P.N.03 is a NGC game released in 2003. The protagonist is Vanessa Z. Schneider and the gameplay puts a lot of emphasis on avoiding enemy gunfire with elaborate dance moves. There’s a bunch of recolor suits to unlock and choose from with small differences in traits, like strong firepower, strong defense, and/or autofire.
The final suit to unlock in the game is the Papillon Suit that has to be earned by beating hard mode. It’s the strongest suit in terms of firepower and it’s the only suit to allow the user to pick their own set of three special moves. There is a catch though: it offers as much protection as it looks like it does. One hit, and you’re dead.
There’s also a shower scene if the game is beaten with the Papillon Suit, but it’s not exactly one that does the usual sexy thing. It’s a static close-up of Vanessa that barely goes below her shoulders. There’s been some disappointment about that
though still not as much as the whole Capcom Five affair.
This is kind of a hilarious variant of whole “sexy pinup for good performance” that obviously didn’t help them. One of the things I find really funny though is that the 1996 Tomb Raider game was noteworthy for being one of the first 3D games to give a female protagonist the exaggerated hip movements that people now associate with female mocap.
The dev team for P.N. 03 clearly decided this was the real selling point of Tomb Raider and decided to take it to the next level, not just in walking but in doing a fairly standard attack too:
Clearly that worked out well for them.
So, for this week’s throwback I thought it’d be a good opportunity to bring back the most hypnotic gif that reminds us that “sex sells” is a myth.
Creative industries’ histories are littered with people who looked for shortcuts to success – and “put a sexy lady in it” hasn’t been any more successful than any of the other methods.