Thursday, 5 May 2016

Textmode art roundup: Star Wars

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L u k e  S k y w a l k e r      H a n   S o l o          C h e w b a c c a

Self-Proclaimed Jedi Knight     Smuggler, Pirate         Smuggler, Pirate
     500,000 credits            200,000 credits          100,000 credits

               The above are wanted for the following crimes:

    - Liberation of a known criminal, Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan -
         - Direct involvement in armed revolt against the Empire -
                              - High treason -
                               - Espionage -
                               - Conspiracy -
                    - Destruction of Imperial Property -

           These individuals are considered extremely dangerous.

       E X P E R I E N C E D   B O U N T Y   H U N T E R S   O N L Y

  The Empire will not  be held  responsible  for any  injuries or property
  loss arising from the  attempted apprehension of these  notorious crimi-
  nals. Bounty is for live capture only! For more information contact your
  local Imperial Intelligence Office.

The tip of the iceberg of Lennert "LS" Stock's complete Star Wars ASCII Collection of newsgroup-style SW ASCII art at

MAY THE 4th... er, OK, I missed that deadline. But the mission of sharing Star Wars-related textmode art compels me! So (sigh) it's time for the REVENGE OF THE 5TH! (If I don't get this out today, I'll have to resort to something completely abominable like ... 7he Empire S7rikes Back! (bleurgh!))

Aware that yesterday's occasion was upon us, in the afternoon of May 3rd I squared aside a few findings for use by the friendly folks over at the ANSI of the Day -- which they handily put to use. (RaDMaN, mastermind of ACiD, looked me up asking where my blog post about all the Star Wars ANSI art was, and I told him that he was having a prophetic vision. He enriched our art stockpile by quite a few pieces, including the ACiD-52 collection which was (non-exclusively) devoted to the SW theme as a run-up to the then-incipient Phantom Menace.) But after the dust settled from the AOTD, there was just so much more of this far, far away material sitting around that I felt that these B-sides warranted sharing also!

We'll begin with almost certainly the earliest specimen here, a PETSCII (remember that word! It comes back later!) portrait of everyone's favorite SW subject, Darth Vader, from a magazine type-in program listing (including a gallery of a few further Star Wars characters).

