The Jimquisition: Shexy Shelob

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In the world of videogames, even spiders need to be sexy, because Heaven forbid even Shelob be allowed her ugliness.

When Shadow of War isn’t busy introducing loot boxes, it’s redesigning spiders in a way that reinforces some unfortunate ideas.

Adzl33t
Guest
Adzl33t

Lets get past the gender stuff, I just like diverse characters for more engaging storytelling

That’s the problem with anime use of slim cute high school girl clones, fun to jerk off, but too broad to understand their characterization quickly, aside different hair cuts

Not to scare any Alt Right people, but the character design for something like Steven Universe female characters are very interesting to me, because there more clearer personalities, with strong silhouettes shapes using basic principals that Looney Tunes used

Arella Jardin
Member
Arella Jardin
Many cartoons like to keep character models roughly the same, so it’s easier to animate. Steven Universe has gone the extra mile of making almost everyone, especially the Gems, radically different. It takes extra work to animate, but the effect is worth it. Although, a counter argument would be (at risk of scaring off anyone who thinks themselves too cool) My Little Pony. They use a highly customized form of Flash animation, and in order to create large crowds and lots of unique characters, the majority all have the exact same body. One for male and one for female. They… Read more »
kimiyoribaka
Guest
kimiyoribaka

I don’t mind the idea of turning Shelob into a sexy woman. However, I think it’s rather lame that their design for her is a normal sexy woman. Seriously, why does a spider’s more human form have only 2 eyes and 2 arms? Why no fangs? She should at least be sexy in a terrifying way. Even just ripping off Kerrigan from Starcraft would’ve been better.

Ralph
Guest
Ralph
As someone with arachnophobia, I have three things to add to this discussion: 1) Thank you, Jim, for the warning. 2) Shelob should be a giant spider that I find terrifying. I would find my hesitance to go to her and then my need to get it done as quickly as possible while still not liking or trusting her at all to be fitting and proper. I want to be terrified and disgusted by her. I want to regret and avoid interactions. And I want any “motherly” contact to be alien and give shivers down my spine. 3) Knowing she’s… Read more »
Sperium3000
Member
Ok, so I know that forewarning was half goof (and it was great), but my mind made some associations that made me giggle. Basically there’s this youtuber/streamer I like, Maximilian_Dood (Huge figure in the FGC, check him out if you like them fighting games), who legit has aracnophobia due to an event where he almost died from a venomous spider bite. So because of that warning said gender representation is also a big phobia I’m reimagining Max’s scary ass almost death story but instead he was bitten by a feminist and it’s so bad and ridiculous I can only laugh.… Read more »
Terry Osaurusies XI
Guest
Terry Osaurusies XI

My brain keeps reading that title as “Shexy shlob” in a way that a drunk Sean Connery divulging his bedtime fetishes would say.

Saygah
Member

I thought it was just me!

dyscode
Member

seemy the only place for ‘not-standartized’ women on a screen is adult entertainment, where any type of woman has her audience.

Who was the last ‘none-standart-size’ female star in resent years in a Hollywood movie? Melissa McCarthy? Anyone else?

Making Shelob turn into a woman is so lame, artistically.

drownedsummer
Guest
drownedsummer

Kind of in terms of adult entertainment as the content is still fairly segregated and women more outside of what is considered the norm are only usually going to appear on fetish sites. A lot of networks tend to have one specific site which exclusively features women of colour but will rarely ever appear on the other sites of that network.

Chris
Member
Like in games and most other forms of media, that kind of representation depends on where you look. The ‘bigger’ studios and producers are what you’d expect, a lot of the exact same type of body and the same look, girls who are 29 being cast as ‘MILFs’ and girls with deep enough tans being cast as ‘ethnic’ of various kinds and a girl with some tattoos being some kind of shocking, ‘exotic’ thing. But if you go into the smaller, more niche sites you see more variety. And this holds true for video games and movies and basically any… Read more »
Ace
Guest
Ace

“[Vertigo]’s not sexy, nor traditionally pretty in any way”.

