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The Monsters of God of War: Ascension – The Elephantaur

Aaron Kaufman's Avatar + Posted by Aaron Kaufman on Aug 02, 2012 // Community Strategist, Santa Monica Studio

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Elephantaur - God of War: Ascension for PS3

God of War: Ascension’s Elephantaur is a Minotaur hybrid unlike any ferocious enemy you’ve seen yet in the God of War universe. You could call him an evolution of the Minotaur… or perhaps the beginning? We’ll let our famed concept artist Izzy answer that for you. Let’s roll!

Now that you’ve given us a glimpse into the creative process that spawned the monstrous Polyphemus, let’s plunge our blades into God of War’s newest baddie: The Elephantaur! Tell us a bit about its history and how you managed to turn one of nature’s most noble creatures into such a hulking juggernaut.

Izzy: For God of War III I had worked on the Berserker class Argus monster that was later cut. When I originally started doing sketches for that guy, I had done a painting of a pale elephant coated in blood like a gladiator. That image got scrapped, but ever since, I’ve wanted to do another scary elephant monster.

When the Elephantaur came up, it was originally an assignment to reskin the Minotaur from God of War III for God of War: Ascension. We had planned to do a different kind of Minotaur, and I did several sketches of ideas for the monstrous herbivore. I did my due diligence and tried to make a new version of the classical creature, but I kept running into a lot of the tropes that have been used before. I wasn’t very satisfied with those and kept getting more and more exotic with my influences. I whipped up some anthropomorphic bulls, yaks, bears, lizards, turtles and even a rhinoceros…but in my heart I wanted to bring back that elephant.

It’s also not a commonly known fact that the “peaceful and noble” elephants are, sometimes, total ****. I had a bad run in with an elephant in Thailand that thought it was really funny dunking me in the river Kwai again and again. The locals thought it was hilarious, too. But ever since… I’ve known them for what they really are: the giant grey bullies of the forest! So as an artist I drew from my suffering and humiliation to really make this guy an evil bastard. It fits our God of War universe perfectly.

Elephantaur - God of War: Ascension for PS3

This franchise is known for producing the most visually stunning take on the colossal beasts of ancient Greek mythos to date. How much of a challenge is it to constantly up the ante on the design of these legendary creatures?

Izzy: Character design on a franchise like this is both a blessing and a curse. You have the profound joy of painting monsters and certain scandalous body parts for a living. You get the thrill of being part of a project steeped in bad-ass myth that is vibrant with history and exciting imagery. The cost is rough, however. We are always trying to top ourselves.

Our benchmark for bad assery is so high that the pressure is nail-bitingly intense. My team’s task is simple. Kick-ass. Constantly. It’s very hard, but much like Kratos, we just snarl, leap in, and hack into the meat of these things!

Elephantaur - God of War: Ascension for PS3Elephantaur - God of War: Ascension for PS3

Early concept art for Elephantaur (left) Final Elephantaur design (right)

At first glance, the Elephantaur looks like a towering brute with an anger issue! However, if you pay attention to the intricacies, there is a ton of detail there. He is decked out in full battle gear, everything from his barbed tusks and morning star trunk to his gigantic, man-sized club just screams BOSS! What was the intent of giving him that many tools of destruction?

Izzy: The Minotaur in the last God of War game was a savage beast. We toyed with some versions where the creature was armored up, and a bit more intelligent, but something really primal won out on that one. I feel that the Elephantaur is the perfect marriage of brutality with homicidal intellect. I felt he should have weapons and armor that were deadly but also a little elegant. His tusks have long nasty blades attached to them, and he grips a deadly elephant-style cestus with his trunk.

All of this was meant to give him the appearance of a heavy martial artist that had total command of his tools. I included a massive club for him to use as well. If you pause our E3 gameplay footage you will see that it’s made of the tusks of his fallen enemies. I like to imply some culture and history in these designs, and that small tidbit makes me imagine the culture he comes from.

For much more on the Elephantaur, including additional concept art, head on over to the official God of War site now.

//Add Your Own

36 Comments

1

+ T3DV0L70L1N4 on August 2nd, 2012 at 6:10 am said:

Awesome! When will we see what the Collector’s Edition Kratos statue looks like?


2

+ M_NUSone on August 2nd, 2012 at 6:14 am said:

Looks sick,especially the blades on the tusks! Is he a boss or someone Kratos will encounter often in the game?


3

+ HiddenConcept on August 2nd, 2012 at 6:32 am said:

He looks darker and more threatening in the graphic art than the in game screen shot.

I still love it.


4

+ nYcFrEeWiLL82 on August 2nd, 2012 at 6:46 am said:

I ALSO HAVE TO AGREE WITH COMMENT #1…I REALLY DONT NEED EVERY DETAIL OF THIS GAME…ITS A MUST HAVE GAME OF 2013..I ALREADY HAVE IT PRE-ORDERED.SO ALL I REALY WANT TO KNOW IS HOW THE STATUE IS GOING TO LOOK..I HAVE AN IDEA..BECAUSE IVE SEEN ON ON THE GOD OF WAR BLOG..AND I REALLY HOPE ITS THE ONE! BECAUSE IT LOOKS PERFECT!!


5

+ JamesBlonde777 on August 2nd, 2012 at 7:24 am said:

I think it looks silly.


6

+ snakeeyes211 on August 2nd, 2012 at 7:43 am said:

I know when I saw the video of it getting killed it made me sad


7

+ snakeeyes211 on August 2nd, 2012 at 7:45 am said:

I hope the trophies are single player related and not multiplayer so I can get a platinum like I have an every other God of war game


8

+ Alyyse on August 2nd, 2012 at 7:47 am said:

I’m so ready to play this game.


