by Joseph Leray
To ease the interminable workday keeping us from a long weekend of cheap beer, cheaper hotdogs, and too much exposure to the sun, Reddit user RudeBootie has kindly uploaded a collection of animated fighting game backgrounds, sans fighters.
My eye is admittedly untrained, but I’m spotting a lot of SNK-published titles from the “King of Fighters,” “Art of Fighting,” “Mark of the Wolves,” and “Samurai Showdown” franchises, with a perfunctory nod to Capcom with E. Honda’s bathhouse from “Street Fighter II” at the bottom.
If nothing else, the collection is a shrine to pixel art craftsmanship and a reminder that these iconic arenas defined an entire genre during the formative and prolific mid-90’s. The backgrounds on display run the gamut from melodramatic, to surreal, to pedestrian, featuring everything from ruined castles to beached oil tankers, monkeys bathing in an onsen to a cheering mermaid in a clamshell, idyllic landscapes to crowded street markets.
Whether you want to take a trip down memory lane or a connoisseur of pixel art, I’m sure there’s something titillating in the bowels of the 125-.gif collection. As for me, I just want to watch little pixels move around, looping endlessly, until my eyes glaze over and the weekend arrives.
I’ve embedded a few of my favorites below, but you can find the entire collection here.