Even the best of ideas have their influences, and Kiri being arguably my best and longest-lived character, had plenty. As previously stated, Kiri was originally intended to be another bikini-clad female barbarian, but one that the fates would have dark designs on.
Fantasy fiction is rich with variations of the scantily-clad female barbarian, the archetype on which Kiri was drawn, particularly that of the rogue or thief who wears either little or no armor or clothing. Of course this made Kiri as natural fit for the rogue-based barbarian class in Age of Conan.
|A 3rd-party mod for Neverwinter Nights allowed a detailed look at the original 'bikinied barbarian' Kiri|
|The early version would persist for a time until her origin evolved, notably toward a darker theme|
Canon Hyborian tales repeatedly have this recurring female lead; among my favorites are Red Sonja (although there is some discussion on if Sonja actually dates from a time prior to the Hyborian Age) and Valeria (whom the MMO did not do justice to, in my opinion).
|The rescued damsel or scantily-clad, female sidekick is a mainstay in Conan comics|
|Classic Red Sonja. All heroines have their trademark outfit, and Sonja is famous for her scale-mail bikini|
|A bit more recent Sonja with a slight anime style, who seems to have decided that bloody combat in anything more than metal panties would be quite impractical|
|Valeria as she would appear in Schwarzenegger-era Conan: An overwhelming fan favorite|
|Valeria, immortalized by the breathtaking Sandahl Bergman|
|A fortuitously discovered piece of great fan art; this Valeria might even be able to take fashion advice from Kiri|
Then there’s Belit, Queen of the Black Coast, who was a raven-haired fighter that ran around in either a bikini or hide breechcloth, something of a female Conan. Finally Isparana, not as well known but a favorite of mine; a tawny-skinned Zamboulan thief with a hot temper and skill with her blades, who wore a getup similar to Belit.
|Belit, Queen of the Black Coast, in decidedly female barbarian garb|
|Belit, apparently after she'd been to the city for a costume tweak|
|A beautifully-photographed Belit action figure|
|Isparana, the feisty Zamboulan thief; a personal favorite|
Of course there are many other examples just in Conan’s tales, but outside of Howard’s works the archetype is commonly found. As stated prior, The Beastmaster’s Kiri the slave girl was a core influence; scantily-clad and while capable of at least some fighting skill, really found herself in peril in key parts of the movie.
|Kiri the slave girl of The Beastmaster, played by Tanya Roberts|
|A very low-res Kiri the slave girl, but enough to make the point|
An offshoot of this archetype is the jungle girl or cave girl, which is more or less a cousin to the female barbarian, sharing similar traits. While Kiri is technically not a jungle girl, similar themes of bondage and helplessness abound in the genre. In 20th century jungle girl stories, the classic stereotype of the conniving, sadistic female villain, often a brunette, enters into Kiri’s story several time, starting with a specific history with the cruel Delia of the Red Hand, who appears in the events of the tutorial in Hyboria.
|Tanya Roberts, as she would appear as the jungle girl Sheena|
|Straight to the point; Jungle Comics which is one of many examples of the jungle heroine|
|Female barbarian Roon, as portrayed by the beautiful Sabrina Siani|
|Roon in Ator the Fighting Eagle; the only bright point in this otherwise forgettable Conan knockoff|
|Roon takes her final stand|
|A sad moment, but the film's highpoint is the defeat and death of Roon|
In many ways the post-apocalyptic is my favorite; a place of ruin and savagery where the feminine strength and beauty endures amid great danger, but often at the price of extreme helplessness and peril. Axa the barbarian and Druuna. In some respects Hyboria IS post-apocalyptic, but not high-tech, being as the cities of the Hyborian Age rose up among the ruins of prehistoric Atlantis and Acheron.
|Post-apocalyptic female warrior Axa, who forgoes a life of comfort and clothing in the city domes for a sword and a skimpy bikini in the savage wilderness|
|Clad only in her bikini bottoms, her body torn by the savage beasts of the domain|
|Axa in a bit less barbaric, but a bit more sordid costume|
|A nice color illustration of the setting|
|A heroine willing to face certain peril|
|Axa’s world; obviously a place of brutal sexuality and violence|
|The savage dangers of the apocalyptic wastes|
|Barbarian female clad only in her bottoms, armed with her blade. Very much a Kiri influence|
|In vein with Kiri, eager to strip of her clothing, liberating herself in her world|
|The voluptuous, hapless Drunna about to be tortured. A typical situation for this character|
|Stripped, humiliated and tortured at the hands of a sadistic, female captor; a common theme for Kiri|
|"Yours will be a long road of anguish and incredible suffering…let yourself go and savor the pain"|
|Your typical underclad barbarian or gladiatrix|
Over time, her everyday outfit would become increasingly indecent and fetish-oriented. This mode of ‘dungeon dress’ implying that, eventually, Kiri did not adventure and delve into dungeons and ancient ruins for the reward of lost treasure and wealth, but for the dubious rewards of helplessness and torture.
|Full body concept of Kiri, now in the trademark plastic underwear|
|Visualizing Kiri as a tabletop miniature|
|Kiri side view, modifying a female slave mini|
|Kiri mini, rear view|
Most dungeons historically were, of course, places of imprisonment and torture, so a would-be female adventurer setting foot into such a place clad in no more than a brassiere and panties could realistically expect no better than this.
