The Legend of Zelda Skulltula Redrawn Is the Worst Thing You’ve Seen All Day

The Legend of Zelda Skulltula Redrawn Is the Worst Thing You’ve Seen All Day

A photorealistic reimagining of Skulltula is absolutely terrifying in Nate Hallinan's art of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time's iconic enemy.

Let’s take a moment and concede the fact that Nintendo could make a pretty amazing horror game in The Legend of Zelda universe. If you weren’t already scarred by certain areas of Twilight Princess or the screams from the ReDead in Ocarina of Time, then i doubt the humanity in you. And a new artistic reimagining of a “real life” Skulltula has re-invigorated that notion, making me both want and desperately despise a photorealistic horror game set in The Legend of Zelda universe.

The feature image is from artist Nate Hallinan–though it was created half-a-decade ago, the project began circulating earlier this week on the dedicated Zelda Reddit community:

Yesterday I posted a RL Deku tree! What’s that without a RL Skulltula! Credits: Nate Hallinan from r/zelda

If you are new to The Legend of Zelda series and want to know a quick history on these nightmare abominations, here’s a quick TLDR. They made their first appearance in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask within the rotting Deku Tree. However, in the days of limited pixels and polygons, that version of the Skulltula was far less terrifying:


As graphics evolved, so did the design of Skulltula. In Twilight Princess we saw a similarly sized arachnid, but with darker and sharper features. The “skull” became a bit less prominent as it began taking on more of a spider vibe:


Even then, this had a sense of comfortable cartooniness that the new render lacks entirely.

Photorealistic recreations are definitely in-style at the moment, in many ways thanks to projects like Detective Pikachu or the (terrifying) Sonic the Hedgehog movies rolling out. And while I’d love to seen that amount of love and effort brought over to The Legend of Zelda series, I’ll personally pass up any version that includes Skulltula.

It’s worth noting that Hallinan has a ton of other great photorealistic projects in The Legend of Zelda universe that don’t bring shivers down my spine. These include both male and female Zoras, Skull Kid, and Dekus — you can check out a quick gallery of his work below:

The next upcoming The Legend of Zelda project is a remaster of Link’s Awakening which will be coming to Nintendo Switch exclusively sometime in 2019. If you are interested in dipping into the source material (which is arguably the best Zelda game), you can pick up the title on Nintendo 3DS via Amazon. Meanwhile, do make sure to check out Nate Hallinan’s portfolio and follow him on Twitter.

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