Category Archives: Homophobia/Transphobia

Queer Game Narrative in Stick Shift

Year: 2015

Creator: Robert Yang

Country: US

Platform: PC/Mac

Creator Robert Yang describes Stick Shift as “an autoerotic night-driving game about pleasuring your gay car.” It can be downloaded for free here.

In slightly more than half of Stick Shift playthroughs, acceleration, fantasy fufillment, orgasm, contented slumber await players as their car’s engine cools off, leaking fluid on to the asphalt. However, during the remaining portion, 48%, players will be interrupted by two heavily-armed police officers. This probability is informed by a 2013 survey revealing that “of the LGBT violence survivors who interacted with police, 48% reported that they had experienced police misconduct.”

LGBTQ references in this game:

Queer Game Narrative in Stick Shift

Citations:

  1. Dale, L.K. (April 3, 2015). Stick Shift let me jerk off a car. Retrieved from http://www.destructoid.com/stick-shift-let-me-jerk-off-a-car-289979.phtml
  2. Grayson, N. (April 4, 2015). A Game Where You Have Sex With Your Car. Retrieved from http://kotaku.com/a-game-where-you-have-sex-with-your-car-1696107530
  3. Matulef, J. (April 7, 2015). Introducing Stick Shift: a game about having sex with your car. Retrieved from http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2015-04-07-stick-shift-is-the-best-game-about-having-sex-with-a-car-youll-play-all-year
  4. Priestman, C. (April 6, 2015). Pleasure Your Gay Car Boyfriend To A Wild Orgasm In Stick Shift. Retrieved from https://killscreen.com/articles/stick-shift/
  5. Stick Shift. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://radiatoryang.itch.io/stick-shift
  6. Stick Shift (2 minute gameplay teaser, free game). (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8zSuOLuU_8
  7. Yang, R. (April 3, 2015). “Stick Shift” as activist autoerotica. Retrieved from http://www.blog.radiator.debacle.us/2015/04/stick-shift-as-activist-autoerotica.html

Queer Game Narrative in The Missing: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories

Screen Capture taken from the game

In The Missing: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories, a story about two college students in a budding queer romance is told, focusing on one of the two characters and her trans storyline. The game’s story takes place inside of a dream (players find this out at the end of the game) had by the protagonist, Jamie Jackson Macfield, an amab trans woman who goes by J.J. for short. J.J. is dreaming after a suicide attempt that is set in motion after her mother finds women’s clothing in her closet at home and takes her to a counseling session to “fix” her.

The dream had by J.J. slowly reveals this story to the player in the form of texts with various characters and phone calls with the Emily, J.J.’s best friend and lover, inside J.J.’s dream. Through the texts, the player also talks to characters such as a nonconformist musician named Abby who talks about high school bullies calling her friend, Sherrie, a lesbian. It isn’t until the very end of the game however that we see J.J. wake up from her dream in the school, being attended to by paramedics. We see in this scene that J.J. is amab and that she has “found what she was looking for”.

An article by Julie Muncy from The Verge says this about the game and its queer narrative:

In reality, The Missing is a stunning queer narrative about the brutality of trying to become who you are, and an argument for why painful, violent stories about queer existence matter. I expected an off-beat romp; I found a broken mirror, instead.

Also, in an interview by Rely on Horror with SWERY, the following exchange occurred about SWERY’s comments on who the game is specifically for:

Rely on Horror: On your Twitter you mentioned that The MISSING is a story for everyone yet the narrative of THE MISSING explores queer and transgender identities as the core experience of the story.

SWERY: The MISSING is J.J.’s personal story, but at the same time, I wanted this game to be something that everyone could relate to on their own. This title is not aimed *at* any specific group of people–it is *for* everyone. I believe that all people are in some ways a minority, and at the same time, in other ways, a majority.

This is because perspectives and positions vary from person to person, and everyone has something they are dealing with.

As previously mentioned, “this game was made with the belief that nobody is wrong for what they are.” This game is rooted in this central message.

