Old Game Box Art, vol. 5


Chamber of Sci-Mutant Priestess (1989)

It's either Kult: The Temple of Flying Saucers or Chamber of Sci-Mutant Priestess, depending on from whence you hail. It's not a game that I've played a lot as I don't really understand it. True, I didn't feel like placing too much time into it, as it isn't a game that feels very inviting with its odd approach on usability and user interface based on symbols. In many ways, the gameplay feels as odd as the name of this relatively unique adventure puzzle game.

While the game is on my list of "complete, maybe", I do appreciate the box art it has. The different areas have different art, but I do like this a bit Moebius styled piece done by Philippe Cazaumayou, or Caza for short. A huge, green beast standing in sludge, surrounded by carvings naked, alien looking women. It just is a nice looking scene.

Caza himself is a French illustrator, who has, unsurprisingly, worked in comics as well, but besides the cover for Kult, the only other game cover he's done is for an RPG Drakkhen. But that particular piece isn't as interesting if you ask me that is.

Barbarian: The Ultimate Warrior (1987)

Death Sword or Barbarian, it matters very little of which name you know this awesome sword game from the late 1980's. It was a simple game: two warriors fighting to the death, each has multiple moves. Drain your enemy either one energy orb at a time or just lob his head off with a well-timed sword spin. Either way, the result is the same with one corpse and a frogman dragging the cadaver away.  And kicking the chopped off head along the way.

It wasn't the nicely animated violence that caused a scandal though, it was the voluptuous, scantily clad model Maria Whittaker who posed in the cover, clinging to the leg of Micheal Van Wyk, or Wolf as he's also known as. I have no idea who took the photo, but it is, in all its glory, a fantastic little shot of a tad cheesy barbarian trope. As you might guess, the cover was a bit too much for some areas, which had the game with more conventional, and on that more boring, cover art with no Maria in sight.

As for the game itself, it still holds up, surprisingly enough. It has good enough controls and it's one of those easy to learn, hard to master deals. the single player game gets harder by the opponent until you get to the main villain, slay him and rescue the girl.



Barbarian II (1988)

The only thing better than the cover art for Barbarian is the cover for its sequel, Axe of Rage. It has, again, Maria Whittaker and Wolf in it, but this time posing over a dead dragon.

As for the cover art, I don't know who's responsible for it, but I do like it a lot, even more so than the cover of the first game.

Barbarian II is a larger game in every way. Unlike its predecessor, you aren't tied to one room but are free to walk the lands in your quest to find the evil wizard to kill. And you can even choose if you want to play with the princess or the barbarian.

Both of the games were very well reviewed back in the day, claiming acclaim for their fluid animation that was based on rotoscoping. Barbarian II got even more acclaim on its sound usage, especially on the more advanced computers of the era, Amiga and Atari ST. I haven't played Barbarian II for ages, so I donät know if it holds up as well as the first one does, but I can't see it doing that more badly, all things considered.

Darklands (1992)

For the final game I have Darklands, a CRPG that is often stated to be one of the best ever made, but at the same time a game I've never managed to get into. I've tried many times, but I always end up quitting and uninstalling.

Darklands is, as far I know, almost completely fantasy free RPG, set in medieval Garmany. It's not a game that holds your hand but expects you to learn the rules properly and play the game according to them. So in that, I do understand why people who are hardcore RPG fans look so highly upon it as it's everything computer RPG's usually are not. But for me, it's just too much.

But I'm sure I'll try it again only to be dumbfounded by it.

Despite my inability to actually play the game, I've always loved the cover art it has. Larry M. Jones has done a nice, mood-filled piece to adorn the package the game was shipped in. It's one of those works, that manages to be captivating despite not that much is going on in it. There are only two warriors in the dusk, preparing to either meet an attack or attacking an unseen foe.

it isn't anything too original or extravagant, but I like the colours and the composition it has going on. I saw the image the first time on a magazine review and I've loved it since. So while I haven't gotten that far in the game, there's always the box it came in.






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