The creative teams who've made the God of War games have done cruel things to the members of the Greco-Roman pantheon, with series hero Kratos wreaking jaw-dropping vengeance on Ares, Hermes and Hades. Each god Kratos came up against met a spectacularly bloody end but a talk at last week's Game Developers Conference revealed that Zeus' daddy harbored a secret weapon. In his pants.
People who hacked their way through God of War III no doubt remember battling their way across the mythological being as big as a mountain. You even journeyed through his guts at one point. But there was one significant physical detail about Cronos players never got to see: the Titan had a penis. And it almost didn't make it into the game.
In a talk titled "The Titans: Creating Living, Breathing Levels in God of War III," Chris O'Neill and Bruno Velazquez from Sony Computer Entertainment America's Santa Monica Studio discussed how they built the giant mythological beings featured in the 2010 threequel. Cronos and the other progenitors of Mount Olympus' gods were huge entities that animated like characters but also served as landscapes through which you played.
O'Neill and Velazquez showed how Cronos came to life as a result of blending and fusing traditional production roles. So, character artists had to figure out how to render environments on a character's surface and animators worked with gameplay designers on just how much motion would make Cronos feel alive while without messing up camera angles.
Models from the GoW III dev cycle show how the changes Cronos went through and the most unexpected addition came between Kratos' grandpa's legs. Now, on one hand, you can say that folks at SCEA's Santa Monica Studio were just having a bit of adolescent fun putting a willie on Cronos. O'Neill and Velazquez made a few jokes when the above slide showed up in their presentation and were met with laughs from the crowd. But, on the other hand, you can say that the developers were harkening back classical and medieval portrayals of gods and goddesses, which often featured nude or nearly naked men and women. Reportedly, the dev team's superiors at Sony wanted the penis out, even though they were assured that players would never have to cast their eyes upon it.
The objectification of women in video games tends to put female bodies on display in extreme detail but male characters never receive the same treatment. Penises may get referenced in raunchy fare like Duke Nukem Forever or Bulletstorm, but you'd never see them in a character model.
Whichever motivation is responsible to the creation of an anatomically correct giant, the reveal of Cronos' junk makes you think that the way he gets killed in the game could've been worse. A whole lot worse.