Mirror’s Edge Moefication


Parkour ’em up game Mirror’s Edge seems to have attracted more attention with its character designs than with any other aspect of the game, specifically where the notoriously ugly (to 2channers at least) protagonist Faith is concerned.

Naturally, 2channers soon set about improving matters, and now it seems the moefied version has attracted more attention than the nondescript original, overseas as well as in Japan.

Animated comparison (enlarge to view):



There are some interesting comments to the effect that she looks Chinese (she would be ugly either way, I’d wager) rather than “Asian” (let us not forget this is a lazy term, and there is as much variance between the appearance of East Asian races as there is between European “whites” or African “blacks”, that is to say, a lot). Some go so far as to say the moefication is actually Japanification…

The game producer responsible, Tom Farrer, is on record as saying:

“I remember when I first had that image sent to me. To be honest, I found it kind of sad. We’ve spent time in developing Faith. And the important thing for us was that she was human, that she was more real.

We really wanted to get away from the typical portrayal of women in games, that they’re all just kind of tits and ass in a steel bikini. We wanted her to look athletic and fit and strong [enough] that she could do the things that she’s doing.

We wanted her to be attractive, but we didn’t want her to be a supermodel. We wanted her to be approachable and far more real. It was just kind of depressing that someone thinks it would be better if Faith was a 12-year-old with a boob job. That was kind of what that image looked to me.”

It seems he thinks gamers, Asian or otherwise, should accept his “real” ugly character and like it. Possibly, he should have considered looking at what passes for beauty in the East Asian markets prior to actually designing his orientalist vision of what a gritty Asian women should look like, but never mind.

Interestingly, 2channers actually reworked her back in September, and you can see something of their chaotically evolving efforts below:



We should doubtless subject the matter to a vote:

Poll unavailable.

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    Comment by Kyuu
    08:18 05/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Rather a unique and strong character design than the same kind of moe blobbery that you see in every game nowadays. That's all I have to say.

    Also, there's nothing wrong or unrealistic about her original look at all. She's not supposed to be an archetype-Asian average display of facial features; she's supposed to be a person. And people look different. I say kudos to the designer who actually realized that, as opposed to so many others.

    Comment by JRZ
    08:38 27/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    I wonder when the above comments are talking about the moe version, are they talking the 2nd pic or the last comparison between the original and the fugly?
    i'll blame the post for making a very biased question. The last "moe" one=ugly and way overdone. The first one which was sent to the producer actually looks a lot better than the original. You simply cannot justify ugly with it being "realistic". The 2nd pic still retain the badass attitude without the in-your-face deliberate input of evilness.
    and that's one ugly haircut and shading the original version got.

    Comment by Question Mark
    08:31 02/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    isnt it just easy to say that Faith is ugly, i mean if u dont want ugly dont buy it, but seriously u dont buy the game if the characters are ugly unless that is all u can appreciate then why dont u just get a magazine?

    Comment by Ayu
    07:34 11/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    the classical lucy-liu syndom.

    tha lucy liu look = asian lady

    gee that illust sure is ugly.
    how can anyone in the world like it?
    i'd hit the improved, moe version.

    i wonder if the game is any good...
    i didn't buy it, cuz she's so ugly...

    Comment by Esura
    02:38 08/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    WHY do people like the Moe version anyway? Its kinda creepy if you ask me.

    Oh, and this site ROKS.
    Bookmarking it....

    Avatar of XxLolimasterxX
    Comment by XxLolimasterxX
    02:50 08/12/2015 # ! Neutral (0)

    Dude.. Sankaku will tear your brain off from inside your skull. And yes, moe version is creepy to some at least. The female action game characters surely have to represent more of a fighter expression than that "I'm so kawaii bang me" expression.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:01 04/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Wow...quite a bit of...interesting comments, disturbing comments, and general ignorance all abounds here huh?

    First of all, I'm not sure if any of you actually bothered playing the game, but IT'S IN FIRST PERSON. You NEVER see her face during the entire game (cutscenes excluded). There are no mirrors (ironic actually), no pools of water to look into, and not a single reflective window close enough to actually look at. Why the hell should it matter what she looks like since the game is more about YOUR experience. Really, you guys need to play a game before making your judgments. Besides, it's an amazing game worthy of every bit of praise it gets.

