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The Nintendo CD-i Art

>> Saturday, July 14, 2007

The most popular CD-i titles will always be the titles licensed by Nintendo. Both loved and hated, a lot of people never gave them a chance and go along with the mass opinion. Today we're following a nice story recently posted at The Black Moon Project about the art that has been used in the Nintendo CD-i games. Because there's more than meets the eye ;). Thanks to Kao (from Zeldapower) we tracked down the artist behind Link: The Faces of Evil and Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon: Rob Dunlavey. Maybe you remember the official Zelda CD-i art reproductions we presented you in a charity auction? Next Devin contacted the artist behind Hotel Mario: Trici Venola. Both beautiful artists, click on 'read more' to see more ;)

Rob Dunlavey: "I recently got some fan mail regarding background paintings I'd made back in the early 1990's for several computer games. This work is terrifically different from my current mix of more-or-less recognizable illustration/design styles. I still really love this work so I thought I'd share it with you. Back in the early 1990's, I was employed by a computer game developer in Cambridge, MA. The best work I did there were the numerous painted backgrounds for two adventure games that played on the (soon-to-be-obsolete) CD-interactive sytem made by Philips. Programming was later added to the images to allow the animated characters to walk , jump and fight on the various surfaces. The images are fairly small and in proportion with television screens The backgrounds usually scrolled with the action; seeing them in their original state in this gallery is not the way gamers would experience them. The paintings started with extensive sketching in pencil and final rendering in Painter and Photoshop. Here are some of my favorites." Do you recognize these settings from the original game?

Kao: "Artist Rob Dunlavey created the amazing background paintings which players enjoy in Link: Faces of Evil. These images started as extensive pencil sketches and ultimately became the full, digitally painted (via Wacom tablet) backgrounds you see here, by using Painter in conjunction with Photoshop. Dozens of these such paintings had to be made for all of the scenes in the game. These images are in their original, full-color palettes." As Rob sais, his work on Zelda CD-i is far different from what he usually creates. Here are a few examples of his style:

Rob Dunlavey: "The particular game was titled "The Adventures of Link: The Faces of Evil". The Link character (an adventurous boy elf) was licensed from Nintendo by Philips which was trying to break into the gaming console business. They failed a few years later. For a few years, I was able to claim Nintendo players and titles as business expenses! I have to sheepishly admit however, that I hate to play computer games, always have. This work was done at the time when 3-d computing was just starting to make an impact on the desktop game market. The games I was involved in, while pushing the 2-d technology and aesthetic were essentially "behind the curve" of where the market went. So it goes. Back then, editorial looked pretty good so I started marketing that and the rest is history! ;-)" Take a look at the pictures above and compare them with the ones below. These were used in the game, including the character, enemies and health bar:

However, these few images do not justify the complete style of Rob nowadays, and I highly recommend you to visit his extensive gallery to see more art like this. And before I forget, his images are copyrighted by Rob Dunlavey, and used here for illustrational purposes only.

Devin: "The Fantasy Factory™ developed Hotel Mario is one of those oddities that turn up in video games every so often. Even stranger is the often overlooked psychedelic level design and artwork attributable to one Trici Venola. In a tribute to the artist (...and because we failed to contact her!) we've put together an article of sorts entitled 'The Art of Trici Venola'. We found plenty of resources and some marvellous digital artwork by Trici Venola that goes some way to explain the influences that inspired the design of Hotel Mario. Although some of the artwork is quite shocking, the content is very powerful and the style should appear very familiar to those that have played the game. It's not often Black Moon fails to make contact with a CD-i developer once we've tracked them on-line, however Trici Venola has proved a slippery fish! This is probably with good reason, as some final remarks on her website state that she's 'Travelling alone and drawing everything', presumably in Turkey. The website is 'The Art of Trici Venola' where we first got excited by the passage describing her work on a certain Mario Bros game. A quick look at the credits of Hotel Mario confirmed our suspicions, this was the artist we had been looking for.

For the original site you really should visit 'The Art of Trici Venola' for further colourful pieces of her work. Described as 'L.A. - Driven Cyberart', Trici Venola tried to preserve classical painting techniques and principles when applied to the rather limited constraints of computer software. The artwork as might be expected is outlandish and definately aspires towards controversial content. None more so than the 'Monsters and Bimbos' collection, some favourites include 'California Girl' and 'Precious Little SanMo'..."
Take a close look at the picture below and find out the inspiration of Trici Venola that is used for the art in Hotel Mario. The hotel and the tree are remarkable!

