I used to write blogs trying to write blogs. They're gone now, hidden from the world. I'd rather write with a bit more feeling. It's going to result in much less information being delivered with a lot more rambling, but isn't that better?
I also do the FNF thing. Talk to me if you want to be a part of that.
Now that I'm eighty hours and four different classes into Dragon's Crown, enough to get a paycheck were it an employer, I've come to a realization that's going to surprise some people: Not only is the game not sexist if you are capable of anything but the most superficial of evaluations, it might even be fairly progressive and intelligent in it's solutions to problems plaguing female characters in games today.
Perhaps you're expecting this to be in defense of the Sorceress. It's not, but she's still worth mentioning. In the game, despite jubbly animation, she's downright adorable. Especially the way she holds onto her floppy hat for attacks and flying. She's not portrayed in a sexual way. Some women have large breasts, and you're just going to have to grow up and deal with that. Even the voice actress for the Sorceress, owner of large breasts herself, has spoken out on the topic.
Today we're going to talk about the Amazon.
She may be the most powerful character in the game. Her berserk, adrenaline, punisher, and brandish abilities, all aggressive and powerful sounding are also aggressive and powerful in operation. To a shocking degree, in fact. Once you build up some steam, your damage output gets ridiculous to an extreme I'm having trouble describing. No individual hit will be as powerful as the largest spell the Wizard or Sorceress is capable of, but they can't approach the frequency of the Amazon's attacks. Soon you're pounding out hits for near a thousand damage with only a fraction of a second of delay between them, then doing an invincibility-granting spin. At only level thirty. There are sixty more to become even more powerful. I have soloed bosses with my Amazon and killed them more quickly than I did with parties of dtoiders. Beating a team of three at damage output is no small feat.
She is strong but not masculine. The reason characters, such as Roland and Amazon, don't wear much is to show off their physique. If they were dressed conservatively or practically, you wouldn't be able to see their muscles. Whether you think that's about power or sex is irrelevant. Fit people are sexy. That's not going to change.
There's another issue floating in the middle of this, specifically that the slim and ripped body that is used to indicate strength isn't actually how strong looks, but that isn't exactly relevant to the discussion here.
One of the issues with a physically powerful female character is making them look powerful. If you give them the big shoulders and biceps that would go on a male character, then they look like a man. Men have big upper bodies. The solution was remarkably simple: strong legs. While the Amazon still has muscly arms, focusing on her lower body has maintained a more feminine figure. They're also some of the most powerful muscles in the body, and put to use with some killer kicking attacks when she plants her poleaxe with a power attack. Bonus points for not sacrificing nice hair. Again, not practical, but it's swords and sorcery.
And for those questioning her walk cycle:
It's hard to make hefty muscles invisible, and then they're cartoonishly depicted, making it even harder.
She likes to fight. When you start creating a new character, you are given a menu in the form of the adventuring party seated around a table in the inn. Each of the characters are giving off a certain personality. Amazon looks bored, resting her chin in her hand and waiting for the rest of them to stop getting drunk and/or being nerds.
She has a husky voice and a brash personality. Each character has a voice clip for when enemies are appearing. When other characters would say "enemies" or "they're here", she says "come at me." However, much like the real Sam Wright in the video above, the Amazon retains femininity while depicting physical power through the use of contrasting animations. Her attacks are booming things with lots of momentum and she isn't depicted as afraid to give it everything she's got, but they didn't have to make her a guy to show that.
So, there it is. She's a confident, able female portrayed in a setting-appropriate way that is directly comparable to a male character in appearance. She's strong without being masculine. Mechanically, she may be the strongest character in the game, so there's no -4 STR here! How great is that? Probably not very, if you're too hung up on the amount of skin shown to appreciate anything about the actual character. The rest of us, though? We got the character people have wanted for a while now.