Sword of the Knight of the Realm of Darkness III
“It is a dark time of feudal clan warfare, a time of fearsome magic and hyper-science, in a land where God Kings eat the faces of their baboon slaves to gain the insight to lead their armies of faceless baboon slaves to great and bloody victory.” – from the game manual of S.o.t.K.o.t.R.o.D III: Lord of the Crown of Fire Swords
You’re probably too young to remember the first two S.o.t.K.o.t.R.o.D games, but they were instant classics when they were released on the Amiga CD32 game system. The series told the story of Trak the Chief Warrior Death-Priest of the Realm of Darkness and his quest to (in the first game) find the Sword of Dark Glory, in doing so becoming the Knight of the Realm of Darkness and taking his place upon the throne of the Dark Realm of Blöödwarrfeüd and then (in the second game – S.o.t.K.o.t.R.o.D II: The Shattered Blood Throne) claim the Obsidian Sword of Darklight, the only sword capable of cutting through the Sword of Dark Glory– he needs the Obsidian Sword because the Sword of Dark Glory was stolen, along with his favourite Wench-bride Lakanna, by the traitorous goblin servant Grokk. The games were praised for their high level of quality in both graphics and sound and featured very mature content with all three games featuring brutal combat, highly sexualised scenarios and amazingly violent Full Motion Video (FMV) cutscenes. In 2000 the third instalment was released on the Playstation 2 and continued both the quality and the story of the previous games. Sword of the Knight of the Realm of Darkness III: Lord of the Crown of Fire Swords picked up the story from where the second instalment left off; Trak is once again on the throne of Blöödwarrfeüd with his Queen-bride, Lakanna. Trak is presented with the Sword of the Allruler, the first of three pieces of armour that, when united will grant their owner the power to rule over the five realms and be worthy to wear the legendary Crown of Fire Swords. The scope of the third game increases upon the previous two tenfold, no longer are you confined to the Dark Realm of Blöödwarrfeüd, now you are free to explore the entire Five Realms which opens up a multitude of different environments and enemy types. The familiar skull faced bandits of the barren wastes of the Outlands make their return, but you also face new enemies, like the Amazons in the lush jungles of Lazaâr, fire-breathing snake men in the ruined fortresses of Thrak’gul and Giants in the icy mountains of Krülheim to name but a few.
–Making the Poster–
The poster went through a few phases; at first it was going to be a mock cover for the game, then i thought about a game manual cover and then thought it just made more sense to make a “coming soon” style poster that would have appeared in the stores.
When thinking about big, buff, hyper stylised, generic action heroes from the 90’s i can’t help but think about Spawn. So that’s the main feeling i wanted to go with, mixed with elements of Conan the Barbarian (which would obviously be the semi-naked women draping themselves around the hero…)
The sword was also a ‘hero component‘ seeing that the title mentions swords fairly heavily and the story centres around a few different swords there definitely had to be a sword and it definitely had to play a pretty significant part in the poster. So i made it pretty intricate and ornate… Deciding on exactly what i wanted for the landscape in the background was tough, i wanted something classic fantasy, but i also knew i wanted sci-fi to climb in there and leave it’s bright green laser powered fingerprints all over the place. In the end i decided a bare, craggy mountain with old school ramparts mixed with pagoda-like structures, some lava and islands of floating stone in the sky.
As for the characters; each character was done as a separate element, it makes it easier for arranging and rearranging them for the final composite. Trak’s Queen- Lakanna – crouching in the front, the alien/ elf/ catgirl princess – leaning back, and Trak himself (who, now that i look at him looks a little bit like Lion-O from the Thundercats…) were all finished as polished pencils without inks, as was the mountain city in the background.