Friday, September 21, 2007
A Primal Love for Jen Tate
Introducing: one of the greatest female video game characters you've never heard of.
Primal is a game that flew under the radar when it was released for the Playstation 2 in 2002. It tells the story of a couple caught in the middle of an epic struggle for control over the multiple worlds: that of Arella, Lady of Order, and Abaddon, Lord of Chaos. Unsatisfied with the balance of the two powers, Abaddon seeks complete domination; part of this plan involves a kidnapping.
Here is when Jen and her boyfriend Lewis enter the scene. On a typical night, Jen and Lewis leave a club after Lewis's rock band finishes playing; they're accosted by a strange man. The night ends with one of them missing and the other half dead--but whom? This is where my love for the games flourishes.
The intruder transforms into a horrific beast, kidnaps Lewis, and leaves Jen in a pool of blood on the asphalt. With the help of the gargoyle Scree, Jen must overcome the attack, restore the balance of Order and Chaos, and save Lewis from the bloodstained hands of Abaddon. Primal turns the stereotypes of the Brave Hero and the Damsel in Distress on their heads--without it being a gimmick. Nothing in the game suggests a hint of "Look! It's the woman who has to save the man--isn't that hilarious?". Jen's personality is refreshingly realistic: she cares for her boyfriend, freaks out when she meets Scree for the first time, and uses humor to deal with unfamiliar situations.
Jen's main powers are her ability to transform into four of the different species that live in the Nexus: the Ferai, the Undine, the Wraith, and the Djinn. There are plenty of female characters in video games have a similar ability, such as Shania from Shadow Hearts 3. Unfortunately, most of these characters fall victim to hypersexualized transformations that leave many female gamers cold. But Jen's?
Labels: Action Adventure, Character Spotlight, Getting it Right, PlasmaRit, Primal