|Original Poser render of Kiri|
|Kiri render front|
|Kiri Poser render|
|Kiri Poser render|
|Kiri full body render, fitted with plastic underpants with a Wonder Woman design|
|Kiri with the Wonder Woman starred briefs print on her plastic pants|
Plastic soon because her garb of choice, but she would appear in a Ravenloft setting in rubber pants, and this is also alluded to with Hyborian Kiri, where rubber from distant Vendhya was used to make the short briefs she wears (the material actually being used since antiquity, historically). During this visualiztion the classic costume would be made for Kiri, and it would have little variation, except to where such changes would insert her better into a given world or environment.
|A remake of a very early Kiri render, converting the rubber pants to plastic underwear|
|Kiri with an attempted crucified pose|
|A closeup of the sagging breasts, trademark of a fully accurate Kiri render|
|Adding a very basic collar for a frontal pose|
|Kiri exhibiting her form, wearing only the famous starred briefs|
|Bust render, trying to get the look right|
|Another running pose in her plastic briefs|
|A side view|
|First attempt at a swordfight pose, minus a prop for the sword|
|Photoshopped model; Kiri as she would dress in your typical post-apocalyptic setting|
|Kiri, fully visualized in Age of Conan: Unchained's Dreamworld engine|
|Kiri extreme closeup, Age of Conan: Unchained|
The Hapless Heroine
|The defeated and helpless heroine is a long standing tradition in erotic comics|
Very common as a theme in most world environments is the archetype of the hapless heroine; that would-be heroine who goes out of her way to fight crime and confront the evils of the world, often in the most revealing and impractical clothing she can lay her hands on. She is then often and repeatedly made the helpless victim of her intended quarry.
|Men's adventure magazines made women in peril standard issue|
|Nazis: A favorite villain to find our heroine helpless and tortured by|
This genre is rife with bondage, discipline and sadomasochism themes, and about every conceivable situation and scenario has been invented over the years, from diabolical traps intended to horrifically torture and even kill the hapless heroine, to methodically intricate plots to humiliate and break the heroine severely.
|This one pretty much sums it up|
|Helpless and vastly inferior in the hands of her captors; a very common theme|
The superheroine genre has this in its very roots, with the renowned Wonder Woman having recurring periods of bondage and helplessness throughout decades of comics. In the case of Wonder Woman, specific situations have been inserted into her bio almost from the beginning; weaknesses that would practically ensure she would find herself in these predicaments eventually. In addition, there would be events where Wonder Woman purposefully entered situations of bondage, even if as a ruse.
|The infamously entertaining Empowered|
|Wonder Woman living up to tradition|
|Lynda Carter-era Wonder Woman doing it right|
|Or else why would they dress like that?|
|Empathy toward her captor, then, eventual acceptance of her helplessness. Perhaps the ultimate stage of defeated superheroines|
|Obviously, defeat in her scanty bustier and briefs was a forgone conclusion to this genetically superior Nazi heroine|
|Even the female fans enjoy the genre|
|Classic super-villainess in her naturally dominant black costume; what self-respecting heroine wouldn't want to display absolute submission at this point?|
|These Wonder Women couldn't be more helpless; I'm afraid they're going to have a very bad day...|
|This Asian Wonder Woman is about to have a very bad day as well|
|Even in the Far East, Wonder Woman knows what it's like to be swiftly rendered helpless|
|Asian Wonder Woman learns the meaning of absolute defeat, helplessness and humilation|
The Heroine-in-Bondage theme existed for years, but exploded on the Internet, and would push into mainstream in some instances. The Empowered comics, while being tame enough to sell from open bookshelves, is laced with innuendo for the genre, being something of a PG-rated bookstore version.
|Asia has redefined the hapless heroine: This Sailor Moon styled heroine will soon suffer betrayal and crushing, permanent defeat as she becomes the pet rape victim of a savage tentacle creature.|
|This Japanese heroine of the same style is obviously intended to suffer a defeat and an extremely bad ending|
|This young Asian heroine has clearly trained and planned hard for the day of her final defeat, by wearing a skirt intentionally designed to vulnerably exhibit the crotch of her white panties|
|Her defeat is, of course, utterly bloody and brutal|
|Somewhere across time and space in an unnamed fantasy world, a thoroughly helpless female warrior suffers the humiliation of a public stripping at the hands of her cruel, brunette captor and dominatrix|
A Blade In Her What?
|Even in ancient times, a well trained Amazon warrior could fall prey to a well-aimed arrow to the crotch|
Eventually, our female barbarian protagonist’s lack of armor and clothing is going to land her some grievous wounds, in or out of combat, and odd are eventually she’ll suffer one to somewhere exceptionally sensitive, such as her breasts or genitals. In some scenarios, an overly cruel attacker or torturer might want to gain a quick advantage or inflect maximum pain and humiliation by deliberately wounding our heroine or anti-heroine in this way.
|Belly shots are clearly a favorite pastime for captured slave girls in this particular dungeon|
|Well, she did aim a little high, but fortunately evil triumphs once more as this dark warrioress skewers her blonde prey|
|A textbook breastshot with an arrow|
|A finishing breast stab to a helpless blonde heroine is always best delivered by a sardonic, and clearly superior, brunette villainess|
|Kiri; the aftermath of a grueling, bloody cuntbust. Now maybe those leakproof panties have a little practical value, after all...|
Violent online erotica of this theme has given rise to the so-called ‘cuntbust’, which is a recurrent theme for Kiri. Typically melee or ranged weapons have speared or pulped a breast or vulva, but various traps and torture implements including the impaling spear or vaginal pear have served this purpose as well. Many fine examples of this very specialized genre can be found online and elsewhere.
Original Kiri concept and art property and copyright of PhanPhoe Creations, 2008