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HLD - Mini Tarot Portraits b/w by SableGear HLD - Mini Tarot Portraits b/w by SableGear
Mini portraits inspired by the minor Tarot theme in Hyper Light Drifter. While the Drifter (The Magician) is the only one canonically established in this set, I did a little interpretation for the other characters present.

0-The Fool: Thanks to a piece of fan fiction I'm working on, I've become very attached to "the Drunk," the NPC who hangs around the east side of the hub town. Suffice to say he becomes significant to my story, donning the white cape and becoming an honorary drifter himself before the end, starting a journey of his own. This parallels the "starting point" The Fool represents in one interpretation of the Major Arcana aptly called "The Fool's Journey." The Fool is a carefree, even naive archetype, which fits my personal interpretation of the Drunk (I call him Eo, by the way).

1-The Magician: Why does the HLD Steam Card call him The Magician when the entire fanbase and even the devs just call him The Drifter? I don't really know, but here he is, borrowing some Tarot iconography from his namesake with the halo-lemniscate, and the right and left hands respectively pointing up and down (sort of).

2- The High Priestess: The Alternate Drifter is implied to have some sinister intentions that lead to a slightly different end to the HLD story. (Preferring to wait for an official release, I have avoided hacking her in or watching any walk-throughs of her endgame.) I suspect she's still loyal to Judgement and looking to release it rather than destroy it, or claim its power for her own. In that sense she can be seen as a literal priestess of Judgement, but the card itself can represent divine order, mysticism, and a powerful feminine presence, which I feel are appropriate associations. I haven't borrowed much Tarot iconography for her, but instead repurposed the ears of her helmet to double as the High Priestess's horned crown, topped with HLD's distinctive diamond rather than a featureless globe.

8-Strength: Of course I chose Strength to represent the Guardian (though he was almost The Fool before I remembered my fondness for Eo). Strength not only represents physical power but also mental fortitude and a kind of tranquility. The Guardian appearing to stay calm under duress, even calmly accepting his fate and passing the torch to the Drifter before the end, fit the depth of this archetype and made it an appropriate pair in my mind. The halo-lemniscate appears here again as a bit of borrowed iconography (and also makes him a nice visual match for my Magician).

18-The Moon: No, I do not interpret the Jackal as a god of death, let me just get that out there. Not only did Death seem too obvious, it also felt inaccurate for the Jackal. Death is invariably an agent of change or revolution, whereas the Jackal's motivations are relatively unknown. The Moon represents instinct, imagination, and hidden knowledge; I felt these were more appropriate associations for our mysterious guide-dog. The distant pillars and the Jackal itself are the iconographic bits I've used here, as two pillars/towers and two canines (a dog and a wolf) frame the moon in the most common/R.W. art appearing for The Moon.

Coloured version here:

Hyper Light Drifter (C) Heart Machine Studios
Art by me
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Submitted on
April 22
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