Link cosplay: Legend of Zelda

photo credit: Jay Adan

I am a huge fan of the Legend of Zelda games, my honest opinion is they are one of the most captivating and best designed games on the Nintendo gaming systems and that is saying something. I have played Twilight Princess on the Wii and then Ocarina of Time of the 3DS and both blow me away especially Ocarina of Time and how years later it still holds its classic status.

The two main characters are Link and Zelda and should not be confused, many people assume that Link (the one that wears the green cloak) is called Zelda as he features prominently in the game however Zelda is the princess that is being saved by him. This is the first in a two part series exploring the outfits both of these characters wear so you can dress up as them for Halloween and or cosplay conventions, both are sure to be popular at each!

Anyone can cosplay him however he is depicted as a somewhat lazy teenager, his physical appearance is that of blue eyes and light brownish blond hair and quite elf-like in nature. While he is seen as a sweet selfless young boy he also has a dark side called you guessed it Dark Link who is often fights (yes he fights himself).

As you can probably tell by the big picture above Link’s outfit consists of mainly green clothing and his sword which is a main prop in the game. While the game is set in a magical world that is of course not real it is easy to estimate that the clothing is from an old time probably around the sixteenth century and can be compared to Robin Hood’s clothing of choice.

Main clothing

 Charades Men’s Elf Warrior Costume Set, Green/Brown, Large Legend of Zelda: Link Cosplay Green Hat

The main part of the outfit is of course the large green tunic that he wears down to above his knees, this tunic has a collar and a belt goes around it to give it some shape and keep it in place. It shouldn’t be hard to find something like this at a thrift store or a charity shop if you live in the UK that you can adapt and cut the ‘V’ neck shape out of.

Next up is another main element which is the cap, simple enough to make with some spare materials and a sewing machine. Make sure you measure your head correctly so the cap fits, try and keep it as simple as you can.

You’ll also need to wear a white turtle neck or long sleeved top underneath the tunic as well as some brown leather boots, and gloves and white or brown trousers or leggings. The last piece is the large brown belt going across your body with a huge golden buckle smack band in the middle.

Link’s Hair and Makeup

Makeup is an important part of any cosplay if you want to successful emulate a character and this one is no exception, while the make up can be quite plain the face and hair might be a little different to your own. Blue eyes as stated above are needed so some sort of contacts are required and then a blond wig which you can style (natural is best for styling). For the elf elements you will need to wear some elf ear tips.

Make Hylian Shield for Cosplay

 Link Triforce Hylian Gaming Shield Fiberglass

You simply cannot wear this without considering the Hylain shield which is an iconic piece of equipment you will see him use during the games. This is quite the undertaking to make yourself if you decide to go that route, thankfully there are quite a few options ready made too.

Now going the do it yourself route may be harder than buying however you’ll also get a lot of satisfaction and if you are a serious cosplayer you’ll likely want to do it yourself to get in all the details you desire.

There a ton of ways you can approach this, first off you can use card if you are strapped for cash or are handy with card, this option is cheap and flexible and if you make a mistake you won’t have wasted a lot of valuable material.

Another popular choice is some sort of foam board, you want something that is sturdy so that it doesn’t break but also something that is a little bendy so that you can create a curve in it to replicate the Hylain shield’s one.Generally you will need to wet the board a little with water to help it bend into shape if not you can simply leave it straight and it should still make a great accessory.

Finally you could use wood but you would need a saw of some kind and know how to use it safely, the benefit of this is it will keep for ages and you have something that is really sturdy and won’t break when you are bumping into people at cons.

Which ever method you chose you will need to find a template to paint and color the shield, you can find plenty of pictures online to use including the one above. If you are good with a pencil you can draw your own template with card and use that as a stencil for painting in the colors.

Make the Master Sword

 Anime Link’s Twilight Princess Master Sword w/ Scabbard

This is the final part to what has become a long tutorial (Zelda one will be of a similar length and just as in depth) and just as the shield above there is not a one size fits all solution, this will all depend on the resources you have available and of course your experience.

First off is the most easiest option which is to buy it ready made, this comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.You could also use wood which is what I have seen quite a few people do.

Next up is foam board, the holy grail of cosplay props really, I watched a really funny video on Youtube about how a guy made his sword prop and basically he gets a large piece of foam board and uses a template of the body of the sword and draws that template three times onto the board, cuts each of these three sword parts and glues them together one on top of the other so they are sturdy and quite thick and then cuts out all of the details and glues them on aswell. All left after that is to paint everything the appropriate color.

The Ocarina is the final piece of the Zelda puzzle, do not forget it!

Dress as Dark Link

photo credit: mikemol

The final thing you need to consider before wrapping up is Dark Link, you could dismiss this character all together or you could go dressed as him instead (well its the same person but you know what I mean).

It shouldn’t be too hard to adapt what you would use above, some dark robes instead of green and dark makeup would go a look way to create this evil character.

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