Female game character design

Discussion in 'General' started by Zero-chan, May 4, 2002.

  1. Zero-chan

    Zero-chan Well-Known Member

    Hmmm. For some reason, I've been thinking a lot about this lately.... So I decided I'll go and rant about it here. I think the responses I get will be interesting, to say the least. (^_^;)
    Anyways, there's a site called "womengamers.com". I am a woman. I am a gamer. I have very, very serious issues with this site. But that's almost another topic entirely. What has me baffled is this:

    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.womengamers.com/dw/>http://www.womengamers.com/dw/</a>

    It's reviews. Not of games mind you, no. Of WOMEN CHARACTERS in games and the supposed "positive female image" they project. (o_o;)
    The way they rate the women is absolutely silly. Voice and stance? Who cares?! And the way they talk about marketing efforts towards women... they complain if there's no females on the box or the ads, but then when one IS, they complain she looks like a slut. Hirm.
    Not to mention some of the comments are absolutely insipid. I love this one from a Soul Calibur character review:
    <blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr>

    Taki has two outfits in the game: one is mostly red; her other outfit is mostly blue. These outfits are lightly armored in places and appear to be made of spandex-type material and basically look like a unitard. The unitard style of Taki's outfits is not in character for the 16 century time period.

    ...Once again...who CARES?!

    But what really leaves me scratching my head is the inconsistency in all these scores. Some women are derided as bimbos while others are hailed as "strong women portrayals." While some of the "bimbos" are blatantly obvious, the reasoning behind some scores leaves me puzzled.
    The best example... the Dead or Alive 2 girls get high scores. Huh? Am I missing something? I always thought the Dead or Alive girls were just nothing but T&A with shallow "personality" attached to them. Look at the way Tecmo advertises with them, the outfits they make for them, the whole breast jiggling stuff... it's like the programmers just thought, "Hey, let's make special effort to cater to the fanboys who want to draw nasty pr0n featuring our characters!" (and indeed, look at what's a popular subject on the hentai scene...) I even asked a bunch of guy friends about this and they basically confirmed what I thought: "Those girls don't have much character to them. They're just T&A."
    Why is it that GUYS seem to realize this yet GIRLS are seeing these designs as "strong fighting females"? I don't get it! Not to mention they complain about how other female characters "are scantily clad" but seem to be completely ignroing the blatantly obvious with these women...

    But I don't have anything against "sexy" characters... I think it's possible for a female character design to be sexy and male fanservice-y, and yet interesting as a character too. Probably my favorite example of this would be Faye from Cowboy Bebop. (Yeah, it's not a game, but still...) She wears revealing outfits and bounces around a bit, but she knows how to play her sex appeal to her advantage, and she has an interesting backstory as well. Being a "bimbo" or "slut" isn't just looks... it's personality too.

    That being said, I like all the VF4 girls and their designs. There's a lot of style and personality to them that comes through in their appearances and in their fighting. Aoi is cute, but has that look in her eyes like she could turn vicious at any minute. It's also interesting that despite how cute and young she is, she has some of the most painful-looking techiniques in the game. (^^) Pai is very pretty and is extremely impressive in her fighting movements. Sarah is probably the most "sexy"-looking of the bunch, but doesn't come off like a total slut. (If you want to see her looking like a crack whore though, check out her VF3 outfits... aieeeee.) Vanessa is undeniably one of the coolest female character designs ever though... I love the fact that she is visibly physically powerful and intimidating, yet still very attractive and stylish.

    Anyways, I guess the point of this post is... for all of you guys, what do you all think constitutes a "positive female character design"? Can a female character design be sexy and appealing without being offensive or over-the-top?
  2. Shadowdean

    Shadowdean Well-Known Member

    "a female character design be sexy and appealing without being offensive or over-the-top?"
    -Yes, but in fighting games it is a BIT harder, due to the fact that most of the time is spent mashing people. I think a little less revealing can still be sexy yet put forth a more positive picture of women.
  3. Fishie

    Fishie Well-Known Member

    I like Honey .
  4. Robyrt

    Robyrt Well-Known Member

    Hooray for Aoi... perhaps the only fighting character to continue wearing long, flowing robes for YEARS. /versus/images/icons/smile.gif It's one of VF's many good points... aside from Sarah, whose clothes get stupider with every game, and the new "my thighs jiggle" Dural, the girls are respectable characters with personalities and reasonable outfits. Even 1P Vanessa (who I suspect just entered the tournament 'cause Jacky stole her 2P outfit) looks more like an evil Amazon than fanservice. You can't say this for Tekken, SC, etc.
  5. Shadowdean

    Shadowdean Well-Known Member

    Whats worse on dural is her calf jiggle...that is slightly neusiating.
  6. Adio

    Adio Well-Known Member

    My opinion of strong female characters in no particular order:

    1. The Virtua Fighter women. You've pretty much hit the nail on the head. They all have reasons to fight with genuine personalities to compliment their styles.

