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Atlus Used Motion Capture for Khonsu in SMT V

Atlus Used Motion Capture for Khonsu in SMT V

Over the past few months, Shin Megami Tensei V Character Designer Masayuki Doi offered insights into different characters. Each one appears alongside concept art for the featured person. This time, there’s a new look at Khonsu from SMT V. In addition to going over the inspiration for his look, Doi revealed he’s one of the characters where motion capture was used for the performance.

Here’s Doi’s full statement about Khonsu’s SMT V appearance. It begins with a bit of backstory explaining the character It also went over his new look. Then, Doi spoke about how motion capture helped during development.

Today, I’d like to introduce Khonsu. Like Hydra from last time, he, too, was originally a demon we didn’t intend to illustrate separately, so we’ll be sharing his retouched 3D model images as well as his concept art.

Khonsu has appeared in the SMT series once before, making his debut in Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner, and because he fit a certain role within the story, we decided to bring him back around, this time with an all-new look.

Khonsu is the lunar god in Egyptian mythology. Bearing a name that sounds similar to the Egyptian word for “placenta,” he is said to be a protective deity who looks out for the pharaoh. It is also said that, when the pharaoh passes away, Khonsu is known to slaughter human sacrifices and offer them up as a form of nourishment, which highlights a more ruthless side to him.

In terms of design, we mostly kept his appearance true to the way he’s been depicted throughout history. Looking to mummies for inspiration, we decided to wrap certain parts of his body with black gauze.

His unique hairstyle is said to symbolize childhood, which we depicted here as a headpiece composed of crescent shapes and layered discs. To call upon his more violent nature, we also armed him with a crescent-shaped khepesh and reddened his nails to give the impression that they were covered in blood.

There are a few cutscenes in this game where we utilized motion capture for both human and demon animations. I think these dynamic performances bring more life into the characters, but it’s especially true for Khonsu, as we feel we were able to give him notably distinct movements, largely thanks to the work of his actor. In my opnion, these movements and the way he thrashes around with his khepesh are definitely worth keeping an eye out for.

In terms of story, Khonsu fulfills a role rather unlike that of the other demons. He’s a unique player in the game, and while I’m sure people may form varied opinions about him, I do think we were able to portray him in an interesting and compelling way. Please do look forward to seeing him in action!

And here’s both the concept art and 3D model for Khonsu in SMT V.

Some of Doi’s past updates discussed characters like Hydra and Lahmu.

Shin Megami Tensei V will come out on the Nintendo Switch on November 11 in Japan and November 12, 2021 worldwide. Siliconera’s review is also live.

Jenni Lada
Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.