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Nintendo Power Uncovered
Nintendo Power #30: November 1991 - Final Fantasy II
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on January 07, 2014   |   Episode 30 (Show Archive)  

   
After nearly three hundred issues, Nintendo Power has finally come to an end. To send this long-running periodical off in style, the Cover Critic has decided to review every single issue. Join him as he experiences every aspect of Nintendo's journey through their magazine covers.

Ever since Christopher Reeve was paralyzed in 1995, I have had a fear of horses. Not so much the horse itself, but rather the act of falling off and seriously injuring myself. Of course, that's nothing compared to flying on the back of a giant bird. This Nintendo Power cover manages to put everything in perspective. As painful as falling off a horse surely is, it's a whole lot better than plummeting hundreds of feet to your untimely death.

Putting depressing horror stories about animal-related injuries aside, this Final Fantasy II cover is a strong rebound after last month's dismal Star Trek cover. More importantly, this is a massive upgrade from the first Final Fantasy cover. This time around we have art that actually captures the spirit of Final Fantasy. We see an adventurer and his sword. Off in the distance, an ominous castle is dwarfed by the bright moon. With artwork like this, I find it credible when Nintendo Power teases us with "Might, Mystery and Magic."

With that bright moon in the distance, you may not notice the Mist Dragon about to take a swipe at your flying bird. The castle will need to wait, because our colorful hero is about to find himself in the middle of a random battle. In that sense, this Nintendo Power cover perfectly captures the spirit of Final Fantasy.

I like this design, even though it may appear very simple at first glance. Nintendo Power could have made the well-received sequel look like a cartoon, full of big-eyed heroes and adorable bad guys. I'm sure there was somebody on staff arguing that bright and happy translates to mass market appeal. Thankfully, the artists decided to honor the Super NES title with a design that is arguably even more serious than the actual game. Not only does it capture what is great about Final Fantasy, but it gets me excited to fight that giant moon in the distance.

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