[ Retro Scan of the Week ] The Joust Guy

August 18th, 2014 by Benj Edwards

Illustration from Joust Atari 2600 instruction manual - 1982If I were riding a flying ostrich, I’d probably be smiling too.

I don’t normally take scans out of context, but I made an exception for this amazing illustration. It comes from the instruction manual for Joust for the Atari 2600. I isolated the image years ago for possible use in one of my Halloween costume ideas posts, and I’ve been staring at it in my scans folder ever since.

Joust is one of my favorite arcade titles, and I’m particularly fond of the Atari 7800 home version.

I’d like to find out who created this glorious piece of video game art. I’ll do some digging in a bit, but if you know already, please leave a comment and I’ll update this post. (The illustrator may be referenced in the manual itself, but it’s packed where I can’t get to it.)

By the way, I think this illustration would look awesome on a t-shirt. Anybody want to make one?

[ From Joust Atari 2600 Instruction Manual – 1982]

Discussion Topic of the Week: Which is better: Joust or Balloon Fight?

8 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] The Joust Guy”

  1. DNA Says:

    When I’m in the arcade, with the smell of popcorn and surrounded by the glowing lights and ambient sounds of arcade & pinball machines – Joust.

    When I’m at home or visiting a friend and we’re sitting on the floor with sandwiches and NES controllers in hand – Balloon Fight.

  2. John Says:

    For me, it would be Joust by far. I spent many hours playing it as a teenager in the early 80’s in arcades.

  3. Alexander Says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Joust cabinet in person, but I have a feeling it would be awesome.

    Balloon fight is fun, Joust on Atari 2600 is fun, and so is the VGA DOS version… honestly, I’ve never met anyone who wanted to go toe-to-toe with me in any of them to make a proper comparison.

    As for single player, I’ll take the challenge of Joust though any day (just because Balloon fight is easy enough only to keep my attention for one or two attempts.

  4. Zoyous Says:

    Joust is what I consider to be a perfect game. I’d place it in my top 5 video games of all time. It’s simple to learn, and once you’ve got the basics down, it’s possible to play it with all sorts of style. The cabinet is coldblooded. The animation is awesome. The sound effects are intense. The setting is quite simply bad to the bone. Although superficially similar, by any metric of badness or awesomeness, Balloon Fight doesn’t hold a candle to Joust.

  5. Brad Gilbert Says:

    I can save you the hassle of unpacking the manual, it doesn’t mention anything about the illustrations.

    I think the image from the front of the manual would be better on the front of shirt, with the jouster coming directly at you.

  6. Eric Says:

    Joust. The friction and bounciness of hitting the other jousters and the scenery feels a lot better than Balloon Fight, though for a Joust ripoff, Balloon Fight is still a great time.

  7. Tim Says:

    Python Angelo did all the concept and promotional art for joust arcade. I have a very nice piece of his joust art for sale. Email me if anyone is interested

  8. Tim Says:


Leave a Reply