I just googled it up and looks like there’s enough rule 34 of her to prove you wrong, jim.

LegendaryFrog
Guest
LegendaryFrog
I find it odd that at the end of the opening song Jim is wearing black gloves, but during the video proper Jim wears red gloves now. I only noticed this because Jim’s gloves are iconic (that’s proper iconic, not Ubisoft iconic). It’s telling that when I heard this news I didn’t really have a reaction right away. It didn’t bother me, at first, because I’ve become so accustomed to this kind of art direction that often times I found that I wasn’t even bothered and the fact that it doesn’t bother me is what really bothers me. I (and… Read more »
Spurious K
Member

“Maybe we’ll finally see Sauron’s real form and he’ll have a perfect hair cut with abs, leather pants and a smile that can melt women’s hearts. Sexy Sauron 2020!”

I think I’ve read that comic. Sauron was super gay (not just regular brand gay, nor hard gay either) for Morgoth in it. And it was cute.

MattStriker
Guest
MattStriker

Well, it’s kind of telling that this guy who’s basically giving Starscream a run for “most betrayals per minute” otherwise remained utterly loyal to Morgoth throughout the Silmarillion…:P

MattStriker
Guest
MattStriker

Uhm…we did see a sexy Sauron form in Shadow of Mordor, when he appeared as Annatar. Classic bishounen.

drownedsummer
Guest
drownedsummer

Although Annatar was meant to be beautiful if I recall correctly.

DAve
Guest
DAve

Sauron WAS beautiful. Sauron was “the bringer of gifts”, who stole the secret of the ring after he talked and slimed his way into the favour of all high lords.

Justin McDaniel
Admin

In regards to the gloves, you actually bring up a good point. We took the photo’s for the intro before Jim decided he wanted to use red gloves now, and I never thought about changing them in the intro. I may need to go see how much trouble that would be to change. Thanks for pointing that out!

Galactix100
Member
Galactix100

Since Monolith are barreling down the boring cliche road, what’s the odds on Shelob taking a human form to ensnare Talion? Similarly, what’ll a tenner get me if you eventually have to fight her and it’s then that she transforms back into a spider?

Mewshuji
Guest
Mewshuji
I love (hate) how a large number the YT commenters clearly didn’t watch the video and think Jim hates sexy girls in games or whatever. It’s a video about character design. One I entirely agree with. This design they came up with for Shelob is completely uninspired. What, Shelob couldn’t at least have been a drider or jourougumo figure? She has to be just a sexy vamp girl? It’d be like making a Godzilla game where Destroyah turns into a Sephiroth-esque dude, makes no sense and eschews an interesting character design for a more bog standard one. Maybe I’m weird,… Read more »
MuddyScarecrow
Member

Biolante (my favorite Godzilla monster) is herself made up of the DNA of a scientist’s dead daughter. Honestly shocked she wasn’t a one hundred foot tall sexy plant lady ala Poison Ivy. Shocked and pleased cuz Biolante is awesome.

Miles Saintborough
Member

What makes it funnier is how Jim can basically keep insulting members of his audience that don’t get the obvious joke (like the one in his trigger warning) and said members keep being the very thing Jim makes fun of.

MuddyScarecrow
Member

Dark Souls had some sexy spider ladies but they were still semi repugnant to look at. Yes they had the top haves of beautiful women but their lower bodies were nasty gooey spider bods so it gave you a really confusing boner. And I fucking loved it.

Chris
Member

Those are pretty common in d&d too if I’m picturing that right. Called driders or something like that, half drow half spider. I’d accept something like that here as at least the inevitable boss fight might be more interesting.

Anton
Guest
Anton

Nothing confusing about it.

GreenGarden
Guest
GreenGarden

Fighting games are so bad with this, Bandai are bad for this with Tekken and SoulEdge/Calibur where either get replaced if they get to old like Michelle with Julia Chang or most of the women in Soul for SCV or just find ways to make them unable to age like Ivy or reasons to keep them young like Nina and Anna in Tekken 3 onwards.