    Second, she's EURASIAN. Not 100% Asian. I realize that's not an instant justification of all her features, but it certainly helps justify some of her so-called "genetic facial anomalies".

    I'm not sure what's up with some of you guys, but as a 100% Asian male born and raised in a traditional family, I still find the original Faith to be much hotter. Her face is that of someone whose strong, independent, and capable of taking care of herself (which she does A LOT in the game in the form of beating the crap out of policemen), exactly the things I want in a woman. I realize some of you guys suffer from the weaboo complex of desiring petite, weak, subservient women, but your preference is in the minority. The "moe" version is honestly just creepy. I mean really, people are welcome to fantasize, but to actually claim that the game would've been BETTER with this bullshit "moe" version just lack the insight to the game's actual theme and tone. Sorry guys, but when you're mother's been killed, family fallen apart, and your entire life destroyed and rebuilt into George Orwell's "1984", you're not going to be a happy-go-lucky loli chick.

    Ah well, I guess this entire argument is really just because Faith is ultimately the one thing Japanese patriarchal society fears most: An athletic asian woman whose strong and independent on both the outside and the inside and isn't afraid to kick ass. Oh, and has short hair. ;)

    Comment by Aesshen
    01:06 05/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Short hair! Can't have that short hair.


    Comment by Hunter
    10:17 06/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    "Sorry guys, but when you’re mother’s been killed, family fallen apart, and your entire life destroyed and rebuilt into George Orwell’s “1984″, you’re not going to be a happy-go-lucky loli chick."

    What does that has to do with anything, you are saying that a female with a cute face can't have her family killed or her entire life destroyed ... does it make any sense ... not to me cause having a cute face or a large breast has nothing to do with losing your family or having your life fall apart .. it could happen to any character.

    The actual problem with the first/original Faith is that the designer doesn't realize she is also stereotypical in her looks ( i'm sure you can say the same on the second .. but read on ), the problem is not which one is stereotypical .. the problem is arrogantly pointing at the second ( cuter one ) and calling it stereotypical while the original is as much or even more stereotypical.

    As for seeing or not seeing her face .. that's not the point of discussion really ... the discussion is about the character design in general not the actual gameitself .. Sigh.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:59 07/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    The original is at best equal in stereotyping, but I'd go so far as to say the original isn't really stereotyping at all. The "Dragon Lady" cliche has been dispelled from popular opinion long ago, so I don't know where people are thinking that Caucasians think of that when they hear about an Asian girl. There ARE women who look like that, the correlation was obviously not malicious, the designers just thought it looked mature and edgy.

    What makes Moe Faith so bad is she is basically the Asian female everyman. There is absolutely nothing unique to her, aside from the fact that she has an impressive rack. I wouldn't even be able to associate her to this game if I was shown the image five years from now, she's so generic.

    Comment by Mikiway
    Comment by Anonymous
    16:17 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ditto. A fine post, sir.

    Comment by kenjiharima
    00:32 04/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    The art is great, but lacks moe. Glad they made it that way.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:53 04/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Meh. The game fits the main character having a face like a razor. The up-moe-ficated version looks rather pudgy instead.

    Comment by Shimu
    00:11 04/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    ah the second image is adorable @ _@

    Comment by Rogersick
    07:04 04/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    both are somewhat realistic. i.e. there are people irl who look like either Faith. Both are stereotypes. My personal preference is for moe Faith, though the size of the eyes make me lol as always. The producer is probably evil Faith.

    But... how attractive or how busty she is, isnt that unrelated to "We wanted her to look athletic and fit and strong [enough] that she could do the things that she’s doing." For example, Dante from Devil May Cry has an Adonis figure. But we dont think hes badass because of that, right?

    Avatar of Toiski
    Comment by Toiski
    08:48 04/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Long argument on what is, essentially, the racial lineage og the main character in a first-person game that isn't even good.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:39 04/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    I will have to be frank; it is completely unreasonable to project "moe" values on this game, especially since it is a western game.

    "A lolita face with a large chest"
    This is what is exceedingly popular in anime right now, and it seems to me that the people supporting the "moe" version of Faith are not considering the tone of the game she is in.

