Dark Link (ダークリンク, Dark Link), also known as Shadow Link, is a dark doppelgänger of Link that appears in multiple Zelda titles, including Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures.
Dark Link's origin is shrouded in mystery, and he is sometimes believed to be a creation of Ganondorf. Dark Link's strength and abilities differ in the games he has appeared in. In most of Dark Link's appearances, he appears to know every technique Link knows or has learned and can effectively match and counter his attacks; other games also show that he is capable of using Link's items as well.
Dark Link's design varies between games. In his earliest appearances, such as The Adventure of Link and Ocarina of Time, he appears as a completely black version of Link, sometimes with glowing red eyes. After Dark Link made a cameo appearance as the Dark Interlopers in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, he started being depicted with various gray shades in his color scheme, occasionally including white hair.
Hyrule Warriors features dark versions of many characters, including Young Link and Toon Link. While Dark Link himself does not appear in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the Dark Armor Set is based upon his updated appearance in Ocarina of Time 3D.
In Melee, Dark Link is fought by the player controlling a red-colored Link in the event match Event 18: Link's Adventure. An all-black character does not appear anywhere else in the game, and aside from the texture and lack of voice effects, he is identical to Link. The texture can be applied to any character via the debug menu or the black character glitch. This version of Dark Link is an allusion to the final boss of Zelda II, Shadow Link. The playable Link's red palette swap is likely referencing the Reflect spell that was used in Zelda II which turned his tunic from green to red. When using an action replay to play as him, he will have voice effects and no dark icon; his icon and voice will be that of a regular Link. The only way to make it so is through the debug menu with Sub-color setting to 3 and status modifier setting to 18 (dark icon and no voice). Also, pressing the b-button will automatically drop to Link on the character select screen when holding a token to select a character.
Dark Link also reprises his role as the enemy of Event 18: Dark Link Duel. However, the Dark Link in said event is shown as being completely black, like in Melee and Zelda II. Despite that, Dark Link uses the damage meter icon for the normal palette swap. Co-Op Event 7: Battle of the Dark Sides features the players as Link and Samus versus Dark Link and Dark Samus.
Toon Link also has an alternate costume that resembles a toon version of Dark Link, such as Shadow Link from The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, while likewise featuring a similar color scheme to that of the Dark Interlopers.
The Dark Link alternate costumes from Brawl return in Super Smash Bros. 4 for Link and Toon Link. In Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, the Link costume is used to represent the Dark Link character in the Final Battle Team-Up event match and two entirely darkened Links in the A Fated Battle event match.
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