[Stage 2 Kali Update] The Lost Variants - Fan Art and Accumulated Information Since The End Of Evolve

stage2

#1

Hello Community!

I know it’s been a long while in the making, but the time has finally come! I’ve been working with @Shika to create fan art of the canceled characters we heard about in the “Goodbye Evolve” Livestreams and Q&A sessions. I’ve made a point to compile everything that has been discussed, and I have worked meticulously to get all the details in order so Shika could help bring the best visual representations of what could have been. The intention of this project was to give some closure to the universe of Evolve with some visuals, mechanics, plot, and to get all the general public information in one place.

This process takes a little while, so I’ll be uploading stuff one character at a time with Shika’s art and a blurb regarding what the character was about and how they would have played. Some characters were more developed than others, so I’ll be splitting things up into three waves.

  • First, characters that were further along in development and concept phases - these characters already had pretty full concepts. I intend to be very pure in how these are depicted, and I will not add in any fan-created details to flesh them out since they really don’t need it. If information is missing, it is because it hasn’t been openly discussed.

  • Second, characters that were purely in concept phase or distant development - these characters were more partial concepts due to their distance from potential release, and will need some fan inspired concepts to flesh out both mechanically and visually

  • Third, pure fan based characters - there are some open slots on the roster during each era that had no concept. For these, I’ll be making some fan art of what I imagine it may have been like based on concept art and backstory.

Also, please bear in mind that everything here was early in development and unfinalized. This is just a depiction of what things could have been like based on what has been openly discussed with the community.

But first, let’s see some art and adaptations, shall we? So without further ado, let’s get started!


Phantom Wraith

Art Direction:

Because sculpts were released, it was pretty easy to get the idea for what Phantom Wraith would have looked like. For color scheme and VFX it was shared that “She was going to be black with ghostly spines. Green I think. The decoy texture was the actual texture. At least one part of it.” This is the result of putting together everything we know:

Significant Reference Images Used For This Art:


As stated on the Artstation, this was the most recent version of the Phantom Wraith, and likely the one that we would have seen down the line.

20170821203495_1
Textures re-used in the reworked decoy ability “phantom”

Abilities:

  1. ??? (Supernova Variant) - A slow powerful punch that could be charged up for greater damage and knock back.
  2. ??? (Warp Blast Variant) - An inverted version of warp blast that pulls hunters in instead of blasting them away.
  3. ??? (Abduction Variant) - a one way abduction with limited directional control. Hunters caught in its path are grabbed and taken along for the ride.
  4. ??? - ???
    Passive: ??? - ???
    Traversal: ??? - ??? (Probably unchanged)
Developer Quotes On Abilities "like a falcon punch from smash, that you could aim, to smack people out of position" "There was an inverted warp blast that worked like darkseer." "[[the abduction variant]] would propel her in a straight line like charge, while allowing her limited air control. Any character she hit, she would grab and would be along for the ride.” [[From the End of Evolve Q&A and Streams]] ( https://talk.turtlerockstudios.com/t/the-final-evolve-livestream-q-a/106172?u=takran )

Story:

The Phantom Wraith hunt is the era named for none other than the Phantom Wraith herself. The first Phantom Wraith was originally the vivisected Wraith caught in the wraith trap, mutated from its constant mistreatment by Ebonstar’s scientists. After adapting to the tortures from the facility, it escapes containment and begins to terrorize the colony and hunt the Crew. It is the first monster to canonically kill hunters. Caira dies from the encounter and Parnell is put in critical condition causing Abe to take up the mantle of assault as seen in the hunter variant Renegade Abe. It may or may not be responsible for the death of Griffin Halsey and other hunters that haven’t been announced dead before the cancellation. Blitz Markov, Rogue Val, Tech. Sargent Hank, and an unknown trapper variant are sent to hunt it down and kill it. Though they likely defeat the original phantom wraith, the monsters now know the genetic code to spawn new Phantom Wraiths, which uniquely do not need to use monster eggs to cross the dimensional weak points of Shear. This accelerates the rate of monster attacks and ultimately ushers in The Cataclysm.

