Video Game / Fantastic Night Dreams Cotton

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A series of side-scrolling shooters made by Success, Cotton was one of the earliest Cute Em Ups involving Cute Witches and Beam Spam to pre-date Touhou. Known mostly to hardcore gamers, the games involved the titular Natta de Cotton searching for candies called Willows (not to be confused with the film Willow), and her fairy side-kick Silk who, when not trying to look for help to save some kingdom, encourages Cotton to help her anyway with the promise of said sweets.

To Cotton, Willows are Serious Business, and she will absolutely do ANYTHING in her power to get hold of (and consume) one of these, such as blasting everything in her way, apparently...

The Cotton series spanned over the course of 8 games. These are:
  • Fantastic Night Dreams: Cotton (1989) - Released originally for the Arcade, Cotton made its way to the PC-Engine/TurboGraFX-16, Sharp X68000, PlayStation (as Cotton Original) and Neo Geo Pocket and introduces us to our protagonist. After an evil mist envelopes the world of Filament keeping it nighttime forever, a fairy named Silk seeks for help. She happens upon Cotton, who, in the witch's habit of doing nothing but searching for Willow treats, initially ignores her plea. That is, of course, until the fairy makes mention of said candy... This game is also mildly notable for having the first ever Fan Translation of a Playstation game.
  • Märchen Adventure Cotton 100% (1994) - Cotton's debut on the Super Famicom; rereleased for the PlayStation in 2003 as part of the "SuperLite 1500" budget series. Unlike the first game, it never made it outside Japan.
  • Panorama Cotton (1994) - Released for the Mega Drive, Panorama Cotton did not play like a traditional side-scrolling shooter. Instead, it pretty much played like a clone of Space Harrier... The ruler of Filament, Queen Velvet, runs off to "protect her kingdom" after divining an incoming catastrophe (via means of plant petals). Meanwhile, word spreads out of monsters burning any Willow they see, the fumes of which cause sickness among the fairies. As Silk cleans up some of the burnt remains, Cotton appears after eating a charred piece and demands an explanation for the atrocity...
  • Magical Night Dreams Cotton 2 (1997) - Like its much older predecessor, this game started out in the arcades, this time on Sega's ST-V hardware; like most ST-V games, it made its way to the Sega Saturn. This game introduces the player to Appli, a princess who runs off with a treasure from her Kingdom of Pumpkin to use its power to grant a wish... except she just got swept by a tornado and now lost it. Upon searching, Cotton and Silk stumbles into Appli and overhears the princess' assistant Needle speak of a "Bluewater Willow". Appli and Needle scout out more while Cotton and Silk give chase...
  • Magical Night Dreams Cotton Boomerang (1998) - A rerelease of Cotton 2 for the same systems. Graphics and level design are mostly the same, but the character selection and abilities are very different.
  • Rainbow Cotton (2000) - Released exclusively for the Sega Dreamcast, this is another into-the-screen shooter.
  • Magical Pachinko Cotton (2003) - A pachinko game featuring characters from the series.

The games provide examples of:

  • Attack Drone: The Fairies can be used as such to do quick damage to enemies.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The arcade release, very much so, with lines like "Please down with the evils."
  • Cute 'em Up: Quite possibly one of the earliest examples, along with the Kiki Kai Kai series.
  • Cute Witch: Cotton herself, complete with pointy hat casting colorful spells as she flies on her broom.
  • Difficulty by Acceleration: Panorama moves at such high speeds that the level's scrolling into walls might kill you more than the enemies. There's an option to turn up the speed regardless.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: The cemetery stage in the first game has a zombie boss.
  • Fairy Companion: Silk is this to Cotton, almost always seen flying alongside her broom. Amusingly, if you beat Panorama Cotton with a million points, Cotton becomes Silk's Fairy Companion.
  • Fairy Sexy: In contrast to Cotton's innocent witch getup, Silk more often than not is clad in a a bikini, especially noticeable on the box art.
  • Lighter and Softer: The first Cotton game was pretty dark in the visuals. Marchen Adventure Cotton 100% is almost a remake but much lighter in content, e.g. the zombie/demon boss in the cemetery became a pretty doll in a Gothic dress, and so on.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Silk, as explained above. She's featured up front and center in most official art, skimpy clothing and all in what's otherwise a very tame series.
  • Nintendo Hard: Not nearly as much as some shooters, but the series can be quite challenging with lots of enemies on screen, Cotton's generally fast movements, and limited continues make this a pretty tough series at times.
  • Rebellious Princess: Appli runs away from home with a wish-granting artifact for her own rather less than selfless actions.
  • Scenery Porn: Not at first, but as soon as the first game was upgraded to more capable hardware, the backgrounds became much more vibrant and crisp, starting with the Sharp-X port. This especially shined with Panorama and Boomerang.
  • Self Deprication: Finishing Panorama Cotton on the hardest difficulty gives you a note by the developers where they lament the lack of cutscenes and a longer ending due to the limited cartridge space. They also state they'd like to give you a reward, but again there's no space for it.
  • Theme Naming: Almost every character name is a reference to tailoring: Cotton, Silk, Velvet, Needle, Filament...
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Cotton really, really loves her willows, to the point of being her main motivation in most games. This just so happens to include saving the local populous as a bonus.
  • Weird Moon: The skull-shaped moon right at the beginning of the first Cotton game.

Alternative Title(s): Cotton

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