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Gender Bender / Video Games

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Gender bending in video games.


  • Baldur's Gate:
    • Edwin is transformed into a woman by a Netheril practical joke in Shadows of Amn (he believed it would transform him into a lich), and is unable to turn back. The game even gives him a second soundset for his female form (though it does nothing to his portrait). He is eventually turned back after many trials, tribulations and being snarked at by most of the other party members. However, by keeping Edwin in your party through Throne of Bhaal, his "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue reveals that he later tried to make his name by challenging Elminster to a magic duel, who had apparently heard of his previous mishap and made sure to apply the effect permanently this time.... This leads into a brief Mythology Gag in Dragon Age: Origins, where an angry red-robed woman named Edwina appears briefly.
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    • Being based on D&D, the Wild Mage class has it as one of the random effects.
    • There's also a girdle from the first game that has no effect but to instantly and permanently change the gender of whomever puts it on.
  • In the MUGEN-based game The Black Heart, Animus constantly switches between male and female appearance. Many attacks are "gender-specific", but he automatically changes gender as appropriate when they are performed, so the changes are mostly cosmetic.
  • BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma Extend has two side-stories starring Mai Natsume, the protagonist of the BlazBlue: Remix Heart manga, who has been magically transformed into a girl. Mai also appears in the story of and is a playable character in BlazBlue: Central Fiction.
  • In the Japanese version of Bonks Revenge, your secondary form is not a scarred Bonk like in the overseas version, but rather a female Bonk! This occurs at around 1:30 of this video if you don't believe us.
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  • After the introduction of the Super Science power pack in City of Heroes, it was possible to use different body types (and, therefore, change your gender when you change your costume) across different costume slots.
  • Civilization II, like most games in the series, has a "unit upgrade" mechanic - the "Leonardo's Workshop" wonder, in this case. When built, this wonder will turn all your Diplomat units into the more advanced Spy. The Diplomat is depicted as a stereotypical old-fashioned diplomat, a little man wearing tails, a top hat, and grey striped trousers. The Spy, however, is a busty female wearing a Little Black Dress. So your diplomatic corps not only gets better skills, but free sex changes!
  • Darkstalkers:
    • Demitri Maximoff (or Maximov; it changes) has a move called Midnight Bliss, in which he turns an opponent into a woman before sucking the life out of her. (What happens when he uses it on female opponents varies wildly between victims.)
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    • In regards to this, in SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos, Goenitz is one of the playable characters. His Midnight Bliss form (called Goeniko) has become very popular as a result, ironically turning every gamer's worst nightmare into every hentai artist's dream.
  • Disgaea allows you to transmigrate any non-story character into another class, with the option of changing gender in the process. If that's not enough, you can choose to turn him into a penguin instead.
    • A stranger example comes from the Disgaea Novels. Lamington states that angels have no set gender to begin with, instead taking in traits from the environment and their own emotions having an effect. Apparently their choices in weaponry also affect the outcome as well, which gets weird when you figure that the angels in-game are all female.
    • Happens to Laharl in Disgaea Dimension 2, but only for one Episode. There is an option to pass a bill to turn him back into a girl again. Disgaea 5 allows you to have this version of Laharl as a unit via DLC (or the free-of-surcharge Special Shop in Disgaea 5 Complete).
    • In Disgaea 5 there is an evility called "Gender Bender" that you can equip to any character. It doesn't change their character model, alter cutscenes, or change voices, however certain evilities affect specific genders, and this can be used to gain or avoid certain effects. For example, equip Killia with this evility and he gains the 5% all-map ally stat boost from Axel that specifically affects female units, and becomes immune to the Succubus's male-focused debuff. This effect is as permanent as you want it and can be freely switched on and off. And considering the Disgaea 3 DLC has Female Revya...
  • Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga features the illusionists; mages who use their talents to reshape one's physical appearance, which includes gender, at no cost. Players are given the option to take advantage of their services in the first area of the game, Farglow, through a rather eccentric individual named Tiresias. Later, once you've claimed your battle tower, you gain access to the services of another illusionist by the name of Hermaphroditus, and then again in the Flames of Vengeance expansion through a woman named Chanelle in the city of Aleroth.
