Saturday, March 26, 2016

Gaming Bits: A SuperNerd's Guide to Japanese Computers: Part 1: The NEC PC-8801/9801/9821 (56k Warning)

This Gaming Bits Segment is brought to you by the A. Yoshi Patreon...

If you look at how many Japanese Game Companies started out making computer games, the list is actually pretty astonishing. Square, Enix, Koei, HAL Laboratory, ASCII, T&E Soft, Compile, Hudson, Micro Cabin, Bothtec, Nihon Falcom, Game Arts, among others, some of who I'm going to have top dedicate a whole Gaming Bits Series on. Heck Nintendo Initially marketed the Famicom in Japan as a sort of Computer, even Sega Converted the SG-1000 as a Computer with accessories to boot. I already talked about the MSX (which I have to revisit someday), but this computer dominice wouldn't have been a thing without computers like the NEC PC Series.

In 1979, NEC Released the PC-8001, it was aimed at the business market, and really wasn't meant for home use, as evident by it's high launch price of almost $26,000 (keep in mind that Micro Computers were a relatively new thing in the 1970s/1980s), and the fact that even western machines were meant for the education and business market. A cheaper, hobbyist version called the PC-6001 was released in 1981 that used cartridges and was more gamer friendly, but it wasn't until that very same year that a computer revolution would happen...

The original PC-8801 was also meant as a business machine initially, but thanks to the mkII (released in 1983), it became a gaming machine. the SR, FR, MR, and TR variants were more so (all released in 1985). The mkII was known for using the uPD780P-1 variant of the Zilog Z80 processor running at 4 MHz, an FM Sound Chip running in mono (creating some great tunes), up to 72KB of ROM, up to 116KB of RAM, 48KB VRAM, 2 5.25" Floppy Drives. The computers could run in PC-8001 mode, 640x200 resolution with 2 or 8 out of 8 (for 2) or 512 (for both) possible Colors.

In 1982 the first PC-98s were released. it wouldn't be anything special at first, but when 1986 came around, so came the PC-9801VX, which would later inspire a whole sea variables including ones with 386 and 486 Processors, 3.5" Floppy Disks, and it gets confusing. The VX included a 286 processor running at 10 MHz, 2 built in 5.25" Floppies, a 640x400 resolution with 16 out of a possible 4096 colors displayable, and 1MB of RAM... This is pretty much Japan's version of the IBM PC.

In 1987, NEC Released the PC-88 VA It was better than the original PC-88, with a 16 bit CPU, a V50 processor, up to 816KB of RAM, 256KB VRAM, but it had compatibility issues with older software, not to mention the 98 was emerging as an official competitor to the 16 bit computers, it was just getting better as the years went on, case in point...

The PC-9821 released in 1993, had a CD ROM drive, 2 3.5" Floppy Drives, a 386 Processor, 4MB of RAM, a 40MB Hard Drive, a 640x480 256 Color VGA Display, and a SCSI interface. It had compatibility issues with older software, but had a major line up of games, including Policenauts, Doom, and a load of adult erotic titles. this is the PC98 Variant to own.

It would have plenty of variants until 2000 when cheaper IBM Clones would take over the market. But how do the games for both lines fare?



Square Soft, and Enix were bigtime developers for the PC-88, Producing adventure games like Jesus and The Death Trap. Enix also had contests for new game ideas.

Telenet also released classics from Wolf Team and Riot like Valis and XZR.

Nihon Falcom should be it's own series eventually, but for now, I'll say this, they popularized the RPG on Computers. With Series like Dragon Slayer and Ys...

Game Arts Should Also be it's own gaming bits some day but they had games which were released on DOS later on by Sierra, like the Thexder series, Silpheed, and Zeliard.

Micro Cabin, and T&E Released their own games like the Xak Series, and the Hydlide series...

Also introduced on the PC-88 was the RPG maker series, Mamirin I couldn't find video for, and I don't knows enough japanese to work either. If anyone who knows good Japanese is willing to help me on Skype (ask for my name via DM first), or making a video on how this application works, be my guest.

Snatcher, a cyberpunk adventure game inspired by many films, created by Konaz... I mean Konami and Hideo Kojima. It was later adapted to SD Snatcher for the MSX, and released on several CD Platforms.

Dragon Knight was an erotic RPG by ELF I can't talk more about because This is a family blog. Suffice to say I assume Joe fapped to this game.


There's many PC-98 Series, but most of them are Ports of western games or Hentai Games with having sex with Lolis.



Yeah here are some games that stand out...

Brandish is a dungeon crawl game by Nihon Falcom. It was also released on the SNES.

Rusty, a Castlevania style game with a sexy female.

Steam Hearts, a shooter with erotic elements... which this video doesn't show that well, so I'm Safe.

Night Slave, a mech game with erotic elements and a Gradius style upgrade feature...

You can tone down or remove these erotic elements in some of these games... Just thought you'd like to know...

Policenauts, a spiritual successor to Snatcher, and it was released for several other platforms with several updates...

There's one franchise I'm forgetting about, Just don't know wha...

Oh wait...

Touhou is the best reason to experience a PC-98, It's a crazy as frak Bullet Hell shooter, it only got better as the series went on.

How can I experience it for myself?

Unless you're willing to emulate these systems (which has it's own set of variables), or spending big bucks on it, you can't. It has a huge language barrier, and some of these games had been released on other platforms, so that's probably for the best...


We're still going strong... Next time...

A. Yoshi's Carranger Review, a goofy sentai series, reviewed. Racing to the finish April 1st, only on GO, GO!!!!!! CARRANGER, CARRANGER!!!!!

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