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Enchanting gamers of all ages for generations and featuring some of the most acclaimed videogames of our time, The Legend of Zelda series is a juggernaut in the gaming space. The franchise has been a critical and commercial smash since its original debut in 1986 on the Nintendo Entertainment System. 1996’s Ocarina of Time has sold 10.96 million units and counting, and 2017’s Breath of the Wild has sold over 7.5 million copies since its release. Nintendo has created a rich and lively universe full of memorable characters, iconic equipment, and epic adventures that consistently stand the test of time. With so many fantastic characters to pick from, it can seem daunting to determine which one you might want to cosplay as. I personally would love to do a Fierce Deity Link cosplay. The ability to feel the same sense of power and awe I did upon initially unlocking him in Majoras Mask would take me back to one of my happiest childhood memories, and that right there is the magic of cosplay.
Bottom Line Up Front
Cosplay is no longer a niche interest viewed by the masses as child’s play. It’s becoming far more socially acceptable, and the community grows daily. With conventions held globally, there is always a place to dress up as your favorite character and become someone else for a day. For those unable to travel, there is a thriving community on social media that one can find within seconds, and there’s always room for you to join the fun.
The Legend of Zelda is iconic, engaging, and one of the best franchises to cosplay. My favorite from the featured crop is a stunning and incredibly well-detailed Mipha cosplay. Cosplay isn’t all about fashion and design. It flexes acting and performance art muscles as well. When a person can combine the magic of all of that and add their personal touch to it, I genuinely believe it’s something special that should be celebrated.
What is Cosplay?
Cosplay is an art form that has been steadily growing in popularity. While not limited to just videogames, it’s primarily popularized through fans dressing up and adopting the personas of their favorite characters from games, anime, movies, and more. With cosplay, you can make every day as magical as Halloween when you get suited up as a character you love and get a free pass to become them for the day. What was once seen as a “nerds only” affair has exploded in noteworthiness, and the cosplay community is only growing larger by the day. From the halls of epic conventions such as Comic-Con, PAX, Blizzcon, Otakucon, Phoenix Fan Con, J-Con, and much more, cosplay is a global community that welcomes all!
Why You Should Cosplay
There’s no right or wrong way to cosplay, and you can achieve results on a dime or a big budget. It’s about your creativity and showing love to the franchises you adore. Just search the term cosplay on Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok, and so forth, and you’ll find no shortage of fans and gamers getting in on the fun and expressing themselves through their favorite fictional characters. The more you authentically express yourself and put your expression out there, the more likely you are to meet people who feel a similar way you do. It’s a way to make this world feel a little less lonely.
Considering that The Legend of Zelda has millions of fans worldwide and is one of the longest-running series in videogame history, it’s no surprise that there are dozens upon dozens of memorable characters to portray and perform as. Perhaps you’re a rookie cosplayer eager to join the fun, a seasoned one itching for new ideas, or a curious cat on the sidelines wanting to get some ideas for your first potential cosplay? No matter where you are on your cosplay journey, we here at LegendsofZ have got you covered with some excellent cosplay ideas for the Legend of Zelda series!
Zelda Cosplay Ideas To Consider
Whether it’s your first cosplay or your hundredth, you can try these Zelda cosplay ideas. They’re fun for all skill sets and showcase some of our favorite characters from the franchise!
The easiest way to have just about anyone understand your cosplay is to pick the main character of the series you love. Link has gone through many different looks throughout his career, giving cosplayers many choices. Wintendo64 here decided to go with his most recent interpretation from Breath of the Wild, and I love it! The excellent detail in the blue tunic and sleeves with the craftsmanship of the iconic bow instantly takes me back to 2014, when the first trailer for the game was shown to the public. Part of what makes cosplay so unique is that it can take you back to a moment in time and take you back to a feeling. The intrigue and excitement upon finally seeing what Link would look like on the Wii U and the striking color palette of the trailer remind me of reading dozens upon dozens of fan conspiracy theories that the Link in the trailer wasn’t actually Link. Spoiler alert: it is.
