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Author Topic: ROM Hacks: At Long Last Women Run the Shadows too!  (Read 21725 times)

RHDNBot

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ROM Hacks: At Long Last Women Run the Shadows too!
« on: October 17, 2015, 10:19:56 am »

Update By: prof1515

It has long been known that female characters are underrepresented in video games. In the case of the main character of a game, that problem was even more pronounced. While modern gaming has been far more attentive to addressing this deficiency, classic gamers still face that issue in the vast majority of cases.  It was with that in mind that in 2013 an attempt began to create a female protagonist version of the Sega Genesis RPG Shadowrun.

Shadowrun is set in the dystopian cyberpunk setting of Seattle in the year 2058, a world where races like elves and dwarves exist, magic is real and present, and mega corporations run everything via a massive computer system called the Matrix. In the original Genesis version the player assumed the role of Joshua, a man on a mission to find the murderers of his brother Michael.  Becoming a shadowrunner, a mercenary of sorts who carries out various jobs in the Seattle underworld, the player makes their living by running errands, battling thugs and magical creatures and even hacking the Matrix as they search for clues to the identity of those responsible for their brother's death. The player has the option of playing Joshua as a samurai (fighter), decker (hacker) or gator shaman (spell-caster) but like many games of the time is limited to the option of a male character only.

The Shadowrun Female Player modification seeks to correct that oversight by introducing the character of Judith in the role of Joshua. In most respects the game play is left completely intact so that the experience of the game is not altered. Some dialogue was rewritten to accommodate the change of the protagonist's gender but the story and its basic elements were not changed.  In doing so, the mod's creator aimed to provide the same experience for players while allowing them the ability to identify with a female protagonist instead of the traditional male one.  Having two young nieces whom he hopes to someday introduce to classic gaming, the mod's creator felt that it was essential that the experience be as similar as possible. New to ROM hacking when he began, this project was as much of a learning experience as it was a passionate quest to provide his nieces with a game they can some day play. Possible future versions will focus on cleaning up any hitherto unknown bugs as well as changing a shot from the opening animation to reflect the alteration of the main character.

Whether you're a female gamer who longs to play a classic Sega Genesis RPG as a character that you can identify with or a male gamer who just wants the refreshing change of perspective, the Shadowrun Female Player modification may be the version for you.

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I.S.T.

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Re: ROM Hacks: At Long Last Women Run the Shadows too!
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2015, 09:15:44 pm »
Thread re-opened for business. Sorry for all the issues, prof.
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Chpexo

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Re: ROM Hacks: At Long Last Women Run the Shadows too!
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2015, 09:31:35 pm »
This hack looks pretty neat. Good job, prof1515!  :thumbsup: I'm impressed the added graphics match the games style.

Gedankenschild

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Re: ROM Hacks: At Long Last Women Run the Shadows too!
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2015, 10:07:13 pm »
As much as I hate a certain pop culture critic's pop-psychology and sex-negativity, I'm going to commend the hacker for actually doing the work and making the changes they want to see, instead of just complaining about how unfair the world is and admonishing others to fix it for them. Good. For. You.

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Spoken like a true puptriarch! Please educate yourself and watch some instructional Feline Frequency videos.

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SunGodPortal

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Re: ROM Hacks: At Long Last Women Run the Shadows too!
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2015, 12:17:01 am »
Quote
Thread re-opened for business. Sorry for all the issues, prof.

YAY! Thanks. Now I can say...

Seeing this hack has given me a fresh story perspective for one of my hacks. Thank you for the inspiration, Prof1515! :thumbsup:
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icemann

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Re: ROM Hacks: At Long Last Women Run the Shadows too!
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2015, 03:54:15 am »
Awesome stuff :).

Hopefully we see a english translation of the Sega Mega CD Shadowrun game someday. It's the only Shadowrun game not currently available in english.

Both the snes and mega drive Shadowrun games are both excellent games. And then you have the fantastic Shadowrun Returns games of much more recent times (Dead Man's Switch being a semi-sequel to the snes game).

