Never get lost again thanks to these hand-drawn game map posters

Fangamer's new posters will guide you safely through the original Metroid and Metal Gear.

Remember that one time I got the bug for drawing maps of old games as I played? Well, as it turns out, that infatuation never went away and I've been sketching out the worlds of classic games ever since. Perhaps "sketching" is the wrong word — the crude maps I featured in that article last summer gave way to more precise and elaborate efforts across multiple games. My attempts to live-stream map ventures hasn't really panned out, I'm afraid, largely due to tech issues, but I've been plugging away in the background regardless.

As a matter of fact, two of those map projects ended up becoming so elaborate that I teamed up with Fangamer to turn them into posters that you, a human being, can purchase and either hang as decoration or use as a reference for your next venture into 8-bit realms. Or both! Both Metroid for NES and the MSX version of Metal Gear now exist as print-to-order posters featuring every little detail of those games, mapped out by hand.

Well, almost every detail. I'd say they're 99% accurate. These are human works, which means human error… but that's part of the charm, ya know?

Zebes (Metroid): Buy it here

One of the classic game worlds, really. Metroid was the first game I ever mapped by hand as a kid, because the whole game consists of an intricate labyrinth of terrible things that want you to die. It's all very confusing. This particular map is considerably more detailed than the simple little thing I sketched out on graph paper as a 12-year-old and includes (I think) all the item pick-ups and hidden passages. It also shows you where the metroids attack, which is very important for those with delicate nerves.

Outer Heaven (Metal Gear for MSX): Buy it here

I also mapped Metal Gear back in the day, although that was the janky NES version. This map, however, goes along with the original MSX rendition of the game, which has a brilliantly designed world full of secrets and interlocking elements. This map attempts to bring order to Big Boss' elaborate fortress: Not only does this map break down and organize Outer Heaven by zone (underground, exterior, etc.) and building, each and every room in the game is marked with the location of all traps and items indicated. There's a lot happening in this game and on this map! 

Each map costs $32, which admittedly is a little on the pricier side. I was hoping they'd come in closer to $25, but since this is very much the definition of "niche product" it really didn't make sense to produce a large enough print run to bring the cost down that far. Instead, these are produced on demand as high-quality giclée prints on sturdy paper stock… all with a matte finish to give it that authentic "some guy drew this on dot-grid paper" look.

If these do well enough, I'll keep making more map posters. They're fun to create! And I already have quite a few more in the works at various stage of completion:

  • Castlevania
  • Castlevania II
  • River City Ransom
  • The Goonies & The Goonies II
  • Metroid II
  • Final Fantasy
  • Metal Gear NES
  • Faxanadu

So be on the lookout for those, maybe? In the meantime, thanks to Fangamer and all video supporters for making these possible.