#2: Princess Zelda
Second only to Link himself, Princess Zelda has been featured in almost every entry in the franchise and has a wide assortment of looks to portray. Instantly recognizable yet dynamic in appearance, Zelda is an excellent choice for cosplay and is flexible enough for veterans or newbies alike to portray. KaiKai chose to represent her iconic look from Twilight Princess, becoming recognizable and capable of transporting people back in time to their first playthrough. KaiKai is dripping with poise yet manages to encapsulate Zelda’s kindness and down-to-earth qualities. She knows her responsibilities but doesn’t think she’s better than anyone else.
Skyword Sword may have initially been a divisive entry before getting a new lease on life with the excellent HD remaster for the Nintendo Switch. Still, Girahim has remained memorable from the moment he makes his debut early in the game’s story. Deadly with a blade, he combines the best elements of campy villains from Disney and Team Rocket fame and has the swordsmanship to make him a serious threat in combat. Girahim has loads of personality and varying looks that make him a fun and dynamic character to portray.
Despite only having one canonical appearance in the Zelda series Sheik has remained a fan favorite and one of the more recognizable characters from the franchise. I played Ocarina of Time back when it came out in the late ’90s, and lemme tell you, Sheik was the talk of the playground! as a child, my friends and I were instantly enamored with the confident, mysterious, and flat-out cool character. We used to play make-believe as characters from OoT, and while I often ended up playing as Link, I always had the most fun when another friend played Sheik. We’d roleplay extraordinary scenarios for the two to navigate. Fleshbunniecos remains faithful to the source material, nailing the details of Sheik’s leggings and armor. The added touch of the impeccably detailed Sheikah Slate is an excellent tie-in to Breath of the Wild. A good cosplay is faithful, but a great cosplay takes risks and adds the artist’s touch to it.
#5: Fierce Deity Link
I might be a wee bit biased here, but to be frank, if I ever did cosplay, I would pick Fierce Deity Link. Majoras Mask came out when I was in grade school, and if it weren’t for my dad being kind enough to get me a strategy guide, I wouldn’t have even known of this remarkable character. This was a time before the internet took over, so kids and adults consumed much of their information through print. I worked my tail off to unlock every mask available in the game, and acing the challenges required to get the Fierce Deity Mask aside from unlocking all the masks wasn’t exactly a walk in the park either. Since I was a child when I played the Nintendo64 entries in the franchise, the opportunity to play as an adult and feel more like one made me feel special. The Fierce Deity is a very ambiguous character within the series lore, with various fan theories pinpointing his origins. We know that he is a seven-foot-tall god armed with one of the most superb swords in gaming history and can strike down the bosses within Majoras Mask in only a few hits. He’s powerful, mysterious, and iconic and should go on any Legend of Zelda cosplayer short list of characters to do.
Mipha is a graceful yet powerful character within the Breath of the Wild universe. While not the most straightforward look to pull off, it is one we recommend for any seasoned cosplayer looking to showcase their talents or an ambitious newcomer ready to play with the big dogs. Cosplay is more than just wearing an outfit or putting on some makeup and holding a prop. It’s performance art and character portrayal. Mipha requires skills in all these fields and more, and Hoshiyo nails it to a T. Mipha has a reserved and regal presence but isn’t pretentious or out of touch. She’s empathetic but strong, intelligent but humble, and should be a character one should consider portraying if they want to showcase all the facets that make cosplay something special.
Love him or hate him, Tingle is a top-notch choice for cosplaying. A very meta character, one can even argue that he is essentially cosplaying as Link. With his vivid green tunic and eye-catching large nose and eyebrows, Tingle is a character that requires a sense of comedy and self-awareness. One of the things that makes Tingle so memorable is how serious he takes himself, yet cosplaying as him is also a great commentary that, above all else, cosplay should be fun!
