It should be no surprise by now that I love video game character artwork. Most of the larger video game publishers create promotional character artwork for each new game released, most of which is used in the game's instructional manual or made available to the media for use in articles and reviews. It should also be no surprise that my favorite "brand" of character artwork comes from Nintendo. The company has always employed talented artists to turn blocks of pixels into fully formed memorable characters.
Even though each game has its own set of unique artwork, sometimes I notice little patterns in the art over time. Consider the iconic image of Mario with his hammer. Here we have four different promotional Marios from (clockwise from upper left) Paper Mario (2000), Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (2004), Mario and Luigi: Partners In Time (as Baby Mario, 2005), and Mario vs. Donkey Kong (2004). Each image was created at different times, and yet they all portray Mario the same way: hammer in hand, striking down on the ground with such great force as to leave our hero hanging in the air for just a moment. The unique aspect is that since we don't see Mario with a hammer all that often anymore, the recurrence of this particular pose over the years is easy to overlook.