Pikmin Link's Spotlight

Tell us about your first cosplay experience.

Well, the first time I was serious in actually making an outfit was back in 1998. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was released, and I really wanted to make Link's outfit for Halloween. Back then, I'd never even heard of the term "cosplay." When I was much younger and when they had the old school Zelda games, I used to put on a green shirt and style my hair like Link ^^; Yup... the good old, fun kid days. But when I actually decided to make OoT version Link in 1998, it was the first time I made my own Halloween costume. I wanted to be something different.

To me Halloween was dressing up as anything you want, so that's where it all began. My very first version of Link was not the best. My dad and I worked on the Master Sword, and that's the one I still use today. We also built Link's shield, and I would have to say that the props were way better than the outfit. I was so determined to finish Link and redo the costume as many times as it took to get it perfect.

After years of remaking nearly every part to the outfit, I was finally able to debut it when I was asked to be apart of the cosplay fashion show at G-Phoria in 2003. That was the first time I saw other cosplayers in person, and I was very excited.

What attracted you to cosplay the Link character?

My love for the Zelda games. It was mainly because he's my favorite character, and when I finally had some talent to sew, I decided to make his outfits.  I've always loved the Legend of Zelda series, and I even got up early Saturday mornings to watch the cartoons. And since you are playing as Link in the games (most people think he is named Zelda), you start to get attached to the character in a way.

Suppose the game designers of Zelda ask your suggestion for a new crossover game in which Link battles characters from other unrelated games. What characters would you have working for or against Link?

I think it would be interesting where Link and Mario join up. Since Ganon and Koopa have this very strange obsession with kidnapping princesses, they could kidnap Princess Peach and Zelda and plan to take over Hyrule and the Mushroom Kingdom .  

To those not familiar with fandom, people might criticize cosplayers for living in the fantasy world or trying to be someone they are not. How would you react to that, and what are some ways cosplayers can protect themselves from ridicule?

 I've pretty much learned to ignore people who criticize us for cosplaying and for doing what we enjoy doing. I don't really know how you can protect yourself because it's going to happen either way. There are always going to be people who don't like what we do and it's something we just have to get used to and learn to ignore.

How would you suggest people get their family involved in cosplay?

Well, that depends on the family member; some people just aren't interested in it whatsoever. However, a good way to start is to ask them to help you out on parts of your costume that you're having trouble with. I wouldn't recommend being a first timer and going up to a family member and asking for help on an extremely detailed costume, that would most likely take their interest away. It would be best to start out easy with something simple.

If you could ask God only one question, what would it be? Any guesses as to what His answer would be?

me : Can I be immortal? ^_^

God : *laughs at me*  

I think God's book covers immortality in the back half.

What are some construction tips you or your dad can share regarding props?

Well, work with what you can, and work with materials that you are experienced with. Making a prop out of materials you've never used before is going to be really hard, and it may not come out as you would like it to. Since we do a lot of props, we also experiment a lot to see what works best and what doesn't. Creating props may take more than one try, but that's the whole part of learning and because of that, we also have some trade "Pikminlink" secrets we cannot share. ^^;; But experimenting with a lot of different things works wonders. If a certain technique doesn't work with one prop, it will probably work with a different one.

What would your nickname be if Zelda didn't exist?

Well, that's something I never thought of before. Heh, then it would probably be someone from a different Nintendo game ....I don't know ^^;;;

What is the most important aspect for you in creating a costume?

Details and accuracy! I always tell my dad and myself that I'm not going to attempt a costume unless I can make it right. I spend hours studying the artwork, screenshots, trailers, in-game play, and anything that I can get. For example, my New (Game cube) Link was the biggest challenge for me. I wanted to make it so bad because it was Link and also because I was amazed at the detail Nintendo gave him. I spent hours and many late nights searching the Internet for the best possible highest resolution screenshots I could find, but there weren't many. I also downloaded the trailer and one, single piece of official artwork of the new Link. There wasn't much to work from, but whatever details I was able to see, I tried my best to add them into the costume. Same goes for my Marth costume. Hours were spent and pages of sketches were made studying the trophy in Super Smash Bros Melee.  Another important aspect is the love for the character. If you love the character, you are willing to go as far as you can in making the costume just right. And it gives you a lot of reasons to enjoy wearing the outfit and being the character.

What is your career path and how will cosplay help or hinder that goal?

My career is in interior design, so cosplay isn't involved with it. Cosplay is just a fun loving hobby of mine which I enjoy and plan to continue for who knows how long.