From Sega Retro
|System(s): Sega System 16|
|Number of players: 1|
In the mystical land of Fairyland, an evil mist has appeared and thrown the Prism of Light out of order. This has covered the world in darkness and agitated the people of the land, who are unsure if they will ever again see the morning.
A fairy named Silk comes across the young witch Cotton, who is obsessed with the magical candy called Willow. She begs Cotton for help in restoring light to the world. Cotton is initially dismissive but is eager to help once she learns that she can obtain Willows by defeating the boss of the evils.
The game is a side-scrolling shoot-'em-up game where players assume the role of a young witch named Cotton who rides her broom through a series of stages in a magical haunted kingdom on a quest to vaniquish evil and obtain her Willow candy. Players must blast various monsters and avoid being shot while collecting crystal power-ups to enhance Cotton's firepower and unleash powerful magic spells on enemies.
Cotton moves in any direction using the joystick. There are two buttons: a fire button that shoots Cotton's forward-facing shot and a bomb button that drops bombs toward the ground. Both weapons are unlimited, but they cannot be used simultaneously, and neither button can be held for rapid-fire. Cotton is accompanied by the fairy Silk, who follows her and augments her firepower. Additional fairies can be rescued by shooting the fairy statues that sometimes appear in the stages. Holding the bomb button causes the fairies to fly around Cotton; when the button is released, the fairies quickly fly away and attack an enemy. Fairies latch onto enemies and attack them until they are destroyed.
On the bottom of the screen is an experience gauge, which is increased by destroying enemies (with larger enemies awarding more experience) or collecting yellow or orange crystals. When the gauge fills, the power level of Cotton's main shot is increased, up to ten levels (indicated by diamonds beside the gauge). Bombs are leveled up separately, up to five times, by collecting items. Initially, only one bomb can be dropped at a time, but the first upgrade allows a second bomb to be dropped and the second upgrade allows a third bomb to be dropped. The remaining upgrades replace one, two, and then all of the bombs with red bombs, which burn along the ground after dropped.
Yellow crystals are sometimes dropped by defeated enemies and fall to the ground, but they float in the air while being shot. Shooting crystals also changes their color: red or blue crystals give Cotton access to special elemental spells, which are limited and appear in the bottom of the screen, and orange crystals award more experience than yellow. Up to six elemental magic items can be held in reserve at a time. Cotton can fire an elemental shot by holding the fire button to charge the attack and then releasing the button. The fairies can perform a different elemental spell if the player charges both the fire and bomb buttons.
Cotton has a limited number of lives, depicted by brooms in the bottom-left corner of the screen. She loses a life if she is hit by an enemy, but touching terrain does not harm her. When she loses a life, a fairy explodes and destroys all on-screen enemies. Cotton respawns in place after a moment if the player has extra lives remaining, but her weapon power is halved in level and her bomb level is reset to baseline. Extra lives are awarded at certain points thresholds. The maximum weapon level can only be obtained by never losing a life. If the player runs out of lives, the game ends, but it can be continued at the cost of a credit.
After completing the game once, the player can play it again from the beginning with an increased difficulty.
|Cotton's ability summons a fire dragon that sweeps across the screen, destroying enemies in its path.
The fairy ability causes all of the fairies to ignite, then seek and destroy targets.
|Cotton's ability fires a blast of lightning across the screen that lasts for several seconds.
The fairy ability encases Cotton in a protective bubble that renders her temporarily invulnerable. The bubble dissipates after a short duration or after contacting an enemy (which damages the enemy).
|These monsters can be shot, which causes the fairy to unfreeze and the urn to change to an bonus item. The fairy joins Cotton, following her and attacking enemies. Up to 6 fairies can follow Cotton at a time.|
|Dropped by fairies when they are rescued. These items can be collected for bonus points.|
|Upgrades Cotton's bombs by 1 level.|
|Double Bomb Upgrade|
|Upgrades Cotton's bombs by 2 levels.|
|Appears at the end of the stage after defeating the boss. Awards bonus points when collected.|
|The yellow and orange crystals provide bonus experience (with orange crystals awarding more experience than yellow). The red and blue crystals give Cotton another stock of elemental magic. Shooting a crystal changes its color.|
|The yellow and orange crystals provide bonus experience (with orange crystals awarding more experience than yellow). The red and blue crystals give Cotton two stocks of elemental magic. Shooting a crystal changes its color.|
|Island in the Sky|
|Inside the Temple|
|The last stage consists solely of a fight against the final boss, Wool.|
The game was the first in a series of shooting games. It was immediately followed in 1994 by Cotton 100% for the Super Famicom, another side-scrolling shoot-'em-up, and by Panorama Cotton for the Sega Mega Drive, a 3D shooter resembling Space Harrier. It received a direct sequel, Cotton 2, for the Sega Titan Video arcade system and the Sega Saturn in 1997.
- Main article: Cotton/Magazine articles.
|Sega Retro Average|
NEC Retro has more information related to Cotton: Fantastic Night Dreams
Music: Cotton (1991)
|Cotton games for Sega systems|
|Cotton (1991) | Cotton 2 (1997) | Cotton Boomerang (1998)|
|Panorama Cotton (1994)|
|Cotton 2 (1997) | Cotton Boomerang (1998)|
|Rainbow Cotton (2000)|