Alternate Universe – Part 3

By: Chloe Kong

Read Part 1 here

Read Part 2 here

“Ah welcome back, dear. What happened to you?! Why are you dripping wet?!” Without looking at the face, Aiko knew very well who was talking to him. She turned her head to the left to hide her face. If it were not for this lad’s height, she would have nowhere else to hide. Right now, if both of them met, she was sure that the person who was talking to him would be in more shock.

“Oh who is this?” That person’s voiced seemed muffled all of a sudden. Her mind became a blundering mess. What was going on? All she wanted to do now was to leave this place as soon as she can. Without waiting for any reply, she quickly stumbled towards the entrance. Her doppelganger calling out to her but she did not care.

‘What is this place? Just what is this?!’ She thought. Then, her surroundings began to spin like a blackhole and with every step, her body sank further into the unknown. Soon, her body was completely submerged into the dark pit and her consciousness left her.

‘I want to return home.’

______________________________________________________________

‘Riiiinnngggg’ went the alarm clock, signalling the time for getting up.

Drowsily, Aiko slammed her hand onto the the snooze button and went back to bed.

“Aiko! Aiko! Aiko, wake up! You will be late for school!” An extremely familiar voice yelled in annoyance. ‘Is it time to get up yet? Man, I feel drowsy. Mom, is that you?’ She thought in her sleepy stupor but just as she was about to fall back asleep, the image of her doppelganger flashed into her mind and she instantly jolted.

“What was going on?” She muttered to herself.

____________________________________________________________________

Meanwhile…

A heated discussion sparked up in a lab far from the current location. Scientists, donned in white lab coats were debating over their test subjects of a major project. Images of each and every one of these ‘guinea pigs’ were clearly displayed on the screens of many monitors.

“Subject 1104 is just wasting our time! All the other subjects have already shown positive results of the tests but yet Subject 1104 did not even meet the minimum criteria!” One of the scientists said irritably as he pointed at the monitor. “What is the point in keeping this subject?”

“I agree! She is just a waste of space, time and resources!” Another scientist echoed the thought.

“I say, we terminate her at once!” More disagreements filled the room until they became a blur of protests. Muffled, irritated, these protests came from scientists who devoted their energy and attention to this major experiment. Different voices, all united with a single similar protest.

“Gentlemen!” Three thundered across the vast room. “Why the rush? We still have time?” A tall man chided.

“‘Why the rush, you say?’ Because every minute, every second is precious here! We cannot afford to waste anytime, Hyde!” The previous scientist bellowed, followed by a couple of whispered approval.

“Patience, Mister Clyde. It is a long process and we know it,” The man with the name Hyde chided his colleague. “Let’s give this bona vide a chance, shall we?”

“But, Mister Hyde,-” An anxious, young scientist interjected but was cut off by Hyde’s raised hand.

“Do not worry, the time for Subject 1104 to awaken will be soon.”

-To be continued-

Otaku Corner: The U.S. vs Malaysia

By: Chloe

Irashaimase to this month’s Otaku Corner! During the first issue of Otaku corner, I managed to interview a friend who was part of the cosplay community in Malaysia. For this session, we will be hearing from a friend all the way from the United States of America! She has been cosplaying for some time and her cosplays are also cool to see. 🙂

Cosplayer Name: Imari Yumiki

Cosplay Age:

Based at: United States of America

Imari Yumiki as Kashu Kiyomitsu from Touken Ranbu Source: acparadise

Imari Yumiki as Kashu Kiyomitsu from Touken Ranbu
Source: acparadise

Q1: Can you tell us a little about the cosplay scene in the U.S?

Imari: There are many conventions in the USA that occur every year in different states. Over the years it has increased massively in both attendance and cosplayers. Everyone wears costume mostly handmade around the events in USA in the past because of the lack of ability to buy outfits/ready made wigs. Since resources are more easily available now, there are a good 50% ratio of handmade cosplay and ones that are bought in the currently years. There aren’t many restrictions in the USA and people mostly could freely walk in costumes. However human etiquette and respect between each other applies no matter where we go.

