The newest Dead by Daylight killer isn’t just making a killing in the tech industry, she’s also murdering the series’ track record for having its original female characters expose their toes.
A couple of days ago, Behaviour Interactive announced its newest original killer, Adriana Imai AKA the Skull Merchant. Introduced as the 31st killer among DBD’s roster, Adriana sets herself apart from the pack with the techno-infused vibe she has while stalking and murdering her victims. As you’ll see in her announcement trailer below, the “self-made” evil tech billionaire utilizes drones with skulls rigged to them to locate her prey before dicing them up with her Wolverine-esque robot claws. She even has a diamond-studded half-mask for added poshness.
Read More: 13 Killer Strategies For Dead By Daylight
What was that about DBD’s foot fetish stuff?
Now, what you’ve been waiting for: the Dead By Daylight foot fetish stuff. When speaking with a friend of mine about Adriana’s announcement, they put me on to the bizarre bit of trivia that Skull Merchant isn’t just special because she’s an evil CEO. Adriana’s also the first original female DBD character to not have her feet exposed in her default skin. And no, this isn’t one of those “I say a friend of mine told me but I really mean myself” kinds of situations. Players have been noticing this trend for a while now. After cackling at the ceiling, I did some digging and sure enough, Skull Merchant is in fact the first original DBD character to put her bare grippers away.
After doing a bit of journalistic investigation, I discovered that of DBD’s 31 killers, eight of the game’s original female characters’ default skin have their little piggies exposed to the world. Those characters, for those curious, are The Nurse, The Huntress, The Hag, The Spirit, The Plague, The Twins, The Artist, and The Onryō.
Until now, whenever killer players tamper with equipment during DBD games, they are subjected to a first-person perspective animation of their characters breaking wooden pallets and generators with their uncovered tootsies.
Even guest characters like Resident Evil’s Ada Wong aren’t free from the grip of DBD’s foot fetish-leaning gameplay mechanics. The portrait for one of Ada Wong’s survivor perks “Low Profile” auspiciously displays an icon of a woman, presumably of Miss Wong herself, stepping out of her heels and walking barefoot in the grass.
“A graphics artist who joined BHVR in the past few months has a serious foot fetish going on,” Reddit user TigerXtrm wrote in response to a post about Ada’s perk titled “Behaviour we really need to talk about the feet thing.”
Kotaku cannot confirm that such an employee exists, but we’re sharing the quote to establish the trend was so prominent, everyday players were left wondering if something was going on.
“Ok but this perk icon is sooo cool/clever,” wrote Reddit user Scoobie101, clearly playing devil’s advocate. “Like heels are associated with being classy and high profile, so the act of taking them off both as a way to go ‘low profile” and to “get serious’ (bc you’re not keeping your heels on to run from a killer) just makes this badass in a way that suites Ada’s character so well.”
“Whilst we sense that something is afoot here, we can confirm that a character’s design choices are coherent with their universe, their backstory, and their personality. We leave it up to our players to discuss whether The Skull Merchant’s foot attire affects her performance as a Killer,” a Behaviour Interactive representative told Kotaku via email.
It should be mentioned that, while Adriana has broken DBD’s exposed toes track record, she still has a unique perk that’s literally called “Game Afoot” so she just barely clears the bar for not being yet another character that smacks of the horror game’s apparent, thinly-veiled foot fetish.
Ariana is a part of Dead By Daylights’ Tools of Torment expansion, which will release on March 7 for PC and consoles.
Update 2/17/2023 3:55 p.m. ET: Behaviour Interactive issued a comment to Kotaku about Dead By Daylight’s foot fetish allegations.