Kupocon is a Final Fantasy fan event made by fans, for fans of the amazing game series that is Final Fantasy. I’ve previously blogged about my favourite ever convention days outs to The Wee Pom, Mind The Pom and Pomingham Palace. It’s by far my favourite convention to attend so when it rolled back round to be practically on my doorstep of course I wanted to go!
Kupocon Pomex is the largest fan-made Kupocon to date. Kupocon celebrates everything that is the video game series Final Fantasy. A staggering 1000 tickets were sold for the biggest event Kupocon has hosted to date and roughly 600 con attendees stayed on the the evening celebrations, rather perfectly entitled ‘Pomplosion’
A quick reminder for those of my blog readers who don’t know what Final Fantasy is…
What is Final Fantasy?
Final Fantasy is a mainly RPG game series that debuted in 1987 on the NES. Changes in gameplay have happened throughout the years but the series has a massive fan following. I started playing Final Fantasy VII when I was 15 and was besotted with it. Never had I played anything like it and the storyline had me hooked, I’ve since played all the games in the series.
If you have never played a Final Fantasy game in your life stop reading this blog post and go and play one NOW!
Being a 20 minute train ride for central London we simply hopped on the high speed train very early morning and made our way to Novotel West in Hammersmith. We had initially considered booking a room but unfortunately Dan had to work the following day so we decided to stick to a day trip for this Kupocon. Seeing as we were in Hammersmith we had to stop by the Rik Mayall memorial bench (RIP you total legend)
Pomex was Final Fantasy VIII themed (rather nicely tying in the remastered version having recently been released). I opted to go for the VIP Balamb ticket and husband a Trabia Standard Day ticket. The Balamb ticket meant VIP registration as well as some rather nice loot included with the ticket price – of which by far my favourite is this embroidered backpack.
Start Of The Day
We were meeting up with friends for this Kupocon, some who we have known for years and others who we have met at Kupocon and have become very close with as the events have gone on. The group of us with Balamb tickets headed down to the front VIP seats and got ready for the opening ceremony.
During the opening ceremony we had the chance to cheer for the rather awesome array of VAs and community guests in attendance at Pomex this year.
Being the 10th Kupocon to date we were totally spoilt with this cons selection of guests, in attendance this Kupocon was
- Ali Hillis – Voice of Lightning (FFXIII)
- Ray Chase – Voice of Noctis (FFXV)
- Adam Croasdell – Voice of Ignis (FFXV)
- Quinton Flynn – Voice of Reno (FFVII) and Voice of Axel (Kingdom of Hearts)
- Nicholas Boulton – Voice of Raubahn (FFXIV)
- Liam Mulvey – Motion Capture and voice of Libertus Ostium (Kingsglaive)
- Will Bowden – Motion Capture and voice of Pelna / Pruvia Colpus (Kingsglaive)
- Adrian Bouchet – Motion Capture and voice of Titus Drautos (Kingsglaive)
- M. J. Gallagher – Author of FFVII Novelisation and Co-Author of SeeD: The Beginning
- Micah Rodney – Author of SeeD: The Beginning
- Pontus Hultgren – Creator of Mogzart
- Dan Seto – Square Enix Former Community manager
- FiveOnThe – Artist
- Crimson Sun – Artist
- WaveChan -Artist
It was fantastic to have so much Final Fantasy talent in one space all at once. Many guests had signings and panels throughout the day.
The Quest Log
At every Kupocon you’re handed a Quest Log at registration. The Quest log contains a multitude of fun activities and things to do to net yourself some EXP (experience points). These experience points can be cashed in return for Gil – which can then in turn be used to buy actual real life Kupocon loot! A full quest log can net you up to £50s worth of Kupocon loot, sweeeeeet.
Two designs of quest logs were available, the one on the left designed by Fiveonthe for VIP ticket holders and the standard quest log on the right for other attendees. I simply love the more elaborate design of the Book of Mogwin – however I have one small regret, I didn’t actually complete any of my quest log this year – epic fail.
Despite not doing any of my quest log I did in fact actually witness one of the ‘Hunts’ in the book. You could earn experience points for a picture of Cloud. Even more if you had a picture of a Cloud cosplayer with a Sephiroth cosplayer – and a huge amount if you had one of Cloud on a motorbike – with Sephiroth.
