Celebrate Halloween with a Square Enix Costume Party

We highlight some impressive cosplay from Tomb Raider, FINAL FANTASY XIV Online, NieR and more - and speak to the fans who brought it all to life.
By The Square Enix Team

It’s Halloween, that special season when many of us like to don a flashy costume and slip into a whole new persona.

But if you’re a cosplayer, you know that there’s no need to wait a full year to express yourself. We’re extraordinarily fortunate to have an endlessly creative community of fans, who bring our characters to life in ways we couldn’t even dream of.

Your imaginative ensembles impress and inspire us - and often leave us open-mouthed in amazement! These are not mere costumes - they’re art, and this year, we wanted to pay tribute to the people that make them happen.

We’ve picked out a handful of cosplayers to highlight - a group of incredibly smart and talented people from around the world who have touched us with their efforts.

But we’re aware that there are thousands more - and we’d love to honor your artistic endeavors more often. So if you’d like your cosplay to be highlighted by Square Enix, please do send it to us - either tweet @Square Enix or tag us on Instagram with @Square Enix.


Life is Strange

The Life is Strange series has inspired some absolutely mind-blowing cosplay. Fans have taken the likes of Max, Chloe, Rachel, and the Diaz brothers into their hearts, and you can see that reflected in the attention to detail and sheer quality of these costumes.

Olivia Nightingale - Max Caulfield (and Chloe Price), Life is Strange

Photographer - thelenaco.weebly.com

Why Max Caulfield?

I wasn’t originally drawn to cosplaying Max actually!

I started out cosplaying Chloe Price, stuck with her for a while, and then tried out Rachel Amber before I even considered Max. As my two other cosplays gained popularity, I decided I was practically obligated to give the main protagonist, Miss Caulfield, a go.

I never expected her to gain as much popularity as my Chloe and Rachel, but I have been pleasantly surprised with how much support and praise I’ve gotten since. Now, I’m very proud to say I’ve successfully captured one of the characters I relate to the most personally, and I think that’s pretty awesome.

What attracts you to cosplay?

Cosplaying allows me to take on a persona I otherwise wouldn’t be bold enough to try in real life. I’m very reserved and not super adventurous 90% of the time, so when I throw on a cosplay like Chloe Price, I feel like it breaks me out of my shell a little bit!

Also, you can never go wrong with a hobby that allows you to meet so many wonderful people and make so many friends from around the globe. My cosplay friends and fans of my work are some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met!

Follow Olivia:

Instagram: @pricevibes | Tumblr: @pricevibes


SMZeldaRules - Rachel Amber, Life is Strange Before the Storm

Photographer - Magical Ani | Instagram @magicalani

Why Rachel Amber?

What drew me to cosplay Rachel Amber was mainly her caring personality and her love of art; she is much more like me than Max or Chloe.

I used to cosplay Chloe for the heck of it, since I mainly had friends who cosplayed Max and needed a Chloe. But once Before the Storm came out and graced us with that sweet Rachel lore, I immediately felt a desire to personify her.

I never really found myself overly emotional for Chloe or Max during Life is Strange. But seeing first hand just how incredible a person Rachel was, and knowing what was going to happen to her in between Before the Storm & Life is Strange - that drew me to empathize with her more than I ever could with Max and Chloe.

What attracts you to cosplay?

Cosplaying has been a passionate craft in my life since 2006. I love becoming characters I’m emotional about, and re-enacting scenes from the medium they are from.

Since I’m a professional graphic designer, it’s also wonderful to be able to have someone take my photos with my direction, and then I can edit them to my liking, to match the emotions from whatever scene I wish to portray. And being able to depict scenes alongside friends who are as passionate about a series as I am is a huge bonus!

Follow @SMZeldaRules:

Twitter: @SMZeldaRules | Instagram: @SMZeldaRules


Fiona Klenzner - Daniel Diaz, Life is Strange 2

Photographer - Instagram: @aleahime

Why Daniel Diaz?

