Black characters in JRPGs

black jrpg characters

It's well known that SquaresSoft was one of the first Japanese role-playing game developers to feature a prominent black character in their game but Final Fantasy
hasn't been the only series to include black or ambiguous brown characters.

There's been several other games including the Suikoden and Fire Emblem series which has managed to include black characters. Whether they were influenced by Final Fantasy or other forms of popular media is unknown. The portrayal of black characters in jrpgs isn't anywhere near perfect but they do exist.


"These particular characters usually have much darker skin than their white-skinned counterparts"

When you think of character jrpgs in general you're most likely going to remember the fair skinned protagonists with bright coloured eyes and spiky anime styled hair. Despite this there's actually been a number of distinctive looking characters whose skin tone, facial features and hair wasn't designed to look Eurocentric and adopt features and skin tones most commonly associated with black people.

These particular characters usually have much darker skin than their white-skinned counterparts and it can be assumed that they're either black or a person of colour. Black characters from the Final Fantasy series won't be included here as they've already been covered, but instead let's focus our attention on black characters who have appeared in other JRPGs.


Hauser (Suikoden II)

black jrpg characters
Hauser is the general of an military unit called the Muse Army, he is the archetypical soldier and follows commands without giving them a second thought. He's a omnipotent warrior who is very much devoted to his job and always wears a serious expression. Hauser is a tall, dark skinned man with a hi-top hairstyle. Hauser has a very distinctive look that hasn't been replicated since.


Basilio (Fire Emblem: Awakening)

darkskinned jrpg characters
Basilio is a dark skinned man with an eye patch and bald head. He respects people with strength and courage but often behaves and talks in a goofy manner. Despite this erratic behaviour Basilio has the strength befitting for his position as the West-Khan of Ferox. His companion Flavia nicknamed him 'oaf' because of his attitude but despite this he's rather quick-witted.


Lucia (Suikoden III)

black jrpg characters
Lucia is a dark skinned woman with ash blonde hair and violet eyes. Her father was murdered causing Lucia to become chief of the Karaya clan. She teams up with a man called Jowy Atreides by the promise that her people will be granted land. Lucia is a fierce warrior and wishes to avenge her father by assassinating his killers.


Otharon (Xenoblade Chronicles)

black jrpg characters
Otharon is a bald headed black man who wears glasses and has a white beard. At first he's a rather frigid and stern individual who expresses the discipline of a solider in his spoken word. Otharon also has quite a temper and acts rash, nonetheless, he is a highly skilled commander and planner thus allowing him to enter fights with supreme efficiency.


Lucia
(Shadow Hearts Covenant)


black rpg characters
Luca is a female of providential beauty who resides in Europe with her mistress Carla. Since a child Lucia was taught the style of hard dance and fortune telling by Carla, who at one time was a professional dancer. Now an proficient fortune-teller, Lucia is renowned not only for her exotic look but also special abilities.





Devdan (Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance)


Devdan is quite an entertaining individual with a bizarre nature and a strange persona which is further emphasized by his third person talk. He likes to help younger members of the army reach their potentiality. He also likes pranking people and expects a positive response from them, However, his tricks often have the opposite effect. Devdan is dark skin and has a squarish shaped afro.

Macha
(Chrono Cross)




Macha is a iron-willed single parent and sets an example for her only child by living courageously. She appears early as an optional playable character in Chrono Cross. Chubby and dark-skinned, Macha is rarely seen without a smile. As a parent, Macha tends to loads of family chores, so it's no wonder she uses a frying pan as a weapon and carries round a laundry basket.



Maella Abbey guard (Dragon Quest VIII)


Now the Dragon Quest Series is hardly known for it's Ethnic diversity, but to our surprise in Dragon Quest VIII there's a Maella Abby guard who has dark skin tone and plump lips, he's also the only dark skinned character in the game. Lest we forget the concept artist for the Dragon Quest series is Akira Toriyama and he tends to draws characters whom are black with large lips.



Eluca (Chaos Rings)

African rpg characters
Eluca is a playable character in Chaos Rings. She is introduced as a powerful yet young warrior who is exceedingly egotistic, rash and uncompassionate towards others. Despite these mean spirited traits she is in fact a very complicated and conflicted character. Eluca and her partner Zhamo are most likely based off of Africans.


Zhamo (Chaos Rings)


black jrpg characters
Zhamo is a playable character in Chaos Rings, he is coupled and partnered up with Eluca. Zhamo is a teenage wide-eyed warrior who is very pure, to the point where his perception of life is naive. He is soon discovered to be part of a royal family and aspires to become the next providential King of his realm, eager to bring prosperity and order to his people.


Flavia (Fire Emblem: Awakening) 

fire emblem black characters
Flavia is a courageous, bold and strong minded female who is like a dependable older sister. She's admired by women who bow down to no man, but handles her opposition equally no matter who they are. She is also very open-eyed and has an attention to detail. Flavia enjoys exercising and does the most push ups in her army.


Funky Student (Persona 4)

persona black characters
Funky Student is an non-playable character in Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4, found hanging around the Yasogami High school hallway. He, as his nickname implies, is a pupil at the school and more than likely a senior. His funky talk and large afro makes him stand out among his peers at Yasogami high, He issues a challenge to players by quizzing them and gives away prizes for the right answer.


