If you want the design intent behind the changes, this is my reasoning:
For the mouth, we see in the concept art I’ve attributed to be her stage 2 form that her mouth had changed to be primarily a bunch of mandibles with almost no visible mouth. If you overlay the “stage 2” head with the “stage 3” head, it actually lines up almost perfectly. My goal was to come as close to the original design intent as possible, and I believe this is the direction they were going for (at least as far as it got before things abruptly ended).
For the eye, one of the central pieces of the design was that the central “eye” was a hole in the shape of Kala’s old body. It is the final human element of her design, and needed to act as a major focal point, so we made it larger and more defined.
For the arms, this again comes from using the “stage 2” art to guide the stage 3 art. The scythe hand is directly from the “stage 2” form. As for the behemoth arm, I felt that behemoth was the only one not being represented well in her shape, and from the art we can tell we have some strong asymmetry between those arms. From early development notes, I read that monsters generally (but not always) avoided mammalian features, so I felt trading the paw for behemoth like features was a safe call.
Finally, for the wings and crown changes, this was 50% using overlays from the sketches, and 50% a result of my own design. In my head, I believe that the stage 1 to 3 Kali would go something like “human-like -> monster mashup -> eldritch abomination”. The origin of the monsters was supposed to be lovecraftian in nature, so I used similarly inspired art as a guideline. A common technique to make a monster feel otherworldly is to intersperse unnatural geometric shapes within natural biological ones. In guiding these changes, I took heavy inspiration from the eldrazi from magic the gathering - specifically the Kozilek Lineage if you want to look up some examples. Applying this actually worked shockingly well when we did the overlay it with the concept art, so we stuck with it. The entire intention of the new head is to look weirder and alien to reality.
Needless to say, Shika knocked every single aspect of this out of the park. She’s pretty badass!
Also 00ShadowDragon00 is one of Shika’s art account names.
I’m glad everybody is enjoying the thread so much! It’s fun to be back in the swing of things!