A brief history of zombie fashion in video games

I’m sure your mother told you to always wear clean underwear in case you get hit by a bus. Odd advice, really… surely ‘don’t get hit by a bus’ would be better advice to instil in your child. Either way, she’d definitely have a point if you were to become a zombie after being hit by one. You’d always be stuck wearing the same clothes forever - so you’d better make ‘em count. With Dead Rising 2 on the horizon, we reckon now's the perfect time to take a look at what zombies have brought to the fashion scene over the past 25 years…


Zombie Zombie (1984)

Above: Zombie Zombie – a game so great, they named it twice. No, not really – it’s shocking

The mid-eighties were a terrible time for fashion and the zombie world was no exception. Garish, neon colours with no hint of co-ordination was the order of the day. This poor chap seems to be suffering from a pretty severe headache. Granted, it could be the rotting brain inside his worm-filled skull, but it’s more likely he just saw himself in the mirror. A pretty tragic image, and no mistake.


Super Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts (1991)

Above: A little late for the punk movement, but those tears are still cutting edge 

The must-have accessory for any zombie is a coffin that comes out of the ground whenever people walk by. Sadly, the blue rags look isn’t terribly inspiring, but at least it complements the shock of bright orange hair. And that belt does wonders for the undead waistline.


Zombies Ate My Neighbors (1993)

Above: Such a classic, you may as well consider this combo the official zombie uniform

Ah, the classic zombie look. Blue denim trousers, brown overcoat with tattered sleeve motif, and a shock of white hair for the ‘dead head’ look. Can’t go wrong with this one – if you’re scared you might suddenly be invited to a party at the end of civilisation as we know it, you could do a lot worse than this look. Some say 'vanilla', we say 'essential'.


Resident Evil (1996)

Above: Wow – a whole wardrobe full of fetching zombie attire and a mop. No wonder he’s guarding it 

Another timeless combo – this is the perfect attire for a brain feast at a friend’s country manor. The smart corduroy trouser with tucked-in shirt and a loose, stained, unbuttoned overcoat was all the rage in the mid-nineties. A look that says ‘Sure, I’m going to eat your brains, but maybe we could grab a sandwich afterwards’.


CarnEvil (1998)

Above: Little-known game from Midway, but some uber-funky hairstyles going on

There’s nothing funkier than a zombie with an afro. Honestly, it’s remarkable just how well-kept these fellas’ hair-dos are. Not so sure about the shirtless vibe, although it does show off that straining ribcage. A few bullets will open that up nicely to complete the look.


Resident Evil: Code Veronica (2000)

Above: A little underweight, perhaps, but still absolutely ready for the catwalk challenge 

I think Gok Wan has been encouraging these cadavers to bare everything with pride. It’s definitely time we had a zombie edition of the show, like ‘How to look dead good naked’. These fellas may have left their gonads in their trousers, but they’ve clearly been working hard on their skin. Using essential oils, decay and gangrene, even the purest skin can look veiny and dead. Maybe they’re born with it? Maybe it’s zombelline.


  • D0CCON - September 20, 2010 1:25 a.m.

    No Plants vs. Zombies fashion? Those zombies are rocking them ties. Not to mention a bucket on the head is the fashion of the season.
  • rybell - September 19, 2010 6:55 p.m.

    hilarious article. but im a bit disappointed that neither the banned mj zombie from pvz nor the spitter from l4d 2 were here. valve even mentioned in interviews how the spitters clothes were to show that you wore what you died in.
  • Genericpenisjoketista - September 19, 2010 1:58 p.m.

    I think that if I was ever bitten by a zombie, I would at least direct by bite-zone to somewhere minor, like my wrist. That way, I wouldn't get blood all over my carefully coordinated outfit. I would immediately head to the nearest strip-mall and lock myself inside of a display case (alone) so that when I changed, everyone could see the style that I've been rocking. I wouldn't have to worry about the glass breaking because zombies don't attack other zombies, so I'd be destined to be standing and moaning in that glass case for as long as time would allow me, before my leg-muscles would break down and leave me crawling on the floor. I CAN ROCK THE HORIZONTAL LOOK, TOO.
  • elpurplemonkey - September 19, 2010 1:58 a.m.

    Wow I never realized Chargers have that wimpy little arm. Gross.
  • mako94 - September 18, 2010 6:22 p.m.

    queer eye for the dead guy
  • huju00 - September 20, 2010 5:55 a.m.

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  • SweatyCrease - September 19, 2010 10:15 a.m.

    Where is the Dead Rising 2 review? I think I smell a turd, or maybe just rotting zombie flesh.
  • spaced73 - September 19, 2010 7:34 a.m.

    i know where zombies go for clothes,primark.
  • philipshaw - September 18, 2010 11:37 a.m.

    This feature just reminded me how excited I am for dead rising 2
  • jmcgrotty - September 18, 2010 7:35 a.m.

    Was the use of exacerbated a homage to Shawn Of The Dead?
  • 2cute2Bcruel - September 18, 2010 12:02 a.m.

    The ZAMN (best acronym ever) zombies & the RE zombies don't look too dissimiliar, do they?
  • sleepy92ismypsn - September 17, 2010 8:13 p.m.

    A look that says ‘Sure, I’m going to eat your brains, but maybe we could grab a sandwich afterwards’. LMAO
  • rafa_slash - September 17, 2010 8 p.m.

    FINALLY someone mentions CarnEvil!
  • QWERTYCommander - September 17, 2010 6:06 p.m.

    Umm... where's Plants vs. Zombies?
  • db1331 - September 17, 2010 3:22 p.m.

    Damn, looking at that RE pic gives me an unbelievably strong urge to pick up those shotgun shells. I need to dust off my GC remake.
  • Clovin64 - September 17, 2010 3:12 p.m.

    Zombie apocalypse? I think I'll look like a rather fetching zombie with a pair of blood red speedos. Some flip flops would be nice too. It would also show off a lot of my tasty rotting flesh to add bucketloads of zombie sex appeal. The undead ladies will not be able to resist lol.
  • RonnyLive19881 - September 17, 2010 3:08 p.m.

    Where are the Zombies from the Resident Evil Gamecube Remake? The Crimson heads were a great upgrade and those Zombies look a lot better than the ones in Dead Rising 1 any day. The Zombies on the conveyor belt in RE5 are missing too... great article though. Do the flood count as Zombies?
  • KidKatana - September 17, 2010 2:45 p.m.

    Nice work, but surely the Michael Jackson zombie from PvZ deserved a mention?
  • db1331 - September 17, 2010 2:30 p.m.

    Man, I nearly jumped out of my skin when that zombie busted out of the closet in the first RE. It was a much bigger surprise than when Lance Bass and Ricky Martin did it.
  • IsaacFenix - September 17, 2010 2:21 p.m.

    Quick fashion tip for the soon-to-be undead: Set yourself apart from the rest and really stand out by surgically grafting weapons onto your body! The tried-and-true dual chainsaws are a classic, but why not mix it up with something new? Razor sharp blades on your fingers will give you the "Krueger" look while remaining practical and lethal when frantically clawing at your prey. Or you can load your abdomen full of multi-colored pit vipers for a more festive feel when that special [agent] someone comes around. Remember, if you still have a brain that is, there is no limit to what you can achieve when you don't feel pain!

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