Yidda

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Re: ROM Hacks: At Long Last Women Run the Shadows too!
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2015, 10:33:19 am »
It has long been known that female characters are underrepresented in video games.

Who cares? This would actually be a cool addition if it was a choice and didn't entirely replace the male PC.

Also this implication that women can't identify with male main characters or vice versa is stupid.

Gedankenschild

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Re: ROM Hacks: At Long Last Women Run the Shadows too!
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2015, 10:49:01 am »
Who cares? This would actually be a cool addition if it was a choice and didn't entirely replace the male PC.

Also this implication that women can't identify with male main characters or vice versa is stupid.

To be fair, that might be coding work above the hacker's skills and keeping the original ROM isn't going to waste of lot of HDD space. ;)

If this turns out to be a social experiment that ends up in another Brianna Wu article ("Misogyny in the romhacking scene is a serious problem, why isn't the FBI doing something?!") I'm going set myself on fire...

xnamkcor

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Re: ROM Hacks: At Long Last Women Run the Shadows too!
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2015, 11:06:09 am »
Who cares? This would actually be a cool addition if it was a choice and didn't entirely replace the male PC.

Also this implication that women can't identify with male main characters or vice versa is stupid.

Maybe because you can't always just add data to a ROM, sometimes you are limited to replacing data?

PresidentLeever

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Re: ROM Hacks: At Long Last Women Run the Shadows too!
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2015, 11:10:33 am »
I also disagree with the ideas about identification expressed in the OP or that a relative lack of female avatars/characters in old games is a problem, or that it's one that "classic gamers" (men/boys?) should be held accountable for if I understood you correctly.
That said I'm all for this sort of thing when it's more than a sprite swap and actually provides a different experience beyond the surface level, which obviously there's more potential for in an RPG.
The question is if this was done, or if the text changes don't amount to more than something like changing the gender pronouns in the original script? Otherwise it's hypocritical to hold a moralizing speech when the character you've put in the game is sexualised, has a boob plate, and is simply a reskin of a male character (I think FF used the term "diffdaff counterpart").

It's a well drawn sprite though and if it's unique then that's pretty impressive. I haven't really played the MD game yet, but I'll definitely try this hack when I do.

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Gemini

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Re: ROM Hacks: At Long Last Women Run the Shadows too!
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2015, 11:27:12 am »
Also this implication that women can't identify with male main characters or vice versa is stupid.
True that. Most female friends of mine who also play videogames don't really care to have a female character they can relate to, they simply like the game if the story is good and the protagonist is likeable.

Anyways, props to the hacker who made this, especially for the sprite changes.
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Gedankenschild

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Re: ROM Hacks: At Long Last Women Run the Shadows too!
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2015, 12:19:10 pm »
True that. Most female friends of mine who also play videogames don't really care to have a female character they can relate to, they simply like the game if the story is good and the protagonist is likeable.

According to some research, men actually care less about playing a character of their own gender than women do. Also men care less and less the older they get, while women care more. Liana K did a video about that study:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOCrLeefAjE

Yidda

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Re: ROM Hacks: At Long Last Women Run the Shadows too!
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2015, 02:28:17 pm »
Maybe because you can't always just add data to a ROM, sometimes you are limited to replacing data?

True, but I can always hope someone takes a crack at a Shadowrun Genesis expansion where you can choose between male and female.

Grinder

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Re: ROM Hacks: At Long Last Women Run the Shadows too!
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2015, 03:32:47 pm »
This is awesome. No one really makes hacks of this game. I have made some mods to mine for fun being able to play and replace some of the runners with other kinds of characters, like the hell hounds, yeti, lone star, etc. Just sprite swaps and changed colors. (Some colors are off / look sloppy.)

I made changes to them from Magus's hack.

