PAX West 2016 cosplay breakdown

I hope you like Overwatch

Every year, PAX draws thousands of game enthusiasts to Seattle, and lots of them decide that the best way to express their affection for a given game is to dress up like one of the characters. Cosplay has really taken off at PAX since it started over ten years ago. I did my best to photojournalize some of the best cosplay at PAX West last weekend. Let’s get to it.

Pokémon Go was doing very well in Seattle last weekend, with lures on Pokéstops as far as the eye could see. Go doesn’t exactly lend itself to cosplay, but that didn’t stop this group from coming up with a way to show off some of the game’s features.

Speaking of Pokémon, Nintendo’s booth was full of folks eager to try out the upcoming Pokémon Sun and Moon.

That’s where I ran into this family, all dressed up as the Gen 7 starters– Popplio, Litten, and baby Rowlet.

I saw plenty of Pikachu hoodies and professional looking Pokémon at the show, but there’s something to be said for an old fashioned homemade costume as well. Here’s a Jynx and a Dugtrio.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild wasn’t available to play at PAX this year, but that didn’t stop people from dressing up like Link and Zelda. This Zelda has her own armor, and it looks like she could handle Ganon by herself, no problem.

This solo Zelda looked ready for anything…

As did this Sheik. I never saw these last two in the same room at the same time. Probably just a coincidence.

From the Legend of  Zelda to League of Legends. I don’t play LoL myself, but several of the characters were represented Here we see LoL‘s parody of a WoW paladin, Taric. I couldn’t get it all in the picture, but he had a massive crystal hammer as well.

The ninja hero Yasuo was also around, and ready to fight.

One blue-clad ninja deserves another. This Kasumi from the Dead or Alive series blunk at an inopportune time, but still looks fantastic.

And while I’m posting pictures of blue ninja ladies, Zero Suit Samus fits that description pretty well.

After getting that photo, she asked me to take a picture of her thigh. I make it a point never to argue with women who have cannons for arms, so here ya go.

Fire Emblem has gotten a lot more popular in the last couple of years. This group all came dressed as characters from Fire Emblem: Fates.

So did this young lady, dressed as Camilla.

It was nice to see characters who started on the 3DS getting some love. Here’s Edea from Bravely Default.

From Edea to Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite, who looked lovely. After posing for the picture, she yelled “Booker, Catch!” and threw a bottle at my face.

Keeping with the theme of strong female characters, this Shepard from Mass Effect was totally unconcerned about the Tyrannosaurus Rex behind her. I guess saving the entire galaxy from evil robots changes your ideas of what’s scary.

The other original Bioware RPG series got some attention too. Here’s a knight from Dragon Age.

You couldn’t pay me enough to wear a full suit of armor in the Washington State Convention Center, but I’ve got to admit this fellow looked great. He told me what game he was representing but I had a hard time understanding him. All I know is that it wasn’t Shovel Knight.

Keeping with the theme of knights and chivalry, I was happy to see one of my favorite series, Dragon Quest, getting some attention. These two were representing Square Enix at the Dragon Quest Builders booth.

The fellow on the right is Torneko, and I think the one on the left is meant to be a gender-swapped Alena, both from Dragon Quest IV.

I ran into the hero from Dragon Quest VIII in front on the convention center, standing next to an excellent Ayla from Chrono Trigger.

Square games were well represented at the show this year. You couldn’t go very far without seeing one of these Uber cabs, decked out like Chocobos with peacock sounding horns.

Theoretically, you could also catch a ride with Cindy from Final Fantasy XV.

I ran into these two several times over the weekend, always with swords locked in the clash of battle. One of them gave me his card after I took their picture.

Edgy guys with swords are all the rage this year. I saw several Deadpools, but this one had by far the best costume.

This Deadpool had melded with Dante from the Devil May Cry series. He called himself “Danpool, the ultimate hybrid.”

One of the nomads from Journey made an appearance on the expo floor. It’s hard to play video games without any hands!

Adult Swim was showing off the new ToeJam and Earl game. Earl was wandering around the show floor…

…but ToeJam had to stay in the booth. It’s a little harder to make a convincing ToeJam costume.

From ToeJam to Tomb Raider. Lara here is recovering nicely from that rebar wound.

This pair of youngsters were dressed as the Team Fortress 2 Scout and one of Ezio’s assassins from Assassin’s Creed.

Fortunately, they were nowhere close to this guy.

Kat from Halo: Reach joined another Spartan waiting for the light to change. They look ready to play some Grifball.

By the fourth day of the convention, these Destiny Guardians needed a rest.

Keeping to the M-rated games, the Fallout series was well represented. This Vault Dweller had made her own Plasma Rifle.

Meanwhile, another Vault Dweller proves that Ghouls are people too… just horribly irradiated people with melted skin.

Without question, the game that had the most representation was Overwatch. It takes some guts to walk around a con without a shirt on, but this Junkrat’s been doing it long enough to earn himself a golden grenade launcher.

D. Va was a popular choice for people to dress as. I found a pair of them near the food court.

This one was less faithful to the source material, but I hadn’t seen anyone else try to wear the MEKA suit, so that’s worth a few style points. It’s a little hard to see, but that’s a Dorito in his mouth.

Tracer is pretty much the face of Overwatch. She was hard to capture on film, but I managed to catch her between blinks. 

Soldier: 76 needed some help to get his tactical visor on, but he had no problem clearing the room once it was ready.

Zarya and McCree prove that the relationship between the Russian Federation and ‘Murica is stronger than ever.

Speaking of McCree, this gender-swapped version was all smiles when I asked her what time it was.

Gender-swapping Overwatch characters seems like a popular thing to do. Hanzo and Genji were inseperable. I’m happy to present… the Shimada sisters.

This Lúcio was a little melanin-challenged, but cheerfully complied when I asked him to drop the beat.

It was pretty warm in the convention center, so Mei shed her bulky parka in favor of a tank top.

Her ice gun was very impressive. She told me who made it for her, but I’m afraid I didn’t write it down.

Speaking of impressive weapons, this Junkrat and Widowmaker had some of the best I’ve seen.

I had to get a closeup on Junkrat’s. The attention to detail was amazing. When I asked, they said they’d been working on their gear nonstop since the open beta back in April.

Finally, this Reaper seems to have blended himself with Sub-Zero from Mortal Kombat. Freezing a dude before blasting him into ice chunklets with a Hellfire shotgun just seems like overkill.

That’s it for this year. There were a ton of other great cosplayers at the show this year, including a really good Eleven from Stranger Things  and a full-body Overwatch Bastion, but his costume kind of fell apart due to the heavy rain on Friday morning. I did want to mention that I got verbal permission to post these images from everyone whose pictures I took at the show, with the exception of a couple of the full body armored costumes. If you have a favorite here or if you can tell me where that knight with the horned helmet came from, let me know in the comments!

Kevin McClusky
I'm a longtime member of Destructoid, and you may have known me in a prior life as Qalamari. In other words, hi. I've been here a long time. There's a good chance I'm older than you. I write freelance articles for other publications, so you might see my name elsewhere occasionally. Disclosure: I wrote a paid testimonial for the Speedify VPN service in April 2017.