We thought that Valve Software would be the first to turn the company’s beloved co-founder Gabe Newell into a playable video game character, but that honor has instead been snatched by the Australian design team behind co-op dungeon battler Crawl.
As reported at Eurogamer, designer Barney Cumming took to the game’s development blog on Thursday to post a brief yet tantalizing GIF of his latest in-game creation, and it appeared to portray Newell as a playable “boss” in the game. Crawl, which is currently available on Steam’s Early Access service, works by having four players battle with each other to take command of the game’s “hero” role—meaning everyone who’s not the human must invade the bodies of evil creatures to make the hero’s life miserable.
Cumming’s pixelated, super-sized take on Newell—which he insisted was not an April Fool’s joke—looked like it would do a lot of damage to Crawl‘s in-game hero. It came in two forms: one portraying Newell’s former clean-cut style, in which he attacked solely with an uppercut, and one portraying his more recent, long-haired, bearded look, which came complete with giant daggers and spinning attacks. The brief blog post indicated that this in-game character, along with a few others, would either be hidden or solely available as a “rare statue,” so as not to break the game’s balance or disrupt its relatively serious tone. While we wait for Newell to be added to the Steam version, we’re going to continue loving Crawl‘s unique spin on the Gauntlet-styled dungeon crawler, especially since its Early Access phase has already included significant updates and promising new features.