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Ugly polygon "babes" of yesteryear

GTA III’s hookers

As seen in: Grand Theft Auto III (PS2, 2001)

How they’re remembered:

 

OK, to be fair, this is one very specific hooker – Misty – but since she’s such a minor non-entity of a character, we feel perfectly justified in holding her up as the template by which expectations of GTA’s hookers were shaped. And while she’s just a bit dumpy, her face implies wicked street-smarts that we find intriguing. At any rate, she’s a hell of a lot less creepy than this thing:

How they actually looked:

For many people, the fact that you could have implied simulated sex with this eerily sharp, angular woman in GTA III was a major selling point. Think about that for a moment. When you’ve stopped crying, we can move on to the next entry.


Jo Kotomura

As seen in: Bushido Blade 2 (PSOne, 1998)

How she’s remembered:

 

What the hell was with Square in the late ‘90s? Outside of the Final Fantasy series, it was like they couldn’t craft a compelling female character to save their lives. Jo is weird. Her ass is huge, her head is tiny and her expression is somewhere between murderous and disgusted. Her halter top looks like an airbrushed-on afterthought and her loincloth looks like a diaper. And yet she’s still obviously intended to be hawt, which is either a poor reflection of Square’s design ability at the time, or of their opinion of what gamers wanted from a female character.

How she actually looked:

Like so many of Square’s other efforts, Jo’s in-game character is a hell of a lot prettier than her pre-rendered counterpart. That is, until you look at her shoulders and ask yourself what kind of person has joints like that.


Lian Xing

As seen in: Syphon Filter (PSOne, 1999)

How she’s remembered:

To be fair, this version of Lian is from the cover of Syphon Filter’s sequel, but it’s still how she’s remembered: pretty, smart and an efficient killer. Applied to her appearance in the first game, however, it is a filthy, filthy lie.

How she actually looked:

Bear in mind that this doughy creature, with its enormous foam-rubber mane and novelty giant gun, is what Lian looked like in Syphon Filter’s pre-rendered cutscenes. Truly, 1999 was a terrifying time to be a gamer.


Michelle

As seen in: Gekido (PSOne, 2000)

How she’s remembered:

Released in the waning days of the PSOne’s dominance, Gekido featured badass character designs by comic artist Joe Madureira. Michelle in particular looked ready to punch your face off for staring at her barely restrained chest. This is exactly the sort of hot chick you’d want to brawl through the streets as.

How she actually looked:

This, however, is barely recognizable as a chick at all. Between the giant arms and squished peanut of a head, there’s absolutely no trace of the badass pinup girl promised on the cover. If it wasn’t for the ponytail and exposed midriff, we’d barely be attracted to this at all.


Mace Daniels

As seen in: Fighting Force (PSOne, 1997)

How she’s remembered:

Considering that she was created by the same company that produced Tomb Raider, it’s no surprise that Mace bears more than a passing resemblance to early Lara Croft. Her design looks a little dated and pouty by today’s standards, but it could probably still be used to sell budget titles in bargain bins at Wal-Mart.

Probably.

How she actually looked:

Want to look pretty? Try hanging out with a hulking steroid monster and John F. Kennedy’s redneck cousin. It’ll draw all kinds of attention away from your lopsided suggestion of a face.


Alana McKendricks

As seen in: Fighting Force (PSOne, 1997)

How she’s remembered:

 

The youngest character in Fighting Force, Alana looks like a blonder, poutier version of Mace, with all the datedness that implies.

How she actually looked:

Meanwhile, her in-game model looks like a leggier version of E.T. with nicer breasts and poutier lips.


Cybil Bennett

As seen in: Silent Hill (PSOne, 1999)

How she’s remembered:

In cutscenes, Cybil is pretty, confident and professional – sort of like a tougher version of Cameron Diaz. She’s the kind of girl you’d definitely want to avoid killing so that you can both flee the town with a baby who’ll grow up to be the protagonist of the third game.

