Hello, Halo 4

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Jonathan Groves, a North Idaho College graphic design student, spent five months building this Master Chief suit for this morning's release of the Halo 4 video game. Groves, in the suit, greeted gamers at the GameStop and Wal-Mart on Mullan Avenue in Post Falls on Monday night before the game's release. Here, Derek Zaugg, 10, Hayden, and his mother, Shauna, ask questions.

POST FALLS - Halo 4 suits Jonathan Groves just fine.

The North Idaho College graphic design student spent the past five months building a fiberglass Master Chief suit in anticipation of this morning's release of the Halo 4 video game for Xbox 360.

Groves, who is 6-feet-10-inches and 7-feet-3-inches with the suit on, greeted gamers and added to the anticipation of the game's release on Monday night at the GameStop and Wal-Mart on Mullan Avenue in Post Falls.

"I made it custom to fit my body," the Post Falls resident said. "I just wanted to be a part of the excitement of the release."

Halo 4 is the first installment in a new trilogy of Halo series games called the "Reclaimer Trilogy." It begins four years after the ending of Halo 3 and marks the return of the Master Chief as the main protagonist.

Groves, 23, has been playing Halo games for 11 years since they started. But he calls himself just a casual player.

"I'm not nerdy about it to where I collect action figures and read books about it," Groves said. "I like to play with friends occasionally."

Groves finished the suit on Sunday, and his appearances were welcomed by both retail stores.

Groves works in the hardware department of the Wal-Mart and he was on the clock for an hour in his suit. He worked out a deal to appear at GameStop for three hours for a copy of the $60 game.

"My manager at Wal-Mart was awestruck about the suit," Groves said. "He doesn't play video games, but he knew what it was right away."

Post Falls' Leo Heinan was among those hoping to get a copy of the new game today and was wide-eyed about Master Chief strolling around.

"It's definitely exciting having a life-sized Master Chief," Heinan said. "He's like a real Spartan 117 (the number on the suit)."

Derek Zaugg, 10, Hayden, said the spartan suits he saw in Halo games are green and gold and asked Groves if the black and gold was something new for Halo 4.

Groves said he picked black and gold simply for his custom colors of the suit because the contrast between the colors is better.

Zaugg said he was impressed with the suit after checking it out from faceshield to boot.

This was the first suit that Groves has made. He used an online three-dimensional program, watched videos and found scrap materials to piece it together.

"I made the whole thing through trial and error," he said. "I made it cost-effective, but yet it looks professional. I'm sure it would cost up to $500 if you tried to make your own suit."

Groves said building a suit that's sturdy was important.

"It's not metal and it's not going to stop a bullet, but you can drop it 5 feet and it won't break," he said.

But the inside is comfy with foam.

"It's feels like a Tempur-Pedic bed inside," he said.

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