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Games, technology, music, silliness. Oh and ninjas. Lots of ninjas.

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Location: Oslo, Norway

I am Andreas. Day time programmer and technical consultant. Night time musician and game developer.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

leisure suit larry revival, female protagonists, sexy sexy!

Kotaku pointed me to this excellent interview with LSL series creator Al Lowe, which again directed me to this great summary of the series. Thank you, hypertext markup language, for delivering on your promise.

It's funny how a franchise as sad and awkward as Leisure Suit Larry can be remembered for being funny. The first LSL was a complete horror show to me, filled with people who detest you in a filthy city where imminent death or dishonor is around every corner. There was a strong tone of sadness to the whole experience. Later games in the series became progressively weirder and grew in scope, and the character himself seems to be more of an idea of a lonely guy out of touch with reality than some charicature.

Another point of contention is how the series is often referred to as pornographic, when it's positively tame and thoroughly benign compared to insane things like Dead or alive Xtreme 2, a game i actually bought out of curiosity, and occationally play just to be weirded out by the trippy david lynchian creepiness of it.

Check out the articles, particularly the interview. I thought it was genuinely interesting and a little alarming to be reminded just how mature the games really were compared to the oversexed T&A mania we're seeing in nearly every game with a female character these days.

Speaking of female protagonists, here's a list of some i thought were pretty rad.

  • Cate archer - No one lives forever

    I'm a tremendous fan of this series. I thought they absolutely nailed the female protagonist, with just the right ratio of sexy and elegant. Cate chopped up trenchcoat wearing special agents with her katana stolen from ninjas before picking a lock with her hair pin, investigating the scene of a crime. Later she'll be fighting more ninjas in a house caught in a tornado. Then she reports in on her makeup kit communicator.


  • Jade - Beyond Good & Evil

    She's downright impossible not to like. She's got an original design that doesn't emphasise her ass and tries to create a character that's simply naturally attractive, and then sets out to make her awesome through her actions.

    I hope i wasn't the only one that thought the idea of sneaking into a compound commando style to get photographic evidence of crimes is a more exciting way to solve a problem than with guns..?

  • Samus Aran - Metroid series

    This is such a nobrainer. Samus is one of the few game protagonists out there where gender is genuinely irrelevant to the character. Samus is a human being in a context where that is exactly all that matters. Her imposing armor serves to remind us of that, and the more recent games frequent audiovisual cues remind us of her femininity. With Samus Nintendo made a female character everyone thinks is a total badass without alienating anyone else based on gender. That's impressive.

  • Julie - Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K.²

    Don't roll your eyes just yet. Heavy Metal is a magazine notorious for its t&a content taken at face value, but it's one of the most sexually empowering publications as well. I absolutely love the idea of the fantasy "heavy metal babe" saving a world populated by strong women and weak men against everything inhuman about the corporate entity, all in latex and leather, wielding chainsaws and uzis. It's totally off the hook, but to me the game was a complete fantasy world, and that's something we shouldn't forget; playing with the rules is what makes a fantasy fun.

    Sidenote; Ritual entertainment (RIP) were notorious for this kind of over the top dumbass muscly men and big titted strong women shooting enormous guns at eachother. It was deliriously politically incorrect, and i loved them for it. Here's a toast to Ritual!

It's complete bullshit to say female protagonists should be exempt from sexuality. No male protagonist with a semblance of realism to them is created without sexuality in mind, be it overt or not; it's simply human nature to look at a person of the opposite gender and consider the probability and value of mating.

In my opinion, we need to reinstate a policy of dignified sexy. We live in a society where sexy women tends to be equated with childlike weakness and sexual subservience to man, particularly in terms of fashion. Sexy has become the domain of girls. There was a time when sexy meant dangerous, and was a property of women.

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