Mainly his relationship with his big brother. I truly love the bond those two have, even if Daniel was a little difficult sometimes. At the end of the day he is just a child. I believe no one at his age would act 100% reasonable with the kind of power he has.

I'm so happy I was able to cosplay Daniel with my good friend junllo, who’s just an incredible Sean! I truly hope we can do a few more versions of the Diaz brothers - they mean so much to us.

What attracts you to cosplay?

I started cosplaying 12 years ago, so at this point it's a big part of my life that I wouldn't want to miss. I love the way you can get creative with it - and no matter how many skills you've already achieved, there is always more to learn!

Working with my hands is what I love the most, but even if the crafty side of cosplay isn't someone’s favorite part, there are still many ways of putting yourself in your work (for example makeup, shooting concepts, photography). There is basically no limit.

Follow Fiona:

Instagram: @appathic | Instagram: @junllo


FINAL FANTASY XIV Online

We’ll say this for the residents of FINAL FANTASY XIV Online’s world - they sure know how to dress! The fashion of Hydaelyn is beautiful, ornate and incredibly detailed - and presumably quite a challenge for cosplayers.

Mind you, it’s one that they’ve more than risen to. The imagination and craftsmanship demonstrated by FINAL FANTASY XIV Online fans regularly leaves us reeling. I mean, just look at these (/bow in respect).

Malinda Chan - Bard, FINAL FANTASY XIV Online

Photographer - Joseph Chi Lin

Why a Bard?

I became a Bard in FINAL FANTASY XIV Online because I have a strong connection to music, and I love the job class aesthetic.

The Storyteller set has many fine details, which made it one of the most complex projects I've tackled thus far. There was a lot of pattern draping, keyhole designs, and custom applique work. The Suzaku Bow was the largest prop I had ever attempted - I put my fine arts skills for sculpting and painting to good use!

What attracts you to cosplay?

I've always been a crafty individual since I was very young, and cosplay is a creative outlet where I can use a variety of techniques to create wearable art.

Additionally, Cosplay helps connect people with similar interests, and I don't think I'd be where I am today if it wasn't for the friends I've made along this journey.

Follow Malinda:

Twitter: @malindachan | Instagram @malinda_chan

Svetlana - Summoner, FINAL FANTASY XIV Online

Photographer - Benni

Why a Summoner?

I always prefer to play casters in MMOs and I think the Summoner with all its cool Egis and spells is just a really fun class.

The costume itself, the Summoner Artifact Armor, was quite challenging since my sewing skills are pretty limited. Even though I was able to figure out the dress and even was quite happy with the shape, the gravity defying coat was a completely different story. I actually added some metal wire to give it this stiff, kind of floating look and am happy that I got quite close to the original design in the final photos.

In addition, I obviously needed a Summoner book, which my husband Benni mainly made. He learned book binding for this project and made the book completely from scratch! I did the decorations and ornaments on top then.

What attracts you to cosplay?

I think cosplay is a very creative and passionate way to express your love for a specific fandom, no matter whether it’s a video game, anime and manga, comic or movie.

It's a hobby, that teaches you not only plenty of crafting skills, but also gives you a boost of self-confidence, new friends and even might teach you a new language. At least in my case!

So cosplay for me is not just a hobby. It also became my full time job, helped me to find the love of my life, my husband Benni, gave me a new way to spend my time and made me a better and more open person in general.

Follow Svetlana:

Twitter: @KamuiCosplay | Instagram: @KamuiCosplay

Website: https://www.kamuicosplay.com/

Jessica Landowski - Emet-Selch, FINAL FANTASY XIV: Shadowbringers

Why Emet-Selch?

First of all, I decided to challenge myself and recreate the FINAL FANTASY XIV: Shadowbringers poster with my cosplays. Emet-Selch is also one of the best written characters in the game, which was another reason why I had to cosplay him.

Since I was working on several other costumes at the time I decided to order the base costume and then worked on all the details. The hardest part was definitely the makeup and getting his eyebrows right.

What attracts you to cosplay?

I always loved to dress up as a child and play video games - that was definitely a big part of getting me into cosplay.

