In honor of Final Fantasy VIII Remaster releasing next week, Dengeki Online released some images that some eagle eye fans noticed are slightly different than the original. Twitter poster Hiecchi was the first to point out some interesting changes to Siren.
If you have issues seeing the difference, basically more feathers were added to the crotch area. Other figures and pictures from the past show that she has never looked that way and it has always been a pelvis cover. This started a long debate about what, if anything, else is different about the game.
Sankaku Complex found that Shiva, whom features a similar design in regards to the pelvic region, looks the same in both versions. This has lead to rampant speculation that the change was less because of the design and more the color scheme.
Where Shiva looks has multiple darker blue plates covering her lighter blue skin, Siren has a more natural human skin tone, with a blonde plate that could easily be seen as something more explicit. Just going into this debate, it was one of the first things I thought when I saw the image, though I obviously was looking for something that would be changed, making the choice understandable, even if a large number of fans disagree.
Where things start to get interesting isn’t the changes in Siren, as much as the speculation about Rinoh’s cleavage.
What makes this debate a lot more interesting, is whether or not it’s simply a function of improving the image and dated practices or a choice they made to limit how exposed she is. Personally, you can see the two share a lot of similar design points. The undershirt matches how it points down in the original and has similar look next to the garment on top, except it clearly is a bit higher.
Odds are we will get a better idea when Final Fantasy VIII Remaster releases on Sept. 3. Personally, I don’t think this is a change as much as an update to the style to reflect the intended image. So, it’s more coverage, yes, but not in a way that goes beyond the original intensions that were either too difficult to achieve back then or simply a limitation.