If you are put off by the costumes and lack of protagonist representation in Phantom Pain, but still kind of want to play it for the gameplay/story/etc then Brianna Wu has a method to let you play most of the game as something other than the default protagonist (who I now dub Standard Snake).
The focus of the article is how to play as a woman, but as Brianna points out the same system opens up the option to play as a person of color (of either gender) as well. It also has minimal spoilers.
We’ve got the guide to how to get Quiet some real clothes as early as possible, which sadly is actually quite late into the game. Unless you take the more extreme (and extremely awesome) option that one MikeKob did. (h/t: Glitch & nibelung)
This method is so secret not even Hideo Kojima knows about it! Or if he does he doesn’t care enough to share, promote the article or even mention the feature of playing as anyone but Standard Snake. It seems while someone was very determined to include these options, that someone was not him.
The integration is fairly complete but has some note worthy limitations:
- You must start playing as Standard Snake.
- NPCs will still react to you in game and in cutscenes as though you were Standard Snake, using male pronouns and descriptions.
- In cutscenes, Snake’s lines will just appear as captions instead of being delivered by a voice actress (or alternative voice actor).
- Other problems with plot arcs and treatment of female characters remain.
It does have a few extra benefits:
- In cut scenes, Snake’s lines will just appear as captions instead of the generic, over the top, alpha male grunting.
- NPCs will treat your Snake with the same respect and admiration they’d show Standard Snake.
Now for how to get Quiet into some clothes. The bit lots of people will tell you is possible but won’t explain how or what’s involved, again – spoilers under the cut!
(Edit: Between when I did the majority of this writing and when it got posted there was single tweet by Kojima, it was a retweet of someone thanking him with elaboration afterwards. x )
There is one fully covering (Gray XOF) and one mostly covering but with ridiculous cleavage (Lone Wolf Sniper) outfit available for Quiet via unlocking in the game. There are still some issues:
- Both outfits are only available a long time after first having the option to take Quiet as a Buddy (Mission 15 onward). (Lone Wolf Sniper outfit is available for completing Mission 40 on Extreme, but the Grey XOF outfit can be unlocked earlier around Mission 30.)
- Earning Quiet’s confidence will still result in her adopting more and more titilating poses while in the chopper with you.
- Quiet’s overall plot arc will remain the same (including scenes of heavily sexualized violence against her).
- NPCs will still react to and describe Quiet as though she was wearing her default “Naked” skin. The game may also default her back to her Naked skin for some cutscenes.
In order to unlock the Grey XOF outfit you need to watch the cutscene of Quiet’s interrogation where she is tortured – yes we’re at a point where cutscenes are something they have to reward you for watching. There’s mixed information on how to trigger the cutscene but general consensus seems to be:
Complete Mission 29 (Code Talker appears in the cutscene) and then keep making trips back to Mother Base to trigger all the information about the main plot, do side missions, etc and eventually it will appear. If you prefer to skip it by turning off the tv or monitor+speakers, it’s about seven minutes long.
It’s really terrifying how common this piece of rhetoric is and how extreme people will take it. I have lost count of the number of people who say that if you view the clearly hyper-sexualized female character as objectified maybe it’s you that’s the problem.
The characters we critique cannot have agency, and their creators are responsible for choosing what aspects of the character they communicate and when. When they make “sexy” be the top and almost singular priority for a female character – it’s a problem and it’s the creator’s fault.
The myth of fictional characters possessing agency and thus “choosing” to dress a certain way has always been a pervasive rhetoric against BABD and similar sites/communities. That’s why it’s on the bingo.
Over time, we’ve collected a bunch of posts devoted to debunking that mentality, so I went back and introduced a tag for them.