Where the hell are you, my Lady? (Not pictured: spyware program)
SHE IS ACTUALLY IN OUR GAME, MY LORD
The practice of putting sexy women on the box art and in advertisements for video games without her actually appearing
in the game, or only appearing in a very minor, unmemorable role. Sex Sells
, logic be damned. It can be seen as odd if the game features several significant female characters who could have been used instead, but it doesn't really matter who the girl is. She is there only to attract the Male Gaze
, due to the assumption that most gamers are (heterosexual) men
. Once he sees what the game is about and decides whether or not to buy it, her job is done.
A rather blatant subtrope of Sexy Packaging
and Covers Always Lie
. The name is a reference to "Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Film" from Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Contrast Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer
, as movies tend to have the exact opposite problem. See also Wolverine Publicity
. Compare Contemptible Cover
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- Ironically, Bone Town, the game that revolves around having sex with every girl you can talk to, has a girl in the loading screens that is nowhere to be found.
- U.S. Gold produced an infamous advertisement for Psycho Pigs UXB, with a nearly-nude model spread over a centerfold, holding up a very small box of the game. The box art, while misleadingly hardcore, depicted the only two kinds of things that actually appear in the game: a pig and a bomb.
- Being a Descent clone, late '90s 3D game Forsaken was more or less nothing but spaceships flying around and shooting each other. Neither the box cover nor the ads, however, had spaceships of any sort. Instead, it was a shot of a gray desert with an expressionless redhead cut off at the right edge of the picture. If she was the pilot of any of these spaceships, she certainly didn't look it.
- Blake Stone: Planet Strike was Apogee's first retail title, and their publisher, Formgen, wanted an girl to be on the cover to attract eyes to the box. When you played the game it was basically an normal FPS and had no ladies to save.
Real Time Strategy
- Subverted in both EverQuest and Ever Quest II with Firiona Vie and Antonia Bayle respectively.
- Firiona Vie was featured on the front of the boxart for most of EQ's expansions until they switched over to download only expansions. Many players questioned who she and the other characters who always appeared on the boxes. Eventually they brought these characters in as part of a storyline in the game. They were almost always played by a Game Master, so you had to be at the event to see them, but they were eventually fleshed out as background characters who were important to the overall storylines that the game developed.
- Antonia Bayle is the reigning queen of Qeynos, who's backstory and involvement in the game was pretty prominent at the start of the game. Players who betrayed Qeynos in order to defect to Freeport were confronted by Antonia herself before they got kicked out of the city. Changes to the game would eventually remove this special one-time encounter. She would eventually return as part of various storylines and quests, giving orders for the player to investigate directly before sending them off on their mission.
- Firiona and this trope in general were parodied in The Noob. link
- The "recruitment posters" for Final Fantasy XIV's Grand Companies caused a small bit of confusion on some forums, due to the fact that one poster (presumably a parody of Liberty Leading Her People) kept being mistaken for a depiction of the Company's commander, Kan-E-Senna, and people were upset that "wasn't showing up in the game." Kan-E-Senna actually resembles a young teenager, and is a different person from the woman in the poster. Fun fact: the woman on the poster is actually one of the twelve gods of Eorzea, Nophica.
- As illustrated above, the online ads for Evony featured women ranging from innocent-looking girls to porn stars, beckoning "my Lord" to play the game. It's worth noting that Evony is not an RPG but a strategy game, meaning you don't see anyone up close, let alone some bimbo in anachronistic lingerie. Evony's campaigns slow degeneration from actual relevant ads to "Boobies! (oh, and play our game)" has become a running joke on game-related sites. It didn't just stop there. Eventually they started stealing licensed characters from other games. Wait, why is Queen Antonia, featured mascot of Ever Quest II doing in that adver- OH GOD DAMMIT, EVONY! The trend has spread to other, similar Allegedly Free Games as well - just keep an eye out, and you'll be able to spot them easily due to this trope.
- SF strategy MMO Lacuna Expanse used a similar advert◊, allegedly as a tribute to Evony. More recently we also got this one this one, and this one, which are at least vaguely relevant to the game and considerably more tasteful.
- Naava Daishan was one of most prominent characters in the promotional materials for the first Kohan game, appearing in the order info in the demo, and all over the website. while she's available in the game, her role in the story before the second game (Where she's the main character), is zero.
