Jade, plucky photo-journalist and guardian to a lighthouse full of orphans, was never a pin-up heroine. With her short shock of black hair, loose trousers, furrowed brow and smear of green lipstick, she always exuded a tomboyish quality. She seemed at odds with gaming's ever-fashionable, always sassy big-titted female protagonists.
As individual as early years Lara, Beyond Good and Evil's main character nevertheless has a Parisian sort of appeal. Her sexiness is derived from a depth of character, inner strength and air of continental detachment, not her voulez-vous-coucher-avec-moi eye shadow. With that in mind, is it wrong to be excited by the prospect of spending time with her in high definition?
Jade, much like the game she fronts, has always inspired infatuation. Partly it's a sense of pride in her achievements. Here is a woman who, from BGE's opening moments, shows a selflessness and generosity in caring for those weaker than herself that is rare in videogames.
The very first act in the game is one of protecting the weak - albeit expressed in the down-to-earth-challenge of topping up an electricity meter that's run out of credit, in order to fire up the shields protecting the orphans' home from invasion.
Then, over the long haul of the game, the narrative curtain draws back to reveal a woman who grafts at her profession. By photographing trafficking atrocities, Jade inspires a planet to rise up against its invading captors.
She can fight too, of course, but gaming's default language of violence is muted in favour of other, more cerebral tools in her arsenal. That's the sort of theme to power an inspirational Hollywood blockbuster, not a videogame: a protagonist who saves the day using steely determination rather than weapons. And since the game's launch, those who spent time in her presence have long clamored for her return.
So the answer to the question of whether it's wrong to be excited by spending time with Jade in high definition is: no, not at all. The only definition that ever really mattered in Beyond Good and Evil was found beneath the skin, and it's as sharp today as it ever was.
But while the most exciting prospect of this XBLA/ PSN re-release is the opportunity to revisit one of the Xbox's most beloved and idiosyncratic releases, it's important to give appropriate credit to Ubisoft Shanghai for what seems like an assured, technically accomplished overhaul.
The game appears to breeze along at 60 frames per second and loading times have been vastly reduced. The updated textures and models solidify and add detail to what were always fairly handsome clusters of polygons.
The world of Hillys may not have had its boundaries expanded, but it has been smoothed and rendered for a modern audience. With the help of the extra definition we see creator Michel Ancel's vision more clearly.
The addition of leaderboards, no doubt to ensure the game falls in line with Xbox Live Arcade technical certification requirements, seems a little superfluous. But alongside the introduction of achievements and trophies, these new features do nothing to diminish BGE's appeal.
And that appeal resides primarily within the way the game tells its story, more than the story itself or the game mechanics fleshing it out. With Beyond Good and Evil, Ancel - currently hard at work on the true sequel at Ubisoft Montpellier - first displayed his keen ability to tell stories through videogames. This attracted the attention of Peter Jackson who, as a direct result of this title, hired him to create the game adaptation of King Kong.
At the start of the game you are dropped into a world caught between two evils: the invading aliens and the totalitarian army. The army's role is ostensibly to serve and protect, but its troops mainly end up adding to people's woes.
Initially, your job is to raise funds for the orphanage by photographing the wildlife found on Hillys. Via a glorified yet satisfying mini-game, the snaps you take of Hillys' fauna are uploaded to scientists seeking to catalogue all remaining life on the planet in exchange for credits.
But soon enough your photographic remit expands to take in the brutalities you encounter as you explore. These images are printed in the resistance's underground newspaper and begin to have a social impact.
There's a nippy pace to the game, more filmic than ludic. Delight comes more from the moment-by-moment twists and turns than the overarching storyline. Peter Jackson once said that he didn't choose Ancel to turn King Kong into a game because of his plot-writing abilities; he chose him because of what a good storyteller he was. Right from the get go, it's clear this is where the game's enduring appeal is to be found.
In mechanical terms, Beyond Good and Evil is showing its age a little. The stock components of contemporary action adventure games are all present and correct: hand-to-hand combat, stealth, mini-games and collectibles.
But even at the time of the original's release, those less enamoured by the story and setting declared these elements were rendered too simply. Taking each one in isolation when playing the game today, they each appear unsophisticated to a contemporary audience.
In 2003, the game's various elements pulled together to deliver an experience that's more than the sum of its parts. Returning to the first couple of hours of the game now, eight years on, the experience is surprisingly fresh. The game has a tight, slimline feel which shows up many contemporary releases for being bloated and unwieldy.
All of which makes the prospect of this digital release enticing. At 800 Microsoft Points (£6.80), the chance to revisit Hillys in HD is irresistible. The game is being re-released on the right platforms at the right price. But more than that, it's the right time to reunite with Jade, the elfin lighthouse-keeper, who still has so much to teach us.