When cosplay goes badly wrong

As hardcore gamers, weexhalt our love for the medium in a lot of different ways.Some of us won't leave the house without our freshly pressed triforce t-shirt and Goomba sweatbands. Some of us spend every waking moment expressing our philosophical musings on the state of the industry inbile-encrusted forum rants. And the really dedicated among us go the whole hog and actually try to becometheir favourite game characters in crowded public places.

Done well, cosplay is a fantastic expression of a seriousloveof gaming. It takes hours of work and is a brilliant showcase for creativity. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work out that way, and when cosplay goes bad the resulting vision can be akin to witnessing all the terrors of Hell as depicted by a 1976 Polish cartoon.

In a move which we promise seemed like a good idea at the time, we'vetrawled the murky waters of the internet in order to dredge up the long-dumped corpses and rusted cars of the cosplay world. And now that we've recovered our eyesight well enough to type, we've put the most shocking material we've found together into one big gallery of horrors. If we had to see this stuff, we're damn well going to share our pain with you. Be strong. We'll get through this together.

#1. Squall (Final Fantasy VIII)

We thought we'd ease you in gently with this first one. While Squall from FFVIII isn't a hugely complicated costume, there's just something so staggeringly half-arsed about this photo that we had to use it. Everything from the tiny scrap of white trim taped to a pretty standard jacket to the desperately unheroic "Ho hum" expression makes this costume fail. Good cosplay is as much about inhabiting the personaof the character as it is about getting their clothes right, and FFVIII would have been a severely dull game if Squenix had designed Squall around this guy.

Just to prove we're not being too harsh, here's how well the character can be done with a bit of effort.

David Houghton
Long-time GR+ writer Dave has been gaming with immense dedication ever since he failed dismally at some '80s arcade racer on a childhood day at the seaside (due to being too small to reach the controls without help). These days he's an enigmatic blend of beard-stroking narrative discussion and hard-hitting Psycho Crushers.