Mario Kart 8 got some new stuff today in a DLC update. The thing we were all most excited for, by far, was getting to play as Link in Mario Kart. A little too excited, by the looks of it.

Let's be honest, we all knew this was going to happen. Prescient Mario Kart players saw it coming so clearly they even drew a picture of it:

The predictions were all too real. Once I logged into Mario Kart 8's online versus mode, everywhere I looked there was another Link. In front of you. To the left. To the right. Look behind you, and there he is again.

Here a Link, there a Link. Everywhere a Link Link.

Even if the Links only make up a third of the total race, you'll still find yourself completely surrounded by Links:

Too many Links makes Yellow Yoshi cry.

But the thing is, who doesn't want to play as Link right now?

I'll admit, I bought into the hype.

It's like we're all jostling over who gets to use the best controller, and who's gonna get stuck with a Wiimote. Except the controller is Link. Which is sort of disturbing to think about, actually. Link is primarily the protagonist of epic-length single player adventure games, and there's a reason for that. His identity is perfectly designed to mesh gracefully with a single player's personal identity.

Link is "a gathering point for many aspiring heroes, a point people can fixate on but also see themselves reflected in." And there can only be so many heroes in a single story before it starts to get weird. Players on the Mario Kart 8 subreddit started to feel weird pretty quickly:

"The gang of dead-eyed heroes." Wow. That is not an image I want to associate with Link, for sure.


I can't come out and proclaim: Don't Link and drive. Nobody can. But let's all remember to Link in moderation.

Lead image via Simon Parkin.

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