The Famicom and Five Obscure Games

MAY ISSUE: POST #22

I know every now and then some blog posts seem to turn into my current wishlist, but recently I have been really wanting a Famicom. Since I understand Japanese to an intermediate level and have been playing games on and off in Japanese for a while, I suddenly want to invest in one and get some older Japanese titles.

I’m also aiming to be more retro. I want to be retro-y.

So, what is the Famicom? Well, it’s a Family Computer basically. Released in 1983, this cute little box was manufactured by Nintendo and released only in Japan. Funnily enough, it was actually Nintendo’s first console. The Famicom is slightly different from the NES though, which is a similar console released over in America and here in Europe.

There was also an add-on called the Famicom Disk System, released in 1986, with release titles such as Super Mario Bros.The Legend of Zelda and also Baseball, Tennis, and Soccer, for all your sporting needs.

But I’m sure you’re all eager to learn about some games for this system. In particular, some intriguing weird and wonderful ones that you may never have heard of. So let’s take a look.

Doki! Doki! Yuenchi: Crazy Land Daisakusen

I love games that have amusement parks in them, whether that be an action game or a building/park management game. I had never heard of this game though, until today! This game follows a kid with a helmet (all the armour you’ll ever need) who wants to save his girlfriend from some mysterious force inside an amusement park. He kicks balls at his enemies to attack, which seems legit enough. The game was developed by KID and published by VAP in Japan in 1981, and come on, look how adorable these two are. To be honest, I really do want to try this game- looking at the gameplay, it looks fairly entertaining. Although I have no idea what’s flying on the left side there. Is that a butterfly? A bird? And where’s the rest of the boys arm? Maybe the answer is within the game. Sneaky.

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Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa

This is an interesting title that I stumbled upon. Released on the Famicom Disk System originally in 1988 and then on the Famicom in 1993, this game from Konami features a baby called Upa, who uses a rattle to attack enemies. Because, you know, that is genuinely what babies would do if attacked. I think. This baby isn’t just any ordinary baby though, Upa is the prince of a magical kingdom (naturally), and when that magical kingdom’s citizens get taken over by an evil demon, Upa is, rather generously, given a rattle in order to save them all. Whether this game is good or not I have no idea, but it looks colourful and I like the little pig in the picture.

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Chaos World

So, imagine that the king of your kingdom has a daughter and that that daughter is sick. But, alongside that, there are also monsters terrorising the world. The king asks you, and only you, to investigate and conquer the world, which seems simple enough, right? Well, if you play Chaos World, you’ll find out. I just told you the plot of the game, and it doesn’t seem too bad to me, it merely has a good vs. evil plot. This game is also one of the few Famicom games that has a day/night cycle. Again, I’m not sure how good this game is, but developed by Natsume (think Harvest Moon and Rune Factory) and released in 1991, I’m sure it’s something to try out.

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Joy Mech Fight

You can’t have a list of old games like this without a fighting game. Joy Mech Fight or Joy Mecha Fight is, what I’m guessing, a joyful game released in 1993. The plot is about these spectacular robots created by two scientists, however, one of the scientists turns bad and steals seven of the robots and appears on TV broadcasting that he wants to take over the world. One particular robot is called to the laboratory by the other doctor, to help defeat the sudden evil. The graphics of this game is definitely the most interesting part, since the robots arms, head, legs- you name it- aren’t attached. Yep, they’re all floating around separately. You might think that’s horrific, but actually, it’s kind of adorable.

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Tashiro Masashi no Princess ga Ippai

This is a little game I found which reminds me of the ‘princess in distress’ storyline of the oh-so-famous Mario series. This game, however, doesn’t involve a plumber, but a cool dude with sunglasses. The game was released in 1989 and focuses on the story of Masashi Tashiro who has to rescue, not one, not two, but four princesses in distress. I don’t know how Mario would feel if he had to save four Peaches, but anyway. It is actually one of the first games to have multiple endings, and there is only one chance to succeed here, as there are four bad endings and only one good ending, which seems delightful. I wonder what the bad endings entail, to be honest, I hope it’s nothing too dramatic.

The interesting thing about this game is that Tashiro Masashi is a real person, and was a member of the band Rats & Star. However, he was put in jail for a number of reasons, so, I think the game made a reappearance for the occassion.

To be honest, I like this box art though.

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I don’t know if that means we’re finishing this post on a happy note, but ah well, Famicom games are neat and there were some rather crazy and imaginative ideas back then.

Let me know what Famicom games you think are weird and wonderful!

Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming!

-LDG

 

The PC-98: Part #1

APRIL ISSUE: POST #32

Hello and welcome to my final post for April, but don’t be sad, because May is just around the corner and I’m already frantic about what posts I need to start writing. But anyway, today I’m going to be writing about the PC98, or the PC-9800 series. Wow, that’s unexpected, right? These personal computers were released only in Japan back in the 80s from a company called NEC. NEC had a lot of control over the PC market and had sold 18 million units by 1999, so all in all, that’s a lot of people with computers.