Where are you going to find a motorbike in a hotel I hear you say. Well, I am glad you asked……
This year’s Market was absolutely huge with an amazing range of Final Fantasy themed art and merchandise available. There was literally something for everyone. I didn’t manage to grab a huge number of pictures in the market this Kupocon as I was on best friend duty for my wonderful friend Emma I met at Kupcon a few years back. Emma’s cosplay meant she didn’t have much use of her hands (nor was able to talk easily), so I was more than happy to help!
I picked up these gorgeous pins on our travels around the market. Though frankly though I’m stunned I managed to not throw my money at every vendor in there – the motivation to save for Kupocon Project Junon is strong though!
The opening ceremony for the day included the usual fantastic Cosplay parade showcasing the many extremely talented people of the Final Fantasy community. This Kupocon I missed the majority of the parade because it was also the at the same time as the VIP que for signings. When I had the chance though I went on a little tour with my newly adopted son Ultros.
This amazing plush Ultros was made by my friend Emma for The Wee Pom. I’ve become rather fond of him and it’s been decided that am now his adopted mother. Ultros wore a tartan hat for The Wee Pom so I suggested to Emma that he wore a crown befitting a King for the return to London – I couldn’t believe how cute he looked once Emma had worked her magic.
You can check out Ultros’s selfies he took with some of the cosplayers and attendees below;
Warrior of Light Ami with King Ultros
King Mog Alex Maine meets King Ultros!
Ok so no Ultros but OMG how good is this cosplay?!!!
King Ultros attacks Pontus Hultgren….
This was the first Kupocon where signings were not included with ticket price, a limited number of print packs for VIP guests was available which included a signing and photo with all of the VA guests. I opted to split a print pack with friends so I could met the wonderful Ali Hillis, the voice actor of Lightning from the Final Fantasy XIII series. As usual I was extremely nervous and have no idea what I even said to her – but I did manage to get my Lightning returns steelbook signed and grab a photo – even if I do look like the most awkward person ever.
The other item I got signed this Kupocon was my “Seed The Beginning Book” written by community guests Micah Rodney with M. J. Gallagher and illustrated by Kayley Henderson.
Everyone at the signing table was an absolute joy to meet – but I cannot write this without talking about Mo’s mug (the drinking type, not the face type). Mo is well known for not being without a mug in his hand at Kupocon. This event he had been gifted his own mug with a picture of him with said mug (which has maybe got a picture of him holding his mug, holding his mug, holding his mug, ad infinitum.)
I’ve shared much of my loot above but there are a few other things that travelled home with me from Kupocon. The Kupocon t-shirt design for this event was a cool black with the Kupocon post Moogle logo emblazoned across – I especially love the back detailing all of the Kupocon events around the world so far.
Last Kupocon I brought my kids home a kazoo. The kazoos were a massive hit with them (my eardrums not so much) but then after a weeks worth of screeching they sadly managed to break them (internal joy).
I did promise I would replace the broken kazoo – so i did, RIP my eardrums (until I can teach them some cool Final Fantasy themed music to play on them instead of Baby Shark).
I also added some more cards to my Tri Pom collection. Tri Pom is a collectable card game based on the Triple Triad game from Final Fantasy VIII. The art on the cards is by the very talented Wavechan
Once again I have my friend Emma to thank for the bulk of my Tri-Pom cards this year, as an avid collector she has built up an overstock and kindly gifted me several of the cards I was missing.
Throughout the day there were panels featuring all of the guests, each of which I attended, the panels are one of my favourite parts of Kupocon. Because this Kupocon was so big I didn’t manage to make every single panel. Here are some of my favourite moments I caught below
I managed to capture a lot of the community guest panel with Mo Gallagher and Micah Rodney. I apologise for the lighting issues!
During the panel with Ali Hillis we were treated to the Meow Meow Choco Chow line, as well as what speech Lightning might give at Sarah and Snow’s wedding!
A new feature to the panels was a 60 seconds fast fire round with each of the voice actor guests. I thought this addition to the panel was a great way to spread some laughter as well as making it feel like we got to know the guests even better.
I wouldn’t expect to go to a panel with Ray Chase and Adam Croasdell and not hear these famous words….
A real treat during the Kingsglaive panel. Once again the Kingsglaive returned in their epic cosplay (made by Silver Lining cosplay). We were treated to a live performance from the Glaive themselves in character. I commented at the Wee Pom how great it was to see everyone in their actual costumes and this just took it one step further!
