16-bit Super Metroid costumes
– Why did you decide to create these 16-bit Super Metroid costumes?
I wanted to create an effective costume that stood out from others that I had seen and to do it with almost no budget, relying entirely on my creative abilities to make up for it. As an animator (and pretty skinny guy), I finally realized that I could make these costumes based on cardboard recreations of the 2D animated sprites of a game. As a Metroid fan, I was drawn to the Chozo Statues which had a human-like form and a distinctive animation and silhouette. I settled on the Torizo boss from Super Metroid as the most visually interesting iteration of the sprite, and stuck with that game for the remainder of this series. The Torizo rising to attack sticks to the memory of Metroid players.
– How did you go about designing and constructing each one?
The Chozo Statues are twice the size of Samus, so I had to make it as large as my proportions allowed. I rotoscoped it in the the animation software software we use at Rutgers against a human model when I realized how long the arms were compared to a human, so I determined how long to extend the costume over my head, the arm extensions, and the pixel-to-inch ratio. A piece had to be created for each limb section on the left and right side of the costume.
The Samus Aran costume from this year had to be as small as possible compared to the Chozo, so we made it almost exactly Krystal’s height. I experimented a lot with the last one by rounding out pixels and considered creating a low relief with cardboard. I realized later in photographs that the more pixelated areas were more successful, as is deceiving the audience with a 2D appearance, so Samus is all flat pixels.
– How much time did each take, and how much was spent on materials?
The first time took weeks to design, on and off, while I was testing more possibilities, and a week to measure, cut, and paint. Samus took a week to design and paint and had the advantage of larger pixels (lower resolution), so I spent less time on measuring and painting.
The only costs were paint and materials to attach the cardboard to the body. Our attachment system is being refined every year for comfort and reliability.