Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Shake it Baby! (Let's Rework... Duke Nukem)

Hail to the king, baby.
   I was going to give this post more time and thought, but really, my ideas on the subject of Duke Nukem are more suited to an enthused ramble anyway.

 So let's go with that.

 (This is going under a cut because it's not particularly safe for work. It's probably going to be the crudest thing I ever put on here.)

 I love the idea of Duke Nukem.

 He's an Eighties/Nineties style action hero with no shame and enough testosterone to make a baby sound like Barry White.

 Unfortunately, since Duke Nukem Forever lived up to its name by taking forever, the guy's started to come across as a bit dated.

 So, here are my ideas to change Duke Nukem into a character for the modern day.

 Duke Nukem is a male power fantasy, which is fine. There's nothing wrong with characters who are expressly male or female power fantasies.

 The problem comes when these power fantasies are presented as something to take seriously or as something achievable.

 You can't ever be Bayonetta or Duke Nukem, and the exact reason that they work is that their respective developers are entirely aware of that.

 Duke Nukem is almost the perfect example of a power fantasy in that he's completely fantastical. He's totally ridiculous and that's exactly why he's so likable.

 The more ridiculous and fantastical he gets, the more likable he is.

 This is a guy who can take more abuse than Gordon Freeman in his HEV suit and he's literally just a guy in a tank top and combat boots.

 So how do you make a guy like Duke Nukem more ridiculous?

 Make him more macho, I think.

 I want a Duke Nukem who is incredibly, worryingly, heterosexual. I want him to be attractive to virtually every woman he interacts with and attracted to every woman he comes across.

 I want a stock phrase for interaction with or investigation of women to be "now that's what I call a real woman". For every single woman he finds.

 Fat women, thin women, women of every ethnic group under the sun, feminine women, masculine women, women made mostly of metal, every kind of woman you can think of. Including, and most importantly of all, trans women.

 But not, and just as importantly if not more so, trans men.

 I want him to inexplicably be able to tell people's gender just by being near them, regardless of what they look like, how they dress and how they behave. I want a situation where he comes across a lolita in OTT sweet lolita who talks like a little girl and behaves in every stereotypical manner that traditional femininity has to offer, who he inadvertantly sees up the skirt of and knows that there is no penis there, and yet Duke is still entirely aware that he's a transvestite.

 I want a Duke Nukem who says things like "Duke doesn't take it up the ass from no one" entirely because he tried that once with a particularly adventurous one night stand once and just didn't like it.

 I want a Duke Nukem who doesn't mind interest from men, but still isn't interested.

 I want a Duke Nukem who cannot help but hit on every single person he comes across, including men, because Duke Nukem has one mode of behaviour and he just cannot change it.

 Yet I still want a Duke Nukem who would go into a male strip club and upon seeing a woman sexually harassing one of the strippers grab her wrist and say "hey sister, the gentleman said no".

 I want him to be a man who will take no for an answer, even though he almost ever has to. I want him to be a man who will rebuff women who offer him sex in return for being helped or rescued because he doesn't want obligation sex. As an extension of that, I want him to be the kind of man who both never has to pay for sex and never would.

 I want his pop culture references to include properties aimed exclusively at women and little girls. Make him the kind of guy who'll say things like "oh yeah, twenty percent cooler" without irony when he gets new shades or something.

 (Also, speaking of shades, I really want him to have big blue, bishounen eyes behind those things that are totally at odds with every aspect of his personality and appearance. Hell, he's in his twenties or thirties, make him have been a bishounen in his teens. It would be amazing.)

 Overall, what I want from Duke Nukem is for him to be as hyper masculine as it is possible to be without suffering from any of the negative aspects of traditional masculinity.

 Because masculinity isn't inherently evil, just as femininity isn't inherently good.

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