kitsunebi77

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5 minutes ago, Ethereal Dragonz said:

Ahhh yes, Mai Shiranui from Fatal Fury and Felicia from Darkstalkers… I based all of my teenage expectations around women on these two characters.

So your stance on women was "stare like a perv from afar but don't get close or they'll beat the #$%@ out of you" 😉

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Something a little different this time, but pretty cool.  It's a manga history of the creation of Dragon Quest.  You get to see Yuji Horii et.al as they first get into game design, travel to America and get blown away by Wizardry, witness the birth of the Famicom, and set about creating a game that Japanese RPGs still emulate to this day.

Being manga, it is of course read right to left.

https://archive.org/details/theroadtodragonquestmakingofdragonquestmanga_201908

large.1452674836624.jpg

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When we think of censorship of Japanese games, we usually think of how Western publishers often give female characters more clothes to cover their tits or tone-down unrealistic tit-bouncing physics or remove tit-enlarging sliders from games in order to keep them from being rated M.  Basically lots of censoring of tits (in T or E rated games).

Some people think this is a travesty while overlooking the fact that it's usually done so that the games can be marketed towards children, and some like myself think that having a feature where you can literally molest every single female character in the game by grabbing their tits detracts from what otherwise might be a respectable title, so removing it can only be an improvement  (Yes, I'm talking about you, Policenauts, and you, Kojima, you sick #$%#er...)

But what doesn't usually get people in the West in a tizzy is when casually racist depictions of black characters get changed for their Western releases.  No one is demanding that Japanese games get released with all of their offensive blackface caricatures left intact because "it's the creator's vision."  And rightly so.  Including racism in a game in a realistic way that conveys a point is one thing, but most games, and especially Japanese ones, don't actually address the issue.  No, these games aren't depicting racism, they're just racist.

Even so, I've seen so many such depictions in games, manga, and anime over the years that I've almost become immune to being offended by them (gosh, is that evidence that media can desensitize us to horrible things?)  But today I was watching one of the final episodes of Chrontendo and it covered a game that literally made my jaw drop.

Developed by Square in 1989, is an RPG they were apparently so pleased with, they made their company name part of the title.  From Square no Tom Sawyer (Square's Tom Sawyer) comes this picture of Jim.  O.M.F.G.

Untitled-1.jpg

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Just uploaded an ad for the 1995 PC/MAC game Bad Day on the Midway and saw that it was a project from the band, The Residents.  I'm a little embarrassed saying this, but I knew nothing about them.

So...I just spent the last 90 minutes watching an interesting documentary about the band.  And I've gotta say...I bet this game is weird as hell...😀

 

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And hell, while I'm talking about weird games, the very next page after the ad for Bad Day on the Midway is an ad for The Dark Eye

  • Based on the works of Edgar Allen Poe
  • one of the characters voiced by beat writer William S. Burroughs (Naked Lunch)
  • music by Thomas Dolby (She Blinded me With Science)
  • beautiful stop-motion animation...

Look, I'm not saying these were great games (I suspect they weren't.)  But this is the kind of creativity that made the PC outshine consoles for me.  A lot of times, the experiments were failures, but PC game developers took those risks anyway, hoping to reach niche audiences that simply didn't exist within the console gamer crowd.

 

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Here's a guide to the original Castlevania for the Famicom:

https://archive.org/details/castlevaniaakumajodraculakanpekikouryakuhon

And although it's already available, I re-upped the Super Castlevania IV guide since I had to re-edit the front/back dust jacket and interior covers into separate pages (it's otherwise identical to the already available file).

https://archive.org/details/supercastlevaniaivakumajonodraculanosubete

large.567054189_AkumajouDraculaKanpekiKouruakuHon.jpg    large.460894838_AkumajouDraculanoSubete.jpg

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Where there's one guide to Wizardry VI, there's bound to be another.  Here ya go.

https://archive.org/details/wizardrybaneofthecosmicforgehandbook

large.SCAN0000.jpg

It's interesting how in Japan this is called New Wizardry: Bane of the Cosmic Forge.  Presumably the "New" was meant to emphasize the fact that unlike the previous 5 games in the series, this one was using a completely new engine with much more modern graphics (although still lagging behind what would have been cutting-edge at the time).

p.s. Did I ever tell you guys about the time I uploaded a book to the Internet Archive and it actually used the first page as the cover?  It happened once.  True story.  Of course, this time it picked page 20 as my cover, forcing me to download, edit, and re-upload its contents xml file, just like every other time I upload something.  Except for that one time when it (accidentally?) allowed the first page to be the cover.  It was glorious.

