Apr 112013
 
Zilean, the Chronokeeper
Zilean, the Chronokeeper

Zilean, the Chronokeeper slides through time without effort and that enables him more than just affect its course. Thus, he is able to draw styles and outfits from many different time periods. If you plan to warp trough the ages then consider making some time to visit his skins’ review.

Old Saint Zilean
Old Saint Zilean Splash Art Old Saint Zilean Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 520 RP
Concept: Zilean as a time-travelling Santa.
Model: Minor model changes for Zilean and his time machine.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: As far as backgrounds go this one is effective and up to the point: a Field of Justice with Christmas, or Snowdown, decorations. It’s all rather dark and plain but it sets the mood and serves as a proper frame. Zilean’s depiction makes ample use of frosty sparks to augment the drama; including a Teemo-cuckoo. The portrayal is rather good and clear and surely serves as a nice spotlight. However, it does generate expectations that the actual model can’t reach. It’s definitely a good splash art but a tad misleading.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Old Saint Zilean is direct about its concept but also simplistic in its approach. The model is barely but suitably changed so that the intent is clearly dispatched. However, the implementation is so limited that it hardly stands out. Thus, what it does it does well, but it doesn’t do much to start with. If you caught Old Saint Zilean during his time lapse it’s hardly a bad Christmas skin, yet those that didn’t won’t be missing much.

Groovy Zilean
Groovy Zilean Splash Art Groovy Zilean Model
Category: Regular
Price: 520 RP
Concept: Zilean as a hippie.
Model: New textures for Zilean and his time machine.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: Considering the psychedelic craze of the 60’s is hard to criticize the blurry mass of shades that makes up the background. It may seem boring, imprecise or indiscernible but it surely is fitting. Zilean’s depiction chooses a suitable stance: relaxed and laid back it reflects well the hippie motto. The portrayal suffers from some diffuse parts, the lower and rightmost ones mainly, and the shading seems solid and waxy. On the whole, it serves its purpose but doesn’t impress in the least.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Groovy Zilean isn’t a bad idea nor does it have a bad execution yet it isn’t astounding in any way. It does embody the flower power respectably well, considering its limitations, offering a psychedelic, prismatic look that screams hippie. However, it’s a rather simple re-texture that feels quite close to a simple re-colour. Both concept and execution are hardly astounding but they still have some merits. Therefore, this skin could be a passable alternative to his classic look. Regardless, taking into account its less than stellar qualities this is a skin to consider well so as to avoid a disappointment.

Shurima Desert Zilean
Shurima Desert Zilean Splash Art Shurima Desert Zilean Model
Category: Regular
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Zilean as a time traveler from Shurima.
Model: Minor model changes for Zilean and new model for his time machine.
Particles: New particles for Time Bomb and new colour for his auto-attack.
Animations: New animations for the hands of his time machine.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: Abandoned ruins, crumbling structures, arid wasteland: welcome to the Shurima Desert. The bleak landscape is quite eloquent but the prevailing blurriness is hard to explain and accept. Zilean fares a bit better though the depiction is just as rough. Still, the unkempt beard matches the ripped clothes and rustic time machine as some magic flames add a bit of mysticism. The portrayal is nice though its feel clashes with the clean look of the three-dimensional model. All in all, it’s a nice splash art with a fitting style but it tends to overuse its roughness to the point that it becomes a bit too crude and in line with a sketch.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Bearing Zilean’s classic look in mind the Shurima Desert style doesn’t seem to innovate much in terms of clothing. The robe is different, more regal and elaborate, which coupled with the turban bring a fine Middle-Eastern feel. Nonetheless, it’s not until we account for the fantastic time machine that the skin starts to shine. The stone time machine resembles a sun clock in structure and brings a novel and attractive style that re-fashions the role of time traveller. Even the auto-attacks follow the trend by incorporating stones instead of gears; though they still explode as the former. Add to this the spinning motions of the hands of the time machine and the skin brings a fresh and pleasing feel for this seasoned chronokeeper. With a bit more work the skin could really reach excellence in all aspects. Nevertheless, as it is, it’s a nice but technically outdated choice for Zilean’s fans or those that like a skin that adds more than just looks. More is expected at this price nowadays.

