Bienvenido, benvenuta, أهلا بك, bienvenue, willkommen, 欢迎, bem-vinda, ようこそ, and welcome to Box Art Brawl, the series where you vote on the best box art from regional variants of the same game.
Last week we watched ISS 64 as it engaged in a rare three-way football match. After a tense 90 minutes Europe emerged victorious with a decisive 58% of the vote. Japan came second with just under half that percentage as North America trailed in third place. As the game’s commentator might say, “Poor old… NORTH AMERICA!”
Staying with the N64 this week, we have a game that took a different name in each territory, not to mention a totally different cover design. North American readers will know it as Quest 64, although in Europe we called it Holy Magic Century. Whatever you call it, it was a half-decent RPG from Imagineer on a console not blessed with an over abundance of RPGs.
Enough beating about the bush – let’s go on a Holy Magic Eltale Quest!… 64.
Known as Eltale Monsters, developer Imagineer self-published in Japan and we get a big, bold and colourful logo front and centre at the bottom of the box with a decent bit of key art behind it. Brian (yes, really) thrusts his mage-y staff towards us as a sinister-looking bunch of baddies pose behind him.
The all-white background probably helped the game stand out on the shelf, although we would have liked to see a splash of colour. A strong start from the East.
Quest 64 jettisoned the key art for something… different. Let’s start with the plus points. We like the logo, with its encrusted jewels, decorative frills and the lush purple flag behind it. And it’s certainly colourful, with practically every value accounted for somewhere or other.
The ’90s CG stylings don’t hold up as well as classic, hand-drawn art, though, and this cover looks decidedly more ‘kiddy’ than the Japanese variant, despite the vein-y arms of the pig-man and the glowing red eyes (and grey toupées?) of the wolves flanking poor old Brian. Maybe the fault lies with publisher THQ.
There’s an issue with depth here, too – the Duplo dragon in the top right is presumably in the background and very large, although the fact that its tail is in front of the logo’s flag – as is Brian’s staff – suggests that it’s a parrot-sized fire-breather hovering just above Brian.
Maybe it is! We confess we missed out on Quest 64 back in the day. Still, on the strength of the NA cover, we won’t be adding it to the backlog.
The EU cover flips the key art of Brian from the Japanese cover, throws in an ominous green sky over some red cliffs in the background and adds a grim gang of encroaching ghouls behind our hero. The new title gets a nice logo treatment and with a torn parchment backing and EU publisher Konami forgoes the usual black border of EU PAL boxes in favour of a single black strip down the side.
It’s not perfect, but it looks like a quality product – something that would sit proudly alongside Ocarina of Time on the shelf.
Three totally different covers, one vote. Give your favourite a click and hit the ‘Vote’ button below to exercise your democratic right:
Aaand the quest is over. Thanks to KitsuneNight for this week’s suggestion, and to the rest of you for voting. See you next time for another Box Art Brawl.