NEW Cosplay: Black Orchid from Killer Instinct

Orchid was always my preferred fighter whenever I played Killer Instinct. This game holds a very dear place in my heart as it was one of the only games we owned growing up in a lower-income family. I first picked up the title at the entirely too early age of 11 before the days of game-ratings, but I turned out okay. I love the bright colors, silly storylines, and cheesy internet memes that have spoofed from this classic title. My particular favorite came as a result of the 2008 election:

Orchid has been on my to-cosplay list for years, and shortly after I started this project in May, E3 announced the new Killer Instinct game for Xbox One! I was totally flipping out as I thought we would never see another KI game since the title hasn't really tried to keep up with rival titles over the years. It was certainly a great motivator to finish this costume in time for DragonCon, and although not many people recognized who I was, the few that did appreciated the throwback to a classic fighting game.

Killer InstinctKiller Instinct 2

Most Orchid cosplayers make her KI2 version or modify her original outfit to make it more flattering, but I chose to be completely faithful to Orchid's KI version. Her original outfit with the cheesy "HOT" torso lettering will always be the image that pops into my head when someone references her. In fact, the "HOT" lettering applique is the portion of this costume I am particularly proud of as it took a lot of controlled sewing to get it right.

I drafted all of my own patterns and made everything from scratch on this cosplay. I took creative liberties for parts of this costume since the original sprite didn't have enough detail to translate the character to real life, but fortunately Nintendo Power made a Killer Instinct edition forever ago. The comic helped to answer a couple of questions, such as the exact shape of her sword bases. In KI2, she just has tonfas, but in the original KI her sword bases were different.

In total this costume took 2 weeks from start to finish. I hand-sewed my gloves, made her sword bases on a lathe and added ABS plastic accents, styled the wig for 4 hours, and made bootcovers. Of all the different parts to make of this costume, the bootcovers were the most difficult and time-consuming part. One part of the boots I am particularly proud of are her silver batteries. I used my architecture-powers to model them out in AutoCAD then 3D printed them out.

Finally, it wasn't enough for me to have a faithful costume, but I wanted to really nail the look. I played with different make-up styles, got blue doll-eye contacts, but the most important thing to get right was the wig. I spent about 4 hours styling my Orchid wig to make sure it had her squiggly bangs. I used to think she had on a cool helmet as a kid with the way her hair was shaped, but they were just really intense early 90's styling.

Thank you for reading about my experience in cosplaying one of my favorite deadly ladies! If you are curious to see more of my cosplay work, here is my very actively updated Facebook: Kapalaka.

I would love to hear your thoughts on all Killer Instinct related topics, so feel free to drop a line below! :D Share your favorite team or some of your SUPREME VICTORIES!

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NEW cosplay - Poison Ivy from Batman (Bruce Timm variant)

Poison Ivy was a dream-costume of mine ever since I was seven. I caught Batman: The Animated Series every Saturday morning on WB and weekday afternoons on Cartoon Network. I was fascinated with the world Bruce Timm and Paul Dini created and especially enjoyed episodes featuring her. She is an ambitious and strong-willed woman with a passion for what she thinks is right and I can't help but respect that despite her fanatical intentions. "Pretty Poison" was my favorite episode, and is the inspiration for the photo above. In one episode, we combine almost all of my loves: flowers, perfumes, and killer make-up. (Haha, and in the episode, it was literal.)

In late October/early November I flew up to Chicago for a field trip (for those of you new to my blog, I am a grad architecture student). I expressed my desire to have a Batman themed photoshoot in Chicago to QueenRiot and she made arrangements with a local photographer, pbjstudios, to make it happen. QueenRiot is the Catwoman pictured above, and she also brought along Peachykiki to be our Harley. My vision was to have us all posing with the Chicago skyline in the background since Chicago is the city that most resembles Gotham to me, but unfortunately it was too cold and this was not a possibility for any of the participants. Pbjstudios was nice enough to open up his studio to us to make this shoot happen. Thank you, Joe! :D

These last few photos were taken at Dragon*Con 2012. I had a wonderful time at the convention and look forward to cosplaying Poison Ivy in the future. The next time I don this costume I aim to have her wrist crossbow. I am dead-set on making it out of styrene but have been too lazy to pattern it out thus far, but the next DragonCon isn't until September so there is plenty of time.