    • The names of the two illusionists of the base game are actually both references to Greek Mythology. Hermaphroditus refers to a minor god of the same name, who was the god of hermaphrodites and effeminate men, while Tiresias is a reference to the myth of a prophet by the same name.
      • The myth of Tiresias is even further referenced when Tiresias mentions he's taken advantage of the spells, himself. If you decide to read his mind, his thoughts read "Which was more fun: man or woman. I can never decide."
    • One particular quest in the Divinity II: Flames of Vengeance expansion, "All the After World's a Stage" presents a scenario where male player characters are required to switch gender, at least temporarily. The quest requires the player to visit a haunted theater, abandoned after an incident where one of the actors accidentally acted out a demon's summoning ritual. Inside the frustrated ghosts of the actresses and director are found rehearsing for the scene. After speaking with the ghost of the director, Alfred, you are asked to retrieve a copy of the script. Afterward, you may ask to help by filling the role of Camilla. If your character is female, you can get right to it. However, if you are male, Alfred tells you he needs a female actor, and to "Come back once you look a little more... feminine." A simple trip to an illusionist sorts this issue out.
  • Dragon Ball Online lets you create a female Majin but if you want to use the pure Majin power up it will turn you into a clone of Kid Buu (a male) for its duration.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • The Daedric Princes, being technically Otherworldly and Sexually Ambiguous divine spirits, this applies to all of them, and several of them are known to appear as differing genders at different times. Boethiah is the most prominent example, shifting between male and female forms (and voices) from one appearance to the next (including all of the Pronoun Trouble that brings). Others will only present themselves as a single gender (Azura and Nocturnal as female, Mehrunes Dagon, Molag Bal, and Sheogorath as male), and Hermaeus Mora forgoes even trying to resemble anything with a gender (although generally speaks with a male voice).
    • According to some (potentially unreliable) in-universe sources, Argonians are said to be sequential hermaphrodites, meaning they can switch genders. The time spent as either male or female is called a "life-phase".
    • Physical God Vivec claims to be a hermaphrodite. One of his stories claims that he produced offspring with Molag Bal (the tale of this includes a part where they compare the size of their "spears" and engage in "piercing of the second aperture"). The Dissident Priests in Morrowind explain that Vivec just made most of that stuff up in order to appear more divine than "some guy who stole his Godhood while betraying his friend". There are even some holes in his story, such as the aforementioned "having kids with Molag Bal" as Daedra can't create life. However, you can be sent on a quest by Molag Bal himself to banish a daughter of his back to his realm... stories dealing with gods in the Elder Scrolls universe can get very Mind Screwy...
  • Actually a play mechanic in Cave's Bullet Hell series Espgaluda — entering "awakening" mode causes your character's gender to flip, and for all the bullets to move in slow motion. It also makes it possible to cancel opposition bullets by killing the shooter to rack up huge scores. However, if the meter showing how long you can remain gender flipped runs out, you're immediately shunted back to your original gender, with bullets moving at double speed.
  • Fable II
    • The Temple of Shadows has the "Wheel of Misfortune", which kills human sacrifices through random means. Among its possibilities are electrocution, impalement, beheading and "Gender Change."
    • The player has a chance to use a sex changing potion after buying Castle Fairfax. This potion is one-time use and irreversible (the game saves immediately after you use it), unless you play Co-Op online and use someone else's potion. The change is generally acknowledged by the NPCs, but your spouse couldn't care less (unless the situation becomes incompatible and your child readily starts calling you 'mum' or 'dad').
  • In Fallout 3, as you leave Vault 101 after the tutorial, you have the option of reassigning your character's gender. In the PC version, you can also do this with console commands.
  • Gaia Online lets you change your avatar's gender three times for free, then begins charging on the fourth. A "Gender Bender" potion was also made available.
  • In Geist, John Raimi, the ghost of a man, has to possess several women to progress through the game. This actually becomes important gameplay-wise when you possess towel-clothed Anna, who will not walk past a male-guard without proper clothes.
  • Gender Bender DNA Twister Extreme is a series of visual novels about this happening to numerous different characters.
  • In the Visual Novel I My Mist, the hero Ikumi is accidentally turned into a girl by the titular Ai Mai Mist when he checks up on his friend's scientist father.
