Friday, May 16, 2014

Video game ANSI part 3 - Blocktronics 1980

I enjoyed good success with my previous two posts on this subject -- the obvious good fit between video game characters (and often outright sprite art) and the textmode graphics format of ANSI art. In my adolescence I was plunged into the weird world of textmode computer art, not for any retro reason -- that was just the way dialup BBSes distinguished themselves. The technology has moved on to heights unimagined, but similarly to how I cannot shake memories of the great old games I played back then, neither can I forget the satisfyingly minimalist aesthetic of ANSI art.
The ANSI art scene is long since defunct, but disparate onetime practitioners of the arcane art have found themselves swept together once again for sporadic releases of works made for old time's sake. Specifically, the group "Blocktronics" has just released an artpack of works themed "1980", and when considering the '80s, many of the artists thought about old video games -- and rendered out some textmode visual impressions of them. For your convenience, I have skimmed the pack of its game-related works and present them to you, here. (There are many other impressive works in the artpack, including a conversion of a Patrick Nagel piece, a tribute to the Moore/Gibbons Watchmen and a Max Headroom portrait, so if the look of these appeals to you, please don't hesitate to go check out the rest of it!)

Always, you must begin at the beginning: the FILE_ID.DIZ would instruct BBS file areas what the contents of the archive were, and here they are represented by a Pac-Man ghost.

At the bottom of the infofile, filled with nonsense typical of the '80s, there is a bright portrait of Capcom's MegaMan reclining by Enzo.

The Konami code will be well-drilled-in to anyone who ever owned one of the company's carts on their Nintendo Entertainment System, and here it is celebrated with one of their hardest games, its logo reproduced with great fidelity (using the advanced XBIN textmode format) by Fever.

Because even new video games owe a big debt to their predecessors, we have a long specimen of what might have once been termed a "scrolly", giving you a peek at the overall tapestry 25 lines at a time, this one themed after That Game Company's Journey, proudly painted by Reset Survivor.

Reset Survivor provided one more video-game-related piece for the artpack, but I have decided to reserve it for a post all its own -- truly it is just that epic. Cheers and fear not -- someday I will get back to video game ads scanned from comic books. Someday.

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