If you’ve been hanging around this blog for any length of time, you’ll know I’m an insane Zelda fan. I have been ever since I could hold a controller. I love pretty much every game in the franchise, but the Nintendo 64 games hold a special place in my heart. As a kid our parents could never afford the latest consoles or games, so a lot of my childhood gaming took place in stints at the houses of friends or cousins. But when the Nintendo 64 came out my dad managed to pull together enough to get one. I still remember seeing the commercials for Ocarina of Time and just hoping, only to be greeted with the most amazing surprise one day after school. The same was true by the time Majora’s Mask came out, but by then I’d gotten the entire family hooked on Zelda with our frequent group play-throughs and they were all just as excited about getting it. A lot of my childhood was spent playing those two 64 games over and over. I’d complete the game in its entirety, reset the file and start again. Other days we’d just spend hours playing the mini-games together and see who could catch the biggest fish or get the best score in archery.
When more recently Nintendo re-released Ocarina of time on the 3Ds I was so excited I went out and bought the console, the first handheld console I’d been able to own. The same was true when late last year they announced the 3D remake of Majora’s Mask along with the limited edition console. Since it was released last weekend I’ve been playing it at every possible opportunity on the gorgeous Majora’s Mask-themed console. It’s absolute perfection wrapped in a little bubble of nostalgia.
But while I was biding the time until the game was released, I couldn’t help but make a celebratory cake. I was kind of tempted to make a Majora’s mask cake, but since I’ve done that before I decided I should try something new. The next most significant thing aside from the mask has to be the creepy moon that looms above Termina for the 3 day duration of the game, threatening to obliterate everything in sight.
If you’re a Zelda fan, or just generally have a finger to the pulse of the gaming world, you’ll probably know that late last year the latest game in the Zelda franchise was released: A Link Between Worlds. Of course I had to have it straight away, and as soon as I had it I did nothing else but play it until I’d beaten it. A feat that took an usually long time because I got crazy addicted to the baseball mini game. Saving the multiple worlds in chaos can wait, man, I’ve got some Octorock baseball to perfect! I don’t think I have spent so much time getting sidetracked by a mini game since fishing and horseback archery in Ocarina of Time.
In the course of finally getting around to beating the game, I came across the very Turtle-centric dungeon aptly called Turtle Rock. To access the dungeon you must rescue three adorable baby turtles and return them to mummy turtle. They then play stacks on, allowing you to climb on top and go for a ride to the dungeon entrance. Waiting for you on the other side of the dungeon is the boss fight, wherein it completes the other turtle-themed bookend with a turtle boss. This lava turtle is much less happy to see you.
Now, “I’m so gonna cake you” is probably not a normal thought to be had when trying to avoid being either smashed or burnt to a crisp by a giant lava turtle. But it was the one I had nonetheless. Right alongside the internal debate of whether it would more accurately be called a tortoise because of its limbs, or a turtle because it’s swimming through lava. And does lava even count as liquid enough to make Grinexx a ‘water dwelling’ turtle anyway, or would he still be a ‘land dwelling’ tortoise because he’s dwelling on melted rock?
At some point I stopped wondering about his taxonomy and how the cake would be structured and got around to actually defeating it. I put the cake idea on hold until the next round of Link’s Blacklist arrived. Long-term followers of the blog will remember this as the collaborative fan art project I’ve been involved with. I’ve made a Furnix cake, a Beamos cake and a Mad Scrub cake for Rounds 1-3 respectively. Grinexx was my entry for Round 4.
Some of you will already be familiar with the Link’s Blacklist project, my undying love for it, and my previous cakey creations for it. It returned for a third round, and of course I signed up as soon as I was able. I love any excuse to make a Zelda cake, and I love any excuse to join in a collaborative project and show everyone that art isn’t just drawn.
For those not familiar with the project, Link’s Blacklist is a collaborative fan art project that focuses it’s attention on the baddies of the franchise. Each time a select amount of artist are permitted to sign up for the project [this time it was 45], and all get to claim a different baddie. The places available disappeared within the day, which is a testament to how popular it’s becoming. It’s run by Game Art HQ and coordinated through deviantART, which is how I first got involved. These days I’m a community volunteer on deviantART, helping to look after the Artisan Craft galleries, so I prodded as many artisans to get involved as possible. I hope to encourage more fans from different artistic genres to get involved and diversify the fan art a bit.
As for my claim, I was pretty set on a Deku this time around. I love making sugar leaves, and the design felt a bit more achievable that some of my previous adventurous attempts. I settled on making a Mad Scrub, simply because I love the autumn palette in it’s design. I also love covering the basic enemies. A lot of people go for the big bosses, but I like the under-appreciated.
You guys might remember the Furnix Cake I made for an artist collaboration on deviantART. Well, the project was so popular it's on for a second round. When the organiser contacted me to let me know, I was only too ecstatic to be on board a second time. Any excuse to make a Zelda ckae is a very welcome one indeed.
