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Trans characters in video games?
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Prak
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 11:29 pm    Post subject: Trans characters in video games? Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Are there any trans characters in video games? I'm going to exclude crossdressers from this (so no Bridget from Guilty Gear), because... a lot of crossdressers are cis-men who just like wearing dresses, and not necessarily people who were designated male at birth but identify as female.

I know of precisely one character who is supposedly trans, a protagonist from FF13(?), but I don't really trust the person who told me that.

Are there any characters in video games who are explicitly, canonically and specifically trans? Games with character customization don't really count either.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

There's supposed to be one in Dragon Age: Inquisition, but I haven't played the game so I don't know
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Darth Rabbitt
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

There's a pretty big list on Wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_characters_in_video_games
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DSMatticus
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Birdo was originally a boy who "thinks he is a girl." Hey, if you wanted positive examples, you should have specified.

Poison is a transwoman. There is no canon answer regarding the state of her genitals, if you were curious. Company policy seems to be to let both employees and fans think whatever they want. That is probably wise, because if it's not porn and you find yourself talking about any character's genitals you have probably already dun goofed.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Poison from Final Fight is (in)famously a post-op male.

Because Capcom thought it would be better to beat up trans people instead of women folk.

edit: dsmatticus ninja's me right as I post *grumble* *grumble*
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Prak
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yeah, I pulled up Wikipedia. That specific list is actually non-representative for this specific topic, since it's talking about any character who is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual (HA) or Trans (HAHAHAHAHA), and not even listing them, but actually talking about treatment of LGBT people in video games.

There's a wikipedia List of Trans Fictional Characters which is more representative, but lists only five characters in the Video Game category-

  • Black Swan (To Kill A Black Swan)
  • Erica Anderson (Catherine)
  • Poison (Final Fight)
  • Cremisius "Krem" Aclassi (Dragon Age: Inquisition)
  • Vivian (Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door)


I sort of... don't really accept a couple of those. I mean, demonstrably they exist, but no one has ever heard of To Kill A Black Swan, and though I can't find much about it, it is sort of suggested that the trans character in question is dead, as it's a murder mystery visual novel. Erica in Catherine is a side character who is revealed to be transsexual in a single possible ending by another character expressing distress at her teasing flirtation because "the other guys knew you as Eric in school" and wanting his "v-card" back. Insulting representation isn't representation. I knew about, but forgot about, Poison, and... ugh. That's a complicated case. But, I'll accept the existence of Poison as a trans character. Vivian seems to be roughly the same case as Poison, except that she becomes an allied character after defeat, I guess. But more important with Poison and Vivian is the fact that in the American translations of the games, their gender identity is not touched on. Also, I have no clue whether Vivian is trans or a crossdresser in the japanese game.

I wish Krem were a playable character, but he seems to be the most positive representation on that very short list.

But demonstrably there are five trans characters in video games. Does anyone know of playable trans characters in games on the market* that are canonically trans**?

*You could argue that Corruption of Champions counts, but it's an internet flash game and so counts way less. Also... there's that whole "player-created character" thing.

**I personally think of Bayonetta as a trans woman based mostly on the need for trans video characters, gay cis-men being a bit dumb, some folk lore, and weird character design. But I seriously doubt Sega will ever say "Oh, yeah, Bayonetta is totally trans."

Edit: to expand on Poison, as I understand the case- In Japan, Poison is a trans woman, though referred to as a "newhalf" which I guess is the Japanese term for a trans woman (I don't know enough about usage of the term to have an opinion on it...). When Final Fight was translated for America, her backstory was left out, and she was treated as a cis-woman. The producer of Street Fighter IV later stated that in the US, Poison is a post-operative trans woman, but in Japan she is pre-op. I don't know the legitimacy of this, but it's possibly the closest we'll get to some kind of definitive statement, even if it was sort of a joke.

There is a problem of "villainous crossdressers." Because of the stigma which says people who defy the gender binary are "perverted deviants" it's way easier to get away with saying a villain is trans (or gay, or lesbian, or bisexual) than a protagonist. This annoys me.
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Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.


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DSMatticus
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Shrapnel wrote:
Poison from Final Fight is (in)famously a post-op male.