There are two further variations on this theme, one animated, one from Dog Star Adventure, an unlicensed Star Wars text adventure fangame. (Ha ha, this historically unprecedented comparison reveals that Dog Star Adventure, never the most conscientious in regards to the IP of others, simply stole the art from the above magazine listing 8) Then we depart this territory, to return later.
I've just got to get in the references to my own historical (and since revived!) computer art group Mistigris: under our auspices, Dead Soul released an ASCII of a moodily red Mandalorian in the Mist/Fire World Tour artpack of April 1997 (perhaps our best of all time?). Also, in issue #10 of our house organ the Kithe electronic magazine, the latest installment of the ASCII WARS column revealed an eerie resonance:
Now for a change of pace, some typographical Vader portraits that RaDMaN sent my way -- not artscene style, but you can't argue with the credentials of their source! Two were created anonymously (well, artist unknown... meaning, uncredited), and the third is described by artist jerm123321 as "very high resolution ascii art", splendid word soup! (And if you like these, there are some... I don't know how to describe them, coloured quotation sculptures you might be interested in.
OK, time to get back into our bread and butter, artscene / demoscene styles. Here are two serious ASCII Vader portraits (Blackjack & Discofunk, then a negative space take by Slash of Chaos Energy Group), followed by two serious ANSI ones -- the first by trash0r (from Deviantart -- not all ANSI came from the artscene or even the BBS community!) and the second by Rusty of Acme:
And then there are two not-so-serious ANSI takes on old man Vader, the first by the insanely talented (and apparently just insane: I won't presume to even attempt to translate, let alone explain it) Alla Xul in Poffelipoff, the second from a larger colly by Scrye of Sense13:
Kiwi of Blade demonstrated a tremendous aptitude for drawing ANSIs of spacecraft dogfights in their March 1996 artpack, in which both of these appeared:
And one more space battle, from the PD end of things (by "MCL", whoever that was!):
Then we get two ANSI renditions of everyone's favorite three-legged droid, R2-D2, the first by Dr. Shizuma (aka Konami, who has made a splash here before), the second by Tetanus and Nail in a classic Fire and Ice team-up in the Blender competition (which I recently revived... but I digress):
Had I known of this one it could have appeared in my regular (well, sporadic but long-running) video game textmode art series here: Posyden of The Dirty Dozen has made an ANSI portrait of a Phase III Dark Trooper from an ad for the game Star Wars: Dark Forces:
And here, a gnarly Darth Maul ASCII by 0xel of Zeit, one of very few pieces inspired by the prequel trilogy:
BONUS UPDATE! Someone who, back in the day, conducted his online affairs under the name "Boba Fett", formerly ran a BBS entitled "The Power of the Darkside". If you can think of a better recipe for attracting Star Wars ANSI, I'd like to hear it! Anyhow, he had a few additional pieces he remembered to throw our way, from Kitiara and The Green Hornet of RCA and Dark. Enjoy!
Is this the same Boba Fett? I don't know, but it's a self-portrait from a Lazarus memberlist!
A Yoda by Stone the Crow...
... and another one from the Public Domain, by my new favorite PD artist KT:
One more Yoda, with bonus C-3PO, by The Green Hornet from a March 1996 Dark artpack:
Two more finds from the earliest days of the PC underground artscene: here's a Death Star by Vito of LTD...
... and a genuine Star Wars logo by Triton and RaDMaN of ACiD!
Now you've hung in here for quite a while, so you deserve something exceptional, such as this epic Amiga-style ASCII suite by sk!n of deZign which took 2nd place in the 2015 NVScene demoparty's textmode compo:

(And an additional visit to the territory from the same artist:)
I'm icing the cake, power-loading this post with awesome art in the second act: I'm well asssured you won't have prior familiarity with these phenomenal pieces of Star Wars PETSCII (see, I told you it was coming back) ... Hey, did you say "Star Wars PETSCII"?

Just checking! OK, where was I ... which, despite being the character set of the long-obsolete Commodore 64 (half of my readers immediately ragequit their browsers), were drawn by Debris of Panic in the year 2015. Here's the whole set, they're grand!:
And because you can't have the sacred without the profane, I'll go out with this long, strange and unfunny Star Wars joke from one of my favorite artgroups, the provocative The Project:

Bonus post-credits trailer: perhaps the longest-in-development textmode project of all time, the renowned, fragmentary Star Wars ASCIImation!

Bonus upon bonus -- an artscene hirez of Boba Fett by Ambassador Kosh (mix your fandoms much?):

and a scene from Hoth by Inferno of Mistigris (Classic, '90s):
AND a missed classic by "Oned" from the first Legion artpack:
Bonus bonus: just in the interest of allowing this post to be "authoritative" and complete, I'm just going to throw in at the end here the other artwork (much originally sourced by myself) that was used in the May 4 Sixteen Colours ANSI Of The Day post. No qualifying text, just a picture dump -- if you need to know who made the art, you are free to decode the filename prefixes. Cheers!

Bonus bonus bonus: we found a few more specimens of Star Wars ASCII art (have no doubt, there's a ton more out there) in, of all places, a t-shirt design contest. Is it original? Who knows. But it is relevant to our post here, so here you go:

Teletext bonuses: Vader, Yoda, Yoda, Ackbar, 3-PO and Maul by Horsenburger!
And one more bonus piece of teletext, a Stormtrooper posted by Carl Attrill on Dec 16, 2016:
Plus an under-the-radar (Force-guided?) anonymous Tattooine landscape from a Blocktronics pack:
and... oh my gosh, winning the ASCII compo at the 2016 installment of the Evoke demoparty, Lord Nikon revisited the well and came up with a draught of further greatness: