10 comments on “RPG Rabbit Plays Too Many Games at Once

  1. I’d just discovered your blog maybe 10 minutes ago (courtesy of my search for Lightning’s ‘magical’ sunglasses) and was devouring everything on it when you posted this. I have never been so happy with a gaming blog. Keep it up (please)!

    Love,
    Another gamer bunny

    • Wow, thanks for the super positive feedback! Always great to find another gaming bunny.

      I probably don’t update as much as I ought, but I’m juggling a bunch of projects. Hopefully, I’ll be able to post something about the game I’m working on in the next week or so. Hope you enjoy what I’ve got up here so far, though!

    • I owned this game and was about 15 hours in when I lost my entire 3DS case and all of the games inside last Halloween. (There may have been hard cider involved.) I really need to get another copy of that.

  2. These are some pretty cool RPGs. I’m just curious: have you ever played any of the Lunar games? Lunar 1 and 2 have some pretty cool female characters, especially the second game (Jean is awesome).

    Another RPG I recommend is Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky, which features a headstrong tomboyish female protagonist.

    • I loved the first Lunar game! I’ve never gotten around to playing the second one, though. That little dragon dog thing was adorable as hell. Clearly, Lunar 2 should go on my already way-too-long list of games to play.

      I have not yet picked up Trails in the Sky, but you are not the first person to have recommended it to me. I need to trust all of these excellent things I am hearing about it and make some time to play it.

      Thanks for the recommendations!

      • On the subject of Lunar 1, would you consider Mia and Jessica to be examples of positive female representation in a JRPG? They seem kind of unconventional for the time, with Mia being strong-willed and possessing the most powerful spells in the game, and Jessica being a feisty priestess who can dish out a respectable amount of damage and doesn’t take crap off of anyone.

        The only thing that bothers me is how they both get removed from your party for the duration of one dungeon (the Black Dragon Fortress) after falling ill. It doesn’t sit well with me in a game already centered around saving an important female character. I remember listening to a podcast reviewing the game called it “incredibly sexist by 2015 standards” based on this part of the game (or rather the fact that all the female party members get removed from the party at some point because they’ve been captured or have fallen ill) and the way the female characters were “really mean, overly prickly, and yell at the men after being saved because they’re women.”

        Does an instance like the whole sickness really take anything away from Mia and Jessica (aside from the fact that they are both paired up with a male significant other)? They’re both paired up with a male character, but they’re not defined solely as “[male character]’s girlfriend/object of desire/reward.” They have backstories and relationships with other characters (they get along well with one another and they have good chemistry with their respective parents), and they have motivations for helping Alex that don’t involve getting together with a man (although Jess and Kyle gradually get back together by the end). Mia undergoes character development after the whole sickness incident and becomes a capable leader by the end, and Jessica manages to show she’s not helpless/passive by working in a damsel-out-of-distress moment when Xenobia snares her and Mia in magical bonds in the Talon Mines. Also, Jessica pilots the airship the party uses to get to the Frontier without any trouble (unlike the earlier hot-air balloon incident).

        So while the game is not without its elements of sexism, I’m not sure if I could call it incredibly sexist by today’s standards, especially after reading through some of the posts you’ve made on sexism in JRPGs. What are your thoughts?

      • I will be honest, it’s been so long since I played Lunar that I definitely do not have mnemonic access to the impressive number of plot elements that you analyze here. Also, I played this game early enough in my gaming career that I was too young and naive to pick up on a lot of sexism; I was simply thrilled to have women in my games at ALL.

        That being said, while I think that some of the ways in which Mia and Jessica are portrayed are somewhat problematic, as a whole, they are very positive female character depictions, PARTICULARLY because I can’t really think of an instance in which they are overly-sexualized. Their costumes are unusually conservative for video game women, and seem perfectly natural things for them to wear in the contexts of their roles in their society.

        I think there are likely some sexist plot elements (particularly the weird “we are both ill and therefore damsels to be saved!” plot twist), but I feel like some of this was informed by the JRPG genre’s tendency to rely upon anime tropes, which are usually pretty sexist.

        At least I can’t remember any panty shots!

      • “That being said, while I think that some of the ways in which Mia and Jessica are portrayed are somewhat problematic, as a whole, they are very positive female character depictions, PARTICULARLY because I can’t really think of an instance in which they are overly-sexualized. ”

        The closest the game comes to sexualizing them are the bromides and the secret women’s bath. The former are cheesecake pictures of the girls in various situations, but they barely merit a response. The most egregious examples are pictures of Mia and Jessica clearly naked… but covered in bedsheets. The rest are things like them getting dressed (again with no undergarments or private parts in sight) or wearing two-piece swimsuits/short-shorts. Mia has a shower bromide, but her bottom and breasts are covered by a towel.

        Honestly, I find it hard to raise a fuss over them in today’s post-Hot Coffee Mod world, especially since a lot of anime from the day (and even back in the 80’s) were more willing to show bare-naked breasts and what not. And they’re completely skippable and offer no reward or achievement for collecting them. The only people who would collect them nowadays would be completionists.

        “I think there are likely some sexist plot elements (particularly the weird “we are both ill and therefore damsels to be saved!” plot twist), but I feel like some of this was informed by the JRPG genre’s tendency to rely upon anime tropes, which are usually pretty sexist.”

        Only other instance of “female party member needing to be saved” moment that sticks out in my mind is the Plaster Mel encounter. Before reaching Damon’s Spire, the party encounters what appears to be Jessica’s dad who is still a stone statue. Suddenly, it casts a spell on the party turning all but Jessica to stone (Kyle pushed her out of the way). Jess tries to break the curse with her healing powers but her magic fails to have any effect. She gets depressed, having no way to restore her friends and her father, and, perhaps as a result of getting caught up in the moment, nearly gives in to the fake Mel’s beckoning to join him and her friends. But then Kyle breaks out of stone through the power of love and destroys the fake Mel, saving Jessica (and everyone else since the spell breaks when Plaster Mel dies). I guess you could argue that it’s sexist since Kyle ended up saving Jessica, but it doesn’t bother me or ruin Jessica’s character for me since it’s a very brief scene whose only real purpose is to show that Kyle really does care for Jessica (and maybe to show that Jessica has a vulnerable side despite her tough personality). And again, Jessica goes back to her brave and strong-willed self afterwards.

        This, along with the Pao sickness, feel more like instances of bad luck for the girls (and perhaps weak writing) than a conscious attempt to bring down the girls and build up the guys. And they’re too sparse and brief to make Mia and Jessica victims of the dreaded “Trinity Syndrome” (girl is introduced as capable but by the end is useless, weak, and/or “just there”) since they stick with the party for the rest of the game and help save the world. Even NPCs at the end of the game praise them as heroes. I guess they return the favor to the boys for the sickness ordeal by snapping them out of their self-pity party late in the game before the very last dungeon.

        “At least I can’t remember any panty shots!”

        Unless you count a shot of Jessica’s white knee-length bloomers in the balloon crash scene in the original Sega CD version. But given the humorous nature and the framing of the shot, that’s more a case of wacky underwear exposure than for titillation, since it’s a group shot of everyone lying around looking dazed and silly from the crash. And besides, they’re frilly medieval bloomers like you’d see at a Renaissance festival.

      • Ah, I forgot to mention in that last reply: the girl’s bath, like the bromides, shows side-boob at best with the actual private parts covered up. And it’s balanced out by the men’s bath, which ironically has more fan service since it provides shots of Nash and Kyle’s bare butts.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s