Meet Frankensteined World Leader In Civilization V Mod

Say that in my face, son. I double-dog dare you.

The inimitable forces behind Colonialist Legacies have gone and Frankenstein-ed together something audaciously lovely: a fully animated, fully voiced 3D leader screen for their Civilization V mod pack. It’s Australia’s Henry Parkes and he didn’t make his grand entrance on the Internet alone. No, the esteemed gentleman is just one part of their new and improved Australia mod.

Not that this isn’t a fan-made 3D leader screen isn’t an amazing accomplishment onto itself. As co-creator TPangolin explains on Reddit, the creation process is quite arduous. To begin with, there’s apparently no way to add custom animations.

“Parkes is essentially a creation made from assets of other leaders. His build and base animations are based off Bismarck, he’s stolen Pedro’s suit, and additionally he’s got a haircut very similar to that of Alexander. The textures have just been edited so much that he no longer resembles Bismarck. Another hard part was to write a script for our VA that has the same amount of syllables that Bismarck says in-game.”

TPangolin added, “It’s hoped that by releasing this leaderscreen, it will encourage others to come to the Civilization V modding scene to take a stab at creating their own leaderheads.”

Who would have thought that the VO would be the easiest part of the whole darn thing? If you’re a fan of Civilization V, Colonialist Legacies is definitely worth keeping an eye on. Thus far, it has put together about ten diverse civilizations, all of which have been Pretty Darn Exciting. You can already download the improved version of the Australia mod. But, you know what? That’s not the most important piece of news. The most vital piece of information is this: Malaysia is apparently planned for sometime next month?! Woohoo, home team! Malaysia boleh!


  1. DumbparameciuM says:

    I wonder if it comes with the option to offer a knighthood to the British leader?

  2. Jackablade says:

    Parkes is alright, but I’d rather play as John Batman, if only so that I can stop people from changing the name of the city I found from Batmania to Melbourne.

  3. Anthile says:

    It’s all fun and games – until the emus attack.

  4. LionsPhil says:

    Game character animation technology needs to seriously step up its handling of mighty facial hair. Never mind concrete breasts; what’s with all the plastic beards?

    • Philopoemen says:

      I’m sorry they didn’t use John Howard – because beards and boobs are all well and good, but they still each (mainly) apply to a single sex.

      But eyebrows…eyebrows are everywhere…and Howard…he had eyebrows.

      • pepperfez says:

        He would provide a good exercise in boob modeling as well.

    • Turkey says:

      TressFX is a lie!

  5. Ada says:

    If only you could play as one of the literally hundreds of Australian civilisations that were wiped out by the “Colonialist Legacy” of butts like this guy.

    I mean we all know Civ is despairingly racist, so why would you make a new Civ based on one of the most enduringly horrifically racist settler colonies in the world?

    • Philopoemen says:

      Cos. Straya.

      I think your invective may be better suited towards the British, given Australia largely was populated by Britons. My own ancestors were an Irish soldier, and young prostitute/thief on the First Fleet. Penal colony ftw.

      You may also wish to read about how loving said pre-European colonisation civilisations were towards each other before casting too many aspersions :)

      • Dilapinated says:

        “They acted nastily to one another too, so really our invasion of their land & genocide of their people isn’t that bad.” Isn’t a great position to take.

        • teije says:

          A depressingly common one here in Canada among some folks.

        • Philopoemen says:

          And it’s not a position I took. I’m not trying to justify anything. I’m also not oblivious to the fact that aboriginal history is full of war and genocide well before Europeans set foot on the continent.

          But the aborigines are no orphans in that regard – it’s literally humanity’s history in general.

          Hence a game where you can go colonise stuff…

    • pepperfez says:

      They seem to be working on both colonial and indigenous civilizations, though right now they do have more colonizers. There’s a poll on their site for which civ to work on next, and it includes Koori and Anangu as well as several North American peoples.

    • Hedgeclipper says:

      ‘enduring horrific racism’ granted, but ‘most’? Would you care to suggest somewhere less so?

      • Ada says:

        Did you know that Australia has an even higher disproportionate rate of black people in prison than America?

        • Hedgeclipper says:

          It wouldn’t surprise me, I’m still not sure how that constitutes ‘most’ though.

          Has the US officially apologised yet?

        • buboe says:

          don’t let the truth get in the way of your argument.
          Australia – 26% of prison population is aboriginal (not black – that’s offensive, as you’d know if you’d ever met a koori)
          USA – “over half” prison population is African American
          both are approx. 6-8% of the population (taking into account Torres Strait Islanders who are counted separately in the Census, but lumped together in prison population statistics.

          link to
          link to

      • corinoco says:

        Along with Germany, we also put Jews in camps before WW2. We stopped when we realized it might be a bit naughty. The aforementioned John ‘Eyebrows of doom’ Howards dad was the leader of a marvelous little Australia’s Own Nazi Party – The National Front, helped organize the camps. Nasty bunch, their legacy lives on.

        I’d rather have Gough Whitlam or Paul Keating – a cultural win would plausible either way.

