Japanese Nier Hero was "Too Girly" for Americans

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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Japanese Nier Hero was "Too Girly" for Americans


The "girly" hero in the Japanese version of Nier [http://www.niergame.com/#/us/home/] was completely redesigned for other versions of the game because Square Enix was worried that American audiences wouldn't respond to a character who wasn't a "macho old guy."

You'll notice, if you bother to Square Enix [http://www.niergame.com/] was worried that the original character would look too "girly" for American and European gamers.

"A heated discussion ensued once the American and European staff were gathered to discuss it," explained Nier director Taro Yoko. "It was said that 'a slender and girly protagonist like this couldn't possibly swing a huge sword like that, it's ridiculous.' Certainly, if you look at American games it's always muscle bound mains who look like they play American football."

So why not just ditch the nancy-boy altogether? Executive producer Yosuke Saito said that while it would have been cheaper, cutting the "girly character" would have hurt the team and dragged out the development process even longer.

"A lot of people were arguing for making only the macho old guy version for cost reasons, and we were saying, 'But if we don't make a girly version we'll lose heart and it'll take even longer'," he explained. "As a result, the Japanese PS3 version only became the girly version, and both PS3 and Xbox 360 international versions were the macho old guy versions."

Hey, "the macho old guy" might be silly too but when it comes to cleaning house, I'll take that over the "skinny emo child [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation/1703-Nier]" any day.

Source: CVG [http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=247558?cid=OTC-RSS&attr=CVG-General-RSS]


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Hurr Durr Derp

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Apr 8, 2009
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I'll take the badass old guy over the androgynous teen any day, but in the end, does it really matter? They should spend more time on making the game good and less on worrying whether their main character looks cool enough.
 

archvile93

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Sep 2, 2009
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What is with the japanese fascination with androgeny. I don't want to sound narrow minded, but it seems they go crazy over characters who's gender could go either way.
 

zHellas

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Feb 7, 2010
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Nier does look a bit girly(in terms of his figure), but the face is fine(except for his pointy chin).
 

Deofuta

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Nov 10, 2009
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ForgottenPr0digy said:
*cough Cloud could have wielded that sword cough*

I don't mind having a Bishonen male lead they had for the final fantasy games.
I agree, The Bishonen path seemed to have worked for every final fantasy they made, why change it up just for an American Viewpoint.

However, I did like the idea of a father/daughter relationship. Seems like a nice change up from the normal stuff.
 

Lvl 64 Klutz

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Apr 8, 2008
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Hasn't Square been working to take the Atlus approach and trying to get away from "Westernizing" games? Why the sudden, complete turnaround?
 

Dora

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Jul 13, 2009
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I'm just amazed that this was actually discussed while the game was in development. I was certain that this was just the way things went over there, and everyone would plug their ears if someone tried to talk them out of it. I mean, I can understand what the dev team is talking about; that's the protagonist THEY wanted to make, and it must suck to have someone tell you that some other, "burlier" country isn't going to give you money if you don't make the protagonist someone they're more comfortable with. (I was going to say "identify with", and then I laughed because that was stupid.) The slender protagonists have their audience, and that's fine with me. I don't play games that don't appeal to me, but I don't look down on the people who do enjoy them. At least they didn't have to compromise too badly.

Oh well. They get Lady GaGa, we get Mr McWishesHeWasWolverine. Everyone's happy.
 

BlazeTheVampire

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May 14, 2008
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Well then, I need to locate the Japanese version of the game. I would rather have a character that I can kind-of identify with: a huge old man isn't one I can really identify with as a woman. The androgynous male, however, is a little easier-- at least we'd be about the same size irl, lol.
 

Mrsoupcup

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Lvl 64 Klutz said:
Hasn't Square been working to take the Atlus approach and trying to get away from "Westernizing" games? Why the sudden, complete turnaround?
The Japanese gaming industry is starting to hit a rough spot, so my guess is they did it for munny.
 

BlueHighwind

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Jan 24, 2010
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So in the world of gaming today I can either play as a gritty ugly behemoth of a man drowning in violence and misery, or I could play as a bitter androgynous teenager. Is it too much to ask for some kind of third option?
 

Eldarion

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ForgottenPr0digy said:
*cough Cloud could have wielded that sword cough*

I don't mind having a Bishonen male lead they had for the final fantasy games.
I prefer those characters. If people don't like the effeminate characters, why are they playing my fantasy games?
 

Yvl9921

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Apr 4, 2009
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They did something right, but for the wrong reason. We don't care about him being manly and stuff, as far as I know, we just want some goddamn VARIETY. Still, a step in the right direction.
 
Apr 28, 2008
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Didn't Final Fantasy VII have Cloud, who to most people looks kinda girly and not too macho, and wasn't that game like the best selling and most loved Final Fantasy ever?

I iz confuzzled...

BlueHighwind said:
So in the world of gaming today I can either play as a gritty ugly behemoth of a man drowning in violence and misery, or I could play as a bitter androgynous teenager. Is it too much to ask for some kind of third option?
Agreed. Can't we play as, you know, someone who's actually interesting?
 

Cod of War

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Jan 13, 2010
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BlueHighwind said:
So in the world of gaming today I can either play as a gritty ugly behemoth of a man drowning in violence and misery, or I could play as a bitter androgynous teenager. Is it too much to ask for some kind of third option?
Exactly! Where is the middle ground? Where are the Nathan Fillion and/or Guy Pierce looking protagonists. I mean Alan Wake and Max Payne kinda had the right idea, normal looking, average dude thrust into EXTRAORDINARY situations. Enough with Lady Gaga and Ahnold types!!

What about guys like Kojima who turned a Kurt Russel / Micheal Biehn looking chap into a global icon? Enough with this effeminate nonsense, real people don't look like that!