Samus, Zelda and Peach; women and sexism in Nintendo games, and why these characters need an update

Digitally Downloaded writes: "It is high time that Nintendo started to look at building female heroes that don't need to be disguised as men, subservient to men or in desperate need of rescuing by men."

Read Full Story >>
The story is too old to be commented.
Snookies121836d ago

What's wrong with Samus? If you mean her, when saying "female heroes don't need to be disguised as men," I don't believe she's ever been disguised as a man. It's kind of a gender neutral suit if you ask me.

MattS1836d ago

It's fun when people comment before reading an article.

Snookies121836d ago (Edited 1836d ago )

I usually only skim through things, no need to be like that I was simply asking a question.

MattS1836d ago

I apologise Snookies, that probably sounded far harsher than I intended.

Gender politics is a very complex issue. A single picture/ costume is not representative of anything. The article is a really brief summary of the issue - I can't answer your question in a quicker way than that :)

AO1JMM1835d ago

It's usually complete garbage thats why.

ElectricKaibutsu1835d ago

Geez Matt, I wish you could lighten up a bit about defending your articles. I almost always like what you write but your replies to criticisms tend to be so serious they make the comments feel tense.

I honestly think you make great points, especially here where you notice that Samus wasn't a female character until her wearing a bikini is the reward for completing the game. I would have replied to Snookies12 if you hadn't.

TheGamingArt1835d ago (Edited 1835d ago )

Honestly I don't see the sexism..... Peach is cliche and old but if you haven't noticed... they toughened her up in SSB/Mario Tennis/Mario Kart. Zelda has Sheik... really (which is not defined as manly) and Samus was never disguised as a man... that was purely assumption on behalf of the audience due to the time period. Not only that, but her opened suite is pretty exposed... They literally shook the game industry making a woman character like that ( and you're complaining ). I'm not reading the article simply because I know I can predict your points... and they're bad. Also, why is it determined that these characters are portrayed like men when they're suited up? What are they suppose to be, bitches to the max Jersey Shores Style? I'd actually call you out for trying to define what a woman is and does as sexism. The simple fact that you're offended by these games (one of which brought woman into the gaming world as a defined strong MAIN character) shows your sensitivity to the matter. You simply need to go and watch a few south park episodes. I believe they have one on racism. This will help you gain some perspective on what you are actually doing.

ElectricKaibutsu1835d ago


I'm trying to think of a way to reply to you that isn't just "read the article". Maybe I can summarize.

Peach only has one game to herself and in it she fights enemies with her stereotypical feminine out of control emotions.

Zelda in OoT was Sheik and that was cool but of course she was still captured and needed to be rescued in the end. A better argument could be made for Tetra in Windwaker where she led a gang of pirates. Still, she had to be rescued there too.

In Metroid, you didn't play as the girl that's strong enough to take on the space pirates. You play as Samus who is completely genderless until you're rewarded for beating the game by getting to see her underwear. Of course Retro did an awesome job with her in the Metroid trilogy and I'd rather just pretend Other M doesn't exist.

Really, I don't think Nintendo is overly sexist with these games (except for Super Princess Peach, but that's more bizarrely sexist than objectifyingly sexist). There are of course far worse offenders than Nintendo. I mean, Dead or Alive? Or even God of War which had the make-the-pot-break minigame. In the end the sexism in these Nintendo games are no worse than a Disney movie. Still, Super Princess Peach. What's up with that?

DragonKnight1835d ago

For goodness sake, another one of these articles? Really? Here's an idea, why don't we just demand that all games have protagonists and antagonists that are completely gender neutral. No possible way of telling if they are male or female. It's going to get to that point anyway because people are offended by the smallest stuff that has no bearing on their actual lives. I could sit here and make a long post about the ridiculous nature of these articles, but instead I'm just going to post this picture.

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 1835d ago
KrimsonKody1835d ago

No, it was never a disguise, just a surprise, that when you finish the 1st Metroid, she relieves herself of her helmet, revealing a female.

