Welcome back to Wankery Week! Today’s topic will be Not Safe for Work and/or anyone that has a general need to read about videogames but not sexual topics. Nothing wrong with that! We’ll get back to our regular programming regarding complaining about videogames, anime, and other nerd topics next time! But this week we’re issuing a basic trigger warning for all sorts of sexual material. Please be aware.
So let’s talk about AI Art.
If we are attempting to reconcile today’s topic with our featured game, we may as well draw attention to Wife Quest. Wife Quest is a “humorous and often naughty action platformer” (their words, not mine) that features Mia the Warrior Woman as she quests to rescue her hubby from a series of monster girls that intend to use Fernando the Ineffectual Husband in a husbandly way. The “naughty” nature of this game is front and center, as Mia is scantily clad in pink and white armor, and nearly all of her opponents are equally undressed “monster women” that may have dropped their legs for snake scales, but certainly have mammalian breasts to spare. All the dialogue involved makes overt references to risqué situations, and there is significant evidence that there was less time spent on testing the gameplay than checking back issues of Playboy.
And then there’s the “punishment” factor.
Wife Quest appealed to me in the first place because it features lush, “retro” graphics that are reminiscent of some of my favorite Metroidvanias. And, while the game is actually a straight-up action title more akin to Mega Man than Metroid, it does generally scratch that “old school” itch. However, my virgin eyes did not completely understand what was happening until it was pointed out by another player: Wife Quest 100% and unerringly relies on some kind of woman-on-woman violence fetish. You are a cute girl, you are fighting an army of cute (monster) girls, and you are encouraged to “punish” every defeated cute girl to climax every encounter. As the game description touts, every punishment comes “with unique animations”, and they can all be unlocked for your viewing pleasure later in the included gallery! Whereas I first interpreted this as some sort of Eternal Darkness-esque “finisher” system that was trying to separate this action title from every other similar thing on the E-shop, it is clear that these “punishments” are here for the swath of people that want to get off on a warrior woman choking a snake lady.
And there is nothing wrong with that! In fact, I am glad people into this punishment kink have Wife Quest. Whereas there is always the risk that some impressionable young buck might download this T for Teen game and start to think that violence in a relationship is the norm, Wife Quest is otherwise not hurting anybody. It loudly advertises its featured fetish, and, if that’s your thing, you are better off steering a digital girl into dangerous situations than attempting to coerce a human person into your kink. The ideal situation for everybody is that Wife Quest Guys find their own willing participants… but have you ever tried to find someone who wants to be choked and wear a harpy costume? The wings alone add like ten pounds…
Or you can just fire up the ol’ AI art generator. Then you can have infinite choking harpies.
AI generated art has been a hot subject of debate lately. On one side, you have legitimate artists who have been honing their craft for years, and they are dismayed by the simultaneous issues of AI art potentially capturing their (paying) audience and the simple fact that seemingly not a living soul (but maybe some undead estates) granted these companies permission to use their preexisting, internet-shared art. On the other side, you have companies (some of which being the exact same people that were pushing NFTs mere months ago) lambasting their naysayers with claims that only luddites resist this “obvious” progress, and the future of all human creativity is plugging a random phrase into a computer and seeing what the all-knowing AI spits out. And, there, caught in the middle, are the average people that think it is kind of weird all of this bruhaha is being wasted over pictures of anime women with six fingers and inexplicable noodle hair. What’s the big deal, individuals actually paying for AI subscriptions?
Well, maybe there is the whole “infinite porn” factor.
It has been discussed during Wankery Week before, but I will say it again for anyone that needs to hear it: fetishes are weird, and there are more of them than stars in the sky. And, to be clear, the declaration “fetishes are weird” is not a judgment call that your particular fetish will make you a weirdo, it is a simple statement that the strangest, most innocuous thing can be a turn-on for someone. Feet! The simple foot is a vital part of any given human, and, for a lot of people, it is just that thing you stick in your socks. But for anyone with a foot fetish, this unassuming appendage is their most treasured focus. And that can lead to some “weird” places, like entire websites dedicated to every time a cartoon character takes off their boots, or someone noting on every fighting game wiki how Felicia has been barefoot for all of her crossover appearances (Thad, I know that was you. Please stop comparing Akuma to Felicia, and turn in your wiki’ing license). And, once you have one of these “weird” fetishes, you absolutely notice every time something tickles your unique fancy, and how rarely some perfectly normal “in real life” things happen in your medium of choice. Or, put another way, you can count on Ryu being barefoot more often than not, but I’m pretty sure Guilty Gear’s resident sexpot I-No could have a raging toe fungus, and we would never know. She’s supposed to be the sexy one! Why isn’t she deliberately appealing to this subset of sexy!
