Video Game Cosplayers

The Chicago area has a strong community of cosplayers that bring their favorite video game characters to life. Last Word on Gaming had the opportunity to interview a few of the incredibly talented cosplayers from the area. Here you can learn a bit about them, and the incredible effort they put into their respective costumes.

Video Game Cosplayers in the Chicago Area

Fortune Lady Cosplay – Hilda Valentine Goneril –  Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Video Game Cosplayer Fortune Lady Cosplay Hilda Valentine Goneril -  Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Photo Credit – Crystal Gonzalez

Last Word on Gaming – What Drew You to the Character and Inspired You to Cosplay the Character?

“In fall of 2019, I got obsessed with Fire Emblem Three Houses and knew I wanted to cosplay one of the characters because the time skip designs for the students are just so fantastic! I already had a fondness for Hilda as she was one of my strongest characters, always tearing up the battlefield with her axe proficiency and annoyance at everyone. I enjoyed the dichotomy of her very feminine design and her overwhelming strength ability, so I put her on my list of future projects. In the Spring of 2020, I was quarantined in a dorm and decided to start the ambitious project with my suddenly large amount of free time.”

Last Word on Gaming – What Was The Creative and Build Process Like? How Did the Costume Come Together?

“Building Hilda was a bit of a challenge, both technically and emotionally. On the technical side, I was creating countless homemade patterns to achieve the different aspects of the cosplay (the puff sleeves took a few tries!) I was also attempting a lot of techniques for the first time. I had never fully styled a wig before, much less made one from scratch! The wig took three iterations to achieve what I wanted. Seeing myself improve and learn each time was incredibly satisfying.”

“Emotionally, I went through a lot during the year while building Hilda. I went several months at a time not working on her due to low motivation and pandemic-related fun times. It makes me so proud to see that I finally finished my most complex cosplay even after leaving it half-finished at multiple points. This project gave me something to focus on and a way to create something beautiful in a hellish year.”

Video Game Cosplayer Fortune Lady Cosplay Hilda Valentine Goneril -  Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Photo Credit – Beyond the Lens Photography 

Last Word on Gaming – Are You Planning Another Video Game Costume?

“Of course! My eyes work faster than my hands, so I have an ever-increasing list of projects I want to start on! My top projects that I’m juggling in my mind are Xion from Kingdom Hearts, Chiaki Nanami from Danganronpa 2, and Mimikyu from Pokémon.”

You can keep with Fortune Lady Cosplay and other Chicago video game cosplayers on Instagram.

Rogue Heart Cosplay – Aloy – Horizon Zero Dawn / Lara Croft – Shadow of the Tomb Raider 

Video Game Cosplayer Rogue Heart Cosplay - Aloy - Horizon Zero Dawn
Photo Credit – Infinity Spiral Photography 
Video Game Cosplayer Rogue Heart Cosplay - Lara Croft - Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Photo Credit – GCR Photography 

Last Word on Gaming – What Drew You to the Character and Inspired You to Cosplay the Character?

Aloy

Aloy’s boldness, intelligence, strength, and wicked costume design were what initially drew me to cosplay her. She was a character I could relate to. It felt so nice to see a bit of myself represented in such a breathtaking game. Horizon Zero Dawn is exactly my cup of tea with a beautiful post-apocalyptic world to explore, dynamic combat against deadly machines, and a surprisingly sentimental story. Plus, who doesn’t want flaming red hair and a super-charged bow and arrows? Overall her story and visual design were the perfect mix to draw me in, and she’s still one of my all-time favorite characters.”

Video Game Cosplayer Rogue Heart Cosplay - Aloy - Horizon Zero Dawn
Photo Credit – Infinity Spiral Photography
Lara 

“Shadow of the Tomb Raider was my introduction to the series. I still plan to play the rest of the reboot trilogy! For me it was fun to play a game that was different from my normal genres of fantasy and post-apocalyptic RPGs. So, I decided that creating a Lara Croft cosplay would also be a great way to push my creative boundaries and do something new. Even though it’s not her most iconic look, Lara’s Shadow of the Tomb Raider outfit is just downright cool, and so is her character. She has some of the most badass moments I’ve seen in a video game. That really convinced me to start making her costume.”

Last Word on Gaming – What Was The Creative and Build Process Like? How Did the Costume Come Together?