  • In Jade Empire you can encounter the Furnace of the Mad Science God Lord Lao. There are various recipes of combinations of working parts and fuel that can upgrade your character, and experimenting with other mixtures will usually just summon demons or light you on fire. However, there is one unmentioned combination that will briefly swap your character into the opposite gender (Complete with matching clothes!). This is temporary however and you shift back five seconds later.
  • Players in Kingdom of Loathing can change gender at Ye Olde Gender-Reassignment Clinic in the Sleazy Back Alley, or upon ascension. Either way, gender serves essentially no purpose in the game except for a few words and the hair length of avatars.
  • Toward the end of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Sheik, in a shocking twist everyone knows, turns into the princess herself. There's contradictory information on whether the change was just clothes and hair (and color contacts), but it certainly looks magical.
  • Diermont, the protagonist of Lure of the Temptress, takes a position which transforms his appearance into that of Selena, the villain and temptress named in the title.
  • Mind Your Manors has a strong gender bending theme, with three out of four endings where the protagonist is stuck as a woman. The severity of the change depends on the ending. To be expected, considering it was done by the creator of the Sins webcomic.
  • Neo Mr. Do has a powerup that turns the title character into a woman, as if Mr. Do wasn't creepy enough....
  • Everyone in Nexus Clash is one of these unless they specifically opt out of it. Death Is Cheap and player characters who die respawn in a totally random body, which has an equal chance of being either gender if the player hasn't picked a preference. It's a text based game with Purely Aesthetic Gender, so the implications of regularly waking up as a different gender aren't explored as often as one might expect.
  • NiGHTS into Dreams... has a rather interesting example. NiGHTS's gender depends on what gender the person viewing NiGHTS sees NiGHTS as. Since NiGHTS combines with people to escape the Ideya Palace, you've got to wonder what happens when someone sees him as the opposite gender...
  • The Amulet of Change from NetHack switches the player, then disintegrates, leaving him/her stuck. Since this has next to no consequences on gameplay (foocubi will seduce the opposite sex and attack the same, only females can lay eggs, and strange monsters' hatched eggs sometimes ignore male characters), the amulet is considered Vendor Trash except for stunts like making male Valkyries. The possibility that it's what an unidentified amulet is isn't considered a good reason not to try it on.
    • In the NetHack fork Slash'EM Extended, if the player creates a male Topmodel or female Transvestite as their player character, they instantly turn into the other gender. This doesn't stop them from using the Amulet of Change to revert to their starting gender though.
  • Although not necessarily a true case of Gender Bending, the 1996 game Pandemonium! by Crystal Dynamics has a cheat labeled; BODYSWAP, which, when inputted shows the statement "Gender Bender!" The cheat itself, however, only enables in-level character swapping between Nikki and Fargus.
  • In Persona 4, Shadow Naoto tries to turn its creator into an adult male through body alteration. Luckily, you can stop it before that happens because all shadows you haven't personally stopped have murdered their originals, the implication being that the operation would have Gone Horribly Wrong.
  • Pokémon
    • Specific to Pokémon Crystal, if the player chooses the female avatar, they appear as the male avatar if they want to trade with any other game, as the sprite data for the female avatar doesn't exist in any other compatible version. However, in this game the player's gender choice was purely aesthetic, so nothing is made of it.
      • Though that's inverted in Pokémon Stadium 2; using the Crystal console to select your Pokémon in any arena results in your avatar being displayed as female. It's still purely aesthetic, but still.
    • Azurill has a 1 male to 3 female gender ratio, while its evolution Marill has an even gender ratio, meaning 1/3 of female Azurill become male upon evolution. In other words, it grows a dick. (This is most likely unintended.) This "bug" was fixed as of Pokémon X and Y, as said Azurill now retain their genders when they evolve.
    • An intentional example occurs in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity. Meloetta refers to her Aria forme as "Princess" and his Pirouette forme as "Prince". Given that they also refer to each other as different people, they may just be a Cloud Cuckoo Lander.
    • An interesting case is Ditto. Once breeding was introduced, Ditto gained the unique ability to breed with any Pokémon capable of breeding, regardless of the mate's gender. This means Ditto transforms into a male or female version of the mate's species as needed.
  • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice, Maya Fey has the power to recall spirits from the afterlife and into her body. When she does so, her body physically becomes that of the person being channeled (except for her hair). And in this game, she channels the spirits of some men (namely Tah'rust Inmee, a murder victim who had crucial testimony and Dhurke Sadhmadhi, Apollo's adoptive father). However, as the soul of the person completely takes over the channeller's body, the potential for fanservice is severely reduced.
  • Alex Mercer from [PROTOTYPE] is capable of doing this when consuming a female character and turning into her. Then again, is it really gender bending if you have no gender to begin with?.
  • Microprose's Rex Nebular And The Cosmic Gender Bender does indeed apply this trope to its title hero, who temporarily becomes its heroine. The titular device is used by the planet's all-female population for reproduction in lieu of actual men. When Rex first meets a local woman who doesn't want to kill him on the spot, she assumes he's actually a woman who has used the device. Rex has to convince her that he's a real man by doing the stereotypical "manly" things, like knowing what a torque wrench is and having no idea how to set a table.
  • RuneScape
    • The Makeover Mage in Falador will change your gender for a fee of 3,000 coins.
    • There is a members quest where one of the tasks requires you to do this if you are male, as, in the words of the enemy in question, "No man can kill me!"
  • Zohar, The Rival in Silhouette Mirage, has two forms with opposite attributes and gender. As Zohar Metatron, he's a Silhouette-attribute who wields a sword; as Zohar Sandalphon, she's a Mirage-attribute with a gun.
  • SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy features an all-female playable roster which includes Fatal Fury protagonist and The King of Fighters veteran Terry Bogard...as a buxom blonde bombshell. He doesn't enjoy it.
  • Another Nippon Ichi example comes from Soul Nomad & the World Eaters. The player character, Revya, was explicitly born as Median's firstborn son all of about 200-some years back. This trope comes into play if you choose to play as a female.
  • Should Mario grab a Mystery Mushroom in Super Mario Maker, he'll turn into the character that was assigned to said mushroom. This includes the likes of Princess Peach and the Wii Fit Trainer.
  • Terraria: You can craft a Gender Change Potion by combining all seven magic herbs, which permanently switches your character's gender. It's purely cosmetic, but it's the only way to re-customize after the character has been created.
  • Drag Queen's ending in Twisted Metal 4.
  • Players can do this in Vicious Circle if they're killed and then become a Little Dipper, which gives them the chance to kill other players and possess their bodies. The trailer illustrates this with Captain Boom getting killed at the start, and dipping Zella at the last minute (but retaining voice and mannerisms).
  • Apparently, this is a standard part of military training for the Marines faction in WarWind. Even if there are no female recruits available for hire in the game, they become women when trained as Grunts at the Barracks.
  • World of Warcraft
    • Chronormu, a bronze dragon who 1) had a name consistent with the naming standards of male bronze dragons, and 2) prefers to take the humanoid form of a female gnome named Chromie. This appears to have been an error, though, as her rare appearances in dragon form have since been changed to either just say Chromie, or Chronormi (the female suffix for bronze dragons).
      • Turns out that Chromie has always been female, and it's just a Gender-Blender Name. Chromie herself explains this. "Chronormu is not a male name, you just don't understand dragon culture!"
    • Player characters gained access to character appearance resets for $25 in 2008. This includes the ability to change your character's gender. This was used as an explicit selling point for the resets.
    • In "Wrath of the Lich King", the player is led through quests to a village entirely inhabited by Hyldnir, female Giants. For purposes of disguise, the player must transform into a Hyldnir, regardless of original gender.
    • Using an Illusion Potion near a character of the opposite sex.
    • Certain items that transform you into traditionally male creatures do (or did) cause you to be considered male as far as gender specific titles are concerned, such as the Iron Boot Flask which turns you into a male Iron Dwarf. Strangely, while the Pygmy gnome transformation of Pygmy Oil turned the player into a female Pygmy gnome, it would also result in female characters' titles changing to the male equivalent.
  • In Zork Zero, in the Giant Chessboard area, if you send a pawn to the end of the board, he (they're all male) transforms into a Queen.


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