Ugly polygon "babes" of yesteryear


As seen in: Fighters Megamix (Saturn, 1997)

How she’s remembered:

Believe it or not, Candy (aka Honey) was actually based on a rejected character from Sonic the Fighters. It’s true! 

How she actually looked:

While that vinyl “armor” does an excellent job of hiding Candy’s angular joints, there’s nothing they can do to cover up “her” lantern jaw, thick sideburns and faint hint of a five o’clock shadow.


Above: Badly meshing polygons conspiring to create cottage-cheese ass isn’t a pretty sight

Pai Chan

As seen in: Virtua Fighter (Saturn, 1995)

How she’s remembered:

Pai’s baby-faced current look is a far cry from what she looked like during her debut in ’95…

How she actually looked:

… Which, for the record, was a killer robot with a cylindrical head, spherical joints and scalene breasts.

Sarah Bryant

As seen in: Virtua Fighter (Saturn, 1995)

How she’s remembered:

Like Pai, Sarah’s current look only has traces of the ferocity that used to define her as she’d knee her brother Jacky out of ring after ring.

How she actually looked:

You want ferocity? The original Sarah is ready to give it to you, complete with a dead-eyed stare and no upper lip.

That expression only enhances her seductive pose and bizarre hips! She’s probably going to bite your face off.


As seen in: Dino Crisis (PSOne, 1999)

How she’s remembered:

Who needs to put dinosaurs on the cover when you’ve got Regina’s Asian features and fire-engine-red bob staring gamers in the face? Her distinctive look, coupled with her skintight-yet-utilitarian velociraptor-fighting outfit, helped make Dino Crisis an instant hit. It also didn’t hurt that gamers who were especially smitten with Regina could unlock alternate clothing for her, including a sexy cave-girl bikini.

How she actually looked:

Why on earth they’d want to see this thing in a bikini, meanwhile, is anyone’s guess.

Lisa Kusanami

As seen in: Last Bronx (Saturn, 1997)

How she’s remembered:

Her outfit’s standard cheerleader fare, but the giant forehead and droopy, sunken eyes are more than a little off-putting. Frankly, she’s not convincing us that she could kick anyone’s ass with those extending batons. Not even if they were standing between her and her next heroin fix.

How she actually looked:

Jesus Christ. While the illustrated Lisa was wispy and creepy, her in-game counterpart is a buxom meat-beast with torpedo breasts and skull-crushing thighs. We applaud the dramatic shift in body type, which we suspect is what’s behind that confused, mildly horrified expression she’s sporting.

Rinoa Heartilly

As seen in: Final Fantasy VIII (PSOne, 1999)

How she’s remembered:

In cutscenes, Rinoa was lovable and pretty, if completely unremarkable by the standards of Final Fantasy heroines. Why, that outfit almost looks like something you’d actually see someone wearing. Preposterous!

How she actually looked:

Sadly, the PSOne’s power just couldn’t keep up with Square’s ambitions, and so they retaliated by making the in-game Rinoa into a bubble-faced creature with stick arms, weird shoulders and a chin that disappears into her disproportionately fat neck.

Oh, and you should probably know that, in this shot, she’s celebrating.

Blair Dame

As seen in: Street Fighter EX (PSOne, 1996)

How she’s remembered:

Blair’s strikingly sexy, but she’s emblematic of the lazy, bland design that permeated the Street Fighter EX series. It’s like the designers just threw up their hands and said, “We need another character! Quick, let’s throw a blue-haired girl into a unitard and some thigh-high boots and call it a day.”

How she actually looked:

As lazy as her underlying design is, Blair’s in-game appearance makes it look like a brilliant flash of inspiration. See her puzzled expression? It’s because she’s staring at her hips and wondering why the rest of her body doesn’t fit into them right.

Pullum Purna

As seen in: Street Fighter EX (PSOne, 1996)

How she’s remembered:


Pullum looks deceptively simple, but what is she supposed to be, really? A harem girl? A dancer? A gypsy fortune teller? We can’t tell, we’re too busy staring at her low-slung pants.

How she actually looked:

Yeah, probably a gypsy.

Sophitia Alexandra

As seen in: Soul Blade (PSOne, 1997)

How she’s remembered:

A classical Greek warrior maiden and a triumph of late-‘90s rendering technology, Sophitia was nonetheless one of the least interesting female characters in Soul Edge/Soul Blade. Even though one of her signature moves was apologizing for kneeing other characters in the groin.

How she actually looked:

Her in-game appearance might have had something to do with that. Good lord, you could balance a cup of coffee on the folds of her skirt.

Jun Kazama

As seen in: Tekken 2 (PSOne, 1996)

How she’s remembered:

The mother of series hero Jin Kazama, Jun always projected a sort of soft, nurturing femininity that contrasted sharply with her chosen career of punching people in the teeth.

How she actually looked:

Look at this shot and try to think of any word other than “gorilla arms.” It can’t be done!

Nina Williams

As seen in: Tekken 2 (PSOne, 1996)

How she’s remembered:

While she’s since become one of Tekken’s most recognizable and iconic characters, the slinky cocktail dress and dinner-roll haircut she sported in Tekken 2 now look more like the product of clumsy rendering than deliberately sexy design.

How she actually looked:

You can’t fool us, Michael Jackson. Now take off that wig and stop being dead.

