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KitKatrina

Does anyone else wish the Doom Slayer was gender neutral?

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This might be a little bit of a controversial post but hear me out. I know, i know, it's doomGUY, and you clearly play as a dude in the original games. But! I'm pretty sure doomguy was supposed to look generic as possible so players could self-insert themselves. I'm sure the reason they made him a dude was because that was the main audience and in the 90's it was generally assumed that games were for boys.

 

DOOM 2016 was my first fps ever and as a young girl i thought the slayer was so cool... they really drip-fed you his story and kept you wondering about just who he was, especially if you didn't really know anything about the 90's games like me. but i was kinda disappointed when you get to the hell portion and it's revealed without a shadow of a doubt that you're playing as a dude (He is here...). i don't know, i just thought it was cooler when it could literally be anyone under that suit. It could be you, it could even be me! i thought they were doing that on purpose too, since he was totally silent, not even pain grunts if i remember correctly, and his suit was so bulky it obscured all of his proportions. Plus, "Slayer" is neutral, unlike "Guy". again, it could literally be anyone under there, but alas... no.

 

And Eternal just takes it to a whole 'nother level. He has pain grunts now, they show you a jpeg of his eyes whenever you get a powerup, you can see his face pretty clearly and he even takes off his helmet sometimes... i haven't played The Ancient Gods yet but I've heard he even has some dialogue in it. And it's... eh... i get where they're coming from with all that, i really do. with all of the classic stuff they brought back (and did an incredible job with), it would make sense to bring back his pain grunts and face and stuff, right? Well, and this is just me, but I would personally far prefer if he was gender-neutral. I know it wouldn't work as well with his new lore in Eternal but it would have been SO easy in 2016, and it should have been carried over like that in my opinion. I would even argue that it would make it feel even more like the original games, to a degree. Since there's no story or characters it's really easy to insert yourself into doomguy even if he's a dude, you just kinda forget about it after a little while. And with GZDoom and stuff like 150skins.wad, you can even actually play as a girl. And you know what? It doesn't change a damn thing. all it is is a new face and grunt, and it's perfect.

 

I also want to bring up the idea of a dedicated female option as a player character, i know Hugo Martin expressed interest in it and several people suggested ideas like being able to play as Crash from quake. Personally i would just prefer a more neutral slayer and keep it at that, but after Eternal having a separate character is probably the only way to make it work. Obviously i wouldn't be complaining either way! I have to admit though, i WOULD be complaining if they went with something like some fan designs for female slayers. If they make a female protagonist and she never wears a helmet or has a boob window or something like that, i would sprint around my house in a fit of rage ripping and tearing all of my doom merch like patchy the pirate in the lost episode of spongebob. I'd activate the berserk powerup IRL and put a hole through the drywall with my head.

 

I'm really interested to hear what other people think, maybe i'm just weird and i care way too much about this stuff (.❛ ᴗ ❛.)

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16 minutes ago, KitKatrina said:

If they make a female protagonist and she never wears a helmet or has a boob window or something like that, i would sprint around my house in a fit of rage ripping and tearing all of my doom merch like patchy the pirate in the lost episode of spongebob. I'd activate the berserk powerup IRL and put a hole through the drywall with my head.

Well, at the end of the day, that'd only hurt yourself; so I'd recommend instead just not buying that hypothetical game.

 

Anyways, I do agree that they could have put a Doomgal as a player option -- they had a whole system in place to change how your Slayer looks, so they could have just used that. And provide like, maybe a dozen alternate voice lines in total? Wouldn't have been a big investment.

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Ever since I saw Crash in Quake III Arena I've wanted a game with her as the protagonist. With her build, I'd imagine something with way more acrobatics and movement options.

But otherwise, in general I'm down with the idea of more gender-neutral protagonists. Yes. Please.

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47 minutes ago, KitKatrina said:

it was generally assumed that games were for boys.

 

It wasn't just that "games were for boys" I don't believe - Doomguy was heavily inspired by the classic 1980s OTT military male action-movie hero stereotype (think Commando or the later Rambo movies ). 

 

I agree variation would be nice: I'm also in the camp of thinking a game starring Crash would be seriously cool. But Doomguy being who he is is relatively central to the cliche the character leans on.

 

He can get away with having so little characterization (at least in the early games) because the stereotype that's eminently applicable to him fills in the gaps.