Q2: Have you ever attended a convention overseas? How does it differ from the cosplay culture in the U.S?

Imari: Yes I have attended events in both Hong Kong and Japan. I feel overseas is more photo/picture based for cosplayers. In America people can just start up a conversation based on what they wear or a fandom they like. There’s more formality that goes between Asia convention scene than what I see in the USA. Event centers are much bigger here and people are more freely wearing their outfits and not worried about eating in cosplay. At the Asia events it’s very common to see people just get dressed at the event and even doing their makeup in public space corners which they have claimed. And they have photographers who take pictures of them during the day as they stay in one spot. In the USA there’s more roaming and people just wearing it like an outfit of the day. Both have their own uniqueness so it’s quite the experience when I do go overseas.

Imari Yumiki as Tohru Yukimura from Aoharu x Machinegun. Source: acparadise

Imari Yumiki as Tohru Yukimura from Aoharu x Machinegun.
Source: acparadise

Q3: Being an experienced cosplayer, how do you normally start a new project (cosplay)?

Imari: I usually fall in love with a character or series and I want to own their clothes. So right off I start planning and thinking of how to make a certain outfit and what I need to buy as fabric/props/wigs etc. I always imagine the pattern before I work on the outfit. Having the wig for the character done first usually gives me bigger inspiration to work on the outfit. And I really love thinking about how to do their makeup too. I get really inspired while working on an outfit if I play/watch/listen to the music from the series.

Q4: What is your current goal / dream as you pursue into this hobby?

Imari: Continue to do what I love and love what I do. So many interesting series/characters appear over time, I don’t think I’ll get tired any time soon.

Q5: What’re your usual hurdles when you’re completing a cosplay project and how do you overcome them?

Imari: Ahh, when things turn out more difficult than when I first thought it would be. I usually try my best to pick out the details as I work on the outfit. If it comes to a point where I mess up or get stuck I force myself a break so I can fix it properly when I am back in the mood. Another hurdle is cost. I always try my best to make cosplay as affordable as I can but sometimes that is difficult. So I take time on waiting for deals/coupons and find ways to make the overall cost affordable with different techniques. Such as reusing wigs and parts of another costume.

Q6: Do you have anything to say to our readers who’s interested in this hobby?

Imari: Feel free to try it for yourself if you want to use this to express your love for a series and genre you enjoy. It’s never too hard unless you make it hard for yourself. This is a hobby after all, if you don’t enjoy doing it, then it may not be for you.

Imari Yumiki as Kuroo Hazama from Young Black Jack. Source: acparadise

Imari Yumiki as Kuroo Hazama from Young Black Jack.
Source: acparadise

That is all for now. See ya next time!

Top 5 Games for Halloween

Top 5 Games for Halloween

By Alistair

For those of you who are new to the gaming scene (that includes through YouTubers!) and want a visceral thrill during this spooky season, here are several games that’s sure gonna’ have you shiver to the bones. But be prepared, some of these aren’t for the faint-hearted…

00001Until Dawn. A highly recommended game for those who enjoy a good plot. Don’t worry, this game has its fair share of horror and jump scares that will keep you at the edge of your seat! This game designed to be played multiple times, as players cannot see all content with a single play-through. What I love about this is game is the unique in-game ‘Butterfly Effect’ mechanics where any choice of action by the player may cause unforeseen consequences later on. And there are multiple endings one can explore, compared to many other horror games in which the algorithm is set to that one same ending. The gameplay is focused on exploration, quick-time events and discovering clues as well as making decisions. Throughout the game, players will make difficult decisions during ethical or moral dilemmas, such as sacrificing one character to save another. The ‘Butterfly Effect’ system blurs the line between right and wrong decisions and it is possible for players to keep all the characters alive as well as having all of them die, allowing for many different paths and scenarios as well as offering several different endings for each character. I personally find this game a damn near perfect game! The storyline kept me entertained and every scene just breathes horror on so many levels.

