Capes in Video Games

When it comes to outerwear, hardly anything can match the drama and impact to one's stylistic choices than a cape. Aside from masks, capes are the the only garment that consistently finds a (often seemingly permanent) home with both superheros and super villains alike. The reason behind this is that the epic, flowing garments add an inherent element of dramatic wonderment to whomever adorns one. Whether the character's goal is to decimate a city or save the city from decimation, a cape has been proven to be a perfectly suitable and often iconic addition for both character archetypes. Superman, Batman, Dr. Doom, and Magneto are just a few examples of superheroes and super villains respectively that simply wouldn't be the same without the dynamic silhouette created by those awesome pieces of cloth on their backs. 

This is precisely why capes are so prevalent in video games. Often times, the theme of video games encompass the fanciful: supernatural science fiction and fantasy. While capes have decorated video game characters since their earliest, most pixelalted forms, the contemporary video game industry is faced with an ever-increasing demand for realism in the visual department. This unbridled demand has proven to be a developmental nightmare when it comes to the implementation of capes. Creating a natural flow while maintaining accurate directional change momentum and collision detection have kept many game designers in their offices overtime. But this amount of dedication that so many developers show in implementing a piece of clothing speaks volumes about the powerful positive impact a cape can bring to their games. 

The following list will detail a few games in which a cape is (or isn't) accessible for your characters: 

How to get a cape in Minecraft

Being a pixel-based 2D game, Minecraft is one of the few modern video games that doesn't have to worry about dynamic realism in their visuals. To my knowledge, though, acquiring an official cape for your character is more difficult than getting any other garment. In Minecraft, they really make you earn it! In order to get one officially, it needs to be given directly by the developers, Mojang. To be noticed by Mojang in such a way, you really need to achieve something personal, or extraordinary for the community. As difficult as they are to obtain, it's not impossible. There are a few ways to get one:

  • Attend the once annual convention called Minecon 
  • Create a noteworthy downloadable map in the Realms server
  • Create a popular modification
  • Assist the Mojang team in a substantial way
  • Use unofficial modifications

The latter method is by far the most accessible, but unfortunately, unless other players are running the exact same mod, you will be the only one that can see it. While that may be all that matters to some, it is not "official", and the mods don't wield the notoriety that the official, developer-given capes do. 

Can titans and warlocks get capes in Destiny?

This is a question I have seen being asked quite a bit within the community. But regardless of the frequency of the question, the answer is ultimately no. Titans can acquire "marks" on their backsides that appear as flowing pieces of cloth. The only titan with an actual cape in Destiny is a non-player character named Lord Saladin. As much as players keep asking, no! You can't have it! Warlocks can equip long coats which in many cases appear cape-like. But officially, they can't have them either. Capes in Destiny are reserved mostly for the hunter class. 

Can you get capes in Elder Scrolls Online?

While they were shown in the beta, they were excluded from the final version of the game, much to the disappointment of many cape fans. For an MMORPG like ESO, the difficulties of adding this kind of dynamic flowing garment compound when not only the player can see them, but when many other players can simultaneously view them from all angles. Maintaining realistic integrity in such cases becomes somewhat of a herculean effort. Even so, this was not the only reason they were excluded in the end. Post Daggerfall, The Elder Scrolls franchise as a whole simply doesn't include them in their universe. In addition to resource allotment, they removed the garments from the final cut in order to keep continuity with the Elder Scrolls mythos. 

Can you get capes in Skyrim?

As stated above, no. Not officially at least. If you are playing on a PC, there are a plethora of mods you can use to adorn your character in a cape, but console players are stuck without them. Although I've never seen any official developer commentary on the matter, it is widely speculated that they simply create too many rendering and clipping issues when combined with all the other cosmetically visible items a player can equip. 

Hopefully in the near future, advancements in graphical technology can easily circumvent the nuisances associated with implementing realistic capes and all the detailed animations that come with them. If/when this technology becomes mainstream, cape fans worldwide will rejoice at the fact that their characters will no longer be deprived of the world's most majestic article of clothing.