a devote lacky until the end. In a way, I think that nearly all of these characters can be a great way of making something very clear about ourselves. Even the darkness has a light shining somewhere, and anyone can be a hero.
Personally, I hope we see Nintendo revive Anti-Link, be it in A) the form of Shadow Link, B) the form of Ravio, C) the form of Dark Link, or D)an entirely new form. I hope you all enjoyed today’s Spotlight friends, I look forward to doing more in the future.