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Brenze's avatar

Electronic Games Monthly cover

By Brenze
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This was my first time ever doing a cover for a magazine. I loved the experience. The bonus is that I was asked to paint Darth Nihilus, my favorite among all the characters I concepted for Knights of the Old Republic II.
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© 2009 - 2021 Brenze
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TheGreatSwordSaint's avatar
January 2014 and I'm still playing this game. Good job. This character is the face of KOTOR 2 and is one of my favorites.
Dragonbaze's avatar
Hello! I just finished playing Kotor 2 about a month ago and I absolutely loved it. The mood, the characters, the story just completely swept me away. And Darth Nihilus has been one of my favorite Sith designs even long before I played the game so... I had to draw some fan art. And I NEVER draw fan art! So here's a link to it with my thanks for an awesome game: dragonbaze.deviantart.com/art/…
Kaerie05's avatar
Darth Nihilus was such a great character, it's sad that he wasn't in the game more. He really did scare me a bit back when I played this game for the first time in 2005, the skull like mask gives of an immediate fell of danger and evil.
Brenze's avatar
Or-Else-You-Will-Die's avatar
One more thing.
When we asked Avellone about this many years ago, he simply answered: "Can't comment, but good catch! Sorry."
Is Kreia Arren Kae or was she supposed to be Arren Kae at some point of the development cycle?
Brenze's avatar
I have no idea.
Or-Else-You-Will-Die's avatar
:iconhk-47plz: Commentary: It is a pleasure to see your masterful art here on Deviantart.
Query: Was Darth Nihilus originally a Jedi or just some random guy who"lost everything at Malachor."
Statement: Whether or not he was a Jedi is a question that has plagued Wookieepedia for quite a few years.
Brenze's avatar
I really can't recall. That might be a better question for Avellone.
Or-Else-You-Will-Die's avatar
You are the artist behind this picture!?
That is so awsumzzz ^^
Brenze's avatar
Yes I am. I'm pretty proud of Darth Nihilus. It's my understanding, however, that Bioware has written out all of KOTOR 2 as if it never existed. Sadly, the characers of KOTOR 2 will probably never be seen again.
Or-Else-You-Will-Die's avatar
So, YOU are the guy behind Nihilus' mask?
That is some crazy-ass creativity you had going there!
You should post more of these!
Brenze's avatar
Not all that creative. It was requested that I create a sith lord based on the "no-face" character from the Miyazaki film Spirited Away and that's what I came up with. Still, he's arguably the most recognized character I've worked on, other than the Vault Boy from Fallout.
I always wondered where the inspiration for those kind of design (entirely black clothes with a white mask of simple design as the face) came from, since they seem rather popular. Apart from Nihilus and No-Face, there is also a character in a french comic series that has a very similar design. It's funny, because that series is drawn by an artist who also happens to do cover work for Dark Horse on the KOTOR series of comics... now I really want to see him draw Nihilus at least once!

I have one question and one request about your work on that game :
- first the request : did you make any full-body concept arts for Nihilus and Sion (the scarred, zombie-like Sith)? If yes, would it be possible to have them uploaded here?
- then the question : what exactly was Nihilus' mask supposed to be? I always thought it was a piece of clothing upon which was printed the motif of the mask, but it seems that it was in fact a 'hard', regular mask... can I just get clarification on that?
Or-Else-You-Will-Die's avatar
The Vault Boy is fantastic also ;)
Or-Else-You-Will-Die's avatar
Yes, BioWare basically retconned the whole game.
You know what the ironic thing is?
The Old Republic's story wouldn't be what it is without KotOR II and Avellone.
The way they killed the Exile off (and yes, I call her the Exile and not by her real name, because it's too stupid) was horrendous and heretic.
Your companion characters ARE the very foundation upon which the Jedi Order was built anew.
Atton, Mira, Brianna,(Handmaiden)Disciple, Bao-Dur...all of them were trained in the ways of the Force by the Exile.
Unfortunately, BioWare got jealeous of Chris Avellone's outstanding writing and decided to deny Obsidian's right to Star Wars canon.
Brenze's avatar
Well I don't really know the reason behind it all, though I can't imagine it was jealousy. Having said that, I can't imagine any reason why BioWare would do away with characters they could potentially use at a later time. Even if they chose not to use them ever again, it would still seem logical to keep those characters available, just in case. Why they felt the need to write the characters out all together does seem suspicious. Also it's pretty disheartening to me, a true Star Wars fan, who finally lived a dream of contributing to such an incredible universe.
TrayusAcademy's avatar
This comment is over 3 years too late, but I have to say it nonetheless.

In Mass Effect 1 there is a character named Nihilus, a Turian Spectre(intergalactic police force with the highest authority) with the same name as (Darth) Nihilus, and even has face paint that matches the design of Darth Nihilus' mask.

What happens to him? He gets shot in the back of the head, not even 15 minutes after his introduction, no chance to defend himself. If that isn't contempt that Bioware was showing for Kotor 2, I don't know what is.
Brenze's avatar
nah, I don't think it was contempt at all. I really don't think there's a connection whatsoever. I'm sure it's just coincidence.
TrayusAcademy's avatar
Oh, but it doesn't stop there!

In the novel The Old Republic:Revan, the Exile is killed, by being stabbed in the back. Again, no chance for defense.

Are you sure it's a coincidence still?
Technically, Bioware didn't really 'do away' with any of the characters you created, and they even used one (Atris, the white-clad Jedi Master) in the Revan novel. The problem some people have is that the characters from KOTOR 2 are almost completely ignored by the Revan novel and the Old Republic game. As an example, only the Exile is used in the Revan novel, while Canderous and Bastila have a part in the story and the other companions of Revan are at least mentioned. Nothing of the sort for the KOTOR 2 companions, who supposedly reformed the Order.

And Nihilus is certainly the character to appear the most in other stories : short story Unseen, Unheard written by Chris Avellone with art by Dustin Weaver, and his 'ghost' makes a short appearance in the Legacy comics.

Short story, those characters still exist and could still be used. If they ever will, I don't know... maybe a cameo in the new KOTOR - War short series.
thathobothere's avatar
Holy dooley, you did the concepts for Nihilus? Goddamn, I love you. Great work. He's my favorite Sith ever, and the elegant simplicity of his outfit just adds to his sinister-ness.
Brenze's avatar
Thank you so much! :)
Naseilen's avatar
Those concept arts and covers are really amazing! It was on my desktop too!
You did a great work, really! I love it!
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