Indivisible Devs On Having a Female Lead "Who F***s Up" and Flipping Fantasy Setting Tropes

Indivisible Devs On Having a Female Lead "Who F***s Up" and Flipping Fantasy Setting Tropes

As a heroine, Ajna is a little rough around the edges.

It's been four years since Lab Zero Games announced Indivisible, an RPG adventure from a studio known previously only for fighting games. It's shaping up to be a big game for the studio, but at the center of the tale is the main character, Ajna. Ajna is a young, headstrong woman from a rural town, and an attack on her home sees her venturing out in the wider world.

Ajna's brash and unthinking nature is played for laughs in certain situation during our demo at PAX West with Indivisible. Reaching Tai Krung City for the first time, Ajna vows to a citizen that she'll help them solve the city's problems. When that citizen notes that Ajna doesn't actually know what the city's problems are being an outsider, she brushes past this fact and barrels forward. According to Indivisible creative director Mariel Cartwright, Ajna's nature is purposeful, an answer to other female characters she's seen in entertainment.

"I personally wanted to tell the story of someone who fucks up. We're in this age—I feel like we're moving a little bit past it—where we have these 'strong female characters,'" Cartwright says. "What that turns into is female characters that don't have flaws. And that's dumb. Women have flaws.

"So we developed Ajna, our main character, and I wanted her to be brash, angry, naive, and kind of dumb sometimes. Over the course of the game, she goes and she makes mistakes, but the thing is that her heart's in the right place. She realizes she screwed up and she tries to make things better. That's the character that I wanted to put out in the world. Someone who's not just this infallible superhero lady. Someone that's kind of goofy, weird, and screws up, and then tries to make it better."

The demo takes place entirely in Tai Krung City, a semi-modern metropolis with neon lights and a populace dealing with local gangs and the drug Ohma. Tai Krung itself looks to be patterned after Thailand, continuing Indivisible's use of other cultures and mythologies for its inspiration, outside of the medieval European that filters into most fantasy.

Welcome to Tai Krung City. | Lab Zero Games

"We wanted to tell a story in a Southeast Asian-inspired area. It's not mythology and locale that really you see a lot in video games," says Cartwright. "Our concept lead, Alex Ahad, he's Filipino-Burmese. That was something that's very close to home for him, that he wanted to see be a part of this world."

"Your homebase is this Southeast Asian-inspired land, and then the other places you travel to should feel like foreign lands," she adds. "I feel like what we see a lot in games is an English setting, a Western setting, and then you'll travel to Eastern setting and that feels foreign. We wanted to kind of flip it."

Indivisible has a little more time before you'll be able to get your hands on it. It's coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on October 8, 2019, with a future release planned for Nintendo Switch.

Disclosure: USgamer is owned and operated by ReedPop, which also runs the PAX family of shows.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Mike Williams

Reviews Editor

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.

Read this next

Meet the Sonic the Hedgehog Comic Writer Who Helped Write Indivisible

We talk to veteran comic writer Ian Flynn about his role in bringing Indivisible's characters to life.

Mailbag of the Blood God: What to Play if You're New to RPGs

The Axe of the Blood God mailbag returns with conversation about what to play if you're new to RPGs, Final Fantasy 13, and more.

Indivisible Review: A Journey Worthy of Your Undivided Attention

Indivisible's personable cast and engaging battle system carry the experience across its rough patches.

The Axe of the Blood God Fall 2019 RPG Preview

From Pokemon to the Outer Worlds, Kat and Nadia talk about the big RPGs coming out this holiday season.

Skullgirls Devs' Indivisible Finally Has a Release Date

But Nintendo Switch fans will have to wait a little bit.

Indivisible's Battle System is Rewarding, but Takes Some Getting Used To

Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight.

Indivisible Puts Its Own Spin on the Core of Valkyrie Profile

An old classic finds a young fan to take up its mantle.

More News

No More Finicky DualShock 4 Plugins on PC: Official Support Coming Thanks to Project xCloud

Play Xbox games… on a PC… with a PS4 controller. Really!

Xbox Head Says It's Learned Some Lessons For Scarlett From Xbox One's Launch

"...We will not be out of position on power or price."

Microsoft X019 Recap: A Flood of Games to Finish the Generation

At the generation wraps up, Microsoft goes big.

A Deluge of New Announcements for Xbox Game Pass Came Out of X019

The Witcher 3, Rage 2, classic Final Fantasy titles, and more.

More on PC

No More Finicky DualShock 4 Plugins on PC: Official Support Coming Thanks to Project xCloud

Play Xbox games… on a PC… with a PS4 controller. Really!

Microsoft X019 Recap: A Flood of Games to Finish the Generation

At the generation wraps up, Microsoft goes big.

A Deluge of New Announcements for Xbox Game Pass Came Out of X019

The Witcher 3, Rage 2, classic Final Fantasy titles, and more.

Obsidian CEO Says It Doesn't Plan On Expanding Too Much Under Microsoft

More resources doesn't mean Feargus Urquhart wants giant teams.

Grounded Impressions: Why Obsidian Fans Shouldn't Write Off This Quirky Passion Project Just Yet

An odd choice by Obsidian, but there's more than meets the eye here.

Obsidian Founder Feargus Urquhart, Whose Credits Include Fallout, Wants to be a Game Director Again

After years on the business side, founder Feargus Urquhart is ready to make games again.

Project xCloud’s Preview Selection Makes Stadia’s Launch Lineup Look Tiny

Dozens of games are coming for testers of Microsoft's game streaming service.

More Action Adventure Games

Will Hideo Kojima Ever Stop Making Metal Gear Solid?

A closer look at Death Stranding reveals a game that isn't as different as it first seems.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Best Mods That You Should Download Now

RDR2 just released for PC players and that means more and more mods are coming in every day. Here are the best mods available right now for Red Dead Redemption 2.