Rating: 4.9 stars

Requirements: Playstation 4

00002Amnesia: The Dark Descent. A classic horror game renowned in the YouTube community, with channels such as PewDiePie and Markiplier gaining household fame from playing this game and their variants. What follows is a tale told mostly in flashback as you’re beset by ghostly visions and uncover journal entries on dimly lit desks that tell of scientific expeditions that lead to the discovery of ancient terrors. By itself the plot is rather strong, and told effectively assuming you take the time to explore and pick up a majority of the notes. Yet what really adds a quality of unsettling authenticity to the tale is the unshakeable feeling of pursuit and inevitability of some kind of horrific climax. The sensation is created by a combination of implied and observable events. On the soundtrack, scratches, clicking and footsteps from unseen spaces imply an expanse of unknown rippling just beyond the limits of your perception. It contributes to a feeling of isolation and helplessness that adds to the sense of terror. The graphics aren’t as great compared to many upcoming horror games, but its gripping story and haunting ambience compensates for that.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Requirements: Linux, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows

00003Corpse Party: Book of Shadows. For the ‘otakus’ slash horror buffs! It’s a little more softcore than other horror games, being one of the few horror anime genres in roleplay gaming. But don’t be fooled by the anime appearance, I kid you not. The story is straightforward – it’s set in an elementary school that was torn down following the murders and disappearances of several of its staff and students. A modern day high school has been built over the elementary school site. One rainy night, after celebrating their school’s culture festival, a group of students are telling ghost stories when their class representative decides to perform a charm called Sachiko Ever After, which would allow them to remain friends for eternity. A sudden earthquake transports them to an alternate dimension where the old elementary school still exists and is haunted by the ghosts of the school’s murdered children. The students try to figure out the truth and mystery of the cursed school, in order to find their way home and try to survive the shadowy forces that haunt the school, but unfortunately some don’t make it, causing them to have a gruesome death. Corpse Party proves that a minimalistic approach can get some of the best results when it comes to horror. If a little blood gets you weak in the knees, this game is not for you. Awesome soundtrack and amazing voice acting!

Rating: 4.3 stars

Requirements: PlayStation Portable, iOS

00004

Dreadout. It’s an Indonesian indie psychological survival horror game with interesting mechanics. The story isn’t very elaborative, but the scare factor is to be reckoned with. The player uses modern gadgets, such as smartphones and digital video cameras, to interact with (or fend off) various kinds of Indonesian mythical ghosts, and to help her solve various puzzles in a deserted town. I don’t heavily recommend this game if you’re focusing on storyline. However it’s pretty good for those wanting abrupt, realistic-looking scares.

Rating: 3.8 stars

Requirements: Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux

00005Five Nights at Freddy’s (series).  No one can go wrong with these four games (FNAF, FNAF2, FNAF3, FNAF4), like seriously. The series is a frontrunner when I comes to terrifying jump scares. It’s nerve-wracking even before the real terror starts. The game is well aware of just how unsettling the bright multi-coloured fantasy objects we hoist onto children on a regular basis are in the right light, and your first look around at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza–empty, dimly lit, and derelict–is a little chilling. Before anything out of the ordinary even happens, every synapse in your brain is sending the message that you do not want to be here. Your job is to flit back and forth between the security cameras, ensuring all the wacky animatronic characters are where they’re supposed to be, which is in the back room. When they’re not–and the fear instinct that comes with realizing that will serve you well here–your job is simply self-preservation. Close the doors, turn on the lights outside your office, and wait for Freddy or one of the others to wander away. Iike how survival in this game is a matter of conservation, observation, and timing – it adds on to the distress of being jumpscared by one of the animatronics. Truly a different take on horror gaming, especially where your character aren’t able to move at all. Now I understand the fandom….

