Released during February 2009, Kinzart Kreetures’ Western Dragon was their main-grid foray into the reptilian kind. Contrasting heavily with their later Eastern and Northern Dragons, SLARF takes a look back at this interpretation of a Draconic beast.
Out of the Box:
- Male and Female Shapes and Skins
- Folding/Unfolding feet/wings with HUD Overrider
- Hands with Seven HUD Controlled Settings
- Horns with Twelve HUD Controlled Settings
- Moving Jaw responding to Talk/Voice with HUD control
- Change Glow/Brightness with HUD to:
- Horns, Claws, Frills, Spikes, Gemstones, Eyes, Wings, Mouth
- Solid or Flexi tails
- Optional Frills and Spikes
- Optional Earfrills
- Flapping Animation Overrider
- Decorative Collectable Egg
Script Time with HUD
Script Time without HUD
Avatar Rendering Cost
Build and Skin:
Across the body and attachments, we see a lot of effort that has gone into the scales. The textures do very well to imitate what scales would look like on a dragon, and the different colour options make each colour variety visually appealing. Users can choose from Celestial themed to Mutant themed Dragons. The only downsides are that the complexity of skin patterns could be a little confusing to the eye, and some may not wish to have the non-removable scale tattoos found on the arms. The avatar comes with both a male and female shape (despite female reptile not having mammaries) for those who wish to have them. Additionally, a mature female skin with nipples and female genitalia is included.
Take Notice: The pictures under this link are rated Mature – Click here to view the Male and Female Adult Skins
The Dragon feet are very Avian with high arches and 3 main toes. The textures accentuate each digit of the feet, though they aren’t set up to be aligned with the foot structure. The result is a slightly patchwork-looking pattern on the foot if you zoom in. The digitigrade leg shape accentuates the well-defined features of the avatar structure with vertically running scales and dark shading for depth.
The hand attachments on this avatar are very large to that they are difficult not to notice. However, the hand-attachments look very draconian, with long and spindly talon-tipped fingers. For definition, the creator added dark shading on the palms and undersides of the fingers. There are no prims to transition the gap between hand-attachments and the shape arm, so we see a bit of a size difference which makes for a slightly rough transition from a thin arm to a broad palm.
In regards to the tail, users have the option of wearing a Sculpted Tail or a Flexible Tail. Each has its benefits and limits; though personally I have found I enjoyed the sculpted tails for their extra detail. Both tails are sized appropriately and textured well with wide scales moving vertically up to the base. Users can choose their tail to either have Spikes or Frills on the top surface. Additionally, users can attach Spikes or Frills directly to the back of the avatar as well up the neck and head. The available choice of Spikes or Frills on the tail, neck, back of the head, and head itself gives a little bit of edge in customisation.
The wings are perhaps the most impressive part of this avatar with a wide wingspan that looks able to support the avatar’s weight during flight. Extending from between the shoulders, the wing structure splits at a hand-like joint, with the digits extending to form the main structure of the wing. The tip of each wing-digit is tipped with a sharp claw, as is the single, free digit at the hand-like structure. The textures of the wing-structures are of decent quality, though the scales look a bit too stretched on some parts. The tissue connecting the wings is translucent and convincing, granting users the choice to wear the wings whole or ‘torn’ (large holes scattered in the wing).
The flapping Animation Overrider is a little bit buggy, so it can be difficult to get it started. If you have an issue with the AO after unpacking, merely reset the scripts in the HUD and it’ll work perfectly. When the HUD is operating fully, the avatar flaps its wings during flight. In all, while nothing ground-breaking, the Western Dragon’s wings look visually appealing when the user is in flight.
A defining feature of this dragon is the neck. Basically, the head sits on a long prim neck that coils from between the shoulders upwards and back; covered on the front with a series of sculpted scale-plates. The scale-plates are a rather neat addition to the neck, and may have actually contributed even more to the avatar if they went from the neck down towards the belly. At certain angles, though, you can sometimes see the neck scales clip through each other.
The face is undeniably serpentine, with a shapely muzzle and an expression that could likely burn through steel. For some, the face may have a regal quality to it, while others would feel that it’s more of a grumpy-looking, stern look. Either way, the muzzle is fairly thin and narrow, save for the tip of the nose where we see an imaginative shaping of the nostrils, tip of the muzzle and chin. It could be argued that this dragon borrows influences from very Medieval Europe conceptions of dragons. The interior of the mouth is well designed, with a non-forked tongue resting against the bottom of the muzzle. Rather than having large, dangerous-looking teeth, however, the avatar features a good number of small, sharp teeth instead.
Set in the middle of the forehead are two colour-changeable jewels, and raised eyebrow-scales surround the eye, giving the face a more pronounced brow. The eyes are cold and steely, textured well, but the placement leave a little bit to desired. Earlier Kinzart avatars had most of the eyes pointing sideways rather than forward (which they have since begun to change with avatars like their Serval and their Bat). As a result, the avatar looks a little odd from the front, but better from the side.
Finally, the head has ear-fins that mimic the style of the wings, and a few assorted spikes that line the back of the jaw and the center of the avatar’s forehead. Users receive a choice of 12 different horns through the HUD or text command; each one different from the other and granting the user additional customisation.
Heads-Up Display (HUD) and Features:
The avatar comes with a parchment-paper themed HUD as well as text commands to get the job done. In this reviewer’s experience, we have been finding a few problems with Second Life’s alpha sorting making it difficult to access options on the second page. The following is a breakdown of HUD Controls:
Page 1: Features and Settings
- Ears (Up, Down, etc.)
- Eye State
- Feet (Curled, Open, Auto)
- Wings (Open, Closed, Auto)
- Horn Selection (#1-12)
- Left and Right Hand Poses
- Jaw Rotation
Page 2: Colours, Glow, & Custom
- Colour, Glow Strength, and FullBright Toggle of the:
- Eyes, Claws, Gems, Mouth, Hair Horns
- Whole or Torn Wing Toggle
This avatar’s head is a little difficult to customise as it has a unique shape and appearance. The head shape is very non-normative, so any usage of hairs applied to the head will require at least an intermediate level of modding ability. Otherwise, users should be able to modify the rest of the avatar with relative ease because of the Copy-Mod permissions.
The Kinzart Western Dragon is another representative of what perhaps is the most popular conception of a dragon. While these creatures have been made in so many different forms, including Kinzart’s own Northern and Eastern Dragon, the European-styled form is most present in Western Culture. This dragon is versatile and fun to wear, whether one wants to wear clothing over it, or let the unique design of the scales show by going around without any covering.