    Of course, they are welcome to fantasize, and there is nothing wrong with imagining a "what-if" moe version, but for anyone to say "no, she should have been like this" is insulting the efforts of the design team, whether they mean to or not.

    Avatar of Esura
    Comment by Esura
    08:23 04/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    ^ Artefact, thats kind of an ignorant way of thinking. I can understand not wanting real people in manga but, come on dude, games and film!? If real people dont "belong" in games or films, why are the most popular games like GTA IV, CoD 4, CoD WaW and the most memorable movies such as The Godfather REAKS of realism? People DO want realism, even moreso nowadays. Of course many people will want escape from realism, like myself, but many other people love realistic portrayals in media as well.

    Ordinary mediocrities? Thats what makes stories so much better. The concept of the average Joe or an anti-hero is increasingly popular. The idea that an average person with flaws can change the world is quite intoxicating. People can relate to these types of characters more than the typical "perfect protagonist" you seem to prefer. This theme is also very recurrent in anime and manga as well as video games and movies.

    And I prefer the original Faith more than that bullshit Moe Faith.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    There are no "real" characters in Hollywood. That is merely an aesthetic.

    You're missing the point - the fact that these "ordinary" people have significant flaws or are caught up in extraordinary events is precisely why they are not in fact real. They are all embodiments of an archetype which people find deeply appealing.

    And the anti-hero has been a popular archetype for millenia...

    Comment by Esura
    02:53 08/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    No....the anti-hero has not been around for millenia. Do you know what a millenia is?

    In actuality, anti-hero has been around since 1714, only 294 years from now, but until Shakespeare and various Victorian-themed literature emerged, anti-hero wasn't commonplace. Even after them during the late 1800's and early/mid 1900's, the anti-hero archetype was in decline over stereotypical perfect hero saving the damsel in distress or saving the world.

    Comment by ein
    09:33 19/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Of course its not been around for millennia. Do you not know what a hyperbole is? Also, millennia is a plural. Millennium is the singular.

    Comment by neonshadows
    05:15 25/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Shakespeare was before 1714.

    Comment by Aesshen
    07:25 04/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    This is unbelievable. People, the woman in the picture at the top is not ugly. She's wearing some pretty extreme eye makeup, which makes her eyes look "slanty", but she's still pretty. Or rather, she's interesting-looking, which ought to be good enough for a character you hardly ever see in the game. Plus, who said she was pure Japanese or Chinese and had to look exactly like someone's idea of those races? She looks like she could be a mix. Or from Eastern Russia. Or (heaven forbid) a somewhat atypical East Asian. Shockingly enough, not everyone in a given country looks like a stereotypical version of that country's standards of beauty. And as to the other argument, even if she did look like a "dragon lady" (which she doesn't), no other aspect of her characterization conforms to that. She doesn't mix up her l's and r's or wear a cheongsam. Unlike, umm, 99% of Chinese characters in manga. But that's okay because they're moe, right? Yeah, why don't we just make Faith a dojikko and give her a gun the size of a building and have her wear a fluffy skirt and increase her breasts 120% in size and flash her panties every time she jumps.

    Ugly. Jesus Christ. Even if she was, what the hell would it matter? She's a parkour-ing courier in a video game world, and you never actually have to look at her face. Why does she have to fit a 2-channer's already skewed vision of what's cute? Not that anime-style girls aren't wonderful, because they are, but if everyone looked like that, including people in completely separate forms of media than anime and eroge, it would suck. Okay? I'm sure you don't want to wake up in the morning and have Solid Snake or whatever protagonist of your FPS's turned into a bishounen, so let's just all be big kids and let the occasional female video game character be skinny and non-sexualized and kind of like a real person.

    Actually, come to think of it, the original version looks eerily like the Asian-American actress Bai Ling. Who I'm not particularly fond of, but I'm hardly going to accuse her of not looking like a member of her own ethnicity because she doesn't fit my "standards".

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact
    07:47 04/12/2008 # ! Astronomical

    Real people don't belong in games, or in manga, or in films. People don't want them.

    Thousands of years of literature and legend have determinedly avoided these kinds of portrayals. They want exceptionally brave, handsome, beautiful or even flawed characters, but not ordinary mediocrities.