Nimblest-Assassin1835d ago

What was wrong with Samus?

Nothing until other M

The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.The baby.

-Yeah... we need another Metroid to fix this massive problem

Bimkoblerutso1835d ago (Edited 1835d ago )

QFT there. Usually I see this crap as the journo bait that it is, but with other M...they genuinely "housewifed" Samus up, I've gotta say.

I mean good god: Metroid other M... M.O.M? Really?

omarzy1836d ago

Peach is always kidnapped by Bowser. She is weaker. Why even have the Mario Mario character save her(the entire point of the games) if Peach could handle Bowser on her own?

Same thing Zelda. She cannot beat Ganon, and she was not even captured in Skyward Sword. She was being chased the whole time. If someone is weaker, they are weaker.

Samus does not need to dress as a man to have power. She dresses like that because because her ass would burn without that Varia suit.

The writer brings up the time period that these characters were made, but if Zero suit samus took the role now in 2012 you would have every womans group talking about how Samus is exploited bla bla.

The point is that Peach and Zelda are not the main heroes of the game. They NEED to be weak or a hero is not needed.

MattS1836d ago

So sexism is justified as long as it's part of the story. Good to know?

omarzy1836d ago

It is not sexism. These characters are just weaker, and if they were men and played the same role in the story then they would also be weaker. Rescuing the princess is a classic in any story telling. Nobody wants to to rescue a man when you could emulate classics like a brave warrior of lower class wins the heart of royalty.

Link is a kid from the forest who finds himself chosen by Gods to rescue the world and go on a huge adventure to save the world and a princess with absolutely no battle experience. What would the Zelda games be if Zelda did not need to be rescued?

It also differs with each game. In Ocarina of Time, Zelda was one of the sages who are the keepers of the Triforce. They greatest power in the world. That is a pretty big role.

Peach just gets overpowered and a guy goes to bring her back.

TheGamingArt1835d ago (Edited 1835d ago )

Did you just call a damsel in distress sexism... you have to be kidding me. Pull your head out of the 60s. This is like calling a black person doing labour racism.

mike1up1836d ago (Edited 1836d ago )

I disagree about Zelda.

In the Legend of Zelda series, Princess Zelda is generally portrayed to be the wisest/most intelligent character. In Oot, even as a child, she is more gifted than the other Sages. In Skyward Sword, she is considered a goddess. There's is more to strength than brute force.

I also find Zelda to be very brave. In the final battles of The Wind Waker, and Twilight Princess, she fights alongside our hero. Princesses usually don't do that, and don't have to.

Lastly, how is it sexist for a female character not to be able to physically "handle" a male on her own? In all fairness, most men are physically stronger than women. Furthermore, Link cannot even handle, or harm, Gannon on his own. He usually gets help (from a woman): Silver Arrows and Golden sword (Alttp), Light Arrows (Oot), Navi (Ooot), Midna and Zelda (TP), Tetra/Zelda (WW)... etc..

omarzy1836d ago

"Lastly, how is it sexist for a female character not to be able to physically "handle" a male on her own?"

I'm not saying it is sexist. I do not think any of these games are sexist. I believe that plot requires Zelda to play the role of the damsel in distress most of the time.

We agree that it is not sexist, but our reasons are very different.

mike1up1836d ago (Edited 1836d ago )

@ omarzy


That was a big misread on my part. I really wanted to comment, and jumped the gun there lol. Sorry about that.

ChickeyCantor1836d ago

Peach actually does save Mario at one point....

Neckbear1836d ago (Edited 1836d ago )

Why are feminists such blockheads that seem to be capable of all but building fair and sensible arguments?

Or what, do you really want every game in the world to be a vapid piece of software that specifically caters to your moronic ideals and tastes?

