Monday, April 14, 2014
This is something that I'd been planning to publish here since resuming the project earlier this year.
What you see here are a slip-case and cover art for a would-be release if the game had been brought over intact to the U.S. in '99/'00. The way I would have done it at least.
The name for this release would have been Ace Combat 3 Electrosphere International Edition. Usually NTSC-U/PAL versions do not come with added monikers, but it has happened before, like in the case of FF7. In AC3's case I thought this would add some flair and substance to it, as the this naming convention is normally used for books. Then there's also the fact that English-dubbed (with jpn subs) of popular anime, such as Macross Plus and Ghost in the Shell, were released in Japan as "International Version" in both cases if I'm not mistaken, though I can't find a source for the GitS release right now but I know there was at least a VHS release of this. The font used for the subtitle is Data Swallow.
The design for the slip-case had to be simple as 1) I'm not in any way skilled in graphics editing and 2) it would be best to go for something simpler and subdued as I'm trying to emulate what an actual commercial release would look like. It didn't take me long to remember how the GitS SAC's R1 Limited Edition releases (R2J also had a similar design) came with jet-black slip-cases with about a handful of tilted cut-outs at an angle. And I seem to recall an R2J DVD release for the GitS movie that kind of was like that but the cut-outs were made to look like the plug holes behind Motoko's cyborg neck.
Another example of this type of package design is this release for what seems to be a video documentary + book for the Patlabor theatrical features. The 5 holes represent Headgear's logo, the name of the creative ensemble that created the Patlabor franchise
In AC3's case, the cut-outs on the front are only three to, again, keep it as simple as possible, even though I'd love to conjure up something a little bit fancier. The restrained look does give it kind of a classy feel, I think, and you still get to see just enough of the cover behind for you to know what the game is all about. The back side, on the other hand, is a completely different story.
As I've been dealing a lot with Japanese text, even though I have never formally studied the language, I thought of finding a kanji that would best represent this game. The kanji used for the back cover below is 空, mostly translated as "sky" or "void", used to represent beings made of pure energy and with no physical existence. If you're still reading this post then you're probably a hardcore fan so I think the ties are self-explanatory.
Disclaimer: I couldn't find a high-res source that I could use for this so huge jaggies are present. Also, a "proper" U.S. release of this would have the description text behind translated, so please keep in mind this is a purely a concept piece.
For more information on this kanji, I recommend you read the short but concise paragraphs on it here and here. The last link does pretty much the same I'm trying to do here but for Cowboy Bebop and its characters, so I guess I'm not the first one to get this kind of idea. Interesting read nonetheless.
Anyway, this is just something I wanted to post if only just to get it out my system. If any of you fans have any ideas for a great AC3 cover, you're invited to post it below in the comments section.