Cosmic Nightmare 2

The folks at the long-defunct Working Designs made a lot of great decisions during the 16-bit era. Among them: Their decision to localize (for North American TurboGrafx-16 owners) Telenet’s PC Engine RPG, Cosmic Fantasy 2.

One of their not-so-great decisions: Using the following piece of art to promote said RPG.

The ad above appeared in the April/May 1992 issue of TurboPlay magazine. Unfortunately, the art featured in the ad also appeared on the game’s cover.

Is it any wonder the game wasn’t able to achieve the sales or status of, say, Lunar: The Silver Star, another of Working Design’s 16-bit-era releases?

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Cosmic Nightmare 2

  1. Ha, I started cracking up as soon as I saw the title of this article. Yeah, “nightmare” is a good way of putting it.

    Amazingly, I don’t think the disastrous cover had too much of an impact on the game’s sales. It was one of the best-selling Turbo CD games ever released here, and the best-selling title (including HuCards) in the weeks following its release. The bad artwork’s effect was probably offset by two things: 1) Turbo players were so, so starved for a traditional-style RPG by that point, and 2) they were already used to horrible Turbo art, since like 90% of CF2’s US peers featured similarly revolting cover sketches.

    What do you think of the cover they came up with for Exile: Wicked Phenomenon? The only opinion I can ever manage to formulate on that one is, “Uh… it’s different.”

  2. Lunar’s ads rocked. Popful Mail’s ad rocked, too. My theory is that Working Designs secretly hated the TurboGrafx all along.

  3. Huh. I honestly didn’t know that the game sold well in the States.

    Anyway, you’re probably right about why that happened — esp. point #2. As bad as this cover art is/was, it was more the rule than the exception.

    As for Exile 2’s cover art — I actually like it! That said, it seems like it would have been more appropriate for the Japanese than the American release.

  4. Zigfried: Yeah, but their ads for Parasol Stars weren’t bad at all — and actually used the same art as the Japanese version of the game.

    Why they didn’t use Cosmic Fantasy 2’s original art, too, is a head-scratcher.

    Oh, and I agree with you 100% about WD’s Lunar and Popful Mail ads. Speaking of Lunar — I think someday I’m going to have to get myself a Genesis + CD (again).

  5. “Zigfried: Yeah, but their ads for Parasol Stars weren’t bad at all — and actually used the same art as the Japanese version of the game.”

    Yeah, same story with Cadash, as I recall.

    “Oh, and I agree with you 100% about WD’s Lunar and Popful Mail ads. Speaking of Lunar — I think someday I’m going to have to get myself a Genesis + CD (again).”

    Right on. Zig and I were rocking out to the Lunar 2 boss music yesterday. He thought it was a Streets of Rage tune until I set him straight.

  6. ARGHHHHHHHHHH MY EYES!! Luckily 3rd grade art class didn’t really harm sales of this gem.

  7. “ARGHHHHHHHHHH MY EYES!!”

    Yes, I think that’s the correct reaction to this rather horrible piece of “art.” 🙂

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