It still amazes me that Mortal Kombat X allowed Soyna to look old in (she’s in her late 40s/early 50s), though like Ana in Overwatch she also has a young skin.

Arella Jardin
Member
Arella Jardin
At this point, I’m just happy when women are allowed to have muscles in games, let alone be old or ugly. You tell me she’s a honed warrior, and then make her look like a bulemic runway model? Like Lightning from FFXIII. A trained soldier who uses a sword against mechs the size of buses, and she has pipe cleaners for arms. I followed the development of Warhammer Online, and they added Dwarf women for customization options. But when they started releasing info on Chaos classes, they said that Chosen and Marauders would only be male. Thier reason? “We couldn’t… Read more »
KeekingItReal
Member

Devils advocate: Lightning isn’t a good example because ALL the honed warrior protagonist in the franchise, which are primarily male, are scrawny runway models. Heck, FF15 is practically (in)famous for actually even going so far as to dress like fashion models. So really it’s just par for the course regarding Lightning.
But I do agree. There has to be variety in body types, age, etc cetera to make characters in general more interesting. Especially since a lot of personality for characters sometimes comes from their appearance.

InfamousDS
Guest
InfamousDS
FF has a good excuse for scrawniness though. Most of the protags aren’t actual hardened warriors. They are athletes, royalty, scholars, orphans, and laymen. The few “real” warriors do have good muscular builds, like Gladiolus from FF15 and Sabin in FF6. And that’s discounting the presence of engineered superpowers like in FF7 and FF8 which would mean low muscle mass but high strength. The series doesn’t just feed us unrealistic things without trying to explain it as part of the world. On FF13: Lightning was a member of the Cocoon Military, who used Fal’Cie magic to create super foods and… Read more »
drownedsummer
Guest
drownedsummer

I think Quina is potentially the only real example of a non sexualised/attractive/cute female character in an FF game I can think of. Even some of the underaged characters get portrayed this way. Rikku’s reintroduction scene in X where she strips down out of her wetsuit? She’s 15.

Arella Jardin
Member
Arella Jardin

I don’t think Quina is female. If I recall, they made a point of using gender neutral pronouns.

drownedsummer
Guest
drownedsummer

I think you’re right.

Arella Jardin
Member
Arella Jardin

Fair enough. In fact, I could probably make a blanket statement about JRPGs in general. Doesn’t matter how athletic or warrior-like they are, women (or most of the time, girls) are portrayed as skinny waifs. There are exceptions, of course. If I remember correctly, Seth from Lost Oddesey had some muscle tone. The cave woman from Chrono Trigger had some meat on her (and an early example of bisexual, though the English localization didn’t make it clear).

HelixShade
Guest
HelixShade

This could just be my lack of knowledge of Tolkeen’s works, but doesn’t a Spider God having a “motherly relationship” with someone seem a bit OOC, whether she’s a Giant Spider or…that thing?

As to her design, well…if Jim hadn’t told me this was Shelob, I’d never guess this was Shelob.

Bitt_Player
Guest
Bitt_Player

It’s been a while since I read the books, but I honestly don’t remember Shelob being all that “godly.” She was a sentient spider the size of a truck who ate chumps that wandered into her cave.

tobascodagama
Member
This theme doesn’t surface much outside of the the Silmarillion, but a lot of creatures in Middle-Earth are actually “spirits” taking on earthly forms. The Ainur are the most common example of this, which is a category including both the Valar (gods, basically) and various Maiar such as the Wizards, the Balrogs, and even Sauron himself. (Morgoth, Sauron’s former master, is one of the Ainur as well, but he’s on the same level of power as the Valar, despite not being one of them, whereas the term “Maia” generally refers to lesser spirits.) There are certain spirits which are not… Read more »
drownedsummer
Guest
drownedsummer

One thing that is somewhat amusing in terms of the Istari is that second most powerful was one of the unnamed blue wizards.

