Video Game Characters and Their Original Designs

LEFT: concept design for Bioshock's "Little Sisters", RIGHT: the final design
Creating an original video-game character is a long, difficult process. Many of the characters we have grown to love had to undergo numerous design changes before their look became finalized. The Big Daddies in Bioshock? As awesome and creepy as the character looks now, at one point, it was designed to be in a wheelchair. You'll be surprised how drastically different some of your favorite video characters used to look on the design floor.

Click to enlarge these comparison photos!

Big Daddy's concept designs (1st and 2nd), and its final design (3rd)
Bioshock's Big Daddies have always had an interesting design. Although these things have always had the appearance of a mechanical scuba diver, the iconic drill they carry wasn't always there. In fact, it appears as if they had tongs for hands at one point, as illustrated by the middle image. That may be very convenient for Korean barbecue, but not so much as a menacing weapon. In the first image on the left, the creature was designed to use a wheelchair for mobility and held what appears to be a gatling gun as a weapon. Not the most practical set-up, but neither is that giant drill.

Conker's Bad Fur Day
LEFT: Conker 64, RIGHT: Conker's Bad Fur Day
Conker is a squirrel that drinks, swears and urinates in public in the N64 platformer Conker's Bad Fur Day. However, the choice for him to behave this way wasn't always there. During the development of the game, the project was called Twelve Tales: Conker 64, and was planned to be a family-friendly platform game not too different from Mario 64 or Banjo-Kazooie. However, developer Rare feared the game would get lost in the crowd of cutesy platformers, and decided to give the game a huge redesign. Many thought the decision was an April Fool's joke, and the game was eventually released as one of the best-looking and critically acclaimed N64 games.

Resident Evil 2

LEFT: Claire's original design, RIGHT: Claire's tacky final design in RE2
I never understood why Resident Evil 2's Claire would dress like that. What is that--pink booty shorts over bicycle shorts? Luckily, she didn't always look that way. In an original design of the character, she sported a significantly less-tacky motorcycle outfit.

Jet Force Gemini
LEFT: Juno and Vela's original, cute design, RIGHT: Juno and Vela's slightly older final design
Rare's N64 shooter Jet Force Gemini received a complete graphical overhaul similar to the aforementioned Conker's Bad Fur Day. The original designs of the two main protagonists, Juno and Vela, were cute and colorful. The characters of the final product, though, have darker armor and smaller heads.

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