Why does Final Fantasy XIV nonetheless have gender-locked races in 2019?

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Final Fantasy XIV Viera

One of the largest reveals from the announcement of Final Fantasy XIV’s upcoming growth Shadowbringers was that the Viera – Ivalice’s reclusive rabbit people – can be the newest playable race hitting the MMO.

Viera have grow to be darlings among the many group since their first look in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, later being popularised by Final Fantasy XII solid member and sky pirate, Fran. She made a welcome look in Final Fantasy XIV earlier this yr – an period I now lovingly check with as Final Frantasy XIV – which was a part of the continued ‘Return to Ivalice’ raid sequence, which blends themes and story beats from Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy XII.

Fans – or ought to that be frans? – have been wanting to see the playable race in motion, and through Square Enix’s Paris Fan Fest earlier this yr, we lastly acquired to see the bunny-eared folks in-game, trying equally enchanting and fran servicey, with their beginning gear being based mostly on Fran’s ornate and delicate outfit from XII. Fans have been fast to note, nonetheless, that solely feminine fashions for the Viera have been proven, main many to query if male Viera can be a playable choice.

During a Q&A convention with press, game director Naoki Yoshida was requested in regards to the absence of male Viera and the potential for the race being gender locked to girls solely. Yoshida refused to decide to a solution, as an alternative remarking that extra can be revealed on the Japan Fan Fest, which befell final week. Stirring the pot additional, Yoshida additionally remarked that the Viera would possible be the ultimate race to be added to Final Fantasy XIV, main many to consider {that a} reveal of the male Viera choices can be coming.

Oh boy, did Square Enix have a shock for followers on the Japan Fan Fest. Rather than the anticipated unveiling of the male Viera, Yoshida introduced a wholly new playable race coming to the game, Hrothgar. Based on the Ronso tribe featured in Final Fantasy X, the Hrothgar are a race of massive, beasty cats that make the Miqo’te appear like domesticated tabbies compared. It was then revealed that each the Viera and the Hrothgar can be gender locked, with Viera being feminine solely, and Hrothgar solely accessible as male. What’s higher than one gender locked race? Two gender locked races, apparently!

why are the builders now holding on so fiercely to lore that may’t be upheld?

While male Viera actually exist inside Final Fantasy canon, they’re described as being extremely solitary and aggressive individuals who don’t present themselves to others, and have but to make an official look within the games. The lore and thriller surrounding male Viera is the rationale cited by Yoshida for not together with them in Final Fantasy XIV, with the Hrothgar being conceptualised so as to present a male-only expertise for gamers.

Gender locking each races for the explanations above feels draconian, particularly given Final Fantasy XIV’s rule-breaking nature – it incessantly defies its personal lore simply so it is sensible as an MMO. The most blatant illustration of that is how each single participant character is given the title of Warrior of Light, though, in Final Fantasy XIV lore, there’s technically solely one among them. A extra related instance of this lore breaking is the Miqo’te, a race described as being remoted in nature and low in inhabitants, however in-game are one of many most popular playable races. It’s tough to go 5 minutes with out being surrounded by armoured catgirls. Not that I’m complaining.

Miqote

Roegadyn
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If a game that so incessantly has its guidelines bent by design, why are the builders now instantly holding themselves so fiercely to lore that can’t be upheld? To add to the frustration, the Viera have been thought of as a playable race lengthy earlier than Shadowbringers – initially as a result of be launched in Heavensward – however have been pipped by the dragon-like Au Ra. Fans have been rightfully cautious that the race can be gender locked to feminine solely, nonetheless, idea artwork of the preliminary Viera designs popped on-line, together with early designs for male Viera. The male idea artwork mirrors the feminine designs, with the standard armour being reworked for a extra masculine construct, albeit barely extra modest than the feminine design. As all the time…

Darkness comes

Darkness comes

When Shadowbringers comes out in July it will deliver much more than new races to Final Fantasy XIV. A brand new gunbreaker class, a dancer class, in addition to a raid based mostly on Nier: Automata are all as a result of be added to MMORPG. Oh, and let’s not overlook in regards to the New Game+ mode.

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Similarly, the Ronso, the inspiration for the brand new Hrothgar race, are represented by each female and male characters in Final Fantasy X, however feminine Hrothgar are notably absent in Final Fantasy XIV. Gender locking the Hrothgar appears like a acutely aware option to keep away from making a feminine design that leans extra in the direction of monstrous, moderately than the usually cutesy and petite choices featured in different races’ feminine aesthetics.

This additionally isn’t the primary time Final Fantasy XIV crew has discovered itself in scorching water over gender locking races. Prior to the game’s relaunch as Realm Reborn, two of the accessible races – the feline Miqo’te and the large Roegadyn – have been gender locked to feminine and male respectively. The reversal of this and the implementation of male Miqo’te and feminine Roegadyn felt like a optimistic step in the direction of giving gamers extra character customisation, and making a extra numerous set of physique choices and illustration.

Final Fantasy XIV Viera male

The gender locking of the Viera and Hrothgar is an element of a bigger downside with the sexual dimorphism between the genders throughout Final Fantasy XIV’s races. It’s particularly prevalent within the Au Ra; a demonic trying race with distinct horns and scales. The male our bodies look bestial, with lengthy limbs and exaggerated horns, whereas the ladies look significantly extra waifish, with petite figures and huge doe-like eyes. The giant-like Roegadyn endure equally, with the lads presenting a hyper-masculine preferrred by way of broad and highly effective builds, whereas the ladies current a noticeably extra dainty construct which, whereas extra muscular than many different feminine races, is a really conventional female determine.

The underlying challenge right here is that Final Fantasy XIV’s creators seemingly refuse to current femininity with extra monstrous design aesthetics. Races just like the Viera and the Miqo’te primarily exist for intercourse attraction, and elsewhere the game falls again onto drained stereotypes: girls are all the time smooth and bodily engaging, whereas males are closely muscular and animialistic, each bodily and mentally.

Final Fantasy XIV is an MMO prided on giving gamers an unlimited number of methods to precise themselves and their character – by way of look, race, and sophistication. Its glamour system has spawned a highly creative community that use trend to create distinctive and complex character designs, so it’s irritating to see a game that encourages such inventive expression then restrict those self same gamers by way of gender locking.

Final Fantasy XIV Hrothgar

This challenge isn’t unique to Final Fantasy XIV. World of Warcraft has received criticism for years for its sexual dimorphism. While the game’s general aesthetic focuses on exaggerated options and proportions, for males this tends to lean in the direction of excessive top and muscular our bodies, whereas the feminine equal is slimmer, hour-glass builds, with noticeable breasts and hips. As with Final Fantasy XIV, there are significantly much less monstrous options, like elongated horns and ear ideas, for the ladies of World of Warcraft.

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Hope is just not misplaced although. In an interview with GameSpot, Yoshida has acknowledged that, whereas the crew hasn’t had sufficient time to contemplate the fan response in the direction of the 2 new races, the crew is open to suggestions on the gender locking of Viera and Hrothgar. For now, followers of bunny boys and big lion girls must be content material residing by way of the slew of fan artwork popping up throughout social media.

 
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