Aloy 

“I mainly play open-world RPGs and fell in love with Horizon Zero Dawn and Aloy as soon as I saw the first teaser trailer. So, after the release date was announced I gathered my materials and got to work. This was my very first cosplay back in 2017. Meaning there was a lot of trial and error involved throughout the process. I barely knew how to sew, much less make clothing patterns and armor. So I found a lot of guidance through tutorials on Tumblr and YouTube. I can still feel the pride I experienced each time I completed another piece of her costume, my favorite being the embroidered skirt panels. I love the contrast of high-tech armor components mixed with natural-looking materials. It was gratifying to watch everything slowly come together.”

“About a year after making her outfit (around 2018), I decided to make one of Aloy’s weapons to go along with it. This was also my first time making a foam prop, so I went with her spear since it seemed more straightforward than a huge bow.  I used a clear PVC pipe, EVA foam, spray sealant, paint, and some LED and EL wire lights to make it glow! It ended up being nearly as tall as I am and turned out even better than I hoped.”

“In summer of 2021, four years after I finished the initial cosplay I was inspired to finally try and tackle Aloy’s bow and arrows. Using nearly the same materials as her spear with a bit more experience under my belt, I once again gathered reference photos and went to work. In order to make it sturdy while still accommodating the complex shapes, I used a combination of EVA foam, 3D modeling/printing, and wooden dowels for the structure. Since her bow is so detailed I also took a small amount of creative liberty to make my life a little bit easier. I’d like to think that just makes it unique! Altogether it took around 150 hours to create her outfit. 40 hours to make the spear, and another 40 hours to make the bow and arrows.”

Lara

“I made my Lara Croft cosplay as a way to get back into the creative groove after taking a couple of months off from crafting. I knew her costume would challenge me to learn new skills, and that it would be extremely fun to make the entire thing look dirty and mud-soaked once it was done.”

“Since her outfit is a lot of normal-looking clothing, I modified a few thrifted items for the pants and shoes. I still made her tank top from scratch since it has such a unique look. I created a pattern using reference photos and previous pattern-drafting knowledge. It ended up being one of the most difficult things I’ve ever sewed. While her shirt looks deceptively simple, stretch fabrics can be hard to work with. Especially when sewing together very thin pieces of different materials. Aside from the clothing, I also got to make a few weapon props to go along with it. The makeshift knife, climbing axe, and bow were all made of EVA foam, and I can’t pick a favorite! In total, I spent around 115 hours working on the whole cosplay.”

Video Game Cosplayer Rogue Heart Cosplay - Lara Croft - Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Photo Credit – Rogue Heart Cosplay

Last Word on Gaming – Are You Planning Another Video Game Costume?

“Yes! All the cosplays I make are from video games, and right now I’m working on a costume of Amicia de Rune from A Plague Tale Innocence. After that, I plan to make another Aloy costume once Horizon Forbidden West comes out next year!”

You can keep with Rouge Heart Cosplay and other Chicago video game cosplayers on Instagram and Twitter.

Sketches.Cosplays – Delsin Rowe – inFAMOUS Second Son

Video Game Cosplayer sketches.cosplays - Delsin Rowe - inFAMOUS Second Son
Photo Credit – @the_dark_suburbaknight 

Last Word on Gaming – What Drew You to the Character and Inspired You to Cosplay the Character?

“I felt a connection to Delsin from his artist, graffiti artist side of the character. His attitude is very much punk and rebellious. Given the choices you can make in the game, he does what feels right.”

Last Word on Gaming – What Was The Creative and Build Process Like? How Did the Costume Come Together?

“The build process was long and somewhat irritating 4 months of work. Most of the issues were finding the pins, patches, and clothing for the character, but nonetheless fun. It’s the first cosplay I had to put together.”

“The most fun part of the vest was spending 6 hours cutting out a stencil and painting the twin crows on the back. The costume is still receiving upgrades as I continue to wear him. Eventually, I will have strips of lights on my arms to emulate one of four abilities that become available in the game.”

Video Game Cosplayer sketches.cosplays - Delsin Rowe - inFAMOUS Second Son
Photo Credit – @erikjawsphoto

Last Word on Gaming – Are You Planning Another Video Game Costume?

“I’m planning on doing both versions of the Batman Batsuits from the Telltale game franchise.”

You can keep up with Sketches.Cosplays and other Chicago video game cosplayers on Instagram.

Nekomance – Sylvanas Windrunner – World of Warcraft

Chicago Area Video Game Cosplayer Nekomance
Photo Credit  – Ruffshots Photography

Last Word on Gaming – What Drew You to the Character and Inspired You to Cosplay the Character?

