The Worst Cart Art of the TurboGrafx-16

In many of the early generations of consoles, there was always at least one system that time had forgot, that never sold well, that does not hold that place in the hearts of video gamers. When the Super Nintendo and Genesis were battling it out for 16 bit supremacy, a third system existed, the red headed step child that was the TurboGrafx-16. Young gamers who don’t have long memories might find it strange that in the era of three very competitive systems (that being Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3) that there are forgotten consoles. This article is here to educate and inform all you Retroist.com fans out there of some of worst game covers that graced the shelves of your local game store. So behold, as I present the worst covers of the TurboGrafx-16.

China Warrior

Hmm, where to start? Ok, the red pants martial arts master is unleashing one of the most awkward kicks in the history of all combat. It looks like he just held out his leg first and then leaped into the sky to punish his opponent. And his opponent, wow, that is one helluva drawing. It looks like the Iron Sheik wearing tie-dye camouflage pants and a mint-green muscle shirt. However, I can never look down on a game where one of the characters on the cover has a full, luscious mustache. In case you have not read any of these Cart Arts in the past, I am a huge fan of the flavor savor. This background seems to be filled with every stereotypical item found in an Asian background. You have a bonsai-looking tree, one of those red post temples in the water, mountains in the backgrounds, all the hallmarks of a early to mid 90’s fighting game. All that is missing is one of thew following: A ninja, an old master watching on or a crane. One of those three would have just pushed the background Asian stereotypes to the max.

Bonk’s Revenge

I know many gamers look fondly back at the Bonk series, some of the most famous games of the Turbo Grafx-16. However, when I look at this cover I want to fondly jam a sharp object into the vision center of my brain. I get the dinosaur and the lush, way to friggin’ green jungle, I get that stuff. They match. However, Bonk the cave man looks like a piece of clip art that someone just hastily photo-shoped onto the cover. Bonk is very cartoony and really not drawn to scale when compared to the dinosaur who. . . .is. . . .okay, forget what I said about the dinosaur, I just realized it has its tongue out. I hate this cover, I hate it, hate it, HATE IT! Stupid, lazy, photo shopping creationist game cover artists.

The Legendary Axe

Fighting evil spider creatures. . .with a fish eye lens! At least I assume it is a fish eye lens, as I have to believe that the head of that axe is not that big. I want to know what was going through the artists head when he was creating that giant spider. I mean, I get it. A giant spider with two different sets of antenna is scary enough. Why did they decide to replace the end of his arms with bulbous scorpion claws with tongues and teeth? The again, when you are about to get an axe upside the head from a man wearing cheetah print daisy dukes, you need every advantage you can get. Oh and what did they add into this cover to make it more scary? Bats. More gosh darn bats! When I die and go to Cart Art Hell, I will be forced to look at every cover by every moronic artists that added bats to the cover. And in case you are wondering, their will never be a Cart Art with a bat theme. If their is one, it will be the last as I will have eaten my eyes in the process of looking at the covers.

Alien Crush

Egads! Teeth! Eyes! Someone in the art department apparently ate a little to late at night and stayed up all night watching the Alien movies, drew what was in their nightmares and them proceeded to throw up on the page. Not only does this thing have 9 eyes and like a billion teeth, it has 6 fingers on his hands. You know, with all this duplication of organs and what not, what does this triangle monster only have have two arms? A tiny pink goatee? That’s just fine. But extra arms, that’s crazy talk! I do enjoy the bright green and orange Alien mouth bitters around the top of the box. They are festive, like I am going to a Cinco De Mayo party where I will be consumed by a group of Dos Equis drinking Xenomorphs, all with extra sour cream and nacho cheese. Man, I need to stop going to my local Taco Bell at 2 am before I write these.

Dungeon Explorer

I just can’t understand the perspective in this one. Is the man in the world worst tabard while holding a sword in the most awkward way he can, bigger than the two robbed figures? Is our hero a giant or are those two other people just his hobbit companions? Speaking of those little folk, the one on the left looks like he is constructed like a snow man, three big round blotches, all stacked in a failure pile. There is something vaguely religious about this cover, like this is the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost of terrible cover art. Why are they glowing like they spent one to many summers in Chernobyl? In the end this is just flat, poorly made cover that just leaves me more frustrated then anything. Well that, and grinding 60 girt sand paper into my ocular cavities.

Well, we come to the end of a another foray into the world of Cart Art. I hope you all enjoyed out little trip and if you have any suggestions for themes for upcoming Cart Art, leave a message in the comments section. Now if you excuse me, I need to go put on my zebra print bike shorts and battle a huge ant that for some strange reason has 118 eyes and venomous snake heads on the end of its legs.

OffisaPups

OffisaPups is a lover of fine retro gaming (video as well as board), classic comic strips and has a noggin filled with decades of television ads and song lyrics. Due to fears of a zombie apocalypse, do not approach OffisaPups while groaning, staggering with out-stretched arms, or requesting brains. Needless to say, OffisaPups has a very understanding and patient wife and a daughter who has no hope of a normal, non-dork upbringing.

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6 thoughts on “The Worst Cart Art of the TurboGrafx-16

  1. vinvectrex says:

    Wow – this is indeed a collection of truly awful art. However, I do appreciate the simply ridiculous size of the Axe from “The Legendary Axe”. Sure, it is part of the title, but that axe may well be legendary because it is the same size as the guy wielding it. Alien Crush makes me want to run screaming from the game store – not plunk down $50. On the plus side, Dungeon Explorer’s cover is so boring that I may use that art to put my daughter to sleep.

  2. The TG16 box art might have been weak, but the games were not. My best friend had a T16 and we played it non-stop. Dungeon Explorer was epic and Final Lap Twin (not shown) was fun for me being a Pole Position fan.

    The graphics may look dated now, but the music is not. Turbo Grafx music is still some of the best game music around.

  3. Ugly American says:

    Wow that Dungeon Explorer cover is grade school quality!

    It’s hard to believe anybody shipped that outside the 1970s Apple II market.

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