WrestlerFest

wrestlefest-01
Insert coin here! We’re off to the amusement arcades – well, kind of – and looking at some characters for 1991’s WWF WrestleFest – a game of sheer beauty, far better than anything a home console at the time could muster. I’m charmed every time by the aesthetics of this game; each character so perfectly elevated and toylike, the saturation mirroring the character of the WWF at the time. It’s as if you’re commanding action figures. The simple but frantically challenging gameplay doesn’t hurt its appeal, either. It’s both a regret and a mercy that I didn’t get to button mash on this for real, as I’m sure it’d have eaten all of my pocket money!

The game is still widely acclaimed and enjoyed to this day, to the degree that many have looked into modding the game in a bid to make it better still, or just bring its roster up to date. With that, I was inspired to have a go at making some sprites of competitors who didn’t make the cut for WrestleFest – perhaps they weren’t prominent enough in 1991, or they weren’t even a wrestler at the time. Some may (hopefully!) look familiar from last year’s series of portraits! Entirely faithful or not, these were a fun departure from what I’ve been doing of late, and it’s always fun to get under the skin of an old video game.

Of course, the next step is creating a map of sprites for each one so that some sort of animation is possible. That sounds quite a big job, and I’m not sure I’ve the motivation to do that just yet – maybe one day!

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14 comments
  1. Bill Fufkin said:

    I want to be the Macho Man ! B

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Ah, a fine choice – he’s one of my favourites, actually! Thanks Bill.

      Like

  2. yes- do an amination! I know you’d do a great job of it!

    It’s funny; although i’m not super interested in gaming, i ADORE the aesthetics of vintage games 🙂 So cool. Much more character than all the super realistic stuff that’s around now. That stuff’s impressive from a tech perspective, but i do love the look and feel of retro stuff. Maybe i’m just getting old! Did you create that image there?? Or is it an image you found? It looks super authentic if you did it. Very retro gamey. Nice job!

    The names of these guys are cracking me up: Brutus Beefcake ( the barber? haha. I’m just imagining a dude that gives people REALLY bad haircuts- bad enough to drive fear into the most hardened of wrestler’s hearts!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Yep, these nine chaps are my own 🙂 Glad you like them! As for animation
      – well, maybe! I have found a sprite map for one of the characters; I guess it’d just be a case of ‘tracing’ over them with new pixels.

      I love exploring vintage games, and how they capitalised on such limited hardware. I guess it’s the old adage that limitations breed creativity; these chaps knew that cinematographic wasn’t an option, so went with a lovely toylike aesthetic. I’d agree that this style is far more endearing and charming than what’s around today. The games were often simpler in mechanic, too.

      There’s a great (quite long, though) talk here about the subject of 8-bit art, if you’re interested. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMcJ1Jvtef0 Some of the work he shows there is genius, not to mention absolutely magical in its beauty.

      You’re basically spot on about Brutus ‘The Barber’ Beefcake – that’s exactly what he did! Not a great wrestler, but lucky to have been given a character that people enjoyed. The ‘Beefcake’ name actually comes from his previous gimmick of a male stripper – because why not!?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yay! Do it! (no pressure or anything 😉 )
        Yep, it’s that toylike aspect that makes them more fun to me. The stuff these days is so…serious! There’s something nice about the simplicity of the vintage stuff. I wonder if Minecraft got so popular party because of that whole pixelated aesthetic thang? ( my daughter is SO into minecraft!)
        Cheers for the link! Imma bookmark it and watch it with my kidly a bit later ( she loves that sorta stuff; wants to make games! ) 😀
        Ha! Well there ya go. Makes sense seeeing as most of them have long hair that i’m sure they would rather keep! Haha, well that makes sense! Costume wise, I imagine it wouldn’t be a huge change to go from stripper to wrester, either; there’s not a lot to some of those wrestling outfits, and both professions sure do like their gaudy colour schemes!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jacob said:

        Oh, yes! I’ve never played Minecraft but it looks an impressive tool with some of the things people create, and yes, I think the aesthetic drives the imagination.

        That’s great! Hm, I wonder where she gets her creativity from? 😉 She might enjoy Magicavoxel – it’s a free piece of creative software working in voxels and giving a similar aesthetic. I’ve had it for ages and been meaning to get into it – here we go again – but then I found Vue and got sidetracked!

        You’re not wrong about the costumes! I quite liked how they managed to keep him in generally the same skimpy outfits, but just modified them to look as if he’d snipped away at them 😛

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh man, my kidly LOVES minecraft so much.

        Ooh, Magicavoxel, eh? I’ll have to tell le kiddle about that; cheers! I havent heard of it before( not that that means anything!). Sounds fun! Oh well, maybe Vue is more Yue 😉

        Haha, the cheapskates!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ooh! yes, it’s vry minecraftish isn’t it? Damn, the littlun would love a go at that, methinx! I’ll have to tell her about it later (like, when i wake her up in an hour, haha)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jacob said:

        That’s awesome! Yep, it’s like the endless box of Lego I always wanted. I’ll have to give it a go too (finally).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Aww, yiss; Lego! Bestest toy. For kids and adults alike!

        Liked by 1 person

      • oops- i forgot to say that i would’ve been surprised if they weren’t of your own creation. I kinda sorta assumed they would be, but with that vintagey vibe, i couldn’t be sure. Excellent effort!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You’ve got to root for a wrestler called Randy Savage haven’t you? Thought the games was hysterical- love the sound of them hitting the mat!
    JP

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Haha! Glad you enjoyed it JP, thanks. It is perfectly ridiculous! I rather miss when games were this entertaining.

      Like

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