The Dullahan – the Irish headless horseman
Another legendary Irish monster is the Dullahan, a name that can be translated to “dark man.”
Often portrayed in contemporary fantasy fiction and video games, this foreteller of death is the Irish version of the headless horseman.
The Dullahan rides a headless black horse with flaming eyes, carrying his head under one arm. When he stops riding, a human dies.
Some versions of this legend say that the Dullahan throws buckets of blood at people he passes, while other say he simply calls out the name of the mortal that will soon die.
As with most evil forces, the Dullahan has a weakness – gold.
The creature is scared of the substance, so any lonely travelers this Halloween night would be wise to have some on him in case they have a run-in with this headless horror!
[ From http://www.irishcentral.com/roots/history/the-10-scariest-monsters-and-demons-from-celtic-myth-132875633-237739191 ]
GAME IDEA WITH DULLAHAN
2D pixelated side runner as you play a character chased by a Dullahan. Hurdles may be gravestones,stones, animals and etc. 3rd time you hit a hurdle you get hunted by him and your head gets chopped off.
Goal to run for as long as you can.
Collectibles could be gold coins (thrown out in a little fabric bag or something) that you can offer the Dullahan and he leaves you alone for some time before coming back again to chase you to death.
Scenery dark, the player could be running with a torch through a forest or something.
[Heavily influenced by a game called Fear-less]
NPC-Dullahan running at the far left side of the screen while the actual character runs more or less in the middle of the screen avoiding gravestones and skulls along the path.As it is a demo to try out unreal engine not much would be added in terms of possible Dullahan attacks to mess with the character.
Backstory for the game (Basic idea)
In medieval times a King is chosen as the elder passes and Victor Wainwright(Dullahan) is the rightful heir and next in line , as time closes in for him to be crowned as the new King of the lands, his step brother Kitas Dunn (who is a bastard but acknowledged by the old King as his son) kills his step-brother severing his head and keeping it deep in the castle undergrounds while the body was disposed elsewhere…Months pass as Kitas was crowned but as nights came, so did his nightmares being chased by a headless horseman night to night. Kitas jumping over gravestones with “Thief” , “False King”, “Liar” and other, abandoned skulls implying his own severed head not finding peace and constantly haunting the new King. The nightmare doesn’t end till he is captured and wakes up with a scream as his bed and him are drenched from sweat .
A never ending nightmare for the False king.
(Couple of references for pixel art from and artist Kada-bura from Tumblr.)
Dullahan himself would be somewhat of a knight/lord being cursed in possibly Victorian time decayed clothing.
Dullahans horse would have his skull exposed fully with a dark mane hiding his neck and skull and some of the decay or bones would show through like its owner to show that they’ve been abandoned and and bodies already starting to rot.
Setting and mood of the place would be dark, a lot of cold blues and grayscale choice of colours.Similarities in terms of cool and unsaturated colors to “Sleepy Hollow” movie.
Weapons most likely is a spine with a some heavy or sharp end to hook the victim and kill them.
^Latest concept idea for Victor Wainwright his living form and Dullahan state with the spine as his main weapon. (Some more sketches in the sketchbook) drawn his alive human version and the dead dullahan state (though in the game there won’t be a floating head near the Dullahans body.
Sophisticated somewhat inspired by Steampunk and Victorian age clothes.Showing off high class.
^Earlier unfinished concepts of the Dulahan and sketch ideas how to possibly make the standing pose.
^Rough sketches of how the background in the game itself would look:dark, gloomy,mysterious and abandoned.
Nov start finished up the horses running cycle + still need to add the dullahan
Scene layout to be re-usable, hopefully links together nicely and loops.