From one Hel to another, this week. This particular one is from SMITE, which is a game that lets you play as various deities from different pantheons. This was their interpretation of Hel, who they split into 2 forms instead of keeping to the original mythology, where she was a person who had 2 different-looking halves. Ok, fine. But could they not have made her just a generic white woman? Twice?
So that was my main beef with the original, besides the nonsensical clothes: the lack of any connection to her Norse roots, and her original myth. To briefly describe her game mechanics, which I was also considering while redesigning her: White Bread is a healer/support, and the Jelly Sandwich is a debuffer and does some over-time damage. The player’s able to switch back and forth between them.
In that vein, I decided to make Vanilla Wafer and Blueberry Tart into Old Woman Healer and Undead Monstrosity, respectively.
[Warning: There’s a close-up of her corpse face below the Read More!]
I was sent some lovely reference pictures of traditional Norse clothing, which I used to build the warm, functional clothing for the Old Lady half. I went with a color scheme that would evoke the frosty conditions of Niflheim, the place where her domain was located.
She floats in the game, so I was able to get away with impractically-long skirts.
I also made her a woman of color, because why not? Honestly, the sheer Whiteness of the original just had to change.
The scarf is her dog, Garmr. Since this is her healing half, the dog is nonthreatening (even though I used a wolf scarf for reference, shh).
For her debuffing half, I just took the idea of the fact that in the original myth, half her body looked like a corpse, and went all out with it. And like a corpse, she’s got no tits, cause fatty tissue is the first to go in the decomposing process.
Since she floats, she didn’t need the legs, and the dog becomes an angry knife inspired by traditional Norse knives. In-game, it would be mostly the animated knife that would attack. Over-time damage can be flavored as bleeding from a bite, stuff like that.
So that’s my Hel. I had a lot of fun working on her, especially because we don’t get to work with older ladies a lot, and I got to use a lot of cool references.
Ozzie just gave me the idea of giving each version one eye, since the corpse has 2 and the old lady doesn’t, which would have been a cool idea.
Now if only SMITE would remove their depictions of Hindu dieties, but that’s a rant for another day.
Tidy Up Tuesday #78
A couple things to tidy up this week!
A reader asked whether we can announce subjects our redesign streams beforehand. Sometimes the notification post hints at it, but usually not, considering we tend to pick the theme last minute…
…but this particular week we’re doing special #50 stream, in which we’ll be sexifying dudes from some particularly popular game. Hope that helps!
This is truly fantastic not only for the authentic touch of the culture, but also for the excellent choice of a dancer outfit for a character who has elegant dancing sequences as her emotes. This is really the sort of thing I’d hope to see in a game as touted for diversity as Overwatch is.
I really do wish that Jeff Kaplan would look to these kinds of designs and priorities for his goal of “trying to do women characters better” rather than looking for ways to make their previous design standards seem more acceptable under casual examination.
This design comes from a game about Norse mythology. I challenge you, our readers, to take a guess at which character from Norse mythology this is. I’ll wait.
Did you say Hel, who is the villain of the game Viking: Battle for Asgard? If you did, you must have read our post about Foldable HumanDan Olson looking into So Bad They’re Good games from a few months back. Because that awfully specific answer is indeed correct…. unfortunately.
I can’t even comprehend what the art direction was for this concept. What in the Hel (ha) is this? I was only able to find this single promo picture where the full glory of this design is shown, which I can only assume is because if she stands in any other way, that belt bra will slip off.
But let’s also not forget Freya, who also makes an appearance in the game!
So whenever i would watch movies and see The Badass Female Character fighting in various ways, something about it always bugged me. I just assumed it was internalized misogyny that made me dislike characters like black widow and Tauriel and tried to make myself like them.
Then I was rewatching Mad Max Fury Road the other day and I noticed that nothing bothered me about watching Furiosa fight and I realized the problem wasn’t watching women fight in movies that got on my nerves.
Watching the stereotypical Badass Female Character she always has these effortless moves and a cocky, sexy smirk on her face as everything is easy. Watching Furiosa, she grunted and bared her teeth. Her fighting was hard and it took effort and it hurt like fighting is supposed to. For once her fighting style wasn’t supposed to seduce the audience it was to be effective.
I wasn’t disliking these characters because they were women I was disliking that their fighting was meant to remind me they were women. High heels and shapely outfits and not showing effort or discomfort because it’s more attractive to effortlessly lift a long leather clad leg over your head rather than rugby tackle someone.
It’s the same with the Wonder Woman movie too. Fighting is hard and it takes effort, blocking bombs and bullets with a shield makes her grimace and bare her teeth with the effort it takes. She’s not flip kicking bombs she’s yelling and straining, not because she’s weak or bad at fighting but because that’s what it would be like.
I really hope we’re moving into an era of women having fighting styles designed for realism and not how hot it looks for the men in the audience.
We as well hope that more media gets away from those tropes and starts portraying women fighters as just that – people who fight, with no pretense that their precious femininity needs to be preserved at all times. Especially when male characters are treated completely seriously.
Every year, Hanzo bypasses the bodyguards of Hanamura to visit Shimada Castle, employing all manner of tactics, combat, and costumes.
Storm Arrows take the shape of rabbits.
Dragonstrike is now Rabbitstrike.
There isn’t a single thing I don’t love about this concept: The quiver that’s too short because it’s ~magic~, the tattoo going up his entire leg, the raw magic bow, the little mask.
We all know that Hanzo is a ranged combatant, so he doesn’t need to wear actual protective clothing. Indeed, those shoes probably help him be stealthier! And if someone does find him and tries to initiate in melee, he’s got the distraction tactic all ready to go with those buns. It’s perfect.
Blizzard really missed a golden opportunity with the magician skin idea. I am conflicted about one thing though…. which skin of the bottom 3 is my favorite!! How am I supposed to choose?