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I agree, that was also my impression about Doom 2016 when I saw trailers, that the armour hides all information; for all we know Doom Slayer may be an alien entity equipped like a space marine. And the armour is powered too, as evidenced from the falling damage protection and super jumping abilities, so the user needn't be a super trained member of the masculine evolution, the armour does much of the work. 

 

Instead they just reused the classic Doomguy face in DOOM Eternal. 

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6 minutes ago, printz said:

I agree, that was also my impression about Doom 2016 when I saw trailers, that the armour hides all information; for all we know Doom Slayer may be an alien entity equipped like a space marine. And the armour is powered too, as evidenced from the falling damage protection and super jumping abilities, so the user needn't be a super trained member of the masculine evolution, the armour does much of the work.

Exactly! I always thought it was so cool how, at least at the start of the game, it was sort of up in the air over whether you had some sort of supernatural abilities, a super advanced suit, just really good combat training and reflexes, etc. it was a really cool mystery that i think should have been kept into Eternal.

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An idea i still think could be tried was the option to create a player character.

Not so much armor design (2016 MP) but the actual identity and details of the marine.

Since it'd be the closest to realize that idea of "you are the Doom protagonist".

Could be justified with co-op and cutscenes, even if it'd be a spin-off of some sorts.

 

Because i also see Doom as an idea that can have different iterations, which is also why i'm not that into the idea of connecting every game through lore.

Some ideas may work better because they were in a seperate field.

Again, that "blank canvas" stuff i always talk about.

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16 minutes ago, Gothic said:

Nah, I like playing as a character more than just an avatar.

couldnt agree more

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Posted (edited)

What Gothic said, i like it being Doomguy in the games because he is a character rather than a just an avatar. Although i wouldn't mind a side game or side character that ISN'T Doomguy in another game that could be gender neutral that would be cool. Or maybe just use Crash from Quake 3 lol

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"No." - Doomguy, TAG2

 

Any guys here play one of the tomb raider games? That pretty much summarizes the "No." Argument. Its doomGUY. Or just John Romero, if you know the cover art backstory.

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I'm firmly on the side of doomguy being an avatar/player insert over a character and to that end I would like to see different gendered variations of our protagonist, and there are many character designs for classic doom. Classic ftw lol.

That said, the design goals of doomguy vs doomslayer are mostly polar opposites and doomslayer is firmly a character. A cringy, edgelord of a character that punches and flips off computer screens like a teenager, and appeals to 2000's-era male fantasies which can be entirely boiled down and encapsulated by the "mortally-challenged joke," because social progress is scary for white men and that game is very much made to appeal to that demographic. So yeah, maybe best we didn't get a female version of that one, it almost certainly would have no mask and would wear "armor" that would only protects her genitals, because that's the kind of drivel nu doom is.

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Totally agreed. Would love for there to be a Doomgal! And I am glad that there are now way more women in this community, too!

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1 minute ago, Fonze said:

That said, the design goals of doomguy vs doomslayer are mostly polar opposites and doomslayer is firmly a character. A cringy, edgelord of a character that punches and flips off computer screens like a teenager, and appeals to 2000's-era male fantasies which can be entirely boiled down and encapsulated by the "mortally-challenged joke," because social progress is scary for white men and that game is very much made to appeal to that demographic. So yeah, maybe best we didn't get a female version of that one, it almost certainly would have no mask and would wear "armor" that would only protects her genitals, because that's the kind of drivel nu doom is.

 

Eh. I think it's at best massively reductive to claim that the Slayer character can be boiled down and encapsulated by the "mortally challenged" joke. He has very good reasons for not giving a toss about the self-serving justifications of characters who seek to either meddle with forces that are clearly beyond their control (2016), or condemn entire worlds to destruction to save their own miserable hides (Eternal). He doesn't say anything because there's literally nothing to say.

 

I suspect that the appeal of the Slayer's character is broader than you might think. I don't think skin colour, sexual orientation or any other demographic quality have much bearing on one's willingness to put on the shoes of a no-nonsense hero like the Slayer.

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I never once wished Samus was a guy, I felt like an even bigger badass when I learned she was a girl. Doomguy is ultimately a character, not an avatar, and I don't think you were ever supposed to treat him as a self-insert kind of silent protagonist. He had a personality ever since the first game, they wanted him to make him a badass survivors filled with rage for the death of his bunny, and that little detail added a lot of personality that has ever been loved by most of the fans.

