Who doesn’t love video games?
I wanted to look behind a few of the fantastic video games I have made Dank Art for and check out some of their inspirations, stories, and exciting features. Not every game gets Dank Art, and often I am choosing games with a strange quirk or story behind them. Here are three examples of Dank Arts for three video games and what I find to be my peculiar take on them.
Shadowrun for the SNES
Shadow Run released in 1993 for the Super Nintendo System, developed by Krome Studios Melbourne (originally Beam Software), published by Krome Studios Melbourne, Data East, Laser Beam Entertainment Pty. Ltd. Streamed by DNOpls. Watch his streams here.
Shadowrun for the SNES is when someone gets this wild idea to turn their pen and paper roleplaying game into a video game, and it works. It’s an action RPG that combines the original statistical elements and translates them into real-time gameplay. Its futuristic themes and gritty hardboiled characters make it more the reason to pick this game up as there’s a lot of depth and story if you are willing to commit to a full play-through.
I love games that have that cyberpunk element. For me, cyberpunk always looks straight out of the pages of some out-there comic magazine. I’m talking about The Long Tomorrow by Dan O’Bannon (the dude best known who did the screenplay for Aliens ) and Moebius (the french comic artist best known for his work on Blueberry, Arzach, and The Incal.) These two just sat down one day in 1975 and said, “C’est Bon! Let’s turn science fiction on its head!” They did just that.
The Long Tomorrow is a 16 page comic that influenced everything from famous movies, books, games and even pop culture.
Dan and Moebius first met when working on the Jodorowsky’s movie of Dune. The comic came from them sharing ideas behind the scenes.
The comic is worth picking up if you haven’t already. Be sure to choose the correct language, as the comic is initially printed in French. It’s better to experience this amazing comic masterpiece in real life rather than looking at scans online.
If you’re a big fan of cyberpunk, this may be a game you’d like to pick up. If you’re seeking an action-RPG hidden gem to fill your time, this one might do the trick. Whatever. Play this game already.
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is an action role-playing video game that was released in 1987 by Nintendo. Streamed by Macaw45. Follow him on Twitch here.
How do you follow up a hugely successful game like Zelda? By changing everything. Ok, not everything, but enough that the entire game will feel different and not just a direct clone copy of the first. It seems like kids didn’t care about these issues with video games back in the day. I think kids (and adults) were probably just excited there was a sequel. The cart was gold as well, so it sticks out in your video games collection with a bit of twinkle.
It’s time to talk a bit about the 1990s when Nintendo took the U.S. by storm with the Nintendo Entertainment System’s success. As the demand for more merchandise deals during the 90s increased, new opportunities for video games to make money opened up. That’s where Valiant Comics enters the picture.
Former Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Jim Shooter founded Valiant Comics and lawyer and businessman Steven Massarsky back in 1989. They had the licencing rights to a few Nintendo properties that ran under the Nintendo Comics System in 1990 and 1991. The Legend of Zelda was one of those titles that saw a short release and sold at newsstands for a whopping $1.95. These comics’ stories featured continued adventures from after The Legend of Zelda and The Adventure of Link video games. They take a close character design to their animated cartoon counterparts featured alongside Captian N: The Game Master.
For a while, it appeared that this look for Link and his friends was the go-to North American interpretation for the characters. Though this comic only saw five issues, it was a wide-spread point of reference for other artists and fans to use as inspiration.
Monster Party NES
Monster Party is an action platformer for the NES released in 1989 published by Bandai. Streamed by DNOpls. Hey, look, I’m relinking his twitch here because you probably didn’t click it back up there.
Monster Party is just a fascinating horror game. This game was only released in North America even though a Japanese studio developed it. There are a few excellent websites to dive into the lore on the Beta release of this game on the Internet. I can recommend the Cutting Room Floors site if you want to read more about it or other interesting facts on things cut from video games and other media. If you manage to find the Beta copy of the game by chance, they have a working English patch for the game over at Romhacking.net so that you can play them even creepier unreleased Japanese version.
The Beta Screen in all of its gory glory.
Sorry, I’m dead.
The asparagus went bad.
For a kids game, Monster Party is a wild ride. It’s full of some of the most bat-shat crazy designed concepts for a Nintendo game released in America. There’s an enemy that is just pants, emo kids, bosses that are fried shrimp, dead spiders, and the list goes on. It doesn’t sound creepy, but it gets more mysterious and weirder as you progress if you put effort into this game.
The game has an outwardly cute appearance, but it goes dark fairly quickly, which builds on its creepy feeling. It takes many pokes towards iconic famous monsters from movies and legends. This also makes the original Beta name, “Monster Parody,” all more obvious. Interestingly enough, I found a tweet from @mossmouth, who shares a strange Japanese monster model called “Torigaran,” which translates into “Chicken Carcass.” Bandia also manufactured this toy, so I guess that makes sense in some weird way.
Spoilers. The ending is messed up. Video Games. Not even once.
Want to read more articles about retro games? Check out this article: Aquas sets a Ghoulish World Record