Over its 25 year history, survival horror games Resident Evil have had several fan favorite heroines. Now with Resident Evil Village, this week he also has a memorable villain.
Promotional trailers released earlier this year featured one of her new antagonists, Lady Alcina Dimitrescu: a huge, muscular vampire woman in a long white dress with a wide-brimmed hat, fingernails extending into vicious claws, and a evil smile.
Online gamers had found their latest obsession.
They professed their love for the character on social media like Twitter and Instagram, posting elaborate cosplay and fan art – some of which have crept into adult-only erotica.
Ash Parrish, writer for video game site Kotaku, immediately found the character “visually striking and interesting”, in part because she did not fit perfectly into the mold of a Resident Evil foe, nor in most of the ways. female characters from a big budget video. Games.
“A villain from Resident Evil, when you think of them they’re disgusting and filthy, and curved and tattered and torn, like they’ve just crawled out of a sewer or a pile of corpses,” a- she declared.
Examples include Mr. X – a towering Frankenstein monster in a trenchcoat – in Resident Evil 2, and Jack Baker, the deranged father of the cursed Baker family Resident Evil 7.
None of those predecessors play that role with the fashion sense and panache of Dimitrescu, played by voice and actress Maggie Robertson.
“She’s very organized, and she’s almost a lot more threatening because of it,” Parrish said.
“It makes you feel like she could kill you without shedding a drop of blood on herself, which is very dangerous and attractive at the same time. “
In February, VillageTomonori Takano’s art director tweeted that Dimitrescu received “a lot more [attention] than what we expected. ”
He then clarified that: “If you include her hat and high heels, she is 2.9 meters (about nine feet six inches). “
Takano also told IGN that his design was inspired by 16th century nobleman and serial killer Elizabeth Bathory, Japanese urban legend Hasshaku-sama, and Anjelica Huston’s portrayal of Morticia Addams.
Size and power
In the early hours of Village, Lady Dimitrescu tracks down game hero Ethan Winters through the grimly decorated hallways of her labyrinthine castle, flanked by three witch-like women she calls her “daughters.”
Attacking with conventional weapons will have little effect but will slow her down, as she takes a moment to readjust her hat.
This mix of style and dread is a welcome twist on the formula, according to Toronto game designer Kaitlin Tremblay.
Tall women are hot! Even if they are monsters. Especially if they’re monsters.– Kaitlin Tremblay, video game narrative designer
“She demands to fill up space, and she does, and there’s something really cool about that, because women are often denied the ability to take up space, without any excuse. And I think people are reacting to that, ”said Tremblay, senior narrative designer at Capy Games in Toronto.
“I think many of us, certainly myself, identify a lot with monstrosity, as a way of recognizing that we often fall outside of traditional or traditional patterns of accepted identities.
“I think a lot of people are drawn to Lady Dimitrescu because her monstrosity is part of what makes her powerful. “
While the reaction to Dimitrescu has been largely positive, some critics are less impressed with some of the game’s other extravagant character designs.
Polygon’s Suriel Vazquez challenged overweight merchant named The Duke, calling him “the worst character in the game” and “a boring and funny caricature of a fat person”.
“As someone who struggled with their weight for most of their life, I found the portrayal of the Duke to be a frustrating reminder that yes, people still view being overweight as grotesque and careless,” Vazquez wrote. .
A story of heroines
Dimistrescu isn’t the only woman to have made a good impression throughout Resident Evil’s history.
In the first game, released in 1996, players could choose to play as Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine, with whom they chose the lead role. The setup continued in the 1998 follow-up with their upcoming duo Claire Redfield and Leon Kennedy.
Tremblay immediately turned to these characters, first with Claire in 2002. Code de Resident Evil: Veronica, then with the lead solo role of Jill in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis.
« [Claire] was a younger sister – I’m a younger sister of older brothers – she rode a motorbike and she looked so cool. I wanted to be her and I really wanted to play like her, ”she said.
“She was everything I, at 14, wanted and needed.
The characters were his forays into an appreciation of the show for years.
“It was good campy horror, and that was all the budding horror writer in me wanted. But I would never have started playing them if it weren’t for Claire and Jill as playable characters. “
Parrish also noted the game’s long history of playable heroines. But it’s only recently that players have seen “different types of female characters,” whether it’s their appearance, ethnicity, or body type.
She cited Zarya, a fighter with a bodybuilder physique in Overwatch, and Bayonetta, a skinny, flamboyant witch from the games of the same name, as examples.
« [Dimitrescu] sort of dovetailed well with all of that, you know, the culture shift with the way we talk about female sexuality and the way we talk about what we find attractive about women, ”she explained. .
Will Dimitrescu return?
Given the explosion of interest in the VillageUpon release of the game, players might be disappointed to learn that Dimitrescu does not play an extended role during the game’s 10 hours of running time.
But Parrish says it’s entirely possible the character could make a comeback in future installments.
“Women have a right to be these amazing villains, as well as heroes, and it’s heartwarming to see her treated that way,” Tremblay said of the character’s marketing campaign.
“And also, I mean, tall women are sexy!” Even if they are monsters – especially if they are monsters. “
Written by Jonathan Ore. Produced by Sameer Chhabra.
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