USgamer on a rape allusion in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2

Oct 24, 2012
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#1
I'm sitting in a roundtable interview with a handful of journalists after having just spent more than an hour playing Lords of Shadow 2, the scene in question being one in which a withered Dracula stumbled toward a family with his arms outstretched, the camera abruptly switching to a first-person perspective. He kills the father outright, then grabs the mother and sinks his fangs into her neck, draining her life energy to restore his.

Sexualized imagery is nothing new in vampire fiction, but this scene is kind of stunning for how blatant it is with its allusions to rape. It's a scene that forcibly reminds me of the boxart from RapeLay, down to the woman protecting her child and the disembodied arms (your arms) reaching out from the camera. Regardless of the intentions in constructing the scene, the imagery is ghastly.

Yes, I told Cox. That scene did in fact make me uncomfortable. His reply is so swift that I can barely even get the word "yes" out of my mouth: "That's what we wanted. That's exactly what we wanted."

So while I applaud Cox and his team for their desire to take on challenging material, I really hope they cut the Family Scene before Lords of Shadow 2 launches next month.

source

Call me whatever you want, but I'm not really feeling how that scene is a rape allusion, at least from the description alone. The fact that he goes for the woman? Well, homosexual rape is a thing too, would therefore any act of drinking blood make one think of rape, in a game where you play as a vampire? The author has made her point quite clearly, but I'm just not sure I agree with it. Interested in everyone else's thoughts.

EDIT:

An important thing that can be learnt from these articles is that Dracula, in fact, feeds upon all three family members and not only the woman. Kat herself, however, said on Twitter that she only saw the woman being fed upon, which might be why her impressions are different from the previews above.

EDIT2:

As if there was any doubt, anyway.

EDIT3:

It seems either she didn't see the whole scene or someone is being untruthful.

https://twitter.com/CastlevaniaLOS/status/422840586773995520
 

Some Nobody

Junior Member
Aug 8, 2013
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#6
source

Call me whatever you want, but I'm not really feeling how that scene is a rape allusion, at least from the description alone. The fact that he goes for the woman? Well, homosexual rape is a thing too, would therefore any act of drinking blood make one think of rape, in a game where you play as a vampire? The author has made her point quite clearly, but I'm just not sure I agree with it. Interested in everyone else's thoughts.
Yes, it would. The idea of drinking blood has always carried with it a sexual connotation, going all the way back to Bram Stoker. There's even academic discussion about how the bite mark was a reference to menstruation in the original novel.

Without seeing the scene I can't say for sure, but right now I think it sounds like a bit of a unnecessarily knee-jerk reaction. I mean, what we're saying here is that Dracula can't drink blood, and that's just, lol.
 
May 14, 2012
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#7
I commented on the original article already, but I was not happy at all that this article came out. She's blatantly asking them to cut it from the game, which makes me angry.

And I agree, without seeing the scene myself ... I don't know how its more of a rape allegory than anything in any other vampire fiction. Vampirism is always about the intersection of violence and eroticism, except for stuff like nosferatu.

I'm pre-ordering the game today, and I hope Cox doesn't cut a thing. I always support the creator's right to share their original vision, free from pressure to self-censor.

Well, homosexual rape is a thing too, would therefore any act of drinking blood make one think of rape, in a game where you play as a vampire? The author has made her point quite clearly, but I'm just not sure I agree with it. Interested in everyone else's thoughts.
Interview with the Vampire plays up the homosexual angle in equal proportion to the heterosexual one.
 
Jun 23, 2013
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#10
To me it sounds like quite a stretch but I haven't seen exactly how sexed up the scene is so I won't pass judgement quite yet. Maybe I'm being prejudiced but I kinda sort of imagine it ain't gonna be "rapey" in my books. Just something tells me that. A hunch. But as I said, won't pass judgement just yet. It'll be what it'll be.
 
Jun 10, 2013
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#12
Now if I were playing a vampire game where my vampire character grabbed onto a person and sunk his teeth into them I'd think he was feeding on her because that's what vampires typically do.