Developer Quotes and Details on Story

"The Rval, SHank, Blitz group gets off and goes hunting for the Phantom, which is some kind of special Monster that appears throughout the colonies without warming. Doesn’t need an egg to slip through (I swear, we came up with this before Stranger Things). This is the bugger imprisoned in Wraith Trap, when it escaped it was super pissed off. It’s also responsible for taking down Caira and her death sends RAbe into that Cataclysm mood he is in before falls as well as his whole variant group "
[[From the End of Evolve Q&A]] ( The Final Evolve Livestream Q & A )

Phantom Wraith is not the Ajax monster. There was no plan for the Ajax monster yet, though it would probably be its own thing with a unique design. Sort of like the white whale in Mobey Dick.
[[Not a direct quote, but discussed in multiple threads and streams]]


Warbucket

Art Direction:

Warbucket was definitely further out on the development schedule, but the nature of his kit was fairly well solidified. Many aspects of what he was intended to be can be seen throughout various scrapped ideas in concept art. Though we only had one really good reference for what he may have looked like, Shika and I were able to infer a lot from his kit and descriptions. We did take some creative liberties in places we couldn’t find anything finalized. For example, to match the extinction era color palate and extend the details regarding his sword being made from the wreck of the Laurie-Anne, we fashioned his whole body from the ship’s presumed wreckage. While there is no specific reference for the jetpack, since his kit is so centered on staying in the air, we gave him mini-laurie-anne wings for his jetpack. We also connected his swords to his jetpack with a pipeline based on his melee mechanics and some concept art of hyde with a similar sword. Though there is no perfect interpretation of warbucket, I personally believe this is the best recreation possible given what is known:

Significant Reference Images Used For This Art:

“a giant bucket in a war suit similar to Lennox. His primary was one of the wings for the Loreann fashioned into a giant sword and he could use his jetpack to stay in the air”
[[From the End of Evolve Q&A and Streams]] ( The Final Evolve Livestream Q & A )

“Bucket would have multiple bodies his head could plug into”
[[from the end of evolve livestream]]


The most up to date concept art of warbucket. This was before the sword and jetpack combo was a thing, so he lacks these notable features.

Greatsword Hyde
Looks like Hyde was concepted to be the sword guy at some point! This is the sword we used in our version of the art


We themed warbucket after the Laurie-Anne since this is what his weapons are made from. Most of his coloration we lifted directly from the Laurie-Anne, then added whites to help thematically match him with Paladin Parnell since they share a plot era.


Paladin Parnell, the only other member of the extinction era actually released. We tried to make Warbucket look cohesive with him.


My photoshopped attempt at making a concept for Warbucket.

Jetpack Back Reference
Though not visible in this image, I tried to base his jetpack on a F-35 Joint Strike Fighter propulsion system since he would sort of play like a jet with swords on.

Abilities:

  1. Melee Attacks - Warbucket’s primary move is like Lennox’s plasma lance, but instead of stacking a damage boost, each hit helps refuel the jetpack.
  2. Dash - Like Lennox’s jump, but straight and in the direction warbucket is facing
  3. ??? - ((Likely something that sustains him in combat))
  4. Assault Matrix - Standard Assault Tech, reduces incoming damage by 75%
Developer Quotes On Abilities “My favorite bucket though was WarBucket, a giant bucket in a war suit similar to Lennox. His primary was one of the wings for the Loreann fashioned into a giant sword and he could use his jetpack to stay in the air as long as he was hitting stuff.” [[From the End of Evolve Q&A and Streams]] ( https://talk.turtlerockstudios.com/t/the-final-evolve-livestream-q-a/106172?u=takran )

"warbucket had a directional dash and I don’t recall what else. I think it was something defensive, so he did the die in close combat. He was only on paper though”
[[From an old chat with TheGentlemanSquirrel regarding this project]]

