Quantic Dream’s Omikron: The Nomad Soul is an idiosyncratic universe with its bizarrely adorned citizens, otherworldly settings, and futuristic soundtrack provided by Xavier Despas. Omikron‘s music helped Quantic Dream win GameSpy’s Outstanding Music Award in 1999. When Omikron was released for the PC in 1999 and then Sega Dreamcast in 2000, it was David Cage and Quantic Dream’s firstborn child. While ahead of its time, Omikron failed to receive the recognition bestowed upon Quantic Dream’s Heavy Rain.
Omikron was a flawed game that contained awkward WASD keys to walk, swim, and fight, fury-inducing mouse and keyboard shooting, and a topsy-turvy story. Despite its faults, the game remains an unforgettable adventure that all gamer gals should have the opportunity to play at least once. Have you ever heard of a game that claims to be a game within a game, complete with a government overrun by demons, reincarnation, and David Bowie dancing at his own concert as if he’s controlled by a puppet master?
As unique as the game is, the lack of positive portrayals of women in Omikron the Nomad Soul may have female gamers bypassing this gem.
In Omikron: The Nomad Soul, most of the women we encounter fit into these categories:
-Damsels in distress with micro-mini skirts and cleavage-baring tops.
-Pedestrians with micro-mini skirts and cleavage-baring tops (or even worse… prostitute pedestrians in gimp masks *shudder*).
-One of many silent avatars the player commandeers through the game.
-Corpses dissected in a morgue
-Objects of lust with low attack and defense skills.
Objects of lust are not prostitutes, yet they arouse interest. The gal who stood out sat pensively in a cafe wearing an outfit that threatened to expose a nipple or two.
Baldy had the mark of a third eye, which meant high magical prowess, but her low attack and defense skills made her an unworthy candidate for reincarnation. If homegirl can’t right hook a creepy perv when the mana runs out, she may as well pull a Princess Peach and wait for Mario to rescue her.
However, Omikron‘s women weren’t all deplorable. There were characters who had potential but missed the mark.
Captain Lea, the lead of Security HQ, was headstrong, fully-clothed and didn’t take anyone’s crap. Unfortunately, Captain Lea was scary and intimidating in that domineering way that should have sent Kay’l running for the hills after retrieving her cup of Chai…er…Koil.
Telis, the wife of Kay’l, was less intimidating, and thanks to her we learned the identity of Kay’l and our next destination. The woman even gave Kay’l her own Talisman to ensure his safety! The way she whipped out her gun toward Kay’l at the game’s start signaled that his ass would’ve been grass if he’d been an intruder. Sadly, kickass Telis withered into a wimpy damsel in distress, turned into an evil demon, and was never mentioned again.
How can we forget Anissa? She’s the stripper who was quickly murdered in cold blood while being questioned by perceptive detective Kay’l. She provided our character with the puzzle piece necessary to vanquish a demon, and she could’ve redeemed herself ala Lauren Winter if given the chance.
The self-proclaimed Goddess-queen Soyinka should’ve been memorable: not just a queen, a Goddess-queen! Despite her titillating cleavage, Soyinka had a regal and commanding nature to her voice. Soyinka’s fierceness was underused as she became a filler character, only popping in to offer information about the game’s events, cheer our hero on, and congratulate him at the game’s conclusion. A Goddess-queen reduced to cheerleader…for shame!
The fact that Jenna 712 was the sole influential, strong, and fully-dressed female character is disappointing in such a promising game. The cargo pilot was crucial to the progression of the game. If you chose to condemn her to the thought erasers, the game would not budge until you proclaimed her innocence. In the anti-government sect, The Awakened, Jenna was second honcho to David Bowie’s Boz the virtual being, and still, she showed she could hold her own. Jenna was assertive yet calm and bravely risked getting caught by the thought erasers two more times in order for players to beat the game! Every time she appeared on-screen one would listen to what she had to say.
The female gaming world is ready to forgo the scantily clad damsels in favor of strong female characters such as Jenna, Jodie Holmes, and Madison Paige. Gals, let’s admit it: We need more heroines such as Samus Aran and Femshep. Quantic Dream is up to the task, but will they continue creating strong female characters, or will they settle for characters like Telis and third eye Baldy? I’m rooting for the Jennas to prevail. Our future in gaming rests in our future heroines.