If, like me, you're routinely surpirsed by the passage of time, then it's going to be a shock to the system to recall that the original The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess came out ten years ago. Ten years! A decade!
That means that the characters and updated character designs have had ten years to attract fans and cosplayers in their own right. There's no doubt that the HD remake of Twilight Princess will inspire a whole new wave of creatives to break out their sewing machines. So, while we wait for them, let's take a look at what ten years of awesome cosplay has brought us.
Before Katniss, there was Zelda -- and her light arrows, and her gorgeously detailed as well as painstakingly constructed costume. And that dang horseback portion of Twilight Princess's final battle.
This Zant and this Midna are both excellent cosplayers, but can we talk about that Zelda in the background? Is Nintendo planning on dropping a Wii U release on us? The Legend of Zelda: A Totally Rad Photobomber.
Lara Wegenaer's cosplay page also features a ton of in-progress stuff, including streams as she works on another fantastically detailed Twilight Princess cosplay.
Before you ask -- no, I have absolutely no idea what the deal is with the cat here either. But everything about this cosplay is just oozing character. The enigmatic (read: has little web presence) Karine conveys character amazingly in just one plain photo. She is Telma. It's awesome.
How? How does someone make a headpiece and pauldrons look that good? Heads-Up Cosplay has gone way above the call of duty here. If you head over to his Facebook page, you can take a close look at everything that's gone into this Zant costume.
There are two ways to go about cosplaying a four-legged character: either embrace your inner furry and anthropomorphize them, or go all in on all fours. This Wolf Link seems to have opted for the latter... and put a great deal of trust in their cosplaying companion to not suddenly jump on their back.
And speaking of, this Imp Midna cosplay's no slouch, either.
If we had awards for overahcievements in the art of cosplay... then hello, first nominee. Not only did RiN put together this killer Midna costume, but she found the time to also make a Zant so that she and her boyfriend, Zander Cosplay, could attend PAX dressed to match!
Also, those shoes. Ohmygod shoes.
Speaking as someone who can only crochet a wobbly granny square (and barely at that), the extent of the detail that cosplays like this go into is completely astounding. This lovely shot shows just how much care was put into Zant's dangling sleeves.
Better still, this costume was hand-made by RiN, who has a spot of her own on the list. A+ for effort!
Twilight Princess took a little while to get started, with Link living comfortably as a ranch-hand in Ordon province. His time there wasn't all about herding (and lectures on horse grooming) -- Link loved to fish, too.
The inspiration for this shot is pretty clear. But my question was: with genderbent cosplays like this out there, how did it take Nintendo so long to realise there'd be a market for someone like Linkle?
Wait a second! I've seen this pose somewhere before...
Link is a rightfully popular target for genderbent cosplays, so it's great to see Ganondorf get some love as well! Breast-shaped armor and a bared midriff might not do much to mitigate a strike from the Master Sword, but they'll do just fine for Lady Ganondorf's afternoon tennis match with Zelda.
The Zora Armor is a massive step up from the palette-swapped tunics Link made use of in Ocarine of Time. For the detail-oriented cosplayer -- which the appropriately nicknamed Zoroko certainly is -- this costume poses an enjoyable challenge and many hours of happily busy work.
The less said about Lakebed Temple, however, the better.
I mean, if you're going to cosplay, why not go all in? This enigmatic cosplayer takes going hard in the paint just seriously enough to produce an excellent cosplay.
...thank goodness he isn't laughing. That whole sequence in Twilight Princess was way too unsettling.
There's always something nice about a couple who share hobbies -- and our featured cosplayer and photographer are a husband-and-wife team. A beautiful shot, an awesomely detailed costume, a highlight game that's on point... there's not much more anybody could ask for here!
Stop reading this. Take in this inspired, drop-dead gorgeous shot instead.
Look at that toothy grin! This up-close shot gives us a great view of both those vivid contacts and every bit of the hard work that went into sculpting and refining Midna's mask.
Also, I might be the last person on earth to discover this, but there's totally some overlap witrh Majora's Mask here.
If the distinctive hairstyle didn't jog your memory, this is a cosplay of Ashei, a Resistance member who aids Link in investigating Snowpeak. And oh my gosh her yeti pelt is so fluffy. And that morning light and those snowy surrounds are so gorgeous. It's nice to see cosplayers and photographers alike making amazing use of their local environment.
I feel very strongly that this Link cosplay, whose sculpted eyebrows are everyting good in this world, and the other green-clad Link cosplayer featured in this slideshow would have a lot to talk about. Fierce eyebrows, fierce hair, and a fantastic attention to detail -- it's the Hero of Style.
The ultimate in fluffy, and made with obvious care. Wolf Link was an extremely popular character in furry circles, but characters like Lucario and Zoroark have come around since those days.
THIS IS NOT A DRILL: this is nothing like a drill, in fact... it's Agitha, princess of the bugs, wearing a costume made almost entirely out of duct tape. Stockings and gloves aside, every other part of this fantastic costume is constructed from or absolutely covered in duct tape.
Everybody pictured here looks excellent, but it takes a heck of a lot of comfort in one's own skin to slip into a skintight costume. These two Shadow Beasts have not only done that, but they've also done so in some fantastic boots.
Billowing capes are usually the sole territory of protagonists, but it's very easy to make an exception here for this exceptional Midna cosplay. Mention is made of a helper who assisted in accomplishing this shot. Did they stand just outside the photo's range, armed only with a sheet of cardboard to wave?
Narrowing down the field to just twenty of the best Twilight Princess cosplays was extremely difficult! Do you have any favorites from this list? Anybody we've missed who should absolutely at all costs be included? Strong feelings about the Lakebed Temple? Let it all out in the comments below.