Cart Art: Solstice

Welcome back to Cart Art, the place for those who appreciate the type of dedication and style that goes into cartridge based graphic design. This week, we shall delve deep into the world of wizards and magic and review the 8-bit classic, Solstice: The Quest for the Staff of Demnos, as requested by The Retroist himself! After staring at this box are for a week, I still can’t decide if this is one of greatest pieces of cart art or the most eye ball stabbing worst of all time.

NES Solstice

Normally, I like to start with the text on the top of the box or the color of the box, but doing that would be ignoring the huge, BalCo supplied elephant in the room. Look at that wizard. Apparently someone has learned the spell of “Steroidus Maximus.” Actually, you know what? I doubt that guy might be an actual wizard. Anyone who has enough time to get themselves some washboard abs and a set of guns like that guy, can’t possibly have enough time to learn spells. On the other hand, maybe this Wizard got beat up a lot during his freshman year of magic school, got fed up with it and then spent the next 3 years doing arm curls in his Mom’s basement. In any case, we have one strong spell slinger on the cover.

Now, how do you accent a physique that says more Conan than Gandalf? With an absolutely ridiculous outfit of course! From the bottom up we first encounter a pair of green boots with a simple inlay. By themselves, not a totally terrible choice but the outfit goes all to heck from there. Next up, a snazzy pair of electric blue caprice pants. Well, they might be caprice pants. Might be rolled up dungarees for all I know. Either way, we accent those lovely pants with a thick belt and a jaunty purple and gold see-through crotch tabard. Finally a pair of black bracers and a huge, flowing purple cloak and maybe a hat, I really can’t tell. Wow, just look at that outfit. Let this be a lesson to all you Retroist fans out there: Never dress yourself blindfolded while using your feet to pick through a renaissance faire garb discards bin.

Now if a Body by Jake and a Wardrobe by a Colorblind Minotaur isn’t enough, just take a look at his hair. Let that blond mustache/beard/heavy metal hair combo wash over you. Seriously, I can’t even tell where his beard ends and the hair on his head begins. Look at the right side of that flowing mane, doesn’t look something akin to a moose antler? The left side? Hmmm, I think it has more of a “pile of squid tentacles in which one end has been hooked into a car battery” feel to it. The only thing I know, a food saver/chin mane like that is something to behold. . . and fear.

Here is the part of the article where I would break down the rest of the box (why does it look like fighter jets have just passed by the moon, is that a lighting bolt or someone in the art department have a nervous twitch while holding a white out pen, etc) but instead I will use this space for even more magic related body building one liners:

-Apparently before he was Gandalf the White or Gandalf the Gray, he was Gandalf the Jacked!

-Draco Malfoy has been using the free weights in the student gym at Hogwarts just a little too much.

-Who knew a young Hulk Hogan practiced wizardry?

-I knew when that Wizard starting hanging out with Barry Bonds it would be nothing but trouble.

-The Coach of the Potions Team began to suspect that Merlin was using spell enhancing drugs when after failing to create a shrinking potion in competition, he violently crammed all 6 of his competitors into a 4 oz flask and smashed it over the head of the lead judge.

-Ladies and Gentlemen, I present Albus “The Situation” Dumbledore.

-And lastly, our Wizard hero is still working on that “Back-is Ance-us Awayus” spell.

That’s it for this weeks edition of Cart Art. I hope you have all enjoyed the ride. Please feel free to voice your opinion in the comments section and if you have any suggestions, I am all ears. Now if you excuse me, I have to work on his spell I just found. Anyone know where I can get a pinch of newt and a. . . (looks at spell scroll). . .vat of HGH?


OffisaPups is a lover of fine retro gaming (video as well as board), classic comic strips and has a noggin filled with decades of television ads and song lyrics. Due to fears of a zombie apocalypse, do not approach OffisaPups while groaning, staggering with out-stretched arms, or requesting brains. Needless to say, OffisaPups has a very understanding and patient wife and a daughter who has no hope of a normal, non-dork upbringing.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. “This is me after just twenty minutes with spellfast”
    Great Cart art as always OffisaPups!

  2. This was an unfortunate shelf warmer back in my youth when I stalked the aisles trying to educate the kids on what to rent. “No kid, trust me, you do not want to rent Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde…try Solstice instead.”

    Great article, OffisaPups! :)

  3. The best part of that box is EASILY the ridiculous amount of copyright text clogging up the bottom of the box! Its excessive.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Close Menu
%d bloggers like this: