Tag Archives: layered

39: When Lavos Wins

A shot of the engraving before it was cut out. Flat type.
A shot of the engraving before it was cut out. Flat type.

Chrono Trigger is a classic, a great example of what can happen when you get a bunch of incredible talent in the same room and say “make something cool.” One of the best elements of the game is the abundance of endings available based on how and when you take on the game’s final challenge, and if you’re too cocky and get blown away, one of the endings even shows you when happens when the villain wins. The result of that bad end is above: a wrecked planet identical to the one you tried so hard to prevent. In the end, the future refused to change.

What refused to change?
What refused to change?

If you don’t hear the blood-curdling scream of the SNES S-SMP audio chip when you see the image above, pehaps you never lost. I did, and sometimes intentionally; it can be fun exploring exactly how the world ends if the hero fails to save the day.

What did the future do?
What did the future do?

I wanted to pay homage to the game over screen and set out to recreate the original rectangular pixel source image in a vector format. The defeated planet was simple enough to run through a few filters, but the letters had to be hand drawn. I wasn’t able to find an exact match while searching for a font out there, but you might know! Drop me a line if you do. While recreating the text, I tried my best to keep the spirit and shape of the letter forms, but I didn’t have any qualms about fixing kerning issues. The line leading, tracking, and the text’s relation to the planet are otherwise identical to the source material, just given a coat of vector goodness and mercilessly cut into acrylic.

Depth was added by cutting the letters twice and gluing them together.
Depth was added by cutting the letters twice and gluing them together.

It was 1/8″ thick black acrylic with a white cap layer, so the engraving ate away the white to reveal the black underneath. A halftone pattern gave the planet its bleak shades of grey, and a second set of letters cut out of the same acrylic were glued into place by hand rather haphazardously. Maybe you can’t tell in the pictures, but I sure can see it and should work more on using transfer tape to get more exact applications.

A close shot of the engraving's halftone texture.
A close shot of the engraving’s halftone texture.

The final piece is 23.5″ wide and about 11″ tall. It’s not tiny! It’ll find a resting place somewhere near my desk, possibly near where the black wind howls…