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A series of [[ShootEmUp side-scrolling shooters]] made by Creator/{{Success}}, '''''Cotton''''' was one of the earliest {{Cute Em Up}}s involving {{Cute Witch}}es and {{Beam Spam}} to pre-date ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}''. Known mostly to hardcore gamers, the games involved the titular Natta de Cotton searching for candies called ''[[TrademarkFavoriteFood Willows]]'' (not to be confused with the film ''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 [[DeliciousDistraction 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/[[TurboGrafxSixteen TurboGraFX-16]], UsefulNotes/SharpX68000, UsefulNotes/PlayStation (as ''Cotton Original'') and NeoGeoPocket 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 FanTranslation of a Playstation game.
* ''Märchen Adventure Cotton 100%'' (1994) - Cotton's debut on the SuperFamicom; 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 UsefulNotes/MegaDrive, Panorama Cotton did not play like a traditional side-scrolling shooter. Instead, it pretty much played like a clone of ''VideoGame/SpaceHarrier''... 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 UsefulNotes/SegaSaturn. This game introduces the player to Appli, a [[RebelliousPrincess 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 UsefulNotes/SegaDreamcast, this is another into-the-screen shooter.
* ''Magical Pachinko Cotton'' (2003) - A pachinko game featuring characters from the series.
!!The games provide examples of:
* AttackDrone: The Fairies can be used as such to do quick damage to enemies.
* BlindIdiotTranslation: The arcade release, very much so, with lines like "Please down with the evils."
* CuteEmUp: Quite possibly one of the earliest examples, along with the ''VideoGame/KikiKaiKai'' series.
* CuteWitch: Cotton herself, complete with pointy hat casting colorful spells as she flies on her broom.
* DifficultyByAcceleration: 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.
* EverythingsDeaderWithZombies: The cemetery stage in the first game has a zombie boss.
* FairyCompanion: 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 FairyCompanion.
* FairySexy: 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.
* LighterAndSofter: 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.
* MsFanservice: [[FairySexy 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.
* NintendoHard: 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.
* PlotCoupons: Parodied with the Willow candy; they really have nothing to do with being able to save the world, but collecting them is the real reason Cotton is fighting.
* RebelliousPrincess: Appli runs away from home with a wish-granting artifact for her own rather less than selfless actions.
* SceneryPorn: 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.
* SelfDeprecation: 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.
* ThemeNaming: Almost every character name is a reference to tailoring: Cotton, Silk, Velvet, Needle, Filament...
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: Cotton really, really loves her willows, to the point of [[SeriousBusiness being her main motivation]] in most games. This just so happens to include saving the local populous as a bonus.
* WeirdMoon: The skull-shaped moon right at the beginning of the first Cotton game.