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Gender Confusion occurs when a video game character’s gender is either accidentally or intentionally mistaken, usually causing anger amongst the character’s fans. Gender Confusion also can spark debates about the gender of a character, especially when the gender is unknown or ambiguous.
Link and Zelda
One of the most famous gender confusions is that of the 2 main characters of the Nintendo series The Legend Of Zelda, Link and Zelda. It is usually used as a way of trolling fans of the series. One of the most common ways of doing this is by wondering “What if Zelda was a girl?” followed by a picture of a girl cosplaying as Link. This is a common mistake amongst people who know little about the series, due to the fact that that although Zelda’s name is in the title of the series, Link is the protagonist of the game.
Bridget is a playable character from the PlayStation 2 and Arcade game Guilty Gear XX. He is a highly effeminate man, and is used for trolling on 4chan by tricking people who do not know his true gender. Typically, this consists of posting a picture of Bridget followed by the text “Everyone is gay for Bridget”.
Pyro is a playable class of indeterminate gender from the game Team Fortress 2. As the Pyro is always wearing a gas mask, its voice responses are always muffled, and it is impossible to determine its gender. There is a great deal of debate amongst the fans as to Pyro’s gender, ant the makers of the game, Valve, have played into this by purposely making the Pyro ambiguous. Valve’s Meet the Pyro video is currently in production, and is expected by some fans to reveal Pyro’s gender.
Samus Aran is the star of the Nintendo series Metroid, and is often mistaken for a man due to the fact that her true gender is not shown until the end of the original NES game. Like with Link and Zelda, she is used to troll fans of the series in the same way, but is used less frequently.
Birdo is an enemy from the NES game Super Mario Bros 2, and is presented as a pink dinosaur with a red bow. The original North American instruction manual stated:
Birdo thinks he is a girl and likes to be called Birdetta.
Fans of the game soon started debating Birdo’s gender. Later distributions of the game made no mention of Birdo’s gender. Birdo’s profile in Super Smash Bros Melee states that it is “a creature with an undefinable gender”. Currently, most fans believe that Birdo is female, but there has been no official confirmation of this from Nintendo.