Character Design - Narrative

I’ve been trying to come up with some narrative ideas for the given cartoon show to help fuel my character designs. Set in an alternate world with technology slightly more advanced than our own, the setup is as follows:

Our hero must fight to save the world against the evil cyborg forces of VILLAIN. Their terror and oppression has reigned supreme over the lands and has scattered the neighbouring nations into chaos and disarray. As the last surviving subject of the Renatus* Project, Hero must unite the lands before it is too late and stop VILLAIN once and for all.

*Renatus (Latin for rebirth)

Hero is the most advanced subject of the Renatus Project, a project designed to refit and augment soldiers with cybernetic technology. Having suffered a particularly fatal injury that left him on the verge of death, Hero required some of the most advanced forms of cybernetic technology to revive him. However, the process was never fully complete with the facility being destroyed under the attack of VILLAIN – Hero barely escaped with his life. Confused and ill-informed of the cybernetic technology invested in him, Hero soon becomes the last hope capable of defeating VILLAIN.

My initial thoughts for Hero is to be a young ‘coming of age’ male perhaps in his early twenties, to reflect his initial naivety of the technology his possesses. Therein lies the character arch where he learns how to wield his abilities and accept the responsibility that has been placed upon him. As such, perhaps he should be of an athletic build and not too muscular, while also having some visible scarring from his injury. A limb or two can be replaced with a cybernetic one, although the key is to retain his humanity with a visible human face and form.

While the technology of Hero may perhaps be more advanced than in the video below, the exoskeleton suit is certainly an intriguing idea and could perhaps be the technology of the standard soldiers that Hero will fight.

Her motivation for conquest is for the expansion of her empire with world domination in sights. Yet, the arrival of Hero and the technology he possesses sparks her interests, and thus begins a hunt to capture Hero and take the technology from him.

I intend to make the villain a female character in order to juxtapose the typical male archetype of a soldier cyborg. In this way, I must maintain a fine balance between femininity and power to ensure the character remains appealing as a woman while similarly appearing to possess the authority to lead her minions.

Perhaps a prime example of a female villain cyborg is the Borg Queen from the Star Trek series. She very much maintains her female form and structure in a sensual and compelling way that is also hauntingly frightening with her lack of humanity and relentless sense of power and authority.

Check out fascinating documentary of the borg queen herself in the video below, note her particular mannerisms that are quite captivating.

I’m still unsure about the sidekick character, whether he/she/it will be assisting the hero or the villain. My initial thoughts are to have a robotic/mechanical creature of a smaller stature that assists the major character, perhaps similar to that of Mushu in Mulan but in a more pantomime way such as in Wall-E. Although its not strictly a cyborg, I believe a robot/mechanical creature will fit in the world of the cartoon show.

Hopefully, I'll get some designs up soon but feel free to let me know what you think.


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