I started the article by speculating that NES games were just happy to have moving MAIN characters, so they couldn't be bothered with showing the crowd as anything more than rectangle-shouldered smily-faces.
Well, that's the SNES and NES...but whither, GAMEBOY Audiences?
Well, the original black-and-
white-puke-green Gameboy arrived at an odd point in history: the technology was getting better, but the need to make it portable meant that the screen had dropped to 4 colors (and all of them blurry).
a studied analysis 4 arbitrary examples
At first glance, this seems like a returned to the NES Pro Wrestling-style of audience of bobble-heads and block-torsos; but if we linger a minute, we'll notice there's a little more going on;
If you compare it to the NES's wrestling crowd, you'll notice its predicessor features lots of colors and some gestures, but they're almost all the same. Whereas, Hal's wrestling fans?
Well, they may be packed in elbow to elbow, and they may be shaped like Fischer-Price people, but they've got a little variety: glasses, different hair-shapes, etc. Graphical Progress! (Or, it might be if it wasn't for that odd "Announcer Booth" that seems to be super-imposed over the audience).
This is a trend we may see continue in the imaginatively-titled...
Ignore for the moment Data East
's subtle plug for another one of their Battle Chess!
games, and just focus on the spectators observing the
man in the 1920s bathing suit and the winded knuckle-dragging behemoth:
Well, I guess it's a sunny day out at the Track (where everyone has Met)
, because most of the audience appears to be wearing sunglasses (or they all have that Skeletor skull-hole eyes thing
But the underlying impression is that of many different, unique individuals, scattered in non-repeating patterns through the stands. Innovative AND encouraging! (specifically, I believe it is encouraging you to BUY BATTLE CHESS)
And now we regress a bit with...
But, despite the festive sunglasses, the Pit Fighter audience is much clunkier than the Track Meet audience: while they have a lively 3 frames of animation, they happen to be copy-paste blocks of 4 dudes.
I guess underground bare-knuckle brawls attract out a less sophisticated
ly illustrated crowd than a beautiful spring day's track meeting; who would have guessed?
Well, let's wrap this up with game 4, and its 4 detailed spectators!
As these two separate screenshots prove, this pro wrestling title takes Track Meet's approach a little further: it has big, distinctive audience members, scattered around in non-repeating patterns.
The effect definitely creates an illusion of a lot more drawings than are actually there. I had to zoom in to confirm that there's only actually 4 separate drawings:
2. Robot whose head is an empty coffee can
3. Blonde in an evening dress
4. Poor fellow whose neck-brace(?) forces him to look off into the distance, instead of at the wrestling ring.
I picked that spot because it showed all the unique characters next to eachother; but you'll notice the next row down ALSO has the same four...but just by changing their ordering and kerning
, you create the illusion of a much more varied crowd.
And the point of all this?
Still the best