Red Shadow

As seen in: Bushido Blade (PSOne, 1997)

How she’s remembered:


The combination of creepy late-‘90s rendering technology with Red Shadow’s sour expression and elephantine thighs make this image wildly unappealing. This just might be another example of the in-game character looking better than the concept art.

How she actually looked:

No, we were wrong. At least the concept art had working shoulders.


As seen in: Gauntlet Legends (PSOne, 2000)

How she’s remembered:

OK, so she looks a bit like a dead-eyed blow-up doll. With a giant sword. Still, she’s an acceptable update to the blonde Red Sonja knockoff that captured the imaginations of young boys in ‘80s arcades.

How she actually looked:

What the hell are these things? Are they even female? Probably they are, given that they’ve all got bare midriffs and long hair, but they look less like polygonal game characters and more like the sort of things we’d doodle in our notebooks during chemistry class.

And then there’s this one:

Above: “Green Valkyrie needs reconstructive surgery, badly!”


  • Shuuvuia - November 15, 2010 7:48 a.m.

    God, that does look like John F. Kennedy's redneck cousin.
  • DeathbyFira - September 20, 2010 12:50 a.m.

    Now That is what you call Fugly hahahahah i used to hav a crush on Mace and and tifa but that was when i was 10 and now that i look at it now i want to go up into my room and cry myself to sleep but that also makes me wish they make a beeping hd remake of those games
  • LikaLaruku - January 31, 2010 6:29 a.m.

    The Laura one tells me that "Ugly polygon nude patches of yesteryear" would make a hilarious follow-up article.
  • LikaLaruku - January 31, 2010 6:19 a.m.

    Gawd bless the old shit that ages horribly. Nice to know guys were jacking off to these polygon princess only 10 years ago.
  • QWERTYCommander - January 6, 2010 5:12 a.m.

    Yes, Cybil did fare better in the remake. Don't know why they made her hair red though. reCAPTCHA: smells white white does smell... good.
  • jmcgrotty - January 5, 2010 1:04 p.m.

    The one I remember best was the Dural one. That thing ended up so massively different than the magazines were showing. And Misty has no business being on this list. JMBO
  • ShingoEX - October 31, 2009 5:15 p.m.

    You guys probably shouldn't blame Square for the Bushido Blade designs, since they didn't even develop the game. Lightweight was the developer...Square only published it.
  • Danielnoctis - October 3, 2009 10:54 a.m.

    Voldo's probably listed 'cos he looks like a dancer in the Brazilian Gay parade. What I don't really comply with is how most of these characters are remembered. Most of them are not remembered in their very first game. Sequels tend to fill the gaps and slowly change our memory of most of the characters. What I don't consider to look bad is Rinoa. FF's characters shouldn't even be on the list. Seriously, can you come up with a character of that time who even looked closely as good as Rinoa did? And let's not talk about her outer space cut-scene.
  • Kotsu - July 21, 2009 4:07 a.m.

    How is Voldo a babe? I hate that stupid... thing. Gives me nightmares.
  • SolidSpartan - July 20, 2009 2:33 a.m.

    I never considered Voldo a "chick", but every one is entitled to their own opinion. ( Yes, I know they are just playing around...I hope.) ReCAPTCH: "Michael preys" I swear that's what came out. May he rest in peace with Elvis... -.-
  • NovaProspekt - July 15, 2009 9:01 p.m.

    HAHAHA shelcobsohn thanks for the laugh dude. You made my shitty day at work so much better with that comment!
  • afroninjakatana - July 15, 2009 7:54 p.m.

    Hard to belive I'm only 14 and I own the original copies of most these games. Thanks Mikel for the nightmares. I'm going to put these games far far far away from me. I haven't played these games since I was three.
  • Thelonius - July 15, 2009 4:44 p.m.

    looking back at the generation that got me into games, I have to say HOW WAS THIS ACCEPTABLE!!! lol Hilarious article Mikel!
  • iluvmyDS - July 15, 2009 3:45 p.m.

    Sarah was hotter looking to me back in those days. >.<
  • sadisticgrizzz - July 13, 2009 12:06 p.m.

    OMFG! Did it really look that bad back then? Well when thats the height of video game power back then i guess these were the closes things 2 sexy game chics we had. uggggh damn i must of had a hell of an imagination
  • AuthorityFigure - July 12, 2009 7:37 a.m.

    Man you really dug a million examples. Once you've seen one 3D sl*t, you've seen 'em all. Same goes with video game girls too ;-)
  • Leonhart35 - July 11, 2009 4:43 p.m.

    did anyone ever actually think Adon from Turok was sexy?!?! i find that really hard to believe!
  • biggpau1 - July 11, 2009 12:55 a.m.

    LOL, am i the only one strangely aroused by the triangle tits?
  • NastyRobotHickey - July 10, 2009 6:24 p.m.

    In a moment of weakness, I fap'd to Dino Crisis. Things were going splendidly until the T-Rex ate Regnia. The mood was kinda spoiled after that.
  • smallberry - July 10, 2009 6:27 a.m.

    Oh man I remember searching for the Nude Code for Tomb Raider on a school PC. That and the secret Nude Raider game that my friend's Uncle was working on at Core. He swore it was real and we believed him. Re: sultrier Tom. Fitting.

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