The design process for Urgot’s heavily-requested rework drew inspiration from comic book villains to create a more relatable half-man, half-machine abomination.
The design direction for the recent rework for Urgot was delved into with a Champion Insights post on Wednesday by Nikki “BANANABAND1T” Brown. The rework meant a new design that reflects lore — which has to work within the new framework since the lore reboot — while also keeping Urgot’s unique characteristics intact. The design team stuck with a concept that resembled a cartoon super villain, such as those seen in the Batman mythos.
“Characters like the Penguin and the Joker are dark,” said illustrator Victor “3rdColossus” Maury. “but their backstories and theatricality make them iconic and entertaining.”
To reflect the new direction, the original character traits of Urgot underwent some brief experimental phases, such as giving him a minute-long monologue as an in-game taunt (which can only be interrupted by attacking him), or making him play a tune with one of his organs while a victim of his ultimate ability was dragged to their death.
Another defining trait of Urgot is his mechanical legs, which have been difficult for the designers to separate from the champion. Game designer David “RiotRepertoir” Capurro came up with the idea of giving each of Urgot’s legs some sort of utilization in game, an idea that led to the shotgun-knees of today. Art lead Larry “The Bravo Ray” Ray had a large part of designing the new Urgot, producing daily new blueprints.
“I’ve been working on champions for six years, and Urgot’s legs had to be the most challenging thing I’ve ever worked on,” he said.
The story behind Urgot’s mechanical legs was also changed extensively to reflect his philosophy. Previously, he needed mechanical legs because Garen literally cut him in half. This time around, Urgot was deceived and forced to survive in Zaun’s chemtech mines, where he made the conscious decision to exchange lower body for six legs with shotgun-knees, in the pursuit of his extreme “survival of the fittest” philosophy.
With such extensive mechanical augmentation, the humanity of Urgot then had to be distilled into his face, where expressions can still be seen. Along with an expressive face, the post reads that the remnants of his flesh on the in-game model is supposed to serve as a reminder that Urgot is still human to make him at least somewhat relatable.
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games