DAve
Guest
DAve
While I agree that Shelob is an amazingly powerful being, she is also a being of flesh and blood, not a spirit. She was after all, only half-Umaiar. And keep in mind, even the Phial of Galadriel didn’t keep her away completely, she gave up when Sam had a lucky shot with Sting. And If I may remind you: “But still, she was there, who was there before Sauron, and before the first stone of Barad-dûr; and she served none but herself, drinking the blood of Elves and Men, bloated and grown fat with endless brooding on her feasts, weaving… Read more »
YouHavetoPaytheToll
Guest
YouHavetoPaytheToll

Extremely well written. It was very interesting to read all that. Thank you.

GreenGarden
Guest
GreenGarden

She’s a bit like that, but not on the levels their claiming. She’s the last daughter of Ungoliant whose origin isn’t known to even the Valar. Ungoliant was shown to be as powerful as Morgoth (Sauron’s boss).

drownedsummer
Guest
drownedsummer

The A-Z of Middle Earth suggests she might have been a corrupted Maiar.

Chris Osaurus
Guest
Chris Osaurus

Even as someone who loves video game boobies, I agree turning a giant spider into a sexy woman is pretty lame. Giant spiders are COOL, man! I want to work with a giant spider! (I mean I want to work with a sexy woman too but you know) When are we gonna get a game that lets me be the secretary to a giant spider??

Also, I love Primal Rage’s characters. I’m a sucker for anything prehistoric or paleontology-themed, really.

siddartha
Guest
siddartha

God, imagine a game where you’re the scheduling secretary for Giant Spider Inc.’s CEO Shelob. “Shelob, your 4 o’clock is here to be devoured like a chump. Remember you have a board meeting right after.”

Arella Jardin
Member
Arella Jardin

Thank you for the warning about the spider imagery. I listened to the episode with the video obscured. I get the point, in fact agree, but I’m just happy to not have to look at Shelob’s Spider form. Fuck spiders!

Oh wait, you already do…

ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ
Guest
ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ
You kinda missed out that the first Shadow Of* literally starts with the protagonist’s wife and children being killed because otherwise how would the MC feel motivated to stop the rampaging hoards of orcs? So maybe there’s just a quota somewhere in development where they have to have a female character involved in as generic and cliche a role for a female character as possible? * ooo, this is why I should never be an executive of video games as I’d want to make a “Shadow of AN Collossus” game in this series (titular collossus being your nemesis for the… Read more »
SilentPony
Guest
SilentPony

Actually spiders can’t be women, ’cause that inherently implies humanity. Best you can get in a female spider, as that only distinguishes between male/female.
Man/woman is itself humanizing Shelob, implying that she’s being thought of as human first, spider second. Same with all the other character you gave as an example. She ain’t a woman, she’s a female dinosaur.
Calling them women defeats the point of you saying they should stop being humanized, and left alone as their hideous, natural forms.

Imp Emissary
Member

I’d much prefer my spider-mom to be a spider.
But I guess this is good news for the Shadow of War arachnophobes?

Shaded Spriter
Member

My favourite Spider character in anything is Aragog in Harry Potter.

drownedsummer
Guest
drownedsummer

Spider Jerusalem?

Anton
Guest
Anton

JIMMUS VULT

HalfTough
Guest
HalfTough

Thank god for Jesus

Amy
Member

I’m suprised they didn’t go for the other tried and tested female spider route of spider body and big boobed human torso. Not an improvement in creativity or the representation of women, but contextually it fits better than fem fatale imo. Seeing Shelob like that just seems out of place in such a grotesque part of middle earth. Maybe I don’t know the source material well enough though.

