Shadow Hearts series

A femme looking person holding a stick-like object. Health and magic bars show the amount of health and magic left. Text reads 'Normal. Attack standard. Magic Arts. Stellar Magic. Items.'.
  • Developer: Sacnoth Nautilus
  • Publisher: Aruze Midway XSEED Games Ghostlight
  • Year: 1999 – 2007
  • Genre: RPG
  • Platform/s: PlayStation 2

There are queer themes and several potentially queer characters in the Shadow Hearts series, though these representations are not always positive.

Gerard and Pierre are flamboyant, gay twins in Shadow Hearts: Covenant. Pierre is a tailor who only accepted 'Stud Cards' featuring images of muscular, near-naked men from the player as payment for his services. Gerard sells weapons and items, and appears in Shadow Hearts: From the New World with his boyfriend.

Another gay character in the series is Meiyuan, who is described as liking 'good-looking men' in his in-game description. He performs acupuncture on characters to help raise weapons proficiency, with his comments towards party members who are men being of a sexual nature, in contrast with non-sexual comments made to women. Most men who attend these acupuncture sessions have a negative outcome in terms of in-game statistics with the exception being Keith Valentine, who reponds positively.

A negative representation of same-gender sex between men is featured when Joachim Valentine—a playable character in Shadow Hearts: Covenant participates in the 'Man Festival' where he must fight through 100 men; it is revealed that those who fall must have sex with the winner. This reveal is met with disgust, particularly upon the realisation that whether Joachim wins or loses, he must have sex with a man. Audio and dialogue off-screen indicates that this does occur, and that Joachim is unwilling in this encounter. However, in contrast with this unwillingness, there are optional lines of dialogue elsewhere in the title, such as when Joachim is being tortured by Veronica and is able to tell her to stop by saying that he is not interested in women and that, more explicitly, he is gay.