GIF of the Day
10 Game Characters Who Looked Way Different in Their Concept Art
December 5, 2014
1. Beloved Nerd Gordon Freeman Was Originally A Grizzly Biker Dude
This character model (dubbed "Ivan the Space Biker" by fans) was indeed the initial concept for Gordon Freeman. Eventually the psycho-beard was traded for a goatee and glasses, but even then the Gordon we all know and love was given a douchey ponytail for a while afterwards, hooray for the '90s!
2. Kratos Was Almost a Samurai Dad... or a Tribal Warrior Man?
Kratos' creator David "Zeus" Jaffe has talked about how the Ghost of Sparta was born out of a feeling more than a look or story. The goal was to make a strong-chinned annihilator through which players could unload all the rage and brutality that tends to build up during the average weekday. The team at Sony Santa Monica experimented with several looks including a few that seemed a tad out of place in Ancient Greece before settling on the ol' bald and chains.
3. The Little Sisters in Bioshock Were Gonna Be Chipmunks
The premiere source of ADAM in Rapture went through a few iterations. The earliest idea was a wide-eyed bipedal chipmunk guarded by a homicidal robot (like a horrible bizarro "Ratchet & Clank"). Eventually the idea of the Little Sister/Big Daddy dynamic was fleshed out but the sisters' design was still evolving, as you can see from the balding Gollum-like version above.
4. Borderlands' Cartoony Style Was a Late-Stage Addition
game was rolling off the assembly line. A trailer had gone up, screenshots were released to all the gaming magazines, and the action RPG was going to take its place as another post-apocalyptic shooty-boom. Then it revealed a new art style that had the sketchy energy of a teenager's notebook. It's safe to say that this helped set it apart from Fallout, and gave them the chaotic sensibilities to pull off its more comedic sequel.
5. The Sorceress in Dragon's Crown Used To Be Less Redonkulous
was originally meant to be a sequel to designer George Kamitani's 1997 game
for the Sega Saturn. Alas, the late 90's was cruel to both 2D Fantasy-Action RPGs and Sega home consoles so the project was scrapped. In the intervening 15 years Kamitani got a bit more ambitious and the original character designs recieved significant "upgrades".
6. Chocobos Were Naked
Let's be honest, NOTHING in the NES Final Fantasy games actually looks like Yoshitaka Amano's concept artwork, so why would the franchise's iconic yellow megachicken buck the trend?
7. Team Fortress 2 Was Meant To Be Super Serious You Guys
Team Fortress' journey from freeware add-on to a freemium hat store took a long time (like
Duke Nukem Forever
long). Around 1999 TF2 was promoted as having a "realistic" military vibe and the title
Team Fortess 2: Brotherhood of Arms
. It wasn't until 2006 that the art-deco cartoony aesthetic we've come to love was revealed. Valve claimed that the title had been developed and redeveloped as "three to four different games" before being finalized.
8. Bayonetta Could Have Been a Steampunk Cowgirl Hipster (With Shorter Legs)
Sega was aware that Bayonetta's gothic fashionista look and distinctly Japanese sensibilities was going to hurt its appeal in the West. That's why they hired concept artists to explore the idea of altering the character to make her more appealing to the "freedom and Chee-tos" demographic. The results were these Umbra Witches that were more rustic with a frontier sensibility.
9. Master Chief Looked Like an 80's Action Figure
Halo wasn't built in a day and it took the work of several artists to refine the iconic design of Master Chief. It's like a crash course in character design, without the hard angles and towering physique, you just have an unintimidating spaceman, not the single greatest soldier in the galaxy.
10. Kingdom Hearts' Sora Was a Chainsaw-Wielding Lion Boy
Considering the giant corporations involved, there had to be some tough negotiations if
was ever going to be made. Disney was pushing hard for the game to star Donald Duck as the main protagonist, while Square kept lobbying to let them use Mickey Mouse. Meanwhile, Tetsuya Nomura stopped drawing zippers long enough to create a human hero wielding a chain-driven sword, a tail, and a Mickey-inspired wardrobe. Disney approved the initial design but thought the sword was too violent, prompting the invention of the Keyblade.
Bonus: The Last of Us' Ellie Was A Dead-Ringer For Ellen Page for a While
Ellen Page was all like "um dudes some French weirdo already paid me a bunch of money to be in his game so this is awkward" and Naughty Dog was all like "yeah okay that's a good point sorry".
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