The Legend Of Zelda series of games is loved by Nintendo fans world-wide, and has proved popular with cosplayers around the globe as a way of showing their appreciation for its myriad characters and creatures. With Breath Of The Wild winning multiple awards in 2017 and frequenting the top of many 'game of the year' lists (including topping Nintendo Life's own staff and reader picks), the popularity of cosplaying Zelda characters has exploded.
Although the games always follow the adventures Link, the variety of different characters he's met on the way (and the various forms he's taken) offers plenty of inspiration for those with an eye for homemade fashion. To celebrate this diverse community of talented fans, we've gathered together 10 of our favourite Zelda-themed cosplays from cosplayers around the planet.
Fi (by Caelnu)
Fi is Link’s faithful companion during The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. A humanoid spirit residing within the Goddess Sword, she was a dream cosplay for German cosplayer Caelnu. Caelnu has been cosplaying since 2014, and in 2016 she spent roughly 45 hours putting her Fi cosplay together. Now that's dedication to your craft.
She enjoyed going around conventions telling people about their low batteries! The attention to detail in the costume, wig and location of the photos provides a perfect vision of Fi. As you can imagine, Calenu is a big Zelda fan, and has since gone on to make cosplays of Ghirahim and the Skyloft version of Zelda.
Hilda (by Yuko Scarlet)
Hilda is a dark counterpart to Princess Zelda, appearing as an original character in The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. Yuko Scarlet is a French cosplayer who portrays Hilda perfectly. She has been cosplaying since 2014, and when she played A Link Between Worlds, Yuko fell in love with the character’s look and story.
The dark purple make-up, 3D shading and inclusion of the staff to Yuko’s Hilda really adds to the excellent cosplay. What makes Yuko’s Hilda even more impressive is that she was only a beginner in the cosplay world at the time of making Hilda, and that this was her first attempt at an armoured outfit and using worbla (a thermoplastic popular with cosplay builds).
Ocarina Of Time Zelda (by Superdebz Cosplay)
The adult version of Zelda’s costume from The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time is one of her more complex outfits, but due to the admiration for this game it's also a popular choice for cosplayers around the world. One such cosplayer that does justice to the costume is Superdebz Cosplay from the UK. A very talented seamstress, Debz handmade the entire costume from scratch.
She used different types of silks and satins for the dress, and worbla and clay for the armour parts, as well as then going on to hand paint each component. The tabard for Zelda in Ocarina Of Time has a very complicated pattern, but Superdebz nails the details superbly. She has since gone on to make many elaborate costumes, including Zelda’s Hyrule Warriors costume, but says she loves the Ocarina version due to how regal it is and how much fun she had making the costume.
Link (by Hikari & Lorian Cosplay And Crafts)
Just like Zelda, there are also many different versions of Link out there in the cosplay community. There are many cosplayers that love to assume the role of the Hero Of Time, but a costume designer that stands out from the crowd in a convention full of Links is the super-talented Hikari & Lorian Cosplay And Crafts. As well as making the costume from The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Lorian made 15 props to go alongside the outfit so that Link would have a full inventory.
Attention to detail is very important to Lorian, so she made the chainmail herself from little rings, as well as making the boots, belts and pouches for authenticity. Lorian spent six months making everything from scratch and her hard work paid when she was chosen to represent Greece in the 2016 EuroCosplay Championship finals (held at MCM London). Hikari and Lorian are best friends from Greece, and together they have made over 50 cosplays that have won myriad awards.
Malon (by Simona Dahlborg)
Malon is another well-loved character from The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time, but very few people have cosplayed her as well as Swedish cosplayer Simona Dahlborg. The addition of her horse and rolling fields to the photos really makes it look like the images could have been captured right there on Hyrule's Lon Lon Ranch.
Her Malon cosplay was hand-sewn, and she has created both the young and adult versions of Malon’s costumes. Simona has been cosplaying since 2013, has made roughly 40 costumes and is a self-confessed Zelda super fan. She's created many cosplays of different characters from the series as well as her Malon outfit, all of which can be found on her various cosplay pages.
