Sexy Shelob...why? Just why?

Erttheking

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So I've been not really paying attention to Shadow of War, mainly because I just had this odd feeling it wouldn't be as good as the first game and I didn't want to bother. So imagine my surprise when I watch today's Jimquisition (not linking it because I want to present my own arguments, not his) and learned that Shelob will be appearing in Shadow of War...as a sexy lady.

Monolith productions took a look at this thing
https://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/villains/images/e/e3/Shelob1.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20160115183114
And said "give it tits."

https://venturebeat.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/shelob-2.jpg?w=800&resize=800%2C443&strip=all
And some people wonder why Christopher Tolkien really doesn't care for the stuff that takes inspiration from his dad's work.

Listen, I know I've just reduced the low amount of friends I have on this website even lower for bringing up an ess-jay-double u topic, but seriously guys, this is getting stupid. Gaming has a massive over reliance on making women attractive in some way shape or form, and while there are some outliers, they're massively outnumbered by the number of unconventionally attractive male characters. Now they're taking prestablished characters, one known for scaring the piss out of many people no less, and giving them the sexy treatment? Why? What does it ADD!? And we can't pretend its not a double standard. There's apparently a Balrog in this game, and I don't see him assuming the form of a sexy, shirtless man that has killer abs.

And I know there either is or is going to be an in universe explanation about how she has assumed a human form for some stupid reason, but I don't consider an in universe explanation to be a get out of jail free card, particularly when it really doesn't jell (Quiet breaths through her skin, which I guess prevents her from wearing a bra that isn't tattered rags or having leggings that don't have holes in them) with the rest of the world. Is there any reason we didn't see sexy Shelob when Frodo was stuck in her caves, we just saw giant scary spider? If this was something she could apparently magically do all along that is. Apparently we will be seeing her regular spider form, but to be frank, I'd much rather be interacting with a giant scary spider than Standard Generic Evil Sorceress.

This change doesn't really add a whole lot. Talion making an alliance with Shelob is actually a really interesting concept, since she's supposed to be a borderline Lovecrafian horror. Even Sauron doesn't have full control over her. But it shows kind of a lack of creativity on the developer's part that, instead of forming an alliance with a giant scary spider, we're gonna be spending most of the time talking to a generic sexy woman. It's been done.

TL;DR There's a sexy humanized Shelob in Shadow of War. It adds nothing, is a tired cliche, and it's just BORING.
 

shrekfan246

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erttheking said:
There's apparently a Balrog in this game, and I don't see him assuming the form of a sexy, shirtless man that has killer abs.
Which they'd completely be capable of doing and even staying relatively close to the actual lore, by the way, considering that the conception of the Balrog popularized by the films is pretty much nothing like the books.

But yeah, an intelligent talking spider is always more interesting than yet another spooky sorceress in a slinky dress.

EDIT: Also, like the whole point of Shelob is that she's the last Spawn of Ungoliant, and yeah, Ungoliant was technically not actually a spider but she took the form of a spider and her spawn were bred from giant spiders. I'm not sure how that really leads to "your daughter can turn into a human woman!"
 

Ninjamedic

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erttheking said:
TL;DR There's a sexy humanized Shelob in Shadow of War. It adds nothing, is a tired cliche, and it's just BORING.
Well its good to know you care so much.
 

sXeth

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I mostly just passed it off as they stapled random names/characters from the Book/movies into their game to continue the pretense of it having some vague relation for brand appeal. Last time it was Gollum, this time it's Shelob. Shelob's probably a better choice because Gollum was actually a main character.


I'm not familiar enough with the lore to have any idea if the concept of shapeshifting evil demons and whatnot is really a thing. I've seen the three movies, and read the LotR books a handful of times (not the Silmarillion or 18,000 appendixes). Which just included the spider form and a bunch of ominous name-dropping that meant nothing to me. The books also don't include reference to Sauron being an eight foot tall hulk in spiked armour of EVOL, so artistic license maybe.
 

Neurotic Void Melody

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What I don't understand is that some people are saying it's probably laziness to avoid having to animate a giant spider, but they have already done that...it's right there...in the trailers! A giant spider being all giant and spidery! They wouldn't even need to do lip synching because it's a giant fucking spider.

I really want to ride it like those caragors...please let that be a thing! We coulds hang from the ceiling we coulds, make wonderful webs to catch those tasty orcs...
 

CritialGaming

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Do you know the details of the story as to why this spider might be taking on this form? Perhaps trying to seduce the main character into completing an objective for her? Manipulation? Any other story reasons why this could be the case. I know this follows the LOTR lore or whatever, but as far as I know it is completely non-cannon and can do whatever it wants with the characters and the universe (within reason). So maybe there is a reason for this.

It's really easy for people to pounce on this and go "Oh great another sexy lady". But if you don't have context you are literally judging something for no reason. Now I'm not saying the context will be good, it very well could be shitty and stupid, but there is a chance that it wont be and then hot spider lady will make sense. You don't know.

And frankly why do you care? I mean really? So what if they decided to make the spider turn into a pretty gal? Does it affect you, does it really matter? Will you not buy the game because they did this? The answer to that last question is fucking no. You are going to go out and buy the game because the first one was good and this one will also probably be pretty damn good too. You'll completely forget about this spider, who could only have 5 whole minutes of screen time in a 35 hour game for all you know, ten minutes into cutting and slaughtering orcs left right and center.

Not to mention the evil spider taking on the guise of a pretty lady is pretty much fantasy trope 101. It's a metaphor for the beautiful woman who lures men in to their ultimate demises because all they see is a pretty girl and not the monster within. Shadow of War is doing nothing unique or special regarding this, and I don't see why it needs to even be a topic.
 
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erttheking said:
TL;DR There's a sexy humanized Shelob in Shadow of War. It adds nothing, is a tired cliche, and it's just BORING.
Gotta milk that "Need tits or GTFO" market, after all. XD

You have to know it was probably because someone in management was like "People won't like to have their exposition from a creepy spider! Why not make it a hot chick, market research says everyone likes hot chicks! Forget about the lore of the books, we own the liscence we can do whatever the fuck we want, and people will be ok with it because it says LOTR on the cover!"

Of course, they COULD do something interesting and make the whole sex appeal thing be a trap to ensnare the main character and eat him when the whole "Attack as a spider" thing fails...But I won't really hold my breath that they have a plan beyond mere sex appeal. Decisions like this rarely do.
 

Erttheking

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CritialGaming said:
Do you know the details of the story as to why this spider might be taking on this form? Perhaps trying to seduce the main character into completing an objective for her? Manipulation? Any other story reasons why this could be the case. I know this follows the LOTR lore or whatever, but as far as I know it is completely non-cannon and can do whatever it wants with the characters and the universe (within reason). So maybe there is a reason for this.
*Ahem*
erttheking said:
And I know there either is or is going to be an in universe explanation about how she has assumed a human form for some stupid reason, but I don't consider an in universe explanation to be a get out of jail free card, particularly when it really doesn't jell (Quiet breaths through her skin, which I guess prevents her from wearing a bra that isn't tattered rags or having leggings that don't have holes in them) with the rest of the world. Is there any reason we didn't see sexy Shelob when Frodo was stuck in her caves, we just saw giant scary spider? If this was something she could apparently magically do all along that is.
Also we're so lacking in originality when it comes to female characters that we're having a giant spider taking the tired role of the seductress?
CritialGaming said:
And frankly why do you care? I mean really? So what if they decided to make the spider turn into a pretty gal? Does it affect you, does it really matter? Will you not buy the game because they did this? The answer to that last question is fucking no. You are going to go out and buy the game because the first one was good and this one will also probably be pretty damn good too. You'll completely forget about this spider, who could only have 5 whole minutes of screen time in a 35 hour game for all you know, ten minutes into cutting and slaughtering orcs left right and center.
Why do you care that I care? No seriously, what kind of question is that? You write out paragraphs to try and convince a stranger his opinion on the internet is flawed, why is me caring about Shelob something worth questioning, but you caring about what I think not? "Why do I care?" because I care about video games and thing they can do better, is it really such an alien concept? And will I not buy it? First of all, again, what's the point of that question. Are the only flaws in a game worth talking about the ones that make me not buy the game? I don't see the world in black and white thank you very much. Second of all, this, combined with the microtransactions, certainly make me hesitant to buy Shadow of War. The only real strong thing the first game had going with it was the nemesis system, I'll have to see some real strong innovation there if I want a reason to buy this game and not just play the first one again. Just forget about it? It's Shelob. The devs don't want me to forget about it. They wouldn't haven't taken such a big name if they didn't want me to focus on it. Don't tell me to not focus on something the devs want me to focus on, I have no obligation to make things as favorable for them as possible.
CritialGaming said:
Not to mention the evil spider taking on the guise of a pretty lady is pretty much fantasy trope 101. It's a metaphor for the beautiful woman who lures men in to their ultimate demises because all they see is a pretty girl and not the monster within. Shadow of War is doing nothing unique or special regarding this, and I don't see why it needs to even be a topic.
Once again, *Ahem*
erttheking said:
It adds nothing, is a tired cliche, and it's just BORING.
Yeah, it is fantasy 101. Thank you for agreeing with me on that. Except I see that as a bad thing because it's a tired and boring cliche that adds nothing and actively takes away from something that scared the piss out of me when I watched Return of the King for the first time. Shelob deserves better than a tired and boring cliche.

Also if Talion falls for the whole seduction thing with her, then he's officially the dumbest main character I've ever had the displeasure of playing as.
 

CritialGaming

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erttheking said:
Why do you care that I care? No seriously, what kind of question is that? You write out paragraphs to try and convince a stranger his opinion on the internet is flawed, why is me caring about Shelob something worth questioning, but you caring about what I think not? "Why do I care?" because I care about video games and thing they can do better, is it really such an alien concept? And will I not buy it? First of all, again, what's the point of that question. Are the only flaws in a game worth talking about the ones that make me not buy the game? I don't see the world in black and white thank you very much. Second of all, this, combined with the microtransactions, certainly make me hesitant to buy Shadow of War. The only real strong thing the first game had going with it was the nemesis system, I'll have to see some real strong innovation there if I want a reason to buy this game and not just play the first one again. Just forget about it? It's Shelob. The devs don't want me to forget about it. They wouldn't haven't taken such a big name if they didn't want me to focus on it. Don't tell me to not focus on something the devs want me to focus on, I have no obligation to make things as favorable for them as possible.
I don't mean that to be demeaning or anything Err, I really don't. What I mean by "Why do you care?", is that if the gameplay is great, and fun, then why does some rando NPC and ultimately a small part of the overall game matter?

I get the argument when it boils down to main characters. But most times even the best side characters are throw aways. So this just doesn't seem like a big deal.

Yes it is Cliche, but cliche's are literally the foundation of great story-telling. And my argument still stands that we don't know why the character is portrayed as such. You are looking at the cut of a trailer, which is 99% bullshit. Chances are you see the sexy female spider girl first, do some stuff for her as she quides you back to her lair where she reveals she's a big fuck-off spider and you have a boss fight with her. Who the hell knows.

I guess my main point is that you are jumping to conclusions based on a hype video. If you made this point when the game was out and all the truths were unveiled, then I wouldn't have any problem with your problems.

Make sense?
 

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You know why -- Geeks love hot, sexy, presumably dangerous goth chicks.

But then I'm not too surprised, seeing as the previous game was you being Big Dick Decapitator McAwesome and his rad ghost pal.

This is just the next level of them wanting to inject awesome into the LotR franchise.
 

nomotog_v1legacy

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CritialGaming said:
Do you know the details of the story as to why this spider might be taking on this form? Perhaps trying to seduce the main character into completing an objective for her? Manipulation? Any other story reasons why this could be the case. I know this follows the LOTR lore or whatever, but as far as I know it is completely non-cannon and can do whatever it wants with the characters and the universe (within reason). So maybe there is a reason for this.

It's really easy for people to pounce on this and go "Oh great another sexy lady". But if you don't have context you are literally judging something for no reason. Now I'm not saying the context will be good, it very well could be shitty and stupid, but there is a chance that it wont be and then hot spider lady will make sense. You don't know.

And frankly why do you care? I mean really? So what if they decided to make the spider turn into a pretty gal? Does it affect you, does it really matter? Will you not buy the game because they did this? The answer to that last question is fucking no. You are going to go out and buy the game because the first one was good and this one will also probably be pretty damn good too. You'll completely forget about this spider, who could only have 5 whole minutes of screen time in a 35 hour game for all you know, ten minutes into cutting and slaughtering orcs left right and center.

Not to mention the evil spider taking on the guise of a pretty lady is pretty much fantasy trope 101. It's a metaphor for the beautiful woman who lures men in to their ultimate demises because all they see is a pretty girl and not the monster within. Shadow of War is doing nothing unique or special regarding this, and I don't see why it needs to even be a topic.
If they are taking human form to seduce them, then that doesn't make it more original or inserting. That is about the oldest most over used trope in the book. It is more original if she just turned into a woman because she likes shoes.. People are judging it for being boring and taking something that could look/feel different and making it look/feel the same as everything else. People care because they like things to be good. They like things to be fresh and new. They see the lost opportunity of spider negotiations and sigh.
 