 

Doom Eternal characterization is a mess tho, can't say much there because the entire lore is a weed-induced journey of nonsense.

 

samus_battle_damaged_by_longai_d8n9fye-3

 

4 hours ago, KitKatrina said:

i haven't played The Ancient Gods yet but I've heard he even has some dialogue in it.

 

Yes, he actually recites act 3 of Hammlet in its entirety.

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In my own personal opinion, I don't like blank slate characters in general. I feel like most of the time, the "oh, we want to make you feel like the character." feels more like an excuse to avoid making a better plot (Doom 2016 is one of the few games to get this right). I don't care about the gender, sexuality, race, etc anymore; I used to earlier as a young child, where I would rather play as a male character rather than a female one.

 

But now I just don't care, and a female option would be nice to cater to the other gender.

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Posted (edited)

I think there are other franchises that allow for a more gender-ambiguous role in a far more fitting sense. Doom to me is just not one of them. Like what Bauul was describing, Doom's aesthetics have always kind of been complimented by the protagonist's masculine presentation, despite Doomguy largely being a blank-slate character (with the exception of Doom Eternal, in which I kind of agree with Endless). I think a female or gender-ambiguous counterpart in something like a coop mode would fit just fine, but I think outright swapping Doomguy himself out for something more neutral would kind of draw too much attention to itself, and Doom's really more about gameplay than characterization. 

 

Doomguy999 also kind of makes a decent point with Tomb Raider. No normal person wishes they were playing as a guy instead of Lara Croft. You could make an argument about objectification but that's still a bad-faith presumption of what fans like about the series, fueled by the game's out-of-touch marketing in the 90s and copious amounts of... adult material.

Edited by OpenRift

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Why?

Sorry, but I just don't get the desire to change some character's gender just for the sake of it. Why would the gender of a character be so relevant in a Demon-killing game? Specially talking about the game whose creator said that "plot does not matter in a videogame". You can of course think about "What-if" scenarios if that actually affects the plot, but I can't see the point on it.

Playing female characters in League of Legends does not make me any more female, nor gender neutral while playing with a gender neutral character. And no, playing as the Doomguy does not make me a man because he is a guy, precisely.

I hope I'm not being rude but these kind of arguments just sound childish to me.

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Why not? Playing as Crash might be really interesting. She has a particular build, so more acrobatics things to do and new mechanics.

 

But I think that should be a spin-off.

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2 hours ago, DoomGuy999 said:

Any guys here play one of the tomb raider games? That pretty much summarizes the "No." Argument. Its doomGUY.

See, that'd be a valid argument if we were talking about Duke Nukem, or Serious Sam, or Kyle Katarn, or Max Payne, or Lo Wang, or any other of the characters that were actually characters with a distinctive identity and backstory.

 

But Doomguy, at least back in 1993, was intended as a blank slate. He has no name. He's described just as being You. "You are a marine, one of Earth's toughest, hardened in combat and trained for action."

 

If some people want their Doomguy to be a woman, that changes nothing to the characterization provided.

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Posted (edited)

At least in the classic game, there's WADs that have changed the status bar face to a woman. Sometimes a realistic one, often an anime girl or something, but you'd probably be able to find one you like. In the new games it'd be nice if there was an option to change it, if not for the campaign then at least for the multiplayer. I can only imagine what a certain type of annoying "gamer" would say about that though... I mean, just look back to the thread about that Doom movie from 2019 to see what some people thought about a female protagonist in a Doom property.

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I'm probably gonna sound very dismissive but

 

I don't care?

 

Would it change the gameplay in any way whatsoever? It's a computer game, you can just imagine our hero in green in or as whatever you like. Nothing is stopping you, not even the lore.

 

What a silly thread.

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Posted (edited)

I think it'd be nice in some of the newer games to have 2 opposite-gender protags, like in Dishonored 2 where you can either play as Emily or as Corvo. Also, a lot of people here are very dismissive of the idea of a female protag in Doom, and that makes me sad. Doomguy is a blank slate character, making him a woman changes absolutely nothing, and it would be good because it would allow more people to identify and feel for him/her if they're allowed to play as whatever gender they wish.

 

Not all people care, but some (like me) do.

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