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 style 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 than the one in Twilight Princess. While the art style of Toon Link has been used for the Links in Four Swords, Four Swords Adventures, The Minish Cap, Spirit Tracks, and Tri Force Heroes, Toon Link refers to the Link from The Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass. Despite this, Toon Link's trophies list The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks as one of his appearances, similarly to how Link's trophies mention The Legend of Zelda games regardless of whether the incarnation that appears in the Super Smash Bros. series actually appears in the games listed.
In regard to personality, Toon Link is one of the happier incarnations; even though he only appears in The Wind Waker, Phantom Hourglass and the spin-off game Hyrule Warriors Legends, he is consistently shown to be carefree, easily excitable, and more prone to laughing and smiling than any other incarnation. His cartoonish design also allows him to emote more exaggeratedly, a trait shared with the other incarnations that share his art style.
In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, set hundreds of years after The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and within the Adult Link Timeline, 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 the Helmaroc King, a giant masked bird that mistook her for the pirate captain Tetra. After some persuasion, Tetra agrees to help Link chase after the Helmaroc King in order to rescue Aryll, during which Link discovers that the bird is under the control of Ganondorf, who is revealed to be searching for Princess Zelda. However, before he can clash with Ganondorf, Link is launched into the Great Sea by the Helmaroc King. After being saved by The King of Red Lions, Link then undergoes many trials, which includes acquiring the Wind Waker and rescuing Aryll, which results in The King of Red Lions bestowing him the title "Hero of Winds".
With Aryll safely on board Tetra's Ship alongside the pirate crew, Link discovers that his quest is not yet complete, as Ganondorf still poses a threat to the world now that the seal holding his power has been fully broken. Tetra and The King of Red Lions are eventually revealed to be Princess Zelda and King Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule, respectively, the last members of the Royal Family of Hyrule. As a result, Link takes Zelda to the underwater Hyrule Castle to keep her and the Triforce of Wisdom safe, after which he proceeds to restore the Master Sword's power to repel evil and reassemble the Triforce of Courage. Now properly equipped and assisted by Zelda, Link kills Ganondorf by plunging the Master Sword into his head just before Hyrule is fully submerged within the Great Sea, as per Daphnes' Triforce-granted wish of Link and Tetra having a future.
Some time after the end of The Wind Waker, Link and Tetra set sail for new lands, with their journey being 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 World 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 emitting from the Temple of the Ocean King, but only as long as it has sand in it. In addition to the Hourglass, he is accompanied by Ciela, a new fairy companion, and Linebeck, an initially cowardly and greedy captain. Together, they journey to various islands that bring Link one step closer to defeating Bellum.
Eventually, Link acquires the Phantom Sword and defeats Bellum, saving Tetra. Oshus, the Ocean King, is restored 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 they claim that only ten minutes passed when they supposedly fell asleep. However, Link discovers that he is still is possession of the now-empty Phantom Hourglass and sees the S.S. Linebeck on the horizon, which confirms that his adventure in the World of the Ocean King was indeed real.
Sometime after the events of Phantom Hourglass, Tetra's crew and Link discover a new land, which they rechristen New Hyrule. A hundred years after this, the events for The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks unfold and follow a new Link and a new Princess Zelda, the latter of whom is Tetra's descendant.
As a playable character
Main article: Toon Link (SSBB)
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 Bomb, which emits an explosion that uses the art style from The Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass. However, there are mechanical differences as well, as the large smoke puff has a greater range but less power.
His neutral special move, Hero's Bow, is also different. The arrows fly slower, but farther than Link's arrows. Aesthetically, his Spin Attack is not significantly different, with the only exception being his posture while spinning. Instead, its main difference is that it traps foes within, hitting multiple times before launching them away. Unlike Link, Toon Link retains the Boomerang as his side special and as such, it provides noticeable differences: it does not pull opponents like Link's Gale Boomerang 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 Kirby's Stone. Link's down aerial is similar to Toon Link's, but unlike Toon Link, he does not travel downward any faster. Additionally, all of Link's kick attacks, such as his neutral aerial and back aerial, have been replaced with additional sword slashes to compensate for Toon Link's short legs and tiny feet.
Toon Link is currently ranked 13th on the tier list, placing him in the C+ tier and thus making him the highest ranking incarnation of Link in the Super Smash Bros. series.
As a playable character
Main article: Toon Link (SSB4)
Toon Link returns as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. 4, now as a starter character rather than an unlockable character. His appearance is almost totally unchanged since Brawl, although his overall color scheme is now much brighter.
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. Spirit Tracks Link also has two trophies: one featuring him wearing his Engineer's Clothes, and one featuring him wearing the Recruit Uniform and playing the Spirit Flute.
Toon Link is currently ranked 17th on the tier list. While his power was nerfed in the transition from Brawl, he retains his powerful zoning ability and even gained an improved grab game, which was arguably his greatest flaw in Brawl. His improved grab game allows for better spacing using his grab aerial and grants him a KO option in the form of his back throw. Like in Brawl, Toon Link has achieved decent tournament representation and results.