This wiki is still a WIP, and it's ruleset hasn't been applied yet. See topic #17377 for the relevant discussion.
This is a guide on how to tag characters and their alternate outfits that appear in gacha-styled mobile games.
Throughout recent years, there lacked a means of standardizing how alternate costumes for characters in gacha games should be tagged on Danbooru. The conventions that work for one title may not work so well for another, which then leads to inconsistencies and confusion. The aim is to define why there is a difference between video game media and other forms of media when it comes to handling characters and named outfits, and then use already-existing tagging conventions and examples to clarify things. This process can then be standardized so that what works for one gacha game can work for another, rather than users making up unique rules on a game-to-game basis that will wind up conflicting with each other.
As discussed in the forums however, Fate/Grand Order has been separated into its own discussion due to the unique circumstances surrounding how it releases characters and alternate outfits. This article has deliberately excluded any examples from that game for this purpose. Please go to topic #17356 ("The Fate/Grand Retagging Project") if you wish to discuss tagging conventions for F/GO specifically.
Gacha (ガチャ) is shorthand for gachapon (ガチャポン), which in itself is an alternate saying of gashapon (ガシャポン). Whatever the reading, this is a type of Japanese-produced vending machine that customers dispense money into, then they twist a crank and the machine dispenses a plastic egg containing a randomly-selected toy or prize. Usually this is one toy out of a collectible set, incentivizing customers to pay more to complete the collection. Gasha/gacha is the Japanese onomatopoeia for the sound of the crank being twisted, while pon is the sound of the toy dropping into the receptacle.
Similarly, a gacha video game is a branch of mobile gaming where players save up a fictional in-game currency, then use it to roll the virtual vending machine (think of spinning a slot machine or roulette wheel). What players roll for tend to be desired characters, character classes, weapons, vehicles, materials, add-ons or whatnot. The majority of this discussion is going to cover characters and named outfits, since Danbooru is a character-based imageboard.
DANBOORU’S TAGGING GUIDELINES
Due to the complex nature of gacha games and how they release characters, alternate costumes, and/or alternate forms, Danbooru’s guidelines for separating everything with tags work somewhat differently from non-gacha titles. Make note that these conventions are not exclusive to gacha games - console games and MMORPGs also use similar systems for releasing characters and alternate forms/outfits. This article primarily focuses on gacha games because the bulk of new releases tend to originate from there, but it is not a concept exclusive to gachas. Regardless of what game type is being dealt with, there are some categories to go over with how these are treated here.
The crux of this article comes from when an already-released character is recycled and given a different costume. This then complicates tagging these alternate costumes because while they literally are the same character just wearing a different outfit, the game itself treats them as an entirely different character by giving that costume an official name. Compounding things is that these characters may possess different skill sets, character classes, and/or be categorized according to an in-game ID number, further proving that the developers intended for these alternate costumes to be treated as full characters.
That last sentence is especially important for Danbooru’s purposes, particularly the phrase, "Alternate costumes to be treated as full characters". When it comes to video games, that is how a named outfit should be treated here – with a character tag, not just treating it as the same character wearing a different outfit. For Danbooru’s purposes, this is called a variant. Other terms that can be used interchangeably are forms, versions, and alternate costumes, but this article will stick to the term variant for consistency's sake.
This has been a growing source of confusion in the last few years for one reason: Most forms of media don't name their alternate outfits. For a non-video game example, Yoko Littner's swimsuit (post #178763) that she wears in a single episode of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann doesn't have an official name attached to it; it's just a swimsuit. Another example is Tomoe Hotaru's black dress (post #2227732) that she frequently wears in Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon. The creators never assigned a name to it; it's just a dress she wears. Therefore, regardless if the costume comes from an anime, video game, movie, book, or other form of media, if the creators/developers don't give a name to an alternate outfit, then don't give it one here.
Further discussion is needed regarding an outfit that was initially released without a name, then retroactively given a name later in the franchise's life, and whether or not it should be likewise retroactively tagged with a new character tag. While this is uncommon, it does happen.
In contrast, a gacha example would be Azur Lane's Sirius, who has a swimsuit that is officially named Midsummer Seirios. This means that it should be given the same treatment here by denoting a character tag (or chartag) to it.
That is the primary difference between tagging characters and outfits from gacha games and those from non-gacha titles. Official sources will name a character's alternate outfit, and Danbooru users then tag according to whatever conventions the official sources use.
DEFAULT + ONE VARIANT
Using the Sirius example mentioned above, the variant of her that was released first in Azur Lane is considered to be her default variant, or just default. The default's tag would be:
Danbooru already has a tagging system that pairs character names with the copyright as a qualifier, separating them from a character with the same name in a different copyright (called disambiguation here). Later in the game's life, the aforementioned swimsuit variant is released. This would be her holiday variant. By this, this refers to limited-time variants who are only available during a specific period of the year, and their character designs will often reflect this. The three most popular holidays are Summer (or 'Swimsuit' variants), Halloween, and Christmas. Some gacha games may incorporate other holidays like Valentines or Easter for character design purposes. Another catchall term that can be used is special variant if there is no holiday attached to the costume.
