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Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII DeviantART Contest: Current Fashion

by Lambert Varias

Before its Diablo III art contest, DeviantART also held a competition for another major video game – Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. The contest called for the art community’s members to show their own take on the heroine Lightning. The entries were judged by none other than Square Enix’ artist, designer and director Tetsuya Nomura.

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The contest was held last month, from February 11 to February 20. Out of the 4,655 submissions, Nomura – known for his character designs for Final Fantasy VI, VII, VIII, X and XIII and the Kingdom Hearts series – chose three grand prize winners.

Below is Nicolas Barge’s winning piece, of which Nomura said, “At first glance it looks like a CG, and it has a level of quality that makes it look like it was captured as a screenshot.  While there were many heroic costumes for Lightning, I was drawn to the femininity of this costume and her hairstyle.”

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Nomura was also impressed by Randis Albion’s piece, saying, “It’s wonderful as an illustration, but in addition to that, the artist drew in both the front and back views, so I felt the artist’s clear intent when they created this piece. The red and blue color scheme was very beautiful, too.”

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Marga Donaire’s submission is one of my favorites among all of the entries, and it sounded like Nomura felt the same way too: “With one look I was hooked. The costume itself is sophisticated, and it’s also very well done as an illustration. The background that reminded me of the Japanese flag (Hinomaru) matched well with the piece and was beautiful.  As an artist, when I look at different works of art, I think to myself “If it were up to me, I would do it differently,” but that thought didn’t cross my mind once when I saw this picture.”

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As if earning praise from such an accomplished artist wasn’t enough, Nicolas, Randis and Marga also won an original sketch from Tetsuya Nomura, a custom Xbox 360 and controller, $1000, a keychain, a shirt, and copies of the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy. They were also featured on the front page of deviantART. Congrats guys! Switch to your browser costume and head to deviantART to check out all of the entries.

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