Thursday, May 31, 2012

New Male Medusa OC By Leon De Leon and Aneros And a Look at Uprisings Thanatos

One thing I did like in Kid Icarus Uprising was they way they handled Medusa. She was given a lot of style. I like how they played her straight, portraying her as a big boss character and not trying to force her into any kind of comedic banter. I liked her new look a lot and they at least they briefly brought back a bit of her old classic look as well. What I didn't like was how, after focusing so much of the games marketing on her, she all but vanishes after chapter 9. Chapter 9 of 25 levels. :( It took them two decades to bring her back and she's not even in half of the game. That's a big rip off. Hopefully she'll come back in part 4, if they ever get around to that. Nonetheless, her appearance in the game is with out a doubt one of the most memorable returns in video game history. It was nice while it lasted at least. U__U

When I talked to Leon De Leon about doing Pit Icarus, I also brought up doing a male version of Medusa. Instead of using the games design, we decided to go for a unique design based more on the Clash of the Titans Medusa instead. The best part was the character created turn out to be a strong black character with wicked, WICKED snake dreads!!! Our Gorgan may be more noble then the classic monster. I can see him as a strong brave warrior. His proud chest and bulging muscles seem to hold a heart of gold, not one of wicked intent.

I was very impressed with the fantastic art by Leon and the amazing colouring by Aneros.
He added lots of great details, especially on the snakes. He added some groves to show where the snakes were joining into the head. The skin sorta rises there. It's a cool effect.
The background created the perfect setting and mood for this creature.
The entire piece looks like a portrait from an old book, or life size portrait found in a dark secluded section of a museum. In my local museum, the ROM they would have this very tight areas very little light. There would be wall size pictures and displays that were all very haunting. He very much reminds me of the those painting there. He's creepy, but ever so sexy! XD Thanks very much guys! This has to be in my top 10 of the year already. ;D

Now on the opposite end of characters going black, we have something actually found in the new Uprising game. O__O

Some fans have complained about Medusas reduced role in Uprising and it seems that just as many are unhappy with what became of at least one of her snakes. In the final battle of Kid Icarus on Nintendo, Medusa would launch her snakes called Tanatos at you. Their name was simply meant to mean death. The writers of Uprising have Tanatos becoming Thanatos, the God of the Dead. This is a character that has risen some controversy among players and onlookers alike.
Basically Thanatos is now said to be a shape shifter. My question is, why did he turn himself into a black faced cannibal stereotype? Just look at any Little Nemo, or some such comic, or cartoon from back in the day and you'll see many characters that look like this guy running around in Africa. From his big lips, skull jewelry, exposed torso and belly, to the humorously baggy pants (that look like they were obtained from his last unfortunate meal) there's very little denying the negative caricature he portrays. It's not the 1930s anymore Nintendo. How long exactly are we expected to give Japan a free pass on cultural insensitivity? I understand that Japan is a little behind the times, when it comes to race relations. There are places in Japan that don't allow foreigners to eat, or even enter. Problem is, this game isn't marketed only within the land of the rising sun. I wonder how people outside of Japan will reflect on this character as time goes on?

Now I must say, I personally don't get too offended by characters like this. It's not my battle. I've watched so many cartoons and read so many old comics, that I guess I can see where the racism lies and where it really doesn't. The thing is though, things fall under a different standard that were made almost a century ago, to something made in the 21st century. Maybe this assumption is a bit harsh, but I'm going to call a spade a spade here, the heck with it. When has Nintendo ever created a positive black character?

Sadly that's not the only stereotype he embodies. Thanatos is also horrifically flamboyant. He's possibly an even stronger gay stereotype then Disco Kid. I'm not sure if, as a gay person I should be offended that this character comes off like a gay bozo the clown. Should I also feel disgrace that a company I support, Nintendo in this day in age, isn't willing to churn out more positive gay characters? Food for thought I guess. It doesn't really bother me that much to be honest. His voice is more annoying then anything else. What do you guys think?

The real issue for many fans, myself included, it felt very strange that Medusas snake was turned into this flamboyant creature. It was even stranger that he later comes back as a dragon, but not as a snake. He never makes mention of Medusa in any conversation and shows no disdain at you for beating her either. For a creature that was supposed to be part of her, his lack of allegiance is fairly shocking. One has to wonder why they even tried to make a connection to Medusa in the first place and not just keep him as an original character? I guess they wanted a forth commander, but if so, why not allow him to revert to a snake at some point? They had no problem turning him into tons of other silly shapes:
The Bat I get, but what does a Russian Egg doll have to do with death? I guess they are creepy....

On a side note, I personally I think his design is a bit to busy. What's with the branches coming out of his back and the sperm ghosts set in permanent decent towards his chest? Why is his body made of a stone like substance if he's shape shifter? Why not smooth, or scaly skin instead?
Anyway, the bottom line is, some fans are reading into all this as yet another fuck you to the original game. That's never a good thing. >___< I can't help but feel the same way, unfortunately.

Oh and speaking of stereotypes...

well...let's not even go there.

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