5 Reasons I like Classic Lara

In order to be fair, this is a response blogpost to my previous one detailing '5 Reasons why I like Reboot Lara'; if you haven't read it yet the link is the blogpost title you've just read. I made that one because the poor girl gets a bit hate and I personally quite like the overall design and embedded game play elements in her design. However, I grew up with classic Lara, starting with my Saturn and progressing onward with secondhand copies on PC (when it actually ran!). So naturally, I like elements of that version too! This isn't about one version verses the other in a battle to the death with the 'true' Lara reigning supreme; nah, I don't have much time or patience for that...

So here are five reasons why I like classic Lara:

1. Wit and humour
Lara certainly had some corkers of lines during the classic period and all revolved around a good dose of British humour. Being witty in the face of danger altered the power dynamics between her and her enemy. It made sure the Lara could demonstrate her dignified control over a situation. It doesn't come across quite as wisecracking as Nathan Drake does in the Uncharted series, which overall just makes those moments feel all the sweeter.

2. Simplicity in design
In the previous blogpost, I suggested that I like the overall design of reboot Lara because as a cosplayer, it is more interesting to create and more comfortable to wear. However, the turquoise, brown and gold colour pallet is iconic to the character of Lara. Boobs aside, the simplicity is what makes it special and it came across well with the technology of the time. Even when new outfits were used in subsequent titles, the simplicity remained which helped to create the perception of Lara; rather than being distracted by clothing design. Something I found quite jarring in Legend from both the designs and the amount of clothing options that were presented.

3. Duel Pistols
We cannot talk about classic Lara without mentioning the pièce de résistance that was her duel pistols. It felt great wielding unlimited ammo pistols before moving on to other more powerful firearms such as the desert eagles. Okay, so it was very unrealistic to be able to duel wield (watch this fantastic video from Ahoy who goes into the history and logistics of duel wielding in video games) and damn, do those holster not make sense in a real world setting. Yet, they were perfect to fit into Lara's design. 

4. Being a lady, doing it for herself.

I'll admit; I am not a fan of the 'daddy' stories or 'mummy' stories that have crept into Tomb Raider over the years. What I liked about classic Lara was she was doing it because she wanted to; even when approached by agencies *cough*Natla Industries*cough* she only took on the job if she felt it benefited her or it was a particularly important mission for the world as a whole. When Kurtis came along in Angel of Darkness, it was nice to see that dynamic of the woman who would often choose to work alone combined with the need to stick and work together. Was it romantic? Who knows, in my mind I say it might have gone that way, but the wonders of imagination means you can write your own narrative!

5.  Backpack

Has there ever been a backpack that earned the title of a 'Mary Poppins Bag' as much as Lara's classic backpack? Found in Cambodia, lost in Paris and even then the nifty grey number held just as much stuff. It held artifacts, weapons, flares and medipacks galore. All in that lovely brown colour and solid shape that is damn hard to find a replica of for something that looks so simple!

Ellie The Last of Us 2 Costume Reference Guide

So it is 2017 and it is time to start working on new cosplays! GLaDOS is my big build for this year, but alongside I want to make smaller costumes and improve ones I already have.

First of these is Ellie from TLOU2 trailer. I already have an Ellie cosplay from the first game (sorry, I don't have any pictures :(! Another 2017 goal!) and when I saw the new trailer I fell in love with the older, more worldly Ellie who has dirt and scars seemingly ingrained into her skin. Also there is blood, so of course I like it!

If you are doing an Ellie cosplay, I hope these images (taken from the trailer) and notes help you out. I will update when more information and/or the game is released. If you have noticed something I haven't, let me know in the comments or via twitter and I can amend :).

Full Body:

Face and Neck:

 Shirt and T shirt:


Left Hand

Right Hand

Right Hand
Shopping/Making List:
- Petrol blue thick cotton or lightweight denim shirt. Looks to be more a male tailoring. Has silver poppers, fastens left to right. Was long sleeves, roughly cut to be short.
- Olive green crew neck t shirt. Typical 'Fruit of the Loom' style.
- Skinny mid-wash blue jeans. Ripped at the knees. Slightly longer than needed to push up at the ankle.
- Converse black (could be navy however) boots.
- All your favourite products for blood/scars/grazes and dirt. I'll be creating a make up guide when I progress further with the costume :)

Top YouTube Channels Cosplayers Should Be Subbed To

YouTube is a treasure trove of cosplay videos and any cosplayer should definitely be making the most of what content is on offer. It can be overwhelming; however here a few suggestions of channels that cosplayers should certainly hit that subscribe button for!

Best for overall cosplay advice:
Mango Sirene
You cannot go wrong with Mango Sirene. An American cosplayer who covers everything cosplay, and I mean everything! Her 'Cosplay 101' series explains pattern drafting, finding hotel rooms, wig styling and more. The convention vlogs are entertaining and beautifully edited and there are also the odd fun craft or challenge video. A well rounded channel that is both entertaining and educational for new or experienced cosplayers. If that wasn't enough, become a Pateron and there are addition live streams to see what Mango is making next! If only I could be half as productive as her!

Best for Prop Making
Punished Props/ Bill Doran
The guy who knows the most about foam! If you are thinking of making armor or props, you should stop here first for tips and ideas. There are also tutorial series on resins, sculpting and metal casting. Bill also has 'Foamsmith' books available for any additional help you may need to create your foam creations.

Best for Varied Character Creation
Axceleration Cosplay 
A good proportion of cosplay videos on Youtube are anime inspired, so if you are like me and don't make anime costumes or fancy a change, Axceleration has a good variety of costumes that you don't often see tutorials for. Like Mango, her 'Introduction to Cosplay' series covers a lot of basics and is a great starting point for any cosplayer. Her enthusiasm certainly comes through which makes her a joy to watch. 

The Best for Cosplay Music Videos (that isn't Sneaky Zebra ;) )
The 86th Floor
Okay, I know Sneaky Zebra are the kings of the CMV, but you are probably subbed already! So I'm suggesting 86th Floor, a British team who have produced some great CMVs in 2016 and have some great choreographed segments with my particular favourite being the Overwatch team from Manchester MCM 2016.  

Best for Wigs
Alexa Poletti
Anything you could possibly want to do with a wig, Alexa will know how! After collecting a following on Instagram, Alexa set up a YouTube channel which has grown at an unbelievable rate; and rightly so with her informative wig tutorials. 

Best for Worbla
Kamui Cosplay 
What Kamui can't do with worbla, I'm pretty sure can't be done at all. All the videos are fairly short in length and presented in a lighthearted and fun manner. So it is easy to watch a full series at a time. The channel is especially useful if you are planning on making Blizzard characters. If you need more help, Kamui has a range of books including her latest, 'The Costume Making Guide' which has a collection of worbla armor and prop tutorials.   

Best for MakeUp
Emma Pickles 
Although not a cosplay channel, Emma Pickles has a good mix of recognisable characters that you may be cosplaying in addition to general SFX and makeup tutorials that you could adapt for your own cosplay. For UK cosplayers it is great to see someone using products that you have access to!    

So here are a few channels that if you are a cosplayer, you should be subbed to! I still have many more in my subscriptions so will probably do another version later on in the year!

5 Reasons I Like Reboot Lara

Reboot Lara has been the target of much disdain since she came on the scene in 2012. While I adore the traditional design in all her green vest top, brown shorts, gun-toting badassary; the new vision of Lara arrived at a time when I very much needed her. Like Lara, I was a recent graduate trying to make a smidgen of a mark on the world and I warmed to her new design. As I was attending my first comic con in 2013, it was my first choice and creating it was a fantastic distraction from being a carer and dead-end part time jobs.

So aside from personal connections to reboot Lara, here are five reasons why I like the reboot Lara design:

1. Bow
The addition of a bow to Lara's arsenal I believe was a fantastic choice. It is great for stealth and it feels pretty badarse to finish off a hoard of attackers with only arrows. For the 2013 game, it worked well to show development as Lara built on her crafted bow that started as a few twigs and string. Mechanically, I love using the bow and feel like Tomb Raider has mastered it better than any other game I have tried.

2. Jewellery 
Sean Nash Deviantart
Hear me out, I know this sounds like a stupid reason to like a character design, but I feel the jade necklace and the three earrings add a finish touch to the overall ideology of who Lara is. In case you have missed it, I discussed possible origins of Lara's necklace in this blogpost and I still believe there is something more to that necklace than has already been revealed. The two earrings on one ear and one on the other appears quirky (and yes, I know of the possible insinuations that the piercings can mean, however with the rise in people obtaining a greater number of piercings, these hidden meanings don't account as much as they may have done in historical subcultures). I like the earrings so much, I replicated the second piecing position for myself!

3. Comebacks

While classic Lara holds the number one spot for one liners and comebacks, reboot Lara came out with some corkers, mainly while being held hostage in Rise or after a grueling fight. They are slightly darker in tone and I really didn't expect them while playing the 2013 game; but the 'go to hell' one fitted perfectly after being caught out and fighting waves of Yamatai's residents.  So much so, I reloaded my save to hear it again!

4. Ice Axe

Again, mechanically it works very well and the ice axe works brilliantly as a melee attack, especially to get out of a sticky situation. As a gamer, I'm very much a melee person so having this option was a godsend. It was also the first weapon I created from scratch so holds a special place for that reason in addition to clearing a path at comic cons when held up in the air!

5. Survival Nature 
More so in the 2013 game, I enjoyed the way survival elements were integrated. Admittedly, I did expect more in regards to hunting and crafting and while Rise did respond to this; there is a lot more that could be intergrated into the game. Nevertheless, some of the cutscene's imaginary of survival makes for some beautiful scenes of struggle and determination.