The iconic image of Battletech is of a hulking 70-ton mech, possibly ripped off from Robotech, with steaming particle cannons and a seriously boss pattern of laser holes stitched in the shoulder. Often forgotten is the amazing artwork that built the non-mech world of Battletech. Because the game experienced its heyday in the late-80's the Battletech world is an extension of 1980's fashion and sensibility. This is what the future might have looked like if Ronald Reagan was still President and everybody was still wearing trucker caps and quilted nylon vests, and driving cars shaped like wedges. The images included are from the following Battletech supplements: Mechwarrior, 1st Edition (1986), Mercenary's Handbook (1987), The Rules of Warfare (1987), The Periphery (1988), Star League (1988), Wolf's Dragoons (1989), and BattleTroops (1989).
Steve: I didn't really play Battletech until the 1990s dude. I was like five years old. But I do remember there were a lot of these old books at Jamie's house and everybody looks like an Adam Ant video with laser guns and robots.
Zack: I think 80's nostalgia is finally starting to wear off and we're starting to head into 80's being totally uncool again, but I'm not actually sure anybody ever thought wearing an intestine blouse and a bunch of EKG pads was cool.Steve: I don't know about that stuff. I always sort of wanted one of those knives you strap to your calf like that. Everybody has them in video games and movies now man. It's like the place to put your knife.
Zack: What about a butcher's block? Or a drawer?
Steve: Yeah, that's great if you are like fighting a home invader or something, but what if you get caught in an underwater net and you have to cut your way out and there is a shark coming?
Zack: I'm guessing I'd drown and then my dead body will be eaten by a shark. I try to avoid scenarios involving underwater nets. Even the possibility of an underwater net and you can count me out.
Steve: If you're not strapping a calf knife then we might as well count you out of everything, because when trouble arrives you're going to be looking through a drawer and you're going to end up fighting a battlemech with a whisk.
Zack: I seem to recall they all looked like eggs in the 3025 technical manual, so I'll stick with the whisk.
Are you concerned that you may be a character trapped in a Tom Waits song? Be smart and learn the warning signs before it's too late. Also, it's too late. It has always been too late.
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
Zack Parsons, Steve "Malak" Sumner, and friends tackle bizarre role playing game products that make them wonder, "What the fuck!?" From the early days of Gygax to contemporary role playing games, none will be spared.