From Sega Retro
- For the aftermarket re-release, see Panorama Cotton (Strictly Limited Games).
|System(s): Sega Mega Drive|
|Number of players: 1|
The game is widely considered one of the most visually impressive for the platform. It has a surreal, psychedelic aesthetic and uses extensive sprite scaling and line-scrolling effects.
Willow (ウィロー) is a special type of candy in the Kingdom of Filament (フィラメント), a world of witches and fairies. Knit (ニット) and Silk (シルク) are both fairies. Knit comes to tell Silk that the Fairy Queen Velvet (ベルベット女王) has started saying things that do not make any sense. Later, the Queen reveals that she believes that the world is falling into chaos, and that she is the only one who can save it. She rides away on an animal to save the day and disappears before anyone can stop her. Perplexed, Silk and Knit deduce that a burnt Willow which recently turned up in the castle garden is responsible for the Queen's odd behavior. Apparently, monsters north of the kingdom have been burning any Willow that they see.
Before doing anything else, Silk immediately decides that she needs to get rid of the burnt Willow in the castle first. Silk carries the burnt Willow far away, but before she can dispose of it, the witch Cotton (コットン) appears suddenly and snatches it from her. Not pausing for a moment to hear Silk's story, Cotton begins to eat the burnt Willow. However, she quickly spits it out, angry and disgusted. When Cotton discovers that someone is burning Willows, she vows that she will not let it continue. From there, Silk and Cotton set off on their new adventure.
Instead of being a side-scrolling shooter, like the previous Cotton games, Panorama Cotton is a pseudo-3D scrolling shooter reminiscent of Space Harrier. Cotton flies on her broom with her fairy companion Silk, and they follow a fixed path through the stages. She can move around the screen with the D-Pad to aim her shots and avoid obstacles. The player can cycle Cotton's movement speed between three different values with . Faster speeds increase her maneuverability but also the speed at which she moves through the stage. Lower speeds are helpful for getting more hits on targets.
Cotton fires her magical weapon with , which is unlimited. A small blue dot acts as a targeting cursor. Holding causes Silk to encircle Cotton for use in special magical abilities, which also decreases Cotton's rate of fire. The player must therefore press repeatedly for reliable rapid-fire. Cotton's attack has a power level between 1 and 5. She has an experience meter that goes up as she destroys enemies or collects yellow crystals, and her attack gains a power level whenever she fills the meter. Taking damage reduces the experience meter and potentially results in losing levels. If the player fills the experience meter when already at maximum level, the player is rewarded with 10,000 bonus points.
Cotton has three special magical abilities, which are limited in use and gained by collecting colored crystals. The current magical abilities are shown as icons in the HUD, and the game starts the player with one of each ability. There are two ways to use the magical ability. Cotton can use it with , or Silk can use it by first deploying her by holding and then pressing while still holding . The effect of the ability differs depending on whether Cotton or Silk uses it. The most recently acquired ability is shown leftmost and used first.
Cotton's health is indicated by blocks in the top of the HUD. She loses a block or part of a block when she takes damage from enemy fire or colliding with something. She gains another block of health for every 50,000 points earned by the player. If Cotton is hit when she is low on health, she might bounce around the screen and dodge damage, but she cannot attack or use magic in this state. She loses a life when she loses all of her health. The game ends if the player runs out of lives, but there are limited continues.
At the end of each stage, there is a "Tea Time" bonus round where Cotton can collect tea cups that fly at her for bonus points.
There are three selectable difficulty levels (Easy, Normal, and Hard). There is a Score Attack mode that plays through the same stages but Cotton only gains points and not experience from yellow crystals. The player can also optionally invert the vertical controls so that descends that ascends. If the player finishes the game with at least 1,000,000 points, the player can play "Silk's Dream," which is a special mode of the game played as the fairy Silk with a miniature Cotton taking her place as a support companion.
|Red Magic (赤色魔法)|
|Cotton's ability is Fire Dragon (火竜), which summons a fire dragon that sweeps the screen and attacks enemies randomly.
Silk's ability is Fire Fairy (ファイヤーフェアリー), which summons many fire fairies that seek and attack enemies.
|Blue Magic (青色魔法)|
|Cotton's ability is Thunder (雷), which releases a row of energy balls that spin around before launching into the horizon.
Silk's ability is Barrier & Thunderbolt (バリア & サンダーボルト), which surrounds Cotton in a protective shield. If Cotton is hit by an enemy, she does not take damage, but the shield dissipates and the screen is filled with (hardware) bolts that attack everything on the screen.
|Green Magic (綠色魔法)|
|Cotton's ability is Boxwood Fruit (ツゲの実), which changes her standard weapon to a homing weapon that targets close enemies.
Silk's ability is Fairy Launcher (フェアリーランチャー), which causes Silk to spin and summon fruits that explode on enemies that collide with them.
|Appears during the stage. Normal (ノーマル) awards 100 bonus points. Flashing (フラッシュ) awards 500 bonus points.|
|Appears at the end of the stage after defeating the boss. The regular tea cups increase the attack points at the end of the stage. Luxury Tea (高級茶) with the blue kanji awards 500 bonus points. Golden Tea (黄金茶) is given by finding Jizō (地蔵) and awards 10,000 bonus points.|
|The yellow crystals provide bonus experience; the other colors provide a use of a magical ability. Shooting it pushes it farther away. Shooting it three times changes its color, but shooting it too much can destroy it.|
|Fat Crystal (デブクリスタルは)|
|The yellow crystals provide double bonus experience; the other colors provide two uses of a magical ability. Shooting it pushes it farther away. Shooting it three times changes its color, but shooting it too much can destroy it.|
|The Land of Cotton (わたの大地)|
|Cloud Road (雲道界)|
|Great Gallery (大回廊)|
|Deep Sea Cave (海底空洞)|
|Cotton Road (綿ロード)|
Reportedly, only 4,000 copies of the game were made.
This is the only Japanese Sunsoft Mega Drive game that did not come with the "left-opening" box style used with other Sunsoft-published games. The release packaging included a promotional tea cup, which is now quite rare.
It is the third game in the Cotton series of so-called "cute-'em-ups" for their unique visual style, and diverts from the gameplay of other Cotton titles. Its style of gameplay would be reprised for the Dreamcast Rainbow Cotton.
The game was digitally re-released for the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 in 2021 by ININ Games. This was accompanied by a physical release by Strictly Limited Games, which included a Collector's Edition with a soundtrack CD, poster, and other extras. The physical release was limited to 2,500 Nintendo Switch copies, 1,500 PlayStation 4 copies, and 1,500 Sega Mega Drive copies.
|This article needs a list of production credits, either from the game itself, a manual, or other reliable source.|
Source: Panorama Cotton MD credits.pdf
- Main article: Panorama Cotton/Magazine articles.
|Sega Retro Average|
- Main article: Panorama Cotton/Technical information.
- File:PanoramaCotton JP cover.jpg
- https://sega.jp/history/hard/megadrive/software_l.html (Wayback Machine: 2020-07-02 23:21)
- GameFan, "Volume 2, Issue 12: December 1994" (US; 1994-xx-xx), page 224
- https://www.destructoid.com/panorama-cotton-release-date-october-29-ps4-switch-strictly-limited-games/ (Wayback Machine: 2021-10-21 16:51)
- 1700 igr dlya Sega, "" (RU; 2001-xx-xx), page 230
- Beep! MegaDrive, "September 1994" (JP; 1994-08-08), page 16
- Famitsu, "1994-08-19,26" (JP; 1994-08-05), page 39
- Sega Saturn Magazine, "September 1995" (JP; 1995-08-08), page 85
|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)|