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Incredible pictures from an era of games we never got to experience

eric__s

ass hater
Developer
Joined
Jun 13, 2011
Messages
2,301
So over the past few years I've been saving pictures from old Japanese games that I really liked and I thought I'd share them with you all. Most of these pictures come from Japanese PCs from the 80s to mid 90s like the MSX, PC88, PC98, X1, X68000, FM Towns and a bunch of others. They're pretty impressive because they display a level of graphical quality that Western computers just weren't capable of producing until much later. Take a look at the intro for the PC88 RPG The Screamer. It's hard to believe that this game came out in 1984; there was nothing remotely comparable coming from Western computers at the time.

Another reason these pictures are cool is that they display the diversity of settings early Japanese roleplaying games took place in, a symptom of the fact that they weren't as married to core D&D concepts as Western RPGs. I feel that this was liberating in some ways. Japanese games were free to experiment with roleplaying ideas and mechanics without deviating from the standard model - a model that was not yet established in Japan. Let's go back to The Screamer, which has Wizardry-like first person dungeon crawling but real-time, statistic-driven combat. Another good example is Sorcerian, which has D&D-like character creation (even rolling!) but real-time, sidescrolling gameplay. My personal favorite is Last Armageddon, where your party changes depending on the time of day (also check out the intro which is insane). These games are interesting because they show this primordial soup of ideas, some that evolved into modern JRPGs and some that were discarded entirely.

I can't guarantee that all these games are RPGs and I don't even know what most of them are, but they're all pretty interesting and I thought they would be cool to share. I guess to me, these games represent potential - brilliant, game-changing ideas that we never got to experience because of language barriers. What did we miss? What Codex classics are out there waiting for us?

Anyway, enjoy these pictures! They're almost exclusively from the FM Towns Marty and noirlac tumblrs.

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hope this didn't crash your computer!!
 

SCO

Arcane
In My Safe Space
Joined
Feb 3, 2009
Messages
16,320
Shadorwun: Hong Kong
It's hard to follow up to the OP post, so i'll just settle for being mediocre and break the ice.


Great fucking post.
 

SCO

Arcane
In My Safe Space
Joined
Feb 3, 2009
Messages
16,320
Shadorwun: Hong Kong
Sadface... all of the ways gnome 3 has to set a animated background are horrible hacks...
 

eric__s

ass hater
Developer
Joined
Jun 13, 2011
Messages
2,301
aaaaaa

Two gifs in particular are causing huge lag. It's so bad that I can't even edit the post, so could an admin or mod change them to links instead of pictures? One is the gif of the flashing bald fat guy with the visor hovering over a fleet of ships near the bottom and the other is that blue computer screen near the top, the third or fourth down. Thanks, sorry about this.
 

spekkio

Arcane
Joined
Sep 16, 2009
Messages
8,244
I remember that somebody posted a link to a blog with such stuff a couple years back. But I'm too scared to do a search.

:eek:
 

Machine

Arbiter
Joined
Apr 13, 2012
Messages
128
Location
cout<<
Amazing screenshots, and those 2 tumblr links have even more goodies on em. I can definitely see why "home computers" in Japan have a bad rep for being "pervert systems" ;).
But still, this stuff makes me wanna learn the language, so many games that will never get translated.
 
Joined
May 29, 2006
Messages
5,364
Location
Astrology
Arthur C Clarke described these towers in the book 3000. Quite where humanity would get all the materials to make mega structures is beyond me.

I dont think the gameplay on any of these games were any good judging by all other jrpg's.
 

Haba

Harbinger of Decline
Patron
Joined
Dec 24, 2008
Messages
1,871,712
Location
Land of Rape & Honey ❤️
Codex 2012 MCA Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2
While the stories in the games were often full of fuck, nips sure did know how to draw pretties.

Power Slave (1995)

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Dead of the Brain (1992)

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Legend of Galactic Heroes (1990)

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Necronomicon (1994)

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Oh yeah, and Policenauts...
 

Fens

Ford of the Llies
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
1,899
Location
pitcairn
gah... requesting epilepsy warning for this thread

apart from the gifs, some pretty neat pics
 

eric__s

ass hater
Developer
Joined
Jun 13, 2011
Messages
2,301
Loving the cityscapes. Any idea what they're from?
Unfortunately I don't know what games they're from. Start with Illusion City and go from there maybe? The FM Towns Marty and noirlac tumblrs may have more information.

So, cboyardee, you know Japanese ? I'd really like to see a Last Armageddon LP.
Haha, not really. I took a class a long time ago for fun but I don't know much of the language. I have played Last Armageddon though and I can vouch that it's as crazy as it looks. Also, check out the Wikipedia article. It was clearly written by someone who doesn't speak English as a first language.

The game plays like a role-playing video game and the graves of fallen demons by the player's home base remind him or her of the situation that is going on in the game. When a player first starts the game, he or she should not go right because experienced monsters lie to the right in a stadium-shaped power station that is in the southeastern corner of the game. It will take a foursome of level 5-10 characters in order to defeat the robots inside the dome. As characters advance in level, the monster images change slightly.[7] By the time the characters advance to levels 17 through 34 (the maximum possible levels), the monsters will look completely slimy and the fusion of the cells will get ugly.


Awesome.

I dont think the gameplay on any of these games were any good judging by all other jrpg's.
Maybe. A lot of these pictures come from games that were released before the JRPG format really existed. It's kind of like judging Jimi Hendrix by Nickelback. Computer and console roleplaying games were also pretty different - we only saw the console side because only a handful of Japanese computer RPGs were ever translated. Who knows what we missed. That's what these pictures represent to me, the possibility that there are truly great games out there that we just have to find.
 
Joined
Jan 12, 2012
Messages
4,054
Maybe. A lot of these pictures come from games that were released before the JRPG format really existed. It's kind of like judging Jimi Hendrix by Nickelback. Computer and console roleplaying games were also pretty different - we only saw the console side because only a handful of Japanese computer RPGs were ever translated. Who knows what we missed. That's what these pictures represent to me, the possibility that there are truly great games out there that we just have to find.

At that time they would probably be more adventure than RPG. The kind of GO there, LOOK that, TAKE that... with some bits of combat. Like Rance 1. Some of those could even require to type stuff.
Someone insane should make an LP of those, without knowing japanese and using weird programs to type moonrunes.
 

Helly

Translating for brofists
Patron
Joined
Dec 16, 2011
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Location
変態の地獄、Rance様と
Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. My team has the sexiest and deadliest waifus you can recruit.
Shit, where can I find those games ?
I speak japanese (manga translator ftw) and some look freaking awesome !
 

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