Los Angeles mac artist Trici Venola is an award-winning commercial illustrator who has built game art for Mattel, Disney, Sega and the Mario Brothers. She's created art for Eddie van Halen, Paramount Pictures, Norton Utilities and two major campaigns for Apple.

Thanks to Kao, Devin, Rob Dunlavey and Trici Venola
All art images are copyrighted by their respective owners and posted here for illustrational purposes only!

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Games 0-F

3rd Degree - PF Magic
7th Guest, The - Philips Freeland Studios
Accelerator - SPC/Vision
Adventure of the Space Ship Beagle, The - Denshi Media Services
Affaire Morlov, L' - Titus
Alfapet - Adatek
Alice in Wonderland - Spinnaker
Alien Gate - SPC Vision
Alien Odyssee - Argonaut
Aliens Interactive CD-i - Dark Vision Interactive
Ange et le Demon, L' - Smart Move
Apprentice, The - SPC Vision
Apprentice 2, The - Marvin's Revenge - SPC Vision
Arcade Classics - Philips ADS / Namco
Asterix - Caesar’s Challenge - Infogrames
Atlantis - The Last Resort - PRL Redhill (Philips ADS)
Axis and Allies - CapDisc
Backgammon - CapDisc
Battle Chess - Accent Media (for Interplay)
Battleship - CapDisc
Big Bang Show - Infogrames
BMP Puzzle - Circle (for ZYX)
Brain Dead 13 - Readysoft
Burn:Cycle - Trip Media
Caesar's World of Boxing - Philips POV
Caesar's World of Gambling - CD-I Systems
Cartoon Academy - Bits Corporation
CD-i mit der Maus - SPC Vision
CD Shoot - Eaglevision Interactive Productions
Change Angels Kick-off - HMO
Chaos Control - Infogrames
Christmas Country - Creative Media
Christmas Country - The Lost Levels - Creative Media
Christmas Crisis - DIMA
Clue - 3T Productions
Clue 2 - The mysteries continue - 3T Productions
Connect Four - CapDisc
Creature Shock - Argonaut (for Virgin)
Crime Patrol - CapDisc
Crow, The - Philips POV
Cyber Soldier Sharaku - Japan Interactive media
Dame was Loaded, The - Beam Software
Dark Castle - Philips POV
Dead End - Cryo
Defender of the Crown - Philips POV
Deja Vu - Icom Simulations
Deja Vu 2: Lost in Las Vegas - Icom Simulations
Demolition Man - Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Demon Driver - Haiku Studios
Discworld - Teeny Weeny Games
Dimo's Quest - SPC Vision
Domino - Wigant Interactive Media
Down in the Dumps - Haiku Studios
Dragon's Lair - Superclub / INTL CDI
Dragon's Lair 2- Time Warp - Superclub / INTL CDI
Drug wars - Crime Patrol II - CapDisc
Dungeons & Dragons - PF Magic
Earth Command - Visionary Media
Effacer - CapDisc
Escape from Cybercity - Fathom Pictures
Evidence - Microids
Falco & Donjon & The Sword of Inoxybur - BMi / Zephyr Studio
Family Games I - DIMA
Family Games II - Junk Food Jive - DIMA
Felix the Cat - Philips Sidewalk Studio
Flashback - Delphine/Tiertex (for US Gold)
Flinstones Wacky Inventions - Philips Funhouse
Fort Boyard: The Challenge - Microids
Frog Feast - Rastersoft