LGBTQ References in this game:

Queer Game Narrative in The Missing: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories

Citations:

  1. Alexandra, H. (2018, October 16). The Missing Gets Queer Love Stories Right. Retrieved from https://kotaku.com/the-missing-gets-queer-love-stories-right-1829784922
  2. Hashimoto, K. (2018, November 05). Interview: SWERY on The MISSING of J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories. Retrieved from https://www.relyonhorror.com/in-depth/interviews/interview-swery-on-the-missing-of-j-j-macfield-and-the-island-of-memories/
  3. Muncy, J. (2018, November 08). This queer horror game forces you to literally tear yourself apart. Retrieved from https://www.theverge.com/2018/11/8/18073332/swery-the-missing-jj-island-memories-queer-horror-game
  4. Swery65. (2018, October 16). Thank you for understanding The MISSING deeply. This is why I made This game. However, I didn’t make “The MISSING” for ONLY certain people. This story is kind of journey for everyone. Even for me. Everyone is majority, also Everyone is minority. We can accept for ourselves. [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/Swery65/status/1052375485739458560
  5. The Missing: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories. (2019, March 13). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Missing:_J.J._Macfield_and_the_Island_of_Memories
  6. White Owls Inc. (2018). The Missing: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories [Video Game]. Japan: Arc System Works.

Soleil in Fire Emblem Fates

Soleil is one of the 2nd-generation child units the player can recruit to their army once her father, Laslow, has an S-rank with another female unit in your army.

Soleil’s character development and support conversations in the game have evoked much controversy, such as her support conversations in the original Japanese text of the game with Male Kamui/Corrin (the protagonist). A transcript of the original text is linked here. In it, Soleil, who is known for having crushes on girls, asks the protagonist for help focusing on her work as a mercenary. The protagonist over the course of their relationship slips a magic powder into her drink, causing her to see people as the opposite gender they are, and in their final support conversation, proposes to her. She accepts and says that she loved seeing the protagonist as a girl but she has begun to love him as a boy as well.

Many have taken this to be a problematic portrayal of date-rape and gay conversion therapy, causing the localization team to actually change the in-game support conversations between Soleil and the male protagonist. In the English localization, the male protagonist instead helps Soleil practice not getting as excited around girls by consensually blindfolding her. The transcript of the English localization text can be found here.

This change in text of the situation with Soleil was met with praise as fans appreciated the localization team’s effort with ensuring that this was a consensual process for Soleil. However, it also seems that various parts of her support conversations were altered with other possible male romance options. In all of Soleil’s Japanese S-Rank Support Conversations (generally support conversations that end in romance or marriage of some sort), she ends up becoming lovers with the male characters or marrying them. In the English localization, she only falls in love with Forrest (another 2nd-generation child unit, known to often dress in women’s clothing) and the male protagonist, Kamui/Corrin. She also tends to flirt/hit on other 2nd-generation female child units in her same-sex support conversations (with the exception of her in-game conversations with Nina, as they both fantacize about same-sex romance). In a few of the Japanese translations, she seems a bit more aggressive and suggestive in her pursuit of her fellow 2nd-generation female child units than in the English translations. Here is an example from a support conversation with Sophie where they negotiate the outcomes of a deal:

Japanese Version

  • Sophie: Guh. You really hit where it hurts don’t you…by the way what happens when I win?
  • Soleil: How about I’ll do anything you ask me to?
  • Sophie: That sounds good. What if I lose?
  • Soleil: The same, you do whatever I tell you to do.
  • Sophie……….I have a bad feeling about this.
  • Soleil: I won’t do anything weird to a good friend of mine. Or could it be that you’re scared?

English Version

  • Sophie: Uh, th-that won’t be necessary. Fine, just you then. What happens if I win?
  • Soleil: I will never call you a flower again.
  • Sophie: Sounds good. And if I lose?
  • Soleil: Then you’ll change your name to Flower.
  • Sophie: No way, Soleil.
  • Soleil: Oh, all right. You have to emblazon a tiny flower on your armor.

Outside of support conversations, the character is described as “The Girl Lover” in 4koma’s official artwork of the game (pictured below) and also described with the text, “though she is a girl herself, she is fond of other cute girls, and unabashedly flirts with them”. The game also gives each unit in your army a Personal Skill, and Soleil’s is called Sisterhood (English version)/Girl Lover (Japanese version), a skill that says “If Soleil is the lead unit in an Attack Stance or Guard Stance with a female as her supporting unit, she will deal 2 additional damage and receive 2 less damage.” (found here)

During the Paralogue she is recruited in, in-game text from her father talking with a comrade of his suggests that she is bisexual.

  • Silas: Hmm, Laslow, did your daughter just ask that girl out to gaze at the stars?
  • Laslow: Why, yes! She’s got good taste. In women as well as men—got a problem with that?

It is unclear what Soleil’s exact sexuality is as Japanese text more strongly supports her being bisexual, while both the Japanese and English text support her having a preference towards women. Some fans have argued that she is not bisexual or a lesbian because she is unable to marry/romance any female units in the game, however, all of the in-game text supports otherwise.

LGBTQ references in this game series:

Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken (2003):  Florina and Lyndis; Lucius and Raven

Fire Emblem: Sacred Stones (2004): Joshua and Gerik

Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance (2005): Ike and SorenJill and Mist

Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn (2007): HeatherJill and MistKyzaRanulf

Fire Emblem Awakening (2012): Same-Sex Relationship Hack

Fire Emblem Fates (2015): Forrest; NinaRomance optionsSoleil

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (2017): Leon

Citations:

  1. Ashcraft, B. (2015, July 08). Why Some People Are Calling Fire Emblem Fates ‘Homophobic’. Retrieved from https://kotaku.com/why-some-people-are-calling-fire-emblem-fates-homophobi-1715602826
  2. Bonds, C. (2016, January 20). Fire Emblem: Fates Changes Controversial Support Conversation in Western Regions – News. Retrieved from http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/news/41814/fire-emblem-fates-changes-controversial-support-conversation-in-western-regions
  3. Bright Smile. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://fireemblem.fandom.com/wiki/Bright_Smile
  4. Leoppi. (n.d.). Sophie Soleil C-A Support. Retrieved March 8, 2019, from https://pastebin.com/Q60pSnTs
  5. Sisterhood. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://fireemblem.fandom.com/wiki/Sisterhood
  6. Soleil. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://fireemblem.fandom.com/wiki/Soleil
  7. Soleil/Mamui Supports. (2015, June 30). Retrieved March 8, 2019, from https://pastebin.com/bgQC0yEa
  8. Soleil/Supports. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://fireemblem.fandom.com/wiki/Soleil/Supports
  9. Whitaker, J. (2015, July 02). Consent and gay conversion issues in Fire Emblem Fates. Retrieved from https://www.destructoid.com/consent-and-gay-conversion-issues-in-fire-emblem-fates-295164.phtml
  10. Xkan. (2015, December 26). FE Fates: 4Koma Comic & Character Guidebook (Page 138-139) Translation – Soleil. Retrieved from https://kantopia.wordpress.com/2015/12/26/fe-fates-4koma-comic-character-guidebook-page-138-139-translation-soleil/
  11. Xkan. (2016, February 17). Fire Emblem Fates: Soleil’s Localized Support Conversation (FULL). Retrieved from https://kantopia.wordpress.com/2016/02/17/fire-emblem-fates-soleils-localized-support-conversation-full/

Evan

Image credit: Submitted by Developer

Evan is the prince of Sarona, a kingdom known for its barbaric king and its powerful church. Tako met him in Belys as the prince has fled his country due to the actions of his father. After following and observing Tako for awhile, they make an alliance to go to Sarona’s castle in order to end the war between octopi and humans.

Along the way, Evan confesses to Tako about why he fled the country. He was raised to become a warlord but was more interested in the arts. He fell in love with his art teacher, saying implicitly that he is gay. When his father learned about it, he sentenced the man to death, and killed him in front of his son. Evan was always protected by his older sister, but when she went missing, he fled from Sarona.

Image credit: Submitted by Creator

LGBTQ references in this game:

City of Ydor

Evan

Mermaid

Citations:

Submitted by Creator.

Chihiro in Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc

Chihiro Fujisaki is one of the teens trapped inside Hope’s Peak Academy and forced to play the Killing Game. In the second chapter of the game, it is revealed that Chihiro is biologically male and dresses as a girl to deal with an inferiority complex. Chihiro was bullied as a child and told that he was weak for a man, resulting in him deciding to dress up as a girl as a way to be socially accepted as “weak”.

Many fans have speculated whether Chihiro is a trans character or not, but canonically, it seems that Chihiro identifies with the gender he was assigned at birth according to a conversation Chihiro has with Makoto during “School Mode” (found here). During the second chapter of the game, there are trans shock “she was a he?!” tropes played up as the rest of the cast find out about Chihiro’s secret (found here).

LGBTQ References in this series:

Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc (2010): Chihiro; Genocide Jack/Jill and Toko; Hifumi’s Ending; Mondo and Taka; Monokuma; School Mode

Citations:

  1. Chihiro (n.d.) Danganronpa Wiki. Retrieved from http://danganronpa.wikia.com/wiki/Chihiro_Fujisaki
  2. Noire Blue. “Danganronpa Trigger Happy Havoc Walkthrough Part 30 No Commentary.” YouTube, YouTube, 27 Feb. 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nh1JxXCMTis&index=30&list=PLGKJJhcJXlNw7i05ON_K-zFfvD0zQOboD
  3. RustyXIV. “Dangan Ronpa: Chihiro Fujisaki’s School Mode Ending.” YouTube, YouTube, 17 Feb. 2014, www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfBE6ixdoOI