To facilitate this, a new chartag is created:
The original sirius_(azur_lane) chartag is also added to function as an umbrella tag, compiling any and every post of Sirius regardless of variants. If a user then wanted to exclude Midsummer Seirios from a search and just look up Sirius' default variant, they can then do a sirius_(azur_lane) -sirius_(midsummer_seirios)_(azur_lane) search. The naming convention for a holiday/special variant's chartag would be:
Another way that named outfits are released is through a character skin. In gaming terms, this is an alternate costume that only serves to function as a cosmetic change for a character, without changing the character's in-game functionality. Contrast this to variant, where a character's outfit and in-game functionality change. So long as the skin has been given an official name, the same tagging convention for a holiday/special variant can also work for a skin.
There is some debate as to whether or not the default should get the same treatment as the holiday variant for consistency’s sake, or if it’s best to just leave them as is. At the moment, the default is left as-is.
ONE COSTUME FOR MULTIPLE CHARACTERS
Sometimes there is a singular alternate costume that will cover multiple characters with one brush stroke.
In Kantai Collection, there are Remodels; Warship Girls R uses the same Remodel concept; Azur Lane also does the same, but calls it Retrofit. Girls Frontline has MOD3, designated to a character who wears a new costume when they reach their final upgrade. Idolmaster likewise has named thematic outfits that multiple characters of a band will wear as a sort of uniform (barring minor design changes per character), like Cute & Girly, Sailor Swimsuit, or Cool & Sexy.
At the moment, this is the only category that uses general tags (or gentags) rather than specific chartags.
More discussion is needed as to whether or not it is desirable to leave it like this or to expand them as chartags. The crux of the argument is that gentags wind up getting 'lost' in the quagmire of dozens of other gentags describing everything in an image, while making chartags for every instance is far too cumbersome and pedantic.
Use the default variant's chartag when dealing with any and all *_(cosplay) tags:
If you are uploading a cosplay of a holiday/special variant, then tag it like this:
- character1_(copyright) (chartag)
- character1_(copyright)_(cosplay) (gentag)
- character1_(holiday/special_variant)_(copyright) (chartag)
- character2_(copyright) (chartag)
CHARACTERS FROM EXISTING COPYRIGHTS
As stated in the introduction, characters who already exist in previous forms of media are transferred into gacha games as prizes to be rolled for. Does this mean existing characters have to be renamed to fit with them being in a gacha game?
The simple answer is, no. Stick to the chartags that already exist, and use the gacha's copyright tag only if an image is applicable to the gacha game, like a gacha-exclusive named costume for a character.
Gacha games still have a copyright tag because original characters and/or concepts unique to the game will pop up, which means that the copyright tag has to function as their origin. With Wild Arms: Million Memories, we have Brittany Shrewsbury; for Tales of the Rays, we have Ix Nieves and Mileena Weiss; for Star Ocean Anamnesis, we have Evelysse; for the Madoka Magica game, we have Tamaki Iroha, Futaba Sana, Yui Tsuruno and others. So on and so forth.
Likewise, official art of existing characters can fall under the gacha's copyright since that's where it's being marketed.
LIST OF GAMES WITH NAMED OUTFITS
Let's get into the games that these guidelines are applicable to. Some of them are mobile spin-offs of existing copyrights, while others are wholly original titles. Regardless if the game is active or defunct, they will go here. The titles will be listed in alphabetical order.
To reiterate, Fate/Grand Order has been excluded from this article entirely, and thus from this list as well.
This is an ongoing work-in-progress. Any contributions made will be greatly appreciated.
- Another Eden
- Azur Lane
- Blue Oath
- Brave Frontier
- Brave Girl Ravens
- Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia
- Dragalia Lost
- Dragon Ball Legends
- Dragon Collection
- Exos Heroes
- Fire Emblem Heroes
- Flower Knight Girl
- Food Fantasy
- Girls Frontline (Dolls Frontline)
- Girls Symphony
- Granblue Fantasy
- Grand Chase
- Guilty Dragon
- Honkai Impact 3rd
- Idle Heroes
- Idolmaster (stylized as iDOLM@STER)
- Kantai Collection
- Kingdom Hearts X (stylized as Kingdom Hearts χ)
- Langrisser Mobile
- League of Legends
- Love Live! School Idol Project
- Magia Record: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica Gaiden
- Makai Wars
- Merc Storia
- Noah's Gate
- Otoko no Itadaki
- Pokemon Go
- Princess Connect!
- Sennen Sensou Aigis
- Star Ocean Anamnesis
- Tales of Crestoria
- Tales of Erin
- Tales of the Rays
- Touken Ranbu
- War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius
- Warship Girls R