    2. Grace and Jane from Fighting Vipers. Grace is grief stricken and just wants an outlet, a cold, bitter woman. Simple and honest, the game doesn't over do it by making her a nervous wreck. Jane wants to be in the army and like Vanessa has the physique to prove her dedication. Big power moves and speed, she's dangerous.

    3. Vice and Mature from King of Fighters. An example of sex appeal to get what you want. These calculating demons are exploiting their attributes for their own sinister ends. Especially Mature oozes sex appeal throughout her fights while Vice is just brutal and condescending yet still manages to look good. Why they're killed in 96 is beyond me, they're my favourite team with Iori Yagami.

    4. King, again from KOF and is a character that has a no nonsense policy. She's tough while retaining an air or elegance and feminity despite her attire and general demenour.

    5. Elena from Street Fighter 3 Third Strike. Some may say she's a bimbo but she's care free and humble with a genuine respect for nature. She is in fact a student studying to help her people. It's not a crime to look good and have a brain too.

    6. Baiken from Guilty Gear X. Probably the most badass female I've seen in a video game. She smokes, swears and is a powerful fighter, easily rivalling the males in the game on the bravado meter.

    7. Taki from Soul Calibur/Edge, yes her costumes are very tight but she's portrayed as a skilled and confident professional.

    8. Ivy from Soul Calibur. On a level with Baiken for sheer badass factor. Aristocratic, sadistic, tortured, liberal yet conservative (both her costumes respectively). A personal favourite with Vice and Mature.

    9. Edea from Final Fantasy VIII. My favourite boss from any RPG. She's tragically under used but the details of her character, especially the CG cut scenes show someone who is unattainable. A dangerous woman of power and refinement above mere mortals. Love look.

    10. Lulu from Final Fantasy X . Just like Edea, in fact I think Edea was her template. Square have used the same Can't touch design and applied it to a full on playable character. The result is an incedablely attractive but closed woman who says little but is always heard when she speaks. Combined with the fact that she's the main Black Magic user and you have a very powerful character.

    I dig Femme Fatal, Untouchable, Sassy or Powerful female characters. Mai Shiranui and CO are great to look at but are boring if you seek character depth in your games. Dead or alive really is a sorry state of affairs, It's great if you can't get any and you want a quick jostle before bed but none of the characters have any real depth, regardless of their gender (I've already spoken about Zack in a thread, to mixed reviews). And what decent plot there is, is over shadowed by blatant Tits and Ass.

    Yes, there are some games that portray woman as more than a wanker boy's fantasy but, just like ethnic minorities it's going to take a long time before you can play any game casually without feeling you've been sold out. Though I swear Guilty Gear X is bloody close.
  7. Murasame

    Murasame Well-Known Member

    Taki is a badass (sealing demons isn't for the faint hearted) she would make a good couple with Mitsurugi.

    Edea in FF8 shouldn't have been human. Not with the amount of damage it takes to beat her(either time).

    In fighters I like any female char that isn't:
    a) fanservice (certain "ninjas" come to mind)
    b) happy happy joy joy GIGGLE GIGGLE HOP SKIP JUMP
    (they usually go together)
    And is:
    c) Serious (like Nina (not T2 slut Nina). Or T4 Xiaoyu (who's no longer some schoolgirl with a RIBBON around her, like some present)
    d) Original (Baiken obviously)
  8. Shadowdean

    Shadowdean Well-Known Member

    Another badass female was the girl in the last Phantasy Star...I believe 4..even though she died in the first 20 min or so....she was awesome.
  9. sayow

    sayow Well-Known Member

    Pai, Jill Valentine

    In fighting characters, it goes to background most of the time. In VF4, Pai is neither over the top nor offensive yet quite appealing to the eye. She's portrayed as a daughter of a famous fighter who insists on proving that her fighting style is better than his. She's defiant but not to the point of utter disobedience. She appears dainty but that facade falls to the floor quickly when she busts out her Double Swallow Kicks or Trip Up. I can dig her.

    Jill Valentine from the Resident Evil originally came off as a sissy to me but I gradually came to like her character. She's well rounded in that Asian kind of way (parents always make us learn to play some instrument but never advocate that we actually use that ability to make a living). She's an upper level law enforcement officer and is considered one of the better members of that elite force. And her looks don't go overboard as seen in Resident Evil: Nemesis... good looking but not terribly sexy, nothing I find offensive... She's quite competent and responsible, actually, and a pretty positive role model.

    [I hate this color...]
  10. Fishie

    Fishie Well-Known Member

    Re: Pai, Jill Valentine

    Eeeeeeeeep WRONG .
    She is disobediently defiant .
    She wants to punish Lau becouse she blames his neglect for the death of her mother .

    Further proof that storylines in fighting games suck .
  11. sayow

    sayow Well-Known Member

    Re: Pai, Jill Valentine

    Sorry, my bad. Didn't know that. It doesn't show up in the VF4 manual and I don't remember anything from VF2. Never played VF3. In the VF4 handbook, it says: "... Determined to prove herself a worthy successor to her father's legacy, Pai plans to enter the tournament to defeat him." Nothing about utter disobedience or defiance is in this text.
  12. Fishie

    Fishie Well-Known Member

    Re: Pai, Jill Valentine

    Heh, stupid US localisation .

    Then again twas to be expected as they talk about GETTING DEVASTATING NEW MOVES in kumite mode .

    Urmmmmmmmmmmmmm .
  13. PlugAndChug

    PlugAndChug Well-Known Member

    Phantasy Star 4 female character you were thinking of was Alys Bragwin. She's cool, but the lead character of Phantasy Star 1 was even better, Alis Landale. I think she was the first person to have the lead role as a female in a video game besides Ms. Pacman. =)

    As for Pai, originally her heart was full of vengence, but towards the end (VF4 now), she wants to be worthy of carrying on Lau's legacy. The VF4 instructional book says the last part.
  14. sayow

    sayow Well-Known Member

    Pai, Lulu, Samus Aran

    So Pai was once vengeful and disobedient and now inferably forgiving and wanting to be proven worthy to carry on a proud legacy. That's an admirable move in a positive direction, eh?

    RE Lulu: She's like a bonbon: cold, dark and hard on that outside and soft in the middle once you get past the exterior. She's not exactly a great female game character IMO but she ends up likeable; so go figure. The characterization comes off interestingly: I can agree with the analogy of her being a "closed woman who says little but is always heard when she speaks." I'll also add that she doesn't have to raise her voice to let everyone know that she is angry. The look is excessive and obviously done on purpose. I'll leave it at that. She's a one-man woman so that gets my props, too.

    Samus Aran of Metroid gets a nod from me, too. Just because of the surprise factor and the advanced thought that went into her in the early 80s... It also goes to her overall appearance as well. The fact that she saved the galaxy by herself is a nice touch, too. She might be common place for today's gamer but, back in the 80s, she was a shocker. LOL
  15. Hyun

    Hyun Well-Known Member

    Many here rave about VF girls but please. . . they are pretty much all manga stereotypes. (That goes for all male characters too. Well maybe except Jeffry) They may have more characters than DOA girls but that sure doesn't say much. Yu Suzuki again proved me that he cannot think outside stereotypes when he released VF4.

    But then what are NOT stereotypes? You may ask. Well, of course you have stereotypes but you can add some more character. Faye is a good example. Even Lara is a better example than VF girls. In that regard my current personal fav is Julia from tekken4. She is not only strong but also educated. She is one character whose less revealing costume is more popular than her more revealing one. (too bad she is so boring to play and even more annoying to play against.)
  16. jackybrothas

    jackybrothas Well-Known Member

    just wanted to say, samus from metroid is one of my favorite female game character of all time.
  17. Vanessasman

    Vanessasman Member

    i didnt understand y the DOA girls got high scores either yet Lara Croft had an average score because she became more revealing and sexy. I Dont get it at all The Doa girls have a swimsuit edition if u put Doa2 (dreamcast) in ur computer u get a swimsuit issue now if that aint sluty than wat is im confused.
    I thoght Lara was sort of an idol for stong women.............................. oh well.
  18. Bronze Parrot

    Bronze Parrot Well-Known Member

    Re: Julia of Tekken 4

    ] In that regard my current personal fav is Julia from tekken4.
    ] She is not only strong but also educated. She is one
    ] character whose less revealing costume is more popular
    ] than her more revealing one.

    I'm a Julia player who prefers her more revealing costume. 8D

    (I used her portrait as my VFDC avatar icon. Now I use Mireille of NOIR.)
  19. sayow

    sayow Well-Known Member

    Claire Redfield

    Capcom's scoring points: Claire Redfield is a fine character introduced to us in Resident Evil II. She proves to be very capable and her no nonsense approach is refreshing; Claire comes off quite competent in almost everything she does. She pulls off the everyday woman appearance without a hitch: none the typical video game sexual exaggerations are present in Claire's character models in either Resident Evil II or Resident Evil: Code Veronica yet still remains attractive. And she portrays a conservative mindset quite naturally through the concern she has for children and for family. Her priority setting skills shine. How's that for a positive female character design that's sexy and appealing without being offensive or over-the-top?
  20. InsertNameHere

    InsertNameHere New Member

    "I like Honey . "

    me three.

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