Sunday, March 12, 2017

Gate of Thunder for Turbo Duo and TG-CD (1993)

Original advertisement published in Turbo Force (January 1993),

a pack-in magazine of Electronic Gaming Monthly.

Press to view or download image in higher resolution.

Possibly the best system-starter game ever

By 1993, NEC had tried and failed to establish the PC-Engine brand in North America. Their Turbo-Duo system would be their last effort to break Nintendo’s and Sega’s fierce control of the American video game market.

As I wrote some time ago, NEC engaged in an aggressive marketing campaign to sell the TurboDuo to Americans. You could buy the system with a bunch of included CD and card-based games for about $ 250.00 dollars (once you cashed-in your original TurboGrafx-16). It was a good deal, by any standard. The system card was also heavily marketed

One of the packed-in games was Gate of Thunder, developed by Hudson Soft and Red EntertainmentIt was a standard side-scrolling shooter that was only released on the PC-Engine CD (now it was been revived for various virtual consoles). Thanks to its CD nature it was built from the ground-up with an absolutely fantastic rockin’ soundtrack. It also featured other slight mechanical innovations to the shooting gameplay that made it stand out from the competition. The game is still highly regarded to this day, just as its Lords of Thunder sequels

When you consider that the game was released in 1992 as a pack-in, it’s difficult to argue that there was a better game out there during that time that let first-time users showcase their new electronic toy's capabilities.

Now the artwork for the publicity itself is very bland. That’s because the ad you see here was published in Turbo Force, an included brand magazine or “insert”, as it is commonly called. The magazine was EGM. It’s very possible that the marketing department of the magazine itself would have created the ad you see here as part of the deal to include Turbo Force inside EGM. This is common practice in the editorial and publishing worlds, even to this day.

As you can see, there’s a huge EGM seal stating that the game received high marks from its review crew. Thats should be enough to convince potential buyers of the awesomeness of the game. Other than that, you get two huge game screens with actual gameplay. That’s basically it. The mishmash of fonts are a bit garish, but the black background keeps the whole ad tight.

One last notable feature: this is actually a one-page spread ad. You generally see two-page spread ads, but they chose to keep it simple here and make the reader actually turn the magazine clockwise to see the ad as it was originally meant to be viewed (you would see it as a vertical page ad in the original Turbo Force print material). 

Gate of Thunder print ad copy 

Gate of Thunder

The winner of the EGM Editor’s Choice Gold Award
Exclusive experience only on the new Turbo Duo multimedia video entertainment system and the TG-CD with Super CD System Card.

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