There have been a quite a lot of models of the PC-98 and it ran software with data discs. It’s noted that there are thousands of games for it, mainly consisting of dating sims and RPGs. I do remember stumbling upon information about the PC-98 a while ago, but I have been really intrigued by it again recently (well, yesterday), hence why I want to share some games on the system for you now.

Policenauts

While I was browsing, I actually found some amazingly cool looking GIFs on Tumblr here (and I’m very excited that they actually move in the post too). Policenauts is a graphic adventure sci-fi game which was released in 1994, and then remakes were released for the PlayStation and Sega Saturn in later years. The director of the game is none other than Hideo Kojima, and the game received immaculate reviews from all over Japan.

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To me, it’s no wonder, this has the coolest style ever, and for a game made way back then?! I’m very impressed. The colours are great and the girl looks absolutely badass. I mean, look at her wielding that knife. I doubt she’s going to be opening letters with it.

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The game itself is about a character called Jonathan Ingram, one of the Policenauts, who are astronauts with police training. Jonathan tests a new space suit but drifts away into the dark abyss that is space and is assumed dead by everyone, which is pretty unfortunate, but don’t worry, he is found 24 years later and is alive and kicking and brought back home. Even after all of that though, his ex-wife comes up to him and asks for help in solving a case, which ironically is the disappearance of her husband. But then she gets murdered straight after telling him that, so yeah. There’s a lot to experience when playing this game, and to be honest, I really want to play itIt was said that the game has one of the best storylines ever, and I don’t doubt it for a second.

Possessioner

Okay, this is an erotic adventure game, with naked women and all that jazz, but the style is awesome, and I’ve come to the realisation that it’s hard to avoid erotica when searching these games. But never fear, it’s not meant to scare you away! Embrace nakedness I say. This game was released back in 1994 by Queen Soft, and it’s primarily a sci-fi adventure game set in 2035 (which is scarily sooner than you think).

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The story starts off with a lot of mysterious incidents happening in Tokyo, and, much like Policenauts, someone goes missing. In this case, that ‘someone’ is a lot of women. This time though, they weren’t just kidnapped and lost forever- this time, they return brainwashed, and command armies of bionic monsters (not unexpected at all). These women are then part of a squad and are called Possessioners. You go through the game selecting commands from the menu and triggering events. I’m not really sure how the game was received, but it does seem super interesting (and if you enjoy lesbian sex scenes mixed with all this adventure sci-fi stuff, then go right ahead and try it out).

Words Worth

The main reason I wanted to mention this particular game is because of this next screenshot.

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Please tell me you don’t have to attack his adorable face!

On the other hand…

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Aaah! Get it away! It’s hideous!

But you really can’t go wrong with these graphics. It’s terrifying at times, yes, but it’s really incredibly drawn, and even though I was trying to avoid it for at least one game, yes, apparently there is erotica in this one too. I’m not sure how erotic it is, but I know for sure that there’s a five-part direct to video erotic series, based on the game’s story. So, you can just jump straight into that instead if you wish.

But the game itself is set around two sword-fighting tribes, who live in peace and harmony, and are separated by “Words Worth”, a slab. Yes, a slab. A huge monolith slab put there by someone. A slab.

Even though I would love to protect this slab with all my might, it does get destroyed early in the game. Mysteriously destroyed. Who would want to destroy an innocent slab, I don’t know. But naturally, the two tribes start blaming each other and start a war that lasts over 100 years. One of the tribes sends out Astral, to find out what really happened to the slab (or the tablet. I should probably stop calling it a slab.) and restore the peace! You go through the game dungeon crawling and defeating enemies, and that sounds pretty fun to me. Although I don’t really want to face, um, whatever that is above *shudder*

Rusty

If you like Castlevania, then this game could be for you. People say it’s a clone, but, what does it matter when it’s awesome anyway? It’s actually been called a ‘hidden gem’ so why not give it a go? If you can.

Developed by C-Lab and released in 1993, this game is a side-scrolling action game, and you play as a vampire hunter who investigates why various women have disappeared all over the country (maybe they’re getting brainwashed and will return as leaders of a bionic army). Naturally, you fight skeletons and monsters and boss characters, and you use a whip! Hah! A whip! How satisfying.

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This game has been unofficially translated into English, so I’m sure if you wanted to give it a go, it wouldn’t be too difficult.

Doukyuusei

I also found this game while I was browsing around. The first game in the series was considered the first dating simulation, originally released for the PC-9801 microcomputer and published by ELF.

I could put so many pictures of the game here but I really don’t want to overload my post with too much stuff and burn your mind away. But you get a general idea that’s it’s really well designed.

You play as a high-school student, whose parents have just moved into a large mansion (I want to be this guy already) and naturally, you have to start at a new school. Of course, it being a dating sim and all, all you can think of is girls girls girls (to be honest, I don’t blame him. Girls are great.) There is a lot of exploration in this game, and you can go into shops, cafes and even take the train! Which is pretty neat in my opinion. There are, of course, nude scenes and sex scenes and all that, but to be honest, I’d still play it. I enjoy dating sims sometimes and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

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So, what do you think of the PC-98? Do the games look interesting to you?

oh, and I should just mention the soundtracks. I mean, they’re so good!

Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming! Roll on the next issue!

-LDG