April IGN First is packed with Resident Evil Village scoops, interviews, game recordings and more. Today, we can only reveal some never before shown concept art for the internet’s favorite new video game character, Lady Dimitrescu, along with her three daughters.
Resident Evil Village: The evolution of Lady Dimitrescu and her daughters
Art director Tomonori Takano was responsible for Lady Dimitrescu’s design. In response to the huge demand from fans, he previously announced the height of this fearsome character. Although the staggering 9’6 “(2.9 meters) includes high heels and a wide-brimmed hat, Lady Dimitrescu still easily beats the height of any human being alive. Yet some of the tallest people in recorded history come close enough to give Lady Dimitrescu heightens a sense of reality, which makes her all the more frightening.
But what about her shoe size? We asked Takano to measure this as well, and he came back with impressive results. Lady Dimitrescu’s shoe size is 44 cm (17.3 inches), which is almost double the average women’s shoe size. She also beats Jeison Rodriguez Hernandez’s Guinness World Record by the world’s largest feet by almost 4 centimeters. Takano designed Lady Dimitrescu’s shoes based on a real pair of high heels, which he scanned and resized digitally to match the giant’s formidable height.But we did not go all the way to Capcom’s headquarters in Osaka just to talk about feet. Together with director Morimasa Sato, Takano told us how the dominant Countess of Castle Dimitrescu came to be, and the two were overwhelmed to see that their creation became an internet phenomenon before the game was even released. “We intentionally made the character design a little more extravagant than in Resident Evil 7, but no, we did not see this coming,” Takano says, laughing.
Sato mentions that creating characters that leave an impression was a theme for the game from the very beginning, and the reactions to Lady Dimitrescu’s revelation reassured him that this had been the right choice. “The game’s core concept of village settings was determined in the early stages of development,” says Sato. “After that, we started thinking about the characters. To create an appealing village with a sense of place, the characters who live there are extremely important. For the main enemy characters, we thought about the area each one would be in and what kind of experience they could provide. “The approach of starting with the characters and building an experience from there can feel like Resident Evil 4.”
Resident Evil 8 Village Showcase Screenshots
Resident Evil 4 is also located in a village with a variety of locations, and is loved by memorable characters such as Bitores Mendez and Ramon Salazar. “There are quite a few other characters with similar influences as Lady Dimitrescu in the Village, so you can look forward to it,” Sato said.
Lady Dimitrescu may not be the Village’s only villain, but according to Takano, the design goes all the way back to the beginning of the project. He remembers how the team began to prototype the character. “We used Mia’s character model from Resident Evil 7 and got her to wear a dress and hat,” he explains his early tests. “I thought this would be enough to give her a ghostly quality, but we could not make her feel scary. So we decided to make the character model much bigger. That was the beginning of Lady Dimitrescu. “Art director continues:” I drew a piece of concept art where she bends down to get through a doorway. That’s when I felt this was going to work out. ”
From there, the team created an area and an experience to match the newly designed mistress, which became Castle Dimitrescu, a Gothic vampire castle. “The original concept was a castle populated only by women,” recalls Sato. “We tried many different things to make the countess scary and feel like a boss character. There were ideas to make her more creature-like as well, but in the end we felt that a tall woman was the most simple but powerful thing we could do. “Lady Dimitrescu is not just a tall vampire-like dominant woman. Her fashion was inspired by styles from the 1960s, and Takano hopes this will set her apart from other Gothic villains. “I felt that just doing a gothic aesthetic would be a bit lacking in originality, and that’s why I wanted to add a modern idea to that premise,” Takano explains. “We looked at fashion from the time when actresses like Audrey Hepburn were active, as well as The Addams Family. We used these sources as hints to create a less conventional Gothic setting. ”
Lady Dimitrescu is not the only femme fatale who persecutes Ethan in the castle – her three beloved daughters are also after him. Bela, the eldest daughter, is quiet and has a strong head on her shoulders. Cassandra is a sadist who likes to kill. Daniela is the youngest daughter, and is the craziest and most misguided of the three. “Ethan has a family he’s trying to protect, so we wanted to have a family for Lady Dimitrescu as well, to provide a contrast,” Sato explains. “The concept started as a castle with a hundred witches inside, but it was difficult to implement in a video game format. That’s why we ended up doing it this way,” says Takano. “But when you play the game, you might notice that the setting is still pretty close to that idea. All the types of enemies inside the castle are women. With Lady Dimitrescu as the cult guru, we have created this hierarchy of women. Men get their blood drawn by these women, so you could say it’s the opposite of Dracula.
Resident Evil Village PlayStation 5 Screenshots
“Outside, in front of the castle, you can see corpses that have been bled, and look like thin scarecrows, and they are all men. It is a setting where women are very strong. ”
This horror experience where a relatively weak male character is terrorized by impressive women, seems to draw inspiration from a type of sadomasochistic fantasy that is rarely seen in video games. Within the Resident Evil series, Lady Dimitrescu and her three daughters are a threat of a kind we have never seen before.
To guide the series in bold new directions, Sato says that in the planning phase he encouraged the team to try out as many unusual ideas as possible. “We are not the type of team that starts with a niche idea and starts to expand it little by little,” Sato explains. “When we try out new ideas, we start by pursuing something extreme. As we evolve, the idea usually begins to deviate from pure fear. So in the end, we have to bring the experience back to horror. ”According to Takano, the hundred witches in the original concept were supposed to be the most naked. A giant countess and her three scary daughters are what the idea was when the team “brought it back to horror.”
For more information on Resident Evil Village, check out five-minute games on PS4 Pro, and stay tuned for more IGN-exclusive content Resident Evil Village throughout April. An open beta version of Resident Evil Re: Verse launches April 8, which can be pre-downloaded now.
Esra Krabbe is the editor of IGN Japan. He is looking forward to having Blood Dimitrescu blood drawn. Figuratively speaking, of course.