It seems the trend of changing damsels into heroes is beginning to rise. Inspired by the Donkey Kong hack, an animator named Kenna W. hacked The Legend of Zelda for NES, turning Princess Zelda into the adventuring hero on a quest to save a helpless Link.
“I wished I had someone who could have done that for me,” she wrote. “Then I remembered. I’m an adult now. If he could work it out, I could too.” As a surprisingly easy job, people have been hacking the ROMs of NES cartridges to add levels, change graphics, and even redo entire games. But for some reason it seems that switching the damsel in distress and the hero protagonist hasn’t been common.
“For me, I played my first Zelda game when I was pretty young, and at the time, I thought the game did star Princess Zelda. I figured I’d get to play as a magical battle princess that saved her kingdom. The game was fun, but I was bummed out that I never got to play as Zelda. But like I said, I’m an adult now. There’s no one to stop me from eating candy before bed and there’s nothing standing in the way of me creating the games I want to play.”
Along with her boyfriend, a professional video game programmer, Kenna used available ROM-hacking tools to replace Link with Zelda, transforming her from a princess to be saved to a warrior princess with a sword, which successfully sends the message that women can kick ass too!
What classic games would you like to see led by a female protagonist?