Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Video game textmode art part 26: several beloved game series

Greetings all to another installment of Video Game Textmode Art! It's been a while since we had one of these "lazy" unthemed collections posted... all of the curation was done a long time ago, but the path from "a pile of content" to a completed blog post is surprisingly non-direct. I had a couple of these "miscellaneous" slush-pile posts floating around in draft form, and finding that a number of games were represented in both... painstakingly transplanted contents until I had loose groupings of games. It's becoming more apparent to me that in the fullness of time I will have to go back to a number of these entries and transplant pictures from one page to another to better keep the company of other ANSI adaptations from their game and series. In time... there will be order. But until then -- a heck of a lot of joyous chaos!

(An excerpt from "results.txt: the leakening" drawn by Farfar, moqui and Oni for the REVISION 2016 demoparty back in March. A nice joystick, a gameboy and some Mario-alia, well done!)

And that work hasn't been the only thing keeping me away from the old blog, of course -- I've been busy with artpack activities, not just writing about ancient textmode art but actively currying the production of more of it. The next month should see a couple of substantial artpack releases from my historical artgroup Mistigris, and though it may not necessarily give me a great deal to discuss here, I still consider it not only eminently worthwhile, but even higher priority than my sacred charge at Pixel Pompeii. This stuff can wait, it's not getting any more timely, right? (An it please you, you still have a couple of weeks to get a submission in.)

Cooling this blog off was a bit painful since my last major spree -- the PD spelunking series that ran practically daily in July.  I was reaching hundreds and indeed thousands of you, but only as long as I kept the pace up.  Of course if I don't have new content for you, you have no reason to check in, and I can rest confident that when there IS an update, your RSS readers... oh, wait!

That said, here we are, and here I have some video game textmode art for you. We'll go chronologically -- from 1978, here we have... Taito's raison d'etre, Space Invaders! ANSImated very, very slowly, for reasons known only to him, by Deater!

They get bigger and more colourful (thanks, RM!  Making this in 2011 means it's a modern masterpiece of sorts!)...

and bigger yet... (by Korma of DFS)

and bigger still!

OK, ok, let's move two years ahead to Namco's big splash, Pac-man. And to kick it off, another Deater ANSImation!

This Pac-man was devised an an exercise into adding colour into unix terminals:

Pac-Man might have had a little nibble of a Super Mario mushroom, as his size is undeniably increasing here (from the memberlist of the 50th Mimic collection)...

And Pac-Man also grows bigger and bigger yet... (by Watermelon of RCA)

until finally Pac-Man assumes the humanoid proportions and appearance allowing him to shed his iconic incomplete-pizza role and become a charismatic hero players can identify with (an excerpt of a larger, less-video-gamic piece by Ewheat of Apathy):

Onward to 1981, with Nintendo making its big splash with Donkey Kong in the arcades! This vision was machine-interpreted by the Retrospecs app, but despite being in a sense wildly abstract, the subject represented is still immediately identifiable.

And on to (Turtle of VOiD's take on) Rare's 1994 take on the shaggy ape from 1994's Donkey Kong Country for the SNES...

and DK's "little buddy" (I was looking it up... son? No, that's Donkey Kong Jr., who I was going to -- incorrectly -- say has been unseen... locked in the attic?... since his 1982 debut. Nephew? Whatever...) Diddy Kong. (Least satisfying revelation of subject clause ever.) (Drawn by Posyden of The Dirty Dozen.)

Time marches onward, and delivers us to another hardened veteran from Namco's cohort: Bubble Bobble from 1986. Here's a monochrome ASCII rendition of one of the two dragons (with no colours to distinguish Bub from Bob, I'm sure at a loss) by Sudden Death of CiA...

... and here, a somewhat rougher ANSI version that nonetheless makes it painfully clear who is who (by Cleaner from a MicroPHusion artpack):

Also from 1986 is New World Computing's CRPG Might & Magic. The skeleton here (by Liquid Image of iCE) is ringing strongly resonant for me with the ghoulish character on the box art for part IV of their series.

As for this party (by Aaon, also of iCE), I have no idea if they're adaptations of game art, or just another ad for the BBS using the game's name as its own, but here you have it!

And now we're firmly over the decade barrier and into the '90s (well, 1990 to be precise) with Toys for Bob's SF update of Freefall's Archon -- Star Control 1! This ANSI art adaptation of its wicked awesome box artwork is itself also wicked awesome (by the wicked and, presumably, awesome Black Knight of BAD.)

This is a close-up view (by Number Cruncher, also of BAD -- seemingly the most Star Control-appreciating artgroup out there!) of the Slylandro Probe plaguing its sequel, Star Control 2:

And in conclusion, a picture only Nootropic could bring to the table: a naked Spathi, unshelled:

And (sadly), that's it for Star Control -- though if any textmode artists out there would like a kickstart on a SC tribute before Stardock brings the 4th game in the series to market, I would love to hand off an incomplete ANSI WIP from Happyfish I've been sitting on since the Mistigris World Tour of 1997. But I digress.)

And if that awesome game didn't end up taking over the world (though its developers, Toys for Bob, sure did end up making a mint with Skylands!), these 1991 successors came quite a bit closer: it's DMA's Lemmings! (OK, Lemmings didn't end up taking over the world also -- I think someone hit the "nuke" button -- but DMA's follow-up Grand Theft Auto sure did!)

I don't know why, but these first two screens, above (by KuoYen Lo) and below, feature appearances of Lemmings drawn within level layouts for Epic Megagames' textmode ZZT.

Oh No! More Lemmings!  (Thanks for nothing, KP of iCE!)

and one more piece of Lemminging, by Abomination of Skill, before the main attraction...

Here we go, it's the Lucasarts revue! What we've all been waiting for: Purple Tentacle from 1993's (I know, in our closing act I'm messing around with the chronological conceit I've so painstakingly maintained) Maniac Mansion 2: Day of the Tentacle. This one is in ASCII...

... but here, we have a much nicer one drawn (by Tonto of Drool) as ANSI art:

But wait, there's more -- one of his three nemesises (nemises?) Laverne, drawn by the same artist and released in the same artpack! (I don't know about Bernard, but I'm guessing Hoagie didn't get drawn because the artist didn't know about making double-width .BINs...)

Here's an ANSI rendition (by fitzroy of TheLoop) of the Zombie Pirate LeChuck from 1997's Curse of Monkey Island!

And from Grim Fandango (1998, just one year later... yow!) -- the revolutionary skeleton Salvador Limones, drawn in Amiga-style ASCII by Hellbeard of Impure!

OK, there's your old-fashioned video game ANSI art grab-bag, just like this blogger used to crank out as quickly as he could!