I love Hotline Miami. No, really, I friggin’ love Hotline Miami. If you’re a friend of mine, you’ll know it’s the one thing I can’t shut up about when the question “what are some of the best games you’ve ever played” pops up. The violence, the music, the ‘WTF is going on’ storyline and neon soaked 80’s setting all came together in a perfect concoction which still blows my mind 2 years on (oh man, that soundtrack).
Cosplaying was something I’ve wanted to do for wee bit, but was never keen on the high cost that comes with it. So when Supanova 2013 came around, I decided to give it a shot with Jacket. Hotline Miami was iconic enough to be recognized by this point, but also quite affordable given the nature of the outfit. While a lot of people just say “so you’re just wearing a mask” there’s a little more to it than that. Below is the final result, and probably my favourite shot. Let’s break it down, top to bottom.
Let’s start with the most iconic piece of the outfit, the infamous rubber animal mask. If you’re not familiar with the game, Hotline Miami features a slew of masks to choose from which gives the player a bunch of different abilities. The one you start with is the rooster, or better known as Richard (Yes the masks have names).
The mask was surprisingly easy to find, head over to eBay and type in “*insert animal here* mask” and that’s really about it. There were a few different versions of the rooster, including a more realistic one, but I decided to go with this one. Why? The massive eyes. Look at them, they’re just plain freaky and are far more comical, adding to the creepiness of the outfit which is what you want.
If a rooster isn’t your thing you still have quite a few choices. Have a look at this image to see what options you have (it is a list of the masks available with the game). Some of the more popular ones include a horse, rabbit, pig or elephant. This particular one cost me $40 AUD with shipping.
Moving on to the 2nd most important part of the costume, the jacket. Jacket (the main character in Hotline Miami) gets his name from the letterman or Varsity jacket he wears within the game. If you’ve watched a TV show or a movie from the 80’s you would have seen these before (almost all college ‘jocks’ wear them) and without a doubt invoke that retro / old school feel, a crucial part of the costume.
In the photo shoot, I used 2 different jackets. In the clean shots I wore a Hotline Miami replica jacket made by Insert Coin and in the ‘bloody’ shots, I used a plain red and white one.
The Insert Coin jacket is based exactly off the game and probably your best option if you want to be on point with details. It features the same light brown on dark brown colours and the B logo on the chest. At the time of writing, Insert Coin is still selling them at a reasonable price of $76.99 AUD. My own qualm with them is that they’re not actually leather or faux leather but just cotton, resulting in a far less baggy jacket (traditional letterman jackets are quite puffy).
Since I didn’t want to get fake blood all over my Insert Coin jacket, I bought a regular letterman jacket off eBay for $70 AUD. The red and white colour was chosen mainly because I couldn’t find the brown colour scheme from the game. However this jacket had a far more bulkier make, making it look a lot more traditional than the Insert Coin one. After splattering fake blood on the sleeves and within the grooves of the leather, it looked absolutely brutal. If you get can a normal letterman faux leather jacket with the same colour scheme as the game, that would be my recommendation – or you can be baller and get one custom made (warning, this can be expensive.) eBay is your best shot for this, just remember if it’s in the $20 range, it’s probably cotton so just be sure to check the details of your item.
Nothing fancy here, just a pair of bleached skinny chino jeans. Be sure to get the washed out blue kind and not your regular dark blue pair – after all this is the 80’s remember! Also if you can pull it off, go for skinny jeans (and not a baggy boot cut) again these add to the whole retro appeal to the outfit. Be sure to roll up the ends to ensure they sit on top of your shoes. These cost me $40 AUD at my local Jay Jay’s.
What’s a Hotline Miami cosplay without sporting some white retro high top sneakers? A lot of people don’t seem to take into consideration shoe choice and just wear generic black sneakers, which can break the illusion of someone who just came out of the 80s. And it’s kind of boring.
The ones I used here is the one and only classic sneaker, Converse Chuck Taylors. This particular pair is the leather high top version which features a lot more padding and overall looks a lot more ‘puffier’ than the usual canvas ones you see around. Now these are fairly expensive due to them being the leather variant, going for around $100 AUD or more. I just happened to have these already and they managed to fit the bill perfectly.
If you’re looking to go bang on with authenticity, the closet thing you can get are the Reebok Ex-O-Fit Hi. They have an old school inspired design, high top, come in plain white and also feature the same Velcro strap as the shoes that Jacket wears in the promo material for the game. These will run you from around $50 – $100 AUD depending on where you look.
Now for the cosplayer on a shoestring budget, never fear, there are also options for you. I managed to find a white / black high top sneaker from Kmart for $15 bucks, which in all honestly probably looks just as good as the Chucks. This will obviously vary to where you live but it doesn’t hurt to try your regular department stores. Searching ‘high top’ or ‘hi top’ on eBay will also yield you a few options too. Key thing is to ensure the shoes you get have tons of padding – the puffier the better.
Again, no trickery here, just a regular old wooden baseball bat from my local sports store. Same deal here with the masks, there’s a ton of weapons within the game but I felt like the baseball bat is the classic weapon for Hotline. Smack it around a bit to give it some character, throw some blood on it and you’re set.
So that about wraps it up! Slap them all on and you’ve got yourself a pretty damn good Hotline Miami costume, ready for a convention, Halloween party, or maybe a full on massacre (DC does not condone nor recommend this sort of behaviour by the way). If you have any questions about the outfit, drop down in the comments below and I’ll give back to you as soon as I can!
A big thank you to Jessica Morris for the fantastic photography! Go give her Facebook page a like.