Since launching in 1995, Armageddon has become New Zealand's biggest entertainment expo.
This weekend the event comes to Tauranga, with many famous faces from around the world virtually "beaming in" due to Covid travel restrictions.
But there'll also be a strong turnout from local talent.
The team behind Pāpāmoa's virtual reality entertainment centre The Cave, will be showing off its racing simulations and VR experiences.
"Predominantly we started off with kids' birthday parties for the entertainment factor but we found out quite quickly it was fun for all ages, right from the senior sessions to military World War Wednesdays to racing simulators," said CEO Matthew Rencher.
While VR is popular with gamers, it's by no means the only group interested in the technology.
"We've branched out into 'Cave Fit' which is an exercise experience in VR and we do senior sessions. Under the ocean, diving, climbing Mount Everest, moon landing."
And a slice of that will be on show this weekend.
"We'll have two full-motion race simulators and two stand-up virtual reality experiences as well, which will be a rhythm and dance game," said Rencher.
For Pāpāmoa-based fantasy author Russell Meek, Armageddon helps him connect to fans.
"Armageddon is one of the best sources for me to get a good fanbase," said Meek. "I've been going there since 2011 when my first book came out. It's a really good science fiction, pop culture fan base, so just to grow your fans it's a fantastic place to go."
His love for writing came about through his work.
"I travel a lot through my photography so I've combined the two of those together and the concept I wanted to write about was just a big epic tale so I've merged the fantasy side of it with travel and it's become a really big, epic adventure."
Meek says he's currently reworking the books for a potential TV deal.
"At the moment I'm rewriting the second book, we've been looking at television scripts and I've been dealing with one of the big production companies in Wellington, redeveloping the series that I've written so far with television in mind. Then I'll be going and finishing the fifth and final book in the series."
Armageddon is perhaps most famous for its cosplay element, which gives fans the opportunity to recreate their favourite pop culture and gaming heroes.
"I think the first one I did was just a face paint of Darth Maul and I fell deep into the rabbit hole and there was no turning back," said Poike resident, Ally Drury.
"Now I go to pretty much all the conventions and do a different cosplay for each one."
What started out as a hobby has since opened some big doors.
"I got into the film industry with my costuming and make-up and we've travelled with Cosplay New Zealand to Australia a few times and we were meant to go to Atlanta for Dragon Con but Covid interrupted that."
Drury and her friends are currently working round the clock to finish their costumes in time for the weekend.
"We end up going to three or four different shops for things like foam, foam clay, worbla, I use that a lot for armour. I generally spend anywhere between two weeks and a month if I'm doing a couple of hours a day."
Armageddon takes place this Saturday and Sunday at Baypark in Mount Maunganui.
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