Video games are rarely based in reality—imaginative countries, unknown beasts, not to mention the swagged out characters all come together to create a world you can only believe. Many video game lovers opt to adapt the screen life to reality, whether through cosplay or fan art, and while replicas like fake swords and bombs are simple to DIY, we got to wondering what the cost of real life equivalents are. While we still haven’t built a Master Chief exoskeleton suit, Link’s Ocarina can be yours for less than the price of lunch. See our breakdowns below for some popular video game characters.
If you want to make your dreams of Hyrule a reality, finding the right pieces takes some creative thinking. Surprisingly, Link’s popular wind flute, the Ocarina, is an actual musical instrument that costs less than a movie ticket. But that’s where the affordability stops. To replicate Link’s iconic shield and sword would require finding replicas dating back to Medieval times. Not to mention Navi, Link’s trusted companion, which the best possible swap would be a personal drone.
As evidence from the dozens of costumes you see every Halloween, Mario is one of the easier characters on the list to recreate. Grab some overalls, gloves and his iconic hat and you’re set! Time it takes to grow out a mustache not calculated.
How can you calculate the seemingly indestructible armor of Master Chief? Some prototypes are already underway, like the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (or TALOS) which is a multimillion dollar research project to develop similar technology for soldiers. While an actual dollar amount hasn’t been determined, $80 million is already dedicated to the project. While getting your hands on an exoskeleton suit is impossible today, Master Chief’s other accessories like ammo and replica guns are easier to come by.
Fun fact: Red is the original character from the Pokemon video game series—the memorable Ash Ketchum was made famous by the TV series. Before you fire up Pokemon Go, make a quick stop at the nearest mall or raid your closet for Pokemon essentials.
Similar to Halo, Samus’ virtual world is made up of one major element—her Varia suit. Some brave cosplayers have successfully pulled off a replica using plaster, fabric and hundreds of hours of work. For those with less time, Samus used similar real life items like her emergency pistol, which could be a simple stun gun.
While Lara Croft’s missions are 100% fake, all of her clothings and accessories can be purchased in real life. Down to her classic double pistols, which in the movies are Heckler & Koch USP Match 9mm, all you need is a tank top, cargo shorts, gloves and boots to complete the look.
Agent 47 is known for his stealth like personality and his wardrobe is similarly covert. Hit up your nearest Men’s Wearhouse and find yourself a dapper suit. While Agent 47’s pistols are nicknamed Silverballers in the series, the real guns are AMT Hardballers.
While achieving Sonic’s epic blue “hair” may require some gel and hair dye, this famous Hedgehog comes with little accessories needed. Most of his outfit can probably be found in your sock drawer—all you need now are some gold rings.
While resurrecting an outfit from the Middle Ages may seem impossible, we found inspiration for Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad’s in modern day fencing gear. Everything from the inner lining, hood and jacket can be outfitted. While some weapons may take some DIY (like a bayonet glove), you’ll be ready for battle in no time.
Second only to Donkey Kong, Trevor Philips may be the least stylish video game character. That said, he’s also very easy to replicate. Simply take your dad’s gym clothes, run a few blocks around the neighborhood and you’re all set!
Who would’ve guessed Donkey Kong would be known for his minimalist style? Possibly the easiest (and cheapest) character to recreate, just swing by your local grocery store. We also recommend pants.
If you’ve ever wondered how to make a video game character’s outfit a reality, all it takes is some creative thinking and DIY hard work. There are hundreds of characters we didn’t cover, do you have a character in mind? Whether you’re Lara Croft or Agent 47, don’t forget to add sunglasses to complete the look.