Because Capcom thought it would be better to beat up trans people instead of women folk.

edit: dsmatticus ninja's me right as I post *grumble* *grumble*

It would be clearer to just say post-op transwoman. Anything else is going to be way too ambiguous.

Also the when, how, and why of Poison ended up a transwoman is not entirely clear, mostly because if you sniff hard enough you'll catch the faint scent of corporate BS. The official claim is that Poison was changed to be trans after the Japanese release but before the English localization (for the reasons you describe). The problem with that is that some early concept art from before both the Japanese release and English localization already describes her as trans (not using the exact word, mind, because it's in Japanese).

I don't know what the original idea for Poison was, but they were definitely contemplating her biological sex before the game hit shelves. Also remember that descriptions of Poison's first couple of incarnations are really schizophrenic. It really, really looks like the sort of thing that came up at a company meeting but never got resolved, leaving different members of the project operating on different assumptions until finally they just embraced the confusion they'd created by failing to make up their mind.


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Starmaker
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Max Lao from Technobabylon.
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name_here
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Going by the Paper Mario wiki, Vivian was probably trans in the Japanese version, referring to herself as a member of the Shadow Sisters, which her evil elder sisters insistently corrected to Shadow Siblings. Also described with a phrase meaning either trans woman or cute boy, depending on the kanji used.

Possibly the playable Saber in Fate/EXTRA, who is a magic VR reconstruction of a Roman Emperor. The game is ambiguous on whether she was a cis woman while alive.
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Darth Rabbitt
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Prak wrote:
Yeah, I pulled up Wikipedia. That specific list is actually non-representative for this specific topic, since it's talking about any character who is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual (HA) or Trans (HAHAHAHAHA), and not even listing them, but actually talking about treatment of LGBT people in video games.

Good point. Looking it over, it's not a very good list. My google-fu is weak, mostly because I was rushing.

Most of what I could've said that might have been of use has already been said better by others.
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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The kangaroo in Bloody Roar



Faris in FFV lives life as a man


In FFXIII Vanille and Fang aren't really constrained by gender identities, while Lightning is pretty asexual.

There's that gym run by the gay guys in FF7, one of the people there has a woman's body but is referred to as 'bro' I think.

Chrono Trigger's Flea


Streets of Rage 3's Ash is... well he might just be a leatherdaddy gaybear man's man.


Erica in Atlus's Catherine is post op:
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maglag
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:04 am    Post subject: Re: Trans characters in video games? Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Pokemon X/Y, at least in the japanese version, had a nameless NPC that looked like a woman mention that they were a Karate King six months ago, but now had their current looks thanks to medical science. It doesn't straight say that character is a transgender, however karate kings in Pokemon always show up as big muscled males, while female martial artist trainers are called Battle Girls, so it could be read that said NPC is a transgender.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

From what I've heard. Vivian is really female. In the japanese version her sister refers to her with male pronouns which is very insulting, so I think it's just a sign of the abuse she's put through.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Wiseman wrote:
From what I've heard. Vivian is really female. In the japanese version her sister refers to her with male pronouns which is very insulting, so I think it's just a sign of the abuse she's put through.


Nope.
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maglag
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I don't know how everybody forgot it until now, including me, but Touhou is a videogame and one of its main themes is "(almost) every legend and myth is now a girl".

Touhou 13 in particular had Prince Shoutoku turned into a woman because magic.
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Prak
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

@Ogrebattle- Thanks for the examples. I talked about Erica (she... isn't what I'm looking for because you don't know until you see one specific ending and it's used to enable a sexist joke). Side scrolling Beat 'em Ups... I can't say the examples don't count, but it's not like they're known for heavy characterization in-game. Good to know about them, though.

Also good to know about the FF stuff.

@Maglag- yeah, I forgot about her until I thought to see what examples TV Tropes had for it's Transsexual page. She's actually a good example, matter of fact, not fetishized, fairly damned empowering, and not used for a joke (or at least, not an insulting joke).

Also an interesting point about Touhou.

I think ultimately what I'd really like to find is a playable version of a character like Krem from DAI- his identity is canonical and explicit, there's an answer as to whether he sought gender confirmation and why he ultimately didn't, and he isn't sexualized, fetishized, used for a lame insulting joke, or the like. He simply is who he is, and it's treated similarly to other characters' classes or whatever. I just wish I knew a game with a playable protagonist like that.