If you would like to see more of my cosplay work, check out my other blog entries or my Facebook page: Kapalaka

Q: So who was your favorite Batman: TAS villain? Comment below! :D


Cosplay Update! Terra Branford of Final Fantasy III (or 6. or 3.)

She was on my list for years and years, and as soon as Kevin mentioned how much he loved Edgar's character, we dove into making these costumes. It wasn't hard for me to fall in love with Terra's character with as diplomatic as she is. I particularly enjoyed when she stood up for herself and watched over the orphans when she was tired of being pressured into decisions.

I bent wire and made jewelry, dyed fabrics and leather, and even stamped leather. It was a medley of new skills being put to the test, but anything for my favorite Final Fantasy protagonist. My favorite part of the costume, however, is the wig. Ever since Dissidia came out, almost all Terra cosplayers now use ash blonde wigs to follow suit with that design, but Terra will always have seafoam hair for me like the original sprite. I styled the bangs up in a cartoonish style like the menu icon and blasted it into place with Got2B hairspray glue. FYI, if you ever need to spike your hair and need crazy good hold, that's the stuff to use.

Sometimes I like to replay games while I make costumes, and such was the case for FF6. I started to get ideas for a comedy cosplay skit and jotted down a couple of jokes. I ran them by Kevin and we decided to go for it. Here is the result of our efforts: King Edgar's Final Fantasy "tactics."

Written by myself, myself as Terra, Kevin as Edgar, Sam as Ultros.


Musings on Hakuouki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom

I was browsing at my local GameStop and picked this up because I liked the art style and thought I would give this a chance. I expected a smash-and-bash set to historical Japan but oooooh was I in for something different. Also, I was highly impressed by GameStop's customer service. The clerk upgraded my copy of Hakuouki to the collector's edition free of charge, and I walked out with a sweet and beautifully printed artbook and the game's OST.

After the first "chapter" was completed, I grew concerned that I still hadn't fought any bosses or killed anything. So I went online and researched, turns out this game is a bishounen dating sym! I felt a little tricked because the cover made no indication of it, and I was baffled that a small company like Aksys Games would take the risk releasing something like this in the US, but I am glad they did. I absolutely LOVE this series and have since watched all things related to Hakuouki and want more. The story was excellent and gripping and each character's personality was developed with incredible depth.

Hakuouki is very different from the typical games I play: Final Fantasies, Parasite Eve, Odin Sphere, Muramasa, etc. I just couldn't put it down. After I completed the story on the first play-through in what I dub "honest mode," I went back and filled in all of the other blanks for the other character's stories. In some stories the romances were very heavily a part of the plots, and in others it took a backseat. The writers did a great job providing variety and text options to give the player options. Though this game is targeted towards women, the storyline is so good that I could picture a guy enjoying it. In fact, my boyfriend got sucked in watching me play through it and we ended up watching the anime together.


NEW COSTUME: Margaery Tyrell from Game of Thrones(S2)

Welp! It didn't take long for me to deviate from a strictly-video game cosplay blog. Who cares, though, lol. Gamers can appreciate good TV and movies, so meh.

I refused to cosplay Game of Thrones until I was completely in love with a character. I like Dany and Jon Snow of course, but not enough to put forth the effort to make a costume. Fortunately Margaery Tyrell came along in season 2 and I was SOLD! She is witty and cunning and best of all, her character is played by Natalie Dormer, my current favorite actress. The costume was simple to make and was completed in two days! I would still prefer to go back and add textural details to the vest, but for now I am happy with it.

The rest of the photos are very in-character from the series and contain spoilers, so you might want to refrain from seeing them if you are not caught up on Season 2.

Best part of wearing Margaery: getting my cosplay put on I felt so flattered when I got home and was linked to it by friends! I am not sure which of her other outfits I'll make in the future, but I look forward to the new outfits in Season 3 come March 31st of 2013!

Thanks for reading, everyone!


NEW COSTUME: Yuzuruha of Muramasa - also makin' a VG cosplayblog

Hey everyone!

