Back in the '80s and early '90s, video game box art was a very different beast to that which we know today. CGI renders were the stuff of a madman's dreams, and crude, hand-drawn covers were commonplace.
When you consider how many console and arcade titles were released on a yearly basis, it's perhaps forgivable that the illustrators responsible for the art that would grace the covers of these releases were really up against it - and therefore started copying poses from the popular action movies of the period.
Hardcore Gaming 101 has a stunning gallery of this mimicry, most of which is focused on the one and only Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger – famous film star and former Governor of California. Konami appears to have had quite a thing for the ex-Mr. Olympia, having used him more than once for its Contra series.
Don't believe us? Check out the examples below.
But hey! Arnie wasn't the only '80s action star this kind of thing happened to, although he may have been the most copied. Fellow '80s icon Sylvester Stallone is a close second when it comes to having his persona ripped off by video game companies, as you can see from the examples below.
Do you have any memorable covers from this period which are clearly based on real-world stars? Let us know with a comment.
This article was originally published by nintendolife.com on Thu 11th October, 2012.
[source hardcoregaming101.net, via gonintendo.com]
Golden Axe was just amazing!!!
They copied him almost perfectly, so maybe he had contracts with publishers??
That's awesome, err... radical!
Why is there no axe any where on the cover of "Golden Axe III," hmm?
I love reading that article and I think so many modern games would be better off if they were influenced by 80's action flicks. Also how about that Silent Hill and Kindergarten Cop references. Weird stuff
Much better as a video game or film character than a Governor I imagine. That's judging from some of the crap he comes out with!
And you discover this now?
OMG, that's terrible! I'll never be able to look at the Contra boxart in the same way ever again.
Drawing that kind of stuff can be really difficult without reference. When you're a starving artist with a looming deadline, who better to draw/paint than Arnold? These are pretty blatant ripoffs, though.
I'm pretty sure Arnie would be dismayed to hear that he is the centre of the gaming universe.
Pretty sure he was aiming to be the centre of the ENTIRE universe
No, DAVID BOWIE is in every game ever.
I suppose Arnie made Mario as well.
well...he did say he will be back...and back again
You can’t beat the Arnie 1 liners from the 80s!
Commando and Running Man have some classics
@LEGEND_MARIOID You have no idea.
The cover for NES game “Power blade” looks very Schwarzenegger-esque, as well as the in-game character design for Solid Snake in “Snake’s revenge” for NES.
It’s more the games were influenced by movies and arnie was the big name at the time. Box art was the sink or swim moment for many games so copying popular movies ensures that potential buyers would subconsciously connect the two. Plus they were less likely to get sued then. Try that now and it could destroy the game instead of help.
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