Introduction: Typing of the Dead - Costume.

The Typing of the Dead was released in 1999 and based on The House of the Dead 2. As you can guess, keyboards replace guns in the game. NPC's walk about with Dreamcast (modded with a large battery) on their backs, and keyboards strapped to their chest.

I've been obsessed with the SEGA Dreamcast since it came out in 1999. I have 4 of them, 2 are modded like crazy. Also being obsessed with Zombies, it's reasonable that I choose the 2 subjects for my Halloween costume this year.

That being said, I've done my best to make this as authentic to the Dreamcast game as possible.
It's serious business.

(This is my first Instructable... constructive criticism welcome.)

Step 1: Get the Stuff You Need...

In the game, either the people are real small, or their Dreamcasts are very large. Because I had and extra on laying around, I didn't feel the need to fabricate one to match the size in the game.

Items Needed

  • Dreamcast
  • Dreamcast Keyboard
  • 10ft of 1" 3/4 Steel Strips, with holes (Not sure what the technical name for these are)
  • Foam Sheets - I used Fiber Craft Cool Foam, any will do I"m sure. Colors Black and Yellow. White in the 'Extra Firm' varity.
  • Hot Glue Gun (and glue sticks obviously)
  • Hobby Knife or Scissors
  • Hacksaw - or something else to cut metal with like a dremel.
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Closed-cell Vinyl Campermount tape 1 1/4" wide. (any single-sided insulating tape should do, it's for the padding in the harness)
  • Some nuts, bolts, and washers.
  • Two Monster cans (Any 16oz energy drink can will do)
  • A Suit. (Something you're willing to cut up, GoodWill is perfect)

All together, you should be able to pull this off with $50 or less, especially if you already own a Dreamcast.

Step 2: The Shoulder Harness

Step 2. We're going to start construction on the harness.

I bought a 6ft piece, and a 4ft piece.
Take the 6ft, and mark it in the middle at 3ft.
Cut in half.

When I did this, I shaped the metal over my shoulder to get the fit right, this will be much easier if you cut it in half first. Don't hit the cat, it'll be curious.

Lay your keyboard down on the shoulder bits. Mark off the space where you want to bend, measure and mark the space on the other shoulder piece.

Start the bend with the keyboard portion, it's the smallest chunk, and the hardest to do.
Once you have both of those bends completed, grab both ends and bend again. You should be at a point where you can 'try them on', bend to fit.

Take the 4ft piece and cut two 10in pieces.
Now you have 2 shoulder pieces, and 2 support pieces.. assemble with the nuts and bolts.
I recommend putting the nuts on the outside, so they don't snag on your clothes or cause any discomfort.

Step 3: Gut the Dreamcast

This step is pretty straight forward... gut the thing.
If have a working Dreamcast, and want it to work again down the road, be careful with this step, and save everything.

  • Unscrew the 4 screws on the bottom, one in each corner.
  • Flip over, and take off the top. Pull out the modem too.

It's pretty obvious which screws need to come out here.. do the needful.

Save the controller port module, it'll be more realistic if it's in there.

Step 4: Complete the Harness.

Drill a hole in bottom of the Dreamcast. I put mine about a third of the way from the front, centered.

Attach the Dreamcast to the back brace on the harness with a nut and bolt.
Don't tighten too much, or you'll break the plastic. Use washers.

Once you've got it on there how you like it, go ahead and put the harness on to make sure placement is correct.

Put the top of the Dreamcast back on.

Take the Campermount tape, and line the top of the keyboard supports.
Line the inside of the shoulder straps as well. It's a good idea to wrap the ends too, to avoid sharp edges.

At this point, your harness should be complete.

Try it on and make any adjustments necessary.

Step 5: Building the Battery.

Since the Dreamcast runs off AC power, us zombie typers need power on the go. HOw about a giant battery? Sounds good... lets continue.

Take the 2 monster cans, and cut the in half. Put the ends that you drink from in the recycle bin.

I cut some slits in one to make it easier to join the two.

Once I joined them, I used some packing tape to hold them together more securely.

Set it on the Dreamcast to ensure fit.

Using the black foam, cut the width of the can, and long enough to wrap around it.
See Pic.4

Use hotglue and secure the black foam to the 'battery'.

Do the same with the yellow foam. You'll want these about 1 3/4" wide, long enough to wrap around.
Hotglue them to each end as seen in Pic.6

Once your battery is dry, hotglue it to the top (actually the back) of the Dreamcast as pictured in Pic.7

Take the 'Extra Firm' foam, and make the contacts. Glue in place as shown in Pic.8

Step 6: The Keyboard.

I chose the official Dreamcast keyboard for authenticity. Any keyboard will work, make sure it's the same color as your Dreamcast though.

Flip the keyboard over and remove the 12 screws holding it together on the bottom.

Lift up, removing the bottom.

You can just pull the cord out, it's not soldered on the PCB, but attached with a connector. Be gentile though, especially if you want to use it again.

Once the cord is out, put it in a safe place and put the bottom back on. Put the 12 screws back in.

You're now read to type at zombies!

Step 7: The Suit.

I bought a suit for ZombieCon 2 years ago at Goodwill for $5. I highly recommend doing the same for this portion.

You don't need a suit, but it's nice for authenticity.

Open up the lid on the Dreamcast, to gain access to the bolt.
Remove the Dreamcast from the Harness.

Grab a white dress shirt (Again, Goodwill), and put it on.
Put the Harness on, and mark the locations where cutting will be needed in the front, so that the keyboad supports will fit through.

Cut a large slit down the back center of the shirt. This will allow you to get your arms in the sleeves when you put this thing on.

Three holes total: One for each keyboard support, and one large one in the back to fit the Dreamcast through.

Take off the Harness, and put on the suit jacket.

Put the Harness back on, and mark the back. Chalk will work well for marking, as it's easy to remove.

Take the Harness off again, and cut a small hole in the location you marked for the bolt in the bottom of the Dreamcast to fit through.

Put the shirt on the Harness, and the the suit jacket over top (As you would wear it)

Insert the bolt into the back of the Harness, and through the holes you made in the shirt, and then the jacket.

Put the Dreamcast on, and tighten the bolt.

Step 8: Putting It On... Press Start to Begin.

You're done! Ready to type at zombies...

It will take a bit of wiggling to get the shirt and jacket on, but it's doable. Once they're on, put the keyboard supports through the holes you made. Button up the shirt, and put on a tie.

Set the keyboard on the supports (you may wish to tape the keyboard onto the supports from underneath, depending on how much movement you're doing. Hate to break that awesome keyboard).

Mission Complete!

More photos coming... I just need to get someone to take them.
The one below was taken at the Detroit Erotica Ball. Word of warning... You'll get asked 'what are you supposed to be?' a lot.

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