Story:

Warbucket is part of the Extinction Era plot. After the worst happens in deepest dark, the remaining members of The Crew retaliate and use Kala to enter the monster home world and end the war once and for all. Little is known of this era other than the fact that Paladin Parnell, Warbucket, and Mecha-Sunny lead the charge using big bulky Mecha technology scrapped together in a last ditch attempt to defeat the monsters once and for all. It is speculated that some sort of Patterson effect is used to destabilize the Cherenkov space between dimensions, locking monsters and humans into their respective home worlds, at least for a time. However even though humanity wins the war through this risky maneuver, both the human and monster dimensions have both been damaged beyond imagining, and humanity re-enters a dark age as they prepare to slowly rebuild.

Developer Quotes and Details on Story "Is this the time period at the tail end of the war, where Palnell, WarBucket, and Sunnex hit them where they live?" "Yes" [[From the End of Evolve Q&A]] ( https://talk.turtlerockstudios.com/t/the-final-evolve-livestream-q-a/106172?u=takran ) "Yes, using Kala they would have traveled through the weak points. Paladin, Warbucket, and Sunnex's group would have given them a good sucker punched. " "Yes, they would have. But the Monsters would have basically have sent Humans back to the Dark Ages."

Kali

Also tentatively called Kala or Kalea

Art Direction:

Kali was one of the most detailed pieces of scrapped concept art, so we got a pretty good idea of what she’d look like. The design intent was for her to have elements of every other monster, and to have advanced beyond them all. For colors, we know from her hunter form that she has a heavily kraken and wraith inspired palate. For her glow, I chose bright yellow to make her armor glow and central eye stand out with as much intensity as possible. Also, it bears mentioning that the large glowing central eye is designed to have the silhouette of what used to be Kala’s human body.

The amazing art Shika created is of a stage 3 Kali. At some point, I intend to commission the stage 2 and 1 versions based on other concept art and descriptions from the development team. In my mind, her stage 1 form would be very humanoid, her stage 2 would look like a mishmash of every monster, and her stage 3 below would look like something that has evolved beyond a mish-mash of everything else into it’s own supremely powerful form.

Significant Reference Images Used For This Art:


The main piece of Kali art released to the public showing her in her most powerful state.


More Kali concept art (along with other monster concepts), likely at stage 2. Used to fill in the details blurred in the shadows of her stage 3 art above.

“We had some concepts…but nothing finalized. Think Kraken mixed with Wraith.”
[[Aesthetic Comment by GentlemanSquirl]] (The Final Evolve Livestream Q & A)

Abilities:

Kali had a very complex ability set. Bear with me.

  1. ??? (Instance A) - Used to encode an ability.
  2. ??? (Instance B) - Used to encode an ability.
  3. ??? (Instance C) - Used to encode an ability.
  4. ??? (Ability Invocation) - Reads the sequence of all her other abilities, and recalls an ability of another monster based on the pattern chosen.

Passive: Unknown - I speculate this would have had some kind of passive benefit to things like attack, speed, or defense depending on the current configuration of her instances.

Traversal: Mimic-Jetpack - As a hunter turned monster, Kali would have had a jetpack style traversal that was mechanically the same as when she was Kala.

Ok, so this requires a bit more explaining than most kits. It is based largely on The Invoker Hero from DotA2. you use the first three abilities to create a code that the fourth ability combines to make a move. For example it may have looked something like this:

1-1-1 Meteor Goliath’s Fire Breath
1-1-2 = 1-2-1 = 2-1-1 Gorgon’s Acid Spit
1-1-3 = 1-3-1 = 3-1-1 Goliath’s Rock Throw
1-2-2=2-2-1 = 2-1-2 Kraken’s Lightning Strike
1-2-3 = 1-3-2 = 2-1-3 = 2-3-1 = 3-1-2 = 3-2-1 Elder Kraken’s Banshee Missile
1-3-3 = 3-1-3 = 3-3-1 Wraith’s Warp Blast
2-2-2 Phantom Wraith’s Super Punch
2-2-3 = 2-3-2 = 3-2-2 Behemoth’s Rock Wall
2-3-3 = 3-2-3 = 3-3-2 Glacial Behemoth’s Deep Freeze
3-3-3 One of Gorgon’s Adaptation’s Abilities