    This is an essential element which underpins all story telling.

    Interesting that you mention Snake - he is ruggedly handsome, hardly some "realistic" weed.

    Comment by Aesshen
    01:03 05/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    The mention of Snake was intentional knowing that he's handsome, but not a hairless, weirdly prepubescent bishounen such that female otaku tend to like. He's an attractive male character who appeals to both genders, because he doesn't fit a narrow moe subtype. All I'm saying is that Faith, with her strong and interesting features, is the female equivalent to that, and that turning her into a large-eyed moe girl would be the same as turning Snake into something out of a shoujo manga.

    Look, moe girls and boys (with their exaggeratedly youthful features and huge eyes) are great. But more realistically depicted adult men and women with interesting, different facial features and athletic bodies are also great. Rejecting the first picture of Faith seems to me like a rejection of an entire kind of attractiveness, one that is (sadly, maybe) much more common in the real world than every woman looking like a 12-year-old with a boob job. Which is, let's face it, the express purpose of a lot of anime character design - isn't a loligao with kyonyuu the stated ideal for a lot of otaku? Unless you're going for petanko. Again, I'm not complaining about that - but it would be pretty freaky if every form of media, including western video games where the anime influence may be less or different, used moe as its visual standard.

    Comment by Detailoid
    08:31 04/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    ho hum...
    >Real people don’t belong in games, or in manga, or in films. People don’t want them.

    I can agree on that a majority probably don't, but I'd say there's a significant amount of people who do enjoy more realistic portrayals (realistic, as opposed to the "grimdark" trend of late in movies).

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:42 06/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Aren't flawed characters real in that sense? And aren't most films based off of real people? I believe its real people doing exceptional things. Just most exceptional people aren't ugly or fat :P

    Comment by Huziwara
    08:33 30/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Try to imagine a bishounen Rambo and you'll get the point.
    May it sound strange, but normal people in literature are usually much more important that your average hero. You don't care about them that much, that's all. And specially in my country. Interestingly, I've never ever seen a Mirror's Edge in a second-hand wagon as I've seen Soul Calibur IV and many other supercharacter games. That is, people don't grow bored of it.
    I'm with Original Faith, period.

    Comment by Mac
    03:36 21/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Faith would just not look right with big eyes and a round hair cut, she looks nice as she is. Besides I think having big breasts would get in the way when doing parkour.

    Comment by masquevale
    10:57 27/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    my fanart on Faith - http://masquevale.deviantart.com/art/Faith-Mirror-s-Edge-105536301

    As for chara design, I like moe! But for Mirror's Edge its all about gameplay for me. I still like moe.

    As a FPS game it isn't halo,its pretty linear like typical japanese action games. Running can actually be very fun indeed.

    Can't wait for the sequel.

    PS: and hey Silicon Knights did really good job remaking Metal Gear Solid for the gamecube. Hope DICE outsource PSP and DS version to some japanese developer. XD

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:30 28/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Before anyone responds calling me racist or something I myself am half Japanese so, whatev.
    Weeaboos, shut the f*** up. This isn't one of your fantasy animes, go watch some hentai for your moe-girl needs. Faith rocks. She's bad-ass, not some tween-aged whore with unrealistic tits. And who cares if she looks Chinese!? Her ethnicity was never specified so stop automatically assuming Asian = Japanese. It's disgusting. You people need to haul your sorry asses back to reality pronto. This isn't a Japanese game, so why do you expect Faith to be a representation of moe??

    Comment by Huziwara
    08:08 30/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Faith sure ROCKS.
    And as an interesting point, if you are saying that a videogame doesn't have to be real, then the "asian" character doesn't have to be a REAL asian girl.
    If you want big eyes and boobs come to spain, we have lots. As for Faith, as I've already said, she rocks. I'd date her .-.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:26 30/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    In regards to the character design, as a Asian, it's like someone walking up to me and pulling up the corners of their eyes. It's fucking insulting. Just because whatever douchebag to first to bring an Asian woman to the West had some sort of slant-eyes fetish, it doesn't mean it's the norm. It would be no different than if an Asian publisher marketed a game here with the main character (and cover art) being a black guy with a fro, huge lips, and holding a watermelon, or a fat white guy in jeans and a tucked in American flag shirt. Though according to some of you, that's perfectly fine, because that's their vision.

