I want to make a "collage" of console and original arcade art work. (see images below as an example).
Which function of Adobe Illustrator CS6 would you say is best for this?
As you can see, in the images below, each character/art has been able to keep its edges and shape in tact (ie they overlap each other).
Here is the link to Adobe's website where they define the 4 different types of combing:https://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/using/combining-objects.html#compound_shapes
Methods of combining objects
You can combine vector objects to create shapes in a variety of ways in Illustrator. The resulting paths or shapes differ depending on the method you use to combine the objects.
Pathfinder effects let you combine multiple objects using interaction modes. When you use Pathfinder effects, you canít edit the interactions between objects. See Combine objects using Pathfinder effects.Compound shapes
Compound shapes let you combine multiple objects and specify how you want each object to interact with the other objects. Compound shapes are more versatile than compound paths because they provide four kinds of interactions: add, subtract, intersect, and exclude. In addition, the underlying objects aren't changed, so you can select each object within a compound shape to edit it or change its interaction mode. See Combine objects using compound shapes.Compound paths
Compound paths let you use an object to cut a hole in another object. For example, you can create a doughnut shape from two nested circles. Once you create a compound path, the paths act as grouped objects. You can select and manipulate the objects separately using the Direct Selection tool or Group Selection tool; or you can select and edit the combined path. See Combine objects using compound paths.
Note: You can also add to an object by using the Blob Brush tool. When you use this brush, paths you paint are added to adjacent paths that use identical fill attributes. See Draw and merge paths with the Blob Brush tool and Building new shapes using the Shape Builder tool.