- A particularly Egregious case with the Spellforce series. Even with the female characters who do appear in the game, their choice of clothing doesn't reflect the mostly modest clothing and armour choices worn by the character, their party and NPC's.
- An ad featured on this very wiki for a game called Call of Roma goes even further than Evony by featuring a scantily clad woman and advertising that you are "one click away from a Roman orgy." It's a turn based strategy game. Later, they replaced "orgy" with "army"... briefly. They aren't the only one using this slogan.
- Wartune has scantily clad ladies in every single one of its ads (including many that appear on this wiki) did the same, and later added that they've apparently been rated "Adults Only" by the ESRB. A brief search of the ESRB website shows that no such rating has been issued.
- Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura
- The cover of is dominated by the tattooed head of a female elf. None of the player portraits for elves or half-elves look like that, nor does any prominent elven npcs. There are also a spellslinging mage and dwarf with a flamethrower included, neither notable characters but far more awesome.
- The game has an alternate brighter cover with Raven, whom you do meet, prominently displayed. The unidentified female elf in the commercial cover is by that logic most likely Min'Gorad, the leader of the Dark Elves, who does not have a character potrait in-game.
- Dragonfable has ,or at least had, Fae, a cat girl who would appear in their ads. She had only appeared in the beta test of the game, and vanished until she finally showed up in one quest chain, years later.
- Ever heard of Knightshift? Known in the states as Once Upon A Knight? No? Well, two out of the six official wallpapers at http://www.knightshift.com/eng/index_eng.htm prominently feature a bikinified magic babe... who isn't in the game. Another features an alt design for the Amazon Sorceress, which is noticeably kinkier than the in-game counterpart.... maybe if they had better marketing than "Hot Babe Who's Not in the Game Wallpapers" there might have been a sequel?
- Male inversion in Arc Rise Fantasia - Niko, the comic relief character, is the only main playable character not mentioned in the manual or featured on the box art, yet he joins exceptionally early in the game and sticks around for a very long time (with continuing importance to the plot after that). Following the trope closer is Adele, who never joins you except as a Guest character, yet she rates a picture in the manual stating her weapon preference... though her in-game outfit changes after only a few hours.
- In Drakensang there are four characters pictured on the cover (not counting the dragon): three of them (the knight Traldar, Forgrimm the dwarf and Gwendala the Elf) are meet ingame as party members, but the scantly dressed buxom wizard on the right isn't. She may be the player character, though there aren't female mages with such a design.
- The cover girls for the Grand Theft Auto games. There are some who do appear in their respective games, but their roles are so small that they effectively still count. They're always odd choices, since every GTA includes one or two significant female characters who could have been used instead.
- Red Dead Redemption, with a prostitute on the instruction manual. Fans attempted to avert this trope with the Epileptic Tree that she's the protagonist's wife during her prostitute days, but this was Jossed.
- This image of Saya Kho◊ appears on the back of the X3: Gold Edition box. This being a space simulator series with a major economics management component, she appears from the neck up over comms in X3: Reunion and not at all in X3: Terran Conflict. And she's in the opening cinematic of X3: Albion Prelude for all of ten seconds before dying in the massive explosion she set off.
- Seitokai Yakuindomo has a non-video game example: There's a pink-haired girl the entirety of end credits of the show is devoted to, even though she plays no part in the series proper at all. She finally gets a cameo in the first OVA, getting a seconds-long, one-line appearance that title drops the ED song.
- The Steven Spielberg film A.I. features a live-action movie version of this trope. Much of the film's promotional material featured Ashley Scott's sexy robotic hooker, yet in the final film Scott appears for less than 3 seconds which is just enough time to spout her single line of dialogue.
- An in-universe example in Piers Anthony's Xanth novel Demons Don't Dream - Dug's friend gives him a game, and Dug figures that the attractive lady on the front (Nada Naga) is just put on there to sell the game to poor sops who think she'll be in it. Turns out she is, in fact, actually in it, as the character who introduces the player to the game and as one of the possible companion characters.
- Wreck It Ralph provides an interesting in-universe example. Vanellope Von Schweetz appears on the side of the Sugar Rush console, but (at least before the events of the movie) she doesn't appear in the game at all because her code was removed from the game's core by a rogue Attention Whore from a completely different game, when in actuality Vanellope was the intended ruler of the in-game world.