Toon Link (トゥーンリンク, Toon Link) is one of Link's multiple incarnations. Although several Links appear with the cel-shaded art that Toon Link is designed after, the one that appears as a fighter in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. 4 is based on the "Hero of Winds" seen in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and its direct sequel The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass.
Toon Link, like most of the "Links", is a different Link to that of Twilight Princess. Toon Link refers to the character from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. However, the art style of Toon Link has been used for other Links in The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords, The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, and The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes. Much like the "main" Link, Smash treats Toon Link as a composite character by counting Spirit Tracks as one of his appearances. Personality wise Toon Link is one of the happier incarnations of Link. His toony design allows him to emote more than other incarnations. In his appearances in the mainstream Zelda games featuring him hes shown to be care free, easily excitable, and one who spends more of his time laughing and smiling than any other incarnation of Link.
In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, set hundreds of years after the "Adult Era" of Ocarina of Time, the gods have flooded Hyrule, creating the Great Sea, encompassing the highest mountaintops of Hyrule. At the beginning of the game, Link's younger sister Aryll is captured by Helmaroc King, a giant masked bird controlled by the game's primary antagonist Ganondorf, the latter of which is searching for Princess Zelda. Link travels the Great Sea to rescue his sister and defeat the Helmaroc King, his quest intertwining with that of The King of Red Lions, who, after many trials, gives Link the title "Hero of Winds." Using the Wind Waker, a magical conductor's baton, he borrows the power of the gods to aid him in his quest. The wand's user interface is similar to that of the Ocarina of Time, but uses tempo in addition to pitch to form tunes. Link must eventually reassemble pieces of the Triforce of Courage to give him the power to fight Ganondorf. After Ganondorf's defeat, Hyrule drowns under the sea forever.
Sometime after, at the end of The Wind Waker, Link and Tetra sail for new lands. Their journeys are where The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass picks up. As the crew searches for new lands, they run into the Ghost Ship, which, when boarded, suddenly turns Tetra to stone, and teleports Link to the Realm of the Ocean King, where Tetra is imprisoned by Bellum. Link finds the Phantom Hourglass (an item that protects him from the life-draining magic coming from the Temple of the Ocean King, but only as long as it has sand in it), and carries it with him as he, Ciela, a new fairy companion, and Linebeck, an initially-cowardly and greedy captain, journey to various islands that bring him one step closer to defeating Bellum. Eventually, he claims the Phantom Sword and defeats Bellum, saving Tetra. Oshus, the Ocean King, is returned to his original form, and he teleports Link and Tetra back to their own realm. Tetra's crew claims everything to be a dream (as only 10 minutes passed when they supposedly fell asleep, according to them), but Link still has the empty hourglass, and they see Linebeck's ship over at the horizon.
Sometime after the events of Phantom Hourglass, Tetra's crew finds a new land, which became New Hyrule, and set up the events for The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, which takes place 100 years after the events of Phantom Hourglass.
As a playable character
Toon Link is a secret character in Brawl, unlocked by either clearing the Subspace Emissary or clearing Classic mode with Link on any difficulty, clearing the Subspace Emissary and going through the hidden door in The Forest stage, or by participating in 400 brawls.
Toon Link's moves are virtually the same as the standard Link, but there are some differences. One of the most obvious is his down-special attack: his bombs. The explosion looks like it did in Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass-cartoony orange swirls of smoke puff out from the point of impact. The difference is not strictly cosmetic, as the large smoke puff has a greater range but less power.
His neutral special move, Hero's Bow, is also different. The arrows shot fly slower, but farther than Link's arrows. His Spin-Attack (up special) isn't changed much, with the exception of his posture while spinning- Toon Link stands straight up while Link bends his right leg and his back, and that it traps foes within, inflicting multiple hits of damage, before launching them away. The boomerang (side special) is different because it does not pull opponents like Link's does, and supplies more control when throwing it.
Toon Link, like Young Link in Melee, also has the ability to wall jump. While Link's jumping and falling styles are heavier and faster, Toon Link's jumps are larger and have a floaty quality to them. Toon Link is faster than Link, and Toon Link's Dash-Attack is less powerful in proportion. Additionally, Toon Link's up-smash attack is only one slash while Link's is three. When Toon Link's down aerial is performed, he will fly straight downwards with his sword similar to many other Stall-Then-Fall attacks. Interestingly, this move pushes characters and items away, and slides down slopes like Stone. Link's down aerial is similar to Toon Link's, but unlike Toon Link, he does not travel downwards any faster. Additionally, all of Link's kick attacks, such as his neutral air and back air, have been replaced with additional sword slashes to compensate for Toon Link's tiny legs and feet.
Toon Link also carries the Master Sword, as depicted in The Wind Waker, rather than the Kokiri Sword. This does not affect gameplay.
Toon Link currently ranks 13th on the tier list, in C+ tier.
As a playable character
Toon Link returns as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. 4. His appearance is overall much brighter than it was in Brawl.
The Spirit Tracks incarnation of Link also appears on the Spirit Train stage, although if Toon Link and/or Link is being used, Alfonzo will be the conductor instead. The Spirit Tracks Link also has two trophies, one with his conductor's outfit and one with the Spirit Flute.
Toon Link ranks 22nd out of 56 characters on the tier list. While his power received some nerfs in the transition from Brawl, he retains his powerful zoning ability, and even gained an improved grab, which not only allows for better spacing using his grab aerial, but also grants him a more effective grab game, which was arguably his biggest flaw previously. He has seen some decent tournament representation and average tournament results as a result of largely maintaining his strengths from Brawl.