Old Game Box Art, vol. 6

Dragon Wars (1989)

To my knowledge, Dragon Wars is an unofficial sequel to Interplay's Bard's Tale series, but with the references to the original series removed because of a copyright dispute with the publisher of the series, Electronic Arts, a company that was acting shitty even back in the 1980's. Way to go, EA.

I've never managed to get that deep in the Bard's Tale series no Dragon Wars, but as far DW goes, the cover art is fantastic. The two oiled up warriors rigidly posed in a battle against a dragon is done by Boris Vallejo, a well-known fantasy artist, whose work has found its way into several game boxes, movie posters and book covers. You can check out his and Julie Bell's work here.

When I was a kid, a magazine or another provided a huge poster of the cover art. Sadly I've lost it since, but still, the image hasn't lost an ounce of its hold on me, rigid poses an all.

Conan: The Cimmerian (1991)

Conan: The Cimmerian is a pretty decent sidescrolling action game with some light RPG and adventure elements. It's not a game that will set the world on fire, but I recall having fun with and played it relatively long, but never finished it. 

The cover art is, again, done by Boris Vallejo, who has done quite a many Conan related pieces during his career. This particular piece is pretty typical of him, with two well-muscled characters posing, weapons drawn.

The technical quality of his work is, like always, superb. I do think his posing is at times a bit stiff or wooden, but I've always admired his technical skill. And the composition isn't bad here, albeit it is very conventional.

Eric the Unready (1993)

Legend Entertainment did many, many comedic text-based adventure games back in the day. While they did have graphics and even a mouse-driven interface, the story was told mainly through text with a possibility to give all the commands through typing. And their parser was one of the best around, allowing far more complex sentences than what Sierra ever managed.

 Eric the Unready is a tale of a knight, who isn't very good at what he does, nor very bright. Because of this, the antagonists of the tale set him to rescue a kidnapped princess, who's to become a queen after the death of her father.

While I've played the game, I'm not sure if I ever finished it. As it often is the case with comedic games, they do need to strike a right chord. If that doesn't happen, there very little sense to play them, as nothing is as horrible as reading text intended to be funny without finding it funny.

The cover is another Boris Vallejo piece, where he's making fun of his own tropes. This isn't uncommon for him, as he did something similar with the original Chevy Chase comedy Vacation.

Golden Axe (1990)

The first game with box art by someone else than Vallejo on this list is an arcade classic Golden Axe. I've never played the original arcade version of it, but the DOS version did get my attention. I think I even managed to play it through once or twice.

You can choose between three different characters: a mighty warrior, a swift valkyrie or a stout dwarf and commence chopping off heads. Well not heads, as there's no blood in the game, but you get the gist, I wager.

There are a couple of variants of the boxes Golden Axe was delivered in, depending on the platform and the area. This particular piece is done by Dermont Power, whose other work you can acquaintance yourself here.

I think it's just a solid piece of art, reminding me a bit of Simon Bisley.

Golden Axe II (1991)

I'll end with a game I'm less familiar with, the sequel to Golden Axe, Golden Axe II. I assume not a lot has changed about it though, so you can read the description of the first game and apply it here. If not, then bad for me then.

As this ended up as mostly Boris Vallejo related post, it might be appropriate to end with the same note. So yet another piece by Vallejo, with three main characters posing with their weapons out.

Yet again, technically solid piece, albeit I do like Dragon Wars and Conan: The Cimmerian covers over this one.

And that's it for the time being.

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