Here some pics of mine if anyone wants to see.

http://grinder1999.deviantart.com/art/Sr-Mod-10-Runner-Edit-526240319

(Also I think there is a bug where you cannot load your saved games in this Female version. When I save the game in the pocket secretary, then try to load it, it is just a blank screen with redmond barrens music playing. O.o?)
« Last Edit: October 18, 2015, 10:56:59 pm by Grinder »

SunGodPortal

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Re: ROM Hacks: At Long Last Women Run the Shadows too!
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2015, 04:11:19 pm »
Quote
Who cares? This would actually be a cool addition if it was a choice and didn't entirely replace the male PC.

Also this implication that women can't identify with male main characters or vice versa is stupid.

*YAWN*

Quote
I also disagree with the ideas about identification expressed in the OP or that a relative lack of female avatars/characters in old games is a problem, or that it's one that "classic gamers" (men/boys?) should be held accountable for if I understood you correctly.

I think people are taking this a little too seriously.

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DarkSol

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Re: ROM Hacks: At Long Last Women Run the Shadows too!
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2015, 05:23:56 pm »
Who cares? This would actually be a cool addition if it was a choice and didn't entirely replace the male PC.

Also this implication that women can't identify with male main characters or vice versa is stupid.

Except you have a choice.  Everything else about the game remains the same; therefore, if you play the original game unaltered, the protagonist remains male and nothing is lost.

Furthermore, the OP's statement states nothing which implies that women can't identify with male main characters, but that this is to give them a choice.

If this turns out to be a social experiment that ends up in another Brianna Wu article ("Misogyny in the romhacking scene is a serious problem, why isn't the FBI doing something?!") I'm going set myself on fire...

I can ask her if that's something she'd say, if you like.  Her point isn't that if a place is misogynistic that the FBI should be called, it's that when men are so resistive to opinions outside their community that they call for harassment and what not for someone who dares challenge their world views.

True that. Most female friends of mine who also play videogames don't really care to have a female character they can relate to, they simply like the game if the story is good and the protagonist is likeable.

Anecdotal evidence is anecdotal! :P  (Plus, the minority of your female friends who do care about that, should their opinion be dismissed?)
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Re: ROM Hacks: At Long Last Women Run the Shadows too!
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2015, 05:27:16 pm »
Who cares? This would actually be a cool addition if it was a choice and didn't entirely replace the male PC.

Also this implication that women can't identify with male main characters or vice versa is stupid.

One out of Three Males, people can still play as the other two guys if they like, it's not like the hacker changed the entire cast where your dismissal would make sense from a Macho point of view (a terrible point of view). It was only One of Three characters therefore your statement falls apart.

I.S.T.

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Re: ROM Hacks: At Long Last Women Run the Shadows too!
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2015, 05:57:47 pm »
You people make me want to kill myself.

I locked the thread and then baleeted all of its contents aside from the opening post because of this stuff, why is it happening again? Does the mod team need to start handing out massive warns or something?  Y'all are hijacking this thread to talk about your personal and political reactions to a fairly(But admittedly, not entirely) neutral hack. Quit it.
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PresidentLeever

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Re: ROM Hacks: At Long Last Women Run the Shadows too!
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2015, 06:13:56 pm »
^Why are you allowing someone to have a political soap box on the site but not criticism of their message? Also suicide jokes aren't funny.

Re: Darksol
"Whether you're a female gamer who longs to play a classic Sega Genesis RPG as a character that you can identify with"
Is it not heavily implied here that there are no MD RPGs with a playable female char (which is wrong), and that they're needed for a female player to identify with a playable character (also wrong)? I think it's pretty clear.
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I.S.T.

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Re: ROM Hacks: At Long Last Women Run the Shadows too!
« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2015, 06:22:38 pm »
For the record, I made that joke, which was more an expression of frustration, as someone who has had suicidal tendencies in the past and suicidal idealization.

October 18, 2015, 06:24:35 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
As for soap box... We have dick nazi hacks on the site. I think that says it all. Dick. Nazis.
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