“It’s Brian Blessed, and he wants to shout at you!!!!!”
No, I didn’t scan this page because I give a hoot about Holy Magic Century – I scanned it because of Wil Overton!
What do I know about Wil Overton? Very little, actually, but the internet has a knack for making people appear knowledgeable. Wil was credited as N64 Magazine’s art and design chief, but made frequent appearances reviewing or previewing import games, not to mention occasionally taking the helm of some of N64 Magazine’s fantastic features columns. He created the magazine’s little globe mascot fellow, and also drew these two generic RPG warriors, who I can’t help but love to bits.
Doesn’t that little illustration just embody what fantasy RPGs should be all about? Colourful little chaps with fancy weaponry, arcane powers and swishy hair getting into whimsical adventures? … at least, that’s what I thought RPGs were all about, until I discovered the true meaning of role playing games was angst, turn-based combat and grinding like it was your living. That was also the day my whimsy died.
Genre woes aside, I always loved Wil’s illustrations. And as sappy as it sounds, I feel that illustration captures the heart and soul of Japanese RPGs more passionately than the games themselves.
(look, I saw the image a lot, and it’s had nearly fifteen years to grow on me – can’t a man get attached to some doodles?)
Writing this post, I’ve discovered that Wil is still alive, still kicking, and still producing some lovely art and design work. And he had a stint at Rare, wouldn’t you know! He’s got a beautifully designed website with a swell little blog that I’d totally suggest you check out.