The cover is a tribute to its first issue.
That post says:
Nintendo Power has been on the stands since 1988, first as an official Nintendo publication, and then later as an independent entity. For players of a certain age who grew up with the NES and SNES, this is something of the end of an era.People are paying tribute over at Metafilter. The best comment:
*tosses red potion on curb*
*escapes into shadowy dreamworld*