Let’s go back, all the way back to 1988 when the novel “Azure Bonds” was published by TSR (who owned Dungeons and Dragons at the time). The story revolved around complicated yet badass heroine named Alias.
Azure Bonds was so well received that it inspired a computer game with the imaginative title of “The Curse of the Azure Bonds” (release date 1989).
The costume worn by Alias on the cover is an accurate representation of an outfit forced upon Alias by her ultimate enemy at Alias’ lowest point in the story. The writing stresses that Alias considers the “armor” (which is of course magical and stuff) humiliating.
Alias does appear, briefly, in the game and so they decided to recycle the cover art (without ever giving the proper context). When the Player Character meet Alias she’s back on her feet, out of her enemy’s reach and in command of her destiny again. So guess how she looks:
Later in 1991, the next book would provide some explanations for why Alias was still wearing her now signature outfit:
- It’s supposedly more comfortable than plate mail (because magic).
- Alias, contrary to all previous character development, enjoyed the attention she got from her armor (which makes sense if you ignore the entire first book she features in).
This is what I mean when I say ridiculous standards and armor have gone unchallenged in video games and fantasy for a long time.