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Article 36—MEGA MAN: THE WILY WARS BOX ART (1994)

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After publishing six numbered Rockman (a.k.a. Mega Man) games for the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System, Capcom brought the character to the 16-bit systems with completely different games. The Super NES game Mega Man X looked to the future, with a new design, new characters and a storyline that took place 100 years after
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the events of the original series. On the Genesis, however, Mega Man: The Wily Wars looked to the past. Known as Rockman: Mega World in Japan, the game was a remake of the first three Mega Man games, graphically and sonically enhanced but firmly grounded in the character’s established mythos.  

For whatever reason, Mega Man: The Wily Wars was never released in North America. It was available for download through the cable TV-based Sega Channel system, but it was not sold here in cartridge form. But that’s not to say that Capcom USA never intended to produce physical copies of the game. When it was originally announced, the company sent a 4x5” transparency of the game’s official North American box art to our offices at VideoGames magazine. It’s an
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interesting illustration in the grand tradition of off-model Mega Man box art. In fact, when a lower-resolution copy of this image appeared online several years ago, there was some debate among Mega Man fans as to whether this was the real Wily Wars U.S. box or just a clever fan-art forgery!

Most of the items in my video-game ephemera collection are printed on paper or cardstock. Since they were originally color-separated for print production, there’s a limit to the size and quality that can be reproduced by scanning them. But this Wily Wars image is a large-format piece of color positive film, so I thought I would scan it at a very high resolution in case somebody wanted to print a poster or make a U.S.-style box for their European or Japanese copy of the game. Unfortunately, it seems that this transparency was made from a photograph of a printed copy of the image, because it includes the same ugly moiré patterns and halftone color dots that appear when you scan screen-printed material without any of the scanner’s “descreening” options turned on. There’s also something strange about the line thickness on parts of the Sega logo in the upper left corner, but that’s the way it appears on the original transparency. Sorry about that!

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© 2011 Chris Bieniek. Certain video game images, characters and logos on this Web site are copyrighted or trademarked by their respective publishers.