I’m sure more than a few of you have seen news regarding the crossover between Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem. The concept is exciting and the characters seem likeable (and it’s always nice to see familiar faces from Fire Emblem), but if there’s one thing I’ve decided that not even the gameplay and writing can explain well enough, it’s the costumes.
Here is Shiida/Caeda, best known as Marth’s comrade and wife as well as an accomplished pegasus knight:
And here is her design for SMT x FE:
My biggest questions are why she has random cutouts on her outfit (especially on her crotch) and why her clothes have to be so tight they effectively create boobsocks.
She is the Mirage Partner to Tsubasa Oribe:
It’s worth nothing that her school clothes are fine but her combat wardrobe is kinda baffling:
And, according to a post on serenesnet (a Fire Emblem forum), there’s also a scene where she apparently strips down to her skivvies in the middle of the street:
Other characters include Eleonora Yumizuru, an archer whose clothing would actually be pretty cool if she wasn’t also part of that weird bare thighs clothing trope:
Kiria Kurono, a famous idol who shows her midriff and some amount of cleavage in almost all of her outfits:
Her name refers to the mage class and possibly dark magic – funny how sorceresses associated with dark magic almost always get skimpy clothes! Some speculation ties her to characters like Lyn, a swordswoman from the seventh Fire Emblem game, and Soren, a wind mage from the ninth and tenth games.
Aversa, a character from the thirteenth Fire Emblem game, returns as an enemy mirage. As one of the most sexualised characters in Awakening, her design combines her class as a dark flier with her constantly exposed boobies:
I think it’s an odd choice to have her return as a villain given that it’s possible for her to become redeemed of her actions in Awakening; by redeemed I mean that you can unlock her as a playable character and you learn that the antagonist brainwashed her into being loyal to him and massacring her village to keep anyone from learning this – she joins Chrom’s army to atone. I hope they haven’t retconned that aspect of her character just to keep her as a “dark femme fatale” (again).
The male characters of the game, Toma Akagi (whose Mirage Partner is Cain) and Itsuki Aoi (whose Mirage Partner is Chrom), of course get much better costumes; Toma looks every inch a knight and Itsuki looks very princely and aristocratic, complete with a fancy rapier and cravat.
I always knew that Fire Emblem and Shin Megami almost always have iffy moments in its wardrobe choices for women (with a few games wonderfully ignoring that standard), but this is odd for both series, even if a major part of the game is music and the idol industry. That fact may justify the idol segments and costumes, but not the combat clothing.
I hope this doesn’t mean that the game will turn out to be a dud, because this is one many fans have been anticipating for a while. However, I can’t say the same for all fans, since some of them have taken issue with more than just the costumes:
(Disclaimer for those of you already typing angry comments: We are aware that Hayao Miyazaki never actually said “Anime was a mistake.”, that doesn’t change that so much of the industry makes it believable he would say it)
Sadly this is pretty much what happens when Creepy Marketing Guys are left unsupervised and decide that the visual aspect of the game is the most important part (it’s the easiest to use in advertising) and so the “sex sells” angle is responsible for the success of the previous games.
Ironically, this tends to create more problems because as the Dead or Alive community has noticed – it makes it really hard to convince anyone that there’s actually anything else to the games.