BotW Link Cosplay Postmortem

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Whenever I finish a big project, I like doing a postmortem. Hopefully, that’ll help me improve for the next thing. So, here are my final thoughts on what I think was a successful Link cosplay, along with the photos I took:

The Trials of Unreleased Content

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(This shot inspired by the E3 teaser trailer.)

I think my cosplay suffered most from lack of references. I started this project when we only had the first E3 teaser trailer of Link shooting his crazy arrow at that giant robot-octopus-land monster. I watched that video so many times and looked at screenshots and fan art to figure out what this costume looked like. When I finally finished the tunic, E3 2016 came around and showed me that my design was not 100 percent accurate.

Oh the woes of being impatient!

That being said, I’m still really happy with the costume. The details are close enough that the character reads clearly. In fact, when I wore the outfit at GenCon, I got a lot of shout-outs – people (me included) are just excited for this game!

I don’t think I’ll go back and change things – at least not right now. The differences in the tunic are minor enough that I could rework them in the future if I really wanted to. For now, I want to move on to another project.

Crunch Time

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I’m sure most cosplayers can relate to this: I had a few things to finish up during crunch time before GenCon, which meant execution wasn’t perfect. I was stressed out, which led me to make mistakes, redo things and work with limited materials.

I’m specifically thinking of the quiver. You can check out my tutorial post about it for specifics, but I think it’s one of the weakest parts of my costume. If I redo anything, it’ll be that. I could either get more Worbla and use the sandwich method this time, or learn more leather-working techniques and do this thing the authentic way. We’ll see.

Things I’m Happy With

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(This is my favorite photo of the outfit.)

There are three main things I absolutely love about this project:

  1. The overall look.
  2. The bow.
  3. The tunic.

Each one is special for different reasons. I like the tunic for the color, texture and details. I love the bow for the shape and materials. And I just felt like all of the elements came together. Once I had my makeup and full costume on, I was finally proud of this cosplay.

(@thelastimage took this during the GenCon costume contest)

A Note on Crossplaying

I crossplayed this character – I identify as female and I dressed male. To give myself a more masculine frame, I added shoulderpads to the tunic and tried to find a bra that would flatten my chest a bit. I would have worn a normal sports bra, but the straps show in this tunic. Ultimately, I found a cute little thing at Target that works.

I think I look pretty androgynous in most of these photos, though I have a couple (see below) in which I look like my normal, female self. So, I’d call it a success!

link, cosplay, cosplayer, legend, of, zelda, u, breath, of, the, wild

(Me, looking pretty feminine. It’s all in the pose!)

I started this project in January 2016 and finished at the beginning of August 2016. That’s an eight-month cosplay! It was worth every second.

If you’re working on a Breath of the Wild cosplay, I’d love to see it! I can’t wait for this game, and I know there are some fellow fans out there!

Special shout out to @AffinityChrisss for taking these photos!


18 thoughts on “BotW Link Cosplay Postmortem

  1. It’s nice to see that your cosplay turned out great. Everything’s pretty much done for my Link cosplay, even the wig! 😀 Thanks again for the advice on the wig by the way. I only have the boot flaps left and the shoulder/chest belt. I’ll make sure to leave a link to wherever I decide to post my Link photos. How did the cosplay contest go?

    • Oh that’s great! I’m excited to see how yours turned out! The contest was fun. It was my first time doing one, and I didn’t place, but it was still a cool experience. Lots of talented people.

      • I actually just finished the boot flaps right before I’m typing this. I’ve never tried entering a cosplay contest before, but I’m hoping to soon. The con I’m going to next week doesn’t have a cosplay contest, but the one after it does. I’m hoping to try to make the bow like you did and maybe the Skeikah Slate. I guess we’ll see. I can’t wait to see what your next project is!

      • Well if you do enter a contest, good luck! And it’ll be sweet if you do the Sheikah Slate! How were you thinking of making it?

      • After watching this video, I’m seriously considering to do it this way. It would be time consuming though.

      • Yeah, no kidding! That looks intense. But also, awesome! I’ve thought about doing some LED stuff, especially if I go back and make the arrowhead Link uses. Good luck!

  2. I finally have a picture of my cosplay. I forgot to take a picture of myself in the cosplay, but I was able to find a picture that someone took of me in it. Unfortunately, the wig looked a bit off as it was already far into the day. It didn’t look as good as it did when the con started. :/ It was really humid so that didn’t help matters at all. The ponytail was still fine and in tact though even if it can’t be seen in the photo since it was only from the front. I had to improvise with some parts of the wig when it started going crazy later during the day, but it stayed normal for most of the con at least. The brown arm guard got flipped around when I didn’t notice so it looks off in the photo.Otherwise, the actual cosplay turned out great. I just don’t think that my face fits well with Link’s look but maybe that’s just me. XD

    • Oh, wig woes! I feel ya! Well, it turned out great! Nice work. I especially dig the arm bands. Those were such a pain for me.

      • Thanks! This is actually the first cosplay I’ve made from scratch. The only other cosplay I made was putting white stripes on a blazer for Death the Kid, but I don’t think that really counts. I didn’t put on the ears that day because I was in a rush. People didn’t mind the lack of ears anyways. There was no cosplay contest so that’s a plus. I decided to be resourceful with the arm bands. The arm bands are actually socks believe it or not. I just made them look legit. 😉

      • Well congrats on finishing such a big project! 😀 And adding stripes totally counts! Clever idea with the socks – they really do read well.

  3. I’m curious- how did you make the striped bracers? I’m considering putting a BOTW cosplay but I’ve only seen the bracers coming with a full cosplay; I usually buy my cosplay parts seprately and put them together.

    • The yellow armbands beneath the bracer? Those are made of strips of fabric that I painted the pattern onto using fabric paint.

    • I got these ones from Amazon. They fit really well over my ears. If you don’t already have spirit gum, plan to buy some at the same time (that’s how you adhere the ears to your head). Also, the color is a little yellower than my skin tone. That didn’t matter too much for this costume (the wig kind of covered them), but you can paint them with foundation that matches your skin tone.

      • I had looked at those but in the stock pictures they looked like the tips were pretty curved upwards, but in your pics they look to be straight. Did they end up coming straight when you ordered them or did you have to flatten them a bit?

      • They do look kind of curved in that link, but they ended up pretty straight for me. I didn’t have to do anything to them. I guess they could look a little different on everyone, since the base shape of your ear is unique. Here’s what they look like when they’re not on. Aradani has a few different styles of ears listed on Amazon, so you could check those out, too. Amazon is telling me I ordered the one I linked.

  4. Maybe this is a stupid question, but what is the leather shoulder strap thing?! I can’t seem to find the name anywhere! I can’t afford all the leather working tools to make one myself, so I want to see if I can find one by itself and all I can find is “leather belt” and I really want the three point one like you use!

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