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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.
You can't help but be impressed by Korukunuki's Ultima costume, including the admirable inclusion of the hovering base. Read about all her hard work below.
Who: The CharacterUltima the “High Seraph.” Ultima comes from the video game Final Fantasy XII. Specifically, she is a monster, or mythical-type creature. Based off the zodiac sign for Virgo, she is portrayed in the games as a powerful, obtainable summon who, after defeated, will allow you to call her into battle to aid you.Why: The DecisionI chose Ultima because when I first started playing the game, I looked through a friend's Final Fantazy XII artbook and saw Ultima under the summons pages. I said “Now that would be an insane cosplay...” and my friend quickly replied “Oh you should totally do that!” Out of lack of better judgment, I impulsively agreed. Consequently, my friend did not allow me to back out of my claim and I followed through. I had been looking for a challenging costume to create for the next convention, and when I looked at Ultima I found the perfect balance. Though an avid fan of the Final Fantasy series, I did not find Final Fantasy XII a typical "great masterpiece" that Square Enix tends to produce. I picked Ultima for its artistic and detailed design, not out of passion for the game. What: The ProcessI started working on the costume summer of '07 by making the dress in a span of 3 weeks. Then during a week-long break in February, I managed to build the rest. I slept for about 7 hours then worked the rest of the day on the costume with minimal breaks in order to complete it in less than 7 days. I ordered 4000 feathers online and dyed them different colors (acid dye) by hand, then hot glued them one by one to 6 PVC pipe and buckram structures, which was attached to a 6 way pvc coupling skeleton on a square of plexi glass, then it all attached to my back (20 lbs, ouch!) supported by a corset.The "castle", or box-like thing, was made from cabinet backing, painted and then put on 4 wheels to cart me around. I stood on 6 inch platforms to give myself more height. In total, I stood about 10 feet tall or so. The gloves were painted, and I used paper cups from my college dining hall to make the cylinder shape.By far the most challenging aspect of this costume was building the helmet. The helmet was structured out of wire form, then I caked in bondo which is like liquid fiberglass used for repairing dents in cars. Then clay, paper mache, gesso, fun foam, and paint shaped and completed the helmet. It weighed about 10 pounds, and wearing it was quite painful. The process involved working with a lot of toxic chemicals, acquiring new burns and scars, and performing a lot of tedious work. While trying to be as economical as possible, the total cost rounded up to about $400. Throughout the entire creation of this costume, I received generous amounts of help from my friends. “Team Ultima” helped me to construct much of the costume and helped fix my mess-ups and give me moral support. They also acted as my body guards from crowds of over 1000 people while at the convention, and were of immeasurable importance in the completion of this project. I sincerely thank you Team Ultima, I love you, and you know who you are. Where and When: The DebutThe debut of this costume was at Anime Boston 2008. At the time, I did not have the resources or the connections to stage a photoshoot, so I just had my friends take pictures of me in their backyard. In retrospect, I wish I had taken the effort to arrange a professional photoshoot to justly capture the amount of effort put into this costume, but it is what is.Links: The CosplayerI have a cosplay.com account under the username and I also have a DeviantArt account The Gallery
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