Why did small business owner and gamer dad Mike Hoye spend the last few weeks hand-tweaking the text in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker so that the main character was referred to as a girl instead of a boy? As he put it, “I’m not having my daughter growing up thinking girls don’t get to be the hero.”
Hoye and his three-and-a-half year old daughter Maya have recently been playing Wind Wakertogether, but Hoye was bothered by the fact that even players who change the protagonist’s name to something other than “Link”—which the game allows—always get addressed as though they are male. The main character is always referred to with words like “master,” “my lad,” and “swordsman.” Because Hoye’s daughter can’t yet read, Hoye has been reading the on-screen dialogue aloud to her and diligently transliterating the gendered language from male to female on the fly as they traverse the game’s Great Sea together.
To make this process smoother, Hoye eventually decided to hack away at the actual text of the story, producing a female-oriented version by altering the game’s data files. According to his blog post on the project, Hoye took a GameCube disk image (.GCM) of Wind Waker and dug into it with a hex editor. He changed all story text and dialogue by hand, then tested his work by playing the game file in the Dolphin GameCube emulator.
Cool Dad and cool way to show a kid hacking makes things better 🙂