Zack:In this bleeping and blooping installment of Fashion SWAT we are pointing our lightguns at the fashion misfires of videogames. We probably could have devoted an entire column just to Final Fantasy characters, but at least this time around it's a cross-platform cross-genre grab bag of virtual costuming incompetence.
Dr. Thorpe:Video game characters have a long and storied history of looking stupid. From Mario's bright-red overalls to Voldo's S&M gimp-suit, video game artists have been outfitting their creations with the most ugly and distasteful attire that their diseased nerd-brains can concieve of. But for Fashion SWAT, nothing is too easy a target (because we're lazy)!
Zack:A big "fuck you!" this time around to SA writer Andrew "Linguica" Stine for convincing us that it was a good idea to expose our brains to this sort of pestilence. You thought you would break us with your clever scheme, but you have failed!
Character(s): Steve, Billy, Bob and Cormano
Appearing In: Sunset Riders (Arcade/MAME)
Zack:The sheriffs of America's most festive Wild West mining town swing into action.
Dr. Thorpe:They remind me of Marty McFly in "Back To The Future Part Three." Remember when he goes to the Old West with that ridiculous pink cowboy outfit and entirely kills the waning franchise?
Zack:Was that the one where he wanted to fuck his mom? Because generally I choose movies based on how prominent their incest themes are.
Dr. Thorpe:No, that was the first one. You'd be hard pressed to "work one out" to the third one at all.
Zack:You can tell that Steve, Billy and Bob spend most of their time talking about "what a queen" Cormano is. They won't even look at him.
Dr. Thorpe:I think these guys are called Sunset Riders because they've got all the colors of a glorious painting of a desert sunset that you might find at a cheap Arizona motel.
Zack:These are vibrant colors nature doesn't produce outside the aurora borealis. And where do cowboys get tights? Pink hats, fine. Bright blue fringed jackets, alright, you're getting a little Village People but you're still following the cowboy theme. Tights? Now you've gone too far, Sunset Riders.
Dr. Thorpe:I think they must have changed it to "Sunset Riders" because "Male Strip Club Riders" is a little too risqué for an arcade release.
Zack:They're going to have to throw Cormano out of the club. "No walking j/o Cormano, keep that hand out of the pancho."
Dr. Thorpe:Apparently I'm not as familiar with male strip club terminology as you are. But who is?
Zack:I am the keeper of the lore of Hottt Cross'd Buns Male Revue. Individually each of these guys is an eyesore, but can you picture them walking down some dusty street together? People would be looking for pots of gold.
Dr. Thorpe:Imagine how depressed these guys were before they met. It's sort of like how once the Internet came about, all these guys suddenly realized "hey, I'm not the only one who likes to dress up like a baby!"
Zack:Cormano_69, you know my pain.
Dr. Thorpe:One day they all wound up in the same bar, and they all immediately knew they were destined to be a team, once they came up with a suitably fruity name for themselves.
Zack:Given their appearance they could have done considerably worse than Sunset Riders. I'm thinking The Oiled Pistols or Four Bucking Broncos.
Dr. Thorpe:You can't go too camp with it though, or people might think they're in the cowboy game for something other than shooting cattle rustlers and stringing up claim jumpers.
Zack:I think they're probably in the cowboy game to move constantly towards the right while outrageously garbed bandits shoot at them from behind barrels positioned curiously on the balconies of saloons. Then they're going to face down some giant Mexican who throws dynamite and has to be shot a hundred times before he dies. You know, the usual work of a cowboy.
Dr. Thorpe:Yeah, it was as unflinchingly realistic as Deadwood. Way ahead of its time. Sunset Riders showed the West how it really was, warts and all. They didn't gloss over the truth with brown outfits and normal-sized dynamite-throwing bandits.
Zack:Yes, those were the days when every Mexican was huge and every evil masked cattle rustler shot in three directions with each pull of the trigger.
Dr. Thorpe:It was a time of ruthless railroad tycoons and fiendish end-bosses.
TOTAL WRECK - crazy-eyed hound is covered in cobwebs, has a vespiary on back, graffiti on side and savage thirst for boat fuel. Frankly, I'm in over my head. He's in room 115 at Motel 6, yours free. 555-2851
Yes, it's the perfect form for surviving a car crash. But it's also the perfect form for so much more, like surviving the trauma of reading any news headline in 2016.
Fashion SWAT... the fashion industry is obsessed with impracticality. We know that what designers create was never meant to be worn by the grimy masses, but that doesn't somehow diminish how ridiculous many of these costumes are. Make no mistake, they are costumes, and like a Halloween prize pageant we will turn our discerning gaze on the grievous fashion misfires of Paris, Milan, and New York. We're not pulling any punches, and we're definitely not interested in making any friends. We're Joan Rivers without Melissa Rivers to temper our screeching. We're the Fashion Police in jack boots. We are Fashion SWAT.