One of the only The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild-centric characters to make this list is the fantastic Mipha by Lara Wegenaer Arts. A Champion and Princess of the Zora race, Mipha is a character that was known for her skills with her trusty Lightscale Trident, which Lara has also made herself as a fantastic addition to the cosplay.
Lara previously made a The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess Zora cosplay, so as soon as she saw Mipha’s design she knew she had to cosplay the character as well. Lara spent six weeks crafting Mipha, and says the headpiece was the hardest part to make due to the shape of its design. She has a progress album on her Facebook page, where you can see the details of how she made each intricate part of the costume, as well as tutorials on her webpage about how to make Mipha’s costume and a Zora head.
Breath Of The Wild Zelda (by Hannah Éva Cosplay)
The beautiful gown that Zelda wears in The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild was created flawlessly by US-based cosplayer Hannah Éva Cosplay. Hannah is a lifelong artist who has won many awards throughout her career, but only got into cosplay a few years ago. She loves to put her own creative touches on her cosplays to help bring the characters to life.
The Zelda costume took about her about a month to make, with many sleepless nights, and it features a lot of details as a result. It contains 10 yards of hand-dyed velvet, hand-sewn lace appliqués, custom beading and plenty of other intricate details. An extra addition to the costume that makes it stand out from the rest is the fact Hannah even made the wig herself.
Ganondorf (by AlphaNerd Cosplay)
The villain that everyone loves to hate, Ganondorf has appeared in multiple Zelda games trying to destroy Hyrule and thwart Link’s heroic adventures along the way. AlphaNerd Cosplay portrays the evil character excellently, and he loves walking around in Ganondorf’s billowing cape and really getting into character.
The cosplay takes dedication not only to make but to wear as well, as it takes the Canada-based cosplayer over two hours to do all the makeup, facial hair and don the armour to transform himself into Ganondorf. AlphaNerd goes into great detail on both his Facebook page and website about how he made the epic character, and why his award-winning costume means so much to him. A cosplayer since 2011, he is a regular judge and panellist at conventions.
Skull Kid (by Kaldorei Cosplay)
Skull Kid is the pesky character from The Legend Of Zelda: Majora’s Mask that likes to play tricks on the lovable Link. Kaldorei Cosplay shows a different side to the cheeky character by cosplaying Skull Kid both with the bird’s head and Majora’s Mask. Cosplaying since 2012, Kaldorei has even represented the UK on numerous occasions with her amazing costumes.
Skull Kid was a dream cosplay for Kaldorei, and she says the most difficult part of the costume to make was the bird’s head. The famous mask is a mixture of foam and worbla. The hat, which is her favourite part of the cosplay, was made completely collapsible so it could fit into Kaldorei’s suitcase. Work in progress photos can be found on Kaldorei’s Facebook page, where she goes into more detail about how she made each part of the costume.
Wind Waker Group (by StarKey Studios, Ickle Cosplay, Emi-zone, Typicaldarcy and Komali Keekal)
The top spot on the list goes to the awesome The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker group, because not only do they all have awesome cosplays (and a deep love of the game), but they even built the giant boat The King Of Red Lions to go with it! The group consists of UK cosplayers StarKey Studios as Link, Ickle Cosplay as Medli, Emi-Zone as Tetra, Typicaldarcy as Zelda and Komali Keekal as Komali.
The boat was made by StarKey Studios. Staggeringly, The King Of The Red Lions only cost £80 to build as it was mainly made from scraps. The electronics were from an old binned mobility scooter, mounted on a steel frame with a plywood base, and the body of King was built up from MDF, EVA foam and PVC pipe salvaged from a tip. The head was carved from leftover polystyrene and insulation foam and laminated in fibreglass before being hollowed out so it was light enough to mount on the neck of the boat. Another fun fact about the boat is that it's too large to get through doors, so transport and storage is always a challenge!
Thanks to all the cosplayers who agreed to share their cosplays, and their photos with Nintendo Life. You can visit each of their respective websites and portfolios in the links above. Let us know what you make of these brilliant designs, and share some of your favourites from the Nintendo-themed community in the comments section below...