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At Long Last Women Run the Shadows too!
17 October 2015 10:19AM EST - Update by prof1515
It has long been known that female characters are underrepresented in video games. In the case of the main character of a game, that problem was even more pronounced. While modern gaming has been far more attentive to addressing this deficiency, classic gamers still face that issue in the vast majority of cases. It was with that in mind that in 2013 an attempt began to create a female protagonist version of the Sega Genesis RPG Shadowrun.
Shadowrun is set in the dystopian cyberpunk setting of Seattle in the year 2058, a world where races like elves and dwarves exist, magic is real and present, and mega corporations run everything via a massive computer system called the Matrix. In the original Genesis version the player assumed the role of Joshua, a man on a mission to find the murderers of his brother Michael. Becoming a shadowrunner, a mercenary of sorts who carries out various jobs in the Seattle underworld, the player makes their living by running errands, battling thugs and magical creatures and even hacking the Matrix as they search for clues to the identity of those responsible for their brother’s death. The player has the option of playing Joshua as a samurai (fighter), decker (hacker) or gator shaman (spell-caster) but like many games of the time is limited to the option of a male character only.
The Shadowrun Female Player modification seeks to correct that oversight by introducing the character of Judith in the role of Joshua. In most respects the game play is left completely intact so that the experience of the game is not altered. Some dialogue was rewritten to accommodate the change of the protagonist’s gender but the story and its basic elements were not changed. In doing so, the mod’s creator aimed to provide the same experience for players while allowing them the ability to identify with a female protagonist instead of the traditional male one. Having two young nieces whom he hopes to someday introduce to classic gaming, the mod’s creator felt that it was essential that the experience be as similar as possible. New to ROM hacking when he began, this project was as much of a learning experience as it was a passionate quest to provide his nieces with a game they can some day play. Possible future versions will focus on cleaning up any hitherto unknown bugs as well as changing a shot from the opening animation to reflect the alteration of the main character.
Whether you’re a female gamer who longs to play a classic Sega Genesis RPG as a character that you can identify with or a male gamer who just wants the refreshing change of perspective, the Shadowrun Female Player modification may be the version for you.