Friday, April 9, 2010

8-Bit Bikini



This is a piece I just finished called 8-Bit Bikini that pays tribute to the end of the first Metroid game for the NES. This of course was one of the famous moments in gaming (for people my age, anyway) where upon beating the game you had your mind blown to learn that Samus was a woman. This was at a time when female characters in games were still pretty much relegated to being rescued. If you worked extra hard at this already very difficult game you could get different endings, and the hardest to obtain rewarded you with an image of the tiny Samus sprite wearing only a pixelated bikini:



It seems funny now that we would have worked so hard to see this image, what with all the advances in video games graphics (and sexuality.)

I wanted to keep all the references in the drawing a secret to see if anyone would bring them up, but I'm also impatient so I'll explain them anyway. It'll be your reward for reading all this text in a post about a pin-up drawing!

The text at the top of the piece is the last line of the typical "you have beaten the game!" message that hovers above Samus right before she waves goodbye with an amazing two frames of animation. Scrawled on the rock in the background is "Justin Bailey wuz here," which is a reference to the famous Justin Bailey code. If you entered that name on the password screen you would start the game with all power ups and play as Samus in her jumpsuit (and with green hair.) Nerds still argue over the origin of the code and the meaning behind it, but it has pretty much been cracked that the series of letters are just a coincidence, as entering several more random sequences of letters can get you the same result.

And my signature is in a shape that should be recognizable...

I love it that knowing this stuff is part of my job. I'm hoping to turn this into a print.


17 comments:

pw! said...

wow Glen, this is a really successful, gorgeous, un-insulting to the intelligence, fun, well designed piece. i think the style and the solutions are awesome to look at, and this shows your understanding and love for the sources go far deeper than the majority of vapid tribute nostalgia the world is inundated with

the way you blur the line between pixels and paint, digital and analog, is really spectacular.

Ujn Hunter said...

Cool stuff! I love it!

Ink Asylum said...

Another gorgeous piece! I'm really falling in love with your art style.

Kenney said...

And when people geek out collectively, does it cancel each other out?

San Smith said...

This is really cool!

Anonymous said...

"bailey" is Australian for swimsuit, so the code is actually "just in swimsuit." This has been known for a long time.

garsh said...

Yeah, like Anon said. Everyone knows the best games of the 80s were designed by Aussies.

For real, though, I'm a little confused by the choice to depict the outline of her suit in its more modern configuration, with the really huge, spherical shoulders and all. The original suit didn't really look anything like that. Is this supposed to be like foreshadowing?

Similarly baffling; what kind of a psycho is Justin Bailey that he signatures graffiti -- of his NAME -- with a metroid hieroglyph?

Either way, it's truly excellent work.

Glen said...

Yeah, I have read about the "Just in bailey (swimsuit)" theory, but most sources I read said that had been debunked. It's just something I read online though, so who knows! Haha. You could be completely right and that could be the reason. At least I was correct about it still being debated. :)

Also most other things that could be debated about the piece like why she is wearing her "newer" suit is just me using artistic interpretation and having fun, I just did this as a fun project in my free time, which most of the time means I just draw what feels right at the time, hah.

Thanks to everybody for the great comments!

Anonymous said...

You should try to get a variant of this design on teefury or something. I would buy it!

Joe said...

Oh man!, I fell in love with her!!

jlg

Zachary Knoles said...

Ha, that's awesome! I love your interpretation. Modern yet incredibly retro.

Katie said...

That's a beautiful drawing! Love it!

Dave said...

I would adore a Samus-in-her-underwear print next to a Mario-in-his-underwear print.

Ben said...

So...where can we order?

cubeecraft said...

Awesome! (as usual)

5star said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dapper Dan said...

Really love this piece. Kudos