Whoever programmed the Internet Archive software obviously lives in a country that prints book covers somewhere on the interior pages (presumably so no one seeing it on a shelf can judge the book by the cover.)

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OK, now this is interesting.

First of all, thanks to @VGBounceHouse for his recent scan of Video Games #16 from Jan. 1984.  I don't have an interest in gaming from that era, but I noticed something fascinating while browsing the pages.

Untitled-1.jpg

I was surprised to see coverage for a laserdisc game called "Cliff Hanger" which I'd never heard of before.  Not surprised that I'd never heard of it (I've never had an interest in arcade games), but rather, surprised that the article was accompanied by a large picture of Lupin III.  Sure enough, a quick google search later revealed that the game uses animation from two Lupin III movies - The Castle of Cagliostro and The Mystery of Mamo.  Of course, the article never mentions this.

Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro is now widely known in the West, due to it being Hayao Miyazaki's directorial debut, but back in 1983 when this article was published (before the formation of Ghibli) he was still mostly unknown, and especially so in the West.  The Castle of Cagliostro wasn't even released in English until 1991.  So seeing that there was a game created and released exclusively in the West featuring this character was strikingly odd.

Further down the rabbit hole, I discovered that Lupin III: The Mystery of Mamo actually HAD been released in English...way back in 1979.  A dubbed version of the film was made exclusively for broadcast on Japan-to-America JAL flights and a copy was also made for Toho's Los Angeles branch which was played at a few local theaters.  This version of the film has never been publicly available, since when the film was finally released in English on VHS in 1995, a new dub was created.

However, the 1979 dub of The Mystery of Mamo was used for the footage in the Cliff Hanger arcade game, and the footage used from The Castle of Cagliostro was dubbed especially for the game, since there was no English release of the film at that time.  I can only assume that any lines of dialogue identifying Lupin III by name are altered or not included, since in the game, the character's name is changed to Cliff Hanger.

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Geez, even I'M getting tired of all the Wizardry guides, and I've actually played these games.

So wrapping things up with Wizardry VI, here are the 6th and 7th guides covering this game.  If you can read Japanese and you still don't know how to beat this game, there's just no helping you.

https://archive.org/details/newwizardrybaneofthecosmicforgeguidebook

https://archive.org/details/newwizardrybaneofthecosmicforgeofficialdatabook

large.2066889086_NewWizardryBaneoftheCosmicForgeGuideBook.jpglarge.749006926_WizardryVIBaneoftheCosmicForgeOfficialDataBook.jpg

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On 8/20/2019 at 10:03 AM, kitsunebi77 said:

For those extra tough games, sometimes four different strategy guides just aren't enough.  You need a fifth one to finally be able to go all the way.

Relax.

I'VE GOT YOU.

https://archive.org/details/wizardrybaneofthecosmicforgecluebook

large.262172065_WizardryBaneoftheCosmicForgeClueBook.jpg

Objection! This is clearly a "clue book", not a "strategy guide" as claimed. I move the witness's statement be struck from the record, and the jury be instructed to disregard his testimony. ;)

*huggles*
Areala

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51 minutes ago, Areala said:

Objection! This is clearly a "clue book", not a "strategy guide" as claimed. I move the witness's statement be struck from the record, and the jury be instructed to disregard his testimony. ;)

So far as I know, the word "clue" isn't used in Japanese, so your average person wouldn't know it (and no, they've never heard of the board game, either).  I can only assume that they stole the word from English strategy guides at the time, which in 1992, let's face it - were mostly for graphic adventures.  Many of those guides were referred to as clue books, since completing the games wasn't so much about using strategy as it was being told the solution to a puzzle.