    • Akbar says:

      Because Civilization is, in the end, a game focused on survival, expansion, and industrialization, not morality and culture. What rationale is there in creating a game that preserves any form of realism if it lets countries like San Marino and the Free City of Danzig—countries with incredibly interesting histories and culture mind you—play as equals to Rome, Mongolia and the Ottoman Empire? I don’t like having debates on the internet but it’s the only way 4X and GS games are going to be realistic without people like you screaming “racism” whenever they try to add any realism. Bear in mind that despite you calling Civ a “despairingly racist” franchise, the Zulu and the Aztec, both in the game representing otherwise unrepresented areas, have an area at greatest extent of 29,785 km² and 304,325 km² which pale in comparison to the next largest empires (Egypt at 1,000,000 km² are the next smallest other than Babylonia,who, inventing the code of law and all, have a pretty damn good claim to being in a game about civilization.)

      • Ada says:

        You really have a lot of whinging to get out, don’t you…

        • Akbar says:

          If you have a counter point please state it, if you think you’re wrong just admit it, but please don’t just cough up some ad hominen like a cornered middle-schooler

        • persopolis says:

          You not only described an entire dev team, but also an entire nation as “horrifically racist”. Don’t you think it’s a little bit unfair dismiss factual criticism of such a dangerously broad and inflammatory statement as “whinging”?

          • Ada says:

            Dangerous for WHO?! Wild.

          • persopolis says:

            Dangerous to your credibility. I mean that your statement, if not backed up by fact, or a reasonable explanation, is in danger of becoming an outright lie.

          • Akbar says:

            Ada, unless you’ve actually entered a state of despair because of what you see as racism in civ, you have no right to be a pedantic ass about liberal usage of adverbs. If you have entered a state of despair because you think a game franchise is racist then…. my sincerest condolences?

      • cpt_freakout says:

        But that’s precisely the thing – these games are not ‘realist’ in the strictest sense of the word. The entire structure of Civ is built around ideas of history that were born in the 18th century, with the concept of progress at its center, and regardless of its gradual adoption of cultural elements like religion and ideologies it’s still only a fantasy economics game at heart, modeled after a ruthless Euro-centric historical position. So the question I would pose is why not? Why not have Malta on the same level as the Ottoman Empire? Every time you start a Civ game you start a ‘what if’ scenario anyway. Mind you, I love the series, but I don’t think you can say with absolute certainty that this is the only way to do a game of this kind. I can’t offer an alternative because I’m not that smart, but I do think it’s pretty cool that people are questioning the game as a form of discourse.

        • Akbar says:

          Could you clarify what you mean by euro-centrism and unrealism (don’t think that’s a word but you get the point)? I’m not denying it per se I’m just curious what you’d give as an example

    • Frank says:

      I think they’re aware of what they’re doing. After all, they have him describe Australia — a onetime prison colony — as “a country where all are free”.

  6. Eschatos says:

    That is one remarkably reflective beard.

  7. MaXimillion says:

    Firaxis really dropped the ball with Civ V’s mod support, compared to IV’s it’s pathetic.

  8. Paul.Power says:

    There’s only one realistic choice for Australian leader: Don Bradman.

  9. iaguz says:

    I wonder if anyone told them Henry Parkes was never a Prime Minister of Australia, only the Premier of New South Wales, and whilst he was at the forefront of federating the colonies into a single nation he was never in charge of that nation as he died 5 years before it came into being. The playable leader should probably be Sir Edmund Barton or something (or Paul Keating! grumble grumble grumble). I guess they just saw the beard and figured ‘eh, bugger it this’ll do’.

    • Slouch says:

      Menzies anyone? *ducks*

      • hujsh says:

        Boooo…hissss…rabble rabble rabble

        We don’t really have any great/non-divisive leaders though. No Abe Lincolns in the big book of Australia.

        • iaguz says:

          kind of why I suggested Edmund Barton, for being the first. Sure I’ve no fucken clue how good he was, could been shit, but it’s as good as any I believe.

          IIRC, Civ 2 had an Australian playable civ whose leader was Gough Whitlam which also would be acceptable.

    • Paradoxicale says:

      It’s interesting that you’d assume they didn’t take him not being a Prime Minister into consideration. As the mod author said on Reddit:

      “In Australia it’s more thematic than anything. When designing this civ, I had to keep in-mind what I love the best about playing Civilization – the flavour, the story. You essentially play as a Pre-Federation leader, who was instrumental in the process of federating Australia. He unfortunately died before he could ever see his grandiose plan come into fruition. With Australia I made it so that he could see through his plan, but also to have it as something vaguely representational of Australia in a chronological sense – You found Sydney as the first Colony (Parkes led this colony six times), you then found puppeted cities (other colonies), then by annexing them you Federate the nation and finally you receive Prime Minister to cap off this process.

      With this civ, you get to live as the country that he envisioned – he never led Australia, but there would hardly be an Australia without him.”

  10. Slouch says:

    How was Mexico not already in the vanilla game? And why the hell is John Macdonald not the Canadian leader?

  11. BiggerJ says:

    You mean we’ve finally have the chance to… KILL THE MALAYSIAN PRIME MINISTER? OBEY MY DOG!

  12. Cinek says:

    “Let me know if I’m able to tempt you”
    – eee….. lol? Is he going to strip now?
    “Ohh… let me throw in my shirt too”
    – yep. He is definitely going to strip now.

    • revan says:

      Lesson one: don’t declare war on Australia…unless you want a lap dance. :)