Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair Character Spotlight: Queen Phoebee

In case you missed the announcement of our new game, Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair, have a read of this web post and get yourself up to speed! Now that’s out of the way, let’s get cracking…

Who is Queen Phoebee?

Queen Phoebee is the young ruler of the Royal Stingdom, which is coincidentally the same Grand Tome that Yooka and Laylee trapped Capital B inside of, and it wasn’t long before he started to cause trouble. He needed a new workforce and created a “hivemind” device, which he used to enslave the Royal Beettalion guard, leaving little room for resistance.

Queen Phoebee insists that Yooka and Laylee help her restore order to the Royal Stingdom. The Capital B situation is sort of their fault after all.

She was “arted” into existence by Steve Mayles, so we swiped some concept art off his desk while he was on the loo. When he returned and accosted us, we distracted him with some questions about her design…

Steve Mayles Stingterview

What elements of Queen Phoebee’s character/personality/role were you aiming to convey in her design?

As is often the case when a new character is first talked about, the role isn’t set in stone and may well evolve as the story evolves. Initially, ‘Beelady’ as the working file is called, was going to be Capital B’s ex-wife before she had royal honour bestowed upon her (tiny) shoulders.

I didn’t want to go over the top with the royal theme – I think her outfit is practical enough for the everyday duties she has to perform, like fighting off despotic tyrants.

Bee mine

What were your reasons for moving away from hair styles?

When the ruff collar was added, a big hairstyle wasn’t needed as the ruff was now the focal point. The hair could also have caused animation issues intersecting the collar.

Also, it was felt she looked a bit too ‘human’; so, when she moved towards her final design, the hair didn’t really work anymore.

Any particular reason for the green gem?

Someone pointed out my female characters always have green eyes, so I threw a real curveball in there and moved the green from the eyes to the gem. Didn’t expect that did you?

In the game the gem is the rainbow colours. Maybe it has a secret purpose?

Concept 6 beet the others in the beautbee contest

Concept 6 won out! What was it about this design that you were most keen on?

I think a few people voted on it! When it gets to this stage and there are a few similar designs to choose from any of them would work, you just have to choose one and go with it. Often, I’ll make tweaks as it is being modelled anyway – I’m impatient to get started in 3D!

Including the same bee design language as Capital B with the dark brow mask was important too. But overall, she needed to look likeable and friendly. I must say female bees are easier to design than female apes; I’m always trying to make amends for the original Candy Kong…


Well, there you have it. We hope you feel a little more acquainted with our blue-blooded bee, Queen Phoebee! Stay up to date on all things Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair by following us on Twitter and Facebook.