I love to challenge myself with every costume I make and have a lot of fun crafting. The crafting part is also very relaxing - and satisfying once the costume is completely done and you wear it for the first time. It makes me happy.

Follow Jessica:

Twitter: @chezahde | Instagram: @cheezaah


Just Cause

The Just Cause series has inspired cosplay that’s just as explosive as the games themselves. Take this exceptional cosplay by Ben Bergmann for example - it captures both Rico’s signature style and penchant for daredevil acts of derring-do.

Ben Bergmann - Rico Rodriguez, Just Cause 3

Why Rico Rodriguez?

I wanted to cosplay Rico because I loved Just Cause 3 and wanted to combine my experience in stunts with my daily job as a cosplayer.

If not Rico, who else could be the perfect character for this idea?

What attracts you to cosplay?

Cosplay is my life and my livelihood. It combines crafting, acting and games - the three biggest passions I have. It has become my job and my 24/7 passion. There just is nothing better for me!

Follow Ben:

Twitter: @maul_cosplay | Instagram: @maul_cosplay/


The NieR series

2B or not 2B a cosplayer?

2B obviously. There’s something about the NieR series that brings out the best in our fans - they’re constantly finding new ways to impress and energize us. The following are some examples that we found particularly inspiring.

Anarkee - YoRHa No.2 Type B, NieR:Automata

Photographer@celestimages

Why 2B?

I had been playing NieR:Automata with a friend and fell in love with 2B’s design.

I actually didn’t make this costume from scratch, I purchased it and added details like a lining on the skirt to add movement and volume, fill to the puff sleeves and feathers on the sleeves.

What attracts you to cosplay?

I love cosplaying for a few reasons. The first is that I love fashion, makeup and pop culture, and cosplay is the perfect intersection of that. The second is that I love presenting my own versions / interpretations of characters that I love.

Follow Anarkee:

Twitter: @itsanarkee I Instagram: @anarkee | YouTube: Anarkee | TikTok: @itsanarkee

Christine Choi - Simone, NieR:Automata

Photographer – A.R.Cosphoto & White Specs Photography

Why Simone?

I was already a NieR Replicant/Gestalt fan as well as Drakengard, so I was absolutely thrilled to see more content for the series and wanted to cosplay someone from NieR:Automata.

But what really drew me to Simone was when I first saw her in one of the game’s trailers around 2016. It blew me away -her design, the fight, and especially the music… everything was spectacular and it was just etched into my memory.

After playing the game, learning her backstory, and watching analytical videos about the game, it reinforced me to cosplay Simone.

It was pretty intimidating to start. Her head and skirt seemed tricky since I needed to figure out a way to have the poles stay firm on the head at a certain angle, her skirt needed to be light and portable, and the costume had to be manageable to pack to conventions, as well as being relatively comfortable.

After testing out samples, making trips to the craft and hardware stores, and thinking about the materials to use, I figured the best way to make the skirt was using a crinoline underneath different cut-sized foam board panels in sections with craft foam detailing.

Then with some patience and perseverance, I was finally able to finish the build in 5-6 months, which was a very rewarding moment.

What attracts you to cosplay?

Cosplaying is a passionate craft in my life since it encompasses everything I love: anime, videogames, fashion, art, and creating.

Personally, I think the one of the most satisfying things about cosplay is the making stage. It’s really fun figuring out how to create challenging looking designs work and make these characters come to life and be wearable. Not to mention it’s a great way to connect with some awesome people, artists, and friends with similar interests!

But cosplaying really has driven my life. I think it started when I went to my first anime convention as a kid. I was already interested in anime/videogames, but seeing people’s incredible elaborate costumes were very intriguing and it sparked my interest.

From then on, I tried my best in learning how to craft and sew costumes. It was hard since I never sewed before or knew how to do pattern making for clothing, but I worked pretty hard trying to make it work.

It paid off since later on I was able to get a scholarship and attend Parsons School of Design in New York as a fashion major. The skills I learned from cosplay really helped my skills during that time as well. And now I am steering my career towards cosplay and the craft of costume making.