This would give Kali the widest and most complex movepool of any monster (10 attacks vs every other monster’s 4). Because the way you’d have to code then strike each time you’d use an ability, you’d really have to think ahead on your moves, but the potential for power would have been staggering.

Developer Quotes On Abilities

“Kala or Kalea was going to be an invoker style monster that used the abilities of other monsters(She mixed a bunch of monster DNA and injected it into herself, so it kind of fit). She would have 3 ability buttons when used in different combos produced unique effects. So if you hit, 1-1-3 you may get flame breath, 2-3-2 may give you rockwall. We would have made the abilities slightly different than their real counter parts, but largely the same. She would have been a very versatile monster.”
[[Final Evolve Livestream discussion with GentlemanSquirl]] ( The Final Evolve Livestream Q & A )

“Hunter dodge and hover.
Edit - that’s what we were going to try. Nothing set in stone all just spaghetti on the wall. We didn’t get that far with her, so I don’t know.”
[[Traversal discussion with GentlemanSquirl]] ( What would be Kali’s Traversal? )

Story:

We don’t have a perfect image of Kala/Kali’s story, but given several breadcrumbs along all the released information, I will piece together the best image I can.

Kala inevitably succumbed to the monster HNA taking over her system. It is fair to speculate that she somehow escaped The Crew around the time of the phantom wraith hunt, but remained half lucid as her inner monster took over. In this time, she completed her research and found the truth behind the monster attacks (everything from what they are, how they operate, their intentions, and what motivates them), leaving clues behind for The Crew to find and use to end the apocalypse. She finally lost her humanity completely, her evolution initiating The Cataclysm and changing the way other monsters adapted to fight humans. Her body acts as a sort of biological terraforming unit that optimizes our world for the creation and evolution of new monsters. It is this effect that makes The Deepest Dark so nasty - it is all a product of Kala’s presence. During the Deepest Dark, Hyde finds her research notes and uses them to help try and stop the spread of the monsters and to try to kill Kali herself. She meets her end at Hyde’s hands, ending the spread of corruption in our reality and leading into the Extinction Era.

Developer Quotes and Details on Story

So while the Monsters are spreading out into the universe, we have Hyde, his Mutants, the Shear weak points in space and Kala. Caira was right, Kala was losing her shit and changing into something bad (I was starting to design Kala’s variant, which was going to be a monster with access to more than 4 abilities…think Invoker from dota). Kala is a catalyst of sorts, the DNA in living things around her slowly twists and molds into something more friendly to our invaders. Imagine she is a planet teraformer of sorts, but for living things. Hyde’s a tough SOB and there is no way anything is gonna kill him. So while he is fighting to close these weak points, he is always slowly changing into something like Kala (We were going to put a mask on him, because his face was turning). Hyde also meets up with other folks that are mutating as well. These guys would have been variants and new characters. We had some real fun off the wall designs. Eventually, he would have killed Kala and closed the Weak points.
[[From the End of Evolve Q&A]] ( The Final Evolve Livestream Q & A)

Hyde’s mutant group using Kala’s research.
[[From the End of Evolve Q&A]] ( The Final Evolve Livestream Q & A )


Necro Lazarus

Art Direction:

There isn’t a lot of information out there on Necro-Lazarus’s appearance. All we know is that he wore a skull mask that makes him have a slightly Dr. Doom like appearance, and that he had a black, silver, and purple color scheme. Knowing this, I put these colors over the current model with a Dr. Doom like skull mask with the same breathing pieces as other post-cataclysm hunters as my guideline. Here is the fabulous result @Shika so masterfully made:

Significant Reference Images Used For This Art: No existing art for necro-lazarus exists, so I used some of the descriptions given for creating references.


