The following ad–for Working Designs’ Exile: Wicked Phenomenon–appeared in a number of issues of TurboPlay magazine in the early 1990s.
Turbo fans whose memories have yet to fail them will recall that the image also appeared on the cover of said game, which was released in North America 1993.
Anyway, it’s a love-it-or-hate-it piece of art among gamers–a fact not lost on Working Designs’ Victor Ireland, who at some point told the folks at Hardcare Gaming 101:
“The Exile 2 cover is polarizing. People love it or hate it. It’s basically aping a style of diorama that was really popular to advertise games in Japan. NCS/MASAYA did quite a bit of it, and I wanted to bring that to the US as well. So, I chose Exile 2 as the game to try this on.
“When we ran the ad, EGM or Gamepro (I can’t remember) sent us a survey they did months later with their readers that had that ad listed as the ‘most remembered’ ad from the whole magazine, which, I think, justified the experiment. We tried it again for Vasteel, but the results weren’t that great, so we only used part of one of the space scenes on the back cover of the jewel case.”
Personally, I think the image is pretty cool. It’s certainly more interesting than most of the dreck that was passed off as TurboGrafx-16 cover “art” back in the day.