Box Art Bombshells: “Vampire – Master of Darkness” (SEGA Game Gear, Festival of Dread Special)

Welcome back to the Festival of Dread, The Splintering‘s month-long celebration of all things devilish and demented!

We’re marking the occasion with a new edition of Box Art Bombshells, where we reveal the completely fabricated super really-real events that inspired some of the wackiest and weirdest box art from gaming history.

Today, we’re the Castlevania-like 2D action platformer for the SEGA Game Gear (and Master System, depending in which continent you live.

Note: For entertainment purposes only!


350 Rhode Island Street #400
San Francisco, CA 94103

December 16, 1993

Marley Zappa, Esq.
1313 Mockingbird Lane
Los Angeles, CA 90002

Case number: NE1-4-A69

Dear Mr. Zappa:

I am writing in response to the cease and desist order that your pro bono law “firm” filed on behalf of the Bela Lugosi estate regarding the use of his likeness on the cover artwork for our new Game Gear title, Vampire: Master of Darkness. We here at SEGA are big, big fans of Lugosi’s entire filmography, particularly Bride of the Monster, and strive to conduct business in a proper and respectful way.

We have reviewed this cease and desist order and have chosen to ignore it wholesale.

I’m sure you are aware of the Lugosi v. Universal Pictures decision of 1979, in which the California Supreme Court determined that all rights to Bela Lugosi’s image ended at the time of his death, and that these rights would not pass to his heirs. Our use of his likeness on the cover art for Vampire: Master of Darkness is therefore 100% appropriate and precedent clearly supports our position, and the Lugosi estate is by no means entitled to any royalties or restitution from SEGA.

For wasting our valuable time in filing your banal cease and desist order, we have decided to counter-sue you. For Christ’s sake, we just got done dealing with Joe Lieberman and the US Senate, why would we be afraid of you? “Welcome to the Next Level” of getting your ass handed to you in court, bitch.

With all due respect.
Tom Kalinske
President, CEO SEGA of America
(and a team of four dozen seasoned copyright lawyers)


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