Modding Dragon Quest XI S to Play as a Girl
Recently, I was struck by the desire to relax into a Dragon Quest game, and I wanted to play the latest, Dragon Quest XI S. The problem is that I really don't like playing games that don't let me be a girl, and despite the protagonist of DQXI being silent, you are forced to play as a boy. So, I went looking on Nexusmods to see if there was a solution, and happily there is!
Thanks to a combination of two mods for the PC version, I'm now playing as a girl. The first is Heroine of Light, which is a mod that changes all the dialogue in the game to refer to the protagonist as a girl. By itself, this doesn't change anything visually - it is strictly a text mod - but there's a way to go further.
Previously, I'd tried a mod that lets you swap an NPC's appearance in for the protagonist's, and while this definitely let me set the protag as a girl, it didn't work all that well. Most of the NPC characters were not designed with all the functionality the protagonist has, so you'd frequently get weird physics problems on clothes, you can't change clothing at all, and the game would try to map the default hero's facial expressions to the NPC's face rig in cutscenes, which led to some extremely weird-looking results.
Now, though, there's a mod called The Pinkish Princess, which takes the default protagonist and changes the hair model, face textures, and portrait icon to make the default character look more feminine. This has the benefit of working everywhere, with clothing changes, facial expressions, etc. The modder's done a great job of making this new girl look different, but still keep the default hero's vibe intact. I'm really enjoying my time playing as her now!
Here are a few screenshots I took of these mods in action, running on my Steam Deck: