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GBA SOULS SQUAD by Cyangmou GBA SOULS SQUAD by Cyangmou

A question which I asked myself for a long time:

„What would Dark Souls look like, if it'd have been released on GBA?“


GBA was the system which inspired me to start creating pixel art – great games games like Castlavania: Dawn of Sorrow and Fire Emblem: the Sacred Stones have had a huge impact on me – I totally love them.


Time to pursue my nostalgia and merge two awesome things:

GBA aesthetics and Dark Souls.


From left to right:

-Black Iron Tarkus

-The Chosen Undead (or Oscar of Astora)

-Solaire of Astora

-Siegmeyer of Catarina

This probably would have been my most favourite GBA game \[T]/


Might even do more or animate them, if there is some interest.

For the system purists:

Displayed at 300% zoom

Each sprite is made with the following restrictions:

15 colors max, 1 color transparency

48x48 px (excluding solaires feather, bc couldn't find a satisfying solution)

My Twitter:
twitter.com/cyangmou

More Souls related pixel fanart:
Super Londo Bros by CyangmouHollow Warriors by CyangmouPraise the Sun by CyangmouI've got to use my head... And think by Cyangmou

Add a Comment:
 
:icongeekytribble:
geekytribble Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2017  Student General Artist
YASSSS
Reply
:iconmaroongoon:
MaroonGoon Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2016
I would totally play this. Great stuff!
Reply
:iconcyangmou:
Cyangmou Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
awesome =)
Reply
:iconbasslesson01:
basslesson01 Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2016
Hey, would I be able to use this picture for a small school work that I'm doing?

Sieg looks cute in your pixel art form :D
Reply
:iconcyangmou:
Cyangmou Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
what kind of school work?
Reply
:iconchaudown450:
Chaudown450 Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Is it wrong that I have a tendency to see Benhart of Jugo as the new Solaire? Or would Lucatiel fit that category? :p
Reply
:iconcyangmou:
Cyangmou Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
hard to say. I couldn't really get warm with DkS 2 at all.
I played through it just one time.
Reply
:iconchaudown450:
Chaudown450 Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Dark Souls 2 gave more of an ominous and ambiguous feel to it...you never truly knew if Lucatiel went hollow or not, nor do you know of the fates of the others...

Dark Souls? Doom, gloom, depression, everyone goes hollow. Everyone you could possibly care for dies.
Reply
:iconcyangmou:
Cyangmou Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Dark Souls 1 is western dark fantasy pretty much like Berserk.
Berserk also disabled, broke or killed off multiple (all) characters you might care for - the difference is that it is starting out with a cast of mentally unstable characters from the get go and they slowly slip all down the slope to madness, because of their personality, their goals and what happens to them - at least for the whole golden age arc and to some point even up to the end of the retribution arc - before fairytale, high fantasy and RPG aspects seem to overtake the story to make it more enjoyable for another kind of audience. The themes later change to party aspects, helping friends and a generally a much lighter tone - because the world shifts at a crucial part from human-centered to magic-centered.

In Dark Souls you have a bunch of characters who are actually bearing an undead curse, which literally means they can't die and the only possibility for them is to become mad. The death is inevitable, like it is in reality, but I think it's much more interesting to look at what most of those characters we care about actually achieve. The thing which keeps them human seems to be the thing which is their goal in life - I thought about it the way that some of them ultimatively reached their goal. Under the line the outcome is the same for everyone in this world (and it's the same in reality if you look at it realistically), but I think the characters we care for are some we truly can be proud of because they achieved something which is bigger than their self through their own struggle. Everyone Dies.
But the important point: the end of the story is unclear, while all of them significantly help us on our journey, maybe they even enable us to change the whole gameworld - we didn't know at the end of DKs 1.

A  lot of the stories I like have characters which actually struggle, but keep standing and move on. This doesn't mean that all of them are heroes, but most of the characters I resonate to seem to violently follow their self-set goals.

But the characters in Dark Souls 2 felt to me like without goals, only there to "entertain" the player with their little stories, which seem to beg for your compassion.
The idea of the circles seemed to make achievement despite struggles indifferent, because it doesn't affect the "big story". The outcome of what you did doesn't matter at all, because there is another circle coming anyways.

