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Revealing The Finer Details Of Hellblade’s Mysterious Heroine

Jeff Cork
 

Ninja Theory’s upcoming game Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is being developed by a small team, with a modest budget. That doesn’t mean that the studio is scrimping on the details, however. One of the biggest areas that they’re putting particular focus on is the titular character, Senua. Today, we’re taking a closer look at the Pict warrior, pointing out the inspirations, historical roots, and other easily missed details behind her creation. Hellblade is set around 790 AD, according to the game’s creative director, Tameem Antoniades. “It’s specifically that period because the Christians haven’t arrived yet,” he says.

“It’s in the Orkney Islands, which is just off Scotland. Shortly after the Vikings landed in Orkney, the Celtic population in Orkney disappeared. People don’t know why. The story sets out to explain that. ” One of the mysteries that Hellblade is addressing – as fictional as the solution may be – is Senua herself. “They discovered a goddess fairly recently in England, and the only thing they found was a carving on a stone that says, ‘To the goddess Senua.

We have fulfilled our vow. ’ And there are some gifts there. There’s nothing else known about this goddess. We thought there was a nice little mystery there – who’s this goddess and what vow was fulfilled? SenuaSenua’s in-game model is the result of high-tech scans and motion capture. A Serbian company, 3Lateral, scanned in the face of actress Melina Juergens using proprietary technology.

Juergens portrays the role of Senua in the game, and she’s also Ninja Theory’s video editor. Face paintThe Picts’ distinctive face-painting is the reason why the Celtic tribe earned the name. “The Picts were a people that used to paint themselves in war paint using woad, like Mel Gibson in Braveheart – though he was several hundred years too late. The Pictish warriors were given the name by the Romans, because they were pictoral. They were like barbarians, and were mostly naked in fact,” Antoniades says. Records from this time period are sparse, and what the painted designs actually looked like has been lost to history.

Ninja Theory decided to keep Senua’s paint simple, and within the bounds of something that she would be able to apply to her own body. “We actually grabbed paint and made patterns on paper and scanned it in and put it on her,” he says. If you look…

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