Back to Blog

Dance Central Sketchbook 5: The Final Chapter! Eliot, and The Elusive Pink Ninja

Well, well, well, at last we come to the final chapter of our sketchbook series. Are you, the loyal fans of Dance Central, battle-hardened enough to handle the secrets contained herein? We think so. The fifth and final installment of the Sketchbook has the much-requested inside scoop on our lovable unlockable character Eliot, and the oh-so-mysterious Pink Ninja “Ttiw Tolrep”, commonly referred to as “LUXURY.”

Eliot & Ttiw Tolrep Character Profiles


Name: Eliot Hobbies: All totally normal, regular stuff, like baseball, apple pies, and straight chillin’. Interests: Becoming a real dancer! AND getting to party with all the cool kids! Favorite Movie: Saw this one about a puppet and a woodcarver? No clue why, but it resonated. Favorite Past-time: Hard to pick between all the human stuff to chose from, like sleeping, breathing, chewing... You know, the usual. Blood Type: Haha, um… A-? ‘Cause I, like, totally have blood and everything. Just like all humans. Obviously, right?

As with other sketchbook pieces, we sat down with HMXHellion and Perly to talk about overall character concepting for Dance Central. When our session about Eliot came up we also had to add Mr. Eliot Min, Harmonix artist and namesake for the beloved in-game robot. (You can also hear more from Eliot on Eliot in this episode of the Harmonix podcast).

We asked Eliot about his robotic alter-ego and he told us “I set out to design [a robot] I would actually want to encounter in real life. When I was thinking about things I liked as a little kid I actually remembered E.T., so I added the little heart to give him that little bit of warmth.”

Hellion chimed in, “we actually wrote Eliot the robot to be a little bit similar to our real-life Eliot. You know, he’s an extremely cute and very sympathetic guy.” “And like me, he’s also trying, unsuccessfully, to pass as a human being,” Min joked.

By now Dance Central fans have probably figured out that Eliot is obsessed with two things: being a regular (human) kid, and breaking into the world of dance. His obsession runs so deep that you may notice him tracking your moves, stats, and battles as you play: “Excessive Live Information Overload Tracker” is the long-form of the acronym, ELIOT.


Name: TTIW TOLREP Hobbies: ??? Interests: ??? Favorite Movie: ??? Favorite Color: Pink Blood Type: ???

Dare Matheson, Dance Central Art Lead Unveils Ttiw Tolrep

I remember playing Adventure on the Atari 2600 as a kid and finding the hidden message revealing the name of the creator – like buried treasure! “Easter Eggs” have been around in video games ever since. Early on at Harmonix, we would always have a blast at the end of each project jamming in some weird modes, character modifications, or extra unlockable content – anything that turns the game on its head. Over the last few years, however, that’s fallen off a bit due to the sheer size of some of the games we’ve made in the Rock Band series, where we often found ourselves pushing hard to the finish line and not wanting to do anything risky near the end of development.

On Dance Central, we had a ton of fun making up the characters’ personalities and the game’s implied story –which you can glean if you watch the Intro and Win Cinematics. We wanted the vibe of the game to feel serious about dance, yet playful, with a bit of a 1980s flavor. The smaller scale of this game gave us the chance to add an Easter egg character who would be the ultimate dance bad-ass. We instantly knew it should be a PINK NINJA (duh). No doubt about it… In the ‘80s, ninjas finally got their due recognition as destroyers of all competition, and it only seemed right that the ultimate dance ninja – no longer needing to hide in the shadows – would have a flare for fashionable color choice.

As an homage to another well-loved video game ninja, we named this one after some of the people who made him… Ttiw Tolrep is his name – after Mr. Shawn WITT, and Mr. Matthew PERLOT – the artists who crafted this ultimate machine of danssassination!

Well, Dance Central fans, there you have it. But before we leave you to go back to exploring the game, and finding Ttiw’s hiding place, we’d like to get one big, giant, rumor cleared up. That’s NOT Oblio under that mask. Who is s/he really? Well that remains to be seen…

Want to learn more about the rest of the Dance Central cast? You can check out all of the character snapshots and sketchbook pieces on the Dance Central blog!