Dino Crisis: Characters

dinocrisis-gailMy last post described the mission leader, a man only referred to as “Gail”. It’s not clear if this is a first name or a last name, so it either fits in the tradition of tough guys with feminine names, like Firefly‘s Jayne Cobb or Vyvyan from The Young Ones, or the tradition of Japanese game designers not knowing what names sound plausible to an English-speaking audience. Anyway, let’s cover the rest of the team.

The first one on the site was Tom. He’s not really part of the current mission: he infiltrated the site some time beforehand, posing as a researcher. He’s the one who notified your organization that Dr. Kirk, the scientist you’re there to extract, was present and, more importantly, alive. (“Extract” is such a convenient word here: it leaves it ambiguous whether your mission is to rescue him or to capture him, something I’m still not sure about.) Tom doesn’t spend much time with the team: he’s already badly injured when you meet with him, and dies soon afterward. At least, that’s how it worked in the plot branch I chose to pursue, but I can’t imagine things work out much better for him in the alternate branch, where you decide to ignore Tom’s rescue signal like Gail wants you to.

dinocrisis-michaelRick is a bit of an oddity. He’s black, and his voice actor seems to have decided that this is all the characterization he needs. The moment he opened his mouth, I thought I had a handle on the stereotype here, that his role in the story is that of “the black guy”. But no, his role is team technician. He’s the guy you keep going back to for advice (Gail generally seems to be busy), and definitely not the first to die. (That would be Tom, although for a while it looked like it was Gail. Gail’s death seemed plausible, as he’s the least sympathetic character, but he turned out to be tough enough to survive a fall off a cliff in the grip of a velociraptor, which he probably killed with his bare hands.) Well, this is ultimately a Japanese game, and Japan doesn’t have the same stereotypes as we do in the West. Gail’s stereotype transcends national boundaries — if anything, it’s more prevalent in Japan — but “black” mainly just seems to connote “American”.

dinocrisis-reginaFinally, there’s the player character, Regina. As often the case with player characters, she receives the least characterization. She’s not quite a Gordon-Freeman-like silent protagonist, but pretty much all you know about her is what she looks like. She’s a post-Tomb Raider babe hero with a red dye job. This is something of a break from the patterns of Resident Evil, which (for the first couple of games, at least) provides a choice of male or female player character. It always seemed to me that the original RE seemed to expect the kids playing it — and yes, it definitely expected to be played by kids — to pick the character of their own gender. Regina, on the other hand, is definitely a female character designed to appeal to male players. Everyone on the mission is dressed in a black stealth suit with high-tech body armor, but on Regina, it looks more like a leather corset. dinocrisis-outfitsThat’s if you choose the default outfit. You get a choice of four outfits at the beginning of each session. (You don’t even have to unlock them.) In addition to the “stealth type”, there’s “army type” (olive green t-shirt and extremely short cutoffs), “battle type” (some kind of weird lingerie), and “ancient type” (what can only be described as a Flintstones-pattern minidress).

The only other non-dinosaur character I’ve seen so far is a picture of the mysterious Dr. Kirk. He’s handsome and has longish hair, and therefore can be confidently expected to be completely evil.

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