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Eight last-minute Halloween costumes for gamers

4:00 PM on 10.30.2009 // Ashley Davis

Poor little videogame-lovin' naked guy. Halloween is literally just around the corner, and he still has no costume!

It could be that he can't decide on who to be. Perhaps someone from one of those games he likes so much... but making a good choice can be overwhelming. There's so many great characters out there to choose from. Or it could be that he lacks costume-making skills. A lot of the stuff that game characters wear seems too complicated to emulate in real life. Or maybe he's just a procrastinator who only just remembered he agreed to go to a costume party months in advance.

I hope that you aren't in the same position as this hypothetical person I just created. I hope that you had your costume all planned out weeks, even months, ago, and have been able to make the best damn tribute to whatever game character you're dressing up as. But if you are this close to the holiday and have nothing to show for it, don't worry. I'm here to help! It's true that there's not a lot of time left, but you can make some pretty cool videogame costumes with what little you have. And no, you won't have to resort to Sexy Mario or Luigi.

Hit the jump for some ideas to inspire you.

Last-Minute Costume Idea #1: Shy Guy (Mario series)

Why should the main cast of Mario be the ones to get all the love on Halloween? A Shy Guy's style is awesome and easy to imitate.

To make this costume, you will need:

- a paper plate
- a hooded robe or sweatshirt
- a belt

On the bottom of the plate, draw two large, ovular eyes, and carefully cut out small eye holes within the black eye space. Draw a smaller circle below for the mouth. Punch holes into opposite sides of the plate and run a piece of string or rubber band through them to complete the mask. Make sure to align the eye holes so you can see properly and adjust the band so that the mask fits snugly.

Once the mask is secured, put the robe or sweatshirt on and wear the belt outside of it. It's okay if the sweatshirt isn't the traditional red; Shy Guys come in all sorts of other colors. Black pants and boots will help tie the whole thing together.

If you want to be a different variation of Shy Guy, this costume can easily be modified. For example, if you want to be a Snifit, all you have to do is color the Shy Guy mask black and glue a paper cup over the mouth. To be a Fly Guy, mount a pocket fan to the top of your head. It's that simple!

Last-Minute Costume Idea #2: Ness (EarthBound/Mother 2)

What better game to pay tribute to on All Hallow's Eve than EarthBound? Its story practically comes out of an alien invasion horror movie of yore, and Halloween will provide you with plenty of strange "enemies" to encounter as you roam your neighborhood. Try to resist the urge to SMAAAASH! them, though!

To make this costume, you will need:

- a red baseball cap
- a striped shirt (yellow and blue)
- shorts
- a plastic (for safety!) baseball bat
- a backpack

Assembly of this costume is fairly simple; just put it all on. The baseball bat can be swapped with a yo-yo or psychic powers, if you have them.

Alternately, if you have a different color striped shirt, you can be Ninten, Lucas or Claus. Or, if you have a bunch of large boxes lying around, you can make a robot suit, place the baseball cap on top and be Robot Ness.

Last Minute Costume Idea #3: Faust (Guilty Gear series)

There's nothing much scarier than a surgeon turned serial killer. Of course, Dr. Baldhead recovered from his insanity before taking on the identity of Faust, but he still dresses and moves like a crazy person. And to all the people around you who have no idea what Guilty Gear is, that's all that matters!

To make this costume, you will need:

- a large paper bag
- a blue collared shirt
- a black tie
- a white overcoat

You may already have most of this costume as formal wear; you know, the stuff you only drag out for job interviews and weddings. When you're ready to go out, put the white overcoat on over top of everything else.

All that's left to make is the headpiece. Use your finger to punch out a rough eye hole out of the paper bag. Just one, for your right eye. Be sure to apologize if you bump into someone, but then crawl away on your hands and knees to still get the crazy across.

Bonus: To quickly (and cheaply) emulate Faust's giant scalpel weapon, you can duct tape a plastic knife to the tip of a cardboard tube.

Last-Minute Costume Idea #4: Ico (Ico)

Halloween's not too horrible a night to have a curse. If you're looking to go in that direction, don't settle for something typical like a werewolf... go for the cursed horned child! Ico is a favorite character among many gamers and is also a fairly easy character to dress up as.

To make this costume, you will need:

- two paper cone cups (these can be taken from most water coolers)
- a bandana
- a poncho
- a stick

The cone cups will function as the horns. Roll the bandana up into a headband and tape one "horn" to each side. Then tie the bandana around your head to get the cursed horned child look. Finish it off by wearing a poncho over your normal clothes and snapping a twig off of a tree to fend off shadow monsters with.

