As an avid gamer and realist who tries his best to find the medium, I’ve always wondered what the best outfits are for my characters/companions. I honestly try to find the best fit between the practical:
And the not so…
Ahhh… okay, that has been burned into my retinas… For everyone scarred by that, I apologize.
Yeah, for aesthetic reasons, I’m going to to use my Skyrim companion for all further examples. Yes, she’s female… I know I know, ‘typical male gamer, blah blah blah!’
Look, my blog is about MY OPINION on different geek and writing topic. Opinion, not appeasement. If it’s appeasement you’re looking for, I’m sure there’s a liberal arts community college nearby that’ll be happy to cater to you.
Honestly, my overall opinion on the different armor is that everyone has their own imaginations, vices, views of beauty… fetishes… etc. It all fall under fantasy:
the faculty or activity of imagining things, especially things that are impossible or improbable.
“his research had moved into the realm of fantasy”
In other words, there is no right or wrong when it comes to fantasy. Everyone has their own imagination, everyone is entitled to do as they want in these games, despite what Anita Sarkeesian and her cult following say.
But Jim, don’t you think these skimpy outfits objectify women? I mean that kind of objectification promotes a rape culture and gives women an unrealistic body image.
As opposed to the male armor where the arms are all exposed with muscles that couldn’t possibly be supported by the upper torso? Or what about showing pictures of Chris Hemsworth without his shirt on to a crowd of women on a show typically aimed at the feminist culture?
That’s not the same thing…
Yes it is, and this hypocrisy is why I have ZERO tolerance for 3rd wave feminism. Thus I will not be dealing with those arguments any further in this post. Moving on…
And here I am, pretty much off topic on a tangent. Time to refocus. Skimpy armor… can it be practical? The answer is… it really depends.
One could make the argument that a character that is supposed to be a spy, assassin, or scout should be light on their feet and thus not have a need for heavy armor, which is a fair assessment. However, where is the line?
Please note that I’m speaking on my opinion of realistic practicality in a fantasy universe, if your opinion differs from mine, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments… even if you are completely wrong. 😉
So let’s take a look at my usual companion in Skyrim:
My character, Lia’na, is a takeoff and slight modification (stats, race, textures, etc.) on the character Aranya, by StephieRawx from Nexusmods. So when you first download Aranya, this is the armor she comes in:
It’s… actually not bad for a rogue class warrior. It’s light, kind of gothic in design… yes her legs are fairly bare, but if you’re looking to sneak, that’s probably the best way to do it. So all in all, it seemed like a fairly decent outfit… until you got a closer look at the lower half…
Upon accidentally swimming underneath her during a battle in Dawnstar, I made a rather… unexpected discovery. Apparently someone forgot to… or now that I think about it, intentionally did not create underarmor for this getup, because she’s 100% commando. Yes, a fully detailed and textured elf-gina, light pubic hair and all, for all to see.
No I will NOT be posting a screenshot!
Now obviously this might not be an issue for some, but in the wintry, Scandinavian-like climates of Skyrim… yeah I don’t know if there’s a female equivalent for shrinkage, but I can’t imagine frozen lady-bits being that much fun.
So again, I wanted an outfit that was appropriate for a rogue and would have been a little more… realistic in terms of the environment. Factoring in that elves tend to have a slightly higher tolerance for cold weather than humans or orcs.
My first outfit replacement choice came to this:
Loose leather pants, an almost pirate esque top and a jacket… Light, but not a lot of protection. Still she’d fit in with the ruffians at each location a little better if she needed to blend in and the outfit definitely screamed rogue. Appropriate or realistic? Eh… maybe in a different climate or pirate adventure. I didn’t stick with it.
Next one up was this one… she dressed in this during the Dawnguard campaign.
Though looking back… it might have been smart to put her in something that protected her neck a little more. Still, this one was definitely pretty good, offering some upper body protection, but not enough to be inhibiting.
Sadly, though I liked that one a lot… It had to change. This is where I currently am:
Decent upper and lower body protection, chain mesh across the chest, gloves, leather padding on the pants… still has a midriff, but it’s passable. Again, not perfect, but not bad either.
So the costume is slightly skimpy around the midsection, but that’s it… To be fair though, I don’t think that this is what people consider all that skimpy or feminist-level objectification… so let’s take a look at a few of the other outfits I’ve seen floating around Nexus…
… … yeah nothing about that screams defensible. The pants look like they could pass, but the top? Some archer would have her heart in seconds.
I see this style over and over in outfits… yeah you’re a warrior trying to be taken seriously, and you’re wearing a thong out in public.
Unless you’re trying to distract your enemy from… something… pretty much anything… what point was I trying to make again?
Yeah I don’t think so.
Um… hmmm… this one isn’t that bad. Though this would more be for a magic wielder than a rogue, and there is STILL the issue of a good archer taking out her heart!
So this one actually isn’t bad, it’s feminine, but not objectifying and it protects everywhere it needs to. My only issue with this is that… SHE’S A ROGUE! This won’t work. I could see her wielding a greatsword, maybe, but two daggers? No!
No, and I’m not even going to bother downloading any of those. Christ, now you’re not even trying!!!
So it looks like the search for cool-looking yet class-appropriate realistically feasible armor is still on. I’m working on my own, but I’ve gotten nowhere with it.
In conclusion, is there a place in the game for skimpy armor? Sure, when it comes to stealth missions, missions where you’re going to get wet, or perhaps a mission where your character is undercover at some kind of brothel or something where they need to attract attention. Otherwise it’s pretty much just fan service.
Now, is there anything wrong with that? No. Again, it’s FANTASY! If you can justify it, or just find it aesthetically pleasing, don’t follow my rules and don’t follow anyone else’s. Go ahead and enjoy it. That’s what fantasy is here for.
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Catch you on the flip side!