In the stealth game--your "Thief", your "Mark of the Ninja", your "Deus Ex: Human Revolution"--the ultimate challenge comes in the form of ghosting. As the name implies, the challenge to the player is to successfully accomplish the goals of the game without once interacting directly with an enemy. They can be distracted with noises and the like, but a cosh to the back of the head or a sleeper hold are right out. In the original Thief games, the highest difficulty setting, expert, included the restriction that the player may not kill anyone, with the quip "You're a thief, not a murderer." To accomplish one's goals against a hostile enemy without their ever knowing about it is an absolute expression of peerless skill, certainly skill far surpassing that of the enemy. Nothing is quite as badass as being able to end an opponent, but choosing not to. Princess Zelda would play Thief on expert, and she'd ghost that shit.
In "The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time", Princess Zelda is the owner of the Triforce of wisdom, as usual. Link gets courage, and tackles his problems head on, often cutting said problems' stomachs open. Ganon gets power, and so takes what he wants. Zelda, however, can undermine them both with foresight and sagacity alone. When kidnapped in the original game by Ganondorf, Zelda had the wherewithal to know that Link could not face him as he was. Her thoughts were not of her own safety, but of the far future and a salvation that Link would deliver in the blink of an eye from his perspective, but that would not come for about a decade for her. Zelda saw how everything would play out ahead of time, and without laying a hand on her aggressors, she did everything she needed to do to ensure that events passed just enough in her and Link's favor.
While "The Hero of Time" slept, Zelda managed to escape from her captor. She adopted an alter-ego, Sheik. As Sheik, she employed considerable guile to set events in motion for Link's return, and when he did return, and fought courageously through hordes of dangerous creatures, Zelda was already there, waiting for him.
How does she do that?
Princess Zelda is truly the greatest leader the Hylians could ask for. She puts herself after the needs of her people, she puts herself in mortal danger to secure their future, and she does it with more aplomb than most anyone as young as she is could manage. She is level-headed and prescient when Link is lost, and when her father is giving their kingdom up to a power-mad psychopath, she can see what her father does not, and already senses what is coming.
In "Wind Waker", as pirate captain Tetra, Zelda leads a crew in an equally non-violent manner, preferring subterfuge wherever possible. She's a charismatic leader with the respect of those that follow her, but when she discovers her true identity, remains isolated in the sunken kingdom of Hyrule. It is often said that she becomes the weak damsel awaiting the brave knight at this point, but her remaining in Hyrule was a choice, she became convinced that it was the wisest choice despite her wish to roam freely. Already she had been found out by Ganondorf, and already she'd seen he couldn't be faced at that moment. She chose to wait it out because she foresaw the consequences.
When finally Zelda does employ violence as a means to accomplish her goals, it becomes clear that the Triforce does not define the people it has chosen. Throughout his adventure, Link shows great wisdom in his use of diplomacy to gain allies to rely on and in being sly enough to fool his enemies as much as he bloodies them, and the power he obtains is formidable. Ganondorf exploits his charisma before force and prefers to manipulate instead of break whenever possible. As for Zelda, her courage and her power are employed with precision and grace. Her aid to Link in the final fight against Ganon in OoT seals the Gerudo's fate, a last burst of power saved for exactly the right moment. In Wind Waker, her use of light arrows calls back to Link's use of the same in OoT, and her presence once again renders Ganondorf weak enough to be dominated by the young boy in a green tunic and a stupid hat. Really, he'd never succeed without her, and she does it all while getting the Pacifist achievement.
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