Differences of Faith

Despite the title, this article has nothing to do with religion. Faith is the main character in the upcoming parkour platformer from EA, Mirror’s Edge. Below you will find two images of her. The key is, the one on the left was an image by EA of what she will look like in the game, while the one on the right is a fan representation of the same character.


A little background first. The game will be shipped in North America in Europe in a few days, while the localized version for Japan will be released in mid-December. Give that and the images it has been said that the Faith’s design has been skewed to western tastes of an exotic look. Torokun, the creator of the second images points out, “There is always a huge complaint from Asian gamers whenever Western developers design Asian female characters…this is mainly because many Westerners’ definition of what is considered as ‘Asian’ beauty is very different from what Asians consider beautiful.”


Here are the images side by side.

The most obvious difference between the two is the missing tattoo below Faith’s left eye. Personally I found it a rather odd choice for Character design, but I let it go. The next notable difference is the chin in the facial structure. In EA’s design the jaw is more pronounced, much more in line with a westerner’s chin that gives Faith a harder look, while the fan’s drawing has a smoother jaw that is softer and younger looking. The face also becomes more rounded in the changes. Also there is the matter of Faith’s eyes. In EA’s design they are little more than slits with the makeup/tattoo emphasizing their sharpness. In Torokun’s version they eyes are wider and what I noticed is the iris are given actual color, in this case green, rather than having what looks like overly large pupils.


The final change, which had to be pointed out to me, is bust size. When I first saw the official design I was happy that Faith’s figure looked more realistic than what is usually accepted as normal in video game action heroines. The fan version did up her cup size, but is still better representation than is average.


The original story can be read here: http://kotaku.com/5062933/faith-from-mirrors-edge-fan+designed-for-asian-tastes


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Eric Swain

A graduate of Boston University, majoring in English and Creative Writing and has spent significant time studying story structure and theory in the mediums of books, film and video games. His articles offer unique perspective on deep game development and design through his eclectic prose. you can find his critical analysis on www.thegamecritique.com.

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