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Everyone’s got a Triforce tattoo

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There is more to the Triforce than just a few triangles. It is a symbol of strength, courage and wisdom – the ultimate source of power and influence. It’s been in every Zelda game since the legend of zelda was released in Japan in 1986 – although in the first game, Link was only looking for two, the Triforce of Wisdom and the Triforce of Power. but that was Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link where Nintendo first introduced the motif into the game, symbolically bringing the separate triangles together into the iconic Triforce.

In 2023, the Zeldathon is starting. Join us on our journey through The Legend of Zelda series, from the original 1986 game to The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and beyond.

It is so simple but easily recognizable. You can identify a Triforce holder by the glowing seal of light on their hand, which is a visual shorthand for Link. it was practically made Having a tattoo – a real tattoo, scratched into the skin with a needle and ink.

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And so it comes as no surprise that the Triforce tattoo is one of the most popular gaming tattoos out there. One tattoo artist estimated that he made over 60 tattoos in a year. It’s hard to overstate the ubiquity of Triforce tattoos; You’ve definitely seen them done hand and foot locally, and there are pages and pages of Triforce tattoos in Google and Reddit threads. Thousands of people have tagged photos on Instagram with #triforcetattoo. There are also jokes: “The tattoo parlor refuses to do swastikas, iron crosses and triforces,” reads a vocal jab at the iconography.

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A close-up of Link's hand in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.  The three triangles comprising the Triforce shine through his glove, with the top triangle shining the brightest.

Triforce in Link’s hand The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Image: Nintendo

All four tattoo artists I spoke to agreed that this is a hugely popular option—one tattoo artist even has seven Triforce tattoos on his body. Beyond the popularity of the games, tattoo artist Kim Hikaru stated that Triforce tattoos are more accessible; May cost less than a simple one, takes less time to do, and can be easily concealed.

“A good icon for a tattoo is simple in design,” tattoo artist Jess Soares told Play Gamez. “It’s something that can be seen from afar and lets you go, Hey! Is that a Zelda tattoo? Triforce certainly does that.

A faint Triforce tattoo on a person's arm

Photo: Sabrina Camacho

Sabrina Camacho, a tattoo artist at Snowbird Studios in Austin, Texas, agreed: “The Triforce is such recognizable and subtle iconography,” she said. “I think people get Triforce tattoos because they involve everyone. Everyone has their first Zelda game, the Zelda game they spent the most time with as a kid, and their favorite of all time.” Zelda is the game. And the Triforce is the icon that links them all — across all the lore, art styles, and characters, it remains.

This often gives the Triforce tattoo a deep personal significance to the person who has one. Nathalia De Matos, a 33-year-old medical lab technician in New Zealand, said that sports have a strong connection to her family; he played the legend of zelda She moved from Brazil to the United States with her parents and siblings when she was about 4 years old. “The earliest example I have is from a home video my mother took of me and my siblings watching and cheering my father on when he played his first game. legend of Zelda” she said. She added that the game continued to play a role in her life as a “source of escapism.” Finally granted.” This is his only tattoo.

Hikaru, a tattoo artist, said that he had a client who got a Triforce tattoo done after surviving cancer; The courage triangle is glowing, everything else grey.

People with Triforce tattoos have a sense of community. Playing video games is sometimes talked about as a solitary hobby, one person alone with the glare of a screen and a rigid plastic controller. There is truth in this, but video games also bring people together – sharing tips and tricks in online communities; battling in the parks pokemon go, huddled around a screen, stuffed onto a couch and spread out on the floor; And yes, maybe, pointing to your Triforce tattoo when passing someone on the street in Zelda. shirt.

A woman lying on Gengar Squishmallow, supported by a tattooed arm.

Photo: Nicole Carpenter / Play Gamez

I didn’t intend to get the Triforce tattoo. I did book an appointment to get a portrait of Zelda, though—an American traditional-style ladyhead. The tattoo artist familiar with the sport asked if I’d like to get it slapped on the blank spot on my arm, along with the original tattoo. I shrugged and said yes. I’m a walking poster child for the idea that tattoos, while permanent, don’t have deep significance or meaning. You can simply love a design, or a sport, or a book, and inscribe its art into your body. I love sports and design so I got it. Still, I see how powerful the symbol can be: So many people have come up to me, a complete stranger, to talk about it. Sometimes it’s just, “Hey, I like that game too!” But other times it’s a short, meaningful story.

“It makes me happy that people found some solace and community with The Legend of Zelda and Triforce symbolism,” said Nicholas Jakic, a 30-year-old construction salesman. “I love it when people point at me and say they like it and then show it off. It’s a very interesting combination. I think most of the time it’s a very layered way of connecting.

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