Friday, August 6, 2010

Morrigan and Leliana face and armour mods

In the time since I made my own cosmetic Morrigan mod, there have been many more made, most of which are superior to mine, including one that I think much more successfully accomplished my goal of making her look like the Morrigan in the original concept art. I would recommend using that one instead of mine, and the only reason I'm not withdrawing mine from the mod database is that I hate it when people withdraw their mods from circulation (for any reason), and I've pledged not to do that with mine.

In retrospect, I think my mistake back then was that I was thinking of the character as more stylised, or cartoony, and it just didn't match with the general realistic aesthetic of the game. It should be interesting to see the Dragon Age 2 designs, though, since I've heard they're planning to move away from the realistic look and go toward a more stylised aesthetic.

At any rate, my recommended "concept art" face mod is called "Morrigan Lore Version 3", and it's part of the Dragon Age Redesigned mod, available on the Nexus. There are a couple of other variations for her in the same mod, as well.

Sacred Ashes

However, being better acquainted with the game and its characters since that time, I've gradually gained a better appreciation of the renditions of the characters as they appeared in the Sacred Ashes video and this "Accolade" TV spot (both by animation studio Blur), where Morrigan and Leliana were reportedly based on Claudia Black and someone named Alleykatze. I didn't like them at first, but they eventually won me over, and I now use mods that make them look like that. Again, there are many attempts, so I'll just spotlight my personal picks.

The best likeness to the Sacred Ashes Morrigan is in the Morrigan and Leliana Sacred Ashes Face Mod by endeavour1934, and it's the one I'm currently using. I always thought she looks pretty funky in the video, but she has kind of a Fairuza Balk look to her, as she looked in The Craft and The Island of Dr Moreau, so it works pretty well, and this mod accurately replicates it.

For Leliana, it came down to a tough choice between two Sacred Ashes mods: AT Leliana Face of Sacred Ashes Trailer by Azure Tenkai, and CGI Leliana Face Morph Sacred Ashes Trailer by fallingangel89 (though Sacred Ashes CG Faces is also worth a look). My choice was CGI Leliana, which comes in 3 variations, and includes the morph file so you can make your own tweaks to it. I liked Version 2 best, even though it's very close to the one included in my Morrigan pick above, and even though I like the makeup on version 3 better. I just think version 2 looks sweeter, and suits her personality better.

I still love Eshaye's Leliana mod, and I was reluctant to switch to the Sacred Ashes style because she's just so pretty in Eshaye's version, but she's pretty in a different way in the one I picked, and putting her in the Sacred Ashes armour completed the picture. I'll get to that in a moment.

Leliana's Song DLC

All I really wonder about this DLC right now is why Bioware features a great big image (and a very pretty one, at that) of the Blur (Sacred Ashes) version of Leliana on their promo page for it. For the original game, you could argue that the difference in character designs was just a case of the fluctuations that can happen between production and advertisement, but I can't figure out a good reason for it here.

I watched the trailer, and she looks nothing like the Blur version in-game, or even the way she looked in the vanilla game itself. If it didn't have her voice, I'd think she was just some random background character. Her in-game design doesn't look like it had much care put into it, and despite this being a flashback story telling of her younger days, she paradoxically looks older than in Origins. If they were going to change her design so drastically anyway, why not make her look like what they're using for promotional art? It would be pretty misleading if they didn't have the trailer right there next to it. Who knows -- maybe the big "WATCH VIDEO" on that page is a warning, like "Watch the video, so you won't think you're actually getting something that looks like this!"

Okay, so my comparison image has poor lighting conditions. The second image shows her in better lighting, and it's not so bad, but the fact remains that it doesn't match what it says on the tin.

Sacred Ashes armour for Leliana

So this was the last thing I did to complete the package -- get a mod that brings an approximation of that unique armour she had in the trailer. Of the ones I found, it came down to two options. The most accurate one, or the best-looking one. For some, these might both describe the same mod, but for me, they were different.

One is Armor of the Black Fox (previously known as Leliana Item Set), by Nezroy. This was my selection, and the one which you see on my screenshot of the CGI Leliana Face Morph. It's not as accurate as I'd like, compared to the armour you see in the above image for Leliana's Song, and to get those colours you need to also have the Universal Dye Kit. The mod author wanted to make it as modular and customisable as possible, but it was a bit of a pain.

The most accurate one is Leliana's True Sacred Ashes Armor by Raughnut (item called "Battledress of the Faithful" ingame, and is essentially equivalent to Wade's Drakeskin armour), and the only reason I'm not using that one is because of the shoulder/neck area. I don't like the way the turtleneck looks, and the shoulders make her look too wide, like her arms are actually attached further out than they should be. Well, actually, comparing the two outfits together in screenshots I took from the same angle, the arms' width are identical, so I think it's because the shoulder pads are so much higher, creating a bulky, top-heavy look. Compare for yourself and pick whichever you like. I'm hoping to see some tweaks on Raughnut's version. For now, I'm happy enough with Nezroy's, even though it's missing a lot.

I should note that in my screenshots here, I'm using the gloves that came with Raughnut's mod in both images.

Left: Armor of the Black Fox. Right: Leliana's True Sacred Ashes Armor

No comments:

Post a Comment