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1. Arkham Asylum: Hello, Nurse!
Make no mistake: Harley Quinn was the breakout star of Batman: The Animated Series. And it didn’t take long before she was appearing in comics, movies, and TV shows.
In Arkham Asylum, developers brought back much of the Animated Series cast of characters and voices, and they gave Harley a sexy costume upgrade. But in this concept art, we can see an interesting blend of styles where the “sexy nurse” aesthetic is more pronounced, all while allowing Harley to retain her iconic headgear.
2. Bayonetta: All the Outfits
While she’s a newer character than some of these franchise icons, Bayonetta has a signature look designed to raise eyebrows as well as pulse rates. But she could have had an entirely different look!
As this concept art reveals, designers could not quit coming up with awesome new looks for this hot new protagonist. Maybe we’ll see some of these come to life in a future installment.
3. Pokemon: Capturing Godzilla?
Honestly, there are more unused Pokemon ideas out there than we can count. But our favorite discarded idea would have given you the ability to capture Godzilla...sort of.
In this concept art, we see a creature named Godzillante squaring off against another named Gorillaimo. The image gives some serious “Godzilla vs King Kong” vibes, and we’d love to have these guys fighting alongside creatures such as Pikachu.
4. Star Wars Battlefront 4: Jedi Gone Bad
Concept art for an unreleased sequel to an unreleased sequel may not sound very exciting. But the concept art for Battlefront 4 makes us dizzy thinking of what might have been!
We never got a proper Star Wars Battlefront 3 despite the game being nearly finished. And it was so close to being done that devs began coming up with ideas for Battlefront 4. As this art shows, those ideas included Dark Side versions of characters like Obi-Wan, Mace Windu, and Princess Leia.
Once you see how a Light Side Darth Maul looks, you’ll regret never being able to play this game.
5. Final Fantasy VIII Cover
The stylized cover for Final Fantasy VIII is pretty solid. It shows a stoic Squall embracing an emotional Rinoa, and this pretty much captures their entire relationship.
In this unused art, though, we see a cover with a more tender-looking Squall holding Rinoa up. Ultimately, I think the original cover is better, though it’s nice to see Squall showing some emotion...even if it’s just hidden in some concept art.
6. Final Fantasy V: Exdeath’s True Face
Final Fantasy V was something of a tease. When it comes to the Big Bad, Exdeath, we mostly see him in his armored form and then his Neo Exdeath form. But fans have wondered for years--what was hiding under that armor?
In this concept art, we can see what Exdeath was going to look like under there. And, real talk? This is actually much cooler than how he looked in the final game!
7. Overwatch: Jetpack Cat
Overwatch is no stranger to fighting animals. And this concept art shows us that the game very nearly had a killer cat with a jetpack!
Why didn’t we get this cool character? Allegedly, developers ditched the idea in favor of remaining quasi-realistic. But in a game with a talking ape and a giant robot-powered hamster, I’m pretty sure no one would bat an eye at the jetpack cat.
8. Overwatch: Bazooka Monkey
You know how you can tell when something is a really good idea? When you can sum it up in two words. You know, like “bazooka monkey.”
We don’t know much about this Blizzard concept art for Overwatch except that it features a tiny monkey with an oversized bazooka. And considering that this franchise made a hamster into a fierce warrior, we’d love to see what they could do with this manic monkey.
9. Gordon Freeman’s Whole New Look!
Part of Gordon Freeman’s design is that he is an everyman figure. Look past the interesting outfit and he is a bearded, bespectacled dude that would fit right into an office setting or an old-school LAN party.
But Valve originally wanted the character to stand out a bit more. In this unused concept art, we can see that he looks more like he belongs in Gears of War than in Half-Life!
10. Unique and Interesting Things
For anyone who has played Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, the design of Midna is quite iconic. But we could have had another design altogether!
This concept art shows many of the directions they considered going with the character. And while they are all cool, some of them are much darker and off-putting than the cutesy side character we ended up with.
11. Crash the...Wombat?
While not as iconic as Sonic, Crash the Bandicoot is a beloved gaming mascot. But fans came close to having a different character entirely!
The original idea was to have a character named Willy the Wombat, as shown in this concept art. Fortunately, discussions between Sony and Naughty Dog eventually gave us the familiar bandicoot we know and love.
12. Sonic the Rabbit
Sonic the Hedgehog is a classic character that is well-entrenched in our pop culture. In fact, he’s so entrenched that we tend to overlook the fact that a super-fast hedgehog makes no damn sense.
But in this concept art, we can see that Sonic was very nearly a rabbit instead of a hedgehog. It’s not a great design, honestly, but a speedy rabbit would at least invoke the story of the tortoise and the hare.
13. Breath of the Wild: Links in Space!
The Zelda franchise has done some pretty weird stuff across the different games. But everything is ultimately still rooted in the fantasy roots of the original game.
However, this Breath of the Wild concept art reveals what might have been a completely different type of game. Link is in space, he’s riding a motorcycle...if these elements were part of the gameplay, it would seem Zelda is now more about sci-fi than fantasy!
14. Halo: A Whole New Chief
The original design for Master Chief is really burned into players’ minds. And for better or for worse, it looks like Halo Infinite is going to take this series back to its core armor design.
But that core design was nearly very different. In this unused concept art, we can see that Chief may have looked like either a knockoff Doom Guy or a reject from a modern Star Trek show. Ultimately, we’re much happier with what we got!
15. Mass Effect 3: Tali’s Face
Remember this Mass Effect 3 controversy? Tali’Zorah has kept her face hidden as a cultural tradition throughout the entire franchise. When we did get a peek under the hood, the disappointment was real: all they did was Photoshop an old stock image!
But this concept art shows us what Tali could have looked like under there. Honestly, it’s a big improvement, especially compared to what we ended up getting.