In context: Last month saw Intel officially announce its discreet graphics card brand aimed at consumers---Intel Arc. The codenames of the first and future hardware generations seem to be taken straight from a D&D game, and now we have a a better look at the official mascot for the first Arc GPU lineup: the Alchemist.

In an interview with HotHardware, Intel Senior Director of Graphics Product Marketing, Martyn Stroeve, and Senior Manager Graphics Tech Analysis, Scott Wasson, explained the thinking behind the Arc branding, including the inspiration for its name. Stroeve explains that the term was chosen because it has multiple meanings, including an energy connection between two points, a vessel, and a story arc.

Intel's codenames for its next-gen Xe-HPG lineup could have come from an RPG's character selection screen: Alchemist, Battlemage, Celestial, and Druid. Alchemists, who attempted to change common metals into gold, are a common sight in role-playing games, as are druids. Battlemage, meanwhile, is best known as a class in various Elder Scrolls games, and Marvel fans will recognize the Celestials as the god-like creatures that have appeared in the comics since the 1970s. They created the Eternals and the Deviants, both of which appear in the upcoming Marvel's Eternals movie.

Choose your Intel character

Intel had given us a sneak peek at the design of the characters (above) during last month's Architecture Day 2021 presentation. In the HotHardware interview, Stroeve released a larger image of the Alchemist mascot. He also suggested Intel could launch merchandise such as t-shirts featuring its Arc characters. Such a practice is common among many companies; MSI has a slew of products featuring its Dragon Lucky mascot, including figures, key rings, and hats.

Intel's Arc line is an exciting prospect for gamers, with the first Alchemist series rumored to be powerful enough to rival the RTX 3070 and AMD's Radeon 6800 XT when it launches early next year. The company also has its AI-powered super sampling solution---Xe Super Sampling (XeSS)---to take on Nvidia's DLSS and AMD's FSR, and the Arc drivers will include built-in overclocking tools.

All images: HotHardware