Or a canonical one, anyway. Because nothing is stopping me from playing Bayonetta and just believing she is a trans woman.

Well, nothing other than my lack of money, anyway.
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Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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Kaelik
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Prak wrote:
@Ogrebattle- Thanks for the examples. I talked about Erica (she... isn't what I'm looking for because you don't know until you see one specific ending and it's used to enable a sexist joke).


Look, I didn't play Catherine and neither did you, but there is a huge difference between having a character say something stupid and having the game say something stupid. As I recall, none of the characters, especially not fuckface's friends, are portrayed as good people, so if one of them said something offense it only means that an objectively terrible person said something horrible.

If I watch a movie and KKK guy says racist shit, it doesn't mean the movie is racist, because he probably wasn't portrayed as being right.
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Longes
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Kaelik wrote:
Prak wrote:
@Ogrebattle- Thanks for the examples. I talked about Erica (she... isn't what I'm looking for because you don't know until you see one specific ending and it's used to enable a sexist joke).


Look, I didn't play Catherine and neither did you, but there is a huge difference between having a character say something stupid and having the game say something stupid. As I recall, none of the characters, especially not fuckface's friends, are portrayed as good people, so if one of them said something offense it only means that an objectively terrible person said something horrible.

If I watch a movie and KKK guy says racist shit, it doesn't mean the movie is racist, because he probably wasn't portrayed as being right.


As far as I remember, in Catherine one of the secondary plots is a developing relationship between Erica, the waitress in the bar characters hang out, and Toby, the new and youngest member of the group. Throughout the game characters drop hints that Erica was a guy, but Toby doesn't get it. He and Erica have sex by the end of the game, and in the true ending there's a revelation that Erica was a guy, with the "I want my V-Card back" being Toby's reaction to that. It's mostly played for laughs, and Toby doesn't show any particular aversion to Erica at any point afterwards.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Prak wrote:
Or a canonical one, anyway. Because nothing is stopping me from playing Bayonetta and just believing she is a trans woman.

Well, nothing other than my lack of money, anyway.


That and Bayonetta verse's fluff, since she belongs to the Umbra-witches, an all-female clan whose recruitment requirements are "must be born with spirit power and a vagina".
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Who plays Bayonetta for the fluff?
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Kaelik
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Chamomile wrote:
Who plays Bayonetta for the fluff?


Who plays Bayonetta?
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Count Arioch the 28th
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Bayonetta's proportions are so weird even I can't fap to it...
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Longes
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Weird proportions? Naaaah. They are totally normal. Look, here's Scarlett Johansson for comparison.

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Kaelik
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

It was already funny, but the way her feat extend off the frame of the page just makes that comparison photo.
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Prak
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Kaelik wrote:
Prak wrote:
@Ogrebattle- Thanks for the examples. I talked about Erica (she... isn't what I'm looking for because you don't know until you see one specific ending and it's used to enable a sexist joke).


Look, I didn't play Catherine and neither did you, but there is a huge difference between having a character say something stupid and having the game say something stupid. As I recall, none of the characters, especially not fuckface's friends, are portrayed as good people, so if one of them said something offense it only means that an objectively terrible person said something horrible.

If I watch a movie and KKK guy says racist shit, it doesn't mean the movie is racist, because he probably wasn't portrayed as being right.

Ok, that's fair. I'm just not fond of the fact that the only indication of Erica's transgender nature is as part of an insulting joke. Longes sums it up right.

maglag wrote:
Prak wrote:
Or a canonical one, anyway. Because nothing is stopping me from playing Bayonetta and just believing she is a trans woman.

Well, nothing other than my lack of money, anyway.


That and Bayonetta verse's fluff, since she belongs to the Umbra-witches, an all-female clan whose recruitment requirements are "must be born with spirit power and a vagina".

Unless the game literally says "you must be born with a vagina" I still choose to believe my version. Because there's a lot of gender fuckery in old magic folk lore.

Also-
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That is a very weird pelvic structure. For a cis-woman.
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Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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