“Fashion experiences itself as a right, the natural right of the present over the past,” critic Roland Barthes said in his 1967 book The Fashion System. Likewise, I’m saying that an outfit change can completely usurp a video game, pushing itself to the front of the crowd, making all previous outfits and vibes null. That’s why I put together a list of nine of games’ most memorable outfit changes.
While you might not outright notice a game’s fashion while you play—at least not as much as you recognize more obvious things, like controls and how many enemies are currently on screen trying to eat you—major style moments play a huge role in setting a game’s tone and expectations.
I mean, really. Think about it. When Kirby uses a Copy Ability to put on a jaunty little hat, he also gains impressive powers, and his previous existence as a defenseless, bubblegum wad of exposed flesh is replaced completely. When Persona 5’s Joker awakens as a Phantom Thief, a bat-winged mask stuck over his bleeding eyes, it’s impossible to still imagine him as an ineffectual high schooler. And can you even recall that Bayonetta was introduced as a veiled nun when the catsuit she changes into looks like that?
Probably not. Ooh la la! Keep reading for more about those unforgettable outfit changes and a few more.