When the reveal trailer of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate showed that Link’s design was gonna be from Breath of the Wild, I honestly expected Zelda’s to be the same. As we now know, they went for her A Link to the Past design instead. Since it wasn’t from Breath of the Wild, and because I’ve never played Zelda much in Smash in the past, I didn’t think much of using her at first.

However, when I recently unlocked her over the holidays, I thought “Whoa, I love her design – she looks really beautiful yet sassy. And that Phantom Knight move looks cool.” so I decided to give her a go. Well, I’m now absolutely in love with her design and play-style, and I’m glad they chose this classic, youthful look for her. In fact, when a friend recently sent me a collection of Nintendo art work, I spotted this breath-taking piece of Smash Zelda fan art by artist bellhenge and just knew I had to talk about and share it with you all.

The first thing that immediately stands out in this piece is just how glimmering every inch of Zelda is! Bellhenge has made each individual piece of jewelry and armor sparkle and glisten brilliantly. In fact, her entire self is glowing! Her golden hair shimmers, her skin is dewy and bright, and her smiling eyes beam with youthfulness and charm. I love the attention and care bellhenge has put into accomplishing this look. The light illuminating her feels so natural as a result, and it kind of looks like she’s in a spotlight. Speaking of which, the way her hair and dress flick outwards and that white, ring-like design in the background (below the Smash ball) make her look like she just spun into this cute pose while being spotlighted for a picture. It makes her truly feel alive and full of personality.

I also really like the gentle pastel colors that bellhenge has used to draw her dress and the background. It makes her outfit look so elegant and royal, and gives the whole image a soft, innocent tone. What’s interesting though is the bold reds of her belt, pearl necklace, and ruby headdress. In her Smash costume, these three items are a lot more muted, being simply a darker pink. Not only does bellhenge’s choice to draw them in a deep red make them stand out against the pastels and give a bit of flair to her personality, but it’s also clearly an homage to her original design in A Link to the Past, in which those three items are exactly that color. I wonder why Nintendo chose to mute them in her Smash iteration. Whatever the case, I’m glad bellhenge chose the classic red!

Last but not least, let’s talk about that adorable pose. Inspired by her idle animation in Smash, that totally-anime pose sums up everything I love about this iteration of Zelda. She’s looking young and sweet doing the cheek dimple pose, but there’s just something about the way she folds her other arm and smiles that shows she’s clearly got some boldness about her. As I’ve quickly realized by playing her nonstop in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (and as I’m sure you have too if you’ve faced her enough times) she definitely does.