Cause I'm, ya know, a normal person.
 

erpg

GAF parliamentarian
May 10, 2009
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#15
Games media is slowly becoming a tumblr parody. The comments section replies by circlejerking editors especially.

Oh jeez, calling an argument frothy from your mighty pedestal, Parish? Come on. Is no one safe?
 
Nov 21, 2013
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#19
Dracula sucks blood from woman....must be...an allusion to rape?

I'm pretty sure Dracula was doing this long before the social justice movement started. I don't think the act of vampires drawing blood was meant to be rape then, and I don't think it's meant to be it now.

Uncomfortable? Absolutely- as the guy says, you're supposed to be playing a bad guy. But I don't think they mean a rapist.
 
Sep 13, 2006
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#22
Sorry if a typical horror image of a woman holding her daughter reminds you instantly of that rape sim that you played.

There is an element psychosexual horror when it comes to vampire lore, defiling of the sacred (in this case virginity), the bloodletting, implication that the victim might be enjoying it as much as the attacker. But its pretty fucking weird to think of a rape sim when you think about that scene, maybe the problem its you and twice if you are asking for them to remove the scene.
 
Feb 4, 2013
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#25
Although she brings up a decent point my reaction is, So? It's far from Rapelay in terms of content, and let's face it you're playing as Dracula. I think more games need moments where you question the character you play as, it's a horror game and it's nice to be a little disturbed by the content. That is the intent of horror, isn't it?
 
Jun 7, 2004
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#27
I will be more offended if they even entertain the idea of censoring their game.
Cox's comment makes me think that it's something that they've already convinced Konami to let them do. So, it should be safe. The game should also be essentially complete and going into the gold stages at this point, so worst case scenario would mean that you'd just have to avoid any potential updates that could replace the scene.
 

firehawk12

Subete no aware
Sep 10, 2007
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#39
Hey, vampires forcing themselves on women in order to take their blood is like rape! Get Anne Rice on the phone!

Also, sky is blue and water is wet!

Kat Bailey wrote it too. :(
Come on, I'm sure there are many JRPGs with similar connotations.
 
Oct 18, 2012
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#43
Let's take this at face value: The scene makes allusions to rape in its semiotics.

Including something in a creative work is not an endorsement of it. It's often criticism of it. Using real-but-monstrous behavior in a character who is supposed to be monstrous is pretty much necessary for characterization in fiction. The description here certainly doesn't sound like it tantalizes it.

What is the purpose of reporting this information this way? Would we be served by a report that Jhumpa Lahiri's newest book features "extremist characters"? Bah-humbug, I say. This author deserves to have their reporting mocked and ignored.
 
Nov 17, 2006
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#44
Oh this is just silly!

You can draw sexual tones from almost anything, what with it being the point of our existence and all.

I hold out some hope that this is puritanical America and eventually they'll get to the point most of the rest of the civilised world is when it comes to sex, but I'm seeing an increase in this overly sensitive "ban it all" prudishness recently.
 
Oct 12, 2010
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#46
I will reserve judgement until I see the scene in question but the author has probably never read any decent vampire fiction and was probably waaaay to quick to mention RapeLay. Jesus.
 
Nov 16, 2012
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#49
...I can't believe what I'm reading. And yet I totally can. I don't know what to believe anymore.

Yes, there is an element that can be perceived as an act of rape, very much in the same way the xenomorph in the Alien movies is 'a rape monster'. That is also very much kind a huge part of vampire fiction...

The comparison to Rapelay is both egregious and preposterous.
 
#50
Seriously. Reminds me of the article a while back where the writer clearly didn't know what Michaelangelo's David was.
Seriously? That's what you took from the Animal Crossing thing? This is some grade level Gamefaqs shit. The Animal Crossing article was about Nintendo censoring their own "art", but not censoring historical art in their games. It was a little pithy piece. Why have people latched onto it so heavily?