I'm quite sure Nintendo isn't filled with psychopathologic assholes that look to do nothing but objectify women. But, ironically in your argument, you too are treating women in a generalized manner- that which throws away all individualism and instead goes for a set standard born from the idiotic ambitions of a woman with far too much time and the group of equally brainless sheep (both female and, even worse, male) to follow suit.

What a poor piece of journalism this is, forgetting the utmost rule of that profession: impartiality. Forgetting that Nintendo heroines are not only iconic and revered (in ways more than just perversion, imbecile), but even have their own set of spinoffs and other roles that go beyond the conventional. So yes, the man who wrote this article is idiotic, biased, and all-around a terrible human being. Stop posting your worthless opinion on the internet, it's nothing more than something people point and laugh at. And with reason.

P.S.: This won't get you anything, man. Don't fall so low.


Oh, but I have assisted to a sociology course before. I would never assist to something as ridiculous as a feminist center of indoctrination, though.

I like how you blame me of playing my way into authority, yet you attempt to criticize me with your almighty knowledge derived from a hour-long course on how women are obviously superior to you in every way imaginable. Feminism is a doctrine where those who apply it criticize all but themselves, obviously drunk in ego and vocal power. And, honestly, it's disgusting. If you truly took a sociology course, as you said you did, you'd realize that feminism falls in one of the worst kind of ideologies, being as bad as blind faith or political fanaticism. It's a dogma that literally no one should abide by, at the very least in not such extreme (and, truth be told, completly ridiculous) ways as you do in this piece of badly written opinions.

And yet you have the guts to call my interpretation equal to one of high school when you base yours on petty generalizations. Wow.

Oh, and last I checked, opinion pieces are best left to the people who have to say something, which is why you will almost never see a journalist actually write one of those unless it's their blog, and even then. Besides, no, journalism IS news reporting, most of all. It's the vigorous responsability of informing, not opining. Unless your journalism class was dictated by a jackass with no actual merit for the career.

But thank you for being such a try-hard. You've made my night, good man. I will continue to laugh at you, and so will others.

MattS1836d ago

You haven't done a sociology or feminism course before, have you?

No, of course you haven't. Given that you use abusive language to try and condescend your way into a position of authority, it's unlikely you have any kind of tertiary qualifications.

But anyway, for the sake of debate, I'll enlighten you. Feminism is more interested in criticising the kind of cultural values that has led to the likes of the Mario series, and the kind of people such as yourself. We live in a culture that is more than happy to come up with excuses for why the established gender roles are the way they are, and is downright hostile to anyone who would question them (you know, by being abusive and condescending).

No one ever said that Nintendo is staffed by people who are outwardly sexist. That would be silly to even suggest (oh, sorry, you did suggest it). No. But Nintendo's employees live and work in Japan, a cultural environment that still has a deep gender divide.

Notice how the issue is getting a little more complex than your high-school interpretation? Ok, good.

Now let's not even start to pull apart the ridiculous assumption that the only purpose of journalism is to be impartial. Clearly you haven't done a course in journalism either, because otherwise you would realise that news reporting is a subset of journalism that ethically values impartiality, but criticism and editorial writing are both, by very nature, opinion pieces.

This is what happens when people who have no qualifications in a topic (or two topics, in this case) try and criticise those that know what they're talking about.

Monkeycan81835d ago

Who the hell really cares. you seem to be just as sexist as they "guys" you all always blabber on about.

Bimkoblerutso1835d ago

Come on dude. Don't pull that "I took a class in college," crap. Don't you realize how ridiculously pretentious you sound at this point?

prototypeknuckles1836d ago

okay peach and depending on which version of zelda it is ill give you but what the heck is wrong with samus, granted she wasnt her best in other M but thats only one game.

amaguli1836d ago

You kind of answer your own question in the article when you say it is a cultural thing. Japan is traditional, the men go out and work, and the women stay home.

However, that is slowly changing in their society, but it just comes down to cultural differences.

Show all comments (35)
The story is too old to be commented.