An insanely rough photoshop of what I pictured using the in game art


Some old concept art of Lazarus in a mask

masks
References for the breathing apparatuses used by other hunters post-cataclysm

doom
Dr. Doom, but remember the most important rule:

[To the Devs, and anyone who wants to hop in, who was your favorite Evolve character and why?]

The ones that were actively in development were Necro Lazarus, Hellfire Hyde, Captain Bucket and Phantom Wraith. A lot of the others were still being brainstormed, a few being concepted.
[[Question to the Devs]] ( Question to Devs)

“Necro Lazarus was the clearest in my memory though. He had this purple skull mask and was my favourite next to Paladin Parnell.”
[[Insane Recreation of Hyde’s Model (Insane recreation of Hyde’s model)

Abilities:

  1. ??? (Silenced Healing Rifle) - Same as his regular sniper rifle, but hitting the targets heals hunters if they’ve been resurrected with The Necro Device.
  2. ??? (The Necro Device) - A damaged Lazarus Device that works at long range. Hunters brought back bleed out over time like zombies and must sustain themselves by attacking the weakspots Necro Lazarus applies with his Silenced Healing Rifle. Potentially after some number of hit targets or health healed, the returned hunters would become normal again, though this was never finalized or discussed.
  3. ??? (Phasing Cloak) - Necro Lazarus would temporarily enter a ripple in space and time, rendering him invisible and invulnerable for a short period of time. While phasing, Lazarus would be unable to interact with the hunters or monster, meaning no healing, no damage, and no targets to sustain zombies until the duration ran out. This ability wasn’t as finalized as the others, and was subject to significant revisions and testing based on
  4. Healing Burst - Unchanged, possibly could remove zombification under unknown conditions.
Developer Quotes On Abilities BUT his variant kit was awesome! We were going to have him be able to res at range, the players still wouldn’t get a strike, but they would slowly bleed out while they were up fighting (like zombies), to counter the bleed, they could shoot laz’s markers to heal themselves. [[From the End of Evolve Q&A and Streams]] ( https://talk.turtlerockstudios.com/t/the-final-evolve-livestream-q-a/106172/204?u=takran)

Lazarus was to have a phasing cloak based on The One Ring from Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. It would have allowed him invulnerability and invisibility at the cost of being unable to interact with the team or monster until the duration ran out The team wasn’t final on this decision, and it likely would have been significantly altered by the time of release.
[[Not a direct quote, but is stated in the end of evolve livestream]]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0gFeb13BdY

Story:

While Necro Lazarus wasn’t finalized anywhere in particular, it was brainstormed that he’d either be in the Cataclysm group and die at the end of that arc, or survive through all the arcs. We know that EMBucket took the Cataclysm medic slot, which only leaves a medic slot open for The Deepest Dark plotline. I find this to be fitting, since he has a very classic horror theme with his necro glove and zombies.

If this assumption is correct, we can say that sometime during The Cataclysm, the lazarus device sustained heavy damage and is falling apart. With a bit of ingenuity, Lazarus managed to rig it so it could work at range, though it couldn’t keep his fellow hunters standing without additional medical attention. He likely joined Hyde in the hunt for Kali, probably spending his time helping pick apart the notes Kala left behind on the monsters and their realm while keeping his merry band of rogues alive.

Developer Quotes and Details on Story

I actually don’t know, what happened to lazzy. He would either go down during Cataclysm or live till Extinction
[[From the End of Evolve Q&A and Streams]] ( The Final Evolve Livestream Q & A)

“after going down during cataclysm bucket installs himself in emets shell” (This is why it is safe to guess that Lazarus would have been part of the deepest dark squad since EMBucket was taking the medic slot for Cataclysm)
[[From the End of Evolve Q&A and Streams]] ( The Final Evolve Livestream Q & A)



Next up: Stage 2 Kali Art, then Hellfire Hyde shortly after!