CD-i Games Index G-M

Go - CapDisc
Golden Oldies - SPC Vision
Golden Oldies II - SPC Vision
Golgo 13 - Japan Interactive Media
Great day at the races, A - CD-I Racing, Dove Films, Total Vision
Guignols de l'Info, Les - Canal+ Multimedia / INTL CDI
Heart of Darkness - Amazing Studio (for Virgin)
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The - Philips Kaleidoscope
Holland Casino CD-i - HMO
Hotel Mario - Philips Fantasy Factory
Inca - Coktel Vision
Inca 2 - Coktel Vision
International Tennis Open - Infogrames
Jack Sprite vs. The Crimson Ghost - PF Magic
Jeopardy - Accent Media
Jigsaw - Novalogic
Joe Guard - DIMA
John Dark: Psychic Eye - CapDisc
Joker's Wild!, The - Accent Media
Joker's Wild Jr., The - Accent Media
Kether - Infogrames
Kingdom - The far reaches - CapDisc
Kingdom 2 - Shadoan - CapDisc
Labyrinth of Crete - Philips Funhouse
Laser Lords - Spinnaker
Last Bounty Hunter, The - CapDisc
Legend of the Fort - Microids
Lemmings - DMA Design / Psygnosis
Lettergreep - Wigant Interactive Media
Lingo - SPC Vision
Link - The faces of evil - Animation Magic
Lion King, The - Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Litil Divil - Gremlin Graphics
Litil Divil 2: Limbo Years - Gremlin Graphics
Lords of the rising sun - Philips POV
Lost Eden - Cryo (for Virgin)
Lost Ride, The - Formula (Lost Boys)
Lucky Luke - The video game - SPC Vision
Mad Dog McCree - CapDisc
Mad Dog McCree II: The lost gold - CapDisc
Magic Eraser - Circle (for ZYX)
Mah-Jong - Japan Interactive Media
Making the Grade - 3T Productions
Man Before Man - Cryo
Marco Polo - Infogrames
Mario Takes America - CIGAM
Master Labyrinth - AVM AG/HQ
Mega Maze - CapDisc
Memory Works, The - Compact Disc Incorporated
Merlin's Apprentice - Philips Funhouse
Microcosm - Philips Freeland Studios
Micro Machines - Codemasters
Monty Python's Invasion from the Planet Skyron - Daedalus CD-i Productions
Mutant Rampage - Body Slam - Animation Magic
Myst - Sunsoft (for Cyan)
Mystic Midway - Rest in pieces - Philips POV
Mystic Midway 2 - Phantom Express - Philips POV

Compact Disc Interactive

Compact Disc Interactive

Games N-Z

Name that tune - Philips Fantasy Factory
New Day - Bits Corporation
NFL Hall of Fame Football - Philips POV
Othello - HMO
Pac Panic - Philips ADS / Namco
Palm Springs Open - ABC Sports / Fathom Pictures
Pool - SPC Vision
Pinball - CapDisc
Plunderball - ISG Productions
Power Hitter - ABC Sports / Fathom Pictures
Power Match - Two's Company
Pursue - BEPL
Pyramid Adventures - Compact Disc Incorporated
RAMRaid - PRL Redhill
Return To Cybercity - Fathom Pictures
Riddle of the Maze, The - Fathom Pictures
Riqa - Bits Corporation
Rise of the Robots - Mirage Technologies
Sargon Chess - Spinnaker
Scotland Yard Interactive - AVM AG/HQ
Secret Mission - Microids
Secret Name of Ra, The
Shaolin's Road - Infogrames
Skate Dude - Viridis
Smurfen, De - De Telesmurf - Infogrames
Solar Crusade - Infogrames
Solitaire - BEPL
Space Ace - Superclub / INTL CDI
Space Ranger - Studio Interactive
Special Operations Squadron - SPC Vision
Sport Freaks - SPC Vision
Star Trek - Philips POV
Star Wars: Rebel Assault - LucasArts
Steel Machine - SPC Vision
Striker Pro - Rage
Strip Poker Live - Greenpig Production
Strip Poker Pro - Interactive Pictures
Super Fighter - The Super Fighter Team / C&E
Super Mario's Wacky Worlds - NovaLogic
Surf City - Philips Sidewalk Studios
Tangram - Eaglevision Interactive Productions
Taco's Toyroom Troopers - Creative Media
Tankdoodle - Creative Media
Tetris - Philips POV
Tetsuo Gaiden - Creative Media
Text Tiles
Thieves' World - Electronic Arts
Tic-tac-toe - BEPL
Tox Runner - ISG Productions
Treasures of Oz - Philips Kaleidoscope
Ultra CD-i Soccer - Krisalis
Uncover featuring Tatjana - SPC Vision
Uninvited - Icom Simulations
Video Speedway - ISG Productions
Vinnie the Pinguin - Pandemonium Labs
Voyeur - Philips POV
Voyeur 2 - Philips POV
Whack-a-Bubble - Creative Media
What's it worth - Marshall Cavendish Multimedia / Spice
Who shot Johnny Rock? - CapDisc
Wordplay - BEPL
World Cup Golf - US Gold
Zaak Sam, De - Toneelschool NL
Zelda - The wand of Gamelon - Animation Magic
Zelda's Adventure - Viridis
Zenith - Radarsoft
Zombie Dinos From The Planet Zeltoid - Philips POV

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