The Legend of Zelda is one of the most beloved and iconic video game franchises of all time. Since its debut in 1986, the series has captivated millions of fans with its epic fantasy adventures, memorable characters, and groundbreaking gameplay. The latest instalment, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (2023), is no exception. The game has received universal acclaim for its stunning graphics, immersive open-world, and innovative mechanics. However, might the game be going above and beyond by also harbouring a potentially lewd new feature: physics for Link’s balls?
In a current viral moment for Link, the heroic and androgynous protagonist of the series, there is a video showcasing how The Legend of Zelda’s titular character apparently has a pair of testicles that are visible and animated in the game. This surprising discovery was made by TikTok user @loonathemoon (before eventually being shared virally online – see embed below), who posted a clip of Link fighting a Hinox, a giant cyclops-like monster.
After Link is hit by the Hinox, he falls on all fours with the camera positioned directly behind him. For a brief moment, it appears as though Link has a quite the bulge in his pants, with wobbly motion and all. The video suggests Nintendo purposefully rendered his genitalia and gave them “jiggle physics”, meaning Link’s balls bounce realistically (as they should).
The viral video has sparked a bizarre debate among the Zelda community where many are wondering if Nintendo did, in fact, actually animate Link’s testicles and give them realistic physics?! In a gaming world where the breasts of women are often rendered realistically without a second thought, it is odd how men have continuously been given a pass in terms of realistically rendering certain visible bulges.
One could argue how these kinds of animations unnecessarily waste resources and time, and yet titles like Red Dead Redemption 2 prioritise realistic anatomies and actions above all else – not to mention almost every single fighting game ever made. Ultimately, and rather disappointingly, the answer to whether Link’s balls are being rendered is quite obvious, given Nintendo’s strict stance on ensuring many of their games remain child friendly.
In fact, Iconoclast’s developer chimed in with a professional perspective on the situation stating “It’s funny looking, but y’all do realize this is the torso moving down and clipping through the blue cloth creating the illusion of jiggle, right… Nintendo didn’t put in ball physics”.
As much as many of us wish Link’s balls were being rendered realistically, and how more games should equal the playing field in terms of genital rendering, the obvious reality is they are not being done so and what everyone is seeing is nothing more than a quirky mechanic of the way games are built and designed.
Owner, founder and editor-in-chief at Vamers, Hans has a vested interest in geek culture and the interactive entertainment industry. With a Masters degree in Communications and Ludology, he is well read and versed in matters relating to video games and communication media, among many other topics of interest.