So when I heard that the Summer theme for PaletteSwap was golden age arcade games I was like, “Whaaaaaaaaaat gurl?” What was weird was that there was no girl there, just my cat Mustachio and she looked at me like I was going to give her pets. I was like,”No Mustachio, this is my time. Go do cat things.” Then my wife came into the room and we started breakdancing. 15% of that story is true. I will let you decide which parts.
Alas, the PaletteSwap theme WAS Golden Age arcade games. I was and am still stoked.
I grew up in San Pedro, California. Why is this important? Because that means I was only a hop, skip and a jump away from Torrance and in Torrance resided the Del Amo Mall. What was in the Del Amo Mall you ask? A Game Stop? No! Game Stop wasn’t even a twinkle in the eye of a tiny nerdboy yet. What lived in a dark and greasy corner of the mall was far better.
photo from snk-capcom.com
I actually just found out it was the testing center for new Neo Geo games too. Thanks internet!
Aladdins castle was a real video game arcade. As soon as you walked in your senses were going coo coo crazy. Your nose was greeted with sour b.o. as soon as your feet crossed the threshold. You cant keep a good nerd from sweating profusely when he’s playing Rushin’ Attack. Ears were met with the cacophonous sound of a hundred different games blasting at full volume and your eyes were full to the brim of colors, lights, and a huge array of multicultural nerdfare.
Of all those games I played back then I think Ikari Warriors was my chosen illustration this time because it most fits what I really like about the eighties, which take up the bulk of the Golden Age of arcade. I like, nay LOVE, eighties action movies. I actually can’t separate myself from the notion that Arnold Schwarzenegger is the best actor ever. I won’t attempt to justify that. I just lost some of you. I know that but it doesn’t matter. At any rate, Ikari Warriors celebrates the idea of two dudes taking down a whole army, armed with nothing more than a machine gun and a couple grenades. It was super fun and SUPER hard. I chose to model my characters after Arnold Schwarzenegger and Chuck Norris and what came of it is a poster for the greatest eighties movie never made.
Here are some shots of the original game:
photo from flyers.arcade-museum.com
photo from gamasutra.com
Did I mention that you only had a limited amount of bullets? What? Ridiculously hard game.
Ok so I must say that while I was making the illustration, I also decided that I wanted to push it a little farther. I’ve never actually made any papercraft toys before but I saw a couple papercraft arcade cabinets pop up when I was searching for the game screenshots. I have always kind of admired the idea of making tiny versions of bigger things and I wanted to play with it. After following a couple directions from other papercraft sites on how to make an arcade cabinet, I decided to mock up my own version. I wanted the thing to be able to print large but not so that you’d have to get any wonky sized paper or use a larger format printer. The plans ended up printing on two 8.5″x11″ pieces of paper. I used a couple sheets of 110 lb. card stock because I wanted to make sure it stuck around for a while. I made the plans available at my Etsy shop for a nominal fee. The PaletteSwap blog is a non-comissioned art blog so we as artists don’t make any money directly from it. We just love what we are doing. However, I thought it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to make this thing multi task for me as I put a bit more effort than just an illustration.
Anywho, these things look super cool on your desktop and if you spray them lightly with some varnish, they’ll last a long time.
Notice, the quarter stacked in the little gutter under the game screen. In arcade language, this means you've held your place for the next game.