Video Game Villain Costumes Come of Age
When video games first came on the market in the early 1970’s and early 1980’s, the best graphics of the day did not have detailed or colorful villain costumes. Games were built around simple shapes like circles, squares and stick-figure people who might be distinguished by their color or perhaps a rudimentary hat or weapon. Advances in computer technology over the past twenty years can be seen in movies, television and, of course, in thousands of elaborate video games. With game graphics approaching movie quality, today is somewhat of a Golden Age for video game characters and their costumes. Despite the advancement in technology, some of the best video game costumes are assembled from creative combinations of jackets, helmets and other familiar articles to create new and unexpected looks.
Super Villains with Fashion Sense
The Joker–also known as the clown prince of crime–is commonly known as Batman’s nemesis in comic books, television and movies. As superheroes made the leap to video game consoles, their villains followed. No villain’s costume is more classically cool than the Joker’s outrageous purple pinstripe suit. His fashion sense appears to be the opposite of Batman’s somber blacks and blues. This dapper evil-doer is dressed to kill in custom-made clothing that accentuates his hideously fabulous, clown makeup. In an age of dressing down and affected sloppiness, The Joker cuts a more formal figure as he continues to test Batman’s skills and wreak havoc in Gotham.
Video games are great at creating and immersing players in fantastical worlds where sorcery, goblins and warriors battle for supremacy. Warriors and barbarians clothed in skins and iron-wielding, heavy axes and swords. Shao Kahn is a fierce villain who seems inspired by Frank Frazetta’s iconic “Death Dealer” warrior with his fearsome helmet and weapons. Villains are often defined by their cool helmets that preserve an element of mystery. Darth Vader’s black breathing mask and the Fantastic Fours’ arch villain Doctor Doom with his metal face plate are two examples of helmeted villains who crossed over from other genres and remain popular in video games.
Part Human, Part Insect, all Woman
Sarah Kerrigan is an interesting character in the gaming world; she started out as agent fighting against an insectoid enemy. She was infected by the enemy, became one of their greatest fighters, and eventually became their leader. Her costume is both sexy and grotesque with elements of both Barbarella and giant arachnids. Kerrigan’s skimpy outfit is pretty standard, but the contrast provided by the spider leg-like appendages protruding from her back make for a unique and memorable appearance.
Heighast: Nazi Doomtroopers
Heighast of Kilzone fame draws on recent history for inspiration. The Nazis, true villains with almost comic book uniforms and rituals, have long been a staple in movies and video games. Part demon and part Nazi Stormtrooper, the Heighast seems cast from nightmares directly onto the video game screen. The familiar helmet, jacket and boots immediately remind players of a Nazi soldier. However, sci-fi elements (like the glowing eyes) make for a creepy costume destined to become a classic in video game villainy.
Daniel Dayton is a freelance writer based in Cleveland, Ohio. To view a variety of costumes, including those of larger sizes, Daniel encourages readers to visit buycostumes.com.
Image credit goes to STARFEEDER.