Rating: 4.7 stars

Requirements: Microsoft Windows, iOS, Android, Windows Phone

 

An Extra Review to top the list…

00006Outlast. I can safely say that Outlast made me jump out of my chair more often in its four-hour descent into Hell than any other game ever has. It’s a tense, brutal trek that strips you of any power to defend yourself as you try to avoid the deranged mental patients that roam the halls of this horrifyingly gorgeous world. You’ll run, hide, and just generally be terrified as you discover the horrors that reside within Mount Massive Asylum. But in between the wealth of scares and beautiful environments, this game has a tendency to bog down via uninspired mission objectives and a few disappointing design choices. From the get-go, Outlast is one of the best-looking and sounding survival horror games to date. Everything from the dynamic lighting to a fantastic soundscape work together to keep you on edge every second of the experience. You’re ostensibly powerless in Outlast, meaning that your main tools for survival are running and hiding. Barrelling down a hallway with a beast right on your heels, bursting through a series of doors when you have no idea what’s on the other side, and eventually finding a closet to hide in and evade your pursuer provides a fantastic and terrifying thrill. And once enemies begin tearing apart rooms and opening closets in search of you – yep, you can imagine just how nerve-wracking this game gets.

Rating: 4.9 stars

Requirements: Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4

Student Hub Launch 2015

By: Chloe Kong

Photos by: Andrea Tai

Many may have wondered where do the “out-of-place” escalators lead you to? Perhaps to a magical world? Or could it be the entrance to Platform 9 and ¾? Nope, they are stairways to the new Student Hub!

With an all-new Power Studio, meeting and conference rooms, this place is another place for students to chill and relax as well as a place for discussions and doing assignments! However, not many students know about its existence even until today.

The official launch was held on 30th of September 2015. Thanks to the hard work of the members of student council as well as the Student Services Department, the new student hub has been officially launched! From food to the performances to the socializing, the launch was a success!

Being the ‘media’ of the university, we were grateful for invitation from the student council as we enjoyed the event! Even though we were not able to interview many people but we managed to interview the three stars of the day that rocked the stage.

Performer #1

Performer Profile:

Name- Katou Masahiro

Course: Victoria University’s Business Course

Duration of stay in Malaysia: 2 years

Q1: How did you find out about Sunway University?

A1: It was by pure coincidence as I did not do any research about Malaysia. I met a guitarist who sang Japanese songs and I was impressed. Afterwards, I got to know that she is a Sun-U student and that the university has nice facilities as well as being convenient for students.

Q2: Did you know about the new Student Hub?

A2: No, I did not know about it until I came here for rehearsal the day before.

Q3: What do you think about it?

A3: It is really nice and a utopia for students. The old Student Centre is nice as well; I think I will come here more often too.

Q4: Which is your favourite part of the student hub?

A4: The stage. However, if I sing there, it might be noisy. That is the reason why I usually sing at the cafeteria.

Q5: What is your first impression about Malaysia?

A5: The people here are friendly. Everyone is so friendly and it is really comfortable.

Q6: How different is it between Malaysian students and Japanese students?

A6: Malaysian students tend to focus more on their studies whereas Japanese students do not. In Japan, students do not study and they either play or do part time jobs. The money earned would then be spent on their hobbies. Because of that, I study here in hopes of changing myself.

Performers #2 and #3

When two is better than one, these two sisters showed us just that!

Performer Profile #2:

Name: Celyn Chow

Age: 19

Course: CFAB

-Does cover songs on Soundcloud and Youtube

-often performs for school and college events

-Has a Soundcloud and a Youtube channel: celynling

Performer Profile #3

Name:Carrelyn Chow

Age: 19

Course: Diploma in Graphic and Multimedia

-Enjoys singing but does not cover songs

-Performs with Celyn as a group.

Q1: Did you know about the new Student Hub?

Both: No, we did not. We only knew about it during the sound check after getting a call from Kelly.

Q2: What do both of you think about the new Student Hub?

Carrelyn: It is nice and cosy and it feels like a home.

Celyn: However, the location is a bit tricky for those who did not know about it.  

Q3: What is your favourite spot here?

Celyn: The Power Studio. It is classy and much more spacious compared to the old one.

Carrelyn: The Mural Painting.

Q4: Do you perform often?

Carrelyn: We only perform occasionally.

