Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Video game ANSI art part 11: antari_patterns_ant blocktronics mega-tapestry

It's been a fair while (May?) since the last mega-ANSI, video-game style. This one comes from their "1010" artpack (their 10th) in October of 2014. I was not able to discern the identity of the artist involved, though there's a good chance it's a collaboration of sorts. First, the good stuff:

Our first retro artefact is an audiocassette tape deck, which you may recall as a data storage medium for such platforms as the TRS-80 CoCo, ZX Spectrum or a whole range of Commodore machines, hence such period slogans as "PRESS PLAY ON TAPE". This leads into a tremendous Pac-Man, complete with fruit, pills and maze (but no ghosts), which in turn transitions into Konami's Frogger, about to get creamed by the b7 (for "BLOCK7TRONICS", the modern ANSI art group involved) semi truck. (And are those Breakout bricks behind him?) From there, we are treated to scenes from Bally-Midway's Tapper, a bit of Galaga-style player-poaching action in Irem's Moon Patrol, and a menacing sneaker-sporting Centipede... capped off with some of Taito's Space Invaders (being shot at by their standard player-controlled opponent), which then segues in turn into Asteroids from Atari -- with limited ANSI options for rendering vector polygons.

(Take a breath!)

We then get a seemingly familiar, but assuredly confabulated, appearance of the fictitious shareware hit Roid Destroyer 9000, with Pong paddles doing their thing on the sides, then an illustration practically off the cover art from Activision's River Raid, moving on to Namco's Dig Dug (and just where was he attaching his pump to, anyhow?), Atari's landfill-famous ET -- the Extra-Terrestrial character if not necessarily the pit-falling game, though perhaps so as the next game is indeed David Crane's Pitfall from Activision. ET is triggering the appearance of a Blocktronics logo from a television set's bunny ears antennae for the benefit of an Atari logo. Next up is some side-shooter I couldn't casually identify -- the tracer trails reminded me of Williams' Stargate, and though I can't place the enemy type, the airship at least looks similar enough to that game's avatar -- though there, they dogfight against a backdrop of spacey black, not a blue sky. Hoping to find more, I even Googled the phrase "jet fighting squid" but all that search yielded was this amazing image:

On the land beneath that airborn conflict is of course some sort of terrestrial vehicle race -- my most immediate guess would be Namco's Pole Position, but it is not a genre in which I am well versed. Finally, we end with a nod to the 1983 movie War Games.

Hats off, gentle folk. That was a dense piece of work!