How she actually looked:

During gameplay, meanwhile, the grain filter turns her into Hillary Clinton with fat hips and a poopy attitude. Maybe she’ll fare better in the remake.


Vallah

As seen in: War Gods (N64, 1997)

How she’s remembered:

Kerri Hoskins was the It Girl of mid-‘90s gaming, having made a name for herself as Sonya Blade in the Mortal Kombat games. While slightly less recognizable in Vallah’s Viking helmet and heavy makeup, she still looks like exactly the kind of girl we’d want to see flip around and kick dudes in the face.

How she actually looked:

While it’s difficult to find fault with the way her body looks – which, for the record, is fantastic for an N64 title – Vallah’s pinched face looks somewhere between Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty and a skull in lipstick. At this resolution, it’s also difficult to tell if we’re looking at thick eyeshadow or extremely bushy eyebrows. Also her breastplate appears to be extending through her arm, and that’s just all kinds of unattractive.


Pagan

As seen in: War Gods (N64, 1997)

How she’s remembered:

 

Heavy makeup? Blonde hair ratted up to the sky? Black leather tank top?

Yep, this looks like pretty much all the pagan girls we know.

How she actually looked:

At first glance, there’s nothing immediately wrong with Pagan. Stare at her for a little while, though, and you’ll begin to notice things. Like the smeared textures. And the oddly squished breasts. And the square jaw. And the fact that her face looks kind of like Tim Curry in Rocky Horror.

Just saying.


Nikki

As seen in: Pandemonium! (Saturn, 1997)

How she’s remembered:

Thank God for grainy resolution. Thanks to it, Nikki looks like an overenthusiastic Milla Jovovich instead of a hideous monster from the early days of rendered cutscenes.

How she actually looked:

Given her tiny size, Nikki doesn’t actually look that bad. Although it would be nice if her legs actually connected at the hip, because right now it looks like her torso is just sort of lazily floating there above them.


Tifa Lockheart

As seen in: Final Fantasy VII (PSOne, 1997)

How she’s remembered:

Tifa remains, for many gamers, an ultimate object of lust. It’s not difficult to see why: she’s sweet, tough and feels the need to perpetually worry over a callous jerk who totally doesn’t deserve her, thereby giving every would-be sensitive RPG dork a reason to fantasize about “saving” her from said destructive relationship. Also, her boobs are enormous.

How she actually looked:

Like a creepy blow-up doll with runny ketchup stains for eyes, that’s how. For the record, PSOne-era gamers had excellent imaginations.

Oh, fine. Here’s a better-looking picture from Square’s oft-maligned fighter Ehrgeiz:


Above: WOOO SLIGHTLY LESS HORRIBLE 


Lara Croft

As seen in: Tomb Raider (Saturn, 1996)

How she’s remembered:

The First Lady of Videogames played it smart by not being rendered with the same level of creepy detail that, say, Square’s heroines were created with. Instead, she’s cartoonishly simple, and by extension cartoonishly appealing. By 1996 videogame standards, Lady Lara’s cover art is drop-dead sexy. Which doesn’t quite excuse what’s about to come next. 

How she actually looked:

You’re looking at the origin of the phrase “nude code.” This walking blow-up doll, with its giant forehead and triangle tits, was all it took to create a mythical “cheat” of legendary proportions that still persists as rumor today. Millions – millions – of horny young gamers wanted to stare at THIS THING’S naked ass:

Is it ANY wonder at this point why the dominant stereotype of gamers is that we’re all virginal creeps?


Voldo

As seen in: Soul Blade (PSOne, 1997)

How he’s remembered:

Look out, ladies, he’s single!

And probably hiding in your closet right now.

Waiting.

How he actually looked:

Yeah, that pretty much inspires identical sentiments, actually.

July 9, 2009


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90 comments

  • 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.

Showing 1-20 of 90 comments

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