We’re writing a second post this week because we fell a bit behind last weekend and we’d like to catch up. First, since we finished the last post a little bit ago, our wife got a Major Award from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Library and Information Science! She received the Valmai Fenster Award for Outstanding Promise of Exceptional Scholarly Contribution to the Profession for a paper she wrote called Wisconsin School for Girls Inmate Record Books: Trust in Custodianship through Redacted Digitization of Records and User Agreement Forms. That is the longest award name/paper name combination in history. Good work sweetheart!
Onward to the last of the Skullgirls:
Peacock is another character like Parasoul who seems to be a female character’s body with lots of masculine traits in, although in Peacock’s case it was drilled into when she received her bizarre exoskeleton the anti-Skullgirl lab. Those things on her arms are her eyes, and the two holes in her head are just expressionless pits. When you know that, her 1920’s style is suddenly less cute.
Back to masculine things about Peacock, let’s list them:
- Her name, Peacock, is the male of the species known as peafowl. The female is the peahen. When they have relations, they create peachicks. Our wife’s aunt and uncle had several peafowl on their farm a couple of years ago. They all wandered into death at the hands of various predators and things. So that’s a nice story about peafowl.
- One of her blockbusters actually turns her into Argus, the Laser Death Ray Peacock.
- She commands a gang of sentient male bombs, anvils, and knives to kill her opponents.
- She has a stereotypically male need to get back to watching her television throughout her story.
- One of her moves has her grounding a cigar on her opponent. Her victory pose has her puffing a cigar. Cigars are usually manly in popular media.
- Her teeth are a bear trap, just like Jaws of James Bond fame. I like Moonraker because he hooks up with a homicidal girl scout. Maybe he didn’t have a bear trap for teeth, but close enough.
- She’s wearing a top hat.
So really, the only things that are remotely feminine about Peacock are her nondescript bow/dress combo. If we had to argue with anyone about how the creators of Skullgirls are pervy because their cast is all girls, we could legitimately argue that Peacock may as well be the one male member of the cast.
Valentine: Bloody Romantic
In the interest of full disclosure, we would like to say that Valentine is the character that we use when we play Skullgirls. We would like to say that it is because of her phenomenal mobility and rush down skills (which it was in part), but we can’t go around saying that the boobs and the hack saw had nothing to do with it.
We’re not going to spend any time arguing that Valentine is not a sex object. She clearly is! Just look at this ridiculous cut scene pose she uses:
The spriter’s resource has this jpg listed as “sexy-seductive”. The spriter’s resource is not a place where the words “sexy” and “seductive” are often used. The fact that she is a sexy fetish nurse with a hacksaw and a habit of saying things like “Tell me where it hurts” could have derailed our entire argument that Skullgirls is not sexist-awful-time. Jeez louise, when she wins, she bends over and a thermometer tips out of her cleavage and explodes. So allow us to list off a few reasons that we don’t see her as a problem and then tie them together:
- She is Absurdly Sexualized to a degree that the other characters don’t even begin to approach. This, combined with her constant innuendos and that silly exploding thermometer, leads us to believe that she was made the way she is very purposefully. Tiny nurse outfit and all.
- She borrows her fighting stance and run animation from one of the most overtly sexual fighting game characters in history, Mai Shiranui of the King of Fighters. That includes the rhythmic boob jiggle.
- She is one of the two “evil” characters in the game, the other being Double, the sexy nun/tentacle monster. As we all know from horror movies, sex will get you killed.
- Valentine is a Sexy Nurse Ninja. You might remember from our blog about Rachel’s anti-sex status in NGS that distraction in a fast paced video game kills people. Again, sex will get you killed.
So to wrap up, Valentine is a commentary on modern sexuality in fighting games just like Double was. She is sexual to the point of parody to point out the absurdity of this kind of sexuality in a game like this. She’s simply ridiculous, and her obvious influence from Mai shows that Valentine’s creation was very self aware. In other words, sex in the fighting game genre is silly, and everyone should be aware of this.
The alignment of overt sexuality with evil hails back to the femme fatales of Classical Hollywood cinema, which is of course a strong reference point for Skullgirls as a whole. Outrageous sex was objectionable in culture in the 40s and 50s, and it’s bad in this game as part of it’s homage to film noir. Where Rita Hayworth’s performance in Gilda would be pretty tame today, it was blush-worthy in the 40’s. In that vein, Valentine is here to make you feel uncomfortable with her boobs and then cut you up with her hacksaw.
So that’s all 8 characters!