By Spencer . April 29, 2008 . 7:11am
While we’re discussing the World Ends With You, did you notice how Square Enix crafted the equipment system? Instead of regulating “threads” (read: armor) by level, bravery determines what you can wear.
Shiki, Neku’s female friend and first partner, has her bravery over 100 at the beginning of the game while Neku's bravery is hovers around 30 points. Male vestments like shirts and slacks are set at a lower brave so Neku can wear them. Since the bravery requirement for male clothes is low Shiki can put on Neku’s clothes too. However, any bonuses specifically for Neku are not passed on. Female clothes typically require over 100 bravery points to equip. This means Shiki can wear lace bonnets and high heels while Neku initially cannot.
The keyword is initially because if you boost Neku’s brave high enough he can wear a dress. Surprisingly, some items like the Gothic Lolita style lace bonnet (pictured, bottom right item in Neku’s equipment) give Neku special abilities. If you’re wondering none of these items actually change Neku’s appearance.
In the real world Shibuya has a diverse sense of fashion, but even there it still requires actual bravery for a male to walk across scramble crossing in a dress. It almost feels like the equipment system is an intentional design choice rather than an oversight. In previous Square Enix games players there is gender specific equipment like the perfume in Final Fantasy Tactics. Now if only Orlandu was brave enough to wear the Chantage…
Images courtesy of Square Enix.