During the TennoLive 2020 Devstream, we watched an introduction to Mother, one of the Orokin-Infested hybrid beings that lives on Deimos. She’s basically the Eudico or Konzu of the new Infested open world. As we listen to her speak, she is about to very loudly curse as she realises something is wrong. But we don’t hear the full word, because Mother gets cut off. By a robot, who interrupts, shouting “Functional!”
What I don’t understand though is… why? Why can’t Mother just say “fuck”? In fact, why can’t any NPCs in Warframe really curse much?
Some words are worse than others.
Before we start, I think some clarification is needed. There is a sliding scale of how bad a word is. On a place like 4chan, pretty much any word goes. You can use any slur you want, regardless of how offensive it is. There are plenty of places with no word filters at all. On the flip side, back when I used to post on BZPower, the word “hell” was considered offensive. At least, it was offensive enough to require a very strict word filter. There’s also a huge valley between these two extremes. Some places are strict, some places aren’t. Depends on the target audience.
When it comes to the Daily SPUF, the way I see it, most ‘neutral’ curse words are fair game. Things that refer to the human body and body parts mostly. So “fuck”, “shit” and “cunt” are all honestly kinda acceptable here. Racial and homophobic slurs are definitely not allowed. This IS a video game blog, but we’re allowed to swear if we want to, as long as it’s not towards other people or groups.
Where does Warframe fall on the scale of swearing?
Being a rated M game, you’d think that Warframe would be pretty high up. I mean, it contains a LOT of bloody violence and you murder a LOT of people. Often while piloting a sexy humanoid with massive tits and a round, plump bottom. When it comes to the other “mean nasty things” that overprotective parents care too much about, Warframe has it in spades. But swearing? Nope. Nothing.
Even the in-game chat is pretty heavily modded. Okay, sure, people who use racial slurs deserve to be kicked or banned, but everything is kinda… very light on the swearing. It’s not LEGO-levels of no swearing allowed, but it ain’t great either.
Which brings me back nicely to Mother.
NPCs don’t swear in Warframe.
Okay, to be fair, some characters don’t seem like the sort to swear. I really doubt we’d ever hear Teshin saying “oh fuck” as he realises some idiot kid is going to follow him. But Mother? She’s a character that would totally swear a lot. And, because this is a game where you murder people, sacrifice beings for their powers and talk to flesh flowers, you don’t need the sort of joke where you cut away from a swear word like ‘fuck’.
It’s not just the Entrati though. This happens elsewhere. Both the people of Cetus and Fortuna both have obviously fake swearwords. Eudico is a particularly bad offender, because she calls everyone and everything a ‘mucker’. She clearly means “fucker” and her saying “fucker” would fit in perfectly with how Eudico acts and feels.
Most of the characters in Fortuna are like this. But the worst is Little Duck. She’s a gruff, hardened little monster. She would definitely say fuck. A lot.
“But Medic, they have their own cultures! Why would our modern day culture and language be the same as Warframe’s far future languages?”
You know what? You’d have a point if the dialogue wasn’t so obviously swear-free. You could easily replace every fake swear word (like the aforementioned ‘mucker’) with a real swear word and the dialogue would be as strong, if not stronger. I’m not saying that everyone should swear, far from it. There is a time and a place for swearing, and these times and places are regularly glossed over.
It just seems so damn… weird. To the point that it’s out of place.
Why can’t we just swear? Why can’t Mother just say fuck? I guess we’ll never know.