Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Character Design: Marluxia

Marluxia, the (sort of) first Big Bad of the Organization.  (Although, the Final Mixes throw a boss battle with Xemnas in KH1)

He is also a localizer's nightmare.  He's got a giant pink scythe, a flower motif, and his frightening motif is based dramatically more in Japanese ideas then American ideas with no real way to explain them in text.

Marluxia is based on the ideas of Shinigami, the Japanese version of the Grim Reaper.  However, the idea of the Grim Reaper didn't make it to Japan until around the 1800's (by which time the European and American ideas of the Grim Reaper were already firmly established)  the Japanese ideas of Shinigami tend to be a bit... wide ranging.

The World Ends With You Shinigamis (they are called Reapers in the localization)  are completely different from the Bleach Shinigamis which are, in turn, different from Death Note

Examples: The World Ends With You:
Generic Reaper: 

Bleach Shinigami:

Death Note 

The flowers, on the other hand, are Cherry Blossoms.  In Japanese mythology, Cherry Blossoms are connected with the fleetingness of life.  So those flowers that accompany him everywhere? It's him saying "YOU ARE GOING TO DIE."

These subconscious cues are very important.   These should be our ways to let the player know his motif and powers.

And, in cases like this, normally there would be text inserted to explain the powers.  Unfortunately, there was no space to do it with Chain of Memories, so these cues are lost on non Japanese audiences. 

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