Sunday, September 09, 2012

Crash Bandicoot Hyena that never was

When I was developing Crash / Willy the Wombat in 1995 one of the characters Naughty Dog wanted me to design was a hyena character. The line drawing on the left is what I came up with. I think they changed him to a character that had a normal hyena body and not anthropomorphic standing on two legs and clothed in a  costume. The color version was created as a marker demonstration in class during the early days of my school The Animation Academy in 1998.

9 comments:

Gabriele Fiasconaro said...

So the enemy that you can see in the Demo Version of the first game in a unused level is a Hyena and not a Dingo. Wow this character is awesome, I wish I can see him in action one day if you will be able to work with Crash Bandicoot again.

Renan said...

WOW! This drawing looks great! Thanks for sharing it!

Pat Caldora said...

In case anyone wants to see the prototype version with the dingo/hyena character it's here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZW5yFRaQkUE

To me, it looks as though it's a precursor to what's known as Ripper Roo, with the demented look and the long tongue and all.

Kinda odd of putting a hyena in an Australian environment since they're no where to be found in Australia. Also, he reminds me of Ed, one of the hyenas from the Disney film, The Lion King.

Great work Charles!

Charles Z said...

Thanks everyone. I appreciate your comments.

Pat, the link your provided shows the character at around 34 seconds into the video. The head design was kept but the body was changed to a more anatomically correct version of a hyena or dingo. I'm pretty sure they went with a dingo. What I posted is the original concept for the character.

Gabriele Fiasconaro said...

You didn't designed also the generical enemyes right? You created only the character and then they changed him into a generical enemy.

Charles Z said...

I designed the generic enemies as characters first. Later on Naughty Dog made the decision to change them to simple animal type characters with no real personality distinctions. There were a few more I came up with besides this one. I'll find them and post the drawings soon.

Simon Strand said...

I didn't know or wasn't aware of there was a hyena character even existed.

Is there any reason why this character got scrapped from Crash bandicoot series on Naughty Dog's side?

Is it because of geographical range where the said animal is not native to?

I noticed that almost all of characters in Crash Bandicoot franchise that are native to Australia which the animals they're based from?

I fell in love with that Hyena character instantly after seeing him for the first time in 17 years since I was a fan of Crash Bandicoot.

Charles Z said...

Hi Simon. This version of the hyena was not used because Naughty Dog wanted a simple character that would be more like a hyena in nature. Not something that would function as a boss character or that had a distinct identity. More of an incidental character that would be part of the game play. Thanks for your comments and I'm glad you like this design. I like it too and feel that a personality along these lines would have worked well.

Fawaz Ghoniem said...

Listen man. Ripper Roo has never been, and never will be, a disgusting hyena. In fact, hyenas don't even laugh at all in real life. That's a stereotype, and Ripper Roos laugh has been retuned to sound different as well. Ripper Roo has always and forever will be a kangaroo, 100% genuine kangaroo.