it was a combination of the original design looking too anime to fit the game aesthetic and we also needed more bird legged mechs to round out the overall look of the mechs and the Hellhound stats fit what we were looking for.
Maybe if the Hellhound in game looked like C it could truly be called Conjurer. The way I see it, the design in Mechwarrior 4 is an entirely new BattleMech in the same way as the Arctic Wolf from Mechwarrior 4 is in truth the Arctic Wolf II.
Holy cow, I just got back from the Sarna link, and that's a heck of a departure from the original that got put in the final game. Personally, I think that C there probably should've been closer to the final version. All beautiful sketches there thought, far better than I could even dream of doing.
I think I like the C version. It keeps to the art style of most of the other mechs while still having enough in common with the original design. Do you remember why it got rejected? The knees look a bit too complicated (I imagine a rock or two easily jamming up the works by getting wedged in the gaps), but, otherwise it seems to be a solid deign that fits the aesthetics of the battletech universe. Also, as previously mentioned, it actually still bears some similarities to the original. The version that got approved for the game, while an awesome design, is so drastically different, it would have been better, in my view at least, just to have said it was a totally new design.
I like the C version but I do prefer the inverted leg style of the A variant. Personally a few tweaks to the C variant would look much more kick ass in my opinion.
I would change the length of the barrels of the shoulder cannons and change the look of the right arm. If I had a chance to pilot that mech as is, I wouldn't complain. Great work as usual Mecha-Master.