CritialGaming

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nomotog said:
If they are taking human form to seduce them, then that doesn't make it more original or inserting. That is about the oldest most over used trope in the book. It is more original if she just turned into a woman because she likes shoes.. They are judging it for being boring and taking something that could look/feel different and making it look/feel the same as everything else. People care because they like things to be good. They like things to be fresh and new. They see the lost opportunity of spider negotiations and sigh.
People actually don't care. There is a reason why Endless Sports games sell millions. Call of Duty is the same shit every year. People like itterations, not new. That's why companies take huge risks when they launch new IP's, because those generally are make or break.

So no, people only like fresh and new, if that new freshness is guaranteed to be good.

I'm not saying that this spider-lady's apearance isn't boring or uninteresting. I'm saying it doesn't matter in the scope of the game. It feels like latching onto something to not like for the sake of not liking it.

Does it look like a cliche trope? Sure.

But there is a chance that it might not be. And we wont know until the game comes out. I just find it silly to pounce on trailer footage that really doesn't tell us anything.

EDIT: So I just watched the trailer and it seems pretty clear spider lady is a boss fight of some kind. Also looks like it'll come from a betrayal as well. So yeah cliche as fuck honestly. But additionally the rest of the game's story looks fucking rad as hell, so the spider lady thing probably wont even be a big thing by the time you get through the game. She'll be forgettable at best.
 

Erttheking

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CritialGaming said:
Because I care about little details along with big details. Some of my favorite parts of games are details that get even less development than Shelob has gotten in this game. Like Iron Knight Tarkus from Dark Souls, who doesn't have a single line of dialogue, yet is a fan favorite for what he does in game.

Not really. A side character is still part of the game, and when something in a game annoys me, big or small, it annoys me.

You're supposed to build on foundations. Not just do what a hundred thousand people have done before and call it a day. Yeah, except, as I said before, this is what they put forward. It's what they wanted me to see. I'm under no obligation to assume the best on behalf of the developer and the publisher. And of course eventually we'll be getting a boss fight with Shelob, so what the heck are they doing wasting our time with this generic drek that doesn't add anything outside of tired and worn cliches?

Not really. The conclusions that I've jumped to are that the studio is being boring and cliche when the subject matter around it is boring and cliche. Even if you're right about it being an attempt to seduce Talion (which, as I said before, if he falls for that he's as dumb as a brick) and lure him into a false sense of security, it's still boring and cliche. Berserk did this in freaking 1989 and didn't see fit to dedicate more than three pages to it before deciding to move onto something more interesting. And it was kinda dumb then too to be perfectly honest.
 

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CritialGaming said:
nomotog said:
If they are taking human form to seduce them, then that doesn't make it more original or inserting. That is about the oldest most over used trope in the book. It is more original if she just turned into a woman because she likes shoes.. They are judging it for being boring and taking something that could look/feel different and making it look/feel the same as everything else. People care because they like things to be good. They like things to be fresh and new. They see the lost opportunity of spider negotiations and sigh.
People actually don't care. There is a reason why Endless Sports games sell millions. Call of Duty is the same shit every year. People like itterations, not new. That's why companies take huge risks when they launch new IP's, because those generally are make or break.

So no, people only like fresh and new, if that new freshness is guaranteed to be good.

I'm not saying that this spider-lady's apearance isn't boring or uninteresting. I'm saying it doesn't matter in the scope of the game. It feels like latching onto something to not like for the sake of not liking it.

Does it look like a cliche trope? Sure.

But there is a chance that it might not be. And we wont know until the game comes out. I just find it silly to pounce on trailer footage that really doesn't tell us anything.
Why are you defending bad? Like you admit it's tired, but you still support it. Why? You could just as easily criticize it and demand better. Why defend something you admit is bad?
 

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CritialGaming said:
Do you know the details of the story as to why this spider might be taking on this form?
When someone offers a Doylist gripe (ie. one based in the real world) it is generally poor form to offer a Watsonian (ie. in-universe) explanation. Why? Because a Doylist gripe is essentially a gripe with the author's work and the fact that the author could find a way to justify that work in-universe does nothing to alleviate the gripe. Saying that Monolith has a justification for Shelob to be taking human form does nothing to address Ert's criticism of the design chose to make Shelob assume human form to begin with.