Celyn: Due to the lack of networking, we do not perform outside.

Q5: Will you consider taking up singing as a future career?

Carrelyn: I see singing as a hobby. About it being a career, I am still considering it.

Celyn: Well, we have been singing since young. I joined competitions since primary school days. We started performing as a duet when we entered secondary school.

Q6: What would you want to tell our readers?

Celyn: To always go for your passion. Both education and your hobbies are important. Hence, you must also never neglect it.

The interview was short due to the girls needing to leave right after that. Nevertheless, they were really kind to provide us with some of their time. Kudos and all the best to all three performers!

Alternate Universe: Part 2

Read Part 1 Here

“WHO ARE YOU?!” The first question that came out of Aiko’s lips. She did not mean to be rude but she was not able to suppress her surprise either. Dream or reality, she could not believe what she saw, a replica of her standing before despite having a different gender.

“I should ask the same! W-who are you?” The  stranger replied as he got out of the fountain. His white dress shirt and blue trousers were soaking wet. To be out in the morning cold like that was not part of the plan and neither did this stranger wished for it.

“A-anyhow, let’s get you out of the cold,” She quickly wrapped her jacket around the shivering teen. The poor lad was really soaked.

“T-thanks,” He mumbled as he got out from the fountain.

“My house is close by. Would you like to dry off first before leaving?” Aiko quickly offered without hesitation as it would be bad if he got sick. Under such condition, the stranger agreed to oblige to her suggestion.

____________________________________________________

“Here we are,”

As soon as Aiko and the young teen arrived at the designated destination, something felt off to Aiko but yet she just could not put a finger on it. Without a further ado, she just shook off that strange feeling and marched forward with her companion. The first thing that came into her sight was the nameplate of her home with another name printed on it.

“Strange, THIS IS where I live,” She muttered to herself as she checked the address and her surroundings. Everything was just as she remembered. Could it be that she wandered off to the wrong street? No, that could not be and that should not happen.She thought.

Fear and uncertainty slowly began to sink in but Aiko forced herself to remain calm and collected. She took out her keys and attempted to insert it into the lock. To her horror, the key did not seem to fit. Her companion however, was silent ever since they reached that area. He fished out a set of identical keys from his pocket and successfully unlocked the gate, leaving Aiko gasping in silent horror.

‘Click,’ went the lock of the door and the young lad entered the house with ease. Peeking into the unfamiliar territory, Aiko cautiously follow the suit. Although the interior of the house seemed unfamiliar, but there were several similarities that caught her attention. The little flower painting on the wall, the antique vase that sat at the corner of the hallway, the maroon carpet on the floor and the white photo frame with a flowery design on it. She peered at the frame and to her disappointment, it contained a family picture that she knew nothing off. What caught her attention was the woman in the picture for she looked just like her mother, minus the hair colour.

“Come on, I would need to inform mom about you as a guest,” He nudged. Swallowing her fear and doubts, she nodded and continued to follow him deeper into his domain.

“Mom, I am home,” He greeted and she could hear someone approaching them. His tall back blocked her view slightly of the person that was in front of him.

“Ah welcome back, dear. What happened to you?! Why are you dripping wet?!” Without looking at the face, Aiko knew very well who was talking to him. She turned her head to the left to hide her face. If it were not for this lad’s height, she would have nowhere else to hide. Right now, if both of them met, she was sure that the person who was talking to him would be in more shock.

-To be continued-

90’s Technology

By: Elycia Lee

As a kid from the 90s, sometimes I look at the gadgets and devices we have now and I can’t help thinking how much has changed since then, but there’s always a sense of nostalgia whenever I’m reminded of them. The rapid transformation of technology truly amazes me, but back in my days…

      

  1. VCR (Video Cassette Recorder)MVR

Before we had CDs and DVDs, we had VCR that could record analogue audio and analogue video from broadcast television and play pre-recorded tapes. After watching a tape, we had to rewind the tape back to watch it again! Quite a tedious job, but it was fun to turn it back with a pencil ☺

2. Mobile phonesPhones

The mobile phones we had back then… what do you mean ‘touch screen’? These phones didn’t even have colour! This was back when Nokia was really famous, and even now it is still known by many for its ‘indestructibility’.