BAH!
Member
BAH!
Whoof, I was afriad you’d forget to mention the whole “Shelob is a godlike entity, etc.” thing, because that would have brought down quite a bit of wrath. Not that it won’t anyway since that type of individual also tends to rebut from the story’s internal logic rather than address the outside concerns as what they are. I can’t recall the term for that. Anyway, great video. And I agree that it’s more than a little boring to do what Monolith’s done. And frankly, for Shelob to form a “motherly” bond with Scruff McGruff WHILE STILL MAINTAINING HER SPIDER FORM… Read more »
Imp Emissary
Member

It would be even extra disturbing because she has kids specifically to eat them later. Edit: Whoops! Sorry. Mixed Shelob up with her mum, Ungoliant. She’s the one who has kids to later eat them.

My guess is this was also done to be cheap and not have to animate a giant spider as much as they would have had to.

DAve
Guest
DAve

No, Shelob did that too.

Terry Osaurusies XI
Guest
Terry Osaurusies XI

Hoo boy, I can already sense the YouTube comment section swirling like a pool full of angry piranhas for this ‘n. Don’t look into that abyss.

Microtransaction Lootboxes in a Tolkien fantasy game is about the most tone-deaf greed I’ve seen that works only to shatter immersion for short term gain. It’s genuinely going to damage the overall experience for many fans of the first game.
Weird how she looks like that heroin addict from Requiem for a Dream now.

ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ
Guest
ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ

It’d be cool if they actually realised that the sort of greed underpinning microtransactions is generally an identifier of the shadow of evil guy overtaking a land, like how at the end of the lord of the rings we return to the shire and the hobbits are engaged in various minor acts of greed and jealousy due to the coming of magneto.

Like if when you finally beat Evil Guy at some point in the series, the microtransactions all turn off to signal an end to his evil effecting the world.

machine_dirty
Guest
machine_dirty

That would be clever, but I don’t expect publishers to allow that sort of thing in their games.

Terry Osaurusies XI
Guest
Terry Osaurusies XI

Magneto? Eh?

Imagine having to unlock the ability to turn of DRM and microtransactions… surely they would just make the grind a lot more work to entice those purchasable shortcuts. Greed will always find a way…

drownedsummer
Guest
drownedsummer

I don’t recall Bilbo’s party being that bad. The guy who was in North was there but apart from that.

SilentPony
Guest
SilentPony

Actually I just check and the top comments are just people saying they don’t care, this one seems kinda filler if not…meh…

Chris
Member

Stop the presses, you don’t like something Jim did. That’s such a shock.

Thank God you can still find the time to comment on how above it you are and how disappointed you are in him, what would these threads be without that?

SilentPony
Guest
SilentPony

No damn it, I didn’t say that was ME, I said those are what the top comments were. Jeez, get off your high horse and read.

Chris
Member

But why? It’s so comfy up here.

drownedsummer
Guest
drownedsummer

I don’t think that is a particularly reliable metric to use to gauge interest in a topic really.

Terry Osaurusies XI
Guest
Terry Osaurusies XI

Limiting your observation to two comments isolated from their replies at one specific moment in time does not, my point, a disprove. I can only deduce that you must be occupying a separate dimension, because you are not describing what that comment section resembles at all.

SilentPony
Guest
SilentPony

I was reading the comment section as it stood within 2 hours of his post.

SilentPony
Guest
SilentPony

And I just checked the comments again, and bugger all has changed.
Its almost entirely either 1. This is dumb, 2. This is nonsense, 3. This is dumb nonsense, 4. Jim FFS, and my personal favorite 5. Uh no Jim, that’s actually in keeping with canon as Shelob was known to take many forms to put her prey at ease, including attractive human women.

So…yeah…

drownedsummer
Guest
drownedsummer

It really isn’t most of the comments are discussing the issue and posting about examples from other games. Your personal favourite that nobody actually stated? While there has been discussion of Middle Earth lore nobody has made that actual statement.

machine_dirty
Guest
machine_dirty

Agreed, with that godawful business model i’m honestly very happy that i’m not a Lord of the Rings fan and as such have zero interest in this game franchise, cause otherwise I could see that ruining my game experience, as this is a hell of a lot worse then what Dead Space 3 did.

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