Follow Christine:

Twitter: @mokunachoi | Instagram: @mokuna.choi

Website – http://www.mokunachoi.com/

Svetlana Zemlianskaia – YoRHa No.2 Type B, NieR:Automata

Why 2B?

I really like sci-fi movies and futuristic games. NieR:Automata seemed like a fun sci-fi game with strong and female characters.

It was not really complex to create the costume because it doesn't have a lot to craft except for katana. Yet I always try to create a total duplicate to keep my costume closer to original. I had to remake the wig a couple of times.

What attracts you to cosplay?

I am passionate about cosplay because it lets me become someone else. It’s my way to get away from reality for a while, and I think we all need that sometimes.

The fun part is that you don’t know how photo shot is going to turn out, until you actually see the results with 3D effects added. So, it's kind of like acting and movies.

Follow Svetlana:

Instagram: @itsclaire.sea

Website: https://www.claireseacosplay.com

Linda Blacker – YoRHa No.2 Type B, NieR:Automata

Photographer – Linda Blacker

Why 2B?

I love 2B and how badass she is - and just knew I had to cosplay as her.

Characters with swords will always be my favorite, because they are always so cool. Cosplaying powerful characters always gives me more confidence and makes me feel unstoppable. Also in the game 2B’s costume was the one I was drawn to the most.

In terms of the costume, I actually had a lot of help crafting it as my skills with sewing are at a basic level. This costume isn’t easy so I needed someone with much more experience than me - thankfully my sister is a seamstress and helped make it come to life.

What attracts you to cosplay?

The joy cosplaying brings me is just such a great feeling. I can escape for a few hours into my own world and become whoever I want to be!

I love creating and the whole process from makeup to the costume is always so interesting and fun because once you see the final result you can’t believe you’ve actually turned yourself into a whole character.

Follow Linda Blacker:

Twitter: @mimithenerd_ | Instagram: @mimithenerd

Lilou Chann - Nier, NieR Replicant

Photographer - @Lama.Studio

Why Nier?

I choose to cosplay Nier because I love the game and his costume too. It was a big dream of mine to make and I'm super proud of it.

What attracts you to cosplay?

Cosplay helped me to gain confidence in myself and fulfil my love for works. Being able to make stuff with my hands and let my creativity talk when I craft or take pictures is really satisfying.

I have learned a lot from cosplay - I think it's a really versatile hobby to have!

Follow Lilou:

Twitter: @lilouchann | Instagram: @lilouchann


Tomb Raider

Lara Coft is a videogame icon, winning legions of fans with her sharp wits, impressive skills and unbreakable spirit. That inner strength is skillfully represented by cosplayers like Aline Caldeira, who has also perfectly captured that ‘just avoided being ended by centuries-old deathtrap’ look.

Aline Caldeira - Lara Croft, Tomb Raider

Photographer@valrophotography

Why Lara Croft?

Lara Croft is one kind of a hero that I always admired since I was a child. She inspires me because she's a strong, intelligent, independent and adventurous woman. She's a renowned and famous archaeologist, which even made me study history at university.

Her athletic physique was also a motivation for me, to keep a healthier life through diet and exercise. I definitely wanted to be like her.

What attracts you to cosplay?

Cosplaying is a very important hobby in my life because it’s given me the opportunity to meet several talented people and make new friends. I've even developed some skills, like crafting, acting and also got better with makeup.

Cosplaying is also a passion, that offers an incredible and accessible experience to anyone. Just choose your favorite character, dress up and have a lot of fun!

Follow Aline:

Instagram @norabrave I Twitch: norabrave_


A heartfelt thank you to all the amazing cosplayers who contributed to this spotlight. Your talent, passion and commitment mean the world to us - we’re grateful for all you do and we get a genuine thrill from seeing you bring our characters to life.

Also, you all look amazing! That probably goes without saying, but we’re saying it anyway.

If you’re a member of the cosplay community who would like to potentially be featured in the future, please get in touch with by tweeting @SquareEnix or tagging @SquareEnix on Instagram.

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