What defines a difficult cosplay? It can be a lot of aspects from the amount of make-up needed, the armor the character wears, or the fact that the character you want to be is nothing near human. Sometimes you stand in a fantasy world, full of beautiful elves and handsome rogues but you point at a dragon and say, “That’s what I want to be.”
Despite the difficulty though, there are cosplayers that make some of the most complicated-looking characters a reality. In video games especially, there are characters that are particularly challenging. From fox-possessed priestesses to cyborgs, there is a list of some hard-to-do video game cosplays made reality.
10 Rao (Kitsune Form) From Okami
Okami is a game filled with Shinto-inspired characters. The game is incredibly artistic and creative, creating characters that look as though they are straight out of an old Japanese painting.
Rao is a priestess that gets possessed by an evil fox-demon. The fox has nine massive tails with masks on the ends. To make matters more complex, the nine tails are also paintbrushes.
Cosplayer, Pixel Ivy Cosplay, wrote on Reddit that the harness and tails are over 60 pounds! “I had bruises afterwards,” they wrote. “It's a metal harness that I welded together and the internal framework for the tails is wood! (The tails are on hinges so they sway/move when I walk in them!)”
9 Garuda From Final Fantasy 14
This photo comes from the Final Fantasy 14 Fan Fest website for Paris, France. Unfortunately, the cosplayer is unknown. Their photo was on the cosplay contest page though, so they were likely a past contestant or even winner.
Garuda is a primal, which is a god-like figure for various tribes in the game. She is bird-like with four wings and talon-like hands.
The cosplayer definitely succeeded in what would be impossible for most fans to create. Hopefully they won that contest!
8 Gaius From Shadow Of The Colossus
Made by Nick Phillips Cosplay, this cosplay was an enormous hit at Raleigh, North Carolina's Animazement convention. He was featured in Cosplay in America, where he shared a lot of his cosplay secrets.
The cosplay took Nick about two years to build. The materials used included PVC, EVA foam, blue/pink insulation boards, spray foam, and acrylic paint. To make the character even more realistic, the weak-point at the top of the character's head and it's yes can glow!
"There are really good times, like when people ask for hugs and I don’t accidentally hit them with my sword, then there are bad times like when I have to tell people that I have to get out of the costume before I die," Nick said. "I can only stay in costume for around an hour before I get fatigue."
7 Deathclaw From The Fallout Series
Cosplayer Jennifer Robinson, also-known-as Tiny Wyvern, built this Deathclaw cosplay and roamed cosplay-loving scenes like Dragon Con and Momo Con. Like the Shadow of the Colossus cosplay, this Deathclaw was made with stilts. With having to walk around on stilts, making the cosplay is not the only challenge!
The arms she built are also extended, making them almost stilt-like as well. Those extentsions are definitely needed though, as Deathclaws are supposed to be monstrous.
6 Monster Hunter
The cosplayer for this amazing armor set is Kaiju Yeager Cosplay. Monster Hunter fans will recognize the weapon as a charge blade, which makes it part sword, part shield, and part axe. According to Yeager, the weapon weighs about 10 pounds. The weapon and armor is made out of EVA foam.
As for the armor, it's the complete Zorah Magdaros set from Monster Hunter World.
5 Needlewoman From Fatal Frame 3
It definitely would not be easy to cosplay a character whose arms are impaled with needles, but this cosplayer found a way. According to Pinterest, this cosplay is by Sen'il Lonia Costumes and Creations.
Needlewoman is a ghost, as are most characters out of the Fatal Frame series. Ghost characters take a lot of make-up and it can be a challenge to cover the body in make-up without the entire character coming out goofy looking. It would be amazing to see how the cosplayer accomplished creating the large needles that pierce through her arms.
4 Pokémon Gijnika
Being made-up creatures that range from rock-snakes to giant clams, Pokémon are among the most difficult cosplays out there to make from scratch. Despite this, they have become very popular in the cosplay community, particularly as gijinka characters. The definition of gijinka is "form of anthropomorphism in anime and manga where moe qualities are given to non-human beings, objects, concepts, or phenomena."
So gijinka are a creative way to take an inhuman character and manage to cosplay them without having to shapeshift. This takes a ton of creativity and these particular ones are amazing. The cosplayers are Entei (Light Return), Suicune (Hendo Art), Raikou (Alana Waffles), Ninetails (Rian Synnth Cosplay) and Venusaur (Elizabeth Rage).
3 Geth From Mass Effect
At first glance it could be easy to mistake this as an action figure but it's actually a cosplayer! There is a person under there!
The cosplayer is Pixel Mecha and, as one can imagine, the cosplay severely limited their vision. Like many others on this list, this Geth outfit was made mostly out of EVA foam. "The chest area was made of 4 different pieces that come together to form a 'wonky pyramid,'" wrote Pixel Mecha on their Deviantart. "But it took some cutting about and bending with a heat gun to get the desired shape."
2 Raiden From Metal Gear
Raiden, particularly from Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, has a lot going on in terms of pieces and parts for his cyborg body. So any cosplayer who can successfully pull him off is bound to get never-ending lines of people asking for a photo.
This cosplayer was interviewed at Wondercon in 2013 by Tested. Known as Jeff in the interview, the cosplayer said that the outfit took about 10 weeks to make. The sword is made out of wood and was made in one day and the sheath took about two days.
1 Ganondorf From The Legend Of Zelda
Unfortunately this cosplayer is unknown, but the photos are from DragonCon in 2017. Being the main villain for such a popular franchise, Ganondorf is a common cosplay to see at conventions. However, he is rarely nailed down this well.
What is most striking about this cosplay is the face. From the hooked nose to the giant mouth, he looks like a character straight out of a video game rather than a person from reality. This is also the Twilight Princess version of Ganondorf, which has beautiful armor. This cosplayer definitely did not hesitate on the details.