This week in my video game class we are talking about modern video games, the last 15 years or so of gaming. This includes the PS2, GameCube, Xbox, and Dreamcast, all the way through the current generation of consoles. Each lecture I like to dress up as something appropriate to that day’s topics. Usually I just wear a video game related t-shirt, but occasionally I wear a costume to keep things interesting.
My costume for this lecture: Roxas from the Kingdom Hearts series. If you don’t know who Roxas is, let me explain. Kingdom Hearts is a series of video games that features one of the oddest crossovers in video game history: Final Fantasy characters with Disney characters. There are creatures called the Heartless who are out to steal peoples’ hearts so that they can unlock Kingdom Hearts, the ultimate power. The Heartless travel through various Disney worlds, like the Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Alice in Wonderland, etc., to steal hearts.
This gets confusing, but at the end of the first game, the main character, Sora, had his heart taken and was turned into a heartless. Kingdom Hearts II reveals that when this happens, a “nobody” is created, a sort of mirror-self. Roxas is Sora’s Nobody (his name is just a recombination of Sora’s name with an X added).
Making the costume
On the surface, Roxas’ costume is pretty easy (at least, it is not as complicated as JRPG characters usually are). But it took lots of work over several months to get all the pieces in order.
The jacket was a thrift store find modified by my mom. We added the red and black fabric to the collar and sleeves, then added the checked ribbon for the detail. The jacket doesn’t fit perfectly: ideally it should be slimmer, but it worked.
The vets was pretty simple. We found a black fleece vest that I wore under the jacket. Ideally, this vest should have been made of a lighter, less stifling material: fleece isn’t really suited for Florida weather (and it was hot that day!). The zipper is my favorite part. For some reason Roxas has a throwing star for a zipper: he doesn’t actually use throwing stars in the game, nor is he a ninja. At first I thought I would have to use real throwing stars, and I worried I would cut myself. But then I found rubber plastic throwing stars. I painted it grey and affixed it with a black wire.
The pants were the most difficult part for me. Roxas has two-toned pants that have strange detail on the connection: the two fabrics are just connected straight across. I modified an old pair of shorts and added khaki leggings from a pair of pants I found at the thrift store. The hand-sewing isn’t the greatest, but it’s serviceable. The darker spots on the thighs are from pockets that were removed.
Roxas also has some simple accessories on his left hand: a checkered wristband and two “rings.” These were easy to make.
Wearing a wig was new for me. I found a Roxas wig from Light in the Box for a good price. I styled it using lots of hair gel and spray (stuff that claimed would “glue” the hair in place). I found some hair styling tutorials for Roxas on YouTube. The spikes were pretty stiff at first and lasted most of the day.
Finally, the Keyblade. The Keyblade is a weapon used to defeat the Heartless and seal up worlds. My dad helped me over Christmas with the woodwork. It’s not perfect, but it doesn’t look too bad from a distance.
The key chain is probably my favorite part. I attached it with chain links that can be screwed apart: maybe I’ll use this key chain for my car keys!
In the end, a successful, moderately budgeted cosplay. I would do a lot of things differently if I made it again, but this worked for my purposes.