Saria is such a kind yet important character. Much like Mipha, she possesses grace but a fierce inner strength that is just itching to get tapped into. For a seasoned cosplayer, it could be easy to retrofit a Link cosplay and use the same material from his tunic for hers and the prosthetic ears. But the devil is in the details, and that’s where a healthy sense of challenge comes in. As Tirameowsu demonstrates above, Saria uses a different ocarina than the Ocarina of Time, and you can’t forget her belt, complete with Foreset Medallion insignia. Saria has a unique demeanor that is as welcoming as it is secretive. Zelda and Sheik aside, she seems to be one of the most intelligent characters within the Ocarina of Time universe. Easy to pick up but hard to master, Saria is a top-notch cosplay for a professional who’s ready to show their stuff or a newer cosplayer who wants to show some love to a fan favorite.
As stated earlier, going with someone instantly recognizable is never a bad idea for cosplay. As much fun as it is to roleplay a hero and walk with that sense of nobility and duty, it can be even more fun to be a villain! Ganondorf has had many looks throughout the years, from his intimidating sword-wielding appearance pictured above from Twilight Princess to his ornate armor from Ocarina of Time. His beautifully detailed robe circa Wind Waker would make a fantastic DIY project, or for the more adventurous: Ditch his human form entirely and pick any of his monster forms as Ganon! Creating prosthetic noses or horns can be done out of paper mache, and he always wears the coolest and most sinister armor. Imagine walking the halls of a crowded convention as the lone male Gerudo and running into another cosplayer as Noboru or Urbosa. Wouldn’t that be something special? The options for Ganondorf are even more expansive than the numerous looks Link and Zelda have adorned throughout the years.
#10: Anyone you Want!
The best cosplay makes you happy no matter who you’re portraying. Impa has appeared in almost every Zelda game and has many different appearances to work with! Kafei or Saxon, the thief from Majoras Mask, would make fantastic cosplays, and you’d get the satisfaction of thinking outside the box and going with a more deep cut for your character choice. Perhaps you’d want to go for a more comic relief portrayal and decide to become Beedle, the merchant for a day? A creative choice could be portraying a Goron or Princess Ruto as well. You could become a Great Fairy, a knight of the Hyrule Castle, Dark Link, or even Zelda’s father if you desire! There’s no wrong way to cosplay; the world is your oyster.
Question: I’m Operating on a Limited Budget. Can I Still do a Good Cosplay?
Question: Where is the Best Place to Cosplay?
Question: I’m Shy. Are People Going to Make Fun of me?
Before you even get into your first cosplay look, you can be confident in knowing that thousands of people out there just like you are doing what they love, and they will want to see you succeed. They will cheer you on, and as long as you come to the table like the kind and friendly person you are, they will always save you your seat.
Most of the time, those that choose to be a hater do so out of envy, they wish they could do what you’re doing, or they want to express themselves as truthfully as you are, so don’t let it hurt you! Instead, let it fuel you. Let it compel you to take yourself to even greater heights and share the proverbial wealth with others who are interested in traveling down the cosplay road.
Cosplay is a limitless form of self-expression, with a community growing stronger by the day. What was once relegated to Halloween or crowded convention halls now has a thriving culture on social media. Your bedroom or backyard can be your stage, and you can be anyone you’d like.
Combining the arts of craftsmanship and performance, you don’t need money to make a great cosplay. With some heart, soul, and a little elbow grease, you’ll be stunning the masses with your looks. Our world isn’t the brightest place, but that doesn’t mean you have to extinguish your inner flame. Channel the same magic you felt like a child playing make-believe, bring yourself and others back to that place in time when they first met the character you’re portraying, and help make the world smile again by being your most authentic self and finding others who love you for it.
The Legend of Zelda franchise shows no signs of slowing down, and with each new entry, there are even more choices for you to cosplay as. Are you a regular cosplayer looking for new ideas? Or are you an observer curious about joining the fun? Either way, come one come all; there’s room for everyone aboard the cosplay express.
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