Fanboys (and girls) are a special breed in the gaming world. With their zealous enthusiasm they single-handedly have the ability to make or break games, breathe life back into flailing franchises and (if they use their powers for evil) start flame wars across the Internet. Their undying devotion for a developer, game or character has spawned web-rings, epic works of art and the desire to participate in the ultimate fan tribute – cosplay. This weekly blog highlights some of the best cosplay found around the net. These fans put their blood, sweat and tears into their work, and it shows.

This is another one of those costumes that looks deceivingly simple, but take a closer look and you'll be impressed by Melissa's attention to detail. The belt, boots, gloves and suspenders have been recreated painstakingly - making this one of the best Tifa Lockhart costumes i've ever seen.

Who: The Character
Tifa Lockhart from Final Fantasy VII.

Why: The Decision
Tifa is such a strong woman, she has a big heart and is an amazing fighter. She never gives up on her friends and she somehow always finds the courage to keep fighting for what she believes in. Also, Tifa is my all-time favorite character because I feel like I can relate to her; I think her personality and mine are quite similar! She has been my favorite since I was nine, I have wanted to cosplay her for such a long time, I’m so glad I finally did!

What: The Process

This costume took me months to finish. There were so many little details! I started around November and ended in April. I think what took the most time was mentally preparing to take on such a big project. I used mostly leather; the suspenders, the skirt, the belt, the shoes, the little wrist straps, the gloves. Then I used a moldable resin and sculpted the armor. The total cost went to a little under $200. I didn’t expect to spend so much, but I wanted it to be perfect and use all the materials I dreamed of. The most difficult task was making the suspenders. I created a pattern, engineered the mechanics and made it from the ground up; I lost track of the time, but I know it went over 10 hours on the sewing alone. All the planning and sketching allowed the process of putting the suspenders together really smooth.

Where and When: The Debut

I debuted by costume at Fanime 2009. It was so much fun and so exciting! My photoshoot took place in Northern California, a ten-minute drive from my house. It is a wildlife preserve, open to the public. There are people that go jogging on a regular basis! I chose the location because I’ve been there many times, I love how it feels like the world map of Final Fantasy VII and I wanted to portray the scene with Cloud and Tifa the day before their final battle.

Links: The Cosplayer

I am on and Cure

The Gallery
Photos courtesy of Gabman6

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