Fans of The Legend of Zelda series are well aware that developer intention is for Link to be a blank avatar for players to project themselves on to. This sentiment could not be truer for the exploring and adventuring aspect of the franchise. As players we do not simply follow Link’s journey but we very directly define the path that he, and we, take as the protagonist.
Link is destined to become the hero of legend, but that is not a certain predetermination. He is chosen by the Gods, yes, but that is merely a path that he must take which goes in many directions and not all to the same end. Players have the choice to explore, diverge into side-quests and—especially in older installments—tackle dungeons in a flexible order.