A little while back I celebrated the announcement that there would be a HD remake of Final Fantasy VII with a little list of suggestions to nudge the production toward what I think would be a better game. D’oh, I missed the two most important aspects of the game; Tifa’s Lockhart’s tits.
In the original release of Final Fantasy VII Tifa appears in cutscenes and many official art depictions with some rather large breasts. Seems a little impractical for a kung-fu fighter character but if we’re going to let Cloud run around with the impossible to actually wield Buster Sword then it’s a little nitpicky to complain. In subsequent appearances like the Advent Children movie Tifa is redesigned to still be fairly buxom, though far less cartoonish.
But now, gasp, social justice warriors are clamoring en masse to have Tifa taken down a few cup-sizes in the name of reducing sexism. Robin Ek on The Gaming Ground broke the story about the boycotts, the calls for change, the articles screaming at Square Enix to restrain that sweet, sweet fantasy sweater meat in the name of feminism. Weird though because Ek includes no links, screencaps or any other evidence.
That’s because there isn’t any. SJWs don’t give a crap about Tifa’s chocobo eggs.
Here’s what really happened. The remake was announced and then folks like Sam Roberts on Reaxxion started predicting a feminist backlash against the game. A prediction that not a single writer or commentator of note has fulfilled. No, not even Anita Sarkeesian. Yes, I checked her Twitter.
Over on the GameFAQs forums they can’t stop talking about Tifa boobs ever, but with the possibility of bouncy high definition knockers they’ve gone full-on spank monkey. There are at least 10 threads discussing every possible aspect of her boobs, a few pre-wanking over possibly seeing the slap-fight with Scarlet in high definition, and not a single one with any interest in speculating how her roulette-based martial art skills will be updated for the latest console capabilities.
As far as I can tell Patient Zero for this whole “SJWs hate my waifu’s beautiful breasts” nonsense was a single post on NeoGaf. The user, Soldier, laid out some fairly innocuous thoughts on which depictions of Tifa best represented her as a character that was more substance than cheesecake fan service. Since this post got picked up and archived by the GamerGate community it’s likely it’s this very, very reasonable and non-screaming essay is what riled the hornet’s nest and got some gamers claiming feminism is here to ruin a bunch of fanboys' pin-up.
Some, like Ek above, try to frame the argument as protecting depictions of all female body types from the politically correct death squads. It would be much easier to believe that if thin women with large breasts were not very, very common in gaming. More likely it’s just that old GamerGate nonsense; trying to co-opt the speech patterns of the marginalized but failing badly.
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The only people who give a fig leaf about Tifa’s chest are the hordes of horny gamers who have confused a video game with a masturbation aid. Guys, look, if someone wants to beat off to Tifa there are options. This is the 21st century, a golden age of fan porn that has never been seen before. I typed “Tifa” into the search field on Redtube and there’s a two-hour compilation of high-quality animated videos where Ms. Lockhart is involved in nearly any sexual position you could possibly desire. Yuffie, too. And Yuna. And Lightning. And Vanille. And Rydia. (Author's note to the editor: Ha ha, you paid me to look at porn). Whatever kink pleases it’s there, readily available, mobile-enabled and totally free. Knock yourselves out.
There’s nothing wrong by being aroused by a character in a piece of media. I’m crushing on Cassie Cage myself, but I know the difference between her as a character in a video game and her as a sexual fantasy. It is possible to play a game without having a boner the entire time. Is it not enough that one of the greatest games ever made is getting re-done with technology that is starting to cross the line from impressive to black magic? With all that going for us is the most pressing question still, “will she give me the same awkward erection I had when I was 14 and saw her boobs bounce in the cutscene before the motorcycle chase?”
The inability to tell the difference between when it’s time to play a game and when it’s time for someone to whip out their dick has largely been the problem under discussion in gaming for these last several years. If you don’t like the size of Tifa’s boobs in the final product, if you feel they aren't doing enough to embiggen your joystick, don’t worry; the Internet will fix that. In the meantime can we stop expecting game developers to make cleavage the number-one priority in arguably the main female lead of the game? Some of us are busy hoping for a good voice actress and a decent, controllable Meteor Strike.