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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

  • oldgrammastinkyfeet - July 9, 2009 7:56 p.m.

    Friendly Spanking...
  • FrozenImplosion - July 9, 2009 8:01 p.m.

    hahahahha I love how the URL for this page actually reads: "/f/ugly-polygon-babes-of-yesteryear/" Idk where the f comes from, but I thought it was pretty funny that it happened to be before the word ugly.
  • RageNEWLAND - July 9, 2009 8:06 p.m.

    Maan, I never realised how ugly these people aree :O :'(
  • GamesRadarMikelReparaz - July 9, 2009 8:19 p.m.

    The /f/ stands for "features."
  • Amnesiac - July 9, 2009 8:33 p.m.

    So much nostalgia...ruined...
  • KillDrone - July 9, 2009 8:38 p.m.

    Lol GamesRadar is only about boobs and ass! ;-P Great article Mikel
  • asspills - July 9, 2009 9:20 p.m.

    haha wow good article... you have now officially ruined my memories of Joanna Dark, Adon, Tifa, and Jill Valentine for me... my childhood self hates you.. Also, that Millenia one from that Kagero game or whatever has actually held up really well... Not saying she looks good... *shiver*... but all things considering she is totally passable as a humanoid illustration of a female.
  • Tasty_Pasta - July 9, 2009 9:32 p.m.

    Hahah, the GTA hookers have always been so bad.
  • Jacob816 - July 9, 2009 9:39 p.m.

    Haha, good article Mikel. I'd make a boner joke here, but honestly I'm drawing a blank.
  • civver - July 9, 2009 10:09 p.m.

    "John F. Kennedy’s redneck cousin" Hahaha.
  • nadrewod999 - July 9, 2009 10:32 p.m.

    Weird article. Never before seen so much bad 3D rez in one place. Nevertheless, still was a good article.
  • PCG_Evan - July 9, 2009 11:23 p.m.

    Yessss Rival Schools. So much innuendo and underage sexual taunts. Thank you for this moment.
  • Yeager1122 - July 10, 2009 12:41 a.m.

    MY EYES! MY EYES!
  • Ddz53 - July 10, 2009 12:48 a.m.

    I actually laughed at the Voldo description
  • Doomwaffle - July 10, 2009 12:59 a.m.

    Well, I'd tap that.
  • Weasel - July 10, 2009 1:06 a.m.

    Actually surprised Fear Effect didn't make this list, since that's another PS1 game that got most of it's publicity from it's 'sexy' female lead. And the implied lesbianism from the sequel.
  • Xeacons - July 10, 2009 1:31 a.m.

    OHGODOHGOD MY EYES!!! Tim Curry from Rock Horror! BAAAD Image!
  • WonsAuto - July 10, 2009 1:48 a.m.

    The four people above me somehow posted a year ago. o_O Also, this could've used some of the female wrestlers from the Smackdown! series.
  • WonsAuto - July 10, 2009 1:49 a.m.

    OK, never mind that thing I said about the people posting from the distant past.
  • solidsnake_5552000 - July 10, 2009 1:51 a.m.

    "You can’t fool us, Michael Jackson". That comment almost made me cr*p on my pants. It is very hilarious. But seriously Nina looks like him in that shot.

Showing 1-20 of 90 comments

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