This time we get stuck into one of History’s most well-known leaders, a young Alexander the Great.
What were/if any the goals of the design for Alex?
Alexander was probably one of the more difficult characters to tackle, especially because people are quite familiar with what he looked like, as well as the image built by movies and books. We wanted to do something that feels true to the historical record, but also give him a bit of a twist, a face that tells a story.
Is the Alexander our players encounter in Elegos the Great Alexander of history yet?
Yes and no (depending on if you believe in parallel universes or not). Unlike games like Assassin’s Creed where historical accuracy is paramount, Elegos overall is using the setting and some historical figures, but we’re not obsessing over bringing him back like for like. However, a lot of his personality is based on historical records, so there is a big overlap there.
Just like the historical records, our Alex is a willing practitioner of intimidation, cruelty, and violence — but never without cause. Somewhere inside him are classical Greek principles and inclinations that he’s long since suppressed in exchange for power and control.
He is intelligent enough to know that great rulers know how to play the game. He was very well-educated for his time, and was personally tutored by Athenian philosopher and scientific theorist Aristotle (who will also appear later in the game).
Our version of Alexander has a prominent facial scar, was this something intended in the design or did it come about organically? Is there a story behind the scar?
Just like in the historical texts, our Alexander was a brilliant and skilful military commander, with a keen awareness of how to read a battlefield and a deep understanding of how to employ one’s economy-of-force. Interestingly, he had an uncanny, almost masochistic desire to confront almost unthinkably impossible odds, and would never shy away from a challenge even if that meant putting himself at risk. That could suggest traits of psychopathy in the sociopathic spectrum.
He was known for his reckless behaviour and sexual prowess, which is further evidence of that. Knowing all that, when we were working on the character design I noticed we kept coming up with these ‘pretty boy’ faces and something just didn’t feel right for someone who was well known for loving combat and confrontation as much as he did. So we added the scar et voilà! he came to life.
Like his Mother Olympias we see a strong use of Green in Alexander’s clothing, can you talk a little about the importance of colour in the design?
Green is the colour of the Macedon empire — this was another very intentional choice, first and foremost to visually distinguish the game from other similar games where the blues and reds are usually dominant. From there on it felt quite right — the strong contrast, as well as the shade we went for, is quite poisonous.
In the Prologue, you’ll also see his design that features the fashion armour we spoke about too. Overall, you should be able to tell he had a great interest in the holy and arcane. His piety and desire to keep in good company with the divine is likely a result of his belief that he was a son of Zeus as supposedly told him by his mother Olympias, so he feels the need to almost dress like a god.
But! There is a much bigger story about the colour progression in the game, but that’s for another post.
Until next time!