Armor up and focus fire

Why videogaming cosplayers are the epitome of serious fun

Text: Tiny Diapana
Images: Ernest Diño

THOUGH it’s not exactly the same as winning a match or making play of the game, cosplaying videogame characters can also offer a whole lot of satisfaction to the creative gamer.

It’s a different kind of game that challenges gamers to work on their craftsmanship and creativity and build their confidence. Not only does it take a certain level of skill to be able to craft head-turning props, armor and costumes, but it also takes a lot of guts to bring the character to life. There’s nothing easy about working on a costume for months and then putting the stuffy thing on while being grilled under the cheeky Cebuano sun while keeping in character.

Now, suiting up in their armor, six local videogamers show Cebu what their cosplay is made of in a wickedly cool photoshoot for SunStar Weekend.

Narlyn Dura
Cosplay Hero
Mortred the Phantom Assassin from Dota 2

Narlyn-Dura

Costume Breakdown

Top and pants are cosplayer’s own black basics. Helm, body armor, and shoulder, arm, and leg guards are made of rubber foam, faux leather and yarn thread. Cape sewed from cloth thrifted from fabric store. The main weapon is made out of rubber foam, foam board and plywood while the daggers are made of rubber foam, paper, and faux leather. Shoes are flats covered with black socks.

Cosplayer Bio

Narlyn started cosplaying on February 2014 during Otakufest 7, a cosplay event which was conveniently held at UP Cebu, the university where she studied as a BFA Studio Arts student and graduated Cum Laude. Back then, she cosplayed as Lanaya the Templar Assassin from the game Dota 2.

Though Narlyn rarely plays the game nowadays because of personal responsibilities, she still finds herself following the Dota professional gaming scene. What attracts her to Dota are its lore, the heroes’ character designs and the overall unexpectedness of the game itself.

She’s always preferred Dota 2 heroes for her cosplays because she likes cosplaying characters that are uncommon but still recognizable. Dota 2 cosplays are a rare find and it makes her happy whenever people tell her they have always wanted to see her cosplay during Cebu conventions.

Leonille Lavador
Cosplay Hero
Green Dragon Set from Dragon Nest

Leonille Lavador (left)

Costume Breakdown

Entire costume was crafted with air foam, loads of super glue and a ton of patience.

Cosplayer Bio

An incoming fourth year BS IT student at USC, Leonille began cosplaying during her first year in high school. She was a huge fan of anime and videogames and really wanted to be surrounded by others who felt the same way. Her cosplay stints back then were sporadic, but she recently became more active in the community in 2016.

This young cosplayer loves to play MMORPG games however, they are really time-consuming. Because Leonille needs to prioritize her studies, she just keeps to FPS or MOBA games because they’re intense but at the same time short enough for casual gaming.

Leonille prefers cosplaying RPG game characters like the one featured in the shoot taken from Dragon Nest because she admires the design of their costumes and armors. She’s also pretty careful to select designs that aren’t excessively revealing.

Jelisha Bacong
Cosplay Hero
Windranger from Dota 2

Jelisha Baconga (right)

Costume Breakdown

Costume is made generally up of scuba and spandex cloths sewn together by a seamstress in Lapu-Lapu City. The parts made of rubber/EVA and craft foam were put together using hot air gun, contact cement, epoxy and the finished with acrylic paint and vanish. The costume also includes a long and wavy orange wig.

Cosplayer Bio

A graduate of USC and Pilgrim Christian College, Jelisha works as an Accountant. She started cosplaying back in 2009 during college, saving up portions of her allowance to cosplay at least once a year. Her first cosplay was Rurouni Kenshin’s Misao during Otakufest 3.0 at UP Cebu.

There was a time when she was really into RAN Online back in college, drawn in by its pacing and gameplay. Jelisha once cosplayed her RAN character as a tribute back in 2015. However, she now prefers cosplaying Dota heroes. Not only does she like the game and its characters but she also finds cosplaying the characters rather manageable in terms of craftsmanship detail and finances. She also enjoys that the costumes are comfortable to wear, but not too plain.

Ganzai DC
Cosplay Hero
Anti-Mage from Dota 2

Ganzai DC

Costume Break Down

Materials used were rubber foam spray paint emulsion and evo band.The armor costume was first printed and then copied by Project One. It took a lot of time and patience making the costume because Project One handcrafts instead of using pepakura and 3D Printing.

Cosplayer Bio

Ganzai is a props maker by profession at Project One Weapon Armor. He started cosplaying way back in November 2012 when he was high school and his first cosplay was Raven from the game Elsword. He began cosplaying because he was inspired to become like the characters he found in videogames he played or anime series he watched.

Dota is Ganzai’s favorite game and he enjoys cosplaying Dota the most. His favorite character is Anti-Mage. He finds that spell shield greatly increases Anti-Mage’s magic resistance allowing him to sustain more damage from enemy. Role Carry/ Escape/Nuker — these characteristics make Anti-Mage a fighter.

Mark Gonzaga
Cosplay Hero
Silencer from Dota 2

Mark Gonzaga

Costume Breakdown

The helmet, shield, glaive, gauntlets, and shoulder guard plates are all armor made of rubber foam. Rubber foam is suitable since it can be cut, heated and molded into different forms and shapes.

After the parts have been formed, it was then coated with layers of acrylic emulsion in preparation for paint application to gloss and smooth out the porous surface of the rubber foam. Finally, acrylic paint of various colors was applied to the parts. Other materials used in the costume include leather and various cloths.

Cosplayer Bio

Mark is an associate software engineer who graduated from USC. He started cosplaying after being invited to join the Avater cosplay group during ARCHCon 2015 where he was asked to cosplay Mako.

Mark’s always enjoyed online games growing up. Right now, his focus is on Dota 2, a game that he enjoys because of the need for strategy and teamwork.

He also loves the game because he can keep coming back to the game after week or month-long gaming hiatuses without really missing out too much. Mark finds it a really good game for his work and studies.

Dota 2 is his choice game to cosplay not only because he knows the game and its characters well, but also because he finds crafting the complex costumes rewarding.

Joebert Cimafranca
Cosplay Hero
Jace Beleren from Magic The Gathering

Joebert Cimafranca

Costume Breakdown

Blueprints of costume were drafted by the cosplayer and then tailored by a seamstress. Fun fact, the blueprint for this piece has been downloaded over a thousand times around the world. Accessories were self-made by foam layering, adding velcro and have a good paint finish at the end.

Now that he has a sewing machine however Joebert can hand-sew, craft weapons and armor of other costumes.

Cosplayer Bio

Joebert doesn’t make cosplay choices based on the game but instead on the character. He needs his characters to be relatable. They should have personalities that draw him in and stories that helps him root for them.

A graduate of USC-TC, this graphic designer began cosplaying characters out of curiosity after joining a group cosplay competition back in Otakufest 2009 which was held in UP Cebu.

Joebert enjoys any game that challenges him — games with good mechanics, great design coupled with stunning visuals and an engaging story. He likes Fighting, Real-Time Strategy, MOBA and trading card games like Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Capcom, DMC, Kingdom Hearts, League of Legends, Magic the Gathering, Overwatch and more.

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