Dungeon Derriere

Dungeon Defenders Huntress In our occasional series on blatant objectification of women in gaming, we have the Dungeon Defenders contribution. The Apprentice and Monk are covered in cloth, the Knight has no visible skin except for his knees, and the Huntress is wearing this. The halter top is common enough female “armor” to escape comment, but note the line showing where the whale tail would be if she were not obviously commando under her skirt that droops around her hips.

Note also her pose. At the character select screen, the Apprentice spins his staff, the Squire brandishes his sword, the Monk floats meditatively, and the Huntress shakes her tush. The male gaze comes before the tutorial.

: Zubon

7 thoughts on “Dungeon Derriere”

  1. yeah…you should check out Dragon Nest. Don’t know who made DD but asian devs and teen tush are nothing new.

  2. Are these characters supposed to be children? Why does the huntress sport developed anatomy and a promiscuous behavior?

    Are they supposed to actually be teenagers? Why are the characters designed like children?

    Are they supposed to be hilarious, cartoony adults? Why are they named as though they are students?

    Somewhere along the way, someone stopped thinking about what kind of characters they were making for their game and just went with what they felt like. Allow me to take apart the squire. I played him a bit in the demo, and what I’m about to go into is a significant portion of the triggers that made me quit the game within a half hour.

    The squire has full armor on his upper torso, but he’s missing his pants. His heart-print boxers hang out adorably/comically, depending on whether he’s supposed to be a kid or not. See Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins for the obvious inspiration there. Also, he has his templar helmet which shows his face printed right on there as though the helmet were his actual head (even though this isn’t visible in the game, IIRC). My first reaction to this character was to chuckle and say, “What a funny looking fellow.” Then I realized that the characters were implied to be children or trainees, taking up the shield to defend their crystal McGuffins because the grown ups were indisposed and unable to do it themselves.

    I’ll address my first reaction and why the elements worked initially and then I’ll go into why that broke down when I realized he was supposed to be just a kid, and finally I’ll explain why character design in Dungeon Defenders as a whole fails if the heroes are actually teenagers.

    As an adult, the boxer shorts hanging out is funny (again, see Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins). It’s just comically inept. The face painted on the helmet gives him further emotive ability to be a comical sort; to show his reactions to things. The implied incompetence of the boxer shorts gives him a personality and his face solidifies that. The shape of the character (a big head with a small, squat body) is okay. It’s functional for a cast full of adults, but there’s absolutely no room for children or teenagers to fit in alongside them. The proportions are exaggerated to imply childhood, but it’s something that can be worked around and with by skilled writing.

    But the writing all but says these are most definitely not full-grown adults. As a child, the squire falls apart for me. The most glaring problem is the face on the templar helmet. The face has funny proportions; a truncated cylinder would look better than the pinched cylinder shape he has now. The character is much funnier if the helmet is simply way too big for him which could be better conveyed without the face at all. The helmet should be bobbing around in animation (bonus points if when the Squire gets hit the helmet spins in a circle) to reinforce the fact that the helmet is just too much for the little lad. This would better imply the incompetence of youth than the little knight-in-training forgetting his pants. Which, of course, brings us to the underpants. A better option than boxers would be briefs. I’m not sure about yourselves, but in my life, boxers were big-boy underwear; I wore briefs when I was little. Bart Simpson from The Simpsons and Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes both wear briefs. I feel confident in suggesting that little boys in cartoons are supposed to be wearing briefs. Thinking about it a bit, briefs tend to exaggerate character traits — gross men are grosser in briefs, awkward men are more awkward in briefs, sexy men are sexier in briefs; kids are cuter in briefs (or in Bart and Calvin’s case, more mischievous). Of course, the briefs won’t have the heart-print nod to Sir Arthur, so if boxers are the insisted option, make them baggy. Clothes always look better on cartoony kids if they’re exaggerated. Now, the idea that no one is around to dress the poor kid is funny and the missing pants convey that a bit, but they don’t go nearly far enough. Plate armor is complicated and there should be some other clearly missing or crooked pieces of armor to make this message clear. It should be either or.

    I don’t like how the squire works as a child, but you’d have to have no familiarity with any other cartoon works to assume that these characters might be teenagers. Teenage years are defined by having an awkward, rapidly changing body. It is necessary for teenaged character designs to communicate these facts. Long arms and legs, big hands and feet and a posture that implies height are usual tools for this sort of work; big head, compact bodies are not. These characters can not be interpreted as teenagers. Also, teenagers would never, ever, ever forget their pants, under any circumstances. Especially not if he’s supposed to be a knight-in-training; his pride would not allow it. Losing them in combat? Maybe. But then his attitude would become embarrassed more than boisterous.

    Finally, inconsistencies in the design are further exacerbated by terrible, simple, plain, boring, and sluggish animations. The straight motion of the animations lack strong keyframes and fail to imply weight making the most basic task in the game — going from point A to point B — dull and uninteresting.

    The adorable sweetness of the visuals that everyone espouses with this game is really only visible at a glance. Peeling off a layer or two and thinking about it makes clear that the game never even tries to live up to its promise of childish glee and abandon.

  3. Yeah, boy, I like my cartoon elves to be simultaneously sexualized and keebler-ized.

    It’s like an infinite inward spiral of wrong. :[

  4. At first I simply couldn’t play the game. I couldn’t stand the character visual designs and stiff animations. I did get back into it once I found friends to play with, and custom colored my hero so harshly as to make me ignore their design. The game is extremely fun with friends!

    As tungstenHead’s comment mentioned, my immediate reaction (visually) to the game was unease over the huntress. I, too, believed the heroes to be children/pre-teens, which made me very uncomfortable with the sexuality clearly shown with the huntress (especially in the game’s art/wallpaper section…Yikes).

    On a side-note, I can’t wait for the barbarian hero. Love barbarians!

  5. Your argument is just dumb. Sure they are suppose to be more towards the age of trainees; that would place them into the 10-14 year old range. My gf when she was 12-13 already had DDD cup size breast. Your ranting over something insignificant. Play the damn game. If it’s not the game for you for decent reasons that’s okay but dont whine and complain over something so dumb. It’s hardly a gratuitous display of expressed sexuality. You probably can’t watch anything on tv, movies, books or any form of entertainment if everything must be sensitive and politically correct for you to enjoy something.

    You lose! Good Day sir

  6. Who cares?? really, its a game. And if you people would bother to actualy play it for a bit you would find out that it’s a really good game too.

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