Concept art from the ~magnifico~ game “Zork Nemesis: The Forbidden Lands”. I am an old fan of the original, all-text, Infocom Zork games; and I say Zork Nemesis is still excellent even though a far departure from the light-hearted humor old Zork gamers are familiar with. But Infocom games vary! Zork games are remembered because of how ground breaking they were.
And the art and game? It looks terrific. No, brilliant. Even the worst of them was still very good, and it’s probably just a matter of taste anyway. Zork Nemesis was loaded full of my two very favorite things in graphical environments: paintings and dirt. Honest. No bare walls anywhere; there were paintings, maps, posters, tapestries, diagrams, murals; and in all sorts of styles. Some are actual historic art (Bosch, Botticelli, and others show up in the credits. :) All of them added to the richness of the world. Carpets! Lots of oriental carpets. (One Zork reference I didn’t mind.) Things that were supposed to be decayed, were decayed and stained and worn. I love it.
I give credit to the artists on board. The concept art above still moves me. Done without digital painting and all raw material, Mauro Borelli creates atmosphere for Zork Nemesis like a master. Mauro began his career as an illustrator and photographer before turning his attention to creating concept art for film, in fact. He moved to Rome and worked for Terry Gilliam designing storyboards on THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN and for Francis Coppola on the pre-visualization of GODFATHER III.