ONM Remembered – #16

Sunday, August 12, 2012 at 11:00 am Comments (1)

“It’s Brian Blessed, and he wants to shout at you!!!!!”

from N64 Magazine issue 13 (March 1998)

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.

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One Response to “ONM Remembered – #16”

  • carlmarksguy says:

    Yes, it’s all very nice and good about Wil, but you know who’s also still alive?


    I’m not sure how this is possible, because he was a barrel-chested giant of a man in BBC shows at least as far back as the ’60s.

    However, it still allows my dream-movie to be made: “The Skeeziest Hawk-Man”, starring Brian Blessed and Cliff Howard; where an aging King of the Hawk Men (Blessed) has to teach Cliff Howard’s character (Droppo, the Skeeziest Hawk Man in the kingdom) how not to be so goldarn creepy, and to become a boisterous jovial and well-liked warrior.

    Hollywood will never pull its way out of its creative doldrums with unwanted sequels — but pairing together two famous type-cast character actors? CINEMATIC GOLD.

    (Sorry for the blog-hijack, but my being-shouted-at expectations were not met, so I had to fill the Blessed quota).

    Back on topic: I like the statement about the illustration capturing the spirit…better than the games themselves. Very deep. Unfortunately video games in general seem to have caught a case of Attitudeitus, prevalent in the late ’90s, from which it may never recover.[/grumpy old coot].

    However, if you want to see a RPG party which may make you feel as young as when the earth was new[/Star Trek II: the Wrath of Khan], check out http://gamewtfs.tumblr.com/tagged/final-fantasy in about 3-4 hours; combining BOTH the whimsy AND the ‘character actor team-up’ idea into the ultimate party!

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