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In Sword Art Online Season 1 in ALfheim, when Asuna escapes from her cage to try and log out, we see 2 researchers who have taken the form of slugs.

Is there a particular reason why their character models are different? Sugou uses a normal fairy character model (though it's Oberon) and considering that the 2 researchers we see are just monitoring the captive SAO players, extra appendages won't be any use for them. Not to mention in a game where you can fly, their slug forms would force them on the ground.

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    Probably so we could have things like this – Michael McQuade Jun 4 '16 at 8:31
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    @MichaelMcQuade oh yeh, because seeing Asuna assaulted and almost raped isn't enough fan service – Memor-X Jun 4 '16 at 8:41
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    IIRC, the assault was told in the light novel worse than depicted in the anime. – 絢瀬絵里 Jun 4 '16 at 11:37
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The research virtual space and the game world of Alfheim Online are (conveniently, I'd say) hosted on the same server, but the researchers are not playing the game, nor are supposed to exit the facility (i.e get at ground level).

Apart from monitoring the SAO players, those two guys are actually experimenting with sensory expansion (as they mention it in their dialogue) and to do so they have a different model because of the mapping of the additional/expanded senses to tentacles and such.

Because of their increased sensitivity they appear easier to harm, as Asuna does after some time.

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