Vanessa Z. Schneider is the protagonist of the third-person shooter P.N.03.
Shinji Mikami wanted P.N.03 to express the feeling of simple old Nintendo games, and didn't care what gender the main character was. When design pictures were being created, he asked the staff member: "Which one do you want to draw? Man or woman?", and the designer chose the latter. Because P.N.03 takes place on a space colony, Mikami wanted Vanessa's country of origin to be ambiguous. Thus, her name is a combination of French (Vanessa), German (Schneider), and English (Z.) names.
An early teaser trailer released for P.N.03 showed a gun that Vanessa was able to materialize out of thin air, an aspect later dropped for her trademark "palm shot" due to complaints from fans that guns were "boring". All of Vanessa's movements were created freehand, and without any motion capturing devices. Producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi has said that "[he's] really proud of Vanessa's style and movements".
Appearance and characteristics
She is depicted as extremely lithe and agile, with motions like that of a ballerina. She wears various "Aegis suits" which allow her to shoot energy blasts out of her palm, and perform special moves called "energy drives" named after various winged creatures such as the Harrier and the Tengu.
Vanessa has been hired by an anonymous person known as "the client" to destroy a group of rogue CAMS (Computer Arms Management System) robots that have been slaying innocent colonists, including Vanessa's parents.
Near the end of the game, Vanessa discovers a specimen that is an identical clone of herself in a CAMS facility but is forced to abandon her when the building's self-destruct sequence is initiated. After destroying the CAMS central core, Vanessa encounters a digital projection of the client, whose appearance is identical to her own. She speculates that she is a clone of the client, but the client counters that none of their memories may be real. Vanessa then goes home, debating on whether she should continue her work as a mercenary or not.