Feminism in Gaming: Final Fantasy 7 with Mod Loser!

Trigger Warning: Discussion of Sexual Assault appears in this article.

Hey Nasties, its once again Mod Loser, Jackie, whatever you want to call me; I’m just going to jump right into it. Square Enix has a terrible history regarding female and LGBTQA+ representation. To put it bluntly, its been downright offensive in multiple games, and Final Fantasy 7 is no different. I’ll start with some of the obvious negatives. For example, to complete Cloud’s “Drag,” Costume, one mission involves winning a squat contest with a man who is very much a gay stereotype. 

You have to win his “Pretty wig,” after which he gets very upset and storms off. This implies that homosexual men are innately feminine, and he is painted in a comedic and honestly antagonistic light. The fact remains that forcing Cloud to “crossdress,” if you even care to gender clothing, supposedly paints him in a very demeaning and frivolous light; mocking the very idea of a man wearing feminine clothes.

Yet still, the dialogue options allow Cloud to come very close to engaging in sexual intercourse with the mob boss should you form the whole costume, after which Aerith and Tifa burst in, horrified, and demand to know what was happening. Another scene that once again paints gay man in a very antagonistic light is the hot tub scene, where Cloud is forced to sit in a hot tub with multiple gay men to get a “Rub down.”

The scene itself implies that Cloud was violated or sexually molested, and paints homosexual men not only in a “Bad,” light, but implies they also will rape or molest straight men when given the chance. These stereotypes are incredibly toxic to the LGBTQA+ Community and truthfully make me sick.

Aerith is clearly a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, who exists only to give Cloud motivation to push forward, and dies for the very same reason. You may be saying “But only she can use white materia!” Yes, and other than that, what depth did she have? She was supposedly an ancient Cetra, but we only get that information when she’s not in the party. She’s supposedly incredibly powerful, but her “Power,” ends up being a Deus Ex Machina at the end to save the day.

As you can see, Final Fantasy 7 has a lot of negativity, but I can say one thing that was positive. When you go on the date, you can choose Barret. What do you know, you suddenly drop the “Haha, Gay!” jokes. While the experience is still a little silly, at the very least you got to have what was implied as a normal, non-sexualized or demonized homosexual experience.

Whew, the negative articles take a lot out of me! Thanks for tuning in, Nasties! This is Mod Loser, signing off!

Top 5 Best: Ultimate Weapons with Mod Knight!

Hey everyone, Mod Knight here with another Top 5! Weapons, where would our heroes be without them? Luke Skywalker with his lightsaber, Harry Potter with his wand, Lara Croft with her guns! Every hero has something that helps them stand against the forces of evil! But some weapons stand a cut above the rest, so lets count down my picks for the top five Ultimate Weapons in video games.

#5- Edea’s Fists (Bravely Default)


While not technically a proper weapon, by sheer numbers the strongest “equipment” You can have in the game is created by using the monk’s “Natural Talent” and “Knuckle Lore” Skills, and with Edea’s naturally high strength, equipping her with the skills and placing her in the pirate class creates a physical attack modifier that goes far beyond any weapon in the game! Honestly, this would be much higher on the list if it weren’t for the fact that when using this combination, you cant benefit from armor at all, meaning that you trade defense for power.

#4- Dawnbreaker (Skyrim)

There’s a lot of weapons in Skyrim which could compete for the title of “Ultimate.” However, my vote falls to the Dawnbreaker, this holy relic of the sun is great against the undead, and there’s NO shortage of the undead in Skyrim. So having the power to create huge, zombie and vampire repelling explosions (plus extra fire damage) makes the Dawnbreaker ideal in most situations!

#3- Ultima Weapon (Kingdom Hearts 2)

There have been several incarnations of the Ultima Weapon throughout the Kindgom Hearts and Final Fantasy series; however, overall, this is my favorite one! Requiring you to gather rare materials across the various worlds in the game, this weapon is definitely worth the effort; it has a huge boost to both your magical and melee power, plus providing an ability that makes your MP regenerate 75% faster!

#2-Master Sword (Breath of the Wild)

Of course, one of the most iconic weapons in gaming would make this list, and the incarnation of it Breath of The Wild is especially great! It serves as an endlessly regenerating weapon in a game where every weapon breaks. Not only that, but it’s power DOUBLES when fighting against bosses and corrupted foes! It’s especially cool considering that it isn’t actually necessary to complete the game.