Time Machine Zilean
Time Machine Zilean Splash Art Time Machine Zilean Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 520 RP
Concept: Zilean as a time traveller from the Machine Age.
Model: New textures for Zilean plus new goggles and new model for his time machine.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: The background shows a dimly lit and even unclear workshop. There are some light-emitting tubes and maybe other trinkets around but not much is actually discernible. Zilean is depicted working on the controls of his time machine yet only his upper body is shown and most of his body is covered by the aforementioned controls. Besides, the colours are quite dim so that much of the details aren’t visible. On the whole, it’s a piece with a nice setting but it suffers, along with the portrayal, from an overly diffuse quality.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Time Machine Zilean doesn’t completely change his style but it does give him a Machine Age, or maybe steampunk, feel. The clothes are very similar with only different decorations and patterns. Besides, the goggles are a minimal reference to the time machine construction. In fact, the long robe, hair and beard added to the lack of shoes still keep his hippie air. The clock is completely re-modelled with a more industrial style but sadly lacks any animation on the hands. On top of that, the controls face away from Zilean; which seems a peculiar and hardly useful placement. All things considered, it’s a skin that gives Zilean a more grounded and refined style but mostly keeps his identity intact.

Blood Moon Zilean
Blood Moon Zilean Splash Art Blood Moon Zilean Model
Category: Regular
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Zilean playing the role of a dark spirit in the Ionian Festival of Fire play; which resembles a Japanese Noh theatre play.
Model: New model for Zilean and his time machine.
Particles: New particles for his abilities and auto-attack.
Animations: New animation for his time machine and recall.
Sounds: New sounds for Time Bomb, Chronoshift, auto-attack and recall.
Splash Art: A very blurry city, some spheres and victims can be noticed with difficulty. All of these elements remain at the side skirts of the piece filling the space left by the empty night sky. That space belongs to Zilean who, fortunately, looks much clearer than the background.
For a portrayal, Zilean receives an impressive depiction. The perspective, combined with the direction of the light, the sharp lines and the detailed textures make for a spectacular view. Unfortunately, the legs and sleeves tend to look a bit simple in comparison but, in general, it’s an accomplished portrayal that captures the attention and sets the mood of the piece quite well. This results in a fantastic spotlight for Zilean that misses its context. The blood at his fingertips would make more sense if the setting were clearer.
In conclusion, it’s a wonderful portrayal of Zilean set against and unclear and lacking background.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: With multiple and pleasing changes Blood Moon Zilean is a fantastic skin. Starting with the model, the new robes follow his classic style but are richer and more elegant. The oni mask and white hair clarify the Kabuki reference even if it can be easily overlooked in favour of the more eye-catching clothes and time machine. Said time machine receives an interesting and attractive new design of unaligned circles as well as a new animation that, along the clothing, define a distinct identity for the skin.
Fortunately, the skin doesn’t stop there and the new particles develop even further the theme. Specifically, Time Bomb’s patterns and eclipse evoke the time machine’s design while also offering a brief but unique spectacle. The other particles mostly follow the style and keep things consistent. Still, Chronoshift’s new sand clocks are a good reflection of the theme.
The few extra sounds keep things consistent and add a bit of a different feel but only Chronoshift’s manages to stand out. The new recall animation serves as a fitting and appealing, though perhaps subdued, reflection of the overall feel of the skin. It’s certainly interesting but also missing a high point.
In the end, Blood Moon Zilean sets a new standard for the Chronokeeper’s skins to follow. For a reasonable price it offers a nice model as well as particles, sounds and animations that work together to define the theme. Without a doubt, it’s Zilean’s best skin so far.

Conclusion

For a time traveller Zilean doesn’t innovate much in terms of looks. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t exceptions. Blood Moon Zilean is a skin that goes an extra step in defining a new identity for the Chronokeeper. The result is interesting and attractive due to several well developed additions that convey the new theme effectively. If you like Zilean then Blood Moon is the best choice.

At the same price Shurima Desert Zilean tries to compete but the passing of time has left it behind. It once was a great choice for fans of Zilean but it no longer does enough. It still adds a novel feel and style that also stands apart with its own original characteristics. Nevertheless, at its price, more is to be expected.

You may want to catch Time Machine Zilean at a legacy sale. The skin doesn’t stray far from his classic ways but it does have its individual mechanic style. If you accept its limitations it offers enough to be a good choice.

Finally, before considering a purchase of Groovy Zilean check what you are ingesting; better leave the narcotics for him. As far as aspects go there is a clear hippie vibe but that may not be enough due to its simplicity. You may like the skin but be mindful that you won’t be paying for much.