Thanks for the growing support to my cosplay blog, it's really awesome to see how welcoming of cosplayers the giantbomb community is. I decided to turn this casual blog into a cosplay blog of video game characters I've done and I feel it is something more people on here would be able to relate to. A little bit of background about myself, I have been gaming since a wee grade schooler starting off on classics like Killer Instinct, Sonic, and SuperMarioWorld, then in middle school I was absolutely smitten with Parasite Eve. Ever since then I have been a SquareSoft/Final Fantasy junkie, at least until they merged with Enix and killed everything I loved. These days I find that obscure ATLUS games like Muramasa, Odin Sphere, and Catherine intrigue me. Unfortunately grad school keeps me from gaming as much as I would like to, but I have been known to blow off homework to satisfy my cravings. Nice to meet you all!

Now that that's covered, I recently traveled to Atlanta to attend Dragon*Con and debuted a new costume: Yuzuruha from ATLUS's Muramasa: The Demon Blade. For those of you unfamiliar with what cosplay is, it is the act of making costumes and props in order to create 3-D fanart and show homage to your favorite shows/characters/series.

photo by bentpic5. Dragon*Con 2012

I thoroughly enjoyed Muramasa, from the stunning artwork to the beautifully composed music. Perhaps it is my partiality to older games that makes me not mind the fact that it is a 2-D side-scroller, but I had a hard time putting it down. Fairly certain I collected all of the blades in a week for both Momohime AND Kisuke. After I completed the game, I knew I had to cosplay my favorite character, Yuzuruha. I especially enjoyed her scene in the hot springs with Kisuke, total nosebleeds. I love me some sultry foxes! <3

In all it took me about a week and a half to complete this costume. I made the shoes by sandwiching wood together and taking it to a belt-sander until the shape was perfect. It was a lot of work and my knuckles are still on the way to recovery after brushing with the belt-sander a couple of times, but a game this well-made deserves to be cosplayed.

If you would like to know more about the construction process of this costume, please check out my progress folder on Facebook.

Thanks for reading, everyone!


New Cosplay completed! Super Sailor Mars from Sailor Moon S

Sailor Mars was the first anime character I fell in love with. My sister and I watched Sailor Moon daily before school and the series is very dear to me because of it. I always avoided sailor scout outfits out of fear of messing up, so I researched as much as I could before attempting Mars. I completed this costume in time for Otakon 2012. My favorite moments in this costume were in realizing that a lot of men are surprisingly into Sailor Moon! As I passed by some tough looking thugs who were not Ota-attendees, one of the guys called out to me "MARS! Uh UHHH!!! I GOTTA TAKE A PHOTO WITH MY GIRL, MARS!" He excitedly handed his phone to his friend and we posed for a few photos.

I entered a cosplay contest with Mars because it was a lot of technical sewing and other skills, and to my delight, I won Best in Show! (1st place.) Here I am with a friend screwing around with the trophy. lol We discovered the base of it was the same shape as Superman's logo.

I also had the pleasure of working with EBK Photography and K. Walker for a few photoshoots as my favorite senshi gal. Here are the results of our combined efforts.

If you'd like to know more information about how I constructed this, please read the description here.

Thanks for reading, everyone! :D


Vote for my Katherine cosplay, please? :D <3

Hey friends! <3

ATLUS is currently holding their character look-alike contest and I entered my Katherine costume from "Catherine" pictured below.

The winners are chosen by popular vote, so I'll need your help to get there! :D ATLUS chose to count voting through a Facebook application, so all you have to do is install the vote-counting app then click "Vote Now" on my entry located here.

Yay!! Good luck to everyone!


Katherine McBride Cosplay

Katherine McBride Cosplay

Tada! Here is my own cosplay of Katherine, from the newly realeased (at least in the US) Catherine game by ATLUS. I loved Katherine's design from the moment they announced Catherine. I waited to cosplay her until after I played it through to see if I liked the character, and I did. Though I like how liberal Catherine was, I related to Katherine more. She's serious, driven, and classy, and career-oriented. If only she was a little less naggy, though.

We picked up a cupcake similar to the one Katherine stabs in the game and used the strawberries to represent both girls and Vincent. It was even more amazing to find that the cupcake's filling was ruby red, so we used that to our advantage for some horror-inspired shots. I hope you all enjoy these photos as much as we did creating them! :D
Love is Over for now, everyone. Til next time!