Also, as always, if you catch me with a wrong detail on any of these, please let me know. I’ll do the proper investigating and follow it up!


Also, as a tangent, I’ve also been sifting through dialogue and backstory to compile a full history of the evolve universe, which I plan update here from pregame to postgame as we go along since it meshes so well with each adaptation’s place in the stage 2 eras and storyline.



Phantom Wraith back sculpts
Cosplay and Fan Art
#2

This thread will be amazing. Shika has some astonishing art. Great idea to compile it all Takran…and it could serve to remind 2K that we still really want to see this game finished, for what it’s worth.


#3

Yes, we want a team to work on the game.
Anyway, Shika sure is a brilliant artist and she has some incredible potential for the community of Evolve (or TRS if you want). She will be rewarded for that, and I asked a mod to reward her.

If this is here that all the concepts that hasn’t seen the day are regrouped, it would be some sort of museum to show the lost projects of TRS after the end of the contract. And with the help of all the artists, it would give an idea of how could have looked each character before they could be worked on by the team. Phantom Wraith beeing the first one to be added here, it would probably be the mascot of this thread.


#4

Nice. Wait NOOOO. Not Caira. D:


#5

xfghnxfghn

also, Kala/Kali HYPE


#6

I still tell myself that it’s not in the game so it’s not canon ;_;


#7

Right though?!

So to the best of my knowledge, this is what it looks like at this point:

Dead Hunters:

  • Caira
  • Griffin

Living Hunters

  • Markov
  • Maggie
  • Val
  • Hank
  • Hyde
  • Lazarus
  • Bucket
  • Cabot
  • Abe
  • Parnell
  • Sunny
  • Kala

Alive But Severely Hurt:

  • Parnell
  • Bucket
  • EMET

Probably okay based on concepts:

  • Jack

Probably dead based on concepts:

  • Torvald

Whereabouts unknown:

  • Crow
  • Slim
  • Lenox

#8

With the whole Kali thing, does Kala really count as being ‘alive’?


#9

This post is truly bittersweet. I love Evolve so much lol.

Fortunately a friend recently purchased it on Xbox so I have a reason to play it again.


#10

@The_Little_Jay I mean, I guess? :laughing: I would imagine that she’d be taken down by the end of extinction, but the point of her full transformation is unclear. It could happen as early as just before cataclysm (that would be my guess) up to the deepest dark at latest.

@BreezyStarfish17 I totally get ya. I’ll admit, half the reason it took me so long was because I was kinda sad going through it all when the news was still fresh. That said, I’ve started playing again frequently for the past few months trying to elite every character. Surprisingly, people are still really into it and active. It’s fun stuff!


#11

Totally called the warp blast one!


#12

I got a notif’ from you…but nothing you tell is about me.

Edit: ho wait shit, I set the thread on “watching”…


#13

Yup, Hyde kills her at some point while they’re both trapped on Shear.


#14

If memory serves, I’m pretty sure Hyde and his band go after her during deepest dark, but I’ll have to check my notes to see if there is any mention of her past that point.


#15

(Quoted from that old thread)


#16

FUUUUUUUUUUUCK I forgot they planned to do that
Hades2
DAMN YOU 2K FOR DELETING FURTHER EVOLVE PROGRESS


#17

Ah! Thanks! I take that to she canonically dies at the end of deepest dark at the hand of Hyde and his team.


#18

That seems to have been the plan. Good ol’ Hyde, meltin’ faces till the very end.


#19

I honestly think id have a very different taste in my mouth about evolve if TRS was able to complete at least the out-lined path set by Squirrel. Finish the variants, 1 more monster, and couple more maps (maybe even another mode).

kala wouldve been so interesting. And AMAZINGLY difficult to balance haha. She was super ambitious.


#20

DO EMET DO EMET DO EMET!

10 emet leaked noods of variant.