Ad Azimuth and his VT-HSA PT-01 "Knuckle Buster"

Introducing: Ad Azimuth and the VT-HSA PT-01 “Knuckle Buster”


I’m excited to finally reveal one of the two main playable characters at launch! His name is Ad Azimuth; a mercenary-for-hire, and pilot of the VT-HSA PT-01 “Knuckle Buster”.Β 

Well here they are in all their glory…take a gander! 😁

First and foremost: I’d like to offer a deep personal “thank you” to Chris Martin for the design concepts of Ad Azimuth, and Jeff Allen for his brilliant work in modeling the “Knuckle Buster”.

You can see more of Chris’s work and follow him over on DeviantArt here (*WARNING: Contains adult-oriented NSFW content):Β 

You can also follow Jeff’s YouTube channel here:

That said; like I’d said before in a previous blog post, I want Blasternal to be “conceptually accessible”; meaning: I based the design of Ad Azimuth on action hero stereotypes as portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dolph Lundgrin. Likewise, I’ve always been enamored with the idea of making a game where you pilot a vehicle that can transform into a robot.Β 

But here’s the thing: In Blasternal, I didn’t want the player to have to be limited by having to be a hero all the time and play by the rules. I wanted there to be an element of moral ambiguity, so that the player is free to make some ethically dubious choices if that’s what suits them. Therefore, the two main playable characters will be a notorious Mercenary-for-hire (Ad Azimuth) and a mysterious “nameless” Bounty Hunter (a work-in-progress…be sure to stay tuned to my blog for further updates).Β Β 

Moreover, I wanted both the main characters and the vehicles they pilot to be…to put it succinctly…BADASS. Think Kratos from God of War, or Dante from Devil May Cry. Ad Azimuth and his Bounty Hunter rival *winks* are both formidable warriors outside of their vehicles.

Ad, for example, towers at a hulking 218.44cm/7’4″ and weighs-in at 161kg/355lbs of pure muscle. Yet for a character of his considerable proportions, at short distances, he has better than cat-like reflexes. As a Mercenary-for-hire, Ad has no other motivation than to get paid, meaning; when he shows-up to a fight, he’s not there to negotiate or run his mouth or make a series of misplaced wisecracks. No. He’s there to punch holes through his mission objectives, collect his “check”, and move on to his next mission. Also, unlike most conventional video game protagonists, Ad can “take a punch”: Similar to Marvel’s Wolverine and Deadpool, Ad has a unique genetically-engineered physiology that allows him to heal at an accelerated rate, although not quite as quickly or dramatically as the aforementioned Marvel characters. But he is most certainly tough enough to walk chest-first into a gunfight and not shrink back gasping in pain with every bullet wound. Strong Terminator T-800 vibes in that regard.Β 

And then, there’s the VT-HSA PT-01, affectionately known by test pilots as the “Knuckle Buster”. You see… *grabs a chair and sits in it backwards* In most shoot-’em-up games, you start with an ostensible “pea shooter” for a gun. Heck, in some cases, you’d do just as well to blow spitwads at your enemies. And then, all it takes for your ship to crack like a quail egg is a single, tiny little energy pellet lazily wafting across the screen right where you happen to need to dodge.Β 

But ah, no…LOL…oh, no no no…that is most certainly not the case with the Knuckle Buster! Whichβ€”like its pilotβ€”is unwieldily tough, yet somehow still manages to be surprisingly nimble and quick. When you pull the trigger of the VT-HSA’s “Buster Rifle”, that bad boy responds instantly with a coherent 400 gigawatt beam of pure anti-proton particles. Which, by the way, is why there will be absolutely no power-up drops in Blasternal! You won’t be needing them…trust me…Β 

To give you some indication of what inspired the Knuckle Buster’s energy output rating…well…here are your clues…Β 

Watch as the Enterprise’s shield cracks like eggshells under heavy firepower from a Husnock warship, and note the energy output reported…
The “Planet Killer” doomsday machine from Star Trek snacked on entire planets, and used a coherent beam of pure anti-protons to chop them up into degestible chunks…

On top of its tremendous arsenal, each of the VT-HSA’s primary thrusters have their own anti-matter reactor capable of a sustained net output of over 48 meganewtons each of thrust. Combined, that’s over twice as much thrust generated by the Falcon Heavy rockets developed by SpaceX

And it’s not just its firepower and speed, but also its durability: Again, like its pilot, the VT-HSA is capable of “taking a punch”, all thanks to a fictional meta-material alloy of “pseudo-ceramic diclad armor”. (Think “Gundanium Alloy“.) So yeah…you’re not going to instantly “die” if you take a few direct shots of enemy firepower or bump into a few things here and there. 

So now, you might be wondering: If you’re so tough, then just how difficult is this game supposed to be? 

Well, my friends…I break it all down for you right here

Meanwhile, you can find out more about Ad Azimuth and the “Knuckle Buster” over on the official Blasternal Wiki: