Killer Is Dead has recently come under fire for it’s portrayal of it’s female characters, more specifically the “Gigolo Mode” in the game. A minigame of sorts where the main character Mondo seduces women. A video by VideoGamerTV titled “Killer Is Dead: Just Like Suda 51’s Career” went into how Gigolo Mode actually works and for many people the details were unsettling and downright creepy. They claimed that you use X-ray classes to learn more about your “target” by staring at their breasts and crotch to learn more about them. VideoGamerTV also went on to say you can seal the deal of sex by offering your “targets” money. Rather than listing everything the pointed out, I’d suggest just watching the video.
Well in a thread on NeoGAF, Hatsuu, a developer that actually works at XSEED and helped localize the game (the company publishing Killer Is Dead) responded to the video in a rather lengthy post. She went on to address several point in the video, specifically:
“You seduce women in a bar using X-Ray glasses.”
Untrue. Mondo is modeled after James Bond (“Mondo” and “Bond” sound the same in Japanese), and his escapades with women were meant to be a reflection of the “man every woman wants” thing. Basically, as you progress through the game, women will call Mondo and beg for a date. You can go on these dates in locations that vary depending on the girl, not just bars, and yeah, you do what a dude who has only one thing on his mind does (not saying every dude, just that kind of dude) and stare at her a hell of a lot. The glasses are not used to seduce; they’re used in a couple of ways, including as ‘x-ray’ glasses and to also look inside of her heart and figure out her likes and dislikes so you can give her gifts that she likes. It’s worth noting you can get by just fine without them.
As a female, I’ll say that’s actually wrong as well. I actually changed the measurements myself in the English version to be a more accruate and proportionate reflection of their character models, since I know a thing or two about female measurements.
“But the selection of things that these women like is downright offensive.”
Flowers – Not sure about how offensive giving a single red rose to a girl is. Cliche, yes, but hardly offensive.
Booze – You buy her a drink, it’s presented in the same manner as other gifts. You can give a Schnapps bottle as a gift though, but I don’t know, booze is a pretty sweet gift.
Money- INCORRECT, COMPLETELY INCORRECT. You can give a commemorative gold coin, and it does not translate to cash. You DO NOT give cash to your dates as gifts. I cannot believe how inaccurate this is.
Worth noting that other gifts are like a Japanese fan, chewing gum, or a necklace. This video pulls pulls out the ones he finds offensive and sort of abstracts them.
You can read the entire response here, it’s something I’d definitely recommend taking the time to read. Though it’s important to note that while Hatsuu is an XSEED employee, she makes a point to stress that she is not representing them in that post.
At first glance the Gigolo Mode in Killer Is Dead does come off as pretty unsettling, I certainly have been losing interest as more details of the game’s questionable content has been released. However as a long time fan of SUDA 51, I’m willing to give the game the benefit of a doubt. After all Shadow’s Of The Damned was a parody of the damsel in distress trope, and Lollipop Chainsaw took the topic of objectification and turned it on it’s head. We will find out soon enough if Killer Is Dead spreads similar messages or if it’s just a bunch of pandering trite.