This female Link almost came to Hyrule Warriors
New scans from the Japanese art book for Hyrule Warriors show that Nintendo at some point played with the idea of casting Link as a woman.
The scans, courtesy of GoNintendo, show Hyrule’s now feminine icon sporting the same green tunic the character is known for. However, as Kotaku reports, the name Link has been swapped for “Rinkuru,” or in English, “Linkle.” The book goes on to label the female character as a “girl version of hero Link” under “previously unseen rejected characters.”
Linkle “was devised as being sister-like,” the book notes, specifying younger sister with regards to the Japanese language’s distinction between older and younger siblings. With that said, it’s much more likely that Koei Tecmo, the developer of Hyrule Warriors, considered allowing players to choose between a male and female protagonist than shoehorn Linkle in as Link’s long-lost sister.