Xaku

Digital Extremes’ Second Attempt at a Transgender Warframe

Seth Underwood

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Screen Capture from Warframe Loading Screen and processed using Adobe Spark

Digital Extremes warframe designs have been some interesting creations over the years. Many follow the traditional sex assignment of male or female.

Some may be more beefy than others. A few have more booty. Or they may look like a child, such as Nezha. But not having a distinct sexual orientation is something not done.

Equinox combined form from wiki

I would argue that the first attempt at anything close to a “transgender” warframe by Digital Extremes would have to be Equinox. This warframe was introduced with update 17.0 on July 31st, 2015.

The Equinox warframe was patterned after the duality of day and night. This warframe requires the construction of both a male (day) and female (night) warframe at the same time. It was as close to transgender as they were willing to go at the time.

Equinox does have a combined form, but it’s unusable in combat.

According to the Wiki Trivia-

Because Xaku is an amalgamation of three different Warframes, Xaku is the first Warframe to not have a distinct sex, being addressed by DE as “they/them”.

Despite this, concept art for Xaku shows that they were originally designed as a female Warframe, which explains the final version’s more feminine appearance.

I would have to agree that the final design appears feminine, and when Khora’s Urushu noble stance is applied that feminine look really comes out.

Put Octavia’s noble stance on any warframe and they’re dancing to music in their head. Wisp’s agile stance makes any warframe float and ungulate their ass at you. Excalibur Umbra’s agile stance makes a warframe seem insane.

Does the stance make the warframe’s gender? Maybe. But now we are getting into arguments of culture versus nature. Not to mention, the very perceptions and biases in our minds that define maleness and femaleness based on years of accumulated information.

For now, in August of 2020, Digital Extremes has created a warframe it claims as “transgender”. Although…

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Seth Underwood

54+ autistic, undiagnosed dyslexic, sufferer of chronic migraines, writer of dark science fiction, player of video games and Mike Pondsmith Fan. Race- Human.