Even if your "she will seduce him"-idea is right (and I am all too afraid that might be the point), that only ties back to Ert's broader criticism of the portrayal of women in games. Why can't Shelob, the big ass spider with magical powers, do anything other then use sex appeal to get Talion to do her bidding? Scare him? Entice him with knowledge, trinkets or something else? Why would it have to be the most cliche and stereotypical idea of how women manipulate men. If she doesn't seduce Talion, why is the ancient big ass spider with magical powers even concerned with how Talion perceives her? Why not just intimidate and impress him with her natural form as a total apex predator?

Because tits and ass, that's why.
 

CritialGaming

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nomotog said:
Why are you defending bad? Like you admit it's tired, but you still support it. Why? You could just as easily criticize it and demand better. Why defend something you admit is bad?
Because I like the bad?

Also because I don't weigh everything on characters and story in a game. Those things being good are a plus, but gameplay is king. The game could have the best characters ever, and if the gameplay is shit then the game is shit. That's why I hate just about everything Telltale does.

Also because I I just don't think this is a big deal. Judging from the trailer this Spider-lady looks pretty fucking badass if you ask me. I think people are just taking the surface of what they see and making a reaction based on that, but in that trailer I see a desperate main character trying to seek help from a clearly evil spider woman. I see her getting a hold of the new "One Ring" or "Second ring"? and becoming a boss fight.

So I see a strong, smart, determined, female character who is both sexy AND a hideous monster. Frankly I see a winner there. But the "SJWs" Like to move around the metaphorical goal post to fit whatever their personal outrage needs to be at the moment.

One thing I'd like to point out, but in no point during that video did I see any hint of cleavage, which is frankly a leg up on typical "sexuallized" females right? A Little side slit, and some bare back, meh whatever.
 

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Gethsemani said:
CritialGaming said:
Do you know the details of the story as to why this spider might be taking on this form?
When someone offers a Doylist gripe (ie. one based in the real world) it is generally poor form to offer a Watsonian (ie. in-universe) explanation. Why? Because a Doylist gripe is essentially a gripe with the author's work and the fact that the author could find a way to justify that work in-universe does nothing to alleviate the gripe. Saying that Monolith has a justification for Shelob to be taking human form does nothing to address Ert's criticism of the design chose to make Shelob assume human form to begin with.

Even if your "she will seduce him"-idea is right (and I am all too afraid that might be the point), that only ties back to Ert's broader criticism of the portrayal of women in games. Why can't Shelob, the big ass spider with magical powers, do anything other then use sex appeal to get Talion to do her bidding? Scare him? Entice him with knowledge, trinkets or something else? Why would it have to be the most cliche and stereotypical idea of how women manipulate men. If she doesn't seduce Talion, why is the ancient big ass spider with magical powers even concerned with how Talion perceives her? Why not just intimidate and impress him with her natural form as a total apex predator?

Because tits and ass, that's why.
Except the character looses all characterizations if she just attacks him. If it just becomes a spider boss and nothing more, then what character did she really have? She would become nothing more than Joro-Gumo from Nioh. http://nioh.wiki.fextralife.com/Joro-Gumo

A half-woman/spider thing that litterally just shows up for a boss fight and that's it. At that point you don't have a character, you just have a 3d boss that tries to kill you.

I suppose the spider could try talking to the main character, and manipulating him that way. But the female form is to give the main character some human attachment, some emotional justification to try and help the spider. If she remained just a spider then he would have no connection to a monster. Which you COULD do, but then you risk pulling the player out of the experience because the player would have no attachment to a gross ass spider. So the human characteristics are required to form a connection.
 

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They figured they needed more female characters I guess. But I'd rather they just create a new character like that elf in The Hobbit movies.
 

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Johnny Novgorod said:
They figured they needed more female characters I guess. But I'd rather they just create a new character like that elf in The Hobbit movies.
That...doesn't make any sense. Shelob was already female. This is a well established fact.
 

Johnny Novgorod

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erttheking said:
Johnny Novgorod said:
They figured they needed more female characters I guess. But I'd rather they just create a new character like that elf in The Hobbit movies.
That...doesn't make any sense. Shelob was already female. This is a well established fact.
I meant more women.