Beyond Good and Evil

by Angela Simpson


It is with great pleasure that we once again take a peek into the life, or in this case 'virtual world' of yet another cool, strong, female. Jade, ass kicking do gooder of ubisofts 'Beyond Good & Evil' game (Xbox. PS2, NGC) couldn't go unnoticed when thinking of women for this honor, she's righteous, smart, witty and cute to boot and this is why she is in the Gamer Girls Tribute!

Let's take a closer look at the character herself with a quick bio overview:
Name: Jade
Age: 20
Birthplace: Hyllis
Occupation: Investigative Reporter / Photographer
Family: Pey'j (adoptive uncle)
Hair: Dark Brown / Black
Eyes: Emerald Green

The peaceful planet of Hyllis has fallen under siege by a relentless alien race. Despite public assurances that the planet has been secured, Jade begins to suspect that there's more to these invasions than the government has disclosed. Could it be that the government is lying to it's very people? (Well this is JUST a game, I mean it's not like that could happen in reality... *sarcasm mode = full*) After being contacted by IRIS, she becomes the lead action-reporter for the rebel cause. She fights against prejudice and propaganda, in the name of her people and for the right to know the truth beyond the typical perceptions of good and evil. In the course of her adventure, she adopts the pen name “Shauni” to sign her reports for IRIS.

Jade is a top-notch photographer, known for her keen wits, investigative skills and uncanny stealth abilities. She’s also a master of martial-arts ­ her Dai-Jo stick skills are unmatched in combat and she’s got a perfect aim using her Gyro Disc Glove.
Jade was orphaned as a young child and doesn’t know who her parents are or where she comes from. She grew up in the poor area of Hillys, where she quickly acquired defensive abilities, street smarts and a strong sense of human solidarity.
Jade lives on a small island in Hillys with her adoptive Uncle Pey’j and many children who have lost their parents during the recent night attacks (or rather children whose parents have mysteriously disappeared). Jades prized possession is her camera ­ the one and only thing she received from her parents as a child… Jade’s only real memory of her family.

Jade owns Jade Reporting and earns her living by producing various photographic reports on commission. Armed with her camera, Dai-Jo staff, and resolute investigative skills, Jade sets out to expose the truth and to liberate the minds of her deceived people. Pushed to the very edge of her physical and spiritual will, she soon discovers that even these limits are not what they seem. She fights off her inner demons, puts her personal safety aside all for the sake of her people.

It is this strength of character that has led to Jades inclusion in the Honorary Oakley section. We're also impressed with Ubi Softs decision to make Jade more than just another boobs and bum hero, she's a hero based on her actions.

The Female Hero:
It doesn't happen often but when it does happen it can either be a cringe filled moment of "oh no... she's armored in a chainmail bikini" or in the case of Jade she's a hero in her own right, based on her fortitude and intellect. Hurrah!
It's nice to see this idea of the positive female hero may well be catching on, and this is of course in part due to the overwhelming success of another female heroine: Lara Croft. However there seem to be some changes in the offing, could it be that the female hero of gaming in 2004 has little need of a top heavy figure? Have games designers finally realised those things would get in the way of twirling a Dai-Jo staff? We can but hope.

Beyond Good & Evil:
A quick look at the world Jade inhabits. 'Beyond Good & Evil' snuck onto the gaming scene quietly amidst the noise and clatter of a few other big Ubi Soft releases, for this reason it remained quiet by marketing standards. But you can't fool an avid gamer, we're pretty much the same animal, we like quality and playability, something BG&E has in droves, it was / is a TRUE sleeper hit. If you don't yet own it, what are you waiting for... go buy it.

For all the reasons above we tribute Jade - Heroine of the Beyond Good & Evil video game. She fights for freedom, integrity and is a 'goodguy' in the truest sense of the word!

"This article originally appeared at Thumb Bandits.com as 'The Honorary Oakley'. It was written to highlight strong female games characters. They appear at Gamer Girls Unite with permission from fellow female gaming site Thumb Bandits, but remain their IP."