Thursday, September 08, 2011

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Ophelia's Gaze: How to Create the Ideal Heroine for Assassin's Creed Cosplay... in Second Life!

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Iris Ophelia's ongoing review of virtual world and MMO fashion

The next installment of Assassin's Creed is coming in a couple months, and needless to say, I'm a huge fan of this popular and inventive gaming franchise.Assassin Creed fail Kotaku recently posted some artistic re-imaginings of the series' iconic assassins that will go into an official bonus book when the game ships, and I was incredibly disappointed by one in particular. This oversexed-looking assassin (thumbnailed at right) would do a poor job of blending into any crowd, and is practically the antithesis of the real female assassins that the game world has shown us. They're just as skilled, just as clothed, and just as important as their male counterparts.

If any game could give us a compelling (and non-insulting) female lead, it should be Assassin's Creed. So I've gotten rid of all the bullshit cleavage and garters to do this female assassin (and her progressive gaming roots) justice. Take a look at my version:

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The core of this female assassin's outfit will look familiar to fans of the games. Since Assassin's Creed began to focus on the life of Italian assassin Ezio Auditore, I decided to keep things in the family. A daughter or grand-daughter perhaps, our heroine has inherited some of Ezio's kit. These pieces, including her weapons, tunic, cloak and belt are from SL cosplay shop Arbalest by Domina Barzane [Click here to teleport to Arbalest in Gwenevere], and are actually components of a full Assassin's Creed inspired outfit. Though Domina also has a simplified female version available, I chose to painstakingly modify each piece of the more elaborate male Helmschmied set. I'll admit that I'm not entirely satisfied with the end result, and I would have much preferred a female version of the full Helmschmied set instead.

I've also blended her outfit with components of Ddraigh Female in black from DragansVarg [Click here to teleport to DragansVarg in Chinook], as well as DragansVarg's well-detailed Sly Boots. Both seemed like a perfect fit to add a little more protection and personalization to this assassin's look.

There's a lot more to our heroine than this, though. Who was she in her past, and what becomes of her descendant in the future? Keep reading for two more styles for our female lead.

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A hero is more compelling when we get to see their past, and at first I thought our heroine would make a good noble, like Ezio himself. But then I remembered the sneak peeks we've been given of Ezio's family, living in much more modest (and inconspicuous) surroundings. I decided to try both looks out. On the left, our low-born assassin-to-be is wearing the Minna Tunic Dress and The Baker's Hat, both by Levia Larsson of KnickKnack [Click there to teleport to KnickKnack in DHara]. On the right, her high-born doppelganger is wearing a luxurious dress and headpiece named Giulia by Arwen Serpente of Arwen's Creations [Click to teleport to Arwen's Creations in GMI Tenanye]. A hairstyle from SixtyNine and a necklace from Donna Flora complete this look, which I think bears some resemblance to Ezio Auditore's sister who (spoiler alert) becomes a talented assassin herself.

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One part of our heroine's character is still missing, however: every Assassin's Creed protagonist is seen through the mind of a descendant. There's no reason a female assassin couldn't have a male descendant, but I don't think I'm wrong in believing that the mainstream gaming world isn't ready to take that cross-gender leap. I've designed a modern day female descendant instead, starting with the Brook Flight Jacket from DeLa [Click here to teleport to DeLa] and a pair of matching boots from J's [Click here to teleport to J's in Tsukishima]. Both are well made (though the zipper on the jacket is best seen at a distance), and perfectly suited to be worn with a t-shirt from COCO and a pair of jeans from Fishy Strawberry. The final touches here are a necklace from Whippet & Buck, and a no-fuss cropped haircut from Elikatira.

All in all our heroine is functional without being unfashionable-- just the kind of badass female protagonist that this franchise deserves.

Mixed_reality_iris2010 Iris Ophelia (Janine Hawkins IRL) has been featured in the New York Times and has spoken about SL-based design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan and with pop culture/fashion maven Johanna Blakley.

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Aliasi Stonebender

I've been wanting to make an Assassin's Creed getup for ages myself. I'd seen that but I wasn't sure how easy it was to modify - my avatar is on the big and tall side for a feminine avatar, so it may actually be easier for me to modify...

Gogo

How cute are you!!! *steals your outfit*

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