    As for gameplay, it's pretty imaginative, but lost my interest after a few hours. Definitely a rental.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:50 30/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I dont get what all the fuss is about. I think she looks hawt.

    Avatar of Ben
    Comment by Ben
    03:47 01/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Wow, Chinese and Japanese look as different as Blacks and Whites? You're really stretching it SC...

    Avatar of XxLolimasterxX
    Comment by XxLolimasterxX
    02:46 08/12/2015 # ! Neutral (0)

    Staph da image chains before it becomes too realistic!!

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:03 24/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    eh i am not going to buy this game since she looks ugly as shit.

    I tend to judge the book by its cover, so far I've been right.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:46 21/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The really funny thing about all this is that I'm 100% Chinese and live in the US. The original Faith design looks exactly like my sister LOL.

    I showed the design to her ex-boyfried (him and I both work as senior artists in the games industry) and he said, "Holy shit! She looks just like your sister!"

    So to all you guys who think Chinese girls don't look like that, I call Bullshit.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:02 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    it's kinda bad that people hate on the second picture, saying that it's fake, because there are actual people that kinda look like that....

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:12 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yes, but not people who jump off buildings for a living, for god's sake. Faith is supposed to be a bike courier on steroids, not some tart in a D-Cup.

    Not to say the second picture is bad, but the criticism by the designers is entirely valid, and they're well within their rights (it's their damn IP - god forbid they have their own view on the matter).

    Comment by Mikiway
    09:45 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    What IS attractive?

    Nobody can tell for sure, it depends on ones sensibility and it's true that before releasing a game, one should analyse the market.

    But you know what? I understand Tom Farrer and I wish he had the guts and the power to say: "You dislike our character design? So, that's too bad because the design is part of the game. We're not releasing the game, now FU."

    Personnaly, I hate the moe version. Moe is moe, mixing these two genres together is stupidity. This game isn't about boobs. (I also hate big boobs)

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:06 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Wow -- all these comments on Faith's appearance.

    I think the _real_ reason the game is on discount is because its gameplay sucks.

    You have to figure out the _game creator's_ method of overcoming obstacles; you can't just do what reasonably and logically should work.

    Avatar of twin blades
    Comment by twin blades
    13:52 04/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    moe looks cuter plus bigger boobs:3

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:44 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ugh. The moe faith looks like Rinoa. Seriously, look at her, they stripped out all of Faith's personality and individuality and turned her into a bland idol. I find it sad that the people who frequent 2ch cannot accept anyone that is not beautiful, not "moe." I bet they aren't paragons of the male form.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:57 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't think original Faith is ugly. Not really beautiful either.
    But the "moeficated" character, the rage and BAWWWs of the 2channers and almost every comment in this post are just a giant facepalm.
    Hopefully none of you will design characters for videogames ever.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:32 11/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    This is why we shouldn't have stopped after only nuking two cities. Back to work...

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:19 02/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    moefied picture reminds me of a street fighter drawing or that one character from tekken that chases kazuya's son around, that guy who turns into a devil angel

    Comment by Sosososo
    05:57 18/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Seriously? I mean.. seriously?
    She needed bigger boobs? really?

    This is some crap made up by people who live in a fantasy world where all humans should look like Asians from Japanese movies or even worst.. like anime.

    Welcome to the REAL world. where people have square jaw lines, creepy looking eyes, and come from all kinds of cultural backgrounds. What's her race? Who knows.. who cares.. why is it so important?

    She looks way better in the original.
    the last picture is just terrible... the "moe"d version looks like something out of a hentai game.

    go out and look at real people sometimes. geeez'

    Comment by Rincewind
    06:04 21/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    REAL world? Thanks but I pass, the real world is boooooring and ugly.

    Comment by Huziwara
    08:19 30/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Sadly, you're living there.

    I say the original Faith's beautiful (but not cute, hm!), you say she's ugly. Woah, our opinions differ =O great deal.

    There are ugly humans living in this world, incredible. If you really think Faith is ugly, you've seen nothing.

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