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Oh, So That's How It Is
Happy (-475th) Birthday to Jul ‘Mdama!
One of my favorite things to do in a game is try to get out of the levels playable area and explore the surroundings.
My friend and I were discussing Sangheili/Sangheili designs and so I did a quick-and-dirty mock-up of WHY the design in H4 is so unforgiveable (in my eyes at least). I’m pretty versed in anatomy and have been studying creature design for awhile, so I like to think I’m coming from an okay place with these when I say that a lot of the design choices in Halo 4 flat out don’t make sense. And sorry if my chicken-scratch handwriting on the images is hard to read, kinda rush job.
Most troubling to me in terms of the Sangheili in 4 are their lack of space for any other sense other than vision and maybe taste (we’ve read in the books that Sangheili have tongues but never actually seen them). In Reach, their are clearly designed regions of the skull allowed for both hearing and smell (I imagine the nostrils are hidden under those folds of skin, that can “flare” out when the creature inhales to smell). In Halo 4, these are suddenly absent again. There’s no space for anything on the 4 Sangheili that suggests these structures. Now, it’s possible that they have internal structures for hearing (ex. snakes), except for the fact that their hearing is supposed to be quite good and they don’t hear via vibrations (again, thanks books). So. That doesn’t quite make sense.
There also seems to be almost no thought at all to the structure of their actual skull in 4. In reach, you can see plenty of subtle rises and grooves that kind of suggest the structure, complete with folds where tendons and muscles might be. In Halo 4, it’s all kind of just… flat skin. It’s possible that the skin is supposed to be looser, obscuring these details, but again the way the skin hangs on the model doesn’t REALLY support that. It still looks fairly rigid. It just seems like 343i didn’t give it much thought.
And what even are those bumps on the head supposed to be? Kinda just seems like something 343i threw on for the sake of trying to add visual interest, when that could have EASILY been accomplished like it had been in previous games: but just letting actual, sound anatomy speak.
TL;DR Halo 4 Sangheili design seems not-as-well-thought-out (and borderline lazy) when compared to previous designs. I might have not explained this very well or skipped over important stuff, I’m kind of super busy and don’t have much time to dedicate to this today haha. BUT YEAH please if you draw these guys don’t just go off the H4 models, give some thought to it!! I ALWAYS use the Reach facial structure because, aside from not being horrifically ugly like the H4 model, it actually gives you good anatomical details to fill in the gaps.
EDIT: THIS is a really good piece of concept art to show how Bungie was really considering the structure of the Sangheili’s face and trying to figure out all the different planes and regions of the skull would interact with each other and the skins and muscles. Fun stuff!
THANK YOU, scarlettemplar for commissioning yours truly to draw out an elite! My childhood flashed before my eyes as I drew this. …It was wonderful. Manly tears were shed.
I love finding lot sales… * u * These guys sell for around $50 a pop nowadays (if not more), but I grabbed them for WAY cheaper than that. It was insane. I might as well have gotten three of them for free!!