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Sweet Baby Inc. Partner Square Enix Removes Genders From Dragon Quest 3 HD-2D

What is a woman? Apparently, Square Enix doesn't want to even go there... The beloved "Dragon Quest III," is being revamped in stunning HD-2D graphics, with a modern audience "twist". The remake, set to launch on November 14th across multiple platforms including Windows PC, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 5, is not just a visual overhaul but also a conceptual one, particularly with its approach to gender representation.

"Dragon Quest III" had originally allowed players to select the gender of the protagonist, with the choice influencing little more than the sprite representation. In earlier iterations, the protagonist could be either male or female, though the gameplay experience remained largely unchanged... However, the HD-2D remake introduces a 'modern audience' twist: the replacement of traditional gender options with "Type A" and "Type B" selections. This change has raised eyebrows within the gaming community. Savvy put it best on twitter:

While the specific reasons behind this shift are not detailed, it is clear that Square Enix is attempting to modernize the game's appeal and perhaps make a statement on gender fluidity. As I spoke about in a previous video, a shareholder had asked if Square Enix was still working with Sweet baby Inc. While Square seemed to mostly dodge the question, their answer leaned toward how they were still working with SBI, and Square is also still listed on the Sweet baby Inc website under companies they work with.

The characters, though referred to by non-gendered types, are voiced by male and female actors—Hiyama Nobuyuki and Minaguchi Yuko, respectively—and retain distinctly masculine or feminine appearances in the artwork. This nuanced approach suggests some slight acknowledgment of traditional gender norms, while also stepping away from strictly binary choices. But one has to wonder.... why?

Further adding to the complexity, the remake extends this gender neutrality to the game's subclasses and jobs. Previously, each job had male and female variants, but now, these distinctions are no longer made by name, suggesting a unified experience regardless of the player's character choice.

This change in "Dragon Quest III" is reflective of an unwanted broader trend in gaming and entertainment towards more "inclusive" and "diverse" character representations. By blurring traditional gender lines, Square Enix is positioning itself as a 'progressive force' in a typically conservative industry. However, this move also invites confusion and debate among longtime fans and newcomers alike, especially those who might find the removal of clear gender distinctions a step too far from the original game's simpler mechanics. Personally, I was hyped for this announcement as I never really got into the originals and felt like this would be a great opportunity to experience it for the first time. While the changes are subtle, it's enough for me to warrant skipping it, as the gestures made by Square are in the complete wrong direction and I don't care to support it.

As "Dragon Quest III HD-2D Remake" approaches its release, it will be interesting to see how these changes are received by the larger gaming community, and what impact they might have on the future design philosophies of Square Enix and other major players in the industry. Whether this decision will be seen as a forward-thinking innovation or a misstep remains to be seen, but it undoubtedly sets the stage for a fascinating discourse on gender in gaming.


HUGE shoutout to Niche Gamer for the info/heads up!

1 Comment

I honestly think that Square Enix needs to make their stance clear on where they stand on this whole gender debacle before they start fucking around with games because if they choose to take the side of the Mentally ill Alphabet cult,then they better be ready for the backlash that will be set upon them

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