Mr. Finger Candy likes to joke that my taste in video games is completely schitzoid – it’s either totally family-friendly, G-rated fare (currently working my way through the PS4 reissue of the Lego Harry Potter series) or it’s a blood-soaked, LSD-fueled descent into Victorian era madness (I’m awaiting 2017’s release of We Happy Few, a gorgeous, Bioshock-ish game about a filthy, dystopian version of 1960s London where everybody pops a super mood-enhancing drug called Joy to distract them from all the real activities going on in dirty, dystopian London, which would be mind control and slaughter. Good times!)
2011’s Alice: Madness Returns, a favourite of mine – indeed, I launched this blog with nothing but those first rough Alice designs – falls squarely into the latter category. It’s beyond messed up – rough subject matter, abject cruelty, nasty blood and gore. Cripes, why would I play such a thing? Well, I haven’t, not since I platinumed it back in 2011 (yes, I just used “platinum” as a verb.) But Alice ranks as a favourite simply by virtue of its beauty; it’s the most gorgeous video game I’ve ever seen, filled to the brim with mesmerizing visuals. Sometimes I’d just park Alice on a cliff and randomly swing the camera around, taking in every inch of the sick (in every sense of the word) artwork.
Getting down to these inspired-by nails, our girl Alice wears black and white striped tights. And since American McGee’s version of Alice can’t seem to take two steps without running something through with her Vorpal Blade, I added a bit of blood spatter. Finally, when Alice needs to take giant leaps across immense chasms, she busts out this nifty little double-hopping float that (usually) lands her gracefully on the other side. The best part of that move (aside from the physicslessness of it all) is that when she hops, she’s swept up in this pretty little tornado of blue, black and white butterflies that guide her safely to the other side. So I added some of those boosting butterflies – can’t be too careful when you’re running (floating) through Wonderland hacking and slashing. 😉