Bonus: Extra points if you yell out for Yorda at a crowded party.

Last-Minute Costume Idea #5: Big Daddy (BioShock)

The awe-inspiring Big Daddy is a great choice for a Halloween costume, but his outfit is one that is fairly complicated to recreate down to the last detail. If you don't mind being a little cheap, you can still get the idea across with a few household items.

To make this costume, you will need:

- a colander
- a power drill
- rubber gloves and boots

First you'll need to fit the colander to your face and mark the holes closest to the edges of your head. This is where you will need to run the band to convert it into a mask. You may need to use several bands to keep the colander from slipping off of your face. Once the head is complete, put on some sweatpants and a sweatshirt, and then the gloves and boots. Stuff a pillow behind your neck to give the illusion of a hump. Carry the power drill in your right hand as you clomp around town.

Bonus: For the full effect, drag your younger sister along and give her a turkey baster to poke people with.

Last-Minute Costume Idea #6: The Prince (Katamari Damacy series)

Everybody loves Katamari. As seen in an episode of HAWP, this simple headpiece can be made in less than an hour and will transform you into the Prince in the few seconds it takes to place it on your head.

To make this costume piece, you will need:

- two paper cups
- a coat hanger
- a highlighter marker

Cut the top off of the coat hanger and bend the wire to fit the size and shape of your head. Bend the outer edges so that they make hooks that point away from the head. Poke a cup through each hook and tape them down. Finally, attach the highlighter to the top of the headband with some more tape. The cups should be worm over the ears, with the wire going across the top of the head.

To complete the outfit, wear a green top and bust out a beach/medicine ball to roll around as you make your stops on Halloween night.

Last-Minute Costume Idea #7: Great Giana Sisters (The Great Giana Sisters)

Ladies: stop dressing up as Sexy Mario and Luigi. It's overdone and not at all clever. I hate seeing sexy versions of respectable things like nurses and teachers anyway, but to see two of gaming's most revered characters on parade in short skirts and sans mustaches just breaks my heart. If you really want to pay tribute to your hobby, why not dress up as the brothers' female equivalents? No, not the princesses; be the Great Giana Sisters!

To make these costumes, you will need:

- a friend
- your choice of Kool-Aid flavor packet
- jean jackets

For those of you who are unfamiliar, the Giana Sisters starred in perhaps the biggest Super Mario Bros. ripoff ever made. But instead of growing bigger after touching a power-up, their appearances make a drastic change from girl next door to hardcore punk rock ass kicker. One of you can be a normal Giana Sister while the other can use the Kool-Aid powder on their head and be the one who can break blocks. Craft stores sell giant fake gems that you can carry around, as those are the Sisters' equivalent to coins. Also, be sure to have a recording of the awesome music on hand to rock out to as you make your rounds.

Last-Minute Costume Idea #8: Prinny (Disgaea series)

Want to be highly explosive? Say "dood" every sentence? Have everyone mistake you for a penguin, but know deep in your heart you're the soul of a criminal encased in a cute, demonic body? If this sounds like your ideal Halloween night, you can easily make a Prinny outfit!

To make this costume, you will need:

- a blue hooded sweatshirt
- a baseball cap with a yellow bill
- white material (such as felt or paper)

Cut two eyes out of the white material and draw in large black pupils with a marker. Attach them to the hood of the jacket. From here, all you have to do is put on the baseball cap and the sweatshirt, in that order. The bill of the hat will appear to be the beak. Wear some khaki colored pants for the plank legs and you're ready to go!

Depending on how much time and materials you have on hand, you can fashion little bat wings and duct tape them to the back of the sweatshirt.

Bonus: If you've got a fanny pack lying around somewhere, it makes a great improvisational Prinny pouch.

A final note:

Halloween is an awesome time for those who are passionate about games. It's the one day where we can honor our favorites by dressing up like their characters and unashamedly running around in public. Not only is it a great deal of fun, but videogame costumes are often a lot more unique than the usual zombies and devils and vampires and sexy versions of all three that are usually out on Halloween night.

I hope that some of these ideas, as silly as they are, help you to make a last minute costume that you can be proud of. Or, at least one that makes you stand out from the crowd. And maybe, just maybe, another gamer will see you, understand what you're trying to be and give you a high five, which is the best thing ever.

Have a happy and fun Halloween!

Ashley Davis,
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