Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Video game textmode art part 23: Konami strikes back - Marvel vs. Capcom super-duper mega-tapestry

OK, it's been basically my most active month here at Pixel Pompeii -- the most posts, and consequently the most views! ... it's gratifying to see that others are enjoying my indulgent nostalgic explorations here, for which I basically never expected or dreamed of finding an audience. Recently I've been doing "roundup" posts, omnibus digests (is that a contradiction in terms?) seeking to exhaustively account for all known art on a given topic. It's interesting, it's more rigorously curated, and more ultimately useful, but it's kind of like work. The "video game textmode art" series was traditionally a fun and random grab-bag of just whatever it was I happened to come across. Can't I just post something easy?

Here, I've got just the thing: one last post about the textmode VG art of the artist sometimes known as Konami (sometimes as Dr. Shizuma). You've seen his work before -- basically, the only artist I've devoted multiple posts to -- and here we send him off with a grand parade. But it's just a single piece. A piece with a massive roster of characters -- the Arcade / PlayStation gestalt franchise Marvel Vs. Capcom! This piece appears to feature some characters who only first appear in 2000's Marvel vs. Capcom 2, so let's call it a celebration of that particular ensemble cast. I'll name them all but first I'll give you a chance to see how many you can pick out yourselves. (I needed the artist's help on a couple of them -- it turns out that my Marvel-fu is stronger than my Capcom-fu 8) Konami has not only redesigned all the characters in his personal cartoony style, but he's gone to lengths to minimise the presence of unused black space here, filling every nook and cranny with special effects, battle cries and little gags. Basically, it's awesome. You may want to open the image in another tab, so you can flip back and forth as you go down the roll call -- to facilitate which, you can find the file in its original context in a Mimic artpack over at Sixteen Colours.

So, what have we got here? It opens with an incongrous Konami company logo -- it's made by Capcom, friends, not Konami! But of course that's just a reflection of the artist's choice of nickname.

And there's Chun-Li, Chinese heroine of Street Fighter 2!

Next up, the Canadian mutant Logan, known as Weapon X and best known as Wolverine.

And there, MegaMan (AKA Rockman) of his eponymous series.

From android to cyborg, he's followed by the monarch of Latveria, Victor Von Doom aka Dr. Doom.

And from cyborg back to android, there's one of Bolivar Trask's giant mutant-hunting robots, The Sentinels.

Two Marvel characters in a row? Time for another Capcom hero! And here he is, the ninja Strider Hiryu (of the "Strider" games) whizzing by with a "ZING!"

Next up, Mojo's agent Spiral.

Then we have Akuma, originally appearing in Super Street Fighter II Turbo, with his standard kanji symbol 天, which means "ten" or "heaven, sky".

He is followed by Iron Man, then CAPtain COMmando, and then X-Man Rogue.

SNK-satirising fighter Dan Hibiki from Street Fighter Alpha comes next (what's he saying? Konami says "probably 'oyaji', or 'father' -- his whimpering battle cry"), and he is followed by sometimes X-Men leader Cyclops, letting loose an "Optic Blast!"

Then there is succubus Morrigan from Darkstalkers, followed by Cajun mutant Gambit from the X-Men, presented with the imagery of the playing card suits (♠ ♥ ♦ ♣) he is known to charge and throw.

From MegaMan Legends, next we see a Servbot, followed by Ken Masters from Street Fighter.

Then Captain America (with the tiniest possible ASCII American flag imaginable), proclaiming his cry of "Final Justice!"

British Special Forces agent Cammy White from Super Street Fighter II reports for duty next, and if you look carefully you can see that she is holding a chibi M. Bison doll.

Evil mutant master of menacing magnetism Magneto follows, a crackling nimbus of charged particles emanating from his clenched fist.

Then there is another man who knows more than a little about clenched fists, American soldier Guile from Street Fighter II.

Time-travelling mutant cyborg (it's all a little confusing, blame Rob Liefeld) Cable comes next, followed by Jin Saotom from Cyberbots (I don't know what he's saying and Konami has forgotten: "Jin, I don't know.. something that probably shows up in one of his supers. I could look it up." And I guess you could too, if you really need to know!)

Approaching the end now, we see African weather-controlling mutant and occasional X-Men leader Ororo Munroe aka Storm.

Then, Felicia the catgirl from Darkstalkers pounces into the frame.

The Demon Blackheart comes next -- a Marvel comics character I never knew about before playing these games.

Wrapping things up with some star power, Spiderman's Spidey-sense is tingling -- perhaps a consequence of his wearing Venom as a hat.

And last but not least, we have Ryu from Street Fighter, who is saying "shinku", as in shinku hadouken, as in... the logo at the bottom is the hadouken fireball being shot toward the viewer! Well played!

Thanks again to Konami for this tremendous tableau of fun characters served up in immaculate newschool ASCII with incomparable whimsy. And thanks to you for keeping up with us here! Cheers & see you next time!

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