And now you can just plug “I-No +barefoot” into an AI generator, and you’re good to go.
Or maybe you have to work a little harder for it. Maybe you have to say something about a short-haired brunette wearing a red swimsuit and witch hat. Bare shoulders, definitely. Throw in something about a guitar, too. Sunglasses? Does she wear sunglasses? Does it depend on the game? Whatever. Get those fingerless gloves in there, leave the boots behind (for obvious reasons), and we’ve got a pretty good I-No going. And if Friend Computer generates a shoeless guitar goddess with seventeen fingers or an inexplicable chest butt (for the uninitiated, that would be when, for reasons known neither to God nor man, the AI replaces perfectly good breasts with a prominent ass), then you don’t have to worry too much about that digital atrocity. After all, it only takes seconds to generate AI art now, so you can quickly cycle through the trash pulls and get to your five-star, primo customized pornography in no time.
And if you noticed that AI generated art-porn is presented to the user like a gacha game, congratulations, you have discovered exactly why AI art is going to be successful just as long as it is as unregulated as gacha-gambling.
It’s a game, ladies and gentlemen. Wife Quest is not going to revolutionize vaguely Wonder Boy-like gaming, and AI Art is not going to revolutionize how we express ourselves artistically. However, these are products that are going to make money off of people that find their output appealing. Wife Quest is an otherwise forgettable action game that will turn on anyone that gets a stiffy when suffocating ice monsters, and AI Art is there for anyone that needs to see a pregnant version of Sailor Mars playing poker with a centaur version of Sailor Mercury. Sure, Wife Quest doesn’t have the best hit detection, and AI Art doesn’t have the most human expressions, but does that even matter? You’re horny! If you’re into all of it in the first place, a little thing like teeth growing out of someone’s eye sockets isn’t going to end your night! Bitcoin was never real money, drawings of sad apes were never real investments, and AI Art creations are not worthy of being hung on the fridge next to your crayon drawings of gnomes.
But they can scratch a particular itch, and if that itch doesn’t get a game on Nintendo Switch every week, you know where to look.
AI Art is revolutionary, but only insomuch as it appeals to people who need 700 marginally different pictures of a giantess Lucina. “Real” art is going to be fine.
Wankery Week #15 Wife Quest
- System: Nintendo Switch is where I first saw this, but Playstation 4/5, Xbox X/S, and Computer Windows/Mac are also apparently out there.
- Number of players: You might be married, but you’re single here.
- Could you play this with someone else in the room? The titular Wife has a few different outfits, and the majority are not as offensive as your average Final Fantasy wardrobe. The “amusing” punishments are skippable with the press of a B button, and the overall aesthetic is much more “cutesy” than “horny”. So you might be able to get away with playing without total embarrassment.
- Watch it, Buddy: We played Wife Quest on an odd streaming night about a year ago, so if you would like to watch about an hour of a questing wife, Even Worse Streams has got you covered.
Original Stream Date: March 17, 2022
… And then we got bored with it and played Smash Bros.
- Story Time: It is unknown if this is meant to parody “harem anime” style stories or be played straight, but literally every creature in this kingdom, living or undead, wants to $^*& Fernando. Even the dwarven shopkeep has a thing for “your” husband! Then again, this may be explained by the fact that there doesn’t seem to be a single other living creature with a penis on this island…
- Maybe actually talk about the game for a second: Once you get past the obvious, there is a glimmer of a game that is worth playing here. Like… it’s not bad? It is, unfortunately, not good, either. It is a pretty by the numbers 2-D action title with one random twist (for once in a 2-D game, blocking with a shield is unusually powerful/useful). Regrettably, the more interesting later abilities are hampered by a limited magic meter, so doing anything more appealing than run/jump/attack consumes a limited resource. Mega Man had this problem in 1987. It should not be an issue in 2022.
- Favorite Ability: The volcano level grants a lizard tail that confers a magical dash that can be used in any direction while standing or jumping. This is a lot of fun! Unfortunately, it is also used for a number of Sonic-esque “dash zones” where your character is bounced all over like a pinball in the service of… maybe kinda looking cool? Whatever! That cannot take away from the joy of instantly zooming around an area to elegantly dodge.
- Did you know? If you ever want inspiration for AI art creation (or inspiration for an article about AI art creation), just go ahead and plug the hashtag #novelai into Twitter. There is a new Mona Lisa posted every two minutes. And by “Mona Lisa” I mean some people are really into Mona & Lisa from Genshin Impact.
- Would I play again: I only played it for like an hour on the stream, but then I revisited the rest of the game on my own time. It was engaging enough to keep playing, but not good enough to encourage another playthrough. What I am saying is that I have strangled my last naga.
Everybody stop be horny for, like, seven seconds!