Creative Design AMA - Zed, the Master of Shadows

First Riot Post
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RiotRunaan

Associate Creative Designer

11-07-2012
7 of 8 Riot Posts

Hey everyone, this will be the last post answering questions in this AMA. I've combed through the rest of the pages and pulled out what I thought were the most interesting questions as well as some I hadn't already answered. Thank you all for participating, I hope you got some interesting info out of this! : ) Some of your speculation makes me very happy.

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Originally Posted by HitMonkey View Post
2. What are Zed's thoughts on Demacia and Noxus?
I don't think he cares much for Demacia, but I'd guess he has a certain distaste for Noxus as least. At his core, he is Ionian, and though he favors his own goals over Ionia's, he's a patriot in a bit of a twisted sense. By unbalancing Ionia, he believes its people will become more powerful, as all the restraints of said balance will be removed. He might believe that part of the reason Noxus was able to hurt Ionia so badly was because Ionia had become complacent and vulnerable in its state of balance.

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1 - Does Zen have ANY regret, no matter how small of his past actions? He seemed to be in agony after killing his master and also seemed very frustrated with how events turned out. (especially through that mysterious cry of pain in the room)
If he has any regret, he's buried it deep inside of him for now. He may or may not be beyond redemption--we'll have to wait and see.

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Which came first, Zed's concept (Shadow Ninja) or his mechanics (creating a clone that mimics spellcasts)?
Ezreal actually came up with both of them around the same time--the core idea of shadow clones were very core to the concept of the character. When we concept champions, we usually look for a creative hook and a gameplay hook as well to get ourselves going. For Zed, those hooks were "evil ninja" and "shadow clones."

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Has he had any run-ins with Kennen or Akali?
Yes, most certainly. Clues to this are scattered throughout this AMA. :D

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If what was contained within the box was so dangerous to the balance, why did the Kinkou not destroy every trace of it within the 200 years that they possessed it?
Sorry I trimmed a lot of this question, I'll answer more below. Part of the Ionian ideal of balance involves allowing darkness and evil to exist in some capacity, because to some extent, such things are necessary--but such darkness must be controlled and kept equal to the light. In this way, Ionia believes itself in perfect harmony.

Destroying the box outright wouldn't fit with this philosophy--instead, previous masters acknowledged but suppressed the knowledge contained within.

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And as for the action of banishment itself... Was Shen's father the previous Eye of Twilight? The Eye is supposed to remain completely emotionless in order to make decisions based solely on cold logic. If Shen's father was the previous Eye and one of his students acquired knowledge that he believed would ultimately be a threat to the balance, shouldn't he have had Zed executed on the spot once he found out rather than showing him mercy by letting him live?
Aha!

Shen's father was indeed the previous Eye of Twilight, yes. Perhaps he made a mistake? After all, the Eye of Twilight is still just one fallible man.

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Did he don his awesome mask before or after the incident with the master upon his return, or did he always go around wearing it? What I'm trying to say is, is there a motivation for him hiding his face or does he just do it because he's a (flippin') ninja?
There might be something he wants to hide with the mask. He donned it after he killed his former master, however.

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Did Zed find it painful* having to kill his former master? I mean, almost all of his actions where to gain his approval, similar to what happens in a family when one brother overshadows the other, and thus, the other brother feels neglected and looks for a way to attract his parents attention.
If he found it painful, he doesn't want you to know.

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And on a more serious note, this box, it is powerful just because it gives power. Can we expect more powerful items to appear within the lore?
Ionia is a place of ancient and powerful secrets. There may be more mysterious things to be found there.

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adding on to this, if Zed is Akali's twin, which you certainly make it sound like, what does Akali think should be done with him, Kennen too
Akali is not Zed's twin, no--but interesting guess. :D Akali wants him dead. Shen might think there are other paths to restoring balance, however. Kennen might favor a path to redemption.

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Is this mysterious "box" intended to be a sort of Pandora allusion? That's the kind of vibe I get from it, and it seems to resonate pretty oddly with Zed, suggesting a sort of punishment for his inability to restrain himself (of course I ask in purely ideological terms- I'd like to believe that Zed had some internal conflict when betraying everything he knew).
Pandora's box is an interesting and apt comparison, yes. It certainly resonated with Zed's already dark intentions (to gain an edge against his rival). He couldn't resist its temptation.

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Could you tell us if shen became the eye of twilight before this or on that day that his master could have been "tortured" and killed (I only say this because tortured could mean anything really in physical pain. Zed could have cut off his head real slow or something of that nature or wounded him before)
Shen truly became the Eye of Twilight the day Zed killed his father. Before that, he was on the path, but he hadn't fully embraced what he knew he was meant to become.

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Were there any other "forbidden techniques" that the Kinkou may have sealed away besides the shadow technique?
Perhaps!

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Did Zed actually manage to find the box in the temple after his return and attack?
They claimed the box when they claimed the temple, yes.

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Is Shen's father truly dead? Or he an Zed have some deeper,evil connection?
Shen's father is certainly dead.

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How does Zed see Ryze? Ryze is keeping knowledge from people in that scroll.
Ryze's scroll is potentially of great interest to Zed.

