Ever wonder how BioShock Infinite's Elizabeth got her start? Find out in this video that explores the character's roots.
In a video interview with IGN, team members from Irrational Games discussed Elizabeth's prototype and how it evolved into the character we know and love today. According to creative director Ken Levine, Elizabeth started out as a mute character who embodied the Gibson Girl look, which was the feminine ideal of beauty in late 1800s America.
Part of the reason she was originally a mute character was because the player character, Booker, wasn't supposed to speak either. Having both a silent protagonist and companion character would have been the easy way to go, because good examples of a first-person character and a third-person character holding conversations throughout an adventure in a gamer were scarce. Levine said that, because of this, the team "had a little stage fright."
One the challenges in making Elizabeth a more prominent character was making sure that she was always in the main character's view. If she wasn't in view for some reason, then the team had to make sure that her presence was still felt through audio. For example, Liz could be inspecting a crate while the player turns away to explore, but then she'd give a brief history of the surrounding area or otherwise comment on the situation. This is a far cry from the Gibson Girl version of Liz.
Watch the video above to see the history and making of one of gaming's greatest companion characters.