Archive entry by Ste Pickford on Fri, 20 Feb 2009
This is another piece of concept art for the NES game Ironsword, from back in 1988.
This is pretty close to how the in-game graphic looked. I think we were obsessed with trying to make impossibly large creatures when we were designing this game, as loads of the bosses and sub-bosses (the bosses were Elementals, so the Eagle King and Dragon King weren't actually bosses) were made using either all the sprites available, or using the background as part of the creature instead of just sprites.
The Dragon King's body is made of characters and is part of the background. Only his head and neck actually moves, and only that is made of sprites. It's also fairly vertical so that it doesn't fall foul of the NES limit of only eight hardware sprites on any horizontal line.
I thought this was dead clever at the time.