#1- Master ( Kirby & The Amazing Mirror)

Kirby games are known for their fun, quirky style and neat powers, and none shines quite like the Master power! This weapon is obtained from Meta Knight during the final boss battle, and can be used afterward by going to the main area. This is an especially cool ability because it can be used on any puzzle, breaking through tough blocks, smashing down pins and more, there’s nothing the Master cant do!!

Tropes in Gaming: The Manic Pixie Dream Girl with Mod Zan!

Hi readers! It’s Mod Zan coming at you with a new article for Tropes in Gaming. In today’s article, we’re discussing a classic trope that has been discussed frequently in many feminist circles: the Manic Pixie Dream Girl.

The trope is often coined to describe the female leads in romantic comedy movies as well as any movie that has a male and female lead. As a general rule, the Manic Pixie Dream Girl is a woman who enters the life of the male lead through serendipity, and usually is extremely beautiful and “unique” despite having no substance and no personal goals outside of helping the main character acheive whatever it is that they are out to do throughout the course of their adventure.

This trope is one of the more popular ones that is discussed in feminist discourse, which means that video games are no exception.

To get us started, I think it’s important to recognize a few examples of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl in video games. A classic example would be Zelda from most of the Zelda games, particularly because she exists consistently to only improve Link’s life while he roams Hyrule, trying to save her. This overlaps with the Damsel in Distress trope that we discussed in a prior article, and is by no means the most expansive example of the trope.

Another good example of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl is in the Shadow of Mordor games, through Lithariel. Tallion’s life implodes when he’s sacrificed and loses his family to the Black Hand, and spends his time roaming through Mordor trying to take revenge on every Uruk that he comes across while getting to know the Elven spirit that now shares his form. Lithariel only shows up to give him a quest in order to increase his power while seeming like a badass, only to slip up and need saving later on and becoming a romantic interest. This fufills many other tropes outside of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, such as the damsel in distress as well as the forced romantic interest as the only other female lead in the game aside from Tallion’s dead wife and her aging mother.

The harm in the Manic Pixie Dream Girl can be broken down in multiple layers. The first is in the insistence that the male protagonist’s life will never change without the help of an adorable, quirky girl to lead him into the metaphorical light from his world of grey. This places the responsibility for the male on the female lead and insists that she have no other purpose except to help him. This perpetuates the idea that women exist solely as an aid for men and don’t have their own desires and ambitions.

Another layer of it is the forced romanticism of a woman with a man regardless of their proximity to one another and how incompatible they are. This insinuates that regardless of compatibility, women and men are unable to be anything other than friends. This toxicity bleeds into the lives of real people as they interact with one another and reinforces the harmful treatment of women in our society even on a small scale. Therefore, the deconstruction of tropes is essential to both feminist discourse and societal progress.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time!

Mobile Monday: Tap My Katamari (with Mod Syrup!)

Hey guys! This is Mod Syrup back with another Mobile Monday! This week, I’m talking about a new app I found called Tap My Katamari. This app is from the developers BANDAI NAMCO for both iOS and Android devices.

So I originally decided to download this game because I thought it’d be amazing to have Katamari on the go! Now, in case you haven’t heard of Katamari, the premise of the game is to take these sticky Katamari balls and roll up various objects on Earth to create stars.

Now, clearly, since it’s a mobile app and it’s called Tap My Katamari, the “controls” of the game is to tap the screen to have the Prince of the Kosmos collect things on his Katamari.

 

 

 

At first, I found it to be a simplistic game, quite like Flappy Bird. But as I continued tapping, I didn’t see an objective to the game. Also within maybe 10 minutes of me playing the game, the game crashed. I know it’s not my phone (I play higher power games on it); so that only leaves the game itself.

 

As you continue gathering stuff, you get coins that help level up your Prince, unlocks cousins, levels up cousins, and also can unlock special skills you can use to aid you.

 

 

They also have a Time Challenge that they really don’t clearly tell you what to do. And once it’s over you don’t really get a reward for it either.

After getting to level 11 and stage 8-2 I decided this was a horrible game that brought dishonor to the Katamari games.

The only saving grace of this game is the art style and the music. The music is a happy sound that makes you love to hear it on repeat. The art style is a cute 2D take on the Katamari style. And honestly, that’s the only good things I have to say about this.

 

I have two suggestions to what I think would improve this game. If the controls were more like Temple Run and for them to make to the object of the game clearer OR have a clear end of each stage.

 

 

How it is now, I give it a 2/10. Now excuse me while I get this disgrace off my phone forever.

 

 


-Mod Syrup