Thursday, February 18, 2010

My 5 Favorite Rifts Covers Of All Time

OK, so everyone knows I love Rifts. I don’t always jive with the Megaversal System or some of the book decisions, but I’ve been running it long enough that I manage. Today’s post is for reader Evan (and all you Megaversal Fanatics!), who wanted more Palladium coverage from this site. Evan, I do what I can, pal, but there are a lot of games to cover.

For being one of the most kitchen-sink, metal games of all time, Rifts has had a varied cover art history. Some pieces seem downright mundane; some are so brimming with energy that your face might explode if you look at it too long.

Without further ado, I’m counting down my Top 5 Rifts covers of all time.

5) Rifts Worldbook 20: Canada

The Canada book usually gets mixed reviews overall, but I’ve always liked this picture. It’s good to know that 3 centuries after an apocalypse has destroyed the world as we know it, the Mounties have mystically fused with a GI Joe Action Set to defend the Great White North. Really, though, I like it because you can tell Stuff. Is. Going. Down.

4) Rifts Worldbook 17: Warlords of Russia

My apologies to the millions of people worldwide that suffered under repressive Communists regimes, but damn, this cover makes Communism look cool. The book itself covers more than just the Soviets, but the cover definitely brings to mind marching in lockstep to just beat the living hell out of the Capitalist Lackey Oppressors of Mother Russia. Fun Fact: This image gives Tangency at RPGnet shivers, as they cry bitterly over the ending of Rocky IV yet again.

3) Rifts Worldbook 29: Madhaven

Mark Evans captured so much about what I love in Rifts here. There’s the technological aspect, but we’re reminded that it’s humanity has to deal with this giant mess. Plus, they’re basically digging for loot in the middle of what used to be Manhattan (or thereabouts). How awesome is that? Maybe they’ll find a preserved enclave of hipster remains—a skinny jeans-wearing, ironic t-shirt version of Pompeii, if you will. And you just know there’s some creepy stuff that’s going to jump out at dusk from those buildings.

2) Siege on Tolkeen 3: Sorcerer’s Revenge

This series wasn’t so hot, but to me, this picture is what the Coalition States are all about (aside from, you know, the mass eradications and hate propaganda). There is a giant, angry dragon headed towards the Coalition guy in the Power Armor suit. Does he look like he’s running? Please. This is Rifts. He’s going to wait until the last minute, then give that dragon about 4 trillion rounds from his rail gun right in his ugly face. For Humanity.

Man, I need to run this game again.

1) Rifts Dimension Book 10: Hades

I have included this on the site before as being the Image Most Worthy Of Being A Late-80s Metal Album Cover. The distinction still stands. I can’t really add much to this image, except for the fact that if you don’t want to ride a zombie dragon-dog hybrid through Hell at some point, you really shouldn’t be playing Rifts.


Rob Donoghue said...

Have you ever seen the cover of the graphic novel? It manages to capture exactly what I *wish* Rifts was like.
-Rob D.

Zachary The First said...

Oh yes, that's a great one!

I really am thinking of jotting down my own post-apocalyptic kitchen sink notes one of these days. It's mix of Rifts, Gamma World, and OctaNe. Encounter Critical or Mutant Future doesn't hurt, either.

Tim Shorts said...

I like the cover of Dead Reign. The couple being seperated by a horde of zombies. I liked that one right away.

Also a huge fan of the cover Adventures in the Northern Wilderness. The wolfen raising the dead out of the swamp.

Zachary The First said...

Absolutely. I need to do a Favorite Non-Rifts Palladium Covers post!

Jason Marker said...

I see that none of my books are on this list. This seems like a glaring omission.

Zachary The First said...

It would appear Mssr. Freelance RPG Writer is attempting to get art credits for his books now. By gum, this will not stand! :)

clash bowley said...

This says it all: "...if you don’t want to ride a zombie dragon-dog hybrid through Hell at some point, you really shouldn’t be playing Rifts." Perfect!

Quim said...

I once did a poll on the PB forums about this subject.

BTW, I'd also like to see more Rifts contents in this blog! :D

Jason Richards said...

Unlike Mr. Marker, I recognize that MY books probably shouldn't be on the list, but few can compare to his massive sense of entitlement. See how humble I am? I'm very humble. :)

Not that I dislike the covers of Arzno or D-Bees of North America (not that D-Bees is more than 5% mine), I just don't think they stack up with some others. Of anything I've been involved with, I actually might like the cover to the short story collection the best. It's very simple and I think the view of the 'Burbs under the walls of the mega-city sets a nice tone.

Put in my vote for Madhaven as best, all-time.

Jeff Rients said...

I still think the original rulebook has one of the best "Oh, crap! I gotta buy this!" covers in the history of the hobby. Demons, skulls, hot chicks. That one has it all.

Mike said...

I agree - the original rulebook had a great cover. It's what got me playing RIFTS for a long, long time. It made me go OMG I WANT TO PLAY THAT.

The first South America book had a great cover, by Brom (I think) - an Anti-Monster holding up the head of one of its fallen foes.

(For anyone interested, I have downloads of various Rifts books I've written on my own site as well, although the covers aren't quite as sweet. ;) )

da Trux said...

i love the warlords cover! i bought it back in the day just FOR the cover. funny how the Communists on the cover are hardly even mentioned in the book, but that is one of those funny quirks about Palladium that i've grown to love.

but i completely disagree with your pick for #1. I don't like the Hades cover at all (or the book itself for that matter), no matter how 80's metal it may look. it doesn't do anything for me.

I like the old Vampire Kingdoms cover (hordes of Vamps with glowing red eyes), Mindwerks cover (can anyone honestly say that a bionic woman holding a cybernetic brain in front of giant tubes where scientists are performing brain surgery on gargoyles isn't hot??). and someone already mentioned the cover of South America 1 (and yes, it is Brom who painted it)