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Link's pink hair

Chuck

Still without luck
Feb 19, 2011
13,421
0
0
Regardless of the reason, be it tech or otherwise, it's a shame that Nintendo never embraced it's pink hair dude. :(
 

VendettaRed07

Member
Aug 8, 2014
7,834
2
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artworks

 

Tawney Bomb

Member
Sep 16, 2009
4,810
1
0
I never once noticed the pink hair as a kid, didn't realize it until someone on here brought it up years ago. I still don't notice it when I replay it. I'd be down for more pink hair though.
 
Jun 14, 2014
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Main characters usually had weird color hair to make sure the main character was immediately recognizable and stood out in a group of enemies or npcs.

Besides, blonde hair would look strange when he has his blue tunic and yellow hat on.
 

Lunar15

Member
Jun 15, 2011
18,567
1
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When I was little I always assumed it was the lip of his cap or something. I knew he wouldn't have pink hair because the drawing of him in the manual didn't have any pink hair.

I don't think I actually even really thought about it until I went online much later in life and people were talking about it.
 

SOR5

Member
Nov 3, 2015
4,974
1
360
I think it was a deliberate decision, possibly made for colour palette, and contrast reasons.

I remember an interview with Super Play magazine I believe, with Shigeru Miyamoto about A Link to the Past, and he showed a little model of Link they made for the sprite designers to study at different angles...


Thats cool
 

Salty Rice

Member
Feb 1, 2016
5,292
1
255
Link has always the same hair color but the Zelda universe has the same problem like the Jojo universe were colors get swapped all the time.

Links iconic green tunic is in reality pink.
 

Big Nikus

Member
May 15, 2006
2,760
1
0
I think it was a deliberate decision, possibly made for colour palette, and contrast reasons.

I remember an interview with Super Play magazine I believe, with Shigeru Miyamoto about A Link to the Past, and he showed a little model of Link they made for the sprite designers to study at different angles...


I want this Amiibo.
 

Pyrrhus

Member
Mar 25, 2010
3,576
1
575
Keep in mind though that his is not the way sprites looked on people's 19 inch CRT tv's over RF signal in 1992.

Precisely. It didn't look pink on early '90s TVs over RF. The colors blended over that fuzzy signal to look more like the reddish brown hair Link had back then in the concept art. Blonde Link didn't show up until Ocarina of Time.
 

Poltergust

Member
Nov 8, 2012
7,592
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0
Orlando
It's funny that Toon Link's LttP costume in Smash 4 has the hair color the artwork but an otherwise similar color palette to Link's in-game sprite.
 

Earthpainting

Member
May 7, 2006
5,407
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This was not uncommon in the old days. Displays and connections were of a poor, unreliable quality, making it sometimes hard to "read" a sprite. Colours and shapes could easily get distorted. Just take a look at how much colours could bleed over on Quickman's boomerang for instance, even penetrating solid black lines that were multiple pixels thick.



Using high contrast colours in small sprites makes it easier block off segments of a sprite, and thus easier to interpret. Pink was a nice shade since it is practically on the opposite side of the colour wheel of the green, and stands out enough from the light orange-brown skin tone, The pink was already part of the water splashing and bunny sprites as well, which share Link's palette. Most important of all, the pink also helps Link's head pop on the screen, which is a nice bonus for an action game.

Translating concept art into functional designs for sprites was a pretty key element for artists back in the day. I even recall that this used to be one of Tetsuya Nomura's duties back in his early days. Yoshitaka Amano's art was highly unusable in the state he delivered it, so someone had to be tasked to make his ideas practical and distinct. This usually involves drastic palette changes, minimalising design elements, and accenting other parts. It's how you end up with a green-haired Terra for instance.

To bring it back to Nintendo, Mario underwent several of such palette redesigns too. Mario's blue-on-red palette was decided upon because it provided the most contrast with the black background of the original Donkey Kong game. When it became time to make Super Mario Bros 1 however, they noticed that this may not have been ideal for coloured backdrops, and it would be hard to recycle that palette for other assets due to how much those colours pop. Mario's shirt became brown, and his overalls turned red. His in-game design changed back once more when they were working on Super Mario Bros 2 (USA), by changing the black outlines to dark blue ones. The artwork for SMB2 USA would still be using the inverted colours however, and this wouldn't be fixed until SMB3, which changed Mario's overalls back into black for the in-game sprite.

These changes may seem a little bit silly in 2016, but they had a big impact on the playability of these games back when they were released.
 
Aug 3, 2013
5,439
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LA
I think it's just supposed to make the sprite standout a little more.



Keep in mind though that his is not the way sprites looked on people's 19 inch CRT tv's over RF signal in 1992.

Agreed. You need a color further away on the spectrum to contrast with the green/brown/yellow. Red would clash TOO much, but pink seems to be the right offset. All of these mocked-up alternate sprites with lighter hair don't give the sprite enough definition.
 

Roshin

Member
Feb 6, 2011
2,687
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0
I never played a Legend of Zelda game so I figured I'd start with Link to the Past. I was legitimately confused the first 30 minutes of playing: "Why does he have pink hair? Who thought this was okay"?

Were you really? Seriously?