3. PlaystationConsoles

Behold, Playstation 1. Before the creation of XBOX and Wii, we had Playstations and the games came in cartridges, nothing pre-installed or CD-like.

4. Gameboygameboy

Ah, the memories of the Gameboy. I still remember games like Donkey Kong, Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow, Tetris, Zelda…  

5. TamagotchiTamagotchi

Tamagotchi comes for the Japanese word ‘Tamago’ that means egg, hence the egg shape. It’s those kind of games where you start off with an egg and you have to take care of it (feeding, poop-cleaning, exercise etc) or it would die. This thing could really keep you occupied for a long time…

6. Floppy DisksFloppy Disks

They’re kind of like pendrives and compact disks. Just that these buddies can only be inserted into the central processing unit (CPU) of the old kind of computers.

7. CassettesCasette

Before the existence of compact disks (CD), most of our audio were recorded in cassettes and that’s why in some old cars models you can still see the radios with compartments for cassettes and not CDs.

8. WalkmanWalkman

If you wanted to listen to the songs on a cassette or an album (for CDs) you just bought, and you don’t have a radio, this is the thing you need! It’s like a really old version of the media players we have now.

That’s a lot of old technology that we have, and behold just how we have advanced! Suddenly today’s technology seems much more impressive, doesn’t it?

Living The ‘90s In Style

By: Tiffany Hoo

Alright, it’s confession time, ladies. Have you ever looked through your closet, scanning through the array of pieces in it, thinking, ‘Gosh! I have nothing to wear!’ Admit it, every girl has gone through this dilemma in her life, more often than not. Fashion is definitely a never ending focus of a girl, even with a wardrobe filled to the brim with the latest clothes and up to date accessories!

However, the main issue of this dilemma does not lie in the amount of clothes we have, but by how we choose to incorporate a certain style in our outfit. In reality we can always take a past trend and adapt it to our modern age with just a little creativity. Here, we’ll be giving you some tips on how to rock the ‘90s look from head to toe without being labelled a hipster.

ScrunchiesScrunchies

Childhood memories were rooted to this simple piece. From using it to tie up your hair to using it as a ‘wristband’, the scrunchie has been a timeless accessory for us girls. Even after growing out of childhood, you can rock scrunchies, which come in different shades and patterns, the same way you were as a kid, giving you a playful and jovial look.

chokerChokers

In the ‘90s, tattoo style version of chokers were all the rage especially since many artistes and musicians were into it. However, approaching the ‘20s, the essence of a choker still persists, even if it comes in different forms. From felt and lace chokers to the metallic versions, chokers can be found pretty much everywhere and are a simple touch of pizzazz to what would be a drab outfit.

Skater DressSkater dress

An essential in every girl’s wardrobe. The skater dress is a trend that never goes out of style. This casual piece may be found in different patterns but it essentially spots vibrant floral patterns to give you a playful girl next door look. If u want to add an edge to what would be a feminine outfit, try adding on a denim jacket to give you a cooler vibe.

FlannelFlannels

An essential in every girl’s wardrobe. The skater dress is a trend that never goes out of style. This casual piece may be found in different patterns but it essentially spots vibrant floral patterns to give you a playful girl next door look. If you want to add an edge to what would be a feminine outfit, try adding on a denim jacket to give you a cooler vibe.

 

Dr MartensDoc Martens

These shoes were definitely made for walking and strutting your stuff along the streets. This iconic ‘90s look has recently resurfaced after experiencing its dark ages for close to a decade. From appearing on runway shoes to being worn by world renowned artistes, doc martens seem to be making a major comeback and aren’t holding back!

 

Fashion is definitely a personal matter and not everyone may have the same opinion on it. Still, it is worth considering! So grab yourself these looks and bring the ‘90s trends back to life. After all, old is gold.