ByMarlon McDonald, writer at
Umm... are you going to drink that Skooma?
Marlon McDonald

There are some great and iconic video games characters within the realms of entertainment history. Ones so aesthetically pleasing that people will adorn their walls with posters of them, get tattoos and even name their children after them!

But the task of creating the quintessential hero, the face of a franchise that will attempt to stand the test of time, is one of the most difficult of all. Sometimes, as with the case of Mario, the seminal design of the character was created to cover the cracks of a significantly underpowered format!

And Lara Croft is another great example. Her ample bosom only exists due to an accidental slip of a programmer's mouse during the creation of the first Tomb Raider game!

(Mario image via Image Juices)

Many famous video game characters have undergone significant changes to their design from their development to your cupboard. Here's a few of the most boggling...

Half Life's Gordon Freeman

(via Half Life wiki)

Probably the most hilarious on the list, Gordon Freeman's original design, was created by Half Life and Counter Strike concept artist Chuck Jones. Ivan's wild beard, flattop hair style, crazy eyes and bulky HEV Suit earned the build the nickname "Ivan The Space Biker." And It's rather fitting! I'm glad Valve decided to go with the more subtle glasses and goatee combo.

Bioshock's Little Sisters

(via Bioshock wiki)

Interestingly, the ADAM hoarding Little Sisters were originally desgined to be these weird looking chipmunk things! I'm at a loss trying to figure which is creepier. The evolution process led to the image in the middle, which had the Sisters looking disheveled and ravaged from the process of becoming a Sister.

God Of War's Kratos

(via Kratos wiki)

The demigod was originally designed to resemble a character that would't seem out of place in the seminal Jidaigeki film Shogun Assasin. David Jaffe, God Of War's creator remarked that he wanted "to give players a character who they can play who really does just let them go nuts and unleash the nasty fantasies that they have in their head." And with Kratos' latest brutal design, I think he achieved just that. These designs actually appear as costumes in God Of War 3.


(via Massive Black)

Can you believe that Bayonetta, the leather/PVC clad, gunheel toting, Umbra Witch badass could have turned out even cooler, and a tad less sexualized? In these steampunk-esque concept designs, SEGA were attempting to appeal to the West, in fear that a "sexy" witch in glasses might not go down very well here...

Halo's Master Chief

(via Halo wiki)

Master Chief's initial concept designs look like something out of the coolest 80's kids show you could ever imagine. Look at conceptual artist Shi Kai Wang's design in the middle! So cool. Even with the bandolier. But with all the rounded edges and wires (there was talk of Chief's outfit having an antenna!), they don't look particularly imposing. The last one looks like a VR Trooper. Good thing they decided to settle on the Chief as we know and love him today.

So that's the lot. It's great looking back at the earlier iterations of our favorite games characters. Do you think you would have loved these games as much with a different hero/looking hero as the center point?


Which concept design was the most crazy?


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