For those of you who don't remember, the collab is called Link's Blacklist. It's a fan art project that focuses only on enemies from the video game series, The Legend of Zelda. It's that enemy-only facet that I love so much. Don't get me wrong, I love a good Link artwork as much as the next Zelda fan. But there's no shortage of them. Focusing solely on enemies generates a lot of fan art with a focus on what is often ignored. What makes this project even more special is that it's both quality-controlled and open only to a select number of artists, so every entry is one worth staring at. If you're a Zelda fan, or just love some beautiful fan art, check out the artwork so far here on Game Art HQ.
Beam me up…
Over on what is fast becoming my new home, deviantART, a group called Game Art HQ was hosting an ART collab called Link's Blacklist. It's a fan art tribute to The Legend of Zelda. But instead of featuring the usual types of fan art, this art collab ventured to be something different. It features only enemies from The Legend of Zelda. It involved 60 artists and each artist had to claim a different enemy from the series so there are no repeats. If you're a fan of the series, or even if you're not, you should go check out the gallery. The standard there is amazing.
Now, this group accepts only quality fan art. I'm a digital art newbie, so instead of drawing something, I turned to a medium I was more advance in. Cakeage.
I chose to do Furnix from Skyward Sword.
You encounter these enemies when you enter the Ancient Cistern. I saw these gorgeous birds flying around and hoped I wouldn't have to kill something so beautiful. Then they started spitting fireballs at me. Sigh.
There are so many gorgeous elements to Skyward Sword. The aesthetic of that game make me swoon. So it was a delight to recreate something from the game.
Or, at least, it was when I first embarked on the project. I've never had so many things go wrong with a cake before. This was the most stressed I had ever been when making a cake.
But let’s start that story from the very beginning. ..
I had a little extra time for baking last week, so I decided to hit up the next couple of items on my to-bake list. These three cupcakes are the next in the Majora's Mask set I'm doing.
"4, 5, 6… Whaa! … You startled me. Do not disrupt my training!"
I mentioned when I posted the Majora's Mask Cake that I really wanted to do the entire set of masks from the game. Though these will be in cupcake form rather than whole cakes because whoa time and whoa wastage of cake.
I got some time last week to churn out a few of them, so here are the first three.
I figured it was only natural to begin with the three transformation masks. These are the three main transformation masks acquired throughout the game (there's one more final mask, but it's at the end of the game and optional): the Deku mask, Goron mask and Zora mask. Link acquires these in various ways, but the end game is that you get to transform into these races at will. It's amazing fun. And I guess useful, too, if you can stop swimming around as a Zora and shouting "Look, ma! I can leap like a dolphin!" for long enough to actually do some quests and save the world.
The face under the mask… Is that… your true face?
This is something I'd been wanting to do for ages, but with final assignments and exams and field work to be done, baking was just not something I had time for – let alone cake decorating.
Last week I finished my final assignments and finally got time to do this. If you are a fan of the Zelda franchise, or even just a Nintendo64 kid, you'll know what this is.
This is Majora's Mask from the Legend of Zelda game of the same name. It is a powerful, ancient mask that harnesses a great, evil power. It was used by an ancient tribe in their hexing rituals until they sealed it away because of this power. It was recovered by a mask salesman, then subsequently stolen from him by a mischievous imp, called the Skull Kid, intending only to have a bit of fun with it. He is quickly consumed by the mask's power and, through the Skull Kid, Majora seeks to destroy Termina by bringing the moon down upon it.
For a lot of Zelda fans, this is their favourite game. It's not mine – I was too disappointed at the time that they re-used so much from Ocarina of Time to be completely blown away by it the same way I was with OoT. But that's not to say I didn't, and still don't, love every minute of playing it. I was sold at getting to ride Epona as a foal. But really, what's not to love?
Eventually, I plan on making my way through all the masks of the game in cupcake form. The final products will be irregular thanks to my research and the impending thesis I need to write, but I'm determined to finish this project in its entirety.
For now, here is the most important mask from the game.
Lots more Majora, with progress pictures…
If you've played The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, not only is your life complete, but you'll also know who this is:
This is the other Zelda fan art of was working on when I made the Sage Medallion cupcakes. It's something I'd intended to do for a while, so while I had some downtime I decided to embark on the project.
"Master Shortpants! Watch carefully while I demonstrate what a real hero looks like, bzzzzat!"
I've been dabbling in cake decorating for a couple years now and somehow it never really occurred to me to try fan art. I guess I was always waiting for an excuse, or a request. The Hunger Games cupcakes I made were my very first attempt at fan art, done just for the fun of it. Now that seal is popped it's opened up the flood gates. There are so many things I want to try as soon as time permits.
Given that possibly my biggest fandom is The Legend of Zelda, it was the next logical place to go.
It’s dangerous to go alone. Take these…