The Gallery of Hideous Box Art

El Viento

Side-scrolling action games are in stupefying abundance on the Sega Genesis, but there's something special about Wolf Team's El Viento (translation: "The Wind," which doesn't sound half as cool in English). Perhaps it's the unique mix of roaring-'20s atmosphere and Lovecraftian undertones. Perhaps it's Annet, the game's winsome, boomerang-flinging heroine. Perhaps it's the variety of levels, which range from gangster-filled nightclubs to demonic lairs. Whatever it is, El Viento's appeal certainly doesn't come from its American cover, which is unimpressive and, on close examination, unsettling.

It seems normal enough for game art: a somewhat scantily-clad woman, resembling Annet only in costume, fends off a bunch of thugs with her magical fireball attacks. But look closely at the thug who's rushing towards this faux-Annet from the left, and ask yourself this: just what is he doing with the end of his machine gun?

Not to speculate, but it appears as though this ruffian is sticking the muzzle of his firearm into a place where one normally doesn't think of putting a gun, at least not when the parties involved are standing on a public street in the middle of a firefight. And it doesn't help that Annet's expression is somewhere between a grimace and a smile.

To compare, here's the Japanese cover of El Viento. It's not the sort of thing you'd frame, but at least Annet isn't being unconventionally attacked from the rear.

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