A cosplayer on Reddit is being praised for their meticulously faithful Dead Space costume—right down to the glowing spine.
Redditor SunlightofAstora, who goes by Johnny Goodwill in meatspace, posted a video of himself on the r/gaming subreddit clad in space hero Isaac Clarke’s iconic Engineer RIG hazardious environment suit. The video shows off the suit’s backside, which features a half-moon Stasis Module Energy indicator and a Health Management bar running up its spine. The spinal readout on Goodwill’s suit illuminates with a chain of lights to reflect the amount of health Isaac has left, just as it does in the Dead Space games.
That very cool and dedicated attention to detail propelled Goodwill’s post to the front page of Reddit with over 76,000 upvotes and lots of praise.
“You put more effort into this suit [than] I have in existing,” one Reddit user joked.
Ian Milham, who worked as art director on Dead Space, also chimed in on Reddit, and later shared Goodwill’s costume in a tweet.
“I was the Art Director on Dead Space and had to double take on this,” Milham wrote. “Amazing work. The proportions are perfect.”
Goodwill shared that they’ve been working on the costume since late 2018 and it was made using EVA foam and genuine leather. Kotaku reached out to Goodwill for more details and he says he’s thrilled by all the attention his latest cosplay’s generated, up to and including inspiring people to reinstall Dead Space games and even clamor anew for sequels.
“I honestly think it’s amazing everyone is being so kind and supportive, it means a lot to me. Getting to share my art is what I love to do and for this project’s outcome to be overwhelmingly positive, I can hardly express the joy I have in words,” he said. “I love that there are still so many Dead Space fans like me out there … it’s a masterpiece in its field. I’m happy to have my art appreciated by so many.”
Goodwill started creating cosplays in 2016, after a few years of attending fan conventions and seeing how much other fans enjoyed portraying their own favorite characters.
“It was inspiring,” he said. “After creating my first costume, I realized how immersed I could get in recreating these characters and it became an art form for me. Through hard work, practice, and more mistakes than I could ever count, it allowed me to be artistic in ways I never knew I could.”
For Goodwill to commit to a cosplay, the character has to inspire him. He’s something of a perfectionist, and each new project requires countless hours of work, much of it trial and error, to achieve just the right look and functionality.
“I find that I can [bring characters to life] by doing everything I can to be true and faithful to the designs through proportions, color palettes, materials, and body language,” he said. “There’s way too much I put into them over the course of months … to list [it] all. Each character I’ve recreated—from the elite knight from Dark Souls to Isaac Clarke—are all unique and require different skills and [approaches] to create something I’m truly happy with.”
“I’ve worked on and off [on the Isaac cosplay] since 2018. It took so much effort,” he said, from “creating all the patterns for the pieces and jumpsuit by hand through trial and error [to] the crafting, sewing, LED programming, [and] painting. ... I work very hard to create these characters and props to make them look like they came right out of the game and exist in our world. It’s my style, and these are achievements to me. I couldn’t be happier with the results ... because I put everything I can into them until they’re completed.”
Even so, Goodwill feels like he’s only just begun. In fact, the Isaac Clarke outfit you see here is actually still a work in progress, as he explained in detail when Kotaku inquired as to whether he was planning to animate the Stasis Module energy indicator in the same way he did the health display.
“I actually would like to animate the stasis module! It’s something I’m wanting to do but the opportunity arose to take photos at this location which emanated the atmosphere perfectly and I did not want to pass that up,” he said. “However I always try to keep upgrading my suits as I learn new techniques, and I know it can be done.”
That’s not the only upgrade in the works.
“Alongside that, [I’d like] a functional plasma cutter as well,” he said. “I was working on that but I had some issues; the weight distribution compared to the size of the motor needs to be worked on. I’ll come back to it when I’ve leveled up a bit! I [also have] ideas for a voice modifier so that I can get the perfect grunts to fit the stomps! When I began working on this I wanted it to be the best cosplay ever made, and I will keep working on it until it is!”
Additional reporting by Alexandra Hall