“I love playing WoW and I really loved Sylvanas as a character (before Battle of Azeroth when the writers dropped the ball on her in my opinion). She was calculating she worked in the shadows, but you could tell she had so much love for the Forsaken and she was fundamentally a very tragic figure. Her design was cool to me. Especially her Warchief design from Legion onwards. I liked that it was a more elevated version of an “Armor Bikini”.”

Last Word on Gaming – What Was The Creative and Build Process Like? How Did the Costume Come Together?

“I did buy this cosplay secondhand from another cosplayer, but I ended up modifying it. I added the corset so it made it more similar to the Warchief version from Legion. This also saved me the trouble of having to put body paint all over my torso. I changed the strapping/attachments too. and repainted the armor to be more metallic and cover any damage it had suffered between cons and transportation. I also had to use body paint when I wore it at Acen which was quite an experience, I wore contacts too. A step I normally skip, but I feel like capturing her piercing gaze was important.”

Chicago Area Video Game Cosplayer Nekomance
Photo Credit – Erik Jaws Photo

Last Word on Gaming – Are You Planning Another Video Game Costume?

“Yes! This was far from my last or first video game costume. I’m currently working on finishing Zero Suit Samus’s accessories-her paralyzer, bracers, and jet boots.”

You can keep with Nekomance and other Chicago video game cosplayers on Instagram and Facebook.

Llyrion Cosplay – Little Sister – Bioshock / Alice Liddell – American McGee’s Alice: Asylum 

Chicago Area Video Game Cosplayer Llyrion
Photo Credit – Natgreystar edited by Llyrion
Chicago Area Video Game Cosplayer Llyrion
Photo Credit – Natgreystar edited by Llyrion

Last Word on Gaming – What Drew You to the Character and Inspired You to Cosplay the Character?

Little Sister 

“I’ve always loved the Bioshock series and find the costume and props for the Little Sister character the most interesting. I’d never worked with lighting elements before and wanted to push my prop making skills.”

American McGee 

“I loved the first two installments of American McGee’s Alice games and came across the concept art for their upcoming Alice: Asylum game. I loved Omri Koresh’s art for the Denial Dress Alice wears in the Circus level. The dichotomy between the beauty of the front of the dress and the horror of the back of the dress was so intriguing. This cosplay also contained a number of crafting techniques I had never tried before and I love learning new things.”

Chicago Area Video Game Cosplayer Llyrion
Photo Credit – Natgreystar edited by Llyrion

Last Word on Gaming – What Was The Creative and Build Process Like? How Did the Costume Come Together?

Little Sister 

“I started with the dress and altering a few different dress patterns to create what you see in the game. The apron I had to create from scratch as there really aren’t existing patterns that look like that. I then hand painted the blood and dirt using watered down acrylic paints. The syringe base is an actual vintage gas pump that I added 3d printed elements to. All the wiring for the lights is stored inside the gas pump with the switch located in the handle. Once everything was put together, I airbrushed a base coat and then did the weathering by hand. There’s actual liquid inside the glass container since the light itself didn’t give me the look I wanted. It’s actually a Christmas body wash as that was the only thing I could find that was the right color red.”

Chicago Area Video Game Cosplayer Llyrion
Photo Credit – Natgreystar edited by Llyrion
American McGee 

“I started with the dress and mixing together a number of dress patterns to create the dress shape I was looking for. I had to create the apron and shoulder patterns myself, as I couldn’t find any existing ones that matched the art. All the blue ribbon details and the shapes on the apron pockets were hand sewn and took the longest amount of time. (I don’t think my fingertips will ever recover). I then had to destroy the back of the dress and did so by using a heat gun to literally burn and melt the bow, underskirt, and dress. The skulls, shoulder medallions, and Vorpal Blade were 3d modeled by my partner, then 3d printed, sanded, finished, and painted by me. This was one of my most complex cosplay builds to date but I’m very happy with how everything turned out.”

Last Word on Gaming – Are You Planning Another Video Game Costume?

“I’m correctly working on both a Denial Alice design, from American McGee’s Alice Asylum. My next cosplay will be an artist’s interpretation of Princess Peach that I’m hoping to have completed by C2E2.”

You can keep with Llyrion and other Chicago video game cosplayers on Instagram and Etsy.

Keeping Up With Video Game Cosplayers and More 

Stay tuned to Last Word on Gaming for more cosplay content. Check out the LWOG Discord Server and connect with fellow readers.

Check out my own cosplay at ArcticBlastCosplay and the wrestling articles I write for LWOPW here.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here