Any connoisseur of Legend of Zelda humor will recognize this baddie immediately. It’s Zhang Huan’s iconic “Three Heads Six Arms” statue, located in San Francisco’s Joseph L. Alioto Performing Arts Piazza.
From its pointy hat to its metal skin, this statue is Koloktos incarnate, which has made it the fodder of many a Zelda meme:
In honor of these clever memes (and because the statue really is too perfect to pass up), I decided to bring the piece of art to life in our Legend of Zelda Cosplay Project!
With such a great base, this monster was pretty simple to build. Color the statue gold, remove two of the heads and add some scimitars (the statue already conveniently is holding things in some of its hands), and the essentials were in place.
The statue, however, appears to be missing an arm. Far from being a problem, this turned out to be one of its best features, since in the game, Link actually rips the arms off his foe repeatedly with his whip.
All I had to do was replace the Master Sword blade with rope, tie it around another shot of the statue’s arm, and brush some sparks in between, and the finished product turned into one of my favorite action pictures of the whole project!
Last of all, I added a few more small details help to add accuracy and realism.
For example, Koloktos’s weak spot is a red, heart-like orb that pulsates in his middle. I chose to suggest this with a teardrop-shaped jewel to fill the empty space in the statue’s necklace.
Koloktos also belches black and blue smoke throughout the entire battle. I added this smoke to the picture, which is really hardly discernible, but manages to darken the backdrop and make Koloktos pop, and also increases the sense of action in the scene.
The next step was to find the right background. Link fights Koloktos in the Ancient Cistern which, with its many ornate pillars and its large Buddha-esque central statue, looks a lot like one of the ancient temples of India.
In keeping with his temple, Koloktos is a bit of a fashionista and has one of the most garishly colored boss chambers in the franchise—all bedecked with purples and golds.
Where could one find such a setting in the real world?
Unfortunately people just don’t seem to build that many enormous high-ceiling rotundas and then leave them completely empty. Maybe at some point in history they realized that this type of room is a veritable classified ad saying “Wanted: Large man-eating monster to move into spacious unoccupied room. Room comes with scary automatically locking door. No pets, please.”
Whatever the reason, there just aren’t a ton of “boss chamber” rooms out there in the real world.
One exception, however, is mausoleums. (Apparently people don’t mind inviting inviting a giant monster in when they’re already dead to begin with).
Conveniently for this picture, nowhere will you find larger, more impressive mausoleums than in India, so the final backdrop of the picture ended up being the tomb of Emperor Akbar.
This room has the same essential color scheme as Koloktos’s chamber, latticed designs reminiscent of the scale-like pattern on the Ancient Automaton’s walls, and even a magnificent lamp which hangs in the center of the room—just like in the game!
In the final version of the picture, the lamp is obscured by Koloktos’s head…but knowing it was there just makes the picture feel that much cooler.
And there you have it! Like the automaton himself being reanimated by Ghirahim, this picture brings together a smorgasbord of real-world people and places to bring an epic fantasy moment to life.