There comes a time when even the bravest of heroes hang up their swords and shields and leave their country and fans behind them. Many gaming wonders have fled the small screen, cashed in their gold, and retired, but one still upholds his knightly duties without complaint: Link, the Hero of Time. This year, we decided to say thanks to our favorite green-clad fairy boy by counting the ways we could show our gratitude, if giving gifts to virtual characters were possible. What would he want in return for all his valiant efforts? Here's what we'd give Link for the holidays.
A new hat
How old is that tattered green hat, anyway? It's been through the heat of volcanoes, the fast currents of waterfalls, the powerful gusts of winds, and not to mention the wash. Link isn't one to whine about fashion, but even the happiest hero needs to look good if he has any chance of winning his princess's heart. And that's one big heart container. Plus, it would be nice if Link could find a suitable hat replacement that doesn't talk. Yeah, we're looking at you, Ezlo.
A stocking full of hearts
Hearts make the perfect stocking stuffers for the Hylian hero who could always use more supplies. Link already owns a bomb bag and an arrow quiver; now he needs a sack for his spare hearts. Sometimes fairies and potions just don't cut it, especially since bottles are notorious for being hard to find.
Zelda under the mistletoe
For once, it would be nice if Zelda were as kissable as Peach. Mario gets kisses from his princess whether or not he does anything. She even bakes him cakes. Zelda doesn't need to turn domestic on us (please no), but she could offer Link a little affection now and then. Of course, relentlessly pursuing a royal maiden who plays so hard to get is probably how Link developed that "unbreakable spirit" of his, so maybe the distance is a good thing.
They make candy coins, so why not candy rupees? That way if Link's purse ever overflows, he can just eat the extra money. They'd come in a variety of flavors, too. Who wouldn't love lime, blue raspberry, and cherry rupees? The heftier ones could be chocolate wrapped in silver and gold foil. Link would be ecstatic (dare we say he'd feel like a celebrity?), but he might need to hire a good dentist.
Better money management
There's no reason Link can't have the biggest available purse at the start of his adventures, or at least a bank account to transfer money to if he can't carry more. We're not about to try calculating his financial losses, but Link has probably missed out on a lot of wealth because of basic storage problems. That ancient Scrapper robot in Skyward Sword (the one that's gaga over Fi) should be calling him Mr. Richpants by now.
A personal trainer
Link is a fast learner. He can perform amazing stunts and accomplish herculean tasks with little to no guidance. When it comes to sprinting, however, he needs some extra help. Stamina fruit isn't a permanent solution. You'd think with all the running around, fetching, and backtracking Link does during his quest in Skyward Sword, he wouldn't tire so easily. If he had a personal trainer who could coach him on long-distance running, he could scale hills and mountains in half the time.
More toys and upgrades
We all love bombs, arrows, and the countless other weapons, armor, and trinkets Link acquires on his journeys. Skyward Sword introduces some new tools, like the Beetle, and brings back some old ones, like the Slingshot, but we want more–a lot more, and upgrades to go with them. Call us greedy, but even Link would be happy if he could fell bosses and enemies by using any number or combination of crazy items in his inventory. Not to mention, he'd have more wares than a Business Scrub.
A feast fit for the gods
When's the last time Link unbuckled his belt and really chowed down like a Bow-Wow on Goponga Flowers? Sure, he enjoys the occasional Lon Lon milk and pumpkin soup (hot or cold), but someone needs to cook this hero a meal! We're talking roast Cucco and all the trimmings and a cake baked by Princess Peach. Foreign heroes need edible support, too.
Peace in Hyrule
Okay, so this one's a biggie. Every other year Link needs a break from adventuring so he can go roll in meadows, chase bugs with a net, splash around in Lake Hylia, and take a nap under the Deku Tree. He needs some vacation time. Not a permanent vacation, mind you. What would we be without evil to defeat and wrongs to right? We'd be bored, that's what.
A jump button
Jumping is one of the most enjoyable activities in all of gaming, and Nintendo has long denied Link that simple pleasure (he could do it in Zelda II). He can leap across gaps and hop over holes with special power-ups, but why can't he jump up and down until he's sick, like he ate one too many candy rupees? The ability to jump would be the greatest gift of all.