Monday, June 1, 2015

Super Hair-io: How Hair Defines Video Game Characters

Photo illustration via The AV Club
There's a lot that goes into character design, from artist's concept sketches to emulation of hardware limitations.  The Onion's sister site, The A.V. Club, has an occasional feature that analyzes various ideas behind representations of the body in video games. The latest entry in this series takes a look at an essential aspect of character design that you might not have even noticed before: hair!
Without hair, Mario’s nose and ear completely disappear, congealing his entire face into a beat-up wad of Silly Putty. His appearance becomes harsh and unappealing. Perhaps some minor indications of his mouth would have been added, but the beautiful thing about that mustache was that he didn’t need a mouth; we just knew it was there. Without the sideburns and mustache, this is just a chubby guy—no charm, no flare. Add the mustache, and you can practically hear his cartoonish Italian accent ordering a pizza pie. Mario’s hair didn’t just soften him, it made him affable.
The article also examines how hair affects the character design of the Final Fantasy series, Mega Man and Bayonetta. Give it a read!

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