Dark Souls 1 and Berserk both have a totally philosophical "western" view of the world that with enough struggle you can achieve something bigger than life.
Dark Souls 2 is much more philosophical "eastern" in it's approach, so that the individuum can't possibly change the outcome of the big plan / fate / the mechanic of the world.

I just like the first type of story much more. Being powerless feels much more desperate and meaningless to me, than being possibly powerful, but also prone to fail.
Reply
:iconchaudown450:
Chaudown450 Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
True. I agree with pretty much everything you said about Dark Souls 1. When I found out telling Lartenius where to get the dark pyromancy caused him to go hollow, I was like "...what have I done...".

One thing about Dark Souls 2 that I really liked was the new ending they put in at SotFS. It actually just lets you walk away from it all. No age of fire (light) or age of dark...you just, go away.
Reply
:iconcyangmou:
Cyangmou Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
haven't played SotfS
I bought the original DkSII collectors Edition which was quite expensive - why should I buy another version of a totally broken game, which gets released as a "new release" and is significantly more expensive than a dlc, for just switching enemy placements and fix flavortexts. Not fixing any of the broken gameplay (e.g. controls)

Well you got a "discount" but that's not at all what I would call customer service, especially not if you preordered and showed the publisher your thanks in the best way you possible could do it. The publishers are just fucking greedy bastards and I don't supported them in this way anymore with DkS3, nor will I support any other game this way, which get spublished by BandaiNamco in future.
Reply
:iconchaudown450:
Chaudown450 Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I actually stopped supporting Bandi Namco almost after their terrible job on Soul Calibur 5...

Dark Souls 1 really needs to fix its co-op system though...
Reply
:iconserg123:
serg123 Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2016
JOLLY COOPERATION! 
Reply
:iconcyangmou:
Cyangmou Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
\[T]/
Reply
:icontheatomickuriboh:
TheAtomicKuriboh Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2016  Student General Artist
I love these. I just recently got into Dark Souls and I had a GBA I played religiously as a kid, so this ticks all of my boxes. also, I'd love to see how it would play on a system like the game boy advance. XD
Reply
:iconcyangmou:
Cyangmou Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
pretty much like any castlevania I guess =D
Reply
:icontheatomickuriboh:
TheAtomicKuriboh Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2016  Student General Artist
XD yeah, that's true i guess.
Reply
:iconssjpabs:
SSJPabs Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2016
What Salt and Sanctuary should have looked like !
Reply
:iconcyangmou:
Cyangmou Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
don't liked the look of salt&sanctuary too much. Worst part most likely were the player characters.
I think even dark games can have strong colors here and there and a clear visual seperation. S&S was mostly very monotone.

Still the game is pretty good from a gameplay standpoint.
Reply
:icondanm96art:
Danm96Art Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Love this!!
Reply
:iconcyangmou:
Cyangmou Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
thanks =)
Reply
:icongoatmutation:
GoatMutation Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Awesome =P
Reply
:iconcyangmou:
Cyangmou Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
thx
Reply
:icongtoda4:
Gtoda4 Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2016
Animation would be amazing... It's funny, but I have three friends and the four of us would make this squad. XD
Reply
:iconripshockz:
RipshockZ Featured By Owner May 28, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Amazing!!
Reply
:iconcyangmou:
Cyangmou Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
thanks
Reply
:icondokitsu:
dokitsu Featured By Owner May 24, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
An awesome work.
Reply
:iconcyangmou:
Cyangmou Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
thanks a lot
Reply
:iconfrankwest16:
Frankwest16 Featured By Owner May 22, 2016
When the squad goes back in time.
Reply
:iconcyangmou:
Cyangmou Featured By Owner May 24, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
then it looks that pixely =D
Reply
:iconhonionb:
HonionB Featured By Owner May 21, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
so cool! x.x
Are there any games that you've made the art for? I really want to play something with your pixel goodness.
Reply
:iconcyangmou:
Cyangmou Featured By Owner May 22, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
I worked on a bunch of games and did graphics for a l ot of of indiegames.

One game I worked on and did animations for and you actually might know is: Adventure TIme: Explore the dungeon because I don't know.

