Roger Dean – Barbarian

Roger Dean - Barbarian

Cover for the 1987 Computer game Barbarian, published by Psygnosis, art unmistakably by Roger Dean.

Note that this is not actually the famous one-on-one ‘Barbarian’  Beat em up, but a different game from around the same era. The famous version was like an early version of Mortal Kombat with a special death move that triggered a funny animation; basically if you managed to decapitate your opponent a little goblin creature came and dragged the corpse away – oh and the box art featured Maria Whittaker (top UK Page 3 Girl) and erm Wolf (from Old UK gladiators)…

6 thoughts on “Roger Dean – Barbarian”

  1. I used to play this game! Unfortunately I had the later edition, which featured Wolf from Gladiators as Barbarian :S Roger Dean did some brilliant unseen work in the 80’s on home computer game-boxes.

  2. I have not a theory but maybe an interesting point on why game box graphics were so much more striking and powerful back in the day. Its bothered me for a while. I thought maybe its just me being nostalgic but I don’t think its me reaching my thirties and getting all misty eyed about my mispent youth. I think maybe because the actual game graphics weren’t exactly incredible the games packaging and promotional art had to get your mind to suspend disbelief. Much more like book covers and thus like classic cover art. However, nowadays the games are so hyperreal and all consuming that you don’t need extra help to get immersed in the game’s universe. Also because gaming is now bigger than Hollywood and acts much the same, the packaging and surrounding activity is usually just a tool for brand recognition so, flashy logos and straplines and nothing that is adventurous. Its all to slick and commercial, even if the games themselves aren’t.

  3. I’ll be damned if that picture was also used as a sleeve cover for a Steve Howe album, in the 90s i believe.

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