9

+ WFMMK on August 2nd, 2012 at 7:55 am said:

I’m loving all the info about this game so far. But as other have stated before me please keep the trophies offline only kind of like how Uncharted treats online with extra DLC trophies. I think I’d love to play the online but I hate for it to be ruined by having to grind for online trophies.


10

+ L1ftedResearch_ on August 2nd, 2012 at 8:03 am said:

I’ve never been grossed out by any GoW kills but in the demo when Kratos opens Elephantaur’s skulls so nasty. in a good way.


11

+ ERC1980 on August 2nd, 2012 at 8:09 am said:

Elephantaur sure looks intimidating. Good thing he/she doesn’t exist in real life!

@ #7 and Aaron, I don’t mind multiplayer trophies as long as they’re not stupid difficult to get or are time consumers (like get 100 wins in each mp mode, “looks at Starhawk”)

I also want to see the contents of the collectors edition

For the price of 80 bucks I’m worried the quality of the kratos statue will be less than impressive

tell me im wrong Aaron


12

+ TomatoDragon on August 2nd, 2012 at 8:17 am said:

Was totally enthralled with the design of this guy. Can’t wait to light him up. :)


13

+ StealthReborn– on August 2nd, 2012 at 8:24 am said:

“I whipped up some anthropomorphic bulls, yaks, bears, lizards, turtles and even a rhinoceros…but in my heart I wanted to bring back that elephant.”

I could see all of those in the game, but turtles? Turtles?!

I think it would be too slow to catch Kratos and end up being some turtle stew instead!

Would love to see the concept art on a turtle though! =)


14

+ slaYer127 on August 2nd, 2012 at 8:29 am said:

NICE. This was actually my favorite enemy from the demo. Hope to see some more creatures in the future!


15

+ jimmyfoxhound on August 2nd, 2012 at 8:47 am said:

lol where’s the Slothenator or the Llamasaurus


16

+ ABNVOX on August 2nd, 2012 at 8:52 am said:

wow these monsters look brutal! i cant wait to play this game!


17

+ AdamMosh on August 2nd, 2012 at 8:56 am said:

can’t wait to play Ascension I’m a real God Of War fan but SONY you must do something about an x-box fanboy site called Gamespot they are attacking Ascension so bad and the game hasn’t been released this really pisses me off.


18

+ MarinoBrea on August 2nd, 2012 at 9:09 am said:

I would have asked him where in Greek Mythology he found inspiration for this elephant?


19

+ D-Squad3 on August 2nd, 2012 at 9:24 am said:

Can’t wait for the Collector’s Edition!


20

+ D-Squad3 on August 2nd, 2012 at 9:49 am said:

So when can we expect the MP beta?

@MarinoBrea Todd Papy has said that the Cyclops was created because of people finding the skulls of elephants which seemed to have 1 hole in them where the “eye” was placed.


21

+ Ethereal on August 2nd, 2012 at 9:51 am said:

Sweet! This game looks amazing. Consider a copy purchased =)


22

+ PrinceofXIII on August 2nd, 2012 at 9:56 am said:

looks boss ^^


23

+ FreshRevenge on August 2nd, 2012 at 10:21 am said:

I love the Elephantaur! I can’t wait to spill his brains out! That sounded Evil!:) I want to see more beasts but I can wait to get the game next year! I really want to see Argus Monster in God of War Ascension! Great Job Izzy! Keep it up man!


24

+ tusunami on August 2nd, 2012 at 11:17 am said:

These are the reasons that Gow series shines like a sun, because of game developers behind this series.


25

+ RageMyGoddess on August 2nd, 2012 at 11:37 am said:

Looks amazing! :)


26

+ Kesai on August 2nd, 2012 at 11:56 am said:

Did anyone else watching Kratos fight the elephant man for the first time think that Kratos was going to cut off his tusk and use it as a weapon to bash the elephant mans face in? I was almost positive that was going to happen, and I still maintain that it would be cooler than the brain.


27

+ Kesai on August 2nd, 2012 at 11:57 am said:

Actually I meant trunk, not tusk…although the tusk is an option. I thought Kratos was going to turn the elephants trunk into a ball and chain to use against him.


28

+ Kepp83 on August 2nd, 2012 at 12:01 pm said:

Hey, of course the game would be great. What else is there to say. Dont get upset about the trophies, if trophies were easy to get then everyone would have them and then players would complain about that. Keep up the good work!


29

+ KwietStorm on August 2nd, 2012 at 12:02 pm said:

Just play the multiplayer is you so desperately need your coveted platinum trophy. Stop whining about online play.


30

+ proud2be on August 2nd, 2012 at 1:52 pm said:

lOOKS interesting.. BUT WHEN WILL THE COLLECTORS EDITION ITEMS BE READY TO SHOW?


31

+ OniEyes on August 2nd, 2012 at 4:05 pm said:

@ 29 KwietStorm

Multiplayer is for bros who take it in the pooper.


32

+ harrydacoola on August 2nd, 2012 at 6:06 pm said:

When can we get hold of a demo?


33

+ footballrule on August 2nd, 2012 at 9:42 pm said:

Any chance of a demo before the release?


34

+ BloodDrunk1985 on August 3rd, 2012 at 12:00 pm said:

SOLD!


35

+ dat413killer on August 3rd, 2012 at 6:23 pm said:

For one of the Elephantaur’s moves, it should use it’s trunk to lift Kratos and then smash on the floor several times, then fling him yards away. It would be a good idea because it would relate to the way Izzy was dunked into a river in Thailand by an elephant. Anyone else with me?


36

+ SWITCH_00599 on August 4th, 2012 at 7:41 am said:

#33 Santa Monica always releases a demo :)


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