A rather smaller project I am currently realizing with a friend is called "Tower 57" and we intend to release it leter this year, preferably August.
All the art in this game will have been produced by me =)
Reply
:iconhonionb:
HonionB Featured By Owner May 22, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Can I find a list of games you did the graphics for? I'd love to check it out :)
Reply
:iconcyangmou:
Cyangmou Featured By Owner Edited May 22, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
well there is no official list, because for some games I just did some sprites for and a ton of projects didn't even make it to release.
Of course I didn't make 100% of the work for any of these (most had more graphicians working on them), the exception is Tower 57,but this also is my first personal project for which I am doing a lot more than just graphics.

In development:
-Tower 57 (my own project): pixwerk.net/home/index.php / kickstarted in 2015
-Shadows of Adam (classic RPG; kickstarted): www.kickstarter.com/projects/9…
-Zodiac Legion (round based strategy) (zodiac-legion.com/index.html)

Games you could buy:
- Adventure Time explore the dungeon because I don't know store.steampowered.com/app/243…
- Halfway store.steampowered.com/app/253…
- Forge Quest store.steampowered.com/app/249…
- Huey - fragmenttwo.com/ - Ios Sidecrolling game
- Echoes of Aetheria www.dancingdragongames.com/
- Puzzle Hero itunes.apple.com/at/app/sword-…

Canned, but Demo / not available anymore bc. browser:
- Final Element - Megamanesque sidescroller - got canned - demo available here: www.dropbox.com/s/7ek2oqemxo0i…
- Riftforge (not available anymore) - Browser based strategy game
- Norroth (not available anymore) - Browser based rpg game
Reply
:iconhonionb:
HonionB Featured By Owner May 22, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah, thank you so much! This is great :)

Have a nice day!
Reply
:iconcyangmou:
Cyangmou Featured By Owner May 22, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
thanks, you too =)
Reply
:iconsquareofone:
SquareofOne Featured By Owner May 21, 2016
The Dark Souls dream team.
Reply
:iconcyangmou:
Cyangmou Featured By Owner May 24, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
oh yeah. Love all of them, but DS has also some really great other characters.
Reply
:iconsquareofone:
SquareofOne Featured By Owner May 24, 2016
Yeah, but they're the human sized characters. They could do what we do.
Reply
:iconelvenkingloki:
ElvenKingLoki Featured By Owner May 19, 2016
I am but a simple man, I see Dark Souls I press favorite 
Reply
:iconcyangmou:
Cyangmou Featured By Owner May 20, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
thanks =D
Reply
:iconblakehargrave:
BlakeHargrave Featured By Owner May 19, 2016  Student General Artist
Same here...
Reply
:iconblue-hylian95:
Blue-Hylian95 Featured By Owner May 19, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
They definitely do look like GBA sprites. Nice work. :D
Now I'm wondering if the mechanics of Dark Souls would work well on a Gameboy. lol
Reply
:iconcyangmou:
Cyangmou Featured By Owner May 20, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
don't think so, because dark souls battle system works on the following things:

-distance
-timing (stamina management)
-spatial awareness (positioning in 3d space, slight height differences, how you use your hitboxes)

I think that spatial awareness can't be reproduced in a 2d game but I also don't think it works even with a first person 3D game.
Distance and Timing would work and then you get something like "indie dark souls reproductions" and those aren't fun, because I think Dark Souls is compelling because of it's 3D exploration and 3D battle systems.

In 2D you have other tools which work much better / more efficient than in 3d, especially instant readability, exact platforming and in generally is a lot simpler/cheaper to code.

SO from a gamedesign perspective I wouldn't say it can work with the same formula - and then the question is if it's a darksouls if you alter it.

And if you think of games like Metroid and Zelda the 2D and 3D installments differ totally too.
Reply
:iconrocketdesignre:
RocketDesignRE Featured By Owner May 19, 2016  Student Digital Artist
That's gorgeous!
Reply
:iconcyangmou:
Cyangmou Featured By Owner May 24, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
thanks
Reply
:iconalpharius713:
Alpharius713 Featured By Owner May 19, 2016
Yeah new retro game XD
Reply
:iconcyangmou:
Cyangmou Featured By Owner May 20, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
thanks
Reply
:icongardow:
Gardow Featured By Owner May 19, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very cool, could see these on the GBA right away! :)
Reply
:iconcyangmou:
Cyangmou Featured By Owner May 24, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
cool =)
Reply
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