If it makes you feel better, not a single one of the seven Wizardry 6 guides is called a "strategy guide."  I just used that term 'cause I try to speak 'Merican round these parts so's y'all can understand me.😉

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That brings up a question I have about Japanese. When I hear them in interviews, I notice a few of English words peppered into their sentences. Is this because it's a word that doesn't exist in the Japanese language, or did they just adopt it and started using it instead as part of the American influence after World War II when a lot of GIs were stationed there?

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25 minutes ago, E-Day said:

That brings up a question I have about Japanese. When I hear them in interviews, I notice a few of English words peppered into their sentences. Is this because it's a word that doesn't exist in the Japanese language, or did they just adopt it and started using it instead as part of the American influence after World War II when a lot of GIs were stationed there?

A little of both, although the adoption of English loan words goes back much further than WWII.  Every language has loan words - English has tons of them.  The main difference is that most English speakers are ignorant to the fact that much of their vocabulary comes from other languages, whereas in Japanese, all loan words are written using a completely different syllabary, making them stand apart from native Japanese words.

In regards to the content that pops up on a site like Retromags, there will probably be a higher than usual amount of English loan words on display.  Computer and video game technology and terminology began in the West, only later being widely adopted (and adapted) in Japan, so since most computer/video game terms were already in use by the time they came to Japan, they were simply adopted as is.  Thus "computer" is "computer" in Japanese, "video game" is "telebi game" (short for "television game"), "role-playing game/RPG" is "role-playing game/RPG", etc...

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For all of you video gamers out there, here's a much needed strategy guide to a super-complicated game - the GBA port of Final Fight.

I don't want to spoil it or anything, but I've played this game and can tell you what it says:

Walk to the right.

Punch stuff.

Repeat.

If you want to read 90 pages of that anyway, here ya go:

https://archive.org/details/finalfightonecompleteguidebook

large.753569674_FinalFightONECompleteGuideBook.jpg

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19 hours ago, kitsunebi77 said:

For all of you video gamers out there, here's a much needed strategy guide to a super-complicated game - the GBA port of Final Fight.

I don't want to spoil it or anything, but I've played this game and can tell you what it says:

Walk to the right.

Punch stuff.

Repeat.

If you want to read 90 pages of that anyway, here ya go:

https://archive.org/details/finalfightonecompleteguidebook

large.753569674_FinalFightONECompleteGuideBook.jpg

This looks great. I love Beat 'em ups or Belt Scrollers and I don't think I have ever seen a guide for them growing in the states. I know Japan did though.

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Just now, ml0045 said:

This looks great. I love Beat 'em ups or Belt Scrollers and I don't think I have ever seen a guide for them growing in the states. I know Japan did though.

I like beat-em-ups too, but really, what point is there in a guide for one?  They're quite possibly the most simplistic genre of game out there.

Japan publishes guides for just about every single game in existence.  But that doesn't mean that every single game deserves a guide.😉

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I guess it's neat to see how a guide publisher would go about their strategies (albeit limited) in hindsight when you know already what to do if you've played the game a million times. Plus the art is nice. 

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12 minutes ago, ml0045 said:

I guess it's neat to see how a guide publisher would go about their strategies (albeit limited) in hindsight when you know already what to do if you've played the game a million times. Plus the art is nice. 

Part of the appeal of a beat-em-up for me is that I don't need to have played the game even once to know what I'm supposed to do.  All you do is walk to the right and attack. 😀

Although ironically I don't really care for shooters, even though they're just as simple (shoot everything that moves, don't get shot).

I think my personal preference would be to buy a strategy guide for a game if I thought it contained helpful information and buy an artbook if I was only interested in the pictures.  Japan has both bases covered fairly well for most popular games.  Still, a strategy guide with NO pictures can be a bit dry, so a mix is always good.

 

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Untitled-1.jpg

This is a panel from Akira Toriyama's Sandland, published in 2000.  Surprisingly prescient.  It's pretty believable that DQ12 won't hit till the PS5, making DQ13 a PS6 release.

Just two more things need to come to pass to make this prediction a reality:

  1. Dual-stick analogue gamepads need to fall out of vogue and be replaced with 16-bit era pads
  2. A global holocaust needs to reduce the world to a giant desert where water is the most valuable resource

Tick tock...(but let's face it, that first one ain't never gonna happen.)

 

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