  27 Responses to “League of Legends: Zilean Skins’ Review”

  1. Shurima Desert has new particles for auto attacks.
    He throws rocks instead of clock parts. I don’t play Zilean, however I do think that skin is fantastic. Too bad I can’t say that about Groovy or Time Machine.
    Thanks for the review.

  2. I think the “misplaced” controls of Time Machine Zilean are actually intentional, because both them and his clock look kind of similar to the time machine described in the H.G. Wells novel “The Time Machine” and shown in the 2 movies based on it. Also the name and especially the fact that the front side of Zilean’s clock looks like the back of an old chair from a mansion in ~1900 underline for me, that the whole skin is an allusion to Wells’ Time Machine.
    We had to read & watch it in English lessons at school (and the concept was quite interesting, because Wells is just a genius), so yeah^^

    • The real problem we have with the skin is that the concept is good and even at 520 RP it could’ve done a better job at executing it. If it’s actually a tribute to H.G. Wells’ work then more is to be expected. The concept is interesting and even the machinery has an appealing antique style but it isn’t enough to bring it to life in a satisfying way.

  3. Greetings,

    There appears to be a slight typo in the discription in Time Machine Zilean’s ‘Model’ section. The word Goggles is written as Googles.

    • According to some dictionaries google is the name of a search engine and googles are special glasses to protect the eyes so we should pay more attention to our spelling; thanks.

      • Lol you did it again!

        More importantly: Thanks for all your reviews and this one especially! You’ve been a huge help to me in my navigation of the enormous landscape of League skins.

        • What do you mean? We can see no errors through our spell-checking googles.

          Not at all, we are glad that the reviews have been helpful.

  4. In 2015 Update Shurima Zilean’s Bomb is a rock now and explode particle is rocks

    Sry for my english.

  5. Just thought I’d let you know that you’ve dated the past 3 skin reviews as April instead of May! Haha.

  6. Groovy Zilean is indeed the greatest skin. Anyone who says otherwise is a traitor to the nation and should uninstall the game.

    • We perfectly understand your point of view even if it’s a little radical. However, with the correct psychedelic influence one can see clearly where you come from. Don’t forget to wear trousers.

  7. Greetings, Zero. Just curious: are there champions that you think are looking so impressive that skins of said champ are “inferior” compared to the original design? I know you provide detailed reviews on skins for champs and provide your recommendations should we ever purchase skins, but…you know: curiosity.

    • There have been instances, especially after visual upgrades, where the simplest skins become much less interesting as what they used to be. For example, re-textures, if maintained as such have to be quite well done to be a valid alternative to the classic skin. It can also happen with more elaborate skins, especially when they lose features; as we mentioned in our article.

      It’s not often the case, or shouldn’t be, but it sadly happens. There’s one noticeable case of a skin that is so underwhelming, even after a texture upgrade, that we think it’s simply worse than the classic one. That’s Nightmare Cho’Gath which is a re-texture that is simpler than the classic look. Maybe when a full visual upgrade reaches the Terror of the Void it’ll improve; Garen’s re-textures did at least.

  8. Blood Moon Zilean’s Time Bombs have a new sound? I’ve mained Zilean for a long time, and I can’t hear anything different from this skin.

    • We just checked and the sounds seem different. Granted there isn’t an abyss between them but Blood Moon’s Time Bomb seems softer and less rustic. Perhaps it’s just an impression but we hear a difference.

  9. who is author of this skin ?

    • Usually, it’s difficult to determine authorship unless there’s some specific information. Sometimes one person comes up with the concept and another puts the idea to paper while others implement it. Most of the time is a collaborative effort.

  10. digital zilean when?

    • As of now it’s just a fan skin so it’s entirely in Riot hands if and when they take the idea and turn it into reality.

  11. Maybe a Larry Bird zilean themed skin? :^D I love Darius’ skin and wish there were more basketball skins! I know making it will probably be hard but just an idea.

    • It’s on Riot but we agree that there’s a lot of potential for skins to draw from all kinds of sources. If done well it can be a good skin.

  12. When will riot release “Arcade Zilean”? The ideas are obvious: A “combo” statement when you successfully land 2 bombs, a “1 UP” when you revive someone. As a former Chronokeeper main I would love this.

    • From what a short search shows it’s only an idea without any official support. Technically, it’s a good and suitable idea for Zilean so it should be considered; at least. However, as with most things Riot, there’s no telling whether they actually are giving Arcade Zilean some serious thought.

      They probably are aware of it but there’s no way of telling when or if they will implement it. Chances are that if the skin idea is popular enough they will but we start to step into the land of speculation.

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