Sexy Protagonists VS “True” Female Characters

Now I was not going to upload this after my previous venture into this delicate subject but after getting into a bit of a debate with someone over what they perceived to be good character design on a cool piece of during production Beyonetta concept art which the person said that she shouldn’t exist, I thought what the hell because as someone who wants to design games, I found the whole “true” female characters thing rather stupid.

I want to know why are sexy female characters demonized and branded ” not true characters” within the gaming community when they really don’t have to be, now hear me out before you say anything because it will make my job explaining alot easier.

So let’s deal with the “sexy protagonist” part first because that is the easiest part to explain, now heroes and villains can come in every shape,size and form possible in the world of video games and that’s a good thing, usually people just go along with it but on quite a few occasions, they have called for blood over something as simple as how a character looks or behaves which in my honest opinion is completely unnecessary and a waste of valuable oxygen.

Everybody looks different, same goes for game characters regardless of their gender, now I have half a dozen examples to show you guys and of course girls that this isn’t a huge problem that many are making this out to be and I shall start with one of my favorite characters and the reason why I started writing this in the first place….Beyonetta.

Now Beyonetta is quite a provocative character to say the least considering she is a 500 year old witch who hunts angels and demons alike but she is a badass character that can kick ass and look good doing it, she wears a skin tight catsuit and heels that have freaking guns on them for christ’s sake,they are quite a unique choice of footwear to be wearing when fighting skyscraper tall bosses but who cares when they have guns built into them.

She can shape shift into a panther, when she jumps huge butterfly wings show up and push her forward to aid her in combat, she is without a doubt a powerhouse in every way while still being feminine even though she looks like a sexy librarian, Beyonetta is a unique take on what I like to call the “standard female heroine” and here is why.

Beyonetta is one such character that people love to argue about

Beyonetta is one such character that people love to argue about

Some would argue just that she is just sexy for the sake of being sexy when in reality, the developers just wanted to make a cool lead character, they decided to emphasize her femininity and sexuality because she is strong and confident woman, Beyonetta will kick your teeth in, keep kicking you until you are just a stain on the bottom of her heels, taunt you and even if you do come back as an angel for revenge, she will kill you again.

She might have been over the top and so on but she was a cool character none the less, hell one of my favorite things about her was her actual personality, for example in one scene she says  “If you get in my way, I will, oh how do the Americans put it….Oh yes… Bust a cap in yo’ ass” in a very provocative British voice.

Now I have heard people say that she shouldn’t exist and she isn’t a “true” female character, I am honestly trying to think to myself what the hell is a “true” female character, if you mean by “true” female characters by depth then I could easily name after starting with Lara Croft from the 2013 reboot, Ellie from The Last Of Us and a few others.

Sometimes “realistic and true” isn’t always a good thing, its good when its done right but it’s hard to get right, as someone who wants to design games and has a black book filled with ideas for possible game characters and the like, its really hard to make them to a standard where they are liked by everybody.

Now I found another character that made a stir regarding this delicate subject and she is the Sorceress from the RPG/Beat Em Up known as Dragon’s Crown, now she really caused a stir when people looked up her design which I shall post below.

The Infamous Dragon's Crown Sorceress

The Infamous Dragon’s Crown Sorceress

Now the first thing you notice or should I say things in this case is her logic defying cleavage and her exaggerated backside, now I showed my mother this image and do you guys want to know what she said, she stared and said “my god, she is either going to need a really good sports bra or scaffolding to keep those things up” and she was laughing her head off until she went red in the face.

I of course with my sarcastic nature, made it worse and said ” I am just concerned she will fall over after standing up because of the size of em, she must have really bad backache from having those things” and well we almost died from laughing so much.

Anyway back to the seriousness, gamer and non gamer alike called the designer of the game “a sexist pig” and countless other names over the design of a few of his characters mainly the Sorceress seen here because of how exaggerated she was when he just wanted to make the game stand out, was this the correct way to make the game stand out, no it was not but you can’t get everything right first time.

You can’t get the formula for a character 100 percent right all the time and honestly its a far smaller issue than many people are making it out to be, sure they go overboard sometimes but instead of having screaming matches about how a character looks and so on, we should try and talk to the developers politely and discuss the issue like adults and try to help them, or explain what you would want in characters, it would save time for the community because they won’t have to spend time ranting and raving in comment sections, forums and the like and the companies wont have to spend valuable time responding.

Do I think sexy protagonists should disappear, no because they are still cool characters and they are unique in their own ways, I want to see better developed female characters, what a character looks like is irrelevant to me, it doesn’t bother me at all, what does bother me are characters that are underdeveloped background story wise, motive wise and so on, they can still be sexy but it can’t make them great characters on that alone.

I will give you in my opinion an example of a well developed female character and that character is Lara Croft from the Tomb Raider reboot and here is why.

Lara Croft is a perfect example of "good sexy" and the proof is in her actions

Lara Croft is the perfect balance of “Sexy Protagonist” and “True Female Character”

Now Lara when she first starts out in the reboot is delicate and scared but grows into the Lara Croft that we know and love who can do somersaults while fighting a T-Rex, sure she is still attractive and kicks loads of ass but there is more to her than that now, her struggle and will to survive gives her so much depth as a character and turns her into so much more than a pretty face, if other designers followed suit and made this standard for females in gaming, they would benefit greatly from it and it would cause less arguments because their characters wont only be a pretty face but a fully realized and developed character.

Who says women can’t be sexy in video games, I have played games where the developers tried to make strong female characters but  it backfires on them greatly because they try base them off of a male stereotype, one example is Ruby Malone from Wet who was a poor attempt at making a “realistic” female character, she swears alot, drinks alot and LOVES killing, how in the hell is that feminine and believable….it was like they took a generic action hero stereotyped male and gave that character a sex change.

She had almost no character development, no clear explanation of who she was or her back story, she was just a really dull and generic character who was just all looks and no personality.

In my opinion it’s all about balance between being sexy and being badass, I don’t have any say on what the people who create these characters do, I am just a dude who wants the bloodshed to stop from gamer and non gamer when a new ultra sexy character comes along…..anyway that’s my final thought on the subject and I would like to hear what you think about this.

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3 responses to “Sexy Protagonists VS “True” Female Characters

  1. I think people get really upset about sexy female characters in games since they view it as exploitation and a ploy to lure horny teenage boys into buying the game. Of course, some companies do that on purpose, but at the same time others just have attractive female characters because that’s the way they like it or because it suits the character.

    Anyway, I agree with you – it’s not neccessarily about how the character looks, but how they’re characterised. If a character is just there for fanservice – regardless of their gender – and they don’t do ANYTHING, then there’s no point to that character. What’s important is that there’s more to a character BEYOND how they look.

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