Adrian Bouchet is an amazing actor, but maybe not such a good Kazoo player (sorry Adrian.) Adrian has persevered with his skills and finally used his kazoo to make a tune that faintly resembles the Final Fantasy Victory Fanfare – Yay!
The closing ceremony was absolutely packed and everyone was preparing for all of the feels. But first we had the return of Chocobo Ranch Extreme! The Chocobo ranch game has featured at a lot of the Kupocons I have attended and it’s always a highlight of my day. Team Alex and Team Alan raced to stomp on as many balloons as possible and collect gems as member of the audience batted balloons towards the front of the stage. All whilst the Chocobo theme from Final Fantasy XIII blasted from the speakers!
The closing ceremony is also the time for awards to be given out to both cosplayers and outstanding members of the Kupocon community.
Everyone who attends Kupocon is given a masquerade token to give to their favourite cosplayer of the day. Those with the highest number of tokens are brought to the stage at the end of the day. This years cosplay award as chosen by the attendees of Kupocon was this rather epic Fat Chocobo cosplay by Donna Starling (Can you spot King Ultros?)
The other cosplay award as selected by the Staff of the Kupocon event went to this amazingly detailed Einstein piece worn by David Jeffery I am still in awe of how he managed to get this home on a train!
Warrior Of Light Award
At the end of every closing ceremony the Warrior Of Light award is given to a someone who is an outstanding member of the community. Everyone who has been inducted into the Warrior Of Light hall of fame so far has been so deserving and this event was no exception.
This event was particularly special because it turned out that one of my closest friends Emma was awarded the Warrior Of Light reward! I was fortunate enough to met Emma in a queue back at Pomingham Palace in February last year. We found each other on Twitter afterwards and have ended up becoming the closest of friends talking every day to each other.
Since we met I’ve often said to here one day she will get the Warrior Of Light award and I was so excited to be with her when she won.
The theme to this Kupocons evening event was ‘Pomplosion’. Moogle’s are known for their poms and this event was quite literally an explosion of Poms. Upon entry all guests had the option to have a light up moogle headband or a LED wristband that flashed along with the beat of the music. These are quite possibly some of my favourite things to bring home from a Kupocon ever.
I along with my friends Emma, Anthony and Gemma had decided to go as Moogles to Pomplosion (as had quite a few other cosplayers too). Emma had again been extremely awesome and made headbands for both of us – as well as Ultros!
I’d been doing a Kupo Count Down on Twitter the weeks leading up to Pomex, and during that I wondered if we might see another wedding proposal at Pomex. I was not disappointed!
For the rest of the evening we danced the night away, it rained gil and we were treated to an epic rendition of Scatman by Liam Mulvey. Please Note: Video contains strong language
I had such a blast this Kupocon. Usually I have what’s known as “Kupo Come Down” where i end up feeling really sad post event because it’s over and I’m back to normal life. This time although I’m gutted it’s not Kupocon every day I had such an overwhelmingly positive time I’m just looking forward to my next one. Dan and I are hoping to be able to go to Freepom in Glasgow next year and I have already started beginning savings for the Junon Project (seriously though – a Kupocon in Japan would be unbelievably cool). To keep up to date with all things Kupocon then head to the Kupocon website or check out the great Kupocon Community group on Facebook.
One of the things that made this best Kupocon to date though was friends. I’d like to take a minute to thank not only to the newly crowned Warrior Of Light – Emma, but to both Gemma and Anthony who I’ve also become close friends with too. I am sorry, not sorry for turning round and yelling ‘I know youuuuu’ at Pomingham Palace when we ended up sitting in exactly the same seats as we had done at Mind The Pom the year before. I feel grateful to be able to call all of you my friends and look forward to many Kupocons together.
One last final thanks to event organisers Alex Maine and Alan Kenny as well as all the others that work behind the scenes.
At the closing ceremony Alex said something that literally pulled my heartstrings so hard. With the amount of time it takes to organise events like this he had missed out on seeing his eldest daughter ride a bike for the first time. As a parent too I know just how gut wrenching missing out on these moments are and I am no stranger to missing out on things which are considered to be major milestones for children. I really don’t feel there is any higher sacrifice than that – and for that I salute you and am forever indebted to the greater good you have provided for this community.
Until next time Kupo,
I purchased our tickets for Kupocon Pomex with our own money. All merchandise and loot acquired was done so out of our own pocket, I wasn't asked to write a review for the event, it's just a fan event I am very passionate about and wanted to share with you all!