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Dad alters text in Wind Waker to turn Link into a girl

1:00 PM on 11.10.2012 // Tony Ponce
  @megaStryke

He wants his daughter to understand that girls can be heroes too

Mike Hoye loves playing videogames and sharing his pastime with his three-year-old daughter Maya. Their game of choice is The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, and Mike likes to read the text aloud so Maya can follow along. But there is one major change to the in-game dialog -- Link is referred to as a girl.

There's nothing wrong with Wind Waker as is, Mike admits, but he understands that males are often given preferential treament. During her crucial development period, Mike doesn't want his daughter to start thinking girls can't play the hero. He's been reading "she" instead of "he" whenever it pops up in the text, but he wanted to streamline the process even further.

Taking the game's disc image, he fired up a hex editor and started altering all references to Link's gender. This wasn't as easy as it sounds, as he had to preserve the byte value of each string -- in other words, whole sentences would have to be rewritten so that the character count remained unchanged. His two weeks of work yielded a patch, which can be downloaded here but requires the Dolphin emulator to use.

Was all this necessary? Maybe, maybe not. But either way, Mike's actions are a testament to how far a father will go for the sake of his child. I think that's simply beautiful.

Also, how coincidental is it that the dude's name is Mike Hoye? Hoye, as in, "Hoy, small fry!" Get it?

"I am no man": For Zelda-playing daughter, dad gives Link a sex change [Ars Technica via NeoGAF]




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