The new Protocol 781-A VALORANT skin bundle adds a new dystopian, sci-fi aesthetic complete with a built-in AI to ensure you’re following orders on the battlefield.
VALORANT is full of colorful and exciting skins that are a great way to add a splash of color to your gaming experience. The new Protocol 781-A skins are the exact opposite and are meant to be government-issued weapons without any personal touches. Senior producer Preeti Khanolkar explained the process behind the skin line in a press release.
“With Protocol 781-A, our goal was to create a sci-fi skin like that would be very appealing but unlike any other sci-fi skins we’d created so far,” Khanolkar said. “So, not clean and futuristic like Ion, not otherworldly like Singularity, and not fun and colorful like Glitchpop. Instead, we wanted something dystopian that wouldn’t feel grungy or dirty.”
The AI included in each weapon is not designed to be a colleague on the battlefield and is only there to ensure missions are completed at “maximum capacity.” Associate art director Sean Marino also explained how the skins are almost the opposite of the Glitchpop skins, which are bright and colorful.
“Early on, we also toyed with the idea that Glitchpop and Protocol could exist in the same world, where Glitchpop is used by the underground rebel types and Protocol 781-A is the government response to controlling that chaos, or vice versa,” he said. “With that idea in mind, we drew inspiration from worlds that were dramatic, dark, and serious, and wanted to create something that would evoke a sociopolitical climate reminiscent of Elysium, Altered Carbon, 5th Element, and Battle Angel Alita.”
Khanolkar explained how the Protocol 781-A skin line was in the concept design process before VALORANT launched and initially included skins for the Stinger and Bucky instead of the Phantom and Spectre. The skins were delayed, leading to the team deciding to include the voice-over and bump the bundle up to Ultimate Edition. The last Ultimate Edition bundle, Elderflame, had a Vandal skin, so the team included a Phantom skin in the new bundle.
Marino also confirmed the skins feature voice-over in 13 languages, meaning players from several regions can enjoy the new feature in their native languages. The AI also appears in the voice chatbox where other players typically appear, adding to the realism.
The VALORANT Protocol 781-A bundle includes skins for the Phantom, Spectre, Bulldog, Sheriff, and the new Personal Administrative Melee. The guns can be upgraded four times, with each level adding new features. Level one adds a new gun model, ADS reticle, and custom bullets. Level two adds a custom muzzle flash and firing audio. Level three introduces custom animations and visual effects when equipping the weapon, reloading, and inspecting the gun.
Level four is typically the final level for weapons, adding a unique finisher and kill banner. But the Protocol 781-A skins have a fifth level that adds another exciting feature: a custom male voice-over. The AI triggers when inspecting the weapon, which is visualized in-game. There are approximately 60 voice lines that can occur in-game, adding an exciting and unique experience.
The Protocol 781-A melee skin also has three levels that add new features. Level one includes the new weapon model, and upgrading to level two adds new animations and visual effects. This level also features two inspect animations and attack sets that change based on which pose the weapon is held in. The third and final level adds a male voice-over when inspecting the gun, just like the weapons in the bundle.
All weapons included in the Protocol 781-A bundle have three color variants in addition to the base color. Players can use a white/pink variant with a female voice-over, red and blue variant with a male voice-over, or a green variant with a female voice-over. The bundle also includes a gun buddy, player card, and spray.
VALORANT players can purchase the Protocol 781-A melee skin on Jan. 11 for 9,900 VP.