Weirdness: The Mystery of the Mega Man 2 Box Art Pistol is Explained
Posted by Thomas Whitehead
Capcom's Art Director blew it
Retro game covers can be fascinating, on occasion because of just how awful they can look. Often there's a charm on display that you just don't see in many modern-day, high budget cover designs that have clearly been produced by a rather expensive branding agency; back then, video games were also predominantly targeting children, which also influenced box art design.
One of the most baffling and — depending on your outlook — humourous NES box art designs is that for Mega Man 2, which has one very obvious issue. No, it's not the fact that Mega Man looks like a middle-aged man and is firing with his eyes closed, but that he's shooting with a pistol. For big fans of the Blue Bomber, that's likely to be one inaccuracy too far, possibly because it makes the hero look a lot less cool.
Marc Ericksen was the illustrator that produced the box art, and rockman-corner.com has stumbled upon an interview that he gave to Nintendo Age last year in which he explains how he was shown a beta of the game and wondered what the character (Mega Man) was firing; Capcom's Art Director in the US was on hand to say that it must be a pistol, as he couldn't see a rifle.
With a short deadline making life harder the pistol was included, and remains an oddity to this day. Check out the video below and jump to around three minutes in for the relevant section. Oh Mega Man, you've been wronged so much in your 21 years...