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Can we beat Zed in game if we turn shadows off?
DANG. You got us.

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Zed's Recall Animation? What are those dark symbols? what is that 'gate' he opens to recall or escape when hes been dealt lethal damage? TEEL MEE
He's trying to cheat death through his dark techniques--does he succeed? YOU DECIDE.

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So an honest question this time, how do the Kinkou work?

In my mind there were very specific roles that the three main members played.

Judge, Jury, and Executioner.

The Eye of Twilight, the Heart of Tempest, and the Fist of Shadows.

It made sense since Shen is the stoic one, Kennen is the more energetic (literally) one who has a different perspective on life and Akali is one of the most well trained and physically powerful women in the League (Cutting the dangling chain with a karate chop).

Is this sort of thinking incorrect when I think of the three?
Shen is the one who makes unbiased decisions--the centerpiece of the Kinkou, essentially, with Kennen and Akali on either side. They represent the "scale" of perfect balance. Kennen is more or less the moral compass of the group, the good-hearted optimist, and Akali balances him with her darkness and capacity for violence and cruelty.

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How does Shen, as the Eye of Twilight who judges without prejudice, think about Zed and how his father was killed?
It weighs on Shen, but part of being the Eye of Twilight means that he must put his feelings aside and do what must be done to preserve balance. Part of Shen probably wants to seek out Zed and fight him to the death, but he must consider other paths. One day, he might have to forgive Zed completely.


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RiotRunaan

Associate Creative Designer

11-07-2012
8 of 8 Riot Posts

Alright guys, that's it! Feel free to continue discussion on this thread, but I won't be answering any questions beyond this point.

Thanks again for your questions! Hope you all had fun, and I hope you get a chance to enjoy Zed in-game as well!


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F5 Zarozz Mid

Senior Member

11-07-2012

Spoilers, What RiotRunaan "didn't" say:
Akali was part of zeds order, was clearly his favorite student and now she fights with shen, zed would hate her for this. Zed probably got mad when he found out Shen was the eye of the twlight as zed hoped to claim this from Shen's father thats why he raged and killed him.


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Thryale

Senior Member

11-07-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotRunaan View Post
Alright guys, that's it! Feel free to continue discussion on this thread, but I won't be answering any questions beyond this point.

Thanks again for your questions! Hope you all had fun, and I hope you get a chance to enjoy Zed in-game as well!
Noooooooooo!!!!!

I was too late. I wanted to ask what you thought of the slight discrepency between shen's and zed's lore concerning shen's father.

It was said in shen's lore that he had to watch his father be tortured before his very eyes as a test to become the eye of twilight.

But with zed's lore and your AMA it is revealed that shen's father is not only a powerful ninja, but the previous eye of twilight.

1st) why would the kinkou torture their own eye of twilight to test the new one?

2nd) what is the point of 'torturing' a master ninja? How could you expect to draw any emotion from the testee by torturing a master ninja? Master ninjas are extremely adept at taking punishment without uttering a sound or giving in to the pain lest they no longer qualify for their position.


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SufferNot

This user has referred a friend to League of Legends, click for more information

Senior Member

11-07-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotRunaan View Post
Alright guys, that's it! Feel free to continue discussion on this thread, but I won't be answering any questions beyond this point.

Thanks again for your questions! Hope you all had fun, and I hope you get a chance to enjoy Zed in-game as well!
Ah, drat, I had one too :/

How old are Shen and Zed?

Part of Shen's trial is that he had to watch his father be tortured before he could become the Eye of Twilight, and then after that he joined the League. But Zed murdered Shen's Dad right before joining the League... Maybe I'm the only one who is struggling to understand the timelines there, but I'm not finding it very clear...

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Originally Posted by RiotRunaan View Post
Food for thought: Akali's passive is "twin disciplines," her title "the Fist of Shadow" ... hmmmm. : )
Hmm... Akali inherited her title from her Mother. And she was inducted into the Kinkou at age 14. "It was clear that she would succeed her mother as the Fist of Shadows". If her mother was the fist and the fist served Zed but Akali doesn't because she has Twin Disciplines... Did Shen and one of Zed's lieutenants... Very interesting food for thought.


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Thryale

Senior Member

11-07-2012

eh, check my post for more inquires about the shen zed inconsistencies. As for timelines, I pretty certain riot makes the timelines vague for a reason as to allow them more freedom when trying to fit in new lore.

EDIT: oh, but you do make for a good point with akali. I missed the age in which she was inducted to the kinkou. Good catch, I was almost inclined to believe they were lovers at one point. Phew, that was a close one. (I dislike the cliche 'past lovers' scenario)


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Tekkaman Claw

Member

11-07-2012

My bet on why Zed cried out.

Shen was waiting in their and attacked, possibly killing his father. Alternatively Shen attacked Zed and Zed responded by killing Shen's father,


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Joel62525

Junior Member

11-08-2012

why doesn't riot make it that the 3rd skin of zed is a medical one?


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That Smite

Junior Member

11-08-2012

When will Zed be released? Will he be released in the up coming patch? When is the patch?


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Ask Talon

Member

11-08-2012

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there's plenty of "arm-mounted blades" to go around.
THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE

per arm.