Back to addressing some stuff that accumulated over the last month!
As always, please don’t submit (or tag us under) content that isn’t credited and can’t be easily traced back to its author(s).
It should REALLY not need to be said at this point, but bikini armor or otherwise sexualized female outfits are the absolute opposite of a costume that enhances the wearer’s mobility. That’s the kind of nonsense that gave us the Female Armor Rhetoric Bingo in the first place.
If that was actually the case, you’d think there would be more museums showcasing metal speedo armor.
A fun concept for a queen’s variety in wardrobe, horns included! Besides the idea of designing headwear around the horns, I just love the designs themselves. This is also a good opportunity to reiterate that here at BABD, we’re not against lady characters wearing dresses, or even revealing clothes, for the right occasion. The Queen has a dress to wear to fancy events, but she also has a cool suit of armor to wear when she’s among her knights, as well as a more casual riding outfit. It’s when a fictional lady wears a ballgown or swimsuit to the battlefield that we have words.
Anyway, check out the artist’s gallery for some pretty cool concepts and illustrations.
One of these things is not like the other~
Definitely not a high-scoring design, but it’s still baffling enough that I wanted to showcase it. This is Clery the cleric high priestess from a recently-released JRPG named Azure Saga: Pathfinder (as the logo says).
We seem to have feathers as a motif, but it’s like it got forgotten halfway through. There’s no consistent shapes aside from the (apparently) holy symbol, except then there is a different symbol on her shoulder. And the “how does it attach” square is marked specifically for that pauldron being hot-glued to her skin, presumably. (In her in-game sprite, her sleeve is attached to it and it looks better, even though it still wouldn’t be useful as armor without further support.)
At least she’s not wearing heels, but her boots look like the last thing to be designed, when they had no ideas left.
On a positive note, this might make good livestream material, along with one of the other lady characters in this game:
(Article does link to some tweets that, unsurprisingly, contain particularly sexist, racist and islamaphobic statements)
That’s right bros, the Red Menace is back and it’s already taken your fighting fucktoys from Mortal Kombat. Though if you’re wondering how, I’ll save you time – none of them have any theory on the how or why beyond buzzword salad.
Companies making or localizing games in a way that does not cater to the way a particular (insensitive, misogynistic) audience demands are not engaging in censorship; they are simply marketing to wider audiences. Ironically, the same people who claim to be fighting for free speech in video games are now trying to punish NetherRealm Studios for making a game they’ve deemed offensive. But what they consider “offensive” is reducing a character’s visible cleavage and slightly changing her facial structure.
Ironically, as the article points out – it seems that Netherrealm did make some backsliding in terms of their (minimal) LGBT+ representation.
But to finish on a positive note, finally Sheeva actually looks like a demon warrior who could break you in half:
De-failing League of Angels Part 2: The Angel of my Personal Hell
You’d think I would have learned my lesson, regarding picking The Worst Things for redesigns, but not before I had to fix this!! I didn’t even have alcohol to keep me company while I worked on it.
I’ll start by briefly noting that every redesigned element, besides the face, took up to 4 tries to figure out, just in terms of shapes alone! I wanted to keep certain elements from the original, such as that belt motif, so I spent a lot of time just trying to figure out what the hell I could do with them. At least one ended up in a weird place.
I will also say that while working on this piece, I decided that this character feels more like an agender rather than a woman angel, so they’re agender now. On that note, let’s begin with what I loved working on the most: the face. I made the eyebrows and nose more interesting, made the makeup more gender-neutral, and changed the palette. Definitely one of my favorite and least painful edits.
After doing that… I just changed everything else about the design! Oh, except I did keep the foorwear and the arms. The under-boobs belt became a breastplate, with the crotch armor (?) belt thing incorporated into it. The cloth thingie hanging off the crotch armor (?) got moved up to probably be part of some shirt under the breastplate.
Everything besides that is me exercising my painting and suffering skills, so y’all better appreciate it. I decided to go with some gambeson for the legs, instead of our regular poofy pants, because the cloth thingie was conflicting with the poof. I added black pants and a similar undershirt visible in the armpit to tie the design to the background a bit. Also, I needed another color besides light grey, sky blue, and white. The original palette is pretty limited when you’re not distracted by the tiddy.
My rendering skills are obviously not as good as the artist for the original, but I tried (Oh my God, did I try). And I do believe that at least in the design aspect, my reworking is an improvement.
Bonus closeup of the breastplate because it sucked to work on.
When Samus was in armor, guys respected her (and even said they wanted her armor). But girls didn’t give a damn. They still don’t give a damn about her in armor, whenever I see fanart of it, the artist is almost always a guy. But now that Nintendo is pushing her as a big-breasted latex model with a nice butt, fangirls are drawing her, saying they idolize her and want to be her (and saying they want her SHOES). Care to weigh in on what’s up with that?
So… since I haven’t heard anything like this… I went and asked one of my gamer friends who happens to be a woman what she thought. Here’s how she started her response:
“Please provide sources, if you’re going to attempt to tar girls with the same brush that is clearly lubricated by entitled male gamer tears, then you must provide the burden of proof.”
From there the rage intensifies and it gets kinda nerdy, so I shall just share the highlights:
“You’re referencing art of ZERO SUIT Samus, which rose to popularity with Super Smash Bros, which has targeted a younger demographic. It’s become commonplace to see Samus OUT of her suit rather than in it, despite it being an iconic image of Metroid. Back in itty bitty pixels, we saw as a bonus at the end of a game that Samus was a girl, thats it.”
“If they’d spent any time actually IN the gaming community of tumblr … then they’d be aware that the community ISN’T vocal in favour of Samus’ new look”
“She’s 6 foot 3 too, mind you, and weighs 90kg. The recent sexualisation/slimming of Samus is a move on NINTENDO’S part, not the gamer fangirl base.”
So to make sure this wasn’t a one off, I asked another friend:
“Firstly, Dudebro McFedora, you have no basis to say that women don’t like Samus. The odds are that you’ve probably never talked to a girl that’s played the games.”
From there the rage intensifies – so I will just share some of the highlights:
“I will say that I particularly want her shoes. They’re spark shooting death heels to beat up people. It’s wonderful; who wouldn’t want that?
They are not appropriate for SSB though BECAUSE THEY’RE FUCKING PUMPS. You can’t run around in that shit!”
“Samus in her armor is fantastic because it creates this unique position where anyone can play her and entitled ‘macho boiz’ never think to say, “Oh shit I don’t want to play as the girl” or “Sweet, the girl character is fucking hot.””
“Samus Aran is my role model.”
Also, I seem to recall seeing amazing fan art by women:
And amazing cosplays:
This is not to say there aren’t female gamers who only discovered Samus when they announced her high heels of doom, female gamers who really want to cosplay Samus in heels because they’ll look cute and sexy or female gamers who like the Zero Suit better than the armors for other reasons.
I say this theoretically because I did look to try to find some of them, and between quick searches for them and searches to find choice examples of art and cosplays… I didn’t find a single woman who suggested that she only became interested in Samus due to the Jet Boot heels.
So if you have come across women who only got into Samus due to the high heels, it’s still quite ridiculous to decide those particular women are somehow representative of women or female gamers as a whole. Particularly since the character first appeared in 1986 – so has had quite a while to grow a diverse fan base.
Trying to dismiss and/or erase huge numbers of female fans just so that you can try to pretend gender stereotypes are facts is pretty much the reason why the rage intensified.