Aila (Suikoden III)

black jrpg characters
Aila is a highly skilled warrior from the Karaya Clan and has the gift to talk with spirits, although she's still a rookie. She left her home to find a woman called Sarah, but by the time she had returned home her village was burned to ashes.


Gavenger (MS Saga)


Gavenger is a playable character in MS Saga, a series based on Gundam. He looks quite old but is in fact only 24 years of age and highly educated about machines and the world before The Great Fall. He now fights to protect his city from a group who refer to themselves as the Dark Alliance.


Dothoty Burton (Faselei!)

black jrpg characters
Dorothy Burton is a character in the NeoGeo Pocket jrpg Faselei! She's a pilot who is shown to be very flirtatious towards the main character. She can be selected during certain missions as support. Unlike many other black women in jrpgs her character design is rare as she isn't ambiguously black.


Mark (Revelations: Persona)

black jrpg characters
Originally white/Asian in the Japanese version, Mark's race was changed in the western version due to the lack of racial diversity in the game. Mark is a mischief-maker and class clown but also a friendly person in general. In his group of friends he is also depicted as the mood setter of the group. For some reason in the western re-release of the PSP version, Mark's skin tone was reverted back to his original look.


Grace (Unlimited Saga)

black jrpg characters
Grace is a playable character in Unlimited Saga, she's a slender middle aged dark skinned woman and is considered to be one of the strongest female characters in the game. Grace is one of the only four dark skinned characters in the entire series.


Silver Girl
(Unlimited Saga)


black female jrpg
Silver Girl is playable in Unlimited Saga, she's dark skin and has silver hair hence her name. The elusive Silver girl (actual name; Faedailjen) is an Arcanion, the group who were said to have made The Seven Wonders. It's debatable whether "Silver Girl" is the proper term. It could easily be "Silver Haired Girl", but that couldn't fit into the menu thus it's abbreviated spelling.


Shizel (Tales of Eternia)

black female characters in rpg games
Shizel is the final antagonist of Tales of Eternia. She's the stand-in ruler of Celestia and parent to a young girl called Meredy. She's a women who is vengeful and sees the planet as a root of cruelty. Having been turned insane by a sinister man, she's determined to see the completion of an idealist world beyond material dependency.

Dragon Quest VIII (


Khulan (Ni No Kuni)

black characters in jrpgs
Ni No Kuni definitely surprised us pathway through the game when we were introduced to Knulan, a dark skinned woman with kinky hair and light green eyes. This is the only black character in the game unless you count Rashid. Queen Khulan is a non playable character and governs a small and sacred land known as Perdida.

Elma
(Xenoblade Chronicles X)


black nintendo characters
Elma is one of the eight main playable characters in Xenoblade Chronicles X, she's the primal protagonist in the central story. Elma has shoulder-length whitish hair and a dark skin tone. She takes her job as a BLADE colonel very seriously and her team-mates revere and honour for her this. Elma's a very sensible woman who never makes foolhardy decisions.


Let us know if we missed any characters who are black from an jrpg and we'll add them to the list.

14 comments:

  1. It's a pity that Fire Emblem: Fates doesn't have any black characters unlike previous games like Fire Emblem Awakening and path of radiance, you can't even change your avatar's skin tone. Nintendo should have at least changed things in the western release.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What's the story with Fire Emblem Fates?

      Delete
    2. In the game you can change Corrin's features, gender and hair color but not his/her race.

      Delete
  2. I wasn't aware there were this many black female characters in JRPGS, it's quite refreshing to see. It makes me wonder how many more black characters there are in Japanese roleplaying games not named Final Fantasy.

    ReplyDelete
  3. My respect for Xenoblade Chronicles X and Suikoden is HUGE.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ni No Kuni also surprised me when I first saw Khulan, she's so underrated though, which is why I'm happy to see her featured here. Fingers crossed that Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom surprises us with another black character.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Whilst it's nice to see racial diversity I think that Japan still has a long way to go. So there's like only 20 black characters in the history of JRPG games? That's kind of disappointing.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great read! I always felt the Karaya Clan from Suikoden iii were black, btw where's Hugo? He's Lucia's son.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Jrpgs have come a long way since Final Fantasy but I can't help but feel that there could be more black characters

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh shit, I didn't know this. Suikoden gets talked about a lot, but damn nobody in all these years told me that the primary character is black. I was expecting to click on this and see that ambiguously brown shit, but nah that's actually a black man. I'm playing that shit.

    ReplyDelete
  9. It's a shame that some of these characters were whitewashed. Lucia from Shadow Hearts and from Shizel Tales of Eternia skin has been whitened, smh.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Love this feature to bits! I was always curious as to whether there were any black characters in Japanese role playing game besides the Final Fantasy series, this is pretty interesting to say the least.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Grace looks amazing but it's too bad that Unlimited Saga was a terrible game.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Amazing. I didn't know there would this many black characters in JRPGS. Suikoden certainly surprised me.

    ReplyDelete

 

Welcome

Welcome to TheZonegamer blog which is primarily focused on video game culture, the latest games and racially controversial topics within the video game industry. Feel free to join the discussion and community by commenting on and sharing the latest blog articles. Join us and become apart of TheZonegamer community.

Follow by Email

Youtube