It's been a while since we ran a Ninterview, but we're back with our first of 2013. This time, we're speaking to cosplayer Regina Marie, better known as RikkuGrape. She's dressed up as a wide variety of different characters, but we're most interested in her amazing replications of individuals from The Legend of Zelda series. We caught up with Regina recently to ask her a few questions, so sit back and enjoy.

Nintendo Life: Who are you, what do you do?

Regina Marie: My name is Regina Marie, or RikkuGrape, and I am a cosplayer. What I do is replicate and recreate the costumes and props of characters from video games, movies, T.V shows or really anything that I love and try and bring them to life in a way that really compliments the work of the original creators.

NL: When and how did you first get into cosplay?

RM: I first got into cosplay when I was probably 15 years old. One of my friends had a cosplay party for her birthday. I had never even heard of cosplay but when she told me what it was I decided to try it out and it's stuck ever since. I usually make one costume a year, but last March I started getting into cosplay more seriously and since then I have made five costumes.

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NL: You've become a couple of Nintendo characters, both from The Legend of Zelda. Is there anything particular as to why you picked them? Are you looking to try any other Nintendo characters soon?

RM: I picked Zelda and Saria because they are some of my favourite characters from the series. I love the regal representation of Zelda in Twilight Princess. To me, that representation of her is beautiful and strong. But mostly, I loved the great details and designs in the Twilight Princess version of her costume. As for Saria, I've always thought she was adorable. She is Link's strong-willed friend, and she always connected with me for some reason. Plus, I love the colour green!

I do plan on cosplaying other characters from Nintendo games. I'm currently working on a Zelda costume from Skyward Sword as well as making the version of Princess Peach seen in Super Mario Sunshine. The other costume I'm looking into - and hoping to start and finish in the next few months - is Power Suit Samus Aran from the Metroid series. I'd also like to cosplay as Luigi with his Poltergeist 3000 someday, too!

NL: What kind of reception do you get when appearing as Zelda or Saria? Do you get a noticeably different response to the different characters?

RM: I've never actually worn Saria to a convention, but I have worn Zelda to quite a few. The first convention I debuted Zelda at was SakuraCon, and then again at PAXPrime. The response I get while wearing Zelda is really positive. People love the costume, and really appreciate all the details as well. I've received many compliments on both costumes though, which makes me feel really great. I put a lot of work into making both so it makes me happy to know that they are well-received.

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NL: What advice would you give readers who are interested in getting started with cosplay?

RM: The biggest advice that I can give people is if you are interested then don't be afraid to start! Cosplay is all about having fun, so cosplay the characters you love and have fun with it.

NL: What is your earliest memory of Nintendo?

RM: I was introduced to Nintendo when I was just a little girl. My older brothers saved up all their money and purchased the N64. I remember trying to play all the "big kid games" my brothers played and often getting scared of the bosses.

NL: What is your favourite Nintendo game?

RM: This is so tough. I'm a sucker for The Legend of Zelda series, of course, but I really love a lot of other games too. Luigi's Mansion, Diddy Kong Racing, Donkey Kong 64, Banjo Kazooie - those are just some of my favourites. But, I guess if I had to choose, I would say The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is probably one of, if not my all time favourite. I've beaten that game to 100% so many times I can't count. I have it memorized from front to back with the exception of a handful of heart pieces too. I just love everything about that game. It's so off-kilter, it's fantastic.

NL: What is your favourite Nintendo character and series?

RM: My favorite character would have to be either Link or Samus. But I think my favourite series is Paper Mario. There's just something about the overall charm of the Paper Mario games that really gets me. Not to mention I enjoy the little bits of sarcasm and what they do to reach out to the player, like mentioning when Mario doesn't understand that all is well because "those outside will know".


NL: Do you think we'll ever see a Nintendo-endorsed Legend of Zelda film? If so, who do you think would make a good Zelda? Or Saria?

RM: Oh gosh, I'm not sure that we will ever see a Nintendo-endorsed Zelda film, but if we did that would be really awesome! I really admire Akuriko's representations of Princess Zelda, and the little Saria from The Zelda Project is absolutely adorable. There's a lot more than just looks that goes into acting, but assuming they fit the acting role I think they would be great for capturing the overall aura of both the characters.

NL: What is your favourite gaming platform of all time?

RM: Nintendo 64 all the way! It is the first system I remember playing on and I grew up with it before being introduced to any other consoles. It has some of my favourite games, and I just love everything about the console. It makes me feel like a little kid again.

NL: What do you love most about video games?

RM: I love that video games are an escape from the stress of everyday life. I love being the Hero of Time one night and ridding mansions of ghosts the next. For me, games are a way to relax - even if I keep dying on a boss level, or I can't seem to solve a puzzle. I love to play games, and think what it would be like to live there or be the characters.


NL: What is your favourite part of Nintendo Life?

RM: My favourite part of Nintendo Life is how positive a community it is. I love how informed the articles are and how receptive everyone is. I also love that Nintendo Life brings all sorts of information to one place that is easy to access. The information is diverse and is relevant, too.

NL: What do you think the future holds for Nintendo?

RM: I think the future for Nintendo can go anywhere. Nintendo has always been a company that does what it wants, I think. I know that competing game companies will say things about graphics or technologies, but Nintendo is always innovative, and I think that really keeps them awesome. I love Nintendo for its classic series, but also for its ability to fit the needs of families, serious gamers, and those in between. I can't wait to see what Nintendo will do in the future with their consoles and with the games.

NL: What makes Nintendo particularly special to you?

RM: I grew up on Nintendo and it will always be my number one. I love the variety you get with the games, and nostalgia of all playing the games I grew up on never gets old. I think it's that charm that really hits home for me. It's fun to see how the company I've loved from childhood grows and evolves.

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NL: Thanks for taking part! Finally, how can our readers follow you?

RM: You're welcome, and thank you! Your readers can follow me on Facebook, DeviantArt or Tumblr.

Ninterviews are a series of interviews where we get to know interesting people with a passion for Nintendo. Please contact us if you have any suggestions for future Ninterviews. Click here to see the full series.