Fallout 2's Rejected 'Childkiller' Icon is, Uh, Whoa ...
The artist who drew the perk images for Fallout 2 recently revealed his deleted concept for the game's "Childkiller" status. "Even the designer who requested it realized it was a bad idea," he writes.
Yeah ... we can see why that was cut from the game and replaced instead with the "Hated" reputation icon. Just in case it's not clear to you that Vault Boy's kicking mom in the womb, that gown helpfully indicates baby's on board. I don't think you'll go to hell for laughing at this - but you will if you imagine it accompanied by a Looney Tunes kettle drum sound, like I did.
"Childkiller" was not a frivolous or even a desirable thing in Fallout 2. You got the status if you killed a kid, even accidentally, and for some characters it wasn't obvious the game considered them children. Even without offensive art this capability was too controversial for consoles, so in Fallout 3 you couldn't even attack a child character.
Hellforge and the Fallout Wiki both spotted this and linked to the DeviantART page of Brian Menze, where the Fallout 2 artist had published and described his work, but didn't exactly defend it:
This image was unused and the only Vault Boy image to ever be cut from Fallout 2. (I'm sure you can figure out why) I remember when I got the request to do a perk illustration for "child Killer" that there would be no way to keep in from being offensive. I mean really! How do you make an illustration of "child killer" and keep it from being offensive? Anyway for some reason, I thought this was the least offensive way to do it. I have no idea what i was thinking. Even the designer who requested it realized it was a bad idea, so we nixed it. Looking back on it now, I can't believe I drew this.
Menze has since removed the art and its description, but there's no putting the toothpaste back into this tube.
Figures Kotaku would pick up on this. Other than Hellforge no other gaming news site has even noticed this.