Lady Not-Appearing-In-This-Game

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Where the hell are you, my Lady?

The practice of putting sexy women on the box art and in advertisements for video games without her actually appearing in the game, or only appearing in a very minor, unmemorable role. Sex Sells, logic be damned. It can be seen as odd if the game features several significant female characters who could have been used instead, but it doesn't really matter who the girl is. She is there only to attract the Male Gaze, since most gamers are (heterosexual) men. Once he sees what the game is about and decides whether or not to buy it, her job is done.

A rather blatant subtrope of Sexy Packaging and Covers Always Lie. The name is a reference to "Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Film" from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Contrast Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Trailer, as movies tend to have the exact opposite problem. See also Wolverine Publicity.

Examples of Lady Not-Appearing-In-This-Game include:


  • The Steven Spielberg film A.I.: Artificial Intelligence features a live-action movie version of this trope. Much of the film's promotional material featured Ashley Scott's sexy robotic hooker, yet in the final film Scott appears for less than 3 seconds which is just enough time to spout her single line of dialogue.

Video Games

  • The cover girls for the Grand Theft Auto games. There are some who do appear in their respective games, namely Misty in GTA 3, but their roles are so small that they effectively still count. They're always odd choices, since every GTA includes one or two significant female characters who could have been used instead.
    • This is also done in Red Dead Redemption, with a prostitute on the instruction manual. Fans attempted to avert this trope with the Epileptic Tree that she's the protagonist's wife during her prostitute days, but this was Jossed.
  • As illustrated above, the online ads for Evony featured women ranging from innocent-looking girls to porn stars, beckoning "my Lord" to play the game. It's worth noting that Evony is not an RPG but a strategy game, meaning you don't see anyone up close, let alone some bimbo in anachronistic lingerie. It's infamous enough that "Evony Ad Girl" is a redirect to this page.
    • The slow degeneration of Evony's ad campaigns from "actual relevant ads" to "Boobies! (oh, and play our game)" became a running joke on game-related sites.
  • SF strategy MMO Lacuna Expanse used a similar advert, allegedly as a tribute to Evony. More recently we also got this one this one, and this one, which are at least vaguely relevant to the game and considerably more tasteful.
  • In EverQuest and EverQuest 2, Firiona Vie and Antonia Bayle respectively fill this role. Firiona Vie is a partial subversion as she's actually an important character in the mythos, but it's very unlikely your characters will ever encounter her. Antonia is less important and a bit less reclusive than Firiona.
    • Firiona and this trope in general were parodied in The Noob. link
  • The cover of Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura is dominated by the tattooed head of a female elf. None of the player portraits for elves or half-elves look like that, nor does any prominent elven npcs. There are also a spellslinging mage and dwarf with a flamethrower included, neither notable characters but far more awesome.
    • The game has an alternate brighter cover with Raven, whom you do meet, prominently displayed. The unidentified female elf in the commercial cover is by that logic most likely Min'Gorad, the leader of the Dark Elves, who does not have a character potrait in-game.
  • A particularly Egregious case with the Spellforce series. Even with the female characters who do appear in the game, their choice of clothing doesn't reflect the mostly modest clothing and armour choices worn by the character, their party and NPC's.
  • Naava Daishan was one of most prominent characters in the promotional materials for the first Kohan game, appearing in the order info in the demo, and all over the website. while she's available in the game, her role in the story before the second game (Where she's the main character), is zero.
  • Dragonfable has ,or at least had, an ad floating around that uses a character from another one of their games.
  • Ever heard of Knightshift? Known in the states as Once Upon A Knight? No? Well, two out of the six official wallpapers at their site prominently feature a bikinified magic babe... who isn't in the game. Another features an alt design for the Amazon Sorceress, which is noticeably kinkier than the in-game counterpart.... maybe if they had better marketing than "Hot Babe Who's Not in the Game Wallpapers" there might have been a sequel?
  • Male inversion in Arc Rise Fantasia - Niko, the comic relief character, is the only main playable character not mentioned in the manual or featured on the box art, yet he joins exceptionally early in the game and sticks around for a very long time (with continuing importance to the plot after that). Following the trope closer is Adele, who never joins you except as a Guest character, yet she rates a picture in the manual stating her weapon preference... though her in-game outfit changes after only a few hours.
  • The "recruitment posters" for Final Fantasy XIV‍'‍s Grand Companies caused a small bit of confusion on some forums, due to the fact that one poster (presumably a parody of Liberty Leading Her People) kept being mistaken for a depiction of the Company's commander, Kan-E-Senna, and people were upset that "wasn't showing up in the game." Kan-E-Senna actually resembles a young teenager, and is a different person from the woman in the poster.
    • Fun fact: the woman on the poster is actually one of the twelve gods of Eorzea, Nophica.
  • An ad once featured on TV Tropes for a game called Call of Roma goes even further than Evony by featuring a scantily clad woman and advertising that you are "one click away from a Roman orgy." It's a turn based strategy game.
    • Later, they replaced "orgy" with "army", which makes a little more sense. The girl's still there, though.
  • Forge of Empires claims to be pornographic and has quizzes before you enter, saying there is hardcore sex with other players and amazing customizations. It's a forgettable city-building game.