In mid-April 2015, I was approached to create the box art for Team Pixelboy's Colecovision port of Rare's 1984 video game Knight Lore. I delivered the final version in mid-May.
There was a lot of history which inspired and informed the way the characters were portrayed.
The isometric game, ported from the MSX by Riddler, stars Sabreman, an adventurer and part-time werewolf who also starred in such 80s Rare games as Sabre Wulf, Underwurlde and Pentagram. Sabreman was clearly a Rare mascot character. He would have returned on the XBOX in Rare's game Sabreman Stampede, but the game was cancelled. Sabreman had a cameo in "Banjo-Tooie," and starred in "Sabre Wulf" for the Game Boy Advance. Sabre Wulf is also a star of the Killer Instinct series.
These early games were rereleased in 2015 in the Rare Replay collection, but in their promo art Sabreman was depicted as the tiny, indistinct pixel art from the 80s games rather than the redesigns he received later. I wanted to show a more definitive Sabreman, with something approximating his cartoony looks from the N64 and XBox eras.
The werewolf and wizard took a more realistic tone, though I redrew the wizard to have more cartoony proportions (still based on his posing in the original game's art). The games have shown both cartoony and dark takes on the Sabre Wulf character.
The game has been remade unofficially several times for modern platforms. Its isometric gameplay where you explore dangerous rooms in an extensive dungeon may remind you of NES titles like Solstice (though the actual Famicom version of Knight Lore by Jaleco isn't super accurate).
Much of the background was rendered in 3D via Poser using existing models, and then heavily reworked in Photoshop. The logo was recreated first in Photoshop then in 3D via Poser.