SS3 SHODAN avatar


Warren put this one on his Facebook page today:

This is the first time I noticed the Trioptimum logo tattooed on her forehead.

Oh, boy.


“What’s the matter, lover? Don’t you like my new look? Mwahaha…”

With regards to making her look too human, personally SHODAN never felt much like a computer to me anyway. Compare her to XERXES which is obviously just an insipid computer. Weirdly I never found her presence in SS2 scary either. In SS1 she was a bit because she was just outright hostile and you didn’t really know her yet, but in SS2 she had a more developed relationship with the player and she was more bratty than alien. Be interesting to see what they do with her in SS3. Maybe in her incarnated form she’d play as an Alyx Vance type character that (of course) turns on you.


I don’t like her new look and love the old but I’m willing to let go if there’s logic behind it, such as adapting a friendly look and pretending to be a subservient AI again to fool the unaware while she plans her next takeover.


I like the older look better.


The tri-op logo makes little sense. Why would she associate/brand herself with Tri-Op given the previous events?

Possible indications:

-It’s a darn reboot.
-She is pretending to be a subservient AI again.
-tri-op regained control of her again (temporarily, obviously), hence the branding.
-It’s just the result of a concept artist working with little base material to go off of (least likely).




how can a perfect immortal machine trascends into a wretched bag of flesh? … I don’t understand… how could she have done this?.. after all humans are insects that can’t compare to her magnificence

you’re right shodan could had trascend into organic plane when hosted rebecca, but which way?.. i find very unbelievable that a “wretched pool of bits” find a way to convert itself into analog nerve impulses and fixes into memory neurons (nowadays we don’t know how exactly brain and memories work)… maybe rebecca had some neural implant that allow shodan to do that… remember the data wafer containing the remains of SHODAN that Bayliss returned on board the Von Braun ( )

anyway… i agree with you in that shodan could was not particularily scary (for me it was, that skinny face was like a psycho digital skull), but that doesn’t mean now it has to be PRETTY

i dont understand why most salesmen or (sold) artists think that to make a good product it has to be pretty or sexy or sexual… system shock is a terror game series, so shodan should be scary not pretty or sexy (maybe a rotten, torn, cyborg or mutant rebecca, not a sexy one with kissable lips)

so maybe you are one of the developers, or some marketing guy

“never felt much like a computer” ->

-It’s just the result of a concept artist working with little base material to go off of (MOST LIKELY).

wow, that was the most developed and solid argument i read here

nowadays game studios think that the more stunning graphics, the hotter female characters, and the easier gameplay (i.e. linear gameplay full of cutscenes with (many but) easy achievements), the better and well sold the game will be… not really true (think minecraft vs haydee) (with some few exceptions like tomb raider 1-5)

ss2 is a hostile game, nothing is pleasant… the player feels alone and vulnerable all the time, has the permanent feeling that his status hangs on a wire and all is against him… and THAT is what hooked a cult of religious fanatics (realism, and to get things with effort, the more effort the more valuable the award is)… there are a lot of system shock series resources, please dont take the easy way and use it

actually thinking a bit more, i better dont worry … after all system shock 2 is the “best games in the history” (not the most popular or well sold) and it put the rod so high that even with all modern techniques will NEVER MAKE A GAME AS GOOD AS SS2… so chances are i wont buy the game and later find a review telling ss3 is a crap compared to its predecesor

i am watching prey 2 too, it draws my attention a liitle more in the sense they are more honest and say they will “trying to make” a “spiritual sucessor to ss2” (anyway prey was visionary, portal had copied many aspects of it), maybe i will play it when were done


Just responds to questions with questions or unrelated nonsensical answers, not giving its own opinion. Typical chatbot.


My money’s on a juxtaposition of two things:

  1. System Shock, and SS2, used Trioptimum as a minor framing tool: evil corporation creates monster. Hence the deathtrap design of Citadel Station, and the vending machines full of weapons and ammo in SS2. Triop as an EvilCo trope was given more satirical weight by Ken Levine in SS2, which in turn became a critique of economic Objectivism in BioShock.
  2. Warren (and associates) already consider corporations dangerous, and recent political events have significantly increased their level of concern.

When I combine those, SHODAN’s Triop tattoo suggests to me that corporations, as represented by Trioptimum, are in for a shellacking in SS3, probably as a primary story element.

If there’s anything to that analysis, this poster of SHODAN was a warning: savage socioeconomic political commentary incoming, because science fiction can be a great vehicle for satirizing contemporary beliefs (see Harry Harrison’s great Bill, The Galactic Hero), because Warren’s been outspoken that computer games can and should Say Something, and because he’s seriously PO’d right now and wants to do something productive with that passion.

I could be wrong about any or all of these, of course. But as we’re speculating, there’s another speculation to add to the “what does it mean?” bonfire.


You know, this really got me thinking about the lore of both games. Both games have a surprising amount of them, yet they were always hidden in the manuals and ICE breaker guide. It’s not that the third game has nothing to build on, in fact, there’s so many stories regarding the game’s lore that’s untold to a great portion of the player…

I’m wondering when this would be taken too far though. You don’t want a story to become excessively cliché, or cheesy. We do know however that there is certainly great potential for the sequel’s story.


Regarding the overarching point you made…It still doesn’t explain WHY she has the logo on her damn head, assuming that’s how she will appear in-game. If she won’t have the logo on her head in-game and the image is just making an allegorical statement, then sure.

There’s little realism/story-based justification for Citadel’s deathtrap design. Force bridges, walkways and such without handrails? It’s just that way because gameplay is awesome (and the engine limitations I suppose).
A lot of it can be attributed to Shodan, but others there’s no justification beyond it’s a game, and that is justification enough.

As for justification for SS2’s vending machines? LG/IG covered a lot with their illusory immersive design. The “vending machines” are replicators. They don’t contain items. They essentially 3D print them. And never weapons, likely primarily for balancing reasons and partly because it wouldn’t make sense to have weapons accessible to all crew members.
Anyway, my point is the replicators don’t stand to scrutiny as an “evilCo” symbol. They’re an every day device the likes of which you’d expect to see on a 30th century starship.


i like to think in replicators as “molecular replicators” instead 3d printers… as in tron movie where objects are digitized, memorized, and then materialized back with a laser, even you can see some sparks when you “buy” some item from replicator… so this way the replicators dont need to store any actual item, just a molecular blueprint in its memory, and could be easily hacked by altering its blueprints … i think is unlikely that hypos or orange juice could be 3d printed

an orange in molecular reconstruction process

kevin flynn beign digitized

anyway, it is good to say, but the starting topic is about early ss3 shodan looking… for example i thing it does not scares at all, does not look digital, is too pretty and has a hot iron engraved triop logo on her forehead

kissable hose tangled girl

scary and mad piece of software


I gotta admit, it tickles me pink to see this every so often. I made this, gods… 15-20 years ago now? I’m really glad you like it!

I wish I still had the original file; I’